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Why Do We Dream? Science Offers a Few Possibilities

Even today, scientists still don’t entirely agree on the purpose of dreaming. By contrast, there’s loads that we do know about the role of sleep, which has been found to help boost brain function, regulate our immune systems, and promote physical activity. The study of dreams is particularly daunting because scientists often have to rely on reports from recently awakened subjects. Within the scientific community, says Harvard psychologist and dream researcher Deirdre Barrett, there are a huge number of ideas about the exact function of dreams. “Possibly as many as there are dream psychologists,” she adds. While there’s no consensus yet, here are a few of the more prominent theories on why we dream.

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