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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

New Research on Dreams


The phenomenon that is dreaming has been a lingering question for thousands of years.

Numerous theories have persisted as to what dreams are and why we have them. Certain cultures and periods have come to different conclusions as to what dreams are and what they may predict. 

Some cultures believe that dreams are a look into the future and they tell us future events in hopes of warning us. Traditional Chinese scholars believe that dreams are the direct result of the health and condition of the body. The current conditions that the body is in or has experienced impact our dreams. 

In many West African cultures, dreams are connected to spiritual contact from deceased ancestors. Dreams are often referred to as “midzimu” or “amakhosi” depending on the region in West Africa.  

While dreams vary in interpretation depending on region and period, a common census on the meaning of dreams is that they reflect our current emotions and are influenced by outside forces that occur in our daily lives. 

New research produced in the last year has revealed new information and data that adds to the continuing mystery of dreams. 

A study by a group of scientists was published in the science magazine, “Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience”, that examined and studied a collection of participants who recalled their vivid dreams and their emotional well-being the days before the dream occurred. 

The participants were given a journal to write down their feelings and emotions for ten days straight before the study. They were then monitored while sleeping and were asked to recount their dream and compare their dream to their journals to see if there was a correlation. The research discovered that the participant-recorded events and emotions were strongly linked to an intense emission of REM theta waves. 

REM theta waves, also known as Rapid Eye Movement, is a reaction that occurs during the stages of sleep where the eyes move rapidly back and forth and is the estimated stage in the sleep cycle where almost 80 percent of all dreams occur during sleep. 

While studies estimating that there is a connection between REM theta waves and previous emotions or events already exist, this new research makes a direct connection between the two.  

This new data suggests that dreams are the direct result of our emotional well-being and how actions–whether an hour before going to bed or a couple of days prior–can affect our dreams. 

Jean-Bapisste Eichenlaub, head author of the magazine said, “This is the first finding that shows that this phenomenon is related to REM sleep theta waves, which suggest that dreaming reflects emotional memory processing that takes place in REM sleep.” 

This new research may be the first step to solving the mystery that is of dreams and why we have them. The possibility that dreams have a direct influence on our emotional well-being is highly likely and current research being done by multiple organizations is trying to prove the connection. 

As the twenty-first century continues to ensue and advancing technology expands into a variety of fields of science, the vagueness and mystery behind dreams may finally be solved. 

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