What are dreams? For that matter, what is sleeping? We spend at least a third of our time sleeping and perhaps also dreaming, in fact, sleeping and dreaming can almost define us more than anything else we will ever do or achieve in our lifetime, and yet so rarely we stop to wonder about their real significance, and how it could actually change the world.
Why do we need to sleep? Every single mechanical machine we have created requires fuel or energy to function, like oil, gas, hydro-electricity, nuclear energy, solar energy, etc. And yet, they could function all the time until they finally break down, and still they can be repaired on the spot and made to work for many more years. They don't need to sleep, they certainly don't need to dream.
Our fuel as humans is food and water (liquids). Why the need to sleep on top of it? Many of our appliances simply work on electricity, especially electronic appliances like computers and televisions. Just like us they need electricity, as we are very much electric human beings ourselves, although what we need is more chemically based electricity that we produce with whatever we eat and drink.
Our appliances, or go even further, our computers and thinking robots don't need to sleep. Moreover, they certainly don't dream? We may wonder if anything we invented which includes silicon based artificial intelligence or computer chips, might actually dream like we do. How would we ever know?
I sometimes think my computer is alive, or am I just going mad? After all, silicon based intelligence (computers), or carbon based intelligence (us), are so similar when we look at a Table of the Elements, we are next to each other, how could we possibly be that different then? As a humanity we are all but thinking machines.
It is not because we have not thought of inventing such machines that require sleeping and dreaming that we could not invent them. Which means that eventually, if we can see the point of creating such machines, we can create them, and we will. It would simply only require a bit of programming. But before we go on to invent computers who require sleep and will go on dreaming, we would need to assess why this would be a necessity. I cannot see why we should program our thinking machines to sleep and dream, do you? So why do we sleep and dream?
Sleeping has one more important characteristic that we cannot forget so easily, it is rejuvenating. After exerting ourselves too much through a stressful existence, it brings us back to life, because it is also that sleep cures us of many health problems. It is through a moment of absolute inactivity that our body fixes itself, regenerates itself to peak activity. We can only assume that if we were into building biological machines instead of mechanical or electronic machines, sleep would be a great idea. But what about dreams?
I have read many books about dreams, all those experts, it left me totally empty, I still have no clue about why we should be dreaming, what purpose it serves. I can see that once again I will have to find my own answers. Not only our body needs a rest in order to rejuvenate itself, or regenerate itself, our mind as well is as important. Dreaming, though certainly it is not a peaceful activity, since sometimes it can be as stressful as our daily life, seems to be highly important for balancing our mind, our thoughts.