Almost every night we dream about something.
Early Romans and Greeks thought that dreams were a method for God to connect with them. They used to think that while they were sleeping, the Gods would convey their messages. As to prepare them for the next day, the next task, the next level.
It wasn't until the nintheenth century that scientists tried to find a scientific explanation for why we get dreams. Sigmund Freud thought that dreams were the brains way of processing unresolved thoughts. Like the math question that you started but couldn't quite finish. Or the text that you hadn't responded to.
Carl Jung (a student of Freud) thought that dreams did have a significant explanation, but did not completely agree with Sigmund.
We have come a long way since the nintheenth century. We have seen several technological advances, a lot of which have been in the medical and scientific fields. One of the most commonly debated theory in the present times is that dreams are nothing but electrical pulses that extract random images from our brains. That would surely explain the dream in the GIF above, huh?
After we wake up, a lot of us try to find a reasonable continuation of what we saw in our dreams. We do this to sort of make sense to what we saw in our heads. Yet, it seems as if dreams do happen for a reason.
Fun Fact: Cats also dream
Thorough research has proven to us the reason why we dream. In our dreams we see situations that can potentially happen in real life. That might explain why when we see horror movies, we dream about monsters and ghosts. Our brain registers that paranormal behavior and turns it into a potential situation. This helps us practice our neuro-cognitive mechanisms, which come in handy for when we're really threatened.
Research will always continue and scientists are learning new things every day. The theory mentioned above is one of the most widely believed, but there are other theories as well.
Theories that dreams connect to memories, to things that we've seen before. This study was conducted by Cristina Marzano and her fellow workers at the University of Rome.
Another study found that dreams that people remember have something to do with emotional reactions. Something that might have happened recently but we will remember for a long time. This is because even if humans do not always remember the circumstances, we have a knack for remembering how we felt during certain moments.
A third study found that less dreaming affects our understanding of complex emotions. Humans, especially teenagers, deal with a lot of complex emotions. The ability to comprehend them is quite essential.
If you connect all the dots, or join all the pieces of the puzzle you will be able to see that dreams are quite important. They have root causes. They don't just show up.
Dreams help us process emotions. They visuals might not always be realistic, but somehow the emotions always are. People who dream more often are less prone to anxiety disorders, as their brains are constantly processing their negative emotions.
And that's the science behind dreams.