Why do we dream?

Ever wonder where our dreams come from?

People have been trying to answer this question since they knew it was a question to be answered. It's something that many of us do on a nightly basis, yet we still don't have a good idea of what are dreams mean or why we have them. Dreams can be good, bad, strange, and everything in between. Our dreams that scare us are often called nightmares, and some can be recurring. Good dreams can also be recurring, and we may dream similar things from night to night.
Dreams vary based on the dreamer, and the possibilities for our dreams are as vast as the personalities within us. Aristotle's Dream Theory (http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/aristotle-on-dreams/) hypothesizes that our dreams are results of our realities. It presumes that as our conscience and common sense functions disappear in our dreams, we experience aspects of our certain realities in intangible, yet realistic-feeling ways. Other theorists think that our dreams are merely a result of our brain's high activity while we are sleeping. Some, however, go as far as to say that dreams are essential for our health. They are ways for our brains to deal with things in ideal conditions.
Even more perplexing is the fact that sometimes we remember our dreams, and sometimes we don't. Is there a pattern to that? Why do some people seem to remember more clearly and more detailed than others? Some studies (http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/why-do-we-dream.htm) say that dreams are better remembered after we've entered REM sleep. Some think dreams play a bigger role in what we choose to give weight to in our brains. After receiving millions of inputs each day, our brain uses the time we are asleep to sort through these inputs and decide what to hang on to. That may explain why we remember specific, minuscule details in our dreams, or why we might dream about a big event happening in our life. Needless to say, dreams are still somewhat of a mystery, but that doesn't stop us, and many scientists, from wondering just what exactly they are and why we have them.

Try It Out!

If you can remember, think about a dream you have had recently. Write down the details you can recall, and tell the story to a friend. See if they've ever had a similar dream, or if your dreams are radically different. Then, brainstorm what you dream might mean or why you had that dream.


Use this site (http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary/p.htm) to browse symbols that might appear in dream. See if you can find any symbols that appear in your dreams and see what they mean. Do you think they are accurate or way off? It is important to take these lightly, as every person's dreams may mean a number of different things, or even nothing at all.


Some cultures think dream catchers are ways to keep people from having dreams, especially bad ones. Use this site (http://www.dream-catchers.org/make-a-dream-catcher-for-kids/) and follow the template to make your own dream catcher, or design one completely on your own! Hang it above your bed, and see if you have any dreams. If so, are they good or bad?