We all know why we sleep. To regulate metabolism and brain function and give our body the opportunity to rest. It is difficult to explain why we dream and how to interpret exactly what those dreams mean. Especially if you have weird dreams like riding a giant goldfish through the world of marshmallows (true story).
Dreams are very common. In fact, you have 1-6 dreams a night, the strongest of which occurs during REM sleep. No one remembers all the dreams he has had, and especially if you have ever woken up from an anxious or unusual dream, you may be wondering why you are dreaming about what you are doing. You can analyze what your dreams mean with the help of 3 sleep experts interviewed for this ultimate guide to your dreams. This is what you need to know about dreaming, what it means and why you are dreaming about it.
What exactly is the dream?
Simply put, “Dreams are thoughts, images, sensations, and sometimes sounds that occur during sleep,” Alan Coras, a licensed clinical social worker at Westmed Medical Group, told .
Although there is no conclusive evidence of what a dream is, in general, dreams represent a set of thoughts, struggles, emotions, events, people, places and symbols related in some way to the dreamer.
The most vivid dreams usually occur during REM sleep, but you can dream during the other stages of sleep as well.
Dreams can serve many purposes, including memory training.
Koras says there are many theories on how dreams work. “They seem to help with memory training, consolidation, problem solving and the integration of our thoughts about ourselves and the world.” Neuroscientists add that they have found that dreams also help process information and regulate mood.
Scientists know a lot about what happens physiologically when people dream, but much remains to be done about what happens psychologically. For example, researchers know that people with PTSD are more prone to nightmares. However, it cannot be said that nightmares are always accompanied by a psychological state, as even people without PTSD have nightmares.
According to neuroimaging research, one of the notions that dreaming is a highly emotional process is that the amygdala (the emotional center of the brain) is one of the most active brain regions during dreams.
Why did I forget my dream?
If you are one of those “dreamless ” people, you have probably forgotten them.
Coras says some of this is biological because the neurotransmitters that make up memory are less active during sleep, and dream forgetfulness appears to be related to the level of electrical activity in the brain during sleep, Coras says.
Plus, it might have something to do with your dream content, Coras says. According to early psychoanalytic theories, difficult or painful information is repressed in dreams and less likely to be sought or analyzed by the dreamer.
Yale Medicine sleep pathologist Dr. Meir Krieger told that most people remember their dreams when they wake up during sleep or during the first few minutes after sleep ends. The problem, however, is that memory is short-lived. Unless you record it or play it in your head, you will most likely forget your dream. Dr. Krieger says it’s more common to forget dreams than remember them.
It also counts when you wake up. Studies have shown that people who wake up in REM sleep report more vivid and detailed dreams, while those who wake up in non-REM sleep report fewer dreams, no dreams, or less important dreams.
What does my dream mean?
The dream meaning is mostly conjecture, but what matters is how the dream relates to your life.
“There is little scientific evidence that there is any special meaning associated with dreams,” Choras said, but throughout history different cultures have attached meaning and importance to dreams. Working with the subconscious of the individual is a fundamental prerequisite in different cultures, but in different ways.
Dr. Krieger says dreams are “mostly assumptions of some significance”. And he says there are two main ways of thinking in the scientific community. One is that each part of the dream has a specific meaning, the other is that the dream is completely spontaneous and meaningless.
The first way of thinking is to be attributed to Sigmund Freud, known as the first to give concrete meaning to dreams. says Kreiger
Dream psychoanalysis may have only started a century or two ago, but people have been studying dreams for much longer. According to Dr. Krieger, Aristotle has been writing about dreams since 325 BC.
Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, an expert dream analyst, says that, in general, the problem of access to evidence is very personal because dreams and their meaning are based on one’s own life experiences.
Neuroscience also tends to focus on dream functions (eg memory retention) rather than on “comparative analyzes between dream images and the contents of the previous day “. This is how I approach dream analysis. Lowenberg says.
That said, some dreams have a meaning attached to them, but for many people for no other reason. Below, Dr. Kryger, Kuras, and Loewenberg discuss the meaning of dreams and common symbols in dreams.
What does it mean to dream of water, wind and fire?
Dreams about water, wind and fire can give you an idea of your emotions.
