That is a very good question Leo. I wish there were a clear answer….
Oh those dreams. I love a good dream. I have them all the time…. taking into account that I don’t sleep very much at night… about 4 or 5 hours. However, we dream. Every one of us. You might not remember your dreams… but you have them. Count on it.
I learned today, that most people dream about 1 to 2 hours per night. And we average about 4 to 7 dreams during our little la-la-palooza. Which is probably the reason I’m so tired all the time.
If I’m only sleeping 4 and a half hours, and 2 of those hours are filled with stories of giant snow ferrets, and being lost in Salto, Uruguay….well… I’m wearing myself out.
But here’s the thing. Do you every have one crazy dream or one which is SO real, you have to second guess yourself? It is no wonder. Our brain waves are WAY more active while we dream than while we are awake. That’s kind of scary if you ask me. (By the way. Most of us dream in color. Only about 12% are still sitting in front of the old Zenith B&W TVs in your heads.)
And here is the other deal. About five minutes after a dream, half of the dream is forgotten. Ten minutes after a dream, over 90% is forgotten. The people who know about these things….. tell us to write down our dreams immediately. This is not an option for me. (See the above allotted sleep time and dream time that I get each night. If I wrote all of this down… I would have no sleep at all. Nadda.)
Here is another creepy thing about dreaming. We get virtually paralyzed. Our bodies produce two chemicals (called GABA and glycine) which cause paralysis. They keep us from acting out our movements while we are chasing cars with our dog… or trying to keep the boogey man from coming in through the kitchen sink.
What does it all mean? Dreams almost never represent what they actually are. Nobody knows exactly the true purpose of dreaming. Some say it is symbolism. Other’s think it is a way for humans to consolidate its memories for things that happened the day before. (I think that one is bunk. There is NO way Martha Stewart was cutting our grass yesterday.)
The speculation continues. It could be that our brain pulls information that we need…. and disregards the stuff that we don’t. And then, some researchers feel that our dreams are simply the brain’s way of making sense of unexpected transmissions happening during our sleep. Other people think they are psychic premonitions.
So. What did you dream last night? And why?
I guess we will never really know. But when someone tells you to follow your dreams… you may want to think twice about listening to them.
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.
–Edgar Allan Poe