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Why do we dream?

17-08-2012

This is an age old question, humanity has wondered for centuries about the reasons for dreaming. While science has answered many questions definitively, it has failed to answer this one. The jury is still out on exactly why we dream. There are, of course, a number of different hypothesis.

The first one is that it is because we need to sort out our memories from the day before. Dreaming then is a type of mental filing, where the brain works out what to keep and what to throw away. This is one of the older theories and many sleep researchers believe that they have disproved it, though it could still figure as a part of the answer.

Another theory is that it serves as a training ground, it is safe place for us to work out how to respond to various scenarios. Again, this one is becoming increasingly doubtful, as sleep researchers prove how ultimately meaningless many dreams are.

One of the latest theories is almost the opposite of the two above, it postulates that dream is not an intentional evolutionary product but is rather a random occurrence. The theory suggests that humans sleep largely to protect themselves from injury at night and sleep is simply a by product of the body shutting down and the brain entertaining itself.


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