Psychology Today has a really interesting article about a theory of dreaming that’s gaining populartiy. We dream to prepare for dangerous situations. When you have a nightmare, you are rehearsing, in case it ever happens in real life.
The dreaming brain, explains Revonsuo, scans emotional memories. When
it detects a memory trace with a strong negative emotion, it constructs
a nightmare around that theme. The more traumatic the event, the more
intense the nightmare. The brain’s system for detecting threats is
sensitive and flexible: Anything the brain tags with a strong negative
charge gets thrown into the threat bin and dredged up at night.
And if you watch horror movies, your brain will also help you prepare for that happening to you in real life. Interesting. I quit reading those best selling horror books because they gave me nightmares. Guess I won’t be prepared for being stalked, kidnapped and tortured!