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  • In the third millennium BCE, Mesopotamian kings recorded and interpreted their dreams on wax tablets.


  • A thousand years later, Ancient Egyptians wrote a dream book listing over a hundred common dreams and their meanings.

    それから1000 年後、古代エジプト人たちは夢に関する本を書いて 100 種類以上の一般的な夢とその意味をリストアップしていきました。

  • And in the years since, we haven't paused in our quest to understand why we dream.


  • So, after a great deal of scientific research, technological advancement, and persistence,


  • we still don't have any definite answers, but we have some interesting theories.


  • We dream to fulfill our wishes.


  • In the early 1900s, Sigmund Freud proposed that while all of our dreams, including our nightmares, are a collection of images from our daily conscious lives,

    1900 年初頭にシグムンド・フルードが提唱したのは、私たちが見る夢というのは、悪夢を含めて全て 日々の意識下にある生活で得られるイメージ画像の集合体であると同時に、

  • they also have symbolic meanings, which relate to the fulfillment of our subconscious wishes.


  • Freud theorized that everything we remember when we wake up from a dream is a symbolic representation of our unconscious primitive thoughts, urges, and desires.

    フルードは、夢から覚めた時に覚えているものは全て何かしらの象徴的意味合いを持っている、という理論を打ち出しました。 それは私たちの無意識における原始的な考えや、衝動、欲求に関連するものです。

  • Freud believed that by analyzing those remembered elements,


  • the unconscious content would be revealed to our conscious mind,


  • and psychological issues stemming from its repression could be addressed and resolved.


  • We dream to remember.


  • To increase performance on certain mental tasks, sleep is good, but dreaming while sleeping is better.

    メンタルが関わるパフォーマンスの制度を向上させるためには、睡眠は効果的ですが、 睡眠中に夢を見るというのはさらに効果的です。

  • In 2010, researchers found that subjects were much better at getting through a complex 3-D maze if they had napped and dreamed of the maze prior to their second attempt.

    2010 年に行われたある研究では、複雑な3D 迷路から脱出しようとする際に、 2 回目のチャレンジをする前に仮眠を取って迷路の夢を見ると、より効果的だということが分かりました。

  • In fact, they were up to ten times better at it than those who only thought of the maze while awake between attempts,

    事実、迷路の夢を見た被験者は 1 回目と 2 回目の間に単に迷路の事を考えていただけの被験者や

  • and those who napped but did not dream about the maze.

    仮眠は取ったものの迷路の夢は見なかった被験者に比べて、10 倍も早く脱出に成功したのです。

  • Researchers theorize that certain memory processes can happen only when we are asleep,


  • and our dreams are a signal that these processes are taking place.


  • We dream to forget.


  • There are about 10,000 trillion neural connections within the architecture of your brain, they are created by everything you think and everything you do.


  • A 1983 neurobiological theory of dreaming, called reverse learning, holds that while sleeping, and mainly during REM sleep cycles,

    1983 年に発表された「逆転学習」と呼ばれる夢の神経生理学的理論によると、就寝中、特にレム睡眠サイクルの最中には、

  • your neocortex reviews these neural connections and dumps the unnecessary ones.


  • Without this unlearning process, which results in your dreams,


  • your brain could be overrun by useless connections and parasitic thoughts could disrupt the necessary thinking you need to do while you're awake.

    私たちの脳は役に立たない結合によって圧倒されてしまい余計な思考が絡みついて、起きている間に必要な 本来の思考を妨げてしまいかねないというわけです。

  • We dream to keep our brains working.


  • The continual activation theory proposes that your dreams result from your brain's need to constantly consolidate and create long-term memories in order to function properly.

    継続活性化理論によると、夢を見るというのは脳が正常に機能するために 定期的に長期記憶を作成または統合整理することの結果であるということになります。

  • So when external input falls below a certain level, like when you're asleep,


  • your brain automatically triggers the generation of data from its memory storages,


  • which appear to you in the form of the thoughts and feelings you experience in your dreams.


  • In other words, your dreams might be a random screen saver your brain turns on so it doesn't completely shut down.

    言葉を変えていうなら、夢というのは脳におけるランダムなスクリーンセーバーのようなもので 脳は完全にはシャットダウンしないというわけです。

  • We dream to rehearse.


  • Dreams involving dangerous and threatening situations are very common,


  • and the primitive instinct rehearsal theory holds that the content of a dream is significant to its purpose.


  • Whether it's an anxiety-filled night of being chased through the woods by a bear or fighting off a ninja in a dark alley,


  • these dreams allow you to practice your fight or flight instincts and keep them sharp and dependable in case you'll need them in real life.


  • But it doesn't always have to be unpleasant.


  • For instance, dreams about your attractive neighbor could actually give your reproductive instinct some practice, too.


  • We dream to heal.


  • Stress neurotransmitters in the brain are much less active during the REM stage of sleep,


  • even during dreams of traumatic experiences, leading some researchers to theorize that one purpose of dreaming is to take the edge off painful experiences to allow for psychological healing.


  • Reviewing traumatic events in your dreams with less mental stress may grant you a clearer perspective and enhanced ability to process them in psychologically healthy ways.

    トラウマ的な出来事を夢の中で精神的にストレスが少ない状態で振り返るというのは、より鮮明な観点を持つことができるだけでなく 心理的に健全な方法で消化していく事も可能にします。

  • People with certain mood disorders and PTSD often have difficulty sleeping,


  • leading some scientists to believe that lack of dreaming may be a contributing factor to their illnesses.


  • We dream to solve problems.


  • Unconstrained by reality and the rules of conventional logic,


  • in your dreams, your mind can create limitless scenarios to help you grasp problems and formulate solutions that you may not consider while awake.


  • John Steinbeck called it the committee of sleep,


  • and researcher has demonstrated the effectiveness of dreaming on problem solving.


  • It's also how renowned chemist August Kekule discovered the structure of the benzene molecule,


  • and it's the reason that sometimes the best solution for a problem is to sleep on it.


  • And those are just a few of the more prominent theories.


  • As technology increases our capability for understanding the brain,


  • it's possible that one day we will discover the definitive reason for them.


  • But until that time arrives, we'll just have to keep on dreaming.


In the third millennium BCE, Mesopotamian kings recorded and interpreted their dreams on wax tablets.



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