Does Everyone Dream?

Everyone does dream, but not everyone remembers his or her dreams. Some people can have intense memories of a dream while others remember only a few details, and others may recall nothing at all. While circumstances of how much we remember our dreams may vary, dreams are still essential toward the development of the brain.

A dream is defined as a sequence of thoughts, images and emotions that occur in the mind while a person sleeps. Dreams occur mainly during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep, which is one of the two main phases, the other being the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) phase. REM sleep is characterized mainly by the increased eye movement associated with its name, but also involves increased brain activity, accelerated respiration, relaxation of the muscular system and more intense dreams. NREM sleep has four different stages, or levels, during which dreams may or may not occur, and will usually be less intense when they do.

Not only does everyone dream, but everyone also has several episodes of dreams every night of sleep. Generally, the ability to recall a dream is tied to whether or not you wake up after having the dream or not. In other words, if you wake during or immediately after a dream occurs, chances are you will remember it and if you sleep through it, you probably will not. Some people can remember their dreams vividly for extended periods of time, and others forget them rather quickly.

People who believe they do not dream or enter REM sleep are simply not remembering their dreams. There are psychological reasons as to why the mind would actually not allow a person to remember a particular dream. An example would be when a particular dream is so intensely real that the person who had the dream would not be able to discern whether or not it actually occurred. This type of gray area between dreams and reality could lead to harm if a person allowed him or herself to believe that their dream was reality. What if they dreamed that they could walk off of a cliff and fly? In this example, the mind is better off shutting down memories of the dream rather than allowing reality to be blurred to the point of bodily harm or even death.

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Post 7

I have never remembered a dream so I've always said I don't dream at all !!

Post 6

@anon108112: Your comment does make sense, but if you think of your brain as a super computer, then dreaming would be equal to the updates that your computer automatically makes during the shut down process. However, the information it is updating may come from something as insignificant as an eyelash falling onto the keyboard, which is information that has to be processed in order to be recognized as insignificant. As a result, the information is tucked away as it does not require action.

If a brick were to fall onto the keyboard, then the information would obviously warrant immediate action. If you did not take the necessary action to fix the problem, or you took the incorrect action, then the

information would not compute properly and you would receive an error message, i.e., a dream that you would remember. If you do not have memorable dreams then there are one of two answers for this: either you lead a fairly happy life and are strong in your dedication to your own beliefs or you have been so unhappy and gone against your own better judgment for so long that the mechanism has shut down, deeming itself as unnecessary.
Post 5

I am a college student and ever since I was probably 12-ish I have remembered my dreams, of course I find this fascinating and actually record them in a sort of "dream" journal. Because sometimes when I go back and read them, I had forgotten the dreams I have had. My dreams are extremely vivid, and I have had conversations with people and have tried to tell them they were dreaming. There are multiple ways to tell if a dream is really a dream or not, mainly I pinch myself, because in my dreams, I can't feel anything if I'm doing it to myself skin on skin. Very interesting stuff!

Post 4

I am 50 years old and can never remember having a dream.

Post 3

The definition of dream seems off to me. The way I see it, a dream is the recollection, or potential recollection, of these images. Basically, we all have these subconscious thought processes that make us sane, that's pretty clear. However, these processes don't always make connections with the conscious mind, meaning we don't even have a potential to remember a dream. In my opinion, that's not dreaming. That make sense to anyone?

Post 1

As far as I can see, the common consensus is that we all dream because most dreams occur during REM sleep and we all have REM sleep. Is it, however, possible to have REM sleep but not dream at all? And how can science tell if someone is dreaming?

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