What's the point in dreaming?

Why does the brain need to dream while asleep? Does anyone know? What is the point in creating an alternate reality so to speak? I have always wondered this…

IMO, I think that it’s the brain’s way of keeping you entertained while you sleep. I don’t know if this is the real reason, but that’s what I think.

I think it’s to stop us getting depressed. If you don’t sleep you get anxious, paranoid and you start hating everyone. (Believe me I’ve tried it)

Yeah, that’s probably true about not sleeping, but why do we have dreams?

Think of it in terms of evolution principles. If it was beneficial for us to dream, then all those who didn’t dream would eventually die off, while if it wasn’t beneficial for us to dream, we would have died off.

Or perhaps it was always our ability to dream. Then why does it happen? What’s the purpose? There should be a purpose for dreaming, like there is a purpose for (most) everything in the world.

Everything has point. Mostly in evolution. But birds doesnt dreams, and they are still alive.

If we have dreams, we have it beacuse of some reasons. If we doesnt knew that reason, nothing happened, because noone knows it. :sad:

Maybe it is invention from above, maybe it helps to regenate brain. I think that we will never know it for sure. :neutral:

Maybe because we would enjoy it. Happy humans are better than depressed ones.

A quick google search will lead to some reasonable sounding answers.

I’m not sure of the specific functions of dreaming, but I know REM sleep where dreaming takes place is critical, especially for processing information the mind absorbs during each day…

I think that may be the most reliable answer in this topic so far, rather than, “Well, that’s just what I think about it.” :tongue: I was about to do some research on it myself, but it seems as if you’ve done it for me. :wink:

That’s slightly what I said! :grrr:

Fiver’s ‘reasonable answer’ sums it up nicely. In fact, without sleep, more specifically REM sleep, you would go mad and die :eek:

The following is hardly scientific, but it’s how I view it.

Sleep is the time when our bodies and brain get to reboot.

Think of it like a computer. While you are actively running programs, games or movies and all that. The computer is trying to proccess the best it can, while keeping up with you and what you are doing. It has so many programs and running both in the forground (everything we are chosing to do) and all the programs in the background, (sensory perception, breathing etc)

The longer you keep the computer running with you doing all your things, the slower it gets, it will start to lag because it is putting all your actions first while idling everything else it needs to do. Once you leave the computer and it goes idle, it can then focus on doing what it needs to do and the system will speed up when you get back to it.

The same can be said of our bodies, the longer we keep active the slower we get, the more mistakes we make and the less effecient we are both physically and mentally.

Sleep gives our bodies chance to rest (reboot), while our brains go into an idle state poping up screen savers from time to time (dreams) these help our mind reorganise and save our experiences and save them to disk, so to speak, while staying active incase called into action.

The point in dreaming is: your dreams are there. They’re meaningful, you can’t deny that. And you remember them, or at least fragments of them. So you might as well put some time on a journey into yourself, for fun, spirituality, self knowledge and personal improvement all at once.

The point of dreaming is to enter reality from this world of lies

I think it’s not important, but it just exists. It’s your minds rubbish.

When Neo mentioned evolution I started wondering about whether animals dream, or is it just humans? I remember reading this book when I was a kid (some crappy “book of facts” from the 1960’s) that said dogs don’t dream. wrong!
This article proves they do along with most mammals apparantly. So it seems that any animal with half a brain needs to dream. People do really poor on memory tests if they’re not allowed to dream so it has something to do with locking down memories. I think both articles posted in this thread are compatible and can be right. Dreams are our way of reviewing all the info we’ve collected in our day or past few days and replaying it to see what’s important, what’s worth keeping in the long-term (memory), what important connections there might be and what we can learn from those connections. It also makes sense that if there is something on our mind that is unresolved (emotionally) then this will play out in dreams as well. problem solving and creativity are basicly the process of making connections between things that might not seem connected, so dreams would allow us to do this… my friend once solved a really tough calculus problem in a dream, einstein explained the whole thing to him on the chalkboard!
Oh… apparantly, mice dream about running around in circles. they live such happy fulfilling lives!

I saw a programme a while back. And in it was an american sleep or dream researcher or both maybe. Aparently a big name. He said that they had tried suppressing dreams on people and it didn’t seem to affect them at all. They didn’t get any decrease in memory or other mental faculties. I don’t know much about this particular study but that’s about what he said.
There were also some finnish dream researchers who were convinced dreams are Rehearsal for living so to speak. They based it on the fact that dreams often relate to what’s going on in ones life and ones fears and wishes. It’s a chance to figure out what to do in the situations we imagine. I found that a quite unsatisfactory explanation at first but it does make a bit of sense.