What’s in a Dream?

I think we’ve all met our celebrity crushes, won a lottery, lived a lavish lifestyle, and become famous. In our dreams, of course. And I mean it in a literal way. We’ve all had our fair share of good dreams and nightmares, yet we remember only a few, especially the extremely good and bad ones. At least I do. After all, it’s not every day you get to meet Chris Evans. Or have a lizard crawling up your legs.

So, the question stands: Why do we dream? We do so to consolidate our memories and process our emotions. At least that’s what Google says. It’s a way for us to express our heart’s deepest desires and cope with circumstances that we would not be able to in reality. But there has been no definite proof of that either. Well, whatever helps us sleep at night, right? Turns out, dreaming also helps reduce anxiety and maintain stress levels. Well, there’s another reason for us to sleep more often.

We’ve all had bizarre dreams, be it being nude in front of an audience or a dead person coming back to life. Although most of them are hilarious or embarrassing, some of them bring tears to our eyes. We’ve also had dreams that don’t make sense at all, and we wake up with a confused look on our face wondering what exactly happened.

There are various kinds of dreams. An exciting section of dreams is lucid dreams. Here, the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming, and hence, can manipulate the ongoing scenario in his head to some extent. That sounds like a lot of fun, especially when you’re having that sort of a dream; you get it. Another section of dreams includes false awakening, which means you’re having a dream inside another dream. Although you feel as if you’ve woken up, in reality, you’re still asleep.

So, you must be wondering: Do blind people have dreams as well? Although it may sound impossible, they do. Research shows that people who have been blind since birth experience some sort of visual imagery in their dreams. Researchers claim that animals dream as well, although there is no definite proof to back this.

Dreams mainly occur during the rapid-eye-movement (REM) stage of sleep. During this period, the brain is known to be highly active, and the body in a state of temporary paralysis. This prevents us from acting out our dreams while we’re asleep. Studies have revealed that the average person has three to five dreams every night, each lasting from a few seconds to as long as a half-hour. Around 95 per cent of our dreams are forgotten when we wake up, and as time passes, this percentage increases.

Dreams also play a significant role in religion. The early Christians believed they were a means of communication between man and God. They believed that God revealed his divine plan to man through dreams. In Islam, dreams are classified into three types: the true dream, the false dream and the meaningless everyday dream. The true dream is considered a divine revelation from Allah, after the death of the last prophet, Muhammad. The false dream is the one that comes from the devil. In Hinduism, it is believed that a dream is one of the three states that a person’s soul experiences, the other two being the sleep state and waking state.

Dreams have always been an integral part of our life, whether or not we remember them. They are an escape from the harsh reality of this world. So, now that you’ve got enough reasons to sleep, what are you waiting for? If you felt drowsy while reading this, go ahead and take a power nap. If you didn’t, well, at least my article wasn’t a complete waste. Either way, I’ve given you enough reasons to maintain a good sleep schedule.