According to a new study, our sleeping brains aren’t just making us think of math class and people we haven’t seen in years for nothing. Research believes our minds are simultaneously sifting through the past and predicting the future at the same time. Trippy.
Furman University associate professor Erin Wamsley believes their new research shows “dreams reflect a memory-processing function.” To study this theory, the researchers monitored 50 students' sleep and woke them up during the night to ask them about their dreams. In the end, they found over half of the dreams could be traced to real-life memories and a quarter of them had something to do with the future. And that’s where things got weird.
The researchers found more than a third of the dreams focusing on the future also included something from the dreamer’s past. Here’s the catch. As you probably know from your dreams, the ones about our futures are rarely accurate or even realistic. But regardless of how crazy they are, the researchers still believe that processing things like this “may nonetheless serve an adaptive function.”
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