Dreams Essay, Research Paper
Someone once said, “Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country” (Nin, The Diaries of Anais).
Dreams are the result of subconscious thoughts and desires. The other theory to dreams are random noises in the neurons of the brain without special meaning. Dreams are the mental activity that takes place during sleep. “Usually during REM sleep is when dreams occur” (Oxford University). Normally everyone dreams several times a night…some drugs and alcohol may impair the dream process. The inability to recall dreams is not abnormal though.
Dreams are communication of the body, mind, and spirit in a symbolic state. The human brains are in constant activity when sleeping. Different states of conciseness cause different brain wave activity. The brain usually