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Why Do We Have Dreams? Essay

1069 words - 5 pages

The reason behind dreaming has still not been scientifically proven, but there are many theories and religious beliefs as to why people dream at night. Theorists, such as Sigmund Frued, devoted their time to people's dreams and observing them while they dream and sleep. These scientists have discovered that people are most likely to dream during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep than any other stage because the mind is more aware then. There are theories that say that dreaming can predict the future, show past memories, or is just pure entertainment while sleeping.
Theorists have been trying to determine the cause behind our dreaming when we sleep for thousands of years. In ...view middle of the document...

We separate ourselves by creating our own world inside our minds. Based on Sigmund Freud's theories, this is why we dream. Freud said that our dreams were the expression of the Id. Also, he said that we dreamed to protect us from waking up because of any external or internal stimuli.
John Allen Hobson followed up on Freud's theory, stating that our dreams are simply about what is occupying our mind while we are awake, not what is occupying our subconscious. Hobson also suggested that our brain sends off random electrical impulses while we sleep. He believed that our brain tried to make sense of the impulses and created dreams.
Nathaniel Kleitman led sleep researchers in the discovery of Rapid Eye Movement, or REM. When we sleep, our eyes move periodically, and when they begin to move rapidly, we begin to dream. There are four stages that we encounter when we sleep. In our deepest stage of sleep, our heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature all slow down. Also during this stage, our bodies are in a state of relaxation and our brain waves are very slow. Then, our body slowly works its way through the next two stages of sleep which are less deep sleep and closer to the REM stage. When the body reaches the REM stage, our brain waves are very similar to our brain waves that take place when we are awake. Although our brain waves are very lively, our body is in a state of paralysis, except for our eyes and our breathing. This is the stage when dreaming takes place. Although scientists have proven that we dream during this stage, they still do not have a scientific reason as to why we dream. According to the American Academic Encyclopedia, there are six accepted REM origin theories:
(1) that REM sleep provides stimulation for the development of the brain; (2) that it performs a chemical restoration function, since during REM sleep neuroprotein synthesis occurs along with the restoration of other depleted brain chemicals; (3) that it provides oculomotor (eye movement) coordination, since during non-REM sleep the eyes move...

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