Why are dreams important?

Cultures throughout the ages have placed a high value on dreams. To Native Americans, dreams were portals to the spirit world and paths to prophecy and quests. The Aborigines call stories of the world's very beginning their "dreamings."

Lucid dreaming also has a long history. Some claim Aristotle was the first to write about it, although he didn't have a term for it. Some Tibetan Buddhists also have been practicing something akin to lucid dreaming for ages: dream yoga.

The goal of dream yoga is to bring you into a constant state of awareness. A large part of the Buddhist belief system is to recognize the world as it is, free from illusion. When it comes to dreams, a lucid dream recognizes them for what they are, dreams.

As you dream, you follow winding pathways of your own mind, learning about the way you think and about roadblocks your mind erects to prevent you from achieving clarity. Mystics call this altered state of consciousness: nondual awareness.

No one really knows the answer to this question but there are several schools of thought. The most popular is that a dream represents the organization of thoughts, stimuli, and feelings that are collected throughout a day into a particular structure to be later accessed or recalled. In some research reports we see that REM sleep (the sleep where most but not all dreaming occurs) is where a person can transfer information from their short-term memory to their long term memory.
Some researchers and psychologists think dreams represent current psychological stress or struggles that express themselves in an environment considered safe. They will often ask their patients to record their dreams in a dream diary, and attempt to look for themes in the dreams,that can be applied to the patient’s life. 
Lauri Loewenberg

Allow me to answer this with an excerpt from my book Dream On It, Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life...

Dreams are important because dreams are thoughts. You see, when you are dreaming, you are thinking, but on a much deeper and focused level than when you’re awake. Think about it, when you go to sleep the lights are off, your eyes are closed and the world around you is shut out.  There are no distractions. The mind doesn’t stop working at this point. Whatever your stream of thought is as you drift off continues and begins to go inward, and as your conscious, waking, literal mind slips into a state of rest, your deep inner subconscious mind takes over. Once you enter the REM phase of sleep, which is when dreaming takes place, a structure located on the brain stem called the pons, sends signals to the cerebral cortex (the region of the brain responsible for most of our thought processes) that dreaming has begun, which means some very serious and deep thinking is now happening. So that waking stream of thought that was using words and that your conscious mind had control of is now controlled by your inner subconscious mind and is no longer using just words but is also using images, experiences and emotions. Your thoughts have turned into dreams.

Through our dreams – we speak to ourselves about what is going on in our lives, we guide ourselves through difficult situations, and we point ourselves towards what we really, truly and deeply need to live the life we are meant to live.

When you can understand your dreams, you’ll find that they are the best glimpse of reality available. They are the way you are brutally honest with yourself when your conscious waking mind refuses to be. They are the way you nag yourself over a recurring behavior you need to correct or an issue you aren’t giving enough attention to, hence the persistent recurring dream. They are also your very best friend and advisor when you need to make a tough decision or solve a difficult problem. No one truly knows what is best for you… than YOU! The truth is, your best thinking isn’t done in the shower, it’s done while you dream. In fact, when we say, “Let me sleep on it” what we’re really saying is, “Let me DREAM on it.”

Kelly  Sullivan Walden
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

Dreams are important for surviving and thriving; you should always try to remember your dreams as they provide insight into your body, mind and spirit. Watch as dream therapist Kelly Sullivan Walden explains why our dreams are key to our wellbeing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.