Scientists aren’t really sure. Studies suggest that dreams help us cope with painful memories. Dreaming might also make us smarter and more creative during our waking hours. So if you’re feeling drained, grabbing 40 winks – and a few vivid dreams – might recharge your brain.

Dreams facilitate memory consolidation. New things learned during the day are reinforced by the firing of the new neuronal connections at night. But people don’t generally dream about a task they learned.

Dreams occur when specific neuron networks are activated. This is evidenced by neurocognitive research showing that during sleep neural activity only decreases by 10%. Without the neuron connections constantly firing, connections may degenerate. And thus, dreams are non-functional side effects of activation of networks that need to be activated to help keep the brain intact.


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