What’s in a dream? Well, if we answer this question literality, dreams contain a combination of images, thoughts, and emotions, experienced while we sleep. Dreams can range from intense or emotional to mundane and rather boring. They may be fleeting, or seemingly go on forever. They can be confusing, exciting, even exhilarating. Some dreams are happy and pleasant, while others are so scary or disturbing, we wake up in a cold sweat. Sometimes dreams are clear as day, while many others appear to make no sense at all. Some dreams seem so real and vivid that when you wake up, you wonder if it was all just a dream or if it really happened. Some dreams you forget altogether. So, why do we dream? Research suggests a variety of reasons, from consolidating memories to processing our emotions. Others say that it is a way of expressing our deepest desires, while another theory is that they help us practice confronting our greatest fears. At the end of the day however, there is no real consensus on why we dream and if our dreams have a deeper purpose, at all.
However, Sleep scientist Matt Walker maintains that when you fall asleep and start dreaming, you’re actually doing very important work. He suggests that dreams act like a form of nighttime, or sleep therapy. Walker hypothesizes your dreams may even boost your ability to solve problems and process tough emotions that affect your waking life. Take a look at what Walker has to say in this short video.