The function and meaning of dreams have always been a matter of curiosity for humanity. We understand from many documents that have survived from ancient times that dreams have an important place in the lives of ancient people.
At the beginning of the 20th century, dreams began to be interpreted psychologically with the work of Sigmund Freud. By the 1950s, laboratory studies on the biological basis of dreaming marked the beginning of a new era in dream research. Modern science is questioning what benefits our brain can derive from dreaming and what functions this brain activity, which occupies a significant place in our lives, might have.
In addition to all these, the dreams we see have great effects on our emotions. Just as a shocking dream we have can affect our whole day, happy dreams can also provide the energy we need to start a good day.
Sleep, the Brain, and Our Senses
During sleep, most of the brain’s conscious and perceptual functions are reduced to a minimum, if not completely turned off (this is why we can wake up on a sudden stimulus); however, the body continues to work to maintain its vitality, including the brain. The only reason we can perceive nature is that our brain can evaluate the information coming from the sense organs in a cellular dimension, biochemically.
During sleep, the transmission of signals from the sense organs continues, but the conscious parts of the brain can hardly process it, unlike during the day. However, during the biochemical processes during sleep, some parts of the brain can stimulate other closed regions.
We can say that in the background of the formation of dreams, there is involuntary stimulation of some brain regions during electrochemical activity during sleep. For example, some random images recalled from our memory come to our eyes in a complex order during sleep. But once this random sensory data is activated, the forebrain, which oversees our more controlled behavior, can take control.
In this case, dreams can come out of a complex and chaotic plane and reach a plane that can be followed chronologically and even logically. Sometimes, the forebrain can work alone and include a very logical sequence of images, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings, without any chaotic elements.
It’s All About Remembering
Do you think dreams should have meaning? But what does it mean to see people and events in your life in the past? Why does your subconscious mind remind you of these? I would like to share my own thoughts, leaving aside the research I have done on this subject.
I usually remember my dreams quite vividly the first time I wake up, but I forget them during the day. While I haven’t tried the wake-up note-taking method that I often come across on the internet, it seems like a pretty useful way to remember them.
The fact that the dreams I remember are usually dreams involving people and conversations that deeply affect me and have an important place in my life, I think, has to do with how powerful they are. At this point, it becomes inevitable for me to give meaning to my dreams.
I forget meaningless and jumping dreams between different places more quickly or I remember them very superficially. This may be due to how complex they are. From time to time, I have dreams resembling an action movie scenario and I am quite impressed. At such times, I feel like I want to tell everyone what an interesting dream I had during the day. But besides all that, there are many more nights where I don’t have any dreams. Even though I know it’s scientifically impossible not to dream at all, I get the feeling that I didn’t dream that night unless I remember it. This is why when I remember my dreams, especially when they are interesting, I feel the need to share them with others immediately. When I share my dreams with people around me, the topic often expands to who remembers their dreams, how often and how interesting are they.
Since it is a subject that I like to talk and discuss about, I wanted to discuss dreams in this article and shared my thoughts on myself. Now I have some questions for those reading this article. But I want you to write down the answers to these questions on a piece of paper. In this way, after a certain period of time, you can answer these questions again and observe what has changed!
- How often do you remember your dreams?
- How often do you wake up from your dreams?
- What elements/events do your dreams usually contain? (More conversation, quiet but action, past events etc.)
- Do you search online for the meanings of dreams?
- Do you share or tell these dreams with the people you see in your dreams?
- Can you share the person you see most in your dream?
- If you could, would you choose not to dream at all, or would you rather remember all your dreams?
Yes, that’s all for the questions, don’t forget to take notes and answer again in the future!