General Question

JimTurner's avatar

Do our nightly dreams have any deep meaning?

Asked by JimTurner (1370 points ) December 17th, 2013

When I sleep most of the time I drift away to a private place in my head that most of the time is full of little plays and images that don’t add up to the leather.

Some nights I may have an actual script that plays out and makes a little sense.

Are we supposed to find some clear inferences from our evening slumber or is our brain merely trying to process all of our daily activities?

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17 Answers

Pachy's avatar

While we sleep our brains continue to think, to remember and to be stimulated by external stimuli like sound. Some dreams mean something, some don’t. It’s really that simple. Suggest you search the site for other many answers to your question, which is asked regularly and perhaps more often than any other on Fluther.

khajuria's avatar

Maybe, but noway we can be certain about it.

thorninmud's avatar

There’s no consensus on this. One school of thought is that the brain creates random electrical activity during the dream phase, which consciousness then processes into imagery and narrative with varying degrees of coherence.

Another school of thought is that dreams are the brain’s way of running simulations of scenarios that we wish to understand better. This would be why we so often experience very awkward situations in dreams (like public nudity, or being back in grade school). We try to come to grips with how to handle situations that make us uncomfortable by playing them out in our dreams. If so, then dreams might at least be an indication of what a person is anxious about or aspires toward.

Rarebear's avatar

Nope. No deep meaning.

khajuria's avatar

Our life in itself is a dreamland. Isn’t it amazing?
No need to try deciphering nightly dreams. They only delude our minds.

JimTurner's avatar

@khajuria Yes it is very amazing when we think about it.

khajuria's avatar

Yup. You are right.
Anyway, have a beautiful day!

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Both points @thorninmud brings up is correct.
I often sleep with my eyes open. That makes for some FUNNY dreams! When I was a teen, I used to doze off on the sofa. When my eyes came open, Stuff in the room would join in. I’d be having a dream about being able to fly, and cartoons would be on tv, and then I’d be flying around with a group of smurfs following me, or my mom would walk through the room and I’d see that then a monster would morph out of a wall and eat her and I’d jump up with a sword in my hand and cut it open to rescue her. (In happy stories the moster always swallows the victim whole so they can be rescued.)
I have had precognative dreams. They are very rare. It has been a long time. Most people don’t believe in that, but I took to telling my dreams regularly, and a couple of remarkably specific situations occurred which freaked out my family.
The fact is, the brain is a vast and complicated place. There are differences in brain function which elude the most intellectual people. Some people have broken minds. Some people have exceptional minds. Some people have suffered brain injuries that resulted in portions of the brain was completely gone, and somehow, function which should have been gone,wasn’t, or was regained.
People believe all sorts of things about dreams, and that’s okay. It’s the believing which leads human beings down the road of discovery. What we should not do, is live in fear of what our dreams might mean. Look at dreams not like a set of instructions, but as clues, and as entertainment. When your dreams are trying to work through a problem, it comes up with possibilities. POSSIBILITIES, not neccessarily solutions.
Think of your dreams as a friend; sometimes fun, sometimes mysterious, sometimes wrong ,sometimes right, sometimes messing with entirely the wrong person (yes vote that, right?)LOL.
Sweet dreams!

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Sometimes yes. Meaning is subjective.

yankeetooter's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers…how can you possibly sleep with your eyes open?

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Didn’t really think about it being unusual until I was in the Navy. We were on transport runs and the hours were LOOOOONG. During gaps we took turns napping. One guy complained that I was creepy, watching him and snoring at the same time. I wasn’t aware my eyes were open, so I don’t always see things during sleep. My guess is the information doesn’t always travel to my brain when I’m asleep. The upside was, my husband never got his feelings hurt if I fell asleep during….. you know. ;o

Pandora's avatar

Plenty of people easily dismiss dreams but I think some dreams are just messages from our subconscious, sometimes. Other times it may be simply a way of making sense of days events, or simply you shouldn’t have had a greasy pizza before bed time.

I think nightmares are a warning system to wake you from a deep sleep when you may be in some peril or simply need to go to the bathroom. I know I’ve had some nightmares wake me when I really had to go pee, or I was really close to the edge of the bed and about to role off, or I slept wrong and my neck is aching or a limb fell asleep, and also when I have a bad cold and my sinuses may have become clogged and I am having problems breathing.

Other times, it may be like @thorninmud said, simulating real life scenarios. I think some dreams are also a way of distracting us from waking up when we need the rest. I noticed (when I was working), that close to waking, I seem to get the most pleasant dreams. Dreams that I didn’t want to wake up from. I would quickly turn off the alarm and go back to sleep. This seemed to occur most when I was extra tired.

alphabetpony92's avatar

No, I doubt it has any inherent meaning. My dreams are just a projection of whatever I was thinking of as I was drifting off to sleep. I’ve noticed this. Its probably the same for most. It is only a reflection of your frame of mind prior to losing consciousness. If you have a lot of bad dreams you might then notice that your mind is full of negative thoughts while you are awake. I don’t know about meaning but you might want to call it an analyses of some sort.

gailcalled's avatar

I certainly pay attention to the emotions a dream engenders, particulary anxiey.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t dream very often but when I do it’s usually triggered by something I’m stressing over. I’m dreamed the other night and I knew what caused it. I asked a friend about it. They looked into it and gave me their thoughts. It was word for word what I was stressing over. It’s not always the cause, but it happens. And my stepsister sleeps with one eye (the right one) open. It’s creepy.

mattbrowne's avatar

Not as much as some do claim. Some is simply a side effect of the hippocampus organizing long-term memory.

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