What are dreams, really?

Dreams have been a constant puzzle to solve, even to experts. There are many theories as to why we dream. Sigmund Freud had suggested that our dreams represent our repressed emotions and that dreams are an outlet for them to come alive. Carl Jung, another famous Psychologist, suggested that dreams play a role in the development of our personalities.

We can dream of many things: people, places, animals, things, events etc. Some of them seem fictional and sometimes they are fantasy-like, where the sequence of events do not make sense at all. Dreams can happen in all stages of sleep and we can remember fragments of it or not recall them at all. Even though we have been dreaming for decades, scientists do not really know why we dream. Dreams could represent different things to different people – some people regard dreams as a spiritual message, sometimes we can find solutions to our personal problems through our dreams.

Sometimes we can dream about pleasant things, but what about horrible, scary dreams? These are called Night Terrors and can result in intense feelings of anxiety and panic during the dream and upon awakening. Night terrors can also result in crying and screaming, increased heart rate, flailing or thrashing in bed, or becoming aggressive. This usually occurs in children but adults can sometimes experience night terrors too. Many adults that experience night terrors tend to have symptoms of anxiety and depression, trauma or have high stress in their lives. Seeing a therapist may help improve sleep and mood.

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