A couple days ago we had a short class on dreams which was really exciting and I learnt something that blew my mind.
So, why do people dream?
First, wish-fulfilment, this a way that our wishes and desires channelise. Second, it is to preserve our sleep; and third, it is a way that our brain completes the cycle of processing an event that took place earlier. Allow me to elaborate it further, when an individual goes through a stressful event, the brain at that time has not really processed it entirely and thus the brain completes this action in its entirety via dreams. Now you know why you dreamt of arriving late to that examination or class.
What do people dream?
There are two components to this question: a) Manifest and b) Latent. Manifest is when the emphasis is on the content of the dream and latent is when the emphasis is on the meaning of the dream.
How do we interpret our dreams?
Here, we look into recency and themes. Some dreams may pertain to our recent experiences while other dreams may be more thematic in nature i.e. we need to find and understand the themes shown in our dreams.
On a different note, my professor also discussed why we see dreams which have an abrupt change of scenarios. This is probably because we change our sleeping positions throughout our sleep which may cause the change of scenery.