Characteristics, Theories and Interpretations of Dreams

Dreams can be both fascinating and baffling, which is why they have garnered attention from philosophers, artists, writers and poets for thousands of years. Only fairly recently in history have researchers began to scientifically study the dreaming process. While people still disagree about the exact purpose of dreams and the possible interpretations of dream content, this area remains a topic of interest for both psychologists, researchers, students and anyone who wonders about the reasons behind their dreams.

The Characteristics of Dreams

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Sleep researcher J. Allan Hobson has identified a number of key characteristics of dreams. While many of these characteristics may seem familiar, you might not be aware of just how common these features really are. Are your dreams emotionally charged, disorganized, bizarre and difficult to remember? Then you are already familiar with just a few of the most features most commonly found in dreams.

Learn more about the five major characteristics of dreams in this article.

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Theories of Dreams

Have you ever wondered why you dream? This question has fascinated people since the beginning of recorded history, but today we still don't fully understand the purpose of dreams.

Possible explanations for why we dream include:

  • To represent unconscious desires and wishes
  • To interpret random signals from the brain and body during sleep
  • To consolidate and process information gathered during the day
  • To work as a form of psychotherapy

Learn more about some of the most prominent theories of dreams.

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Dream Meanings and Interpretations

Do you often find yourself wondering exactly why you dreamed what you did, especially after having a particularly strange dream? Despite the research and interest in dreaming, no one yet fully understands how to interpret dream meanings. Sigmund Freud’s theory of dreams contributed a great deal to the general interest in dream interpretation. Books and dream dictionaries have helped ensure that the topic remains popular today.

Learn more about some of the top theories that have emerged to explain the content of our dreams.

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