I read an interesting article about the purpose of dreaming in Psychology Today not too long ago. It was by Jay Dixit and was called "Night School". It talked about a new theory which says that we dream in order to rehearse and prepare ourselves for situations. "Dreams are a training ground in which animals and people alike go over the behaviors that are key to their survival."
This actually makes sense to me, more so than any Freudian or Jungian theories. It also explains why the vast majority of my dreams are frightening. I shall be the most prepared person if a psychopath starts chasing me with a knife since I've been through that dream a million times.
I always thought that dreams gave your brain an opportunity to sort things out. Which is why someone I'd been thinking of or something I watched would show up in my dream that night. What about people who don't remember their dreams? Do they still get the benefits of the rehearsal? I suppose it would be subconscious.
What do you think? Do you remember your dreams? Does dreaming help prepare us for real life crisis? What about those dream books that tell you what a certain item in your dream is supposed to represent?