“Why do we dream? Because it’s the only mechanism our brain has for sorting through all the myriad associations it discovers and deciding which ones are potentially of value,” says Robert Stickgold, professor and director of the Harvard Center for Sleep and Cognition and coauthor of When Brains Dream: Exploring the Science and Mystery of Sleep, in his TEDx Talk on the purpose of dreams and how sleep sews together the pieces of our memories. Write an essay that begins with the description of a dream you’ve had recently, recounting it in as much detail as you can remember. Then expand and explore how the conflicts and emotions brought up by your dream might be connected to another time in your life when you experienced something similar. What do you think your brain was trying to figure out?
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