Are dreams important? Why or why not?

Essay by bimil November 2007

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Topic: Are dreams important? Why or why not?

It is widely known that people, on average, spend at least one third of their lifetime sleeping, and 20% of their sleep-time dreaming. What's more, dreams are often outside the control of the dreamers. Therefore, in spite of the scientific explanations about the nature of dreams, throughout human history, dreaming has been an important factor in our conception, our life and our culture.

Biologically, although some nightmares can cause anxiety or other negative emotions, dreams are believed to have a lot of useful functions. Firstly, a dream is a reflection of our waking life, usually in a series of random and vague images, which can, in some way, help us to release the stress during our sleep. Secondly, dreaming can act like an activator for our brains, by which our brains still unconsciously work even when we have physically rested. What's more, dreams are a physiological response to our brain's nighttime activities.

However, the main reason why dreams have long played an important part in human's life is their symbolism. In many years, people have spent a lot of time interpreting the meaning of dreams and even their divination nature. It is a common belief that through dreams, people are given access to their spirit, and further, that all possible questions could be answered from the inner consciousness in the form of dreams. As a result, dreams are now not merely a response to neural processes, but have become a source of inspiration. For example, some dreams are considered as messages from God, or predictions for the future. The job of dreams interpreting has therefore grown into one of the most popular business in Eastern cultures, and even Western ones.

In conclusion, dreaming is a vital part of our life,