We all see different types of dreams at every age of life from our infancy to late adulthood. But we don’t know what causes dreams? What are the thoughts behind them?
In this article, we will try to figure out the reasons why do we dream and how many types of dreams are there!
Are dreams true?
Dreaming means hallucinations, people feel the things happening in reality, but actually, they are not. There is no scientific logic for seeing dreams because they are not concrete. One can see, describe, and feel but cannot hold them just like air! Many psychological theories, not precisely but up to a certain level, can tell why do we dream.
When do we see dreams?
There is a myth that people dream throughout their sleep, but this is not true, as we only dream during the rapid eye movement of sleep.
There are five stages of sleep. The first four are called rapid-eye-movement rest, and the last one is non-rapid eye movement.
Non-rapid eye movement is the stage in which our eyes continuously move in many directions, and the brain is considered more active. The time limit of this phase decreases with age. Teens and adults under 30 observe it for about two hours, while people older than 30 have it for approximately 2 hours.
How do we see dreams with closed eyes?
Dreams are our perception and thoughts. Opinions are not related to sensation. For example, if someone mentions an apple and we do not see it nearby, we’ll perceive in our mind that how an apple looks. That’s the reason we imagine and see dreams.
An imagination of many things lies in our minds, as we already have their images built, we don’t need to see them with eyes.
Why do we dream?
Science proves that there is no link between logic and dreams. It is the brain’s moving part that produces ideas into our minds, not the logical one.
Researchers and psychologists are trying hard to get the proof of dreaming, but still, there is no proper evidence to it.
Here are five reasons and theories that can tell us a little about dreams.
Dream about repressed desires & fears (Psychoanalytical Theory)
This theory says that thoughts are representative of what is going on in our unconscious minds.
Dr. Sigmund Freud resembles the human brain with an iceberg having different layers.
The first layer is of the conscious mind—the daily routine things we do in consciousness. Next is a pre-conscious mind containing the memories we can recall easily.
Lastly, there is an unconscious mind that includes all our traumas, sexual desires, and dark fantasies.
This theory says that we mostly dream about something we are afraid of or the things we wanted to do but couldn’t as they were unethical.
This theory gives many reasons and descriptions of why do we dream by considering our unconscious mind.
Below is the dream interpretation of different types of dreams we see.
- If we see snakes in the dream, it means someone is disturbing our peace.
- Tiny animals in the dream describe that we are dreaming of children.
- Bathing in the dream mostly refers to birth.
- If someone sees beginning a new journey, it means dying.
- Being naked in the crowd means we desire to make ourselves noticeable.
Dreams as a problem solver (Neo-Analytical Theory)
We mostly dream of things that are bothering us during the day.
This theory argues with the previous method and says that dreams not only tell about unconscious conflict but also involve our current problems. And help to solve them.
Do dreams help us to solve problems or not? For this purpose, an experiment happened in 1972 in which two groups were involved. They had to solve a difficult puzzle to prove the impact of dreams on problem-solving. Both groups were allowed to sleep.
However, one group awakened after 15 minutes in their non-rapid eye movement stage, while the other was allowed to sleep until rapid eye movement where they can easily see dreams.
The study proved that the group allowed to sleep more was likely to solve it.
Dreams as a memory aid (Information Processing Theory)
Dreams help us to transfer the memorable things to our memory. When we sleep, there is an activation in the limbic system of the brain, which throws away all the unnecessary memories and stores critical events.
If we don’t get proper sleep, we cannot recall some of our precious memories. Researches say that is the reason students should get adequate sleep during the exam so that they can store the information in mind more appropriately.
Dream as a connector with God (Supernatural Theory)
This theory is hard to believe and has a religious basis, which says that dream is God’s way to contact us.
Many religious scholars say that there are signs in our dreams that God is trying to tell us what is wrong and right.
Some people said, when we intended to do something that is either good or bad for us, the universe starts giving us signs and dream is one of them.
Many people have a strong belief in this theory that dreams are God’s way of connecting with people. There are several interpretations of it.
According to Islamic interpretation, if we see green or black colors in the dream, it represents good luck, and God tells us that the thing we intended to do is good for us. Red color means we are going to face something terrible.
Some of the dreams are biological (Activation-Synthesis Theory)
When we sleep at night, we are half-paralyzed. There is blockage of sensations from outside, but internally neurons are activated, the brain tries to sense this activation and form the dreams.
This belief says that there is no reason or story behind dreams; they are just the hallucinations our brains create during neurons activation.
However, activation theory has many drawbacks and critiques, as many people reported that they witness their past experiences and daily life experiences in dreams.
Types of Dreams
The main types of dreams are as follows:
What are nightmares?
Nightmares are dreams that are more upsetting and frightening than ordinary ones. It can cause the dreamer to wake up suddenly and have severe anxiety. You can have an exercise that will relax your brain and lessen the effect of nightmares.
People mostly see dreams as nightmares during early morning hours. They also occur during the rapid eye movement of sleep and can be frequent.
What are night terrors?
Night terrors are types of dreams but mostly sleep disorders that happen frequently in children as compared to adults in which a person having the night terror woke up with sudden shock and fear but they do not actually know what they saw in a dream.
What are vivid dreams?
Vivid dreams are also called lucid dreams in which the dreamer is aware of dreaming.
In a lucid dream, the dreamer has control over the characters, environment, and narrative. The experience of lucid dreams is quite common. Studies show that 77% of the people experienced lucid dreams in their 25 years of age.
These type of dreams are the one that repeats more than one time and has a specific theme. For example continuous dream of chasing and falling. Like recurring dreams people also have recurring nightmares if you have recurring nightmares then the reasons behind it are mental health problems and substance abuse.
What are daydreams?
When our attention is more alert to personal and internal direction, the flow of consciousness makes us disconnected from the present external task called daydreaming.
It mostly happens in daily life, and the average person spends 47% of its time on daydreaming.
What is a false awakening?
A false awakening is a type in which a person dreams of awakening from sleep, while in the real person is sleeping.
After the false awakening, we often feel we are doing our daily tasks, but actually, it is not.
While there is no strong information about the healing dreams but scientists and people say that healing dreams are those types of dreams that bring peace and harmony in you. These kinds of dreams leave you feeling happy, blissful, and at peace after awaking.
What are the normal dreams?
Normal dreams are the daily routines that we see almost every night. These are the marsh standard dreams, where we have no idea of dreaming until we wake up.
In a typical fantasy, we could be dancing with our favorite actor. These dreams arise primarily out of REM sleep and are essential to our survival.
Interesting facts about dreams
- Blind people also have dreams.
- We mostly go through 5 to 7 dreams in one night.
- Not every dream is colorful.
- Mostly those people come in our dreams whom we know.
- We forget about 90% of our dreams.
- Men and women dream differently.
- Animals have dreams too.
- We are paralyzed during our dreams.
- Many dreams are universal.