Why do we dream when sleeping?

Dreams have fascinated the world for many years, giving us a tantalising glimpse into our subconscious being.

But what does it mean when we dream? And what quality of sleep are we getting when dreaming?

TEMPUR looks at how important dreams are to our bedtime routine…

WHY DO WE DREAM?

The concept of dreaming has fascinated scientists for many years.

All humans dream, whether we remember them or not. However, the reason why we dream is still a bit of a mystery.

There are several theories.

The most straightforward theory is that dreams are a way for the brain to process all of the day’s thoughts.

Within a single day, our mind experiences many different thoughts – from what we ate for lunch to working through data at work.

It’s thought that dreams could be a way for the mind to recalibrate itself after a long day working through information.

If this is the case, then make sure to perfect your bedtime routine, to ensure your mind is given the tools it needs to dream and restore itself.

WHAT CAN DREAMS MEAN?

There are endless theories to what our dreams may mean.

These range from professional observations, to our own personal notions.

Broadly, research has found that dreams may link to how we form memories.

When we are learning new things in the daytime, it’s believed our dreaming may increase at night – so our dreams may indicate that we are trying to store new memories.

Another general theory is that they reflect our emotions.

For example, if we have had a busy day we may not have had time to process certain emotions or stressful feelings so, when we sleep, it may be the mind’s time to work through certain emotions that it hasn’t been able to properly access in the day.

One area that often fascinates people is what the actions or behaviours in their dreams mean.

Here are some common dreams and what they may mean:

  • Teeth falling out: anxiety about how people perceive you
  • Falling: anxiety about a situation
  • Being chased: you are avoiding an issue
  • Unprepared for something: a feeling that you can’t move to the next stage of your life

WHEN DO DREAMS OCCUR?

With around seven billion people on the planet, there are roughly 35 billion dreams happening every day – that’s a lot of dreaming!

So, at what stage exactly do we squeeze in all this dreaming?

There are two main stages to our sleep – REM and N-REM.

You can actually dream in both stages, but dreams are often a lot lighter in your N-REM stage, as this stage occurs at the beginning of our sleep and only lasts up to fifteen minutes.

We are able to dream in this N-REM stage, but only in the later part when we have reached a deep sleep.

The most likely time that we will dream is in our REM stage, as our brain is more active. This happens because we are so deep in sleep that our brain can restore itself and one way it does this is by dreaming.

One way to help you reach the REM sleep stage is to make your body as comfortable as possible. TEMPUR’S memory foam mattresses provide optimum comfort, shaping to the personal features of your body, helping you have a deep and relaxing sleep.

Do you find dreams captivating? Did you realise when they occurred or what they may mean? Tell us below…

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