Why Do We Dream?
So why exactly do human beings have things called dreams? But even with discoveries, the question of why we dream remains unanswered. Some researchers think dreaming might have evolved for physiological reasons. There is a great deal of neuronal activity occurring while we sleep, especially in REM, and it has been suggested that dreams may just be a meaningless by-product of this biological function. Another theory of dreaming is put forth by Rosalind Cartwright, PhD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Cartwright believes that dreams are the mechanism whereby the brain incorporates memories, solves problems and deals with emotions. In this way, she maintains, dreams are essential for our emotional health.
In spite of our attempts to demystify the phenomenon of dreaming, human beings simply have not yet come close to answering the question “Why do we dream?” According to Jim Pagel, MD, Director of the Sleep Disorders Center of Southern Colorado, “If dreaming has an actual function, it really supports why we spend a third of our lives sleeping.” For now, we will have to be content with simply enjoying the show our brain puts on for us each night.