Dreaming is part of every good night’s sleep — but why do we dream? And how do we dream? Recent research reveals that our dreams are our mind at work, organising and making sense of memories, sort of like “overnight therapy.”

“I think what we’ll see from this kind of research is really a lot more focus on how dreams are really an active process of memory consolidation,” Dr. Mark Stokes, cognitive neuroscientist at Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity, told The Huffington Post, “and how that influences your behaviour in the future.”

To get a better understanding of dreaming, I spoke with Stokes and Dr. Robert Stickgold, director of sleep and cognition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre and Harvard Medical School associate professor.