People dream, animals dream (just watch your dog or cat asleep). Sleep is a trancelike state and we know that dreams mostly take place during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep when the brain is very active and most resembles a waking state. We also know that we do not do well if we are deprived of REM sleep by pain, the need to go to the bathroom, or external disturbances.
Most people have 3-5 dreams per night, but they generally do not form permanent memory chains in the brain so we forget them. I believe that dreams you remember for a long time are very significant and generally arise at times when we are particularly happy or troubled and tell us a great deal about our emotional state at that time.
Sometimes dreams are so vivid that we can mistake them for reality and even when awake ask ourselves did that really happen? Of course there are dreams and then there are nightmares; the name comes from medieval English meaning a female spirit that troubles sleepers. These scary dreams may reflect the deepest fears of the unconscious mind.
For centuries people have been fascinated with dreams and whatever their true meaning, they are somehow important to our health and well-being. What do you think?
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