There is no real evidence that the elements have any specific meaning (mostly speculation, Dr. Krieger says), but there are some seemingly common correlations.
Lauenberg believes that water symbolizes emotions and that different types of water can simulate different emotions. For example, cloudy water can represent sadness, tidal waves can represent tyranny, and clear water can represent emotional clarity.
Lowenberg states that while fire often means anger or pain, wind can represent a change you are currently experiencing or an impending change.
“As far as these meanings allow, the important thing is that it fits the dreamer “, Lowenberg says. Many symbols have generic meanings for common people and situations, but you should consider your personal association with the symbol, she explains.
What is the meaning of dreaming with the dead?
Dr. Krieger says it’s very common to have dreams about death. Especially dreaming of the death of someone close to you emotionally. It is also common to interpret this type of dream as communicating with the dead. This is not surprising. “Death has such a great impact on life that it is often included in the content of dreams,” he says.
Lowenberg says that dreaming of death can indicate the end of something in real life, and that this does not necessarily mean the end of life.
“Dreaming of death is not a warning, but a reflection of how you know life is about to end,” he said. Quit smoking or change jobs.
According to Coras, “it all depends on what this image means to the dreamer in the context of his life and the challenges he faces. Dream work is primarily an exploration of feelings and meaning for the dreamer and somehow it is related to life. “work ” handle that challenge.
What does it mean to define a dream as night and day?
A dream in a dark place like this can indicate sadness or loneliness.
Lauenberg says there is no real scientific evidence that dark and light, like the elements, have specific meanings, but many dreamers associate each with a specific feeling. For example, a dream in which you wake up in the dark can indicate uncertainty in real life. For example, if you are “in the dark ” on something in progress and you need more information to taking a decision. Darkness is also associated with sadness or loneliness.
Daydreams, on the other hand, may not mean much to most people. However, if you normally dream in a dark place and then suddenly dream during the day, it could indicate that the problem has been resolved or that you are no longer in pain.
Again, the interpretation of dreams is almost entirely speculative. What matters is how you connect your dreams to your life.
Why are some dreams common?
Flight dreams are very common.
Have you ever dreamed of falling and waking up? If you have already discussed the dream with other people, someone else says: “I had this dream too! ” “Fall dreams seem very common. Loewnberg calls it prototype.
An archetype is by definition “a very typical example of a particular person or thing ” (Oxford). When applied to dreams, archetypes represent “models of the soul “.
Other common dreams that may or may not be archetypes depending on what is happening in your life at the time you dream are:
Lowenberg says these dreams are very common because they are associated with general actions, actions, thoughts and fears. For example, many (but not most) people worry about being late for important things like business introductions or planes. Likewise, many people may worry that their partner is cheating on them. This can appear in a dream.
Lowenberg says that dreaming of appearing naked or shy in front of a crowd is often associated with social anxiety or worry about how others will perceive you.
How do you interpret dreams?
Some dreams are completely strange and the interpretation is up to you.
As mentioned above, there is no solid evidence for the dream meaning, so you need to interpret the dream in a way that you can understand.
“The determination of what a dream conveys depends on the individual and the current situation. Hence, what the person is going through , the difficulties he faces and the psychological development that occurs will be significant in any case. ‘ “says Cora.
Lüneberg reiterates that dreaming is a thought process. “Our dreams, the weird little stories we go through every night while we sleep, are actually our subconscious thoughts ‘”, he says. “From today the stream of consciousness continues “.
But instead of speaking to yourself verbally in your sleep, you speak to yourself in symbols, metaphors and emotions, Lowenberg says. Language changes occur because the brain works differently during REM sleep. The prefrontal cortex, or decision center of the brain, is underactive or underactive, while the emotional center of the brain, the amygdala, is highly active.
This is why dreams can be very scary or frustrating and contain things that should or shouldn’t happen in reality.
“In short, “says Lauenberg.
Learn more about getting a good night’s sleep
The information in this article is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical or health advice. Always speak to your doctor or other qualified health care practitioner if you have questions about your health status or health goals.
Article Source : https://www.cnet.com/health/sleep/why-we-dream-and-what-it-means-according-to-sleep-experts/