Dreams can be so puzzling sometimes. Why do we dream? Why are the dreams we have so vivid sometimes, and other times so fuzzy? It is extremely mind-twisting to think about. One theory explained by <a href="http://psychology.about.com/od/statesofconsciousness/p/dream-theories.htm">Ernest Hoffman, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Newton Wellesley Hospital in Boston, Mass</a> suggests that dreams occur to help us cope with trauma in the future or prepare us for an out of the ordinary situation. Basically, he is saying that dreams are a way to prepare us for things that happen every day in our lives. This is an extremely interesting theory to me. I, personally, have had several dreams that I remember so vividly because I end up experiencing a situation similar to the dream in reality. So, could dreams possibly be the reasons we experience the sensation called "Déjà vu" as well?
This theory that Ernest Hoffman has created sounds like a pretty reasonable explanation of the purpose of dreams. Dreams aren't meant to confuse you or scare you (for example Nightmares), but are actually a way of preparation. Kind of like a teacher would prepare you for a big exam, dreams prepare you for the obstacles you could/will have in the future. Everyone knows that feeling of waking up helplessly from a dream, sweating and exceedingly scared. Without experiencing that feeling of helplessness as a result of a dream, would we be able to cope with deaths in the family, nasty relationship breakups or even the feeling of getting into a terrible car accident? I believe that dreams serve a positive purpose in the course of our entire lives although, at the moment, they can be frightening or puzzling.
On the other hand, I think that the dreams that we experience that give us an overwhelming feeling of happiness or enlightenment can prepare us for the good things that happen in the course of our lives. For example, I am sure every guy out there has had many dreams/fantasies about meeting a smoking hot girl. If we didn't have that dream to give us the feeling of arousal, would we be able to deal with the situation in a calm fashion if it were to happen in real life? Or would we freeze up and become suddenly overwhelmed because we have never had that experience before? Dreams can be interpreted as a test run for real life scenarios. Everything that we desire, fear, and question can be tested in what seems like an actual situation, but actually is a figment of our imaginations.
All in all, dreams are still an incredibly vague feeling that I do not think will be properly explained in the near future. Dreams play a huge part in the development of personalities and I, for one, am thankful that I have them. Hopefully one day a detailed explanation can be given as to why they occur. Who knows, maybe dreams can give a realistic point of view of how our lives are predetermined by an outside force. Although that theory may be a bit of a stretch, it is not completely out of the question. We will never know the true meaning of dreams until they are rigorously tested and multiple hypotheses are made.