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Why We Dream What We Dream

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/201501/why-we-dream-what-we-dream

psychologytoday.com

Why We Dream What We Dream
Dreams appear to be influenced by our waking lives in many ways. Theories about why we dream include those that suggest dreaming is a means by which the brain processes emotions, stimuli, memories, and information that's been absorbed throughout the waking day.

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Nightmares

Nightmares are broadly defined as frightening dreams that result in some degree of awakening from sleep. 

Nightmares themselves contribute to disrupted sleep not only by waking th...

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Night terrors

Night terrors are very intense episodes of fright during dreams. These frightening episodes are often accompanied by screaming or yelling, as well as by physical movement such as leaping out of ...

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Recurring dreams

Recurring dreams are dreams that re-appear with some pattern of regularity. 

Studies suggest that recurring dreams may contain more threatening

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Lucid dreams

In lucid dreams, the dreamer is aware of the fact that he or she is dreaming, and often can manipulate or control the dream as it unfolds. 

Studies have found that lucid dreamers display...

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Dreams about self

Research indicates that a majority of dreams contain content related to autobiographical memor...

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Dream lag

Daily life experiences don’t always present themselves in dreams immediately. Sometimes an experience from life will filter through to a dream after several days or even a week. This delay is what’s k...

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Processing traumatic events

Another function of dreaming appears to be processing and coming to terms with traumatic events. Grief, fear, loss, abandonment, even physical pain are all emotions and experiences that often r...

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Talking about dreams

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How to remember your dreams

Believe your dreams have value and tell yourself before bed you want to remember them. 

Keep a dream journal. Get into a habit, set things up the night before to reinforce your goal. 

Lucid dreaming

In lucid dreams, you become aware you’re dreaming. You can take control of the plot. They can be anything from a brief moment where you’re in a nightmare and tell yourself: “this is a dream” and wake up. 

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Everybody Dreams

Adults and babies alike dream for around two hours per night—even those of us who claim not to. 

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You Forget Most of Your Dreams

According to one theory about why dreams so difficult to remember, the changes in the brain that occur during sleep do not support the information processing and storage needed for memory formation to take place.

Not All Dreams Are in Color

While most people report dreaming in color, there is a small percentage of people who claim to only dream in black and white. 

In studies where dreamers have been awakened and asked to select colors from a chart that match those in their dreams, soft pastel colors are those most frequently chosen.

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Dreams as therapists

Your dreams may be ways of confronting emotional dramas...

Fight-or-flight training

One of the areas of the brain that’s most active during dreaming is the amygdala - the part of the brain associated with the survival instinct and the fight-or-flight response.

One theory suggests dreams may be the brain’s way of getting you ready to deal with a threat. Fortunately, the brainstem sends out nerve signals during REM sleep that relax your muscles. That way you don’t try to run or punch in your sleep.

Dreams as your muse

One theory for why we dream is that it helps facilitate our creative tendencies. 

Without the logic filter, you might normally use in your waking life that can restrict your creative flow, your thoughts and ideas have no restrictions when you’re sleeping.

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