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Why Do we Dream

There are many theories about why we dream, but no one knows for sure. Some researchers say dreams have no purpose or meaning and are nonsensical activities of the sleeping brain. Others say dreams are necessary for mental, emotional, and physical health.

Studies have shown the importance of dreams to our health and well-being. In one study, researchers woke subjects just as they were drifting off into REM sleep. They found that those who were not allowed to dream experienced:

Increased tension

Anxiety

Depression

Difficulty concentrating

Lack of coordination

Weight gain

Tendency to hallucinate

Many experts say that dreams exist to:

Help solve problems in our lives

Incorporate memories

Process emotions

If you go to bed with a troubling thought, you may wake with a solution, or at least feel better about the situation.

Sigmund Freud believed dreams are a window into our subconscious. He believed they reveal a person's:

Unconscious desires

Thoughts

Motivations

Freud thought dreams were a way for people to satisfy urges and desires that were unacceptable to society.

Perhaps there is merit with all these theories. Some dreams may help our brains process our thoughts and the events of the day. Others may just be the result of normal brain activity and mean very little, if anything. Researchers are still trying to figure out exactly why we dream.

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