Alice Robb argues that where your brain goes when you’re asleep helps you when you’re awake. In other words, dreams/nightmares can help us deal with life’s problems and difficulties. She writes:
By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have accepted the conventional wisdom: We shouldn’t dwell on our dreams. Even though research suggests that REM sleep — when most dreaming takes place — is crucial for mental and physical health, we think of dreams as silly little stories, the dandruff of the brain. We’re taught that talking about our dreams is juvenile, self-indulgent, and that we should shake off their traces and get on with our day.
Because dreams rarely make literal sense, it can be easier to dismiss them than to try to interpret them. Some argue they’re an accident of biology and mean nothing at all. But a growing body of scientific work indicates that it’s likely to be worth the effort. Dreams might help us consolidate new memories and prune extraneous pieces of information. They might be a breeding ground for ideas — a time for the brain to experiment in a wider network of associations.
Here is a link to the article in full: Why Do You Keep Dreaming You Forgot Your Pants? It’s Science
Reading, Task & Answer-key:
1. Reading: an extract on anxiety dreams
Robb, A. (2018) Why We Dream: The Transformative Power of Our Nightly Journey. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.