Why do people dream?


Dreams are advanced functions of the human brain, and birds and mammals have fast-wave sleep similar to humans, but whether they dream remains a mystery. Dreams are confusing and deeply affect people's perception of the universe and the soul. Pharaoh in ancient Egypt once had a dream that seven lean cows ate seven fat cows. He learned that there would be a famine in the coming year and that he had to stock up on enough food, and this dream came true. Of course, there are still a large number of unverifiable dreams that have been forgotten and sealed, and "dream interpretation" has become a metaphysics.

Psychologist Freud is a representative of the study of dreams and has published the famous "Analysis of Dreams". Dreams, he said, are a release of disguised desires, an unconscious way of expressing fantasies such as sex or aggression, which are forbidden upon awakening. He divided dreams into "manifest dreams" and "hidden dreams", "manifest dreams" are dreams that people experience, and "hidden dreams" are the true meaning of dreams, that is, the repressed subconscious. To analyze dreams is to decipher "hidden dreams" from "manifest dreams". For example, a woman dreams that she is walking along a fence by the river, and her clothes are almost hung by the fence, which is a "manifestation dream"; "Hidden dream" is that this woman thinks that she comes from a humble background and is difficult to develop well. Freud had to be familiar with the woman to be able to interpret her dreams, and what he had to do was help her overcome the subconscious darkness of her humble origins.

Unlike psychologists, brain scientists value data and believe in repeatable experiments. Hobson and McCulley of Harvard University proposed the "activation-synthesis" hypothesis of dreams. They believe that dreams are the process of memory or connection formation in the cerebral cortex that are activated by random firing of acetylcholinergic neurons in the pons. Pontine neurons activate multiple areas of the cerebral cortex through the thalamus, inducing familiar images or emotions. The cerebral cortex tries to combine broken, unconnected details into a reasonable whole. According to this hypothesis, dreams are random patchwork of memory fragments, which can explain the absurdity and paradoxes of most dreams, but it cannot explain the occasional affectionate and enlightening dreams.

Some people are worried about their "dreams", while others "have no dreams all night". In fact, ordinary people will have 4-6 dreams every night, the first half of the night dream is shorter, the second half of the night dream is longer, a total of about one or two hours of dreaming throughout the night. Those who think that they "dream more" only remember the dream more clearly, and "no dream" may not really have no dreams, as long as they wake up with a clear mind and full of energy, there is no need to be entangled in "many dreams" or "no dreams".

"Inception" is a classic in the history of cinema. The male protagonist Cobb specializes in stealing information from other people's dreams and modifying the subconscious of others by "dreaming". From the perspective of brain science, it is impossible to enter the dreams of others, because the number of neurons in the brain is huge and the connection is complex, whether it is inserting electrodes or analyzing brain waves, it is impossible to interpret or tamper with another person's thinking, but it is possible to modify one's own dreams to a certain extent. Because in sleep, it feels like information is still uploaded, just not active during the day. If we hear rumbling thunder, we may also have wind and rain in our dreams; If the quilt slides to the ground, you may dream of being in the snow. In order to have a good night's sleep, you should create a comfortable sleeping environment and avoid receiving bad stimuli.

Some people wake up from a dream and can't move their whole body, in fact, this is just because the nuclei in the brain that control movement "wake up" a little later than normal, and there is no need to make a fuss. According to data, more than 50% of people have had this experience, and it is related to life stress, usually in the case of excessive life pressure, irregular work and rest time, often staying up late, insomnia, and anxiety.

Sleep is the repair of the body and mind, making dreams an invitation to beauty. Whether you fall asleep in a beautiful dream or wake up from a nightmare, start the day with a good feeling, and the years can be expected and this life is just around the corner.