Science answers why we dream

“Why do we dream?

S. Craig

Nevada City, Calif.

Ernest Hartmann, a professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and the director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Newton Wellesley Hospital in Boston, Mass., explains.

The questions, “Why do we dream?” or “What is the function of dreaming?” are easy to ask but very difficult to answer. The most honest answer is that we do not yet know the function or functions of dreaming. This ignorance should not be surprising because despite many theories we still do not fully understand the purpose of sleep, nor do we know the functions of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is when most dreaming occurs. And these two biological states are much easier to study scientifically than the somewhat elusive phenomenon of dreaming. ”

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