Have you ever woken up from a vivid dream and wonder what it meant? Why were those random people in your dream and why did it take place in that setting? Does it have a deeper meaning or was that simply a result of random brain activity?
Some psychologists believe remembering our dreams gives us an opportunity for self-reflection.
Sigmund Freud--the founder of psychoanalysis--believed dreams were "a royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind." According to Freud, elements of our dreams were symbols which represented something greater.
In contrast, there are theories about dreams that take a more scientific/pragmatic approach.
Information processing--the mind's way of categorizing our memories--is one of these approaches. The activation synthesis theory, a result of the physiological activity during REM sleep, is another which stems from science.
Whether you side with Freud's approach or a more scientific one, what occurs during our deepest phases of sleep provides our bodies with an irreplaceable time of rejuvenation.
Check out the Psychology Today article to learn about the connection between dreaming and consciousness.
Let us know the most interesting dream theory you've heard and what you think of it in the comments!