There’s no right answer, and loads of theories out there. For my own personal theory, check out the article The Science of Dreaming. Also included in the article is a list of many other popular theories. Below you will find thoughts on the subject from many of my fellow authors. I will add to this as more chime into the discussion. If you’d like to send me your thoughts to be included, please contact me.
- Polly Johnson, author of Stones
“I have noticed that when I am feeling a certain way, my dreams always follow the same pattern. For example, if I am feeling trapped, or if I am perhaps not confronting something in my life, I always dream that I am searching for a toilet and either can’t find one or, if I do, it’s always in public!”
- Noelle Pierce, romance/erotica author. Check out Noelle’s blog.
“From a psychological perspective, I have a mix of views on dreams. Basically, I believe that dreams are a mix of random neural firing and ‘day’s residue’ (basically, a snippet of something that happened during the day that you may or may not have paid attention to). Gestalt theory suggests that we like order, and the randomness of our neural firing must be put in some sort of order…hence, the story of your dream that may or may not be bizarre.”
Phil adds: Interestingly enough, this feeds right into a classic memory mnemonic from memory experts where, if you turn random things into a story, you can remember them better.
- Deborah Lee Clark, author of Dear Cinderella
“I believe dreams are a part of our inner self guiding us. I know it may sound cooky, but it kind of has to do with the subconscious and what our waking life has suppressed. They are like a sense of guidance to better understand my feelings and find myself. To me, dreams are growth.”
Phil adds: There is actually scientific evidence to back this claim, too. Our mind is much better at problem solving while dreaming than when it’s awake (hence the phrase, “sleep on it”), and one theory holds that dreams allow us to process emotional events better.