The Purpose of Dreams

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Dreams are a very ponderous things. Simply saying, dreams are a stream of images, sounds, and the actions of something; like a movie. But never have dreams been able to be explained. The Greeks and Romans claimed that dreams were signs from their gods and had prophetic magic (www.scientificamerican.com). Even though the purpose of dreams has not been discovered, a huge movement in the study of dreams occurred at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1952, scientists in Chicago discovered electrical readings during a certain stage of sleep. When woken up in this stage, people almost always remember their dreams. This stage is the only stage of sleep where we dream, and it is known as the REM stage (YouTube.com). During the REM stage your brain acts as if it is awake, with a small difference. Chemicals, such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and histamine, are blocked. This causes your body to become paralyzed so that you do not act out your dreams. With this being said, it is possible to wake suddenly not being able to move because your body has not stopped blocking chemicals from entering your system. The REM stage is the deepest sleep stage. In this stage your heart rate and breathing become inconsistent. REM sleep is very important, even though it only takes up about 25% of your sleep cycle. Without REM sleep, your body is tired and cannot remember things. Your body, even though it is paralysed in this stage, relaxes. REM sleep is vital for the body, even though the exact reason is not known. Without it not being known, it affects the theories of why we dream. (YouTube.com) There are many theories on why we dream. Some of them fall into the religious aspect of things, but most are... ... middle of paper ... ...association between emotion and symbol help the brain recognize the emotions and weave them into our personal history.Ultimately, this hypothesis brings us back to the storytelling component of dreams. We seem to use these bizarre images and ideas to make sense of the day's events, to turn random neural firing into something coherent, and even to figure out how we should feel about what's happened to us. There is no doubt that dreams play a major role in our thought processes. The question remains, however: Are they an evolutionary adaptation, or just an uncanny accident? (10 theories that explain why we dream) Whether it is believed to be a distraction or an adaptation, dreams are still a mystery. Scientists and society may ponder on the interpretations of their meanings and origins until the end of time. Until then, we will just keep dreaming!
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