The first dreams ever to be recorded in writing are said to have been those contained in the epic of Gilgamesh, a piece of ancient Babylonian literature. This is believed to have been dated around 1760 BC. The lion- Vanquishing Mesopotamian hero Gilgamesh was believed to be one-third human and two-thirds divine
In the old testament book of Daniel (2:2-3) it relates to king Nebuchadnezzar he "commanded" the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and chaldeans, to interpret his dreams. When they came and stood before the king, he said to them that he had dreamed a dream, and that his spirit was troubled to know what it means. It was in fact Daniel who enlightened king Nebuchadnezzar's dreams by visions sent to him by god, revealing what would happen in the later days (Daniel 2:27-28) The old testament tells us that king Nebuchadnezzar was being tormented by his incomprehensible dreams. History tells us that king Nebuchadnezzar 2nd ruled Babylonia from 604 BC. He in fact captured Jerusalem twice, and that he created the famous hanging gardens of Babylon, One of the seven great wonders of the world. By taking these pieces of evidence we can conclude that almost two millennia ago that in fact dreams were taken extremely serious and important portents or messages from the divine this the interpretation required equally divine inspiration / guidance.
Throughout history numerous tribes / civilizations have credited dreams with having an external cause, It was once believed nightmares were inflicted by malevolent spirits, demons and devils on defenseless sleepers. While enjoyable dreams origins were said to be benevolent supernatural beings. This is where the dream catcher concepts are intertwined. The webbed hoop that resembles a spiders web is hung by a child's bed to trap and fend off bad dreams, While at the same time enabled good happy dreams to flow through to enter the sleepers slumber. Many different cultures regard dream-land as being some sort of parallel universe and only becomes accessible when we lose consciousness.In Hudson Bay the Inuit people regard it as our souls temporarily leave our bodies while sleeping, and believe we are witnessing the souls adventures while sleeping.
New Age theorists maintain that during sleep we have an O.B.E.(out of body experience] astral projection/astral travel,this being when our disembodied spirit slips away from our cumbersome body(but remain harnessed to our body by a silver cord)to travel freely through time and space. A few westerners today are superstitious /unconventional enough to believe dreams to be literal omens /manifestations of real events,although most people probably accept them without any real personal meaning.In some research it is believed that one's dreams are some sort of side effect of the re-experiencing ,sorting,and consequent forgetting or laying-down of memories that the brain undertakes during it's down-time (sleep).