Lady sleeping

What Are Dreams?

Lady sleeping

Be honest, how many times have you woken up and thought ‘what the hell did I just dream?’ From flying, falling and giving speeches in your underwear, dreams are the universal oddity we’re still trying to fathom.

The history of dreams

Over the years, every man and his dog has had a theory on dreams and what they mean. The ancient Egyptians believed it was a way for the supernatural to communicate with us. In the Dark Ages, dreams were thought to have come from the devil himself. Later, Sigmund Freud suggested that dreams acted as a window into our unconsciousness – one of the more disturbing theories we’d say!

Do we dream the same things?

It’s believed that dreams are formed from our experiences, thoughts and feelings, so it’s unlikely that you and your cat share the same nightmare of giving a speech in your underwear. However, there are a lot of common themes. Here’s some of them:

  • Being chased
  • Teeth falling out
  • Falling
  • Flying
  • Being naked
  • Sexual experiences
  • Being at school/ taking a test
  • Dying
  • Cheating or being cheated on
  • Pregnancy and birth

Memories and dreams

As well as themes, it’s also common to dream about the past. In fact, it’s so common that sleep experts (yes, that is a real job title) have divided these types of dreams into two categories:

  • Autobiographical memories: Long-lasting memories about your personal history
  • Episodic memories: Memories about specific events

The most popular hypothesis surrounding dreams is that they are unique to the individual’s experiences, feelings and, indeed, their past. Perhaps the weirdest thing about dreams is that you can experience memories differently in your dreams that how they really happened – case in point, have you ever dreamt about your 5th birthday party but been a completely different age? Or dreamt about a family member, who looks completely different?

Why we need dreams

According to those clever dream experts, the average person has around 3-6 dreams per night but of course, most of these are forgotten – creepy right? But they may have some surprising benefits:

  • Nightmares can help us prepare for possible future threats
  • Dreams can help us process memory tasks and consolidate learning
  • They can also help us develop cognitive capabilities

Dream well

To dream, you need to reach a decent level of REM sleep. To do that, you’ll need – wait for it – a decent mattress! At Slumberland, we have something for everyone no matter how crazy your dreams get.

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