What Causes Dreams?

What causes dreams? There are two sets of thought on this. Some people think that dreams are caused by the physical movements of a person’s eyes while they are sleeping and there are other people that think psychology is what causes dreams.

What Causes Dreams: Physiology

Most biologists will agree that dreaming usually happens during Rapid Eye Movement sleep (or REM sleep). This is because electroencephalograms show that the brain’s activity is almost like that of being awake during REM sleep. While it is possible that people dream during the other stages of sleep, the dreams they remember are not nearly as vivid or involved as the dreams they experience during REM sleep. Scientists have yet to figure out which area of the brain is responsible for creating dreams and are unsure if there is a single point of origin or if dreaming serves a purpose for both the mind and the body.

Eugen Tarrow thinks that dreams are an always present excitation of the brain’s long term memory—even when they happen while a person is awake (like with day dreaming). Tarrow suggests that dreams’ strangeness is a result of the way in which the long term memory is formatted and that there are electrical excitations of the cortex of the brain that cause experiences that are similar to dreams.

What Causes Dreams: Psychology

Since the invention of psychology, people have said that dreams are the brain’s way of dealing with a person’s waking life. Many people think that dreams are pure psychology and that by analyzing a person’s dreams, the analyzer can gain insight into the dreamer’s true self. Other psychologists think that dreams are caused by our brain trying to work through issues that are present in a person’s life.

There is much debate as to whether dreams are caused by a person’s waking life or whether a person’s waking life is influenced by their dreams. Everybody can agree that dreams do carry some significance to events in one’s waking life, though which one is influenced first is sort of a “chicken and egg” argument.

Car Jung, one of the world’s most famous psychologists suggested that dreams make up for attitudes held while the person is awake. In other words, dreams are a way for a person to explore other ideas and tap into a collective unconsciousness without doing harm to the person’s waking life.

Nobody is sure exactly what causes dreams. Scientists can tell us when dreams happen and Psychologists tell us what our dreams might mean and pose theories as to why we have them. Unfortunately what causes dreams has not been pinpointed to a central idea. Nobody knows if there is a hormone that causes dreams, if it is the taking over of the brain by the subconscious or if dreaming is caused by REM or if REM is caused by dreaming. What causes dreams is still murky and scientists and psychologists alike are working round the clock to figure out how and why we dream.

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