Why Do We Dream?

Sleeping is one of the best things in the world and I absolutely love it! I have not once questioned sleeping, but I have wondered, why do we dream?

Activation Synthesis

Activation-Synthesis Theory

There are many theories of what goes on in our brains when we dream. In the 1970’s, J. Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley proposed what is known as the Activation-Synthesis Theory. This theory states that dreaming occurs because the brain is trying to process the neural activity that goes on in our heads. Circuits in the brain stem are activated during REM sleep, which trigger parts of the limbic system that deal with emotions and memories. The brain tries to make sense of these signal which activates dreaming. 

Cognitive Theory

Cognitive Theory

Another theory is Calvin Hall’s Cognitive Theory. Hall believed that dreams were caused by our conceptualization of our experiences. This theory insists that dreams help us process what we think of ourselves, what we think of others, and what we think about our environment. This was one of the most important theories about dreams that was ever made.

The Last theory is Sigmund Freud’s Wish Fulfillment Theory. This theory suggested that we dream because of our desire to fulfill things that we wish we could have or do. Dreaming is somehow a way to escape from reality, and take advantage of our wishes and wants.

In addition to these theories, there is the general theory that dreams occur because it is a way for us process the information that goes on in our day to day lives. Dreaming leads others to believe that it is sort of like a break, In which we can release stress and gather our thoughts.

Why we dream is one of science’s most puzzling questions. Scientists are continuing to search for an answer and hopefully they will get to the bottom of this soon!


1 thought on “Why Do We Dream?

  1. Lauren Ann Heess

    I have always been curious about why we dream. I’ve heard things about dreaming, for example, that we’ve seen everyone in our dreams, because we can’t make up a face. But I never knew the reasoning behind why we do it. It’s interesting that we have the ability to form new ideas and insight through dreams since it is a way for us process information going on in our lives. Even though I don’t remember most of my dreams, I agree with your point that dreams can be based on things we wish we could have or do. Overall, it was a good post that explained a lot of information I’ve always wondered about.

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