a question

As a professional journalist I work for a popular-scientific magazine. Our special next month is about, don’t be surprised, sleep and dreaming. I am supposed to write about the latest in dream research. I already visited a sleep-deprivation lab in an academic hospital here in the Netherlands. If you have the time, would you be so kind to fill me in about the following:

As I am trying to find out more about the physiological and neurological aspects of dreaming, all that scientists seem to have discovered is that there is REM and NREM sleep, that we have dreams during REM that we can recall, and that we possibly also dream during other sleep. Some have stimulated or cut pieces of the brain in lab-animals and came up with interesting results.

But that’s about it. It doesn’t solve any question about dreaming. All evidence seems to be circumstancial, so to speak, the rest is interpretation and psychology.

Do you agree on this? Or am I missing out on the latest here? I can’t seem to find any substantial biological breakthroughs or discoveries for the past years. Does it have anything to do with lack of interest or funds?

Or perhaps you could just answer the question why, in your view, do we dream?

--Robert, Utrecht, The Netherlands

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