Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night yelling, and covered in sweat after having a bad dream. Well the other night I was sleeping in my dorm, and I had a ridiculous dream of a raccoon chasing me around campus, then finally pouncing on me. Immediately, I jumped out of bed and face planted onto the floor while splurging out some bad words. Once I pulled myself up off the floor, I decided to write down the occurrence, so I could retell it to my roommate in the morning. Furthermore, at that current moment I had no idea as to why i had that dream.
*The picture above accurately depicts how I landed when I jumped out the bed.*
That morning when my roommate had awakened, I retold my dream to him and then he began to point out reasons why I had that dream such as the events that happened the day prior.
“Dreams purpose are to resolve unfinished thoughts left over from the day before”, according to a post. Usually one was obstructed when they had a certain thought, which explains why I dreamed of a raccoon since I saw one the previous day.
Some researchers believe that the purpose of dreams are to:
- Help process/understand new information
- Prepares one for change
- Help cope with trauma/loss
- Consolidate information
Harvard psychiatrist and other sleep researchers believe that their is more to it. Doctor Hobson of Harvard says that REM sleep has a physiological effect rather than just a psychological one.
On the flip side we have nightmares. An article discusses that the main reasons for recurring nightmares is because one’s subconscious is trying to assist the individual in ridding a certain problem in their actual daily life. Stress, conflict, fear, trauma, emotional problems, drug use, and illness can be underlying factors.
*This article recommends that one who has persistent nightmares to see a professional about their mental health.