What are dreams?
A dream is successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that usually occurs involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.
The content and purpose of dreams are not definitively understood, though they have been a topic of scientific speculation, as well as a subject of philosophical and religious interest, throughout recorded history. The scientific study of dreams is called oneirology.
Dreams mainly occur in the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep—when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake. REM sleep is revealed by continuous movements of the eyes during sleep. At times, dreams may occur during other stages of sleep. However, these dreams tend to be much less vivid or memorable.
The length of a dream can vary; they may last for a few seconds, or approximately 20–30 minutes.People are more likely to remember the dream if they are awakened during the REM phase. The average person has three to five dreams per night, and some may have up to seven however, most dreams are immediately or quickly forgotten. Dreams tend to last longer as the night progresses. During a full eight-hour night sleep, most dreams occur in the typical two hours of REM.
In modern times, dreams have been seen as a connection to the unconscious mind. They range from normal and ordinary to overly surreal and bizarre. Dreams can have varying natures, such as being frightening, exciting, magical, melancholic, adventurous, or sexual. The events in dreams are generally outside the control of the dreamer, with the exception of lucid dreaming, where the dreamer is self-aware.Dreams can at times make a creative thought occur to the person or give a sense of inspiration.
Connecting dreams to reality
Do you believe that your dreams are memories of past memories and experiences, or projections of upcoming events? What is the true connection between dreams and reality? These are a couple of key questions to consider.
On average, you spend a third of your life sleeping. When you wake from a dream, your consciousness can remain part of that experience, and dreams make connections more widely and more broadly. For example, have you ever experienced a sort of deja vu, where you actually dreamed about an action or event days, weeks and months before it occurred? This experience is somewhat common, as dreams typically serve as windows into our emotional responses to the details of our everyday lives. With this in mind, all dreams are healthy, reflecting the state of our mental health and revealing to us our emotions. Our dreams, even our nightmares, are tools we use to organize our thoughts and feelings into solutions.
The importance of dream reflection
Because dreams vividly reflect our concerns, thoughts and ultimately our realities, if you wake up sad, angry, scared or upset the best thing to do is to reflect, whether it be self-reflection or seeking professional dream guidance. Identify the most prominent images from that dream, keep a brief journal or log of those images and look for insight. By doing so, you might not realize how deeply you’re affected by a current event such as a natural disaster, or a family member who’s passed away or even prominent celebrity gossip. Once you tap into the texture of your dream’s content, you’ll be able to better understand your own reality, especially on an emotional level. Whether your dreams are positive, negative, content or terrifying, you should always trust them.