Dreaming

Some questions

- do these nocturnal visions serve any fundamental biological purpose?

- why are we conscious when dreaming?

Dreaming occurs in both REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM

"...dreams in non-REM sleep tend to be more static and often feature a re-occurring thought, like worrying about failure to study for an exam......In REM sleep, they are more active and visual..."

Yuval Nir as quoted by Clive Cookson 2018

Dreams can play an important role like

- religions have sought divine revelations from dreams.

- psychoanalysts (like Freud and Jung) saw dreams as an important window into the mind

- many examples of literature, art, music and scientific ideas being inspired by dreams.

However, others see them as meaningless, ie

"...epiphenomenon - and incidental byproduct of the neural information processing that takes place during sleep, especially the REM phase......dreams are no more useful than the waste heat emitted by a lightbulb whose sole purpose is to illuminate..."

Clive Cookson 2018

There is evidence to support the functional benefits of dreaming, ie

i) problem-solving and creativity

ii) emotional therapy, ie helps people to resolve painful emotional experiences

It is thought that dreams are not important in conscious decision making because we forget so much of them

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