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Are Dreams Necessary?

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Diary Info
Minhun Kang

Dreams can be considered another reality where the brain expresses various information and sensations experienced in reality within the subconscious mind.

All information (auditory, tactile, visual, olfactory, etc.) that humans experience in life is indirectly perceived by converting the stimuli received by each sensory organ into electrical signals and transmitting them to the brain. Therefore, the human brain is capable of feeling reality with just the brain itself, without the actual experience of sensory organs, through dreams or some other direct or indirect stimulation.

Before exploring the necessity of dreams, it’s important to understand how we dream.

Dreams, although seemingly nonsensical, are heavily based on reality. In dreams, our brains rearrange and transform real experiences to their liking. However, even if these dreams depict unlikely or rare occurrences, the dreaming brain does not perceive them as such. Humans may interpret dreams as reality based on real-life information, yet they are unable to recognize the actual reality. In dreams, one might even recall and perceive a previously dreamt dream as reality.

If, for some reason, one becomes aware of reality within a dream, the brain becomes alert and wakes up, and the dream does not last long. In other words, while it’s impossible to distinguish between dream and reality within a dream, our ability to remember dreams in reality serves as a point of differentiation between the two.

So, why do humans need to dream?

The human brain goes through various brainwave states from wakefulness to sleep, transitioning from alpha waves to theta waves and then to deep sleep delta waves. The brain experiences REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep approximately five times a day. During REM sleep, the eyes move rapidly, indicating that dreaming is taking place. The human brain is always active except during delta wave sleep. REM sleep occurs to prevent the advancement of brain aging due to prolonged delta wave activity. From a biological perspective, dreams are essential for the continuity of brain function.

Humans may use dreams to release all the stress of the day and recharge vitality for a more efficient tomorrow, a survival function of sorts.

Unlike reality where each day is a continuation of the past, dreams do not require an obsession with the past and are new and unique each day. As such, dreams become a venue for idea generation and fulfilling desires. Through their exceptional brains, humans perceive dreams based on reality as reality itself, leading to richer emotions by embarking on new adventures in dreams.

In this regard, dreams are an indispensable activity for humans and should be positively embraced.