Why Do We Dream - Theories of Why We Dream

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** Why Do We Dream? - Top Dream Theories **

By Kendra Cherry, About.com Guide

"Why Do We Sleep"

Many different theories have emerged to help explain the mystery of why we
dream.

© Valua Vitaly/iStockPhoto
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· dreams
· states of consciousness

/"Dreams are the touchstones of our characters." - Henry David Thoreau/

Dreams have fascinated philosophers for thousands of years, but only
recently have dreams been subjected to empirical research and concentrated
scientific study. Chances are that you’ve often found yourself puzzling
over the mysterious content of a dream, or perhaps you’ve wondered why
you dream at all.

First, let’s start by answering a basic question – What is a dream? A
dream can include any of the images, thoughts and emotions that are
experienced during sleep. Dreams can be extraordinarily vivid or very
vague; filled with joyful emotions or frightening imagery; focused and
understandable or unclear and confusing.

Why do we dream? What purpose do dreams serve? While many theories have
been proposed, no single consensus has emerged. Considering the enormous
amount of time we spend in a dreaming state, the fact that researchers do
not yet understand the purpose of dreams may seem baffling. However, it is
important to consider that science is still unraveling the exact purpose
and function of sleep itself.

Some researchers suggest that dreams serve no real purpose, while others
believe that dreaming is essential to mental, emotional and physical
well-being. Ernest Hoffman, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at
Newton Wellesley Hospital in Boston, Mass., suggests that "...a possible


Source: psychology.about.com/od/statesofconsciousness/p/dream-theories.htm


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