Dreaming of Dreams

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Dreams can be seen in many ways. Whether it be visions of sugarplums dancing in your head, or the more nightmare-ish dreams like shown in Shrek. Or if you have a million dreams keeping you awake, i’ll explain it all.

We all have dreams, and sometimes ones that wake us up in the middle of the night. We should all at least have an understanding of this phenomenon and why it occurs, as it happens to all of us.

I have done research on this topic and am willing to share it with you all. I will be informing you about why we dream.

First I will give you a vision of, what dreams are.

Second, I’ll give you a glimpse into the mind and explain why dreams occur.

Finally, I’ll end it all with some information on what we can take away from dreams.

Lets dive right into the understanding of what those visions and nightmares we see at night.

What are Dreams?

Dreams could be defined in many ways, whether it be visions or images seen in our heads at night, or stories playing out in our minds during sleep.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of dream is; “a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep” (Merriam-Webster, 2019). By this definition, dreams are a variety of many different kinds of images or feelings caused by our minds.

Dreams may even give us an insight into the kind of person someone is, and even to the person we are ourselves. Calvin Kai-Ching Yu stated that “There appear to be triadic connections between dreaming, somatoform distress, and narcissistic personality” (Yu, 2018). The research done by Yu gives us deeper insight into what exactly a dream is and can show us.

Dreams have been described differently in many different cultures, in many ways, from movies to pictures, even to stories.

Now that we have a deeper picture into what a dream is and can show us, let’s get into the meat of it all, why we dream.

Why Dreams Occur

To understand this, we need to understand some terms that will come into play when talking deeper into this. These are REM and NREM sleep, or defined further, REM is rapid eye movement sleep, and NREM is non-rapid eye movement sleep. These can also be easier classified as dream sleep and dreamless sleep.

Now that we understand that, jumping into why we dream while we sleep shouldn’t be hard to understand. According to Hannah Nichols Stage 5 of sleep can be described as: “This stage is known as rapid eye movement (REM). Breathing becomes more rapid, irregular, and shallow, eyes jerk rapidly in various directions, and limb muscles become temporarily paralyzed…When people awaken during REM sleep, they often describe bizarre and illogical tales. These are dreams” (Nichols, 2018).

REM sleep still has a lot of research being done on it in labs, and by psychologists and neuroscientists. A lot about it is unknown and the causes are also unknown as well, but the best explanations are linked to REM sleep.

Dreaming is also shown to vary from person to person, each having their own experiences with it. According to Stan Klein; “Although the dream narrative, of (bio)logical necessity, originates with the dreamer, he or she typically is not aware of this” (Klein, 2018). Klein later goes in to his study and describes how people may not be aware of their dreams most of the time, and thus do not have recollection of their experience.

Now that we have an understanding of both what dreams are and why we dream, let’s take a peek into what we can take away from dreams.

What We Can Take away from Dreams

Sometimes we have dreams that can seem like they mean something or that they’ve happened before, so the question arises, what do they mean. And if they have meaning, what to take away from them

According to Bert States, “Indeed, we dream about things whose meaning we already know in an emotional and pre conceptual sense, and that is probably why we dream about them and why dreams make a certain kind of essentialized sense” (States, 1992). He goes into explain how we already feel a certain way before we sleep and this leads to a certain predisposed dream and how it will go.

Though people like to interpret dreams in their own way, States continues to go on saying; “If you dream that you are dancing, you may be dreaming about one of several things: how easy it is to dance, how graceful and exhilarating your effort, or how impossible and awkward; your dream-dance, then, will be the dancing of a feeling about dancing, which is to say about one of dancing’s meanings to you. In any case, as Yeats might put it, you can’t tell the meaning from the dance” (States, 1992).

From this it can be taken that dreams can be interpreted many ways, but the exact meaning of the contents of the dreams cannot be directly interpreted. The story can be told, or even the images or thoughts, but the direct meaning is a bit harder, and could mean different things to different people.

Now that we have a full view of why we dream and what to take away, lets summarize again what we went over.


Today I have informed you of why we dream.

  • What dreams are
  • Why we dream
  • What to take away from dreams

We all dream and we all interpret things in our own ways, and today we have found that there is no correct way or wrong way to think about dreams. As well as there is no real explanation yet as to why we dream, and why they are the way they are. So if you see visions of sugarplums, or have dreams in stressful times like shrek, or even have a million dreams keeping you awake, its not uncommon.

Cite this paper

Dreaming of Dreams. (2021, Jun 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/dreaming-of-dreams/

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