Did you have a bad or weird dream last night? Well, that is normal and nothing to worry about – it was just a dream! However, have you ever wondered why do we dream? What is the meaning behind them? This blog post will reflect on most of your curiosities about dreaming and more…

Dream Psychology

The psychology of dreams tells us that dreaming is related to your long-term memories or images stored in your mind. In most cases, the dream you have may be related to your activities in the last few days. You are an intelligent being; therefore, your imagination and dreaming potential may be unlimited. You may be dreaming about getting a PS5 or running away from the villain of a scary movie you saw five years ago.

So, why do we dream? Well, it is a complex science with no straightforward answers… Nonetheless, there are certain theories behind why we dream. Some of the most common ones are:

  • The brain is trying to arrange information and make sense of things.
  • Your dreams reflect deep desires and tough circumstances in your life.
  • Your brain may depict the emotions you are trying to suppress.
  • The brain is a problem solver, so it is trying to solve your issues. So, you dream about success on your midterms; in some cases, you may have a nightmare of failing.

Where do they come from, and why do we dream?

Well, it is obvious that you are the creator of your dreams, though unconsciously, it is still you. The brain is the master, the controller and the big bad wolf of your whole body and its functionality. Also, your body may sleep, but the brain is always active.

So, why do we dream? Well, there are certain common factors contributing to dreaming. Some of them are:

  • Your health conditions.
  • The food you consume.
  • Your usual activities (mental and physical).

Numerous theories and research have pointed out factors that lead to dreaming. However, the aforementioned ones are the most common.

Is there a meaning behind dreams?

Dreams can be highly meaningful. They may be pointing to some important things that you are ignoring in your life. In most cases, they mean nothing – just your brain trying to ‘defragment’ your hard drive.

What are nightmares? Why do we have them?

Remember that time when your heart was pounding, your body was sweaty, and suddenly you woke up feeling thirsty? Guess what? You had a nightmare! Nightmares are terrifying, disturbing, strange, or otherwise distressing dreams that are often vivid and real.

Many people report feeling distressed or nervous upon awakening from a nightmare because they are conscious of the events that transpired in the dream. After waking up, you may notice physical signs, such as a change in heart rate or excessive sweating.

The answer to why we have nightmares is unclear and tends to change when we move from one expert to another. Unfortunately, nobody seems to agree on why we get nightmares.

Some general causes of nightmares

Although we may not know the exact science behind bad dreams or nightmares, we know of some obvious causes.

Similarly, the likelihood of having a nightmare increases for many reasons, including but not limited to the following:

  • Nightmares can be a symptom of stress and anxiety, so it’s important to identify the underlying causes of these feelings. Nightmare disorder may be more common in people with high stress and anxiety levels.
  • People with psychiatric problems, such as PTSD, are likely to report having nightmares. Frequent, severe nightmares in which horrific events are relived are common among people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and often contribute to the disorder’s other symptoms, such as sleeplessness.
  • There is an increased risk of nightmares in those who regularly use drugs or pharmaceuticals that affect the nervous system.
  • Medications that reduce rapid eye movement (REM) sleep might cause a rebound effect of increased REM sleep and nightmares when the patient abruptly ceases taking medicine.
  • Due to a rise in REM activity after a period of sleep deprivation, one may have more intense dreams and nightmares than usual.

The solution to bad dreams

If you are having some ”Nightmare at Elm Street” type of episode, don’t worry – we have all been there.

To stop Freddy from coming after you, find things that help you relax and incorporate them into your daily life. Things like taking a warm bath before bedtime, practising yoga, walking, or some other form of exercise, are great ways to unwind before bed. Not watching the latest Netflix horror movie before bed!

Finally, ensure you understand there is no meaning behind dreams like this. It is possibly due to your lack of sleep or stress and being a student can mean feeling anxious and tired, so a bad dream is nothing to worry about.

Fun facts about dreaming

Now that we have settled on why do we dream let’s look at some fun stuff about dreaming. Here are a few interesting facts:

  • Your body sleeps, but the brain is always active. [interesting fact, it is active for 7 to 15 minutes even after a person dies].
  • The longest dreams you get are when you are about to wake up.
  • Your dreams often don’t make sense because you unconsciously try to think outside of the box.
  • Some people can control how their dreams proceed. You can, too, but it takes some practice. However, when in control of your beautiful dream, the fear of waking up often wins.
  • More than 90% of the time, real life affects dreaming (mostly the events from the past few days).


In some cultures, people believe that dreaming carries meaning, while others disagree. What do you think?

Dreams are often the result of your daily actions and interactions with different people. Also, they may indicate a form of success or unexpected failure.

This blog post has discussed dreaming from various angles. What do you think about why do we dream? Do you have any evidence to support your claims? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks for the read!