Why Do We Dream? Sleep Scientists Uncover Elusive World Of Dreaming (VIDEO)

09/23/2013 08:10 am ET | Updated Aug 04, 2014

Dreaming is part of every good night's sleep -- but why do we dream? And how do we dream? Recent research reveals that our dreams are our mind at work, organizing and making sense of memories, sort of like "overnight therapy."

"I think what we’ll see from this kind of research is really a lot more focus on how dreams are really an active process of memory consolidation," Dr. Mark Stokes, cognitive neuroscientist at Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity, told The Huffington Post, "and how that influences your behavior in the future."

To get a better understanding of dreaming, I spoke with Stokes and Dr. Robert Stickgold, director of sleep and cognition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School associate professor.

Watch the video above, and/or click the link below for a transcript. Don't forget to sound off in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Talk nerdy to me!


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How may we boost our dream recall? Here is a simple tip from Dr. Stickgold:

The best suggestion is, try not to wake up with an alarm clock. You don’t always have that option, but any sensory input tends to erase the memory of your dream when you wake up. What you have to do is you have to wake up and you have to literally lie there with your eyes closed, try to stay almost half asleep and try to replay [the dream] in your mind. And once you’ve replayed it in your mind upon awakening, then you’ll have it.

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