We have all had experiences with dreams. Whether you have had a nightmare, a beautiful dream, or have heard the retelling of a friend’s dream, you know about this state of mind. The question is, what causes these wonderful images that occur within your head? What is the meaning of these sleeping visions?
Dreams are portrayals of real life that are illustrated in your mind as you sleep. They can take form as sensations, visuals, and thoughts. There is no strict standard for what occurs in a dream. They can be far fetched or tame and logical. In fact, they can even be in black and white! Many people experience their dreams purley in black and white. There are many different types of dreams. Two common types of dreams include lucid dreams and nightmares. Lucid dreams are when the person having said dream is somewhat conscious, giving them the ability to change some events they are seeing. Nightmares are frightening or unpleasant dreams. They are caused by stress, illness, the use of some medications, or other types of emotional strain.
While you may not remember your dreams, everyone has them. In fact, the average person has 3 to 6 dreams per night. Each of these dreams last for about 5 to 20 minutes. However, many do not recall having that many dreams. This is because 95% of them leave your memory by the time you get out of bed.
The question still remains, why do these dreams occur? Well, one possibility is that they are directly linked to memory. Dreams are the bodies way of turning events that recently occured into long lasting memories. This is why we often see or feel things that are familiar to us. This has been tested many times. For instance, when a group of test subjects wore red goggles before falling asleep, they reported having more red objects in their dreams. This is also why people in the hospital report pain experienced in their dreams. Examples can be seen in people with impairments as well. Such as, someone with hearing loss tends to dream with other senses, such as touch, more vividly.
Dreams are also thought to prepare you for future threats. The brain presents you with a set of circumstances you can resolve before they occur in real life. However, there is a possibility that dreams are simply the result of your brain sending out too many stimuli while you sleep. Another possible explanation, the desires and wishes you can not healthy release while awake are manifesting themselves in your mind while you sleep.
Dreams are filled with meaning and carry messages but they are never straight forward. They are symbols for events and emotions you have while awake. For instance, an animal chasing you could represent a toxic relationship you are in. Being trapped can represent your feeling of helplessness while awake. Perhaps this is the meaning of dreams. To warn you about troubles occurring in the real world
Unfortunately, there is so little known about dreams. Research is still being conducted on how and why dreams form. However, they are an everyday part of life. So, take time to appreciate the phenomenons that occur while you are asleep.
Bryant, Charles W. “What Are Dreams?” HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks, 28 June 2018, science.howstuffworks.com/life/what-are-dreams.htm.
Nichols, Hannah. “Dreams: Why Do We Dream?” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 28 June 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284378.php.
Deja vu is a memory phenomena that causes the human mind to believe it has already experienced the events occurring at that moment. In French, the word translates to “already seen.” There are multiple different types of deja vu. For example, deja visite which means “already visited” or deja senti which means “already thought”. As about two out of every three people have experienced these phenomenons, they are not an uncommon occurrence among humans. But do not confuse deja vu with “precognitive experiences.” Because precognitive experience involve seeing the future, not remembering the present. Now that we have an understanding on deja vu, we can venture into the science that causes it.
First, it would be wise to leave your theories about past lives, aliens, or glitches in the Matrix at the door. There is not enough scientific research to back any of these theories, making them unreliable. The most logical explanation, deja vu is nothing more than an illusion. It is not the result of witchcraft or superhuman abilities, it is simply a trick your mind plays on you. You see, we likely encounter these feeling because the event being laid out in front of us is similar to past experiences we have had. “We cannot consciously remember the prior scene, but our brains recognize the similarity,” Dr. Anne Cleary, a cognitive psychologist at Colorado State University State, said. “That information comes through as the unsettling feeling that we’ve been there before, but we can’t pin down when or why.” (Nauert) This could explain why people who tend to travel or remember their dreams more often experience deja vu more frequently then people who don’t. They have more memories and experiences that can show up later in life. Although, another explanation could be that a mistake in your brain caused by an interruption in your brain neurons, or nerve cells, causes this sensation.
In conclusion, deja vu is an interesting memory phenomena with an even more interesting science behind it. Currently, the best explanation is that our brain is playing a silly joke on us. However, as new research emerges, there might be new explanations for how this sensation occurs.
Masters, Maria. “3 Reasons You Sometimes Have Déjà Vu, According to Science.” Health.com, Health Media Ventures, Inc., 8 Aug. 2016, www.health.com/mind-body/deja-vu-causes.
Nauert, Dr. Rick. “Is Déjà Vu Real or Just a Feeling?” Psych Central, Psych Central, 5 Mar. 2018, psychcentral.com/news/2018/03/05/is-deja-vu-real-or-just-a-feeling/133334.html
Obringer, Lee Ann. “How Déjà Vu Works.” HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks, 8 Mar. 2018, science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/deja-vu.htm.
ARE GHOSTS REAL?
Ghosts are something that continuously show up in books, movies, and everyday conversation. The debate has been made whether ghosts are real or fictitious. However, there is not much scientific evidence to prove or disprove their existence.
To start off, we need to know what defines a ghost. The problem is, no one knows. Their abilities and appearance changes from telling to telling. This gives scientists too many variables to study. They are claimed to be the cause of most unidentifiable phenomena, such as slamming doors or the flicker of blue in a candle. Furthermore, it is difficult to determine if there are other causes contributing to the anomalies blamed on ghosts. As we do not know what they look like, we can not identify them either. It seems that every horror story gives a new characteristic to the form of a ghost. Some attribute these differences in stories to different categories of ghost, such as a poltergeist who is known for only physical disturbances, but of course there is no evidence that these subcultures exist. Lastly, it is unknown whether ghost would be material or not. Where physics is concerned, they should be one or the other. Hindering their ability to slam doors while simultaneously walking through walls.
There is not much scientific research on ghosts and their abilities. To put it simply, this is due to the lack of technology. You see, if ghosts exist, it is not in the ordinary physical world. If this were the case, scientist should have been able to record or photograph a ghost by now. The photographs that we do have are often not reliable or easily disproved. However, one interesting possibility lives within the science community, one that was believed by Albert Einstein. He suggested that the first law of thermodynamics, energy cannot be created or destroyed, could be the explanation of ghosts. Although, this theory does not withhold because there is no evidence that your body holds a spirit. When you die it would not be able to be destroyed so where would it go? Well, if the body in fact does not have a soul, your body would just be decomposed. Furthermore, if ghosts are souls, why would they be depicted with clothing and material objects.
Now, with all of this said, are ghost real? To put it simply, we don’t know. There is not enough evidence or scientific research to prove their existence. It is likely that, if they exist, they will be discovered when we form new technology. However, we are left in the dark until this happens.
Radford, Benjamin. “Are Ghosts Real? - Evidence Has Not Materialized.” LiveScience, Purch, 17 May 2017, www.livescience.com/26697-are-ghosts-real.html.