THE IMPORTANCE OF DREAMS.

Dreaming is a means by which the brain processes emotions, stimuli, memories, and information that’s been absorbed throughout the waking day”. There are different kind of dreams: nightmares, lucid dreams and even recurring dreams, which are generally associated to one our past or present experience. Nightmares or “bad dreams” are not frequent at all and they are generally determined by moments of stress, emotional upheaval, and traumatic experiences. They generally occur as side effects of some medications, drug abuse, alcohol and illness. But even depression, anxiety and insomnia can cause bad dreams. Research suggests that sleep terrors occur during non-REM sleep dreaming, while nightmares tend to happen during REM sleep. The most vivid dreams happen during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and these are the dreams that we’re most likely to recall. We also dream during non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep but those dreams are known to be remembered less often and have more mundane content.Children between the ages of 3-12 experience nightmares during their early life. There are also “recurring dreams” which are related to particolar moments of our life, and “lucid dreams” which are an especially fascinating form of dream. In lucid dreams, the dreamer is aware of the fact that he or she is dreaming, and often can manipulate or control the dream as it unfolds. According to researchers, a significant percentage of the people who appear in dreams are known to the dreamer. One study found more than 48% of dream characters were recognizable by name to dreamers. Another 35% of characters were identifiable to dreamers by their generic social role or relationship—as a friend, doctor, or police officer, for example. Some dreams, in particolar, are more frequent than others: sexual dreams, falling, flying, being attacked physically or dreaming of someone dead being alive, or someone alive being dead. But why we dream? Some of the more prominent dream theories contend that the function of dreaming is to consolidate memories, process emotions, express our deepest desires, and gain practice confronting potential dangers. Additionally, while many researchers believe that dreaming is essential to mental, emotional, and physical well-being, some scientists suggest that dreams serve no real purpose at all. However, I like to believe that while dreaming, we hone our fight or flight instincts to give us an increased potential for survival and build mental capability for handling such scenarios, from the frightening to the embarrassing, if they happen for real.

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Samuele Tartaro

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