Why do we dream?

I have always been interested in dreams. Why do we dream? How do we dream? Do some people not dream at all? There are so many questions concerning dreams and the process that revolves around doing so. Unfortunately I never really remember my dreams. Or so I think.  I have always been told that everyone dreams but I myself cannot even remember the last dream I had. After some research, it is clear that everyone dreams and that over time, dreaming has been looked at by many different minds and has many different scientific theories behind its purpose.


The study and science behind dreaming dates back to the early Greek and Roman empires who believed that dreams held certain powers.  On a more reasonable term, great minds such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung also had their own views on dreams and the purpose they served.  According to Sigmund Freud, dreaming allows humans to go over and think about goals and or wishes not yet achieved. That might have something to do with why we look at dreams as something we wish to do or accomplish. Carl Jung studied dreams after Freud and believed that dreams were important for our brains but didn’t fully agree with Freud, as stated here.

As our technology increases, there is more and more theories that lean towards the belief that dreams don’t actually hold any significant meaning. In the, “Activation-synthesis hypothesis”, dreams are looked at as only electronic brain impulses that trigger our memory.  Upon waking up, as the theory states, humans are led to pull stories from their memories in order to make sense of it all, therefore resulting in a dream.

The theory and study that seems to most strongly identify dreams as having a purpose in my eyes, is the “threat simulation theory”, which is explained thoroughly on scientificamerican.com The explanation suggests that even other mammals dream and that dreaming is used as a defense mechanism by repeatedly stimulating and simulating events that threaten the individual, resulting in an evolutionary advantage.


This picture sums up some of the studies conducted about dreams in hopes to find a purpose to why and how we dream.

In conclusion, their have been hundreds of studies and theories revolving dreams and the purpose they serve in human and mammals lives. I hope this post helped enhance your knowledge and interest of dreams at least a little bit.




2 thoughts on “Why do we dream?

  1. Olivia Helen Dearment

    I’ve always been intrigued by the aspect of dreaming. My roommate and I were actually just talking about it today. The fact that we could potentially have hundreds of dreams per night without remembering a majority of them. I always wondered specifically if dreams meant something or if they people in our dreams were people that we have seen before or that we will later on. It is almost like another world in your mind that in uncontrollable; it is interesting, confusing and unexplainable all at once. I sometimes have dreams that I can remember forever and some leave my mind the second I wake up. The process does not make sense but that is what makes it all the more interesting to me.

  2. Lauren Eve Ribeiro

    I found this post so interesting because I have always been so curious about dreams. My friends always re-tell their vivid dreams that they remember the next morning, but for some reason I can never seem to remember mine. Personally, I am a deep sleeper so I wonder if that has anything to do with not being able to remember my dreams. After reading your post, I started to think that maybe I am not threatened by anything to dream heavily about it, or simply remember them.

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