Begin with: the “Freudian view that we dream as a result of our subconscious desires, and that dreams have hidden meanings.” oh, everything must mean something!
Then: “dreams are essentially side-effects of brain activation.” Residuals/left over buzz more or less.
Then moving on to dreams as a creative filter: “Dreams are simply a result of the “awake-like” forebrain - the “higher” perceptual, cognitive and emotional areas - trying to make sense of the input that it’s receiving as a result of waves of activation arising from the brainstem. A dream is the forebrain’s “best guess” at making a meaningful story out of the assortment of sensations (mostly visual) and concepts activated by these periodic waves. There’s no attempt to disguise the shameful parts; the bizarreness of dreams simply reflects the fact that the input is pretty much random.”
Now we have: “the function of REM sleep is to act as a kind of training system for the developing brain. The internally-generated signals that arise from the brainstem (now called PGO waves) during REM help the forebrain to learn how to process information. This explains why we spend more time in REM early in life; newborns have much more REM than adults; in the womb, we are in REM almost all the time.” More.