When you sleep you almost certainly dream, even if you are not aware of it. In fact many people don't remember their dreams at all unless they happen to wake up in the middle of it. There have been many theories put forward as to why human beings dream and the truth is probably a mixture of several of them. Ordinary dreams are just the mind's way of doing a little overnight spring-cleaning. Other dreams can have much more significance in so m uch that they contain a message. This could be a message from your subconscious or from spirit. Ordinary dreams have no real significance other than they will help free up your mind. Out of the ordinary dreams can range from useful to extremely significant.

Research has shown that there are five different stages of sleep and that you will go back and forth between some of these stages during the night. Each stage is accompanied by its distinctive brainwave activity.

Stage 1 is the transition from being awake to being asleep and is accompanied by theta wave activity. This stage may be extremely short or last up to 7-10 minutes.

Stage 2 is accompanied by fast-frequency bursts of activity called sleep spindles and it is in this stage that heart rate, muscle tension, respiration, and body temperature begin to gradually decline.

Stage 3 is reached by most people approximately 30 minutes after falling asleep and is a transitional stage to stage 4.

Stage 4 is the deepest level of sleep and is accompanied by delta wave activity.

Stage 5 is when you return to stage 2 but this time enter the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. REM sleep makes up approximately 20% of sleep time and it is during this stage that dreams are experienced.

This sleep cycle will be repeated 5-6 times during an 8 hour period of sleep.

Dreams and dreaming are an important part of our life and although it can be difficult at first to understand them, it becomes easier with practice. The hardest part for most people is remembering their dreams in the first place and this is why it is vital that you keep a dream journal or diary. Once you start to record your dreams you will be on the way to understanding them.