Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Why Do We Dream?

      Though we didn’t focus on something specific, we dream! Even if we tried anything, no guarantee that it occur! We know every one of us dream, but none can recall everything. Doesn’t it very strange part of life..? This is the one of the big, long lasting and very curious question kept pending, intern this was supposed to be my first blog post, but unfortunately dragged since 2010. No luck yet (I meant no answer!) Then what this post for..? Might be because of this it was dragged so far and led to impotent in cutting the sources which I researched. Again all I can say is articles on psychologytoday.com

What is a dream?
Dreams are highly visual, focused, confusing and unclear. Dreams have been seen as a connection to the unconscious. It can include any of the thoughts, images and emotions that are experienced during sleep. (Briefed why it is unclear in physiological theory below)

When it occurs?
In the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep - when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake; but our muscles suffer temporary paralysis. REM sleep is revealed by continuous movements of the eyes during sleep. At times, dreams may occur during other stages of sleep. However, these dreams tend to be much less memorable.

        Dreams can last for a few seconds, or as long as twenty minutes. People are more likely to remember the dream if they are awakened during the REM phase. The average person has about 3 to 5 dreams per night, but some may have up to 7 dreams in one night. The dreams tend to last longer as the night progresses. During a full 8-hour night sleep, two hours of it is spent dreaming.

What makes us to dream?
Two different theories that support, as to why we dream:
physiological and the psychological theory

The physiological theory centers upon how our body, specifically our brains functions during the REM phase of sleep. Proponents of this theory believe that we dream to exercise the synapses, or pathways, between brain cells, and that dreaming takes over where the active and awake brain leaves off. When awake, our brains constantly transmit and receive messages, which course through our billions of brain cells to their appropriate destinations, and keep our bodies in perpetual motion. Dreams replace this function.
Two underpinning physiological facts go towards supporting this theory of dreams. The first lies in the fact that the first two or so years of one’s life, the most formative ones for learning, are also the ones in which the most REM sleep occurs. It follows that during this time of the greatest REM sleep, we experience the greatest number of dreams. The second physiological fact that lends credence to this theory is that our brain waves during REM sleep, as recorded by machines measuring the brain's electrical activity, are almost identical in nature to the brain waves during the hours we spend awake. This is not the case during the other phases of sleep.
Psychological theories of dreams focus upon our thoughts and emotions, and speculate that dreams deal with immediate concerns in our lives, such as unfinished business from the day, or concerns we are incapable of handling during the course of the day. Dreams can, in fact, teach us things about ourselves that we are unaware of.

Our knowledge as to what causes us to dream is limited to the fact that dreams occur during the REM stage of sleep.

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