Dreams – that is perhaps one of the huge mysteries of the human psyche. Of course, maybe, even animals dream – but they will not communicate their dreams as we humans do. It is one of those areas that humans have always pondered over and tried to understand what exactly they mean.
What do dreams signify? There have been several theories that have cropped around the concept of dream. Earliest beliefs established the dreams as being the medium between the earthly world and the abode of Gods. It was believed that dreams are prophetic.
Here a re a few theories that want to understand dreams.
Psychoanalytic Theory of Dreams
This was the theory put forward by Sigmund Freud. It suggests that dreams represent our unconscious mind. They will represent your thoughts, desires, and aspirations. It indicates that human desires are repressed by the conscious awareness. These find an entry into our awareness through the dreams.
Conversion of short term memories into long-standing storage
Psychiatrist Jie Zhang brought ahead this idea called the continual-activation theory of dreaming. It believes that our brains keep on storing memories, whether awake or sleeping. Dreams serve as a temporary storage and may not be saved as long term storage.
Information processing theory
The theory believes that we sleep because it is here that we process the information stored during the day. Dreams are considered to be a by-product of the task of image processing. The sleeping mind creates several images and illusions based on what we have gone through during the previous day or a few days preceding it.
A few other theories also point out to dreams being akin to cleaning up storage as in the case of computers. They are part of the cleanup procedure and serve in refreshing your mind for the upcoming day.
An interesting theory in recent times has been put forth by Akhil Turai. His theory states that dreams are the result of Quantum Fluctuation, which is the temporary change in the amount of energy in a point in the space-time continuum. These changes cause random synapses in the brain during sleep, which is in a low electrical state. That is why dreams are random in nature. They can also resonate and activate that part of the brain if you are going through a memory and thus create similar synapses.
Whatever be the exact cause of the dreams, they have always been interesting and evasive at the same time. Understanding them should indeed be an exciting journey into the human psyche.