• Question: Why do we dream?

    Asked by crunchiejelly to Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley, Sara on 21 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by aharrison, achurch.
    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 16 Jun 2011:


      Hey crunchiejelly…. good question..
      We dream to process our thoughts..
      There are different stages and cycles of sleeping patterns. Dreaming occurs in the stage of light sleep, called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. We remember dreams because it is a light stage of sleep and just before the waking up period..

      Facts: Blind people that have seen dream, blind people from birth dream, although differently.
      we forget 90% of our dreams. Everybody dreams.Dreams Prevent Psychosis (inability to sleep properly). We Only Dream of What We Know. 12% of sighted people dream in black and white.External Stimuli Invade our Dreams (e.g whats going on around us while we sleep). You are paralyzed while you sleep.

      Weird huh!

    • Photo: Kimberley Bryon

      Kimberley Bryon answered on 16 Jun 2011:


      Nobody really knows why we dream. One theory is that they help us realise our unconscious desires, another theory is that it is to do with signalling in our brain whilst we are sleeping. I have had very vivid dreams, even dreaming in foreign languages. I find dreams fascinating, especially how they feel like they have lasted ages but really they haven’t lasted very long at all.

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 16 Jun 2011:


      Hi crunchiejelly!

      The two possible reasons behind dreaming that Julie mentioned are called the “psychoanalytic theory” and the “activation-synthesis model of dreaming”…but really no one knows!

      What is interesting though is that the time when you are sleeping is the time that you process most of your information that your brain has gathered. Your brain needs to process this material for it to go into long term memory so that you can recall it…so when you are studying for exams its probably a good idea to have little “sleep breaks” where you switch off and allow your brain to consolidate the information. Apparently sleeping for as little as 6 minutes will allow this to happen! That’s my handy tip for the day!

    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 21 Jun 2011:


      Hi crunchijelly and aharrison! My impression is that we don’t know precisely why we dream. Although, we certainly sleep to give our brains a chance to rest and process thoughts as Amy has mentioned! My guess (and this is just a guess) is that dreaming is how our mind keeps busy while we are resting. So I think the act of sleep is necessary and dreaming keeps our brains happy during that process (can you imagine NOT dreaming? now that might be weird!). Its still a mystery though! A great question for future scientists to tackle =)

Comments