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What really happens when we dream?

Published: 
Monday, November 26, 2012

 

It’s true that we spend almost one-third of our lives asleep, but what really happens during this time? Is it time wasted, or something more? Sleep is the time the body undergoes repair and detoxification.
 
When our heads hit the pillow at night, most of our bodies may be at rest, but the subconscious mind is set in full gear. Sleeping is commonly divided in five stages. During the first stage, the body falls into a light sleep and can be awoken very easily. As the stages progress, we fall deeper and deeper into our slumber, crossing stages two, three and up to the fourth, but it’s mostly the fifth stage where dreaming occurs, denoted by the occurrence of Rapid Eye Movement (REM). Dreaming is an activity of the brain that occurs when brain waves are especially fast.
 
Regardless of what we may think, everyone dreams. Many people believe that they don’t dream on a daily basis, but in reality they just cannot consciously remember most of it. In ancient Greece and also during the Roman Era, dreaming was thought to be a medium of communication with their gods. Over the centuries, hundreds of theories have been given to explain why dreams occur and this subconscious phenomenon of dreaming has become not only a fascination of mine, but perhaps an obsession. 
 
Some theorists today believe that we dream mostly about the thoughts and wishes that we repress. Most people cannot control their dreams, they just happen. Very few people experience lucid dreaming where they can control what happens in their dreaming while they are asleep.

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