What makes people dream?

September 26, 2018
What is a Dream? Dreams are stories and images that our mind generate while we sleep. These experiences can be amusing, fun, loving, troubling, fearsome, and sometimes weird. It is also considered as a symbolic language intended to communicate your inner wisdom to you while you are asleep.

Prominent Theories of Dreaming:

• Psychoanalytic Theory of Dreams: Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, proposed that dreams represent unconscious desires, thoughts, and motivations. Freud’s psychoanalytic view of personality states that people are driven by aggressive and sexual instincts that are repressed from conscious awareness. While these thoughts are not consciously expressed, he suggested that they find their way into our awareness via dreams.In his famed book "The Interpretation of Dreams," Freud wrote that dreams are disguised fulfillment of repressed wishes." He stated there are two different components of dreams: manifest content and latent content. Manifest content comprises of the actual images, thoughts, and content contained within the dream while the latent content symbolizes the hidden psychological meaning of the dream.

Activation-Synthesis Model of Dreaming: The theory was first proposed by J. Allan Hobson and Robert McClarley in 1977, which states that circuits in the brain become activated during REM sleep, which causes areas of the limbic system involved in emotions, sensations, and memories, including the amygdale and hippocampus, to become active. The brain interprets this internal activity and attempts to find meaning in these signals, resulting in dreams. 

Information-Processing Theories: Sleep helps humans to consolidate and process the information composed during the previous day. Some dream experts suggest that dreaming is a by-product or an active part of information-processing. 

It is also reasoned that coping with stressful situations results in dreaming. Our dreams try to establish relevance as an effort to cope with our inner turmoil. Psychiatry professor Ernest Hartmann, M.D. suggested that dreams are directed by particular emotions, like stress and worry.

Post Written By - Bahana Saikia

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