Everyone has it one way or the other. For some it's a daily routine and for others it's a rare occurrence. Sometimes it can be direct and vivid but most of the time it's filled with riddles.
Why are dreams important?
Some think that dreams are just side effects of the brain's memory processing but it's far more than just that. Scientists like Freud and Jung made many research and discoveries on dreams. Dreams can sometimes be a signifier of something like a good or bad event from the past or the future. It can also be a forgotten event even from the past lives.
There are many published articles and archived records of renowned scholars, scientists and inventors who got their famous ideas from their dreams.
But on average it's hard to recollect the dream since it appears as random bits and pieces. The subconscious world is beyond time and space so everything happens everywhere at the same time. That’s why some people keep a notebook by their bed to write down their dreams. I suggest the same to my clients who dream a lot.
Historical facts about dreams
Elias Howe, known for inventing the lock-stitch sewing machine had a dream of a violent murder which gave him the idea of his innovation. The terminator movie from James Cameron was a dream. Special theory of relativity by Albert Einstein had come from a dream of electrocuting cows. Abraham Lincoln dreamt of his assassination. Many victims of 9/11 said they had dreams of a similar catastrophe a few days earlier. 19 victims had verified precognitive dreams of the Titanic shipwreck. (Source: History)
Astrologically the 12th house is the domain of sleep and subconscious world. Actually, all moksha houses are responsible for sleep but 12th house the most. You can understand your level of creativity based on the quality of your 12th house. Because its where Venus gets exalted in the natural order of the zodiacs. 12th house is also important in understanding your overall life because it determines the quality of your sleep. Dreams and 12th house also opens the door to understanding the deep concepts of life, karma, universe and beyond. Lets see some more with the help of Shastras.
Mind is intangible yet the most fascinating, powerful and trickiest organ of the body. Mind plays an important role in understanding the dreams. Mind acts as the platform where you see and feel dreams. Mind is the bridge between your subconscious and the conscious world. Your perception of the world is based according to your mind thus the term mindset (the way you set your mind). Mind has the power to self reflect itself through self contemplation, self observation, learning, questioning and sometimes even creating aliases to protect itself (termed as dissociative identities in modern science). Thus many ancient and modern day saints emphasized the importance of controlling and channeling the mind.
Karma and dreams
Thoughts, words and actions are three different modes through which you perform your karma. It can also be said as mental, verbal and physical actions. You already know that the karma you perform will come back to you (good and bad both) at right time. Based on this principle, i can tell you that physical actions come back physically, verbal actions come back verbally and mental actions come back mentally.
We constantly think about a lot of things everyday except the time we sleep but where does it all go. Some are taking shape into words and some are into actions but what about those thoughts which simply stay in our head or simply pops up in the head and goes away? Think about it. Everything has repercussions according to the theory of karma, hence all your thoughts (which live or die as thoughts) will also come back in the way of "dreams". So the more you dream the more you finish your pending karma. Dreams are not just karmic duties but also the indicators of events like I said above.
Sleep and death
Vedic philosophers (Siddhars/Rishis) have always claimed that death is not a painful end, rather a resting period (like sleep) for the soul aka atma. It is mentioned in Shaiva Siddhantam that death is like the rest you take between every lifetime. It may sound funny or hogwash but just think about the process of sleep for a moment. Its one of the basic necessities for any living being. An average human being can't be awake for more than 36 hours without consequences. Many experiments done on human beings proved already that being awake for a prolong time may severely affect the body and can give permanent damages. The same way death is important so that the soul shall get its resting time. Of course its not easy to explain since soul is intangible but its not hard either, you just have to think and connect.
What happens when you're asleep, your brain processes all the information of the day and keeps only the important information. Likewise the soul sheds all unwanted information after death to keep only the important. Now you may have a question in mind that if this is true then why can't you remember anything. It is because its buried deep inside your subconscious and you may require yoga practice to uproot those memories.
Vedic texts made a lot of effort to teach us what mind is. Mind is Manas in sanskrit, one of four antakaranas that are intangible but holds the entirety of what we call the 6th sense. Vedic astrology, the derivation of vedic texts says moon is the significator of the mind. Thus understanding the moon can give you the glimpse of the mind. Moon is very secretive and manipulative graha (planet) among all. To understand this easily you can just look at the night sky, part of the moon is always hidden from our eyes (tidal locked) even though it is the closest one to earth. Scientists are still baffled by the sheer size of the moon compared to the proportion of other planets and their satellites in the solar system.
Twelfth house is the most misunderstood house of all. It is said in general that 12th house denotes bed pleasures like sleep, dream, sex, isolation like jail, ashram, foreign travel, foreign stay etc. but 12th house alongwith 4th and 8th houses rules the sleep and subconscious world with deep imprinted memories of the soul. Because these 3 houses are called moksha houses. Moksha is where you get most comfortable so 4, 8 and 12 houses are important for sleep and dreams. Benefic planets or aspects in these houses will bring comforts (like deep sleep esp. in 4th and 12th) and malefic planets brings bad dreams and nightmares. Jupiter, Moon or the nodes in these houses may also make you intuitional.
Note: Eighth house is natural malefic house so malefic planets or aspects will bring benefic results here. Eighth house is also responsible for your subconscious memories, mental stability and deep/hidden fears. Thus dreams are not just what we know already, it can be a subtle connection between your conscious and subconscious world.