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Why Do We Dream? by mystifact

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· @mystifact · (edited)
$1.75
Why Do We Dream?
We spend a third of our lives asleep and most of us dream. Usually, these dreams make *no logical sense* yet at the same time can feel incredibly realistic. What’s going on in our brains and why do we dream?

http://www.rantlifestyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/703.-More-Than-One-Dream.jpg

# The Study of Dreams
**Oneirology** is the name given to the study of dreams. In human history, this hardly existed because as you can imagine, dreams are not *physical objects* that we can hold, examine directly and measure. This makes understanding them **very difficult**.

It is estimated that the average person forgets 95% of their dreams… within 10 minutes of waking up. This further adds to the difficulty of studying them as you cannot rely on the dreamer to tell you exactly what happened. So, how do we study them?
## REM sleep
REM is short for Rapid Eye Movements. REM sleep is the **deep sleep** stage of the sleep cycle and the reason why it is called REM, is because in this stage the sleeper’s eyes are rapidly darting around under their eye lids. REM sleep accounts for 20-25% of all sleep and we drift in and out of it on average 4-5 times per night.

https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2014/07/31/23/44/infrared-407202_960_720.jpg

### Why is REM relevant to dreaming?
By studying the electrical activity in the brain while one sleeps, scientists have shown that the levels of activity are incredibly high during REM. In fact, so high that these levels are *similar* to those when we are **awake**. 

The biggest difference in these activities is that certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, are almost completely blocked – stopping us from carrying out our dreams. Therefore, if you dream about climbing up walls and flying off them, you don’t end up hurting yourself in waking life. An example of disorders in achieving complete REM sleep is sleep walking – this is your body basically attempting to act out your dreams.

When in REM sleep, you are **harder** to wake up; but when you are woken, there is a very high chance you will be able to remember your dreams much more vividly. For example, waking up to an alarm to get ready for work or school, and realising you can recall every bit of detail of your dream.

Being *deprived* of REM sleep has proven to have a significant effect on one’s memory. In fact, memory recollection of things learnt the day before, without enough REM sleep, is shockingly terrible.

http://www.viralnovelty.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/dream-diary.jpg

## But WHY do we *actually* dream?
If you learn something new in the day before you sleep, for example, your first driving lesson and how to get the car moving; the electrical activity going on in your brain during this learning process is effectively *repeated* during REM sleep. 

In a single day, **a lot** of electrical activity occurs in the brain via thoughts or learning new skills, such as driving. When some of these thoughts are **replayed** in REM sleep, the **conscious mind** (the Cortex) detects them and cannot make sense of them completely as they are not in order. Consequently, it attempts to link all these thoughts together into a cohesive story which then forms **a dream**.  This explains why they can also be incredibly *random*.

http://www.journeysaremydiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/dream.jpg


Is this all completely true? Unfortunately, the answer is no. As much as we understand REM sleep, the actual conclusion of why we dream is just a **theory**, and while this theory can be somewhat accurate to some extent, it is not a definitive explanation for them – meaning dreams, are still a **mystery**.

What us humans have been able to explain is incredible, yet we struggle with one of the things humans do most which is dream. Mind blowing.

If you have any questions leave them below and until next time, take care.

~ Mystifact
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@himal ·
Nice post! Serotonin is the main thing for dreaming.
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@minnowsupport ·
<p>Congratulations!  This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by Mystifact from the Minnow Support Project.  It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, theprophet0, and someguy123.  The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows and creating a social network.  Please find us in the <a href="https://discord.gg/HYj4yvw">Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel</a>.  It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.</p>

<p>If you like what we're doing please upvote this comment so we can continue to build the community account that's supporting all members.</p>
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@steemwizards ·
https://imgoat.com/uploads/3e75ff09dd/27669.jpg
Please see your post mentioned [here]( https://steemit.com/curation/@steemwizards/steemwizards-new-curation-trail-day-9)
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@mystifact ·
Thank you for the mention! Appreciate it
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@kelvanis ·
related article by me :) https://steemit.com/science/@kelvanis/how-many-of-us-find-waking-up-difficult-in-the-morning-know-the-reason-why
but your presentation is just extraordinary !! upvoted
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@mystifact ·
Thanks for your comment! Much appreciated
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@tabea ·
This is quite a very nice posting and really really beautiful photographs! Check your profile, but this report has the chance to be mentioned in my next #steempearls ★
👍  
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@mystifact ·
Thank you very much! Would appreciate that a lot :)
👍  
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@steempearls ·
$0.49
Hello @mystifact
This story made it to the ღ #steempearls of @tabea . Check it out at https://steemit.com/steempearls/@tabea/steempearls-18
👍  , ,
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