July 22, 2024

What does science tell us about dreams and nightmares?

2 min read
What does science tell us about dreams and nightmares?
What does science tell us about dreams and nightmares?

There are many definitions of words “Dream” and “Nightmare” We are puzzled by how rich they are in Portuguese. The terms can refer not only to the act of developing scenes in our mind during sleep, but it could be some desire or desire to get something done or some bad experience we are having. In this article, we will clarify the opinion of science about the dreams and nightmares that we experience while sleeping.

Science refutes the mystical relationship in several respects and seeks a more logical explanation for these events. The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) led the most famous studies of dreams, who developed various analyzes in which he argued that dreams are the “disguised” fulfillment of some repressed desire.

Freud’s first work considered, in fact, that psychoanalysis was specifically a study called “The Interpretation of Dreams”. Later, as is normal in the scientific environment, his work was questioned by his successors. Today, due to the progress of science and the means of observation, it is already known that we have different types of dreams, that other animals dream and that there are situations in which a dream can be manipulated.

According to current studies, we know that we may not even remember, but we have many dreams while we sleep. The moment we dream the most is when we enter REM sleep stage (an abbreviation for “rapid eye movement” in English), which is when we reach our deepest sleep. We also discovered, through electrophysiological records, that we have some phases of sleep, which can be visual (more), auditory, olfactory, and sensory.

What are dreams and nightmares?

Science justifies that dreams are the result of memories, and serve as a way to strengthen memory and enhance the implementation of many brain activities. Thus, it is common for us to dream about certain situations we are going through.

Research shows, for example, that in situations of tragedies or situations of extreme distress, an individual can create terrifying images and have nightmares as a result of post-traumatic situations.

Science is already able to identify dreaming situations in phases 1 and 2, even if they are less frequent, and are not restricted to the REM phase. The dreams of the first two stages are shorter and less emotional and visual. They are more attached to everyday situations, especially those that require fears.

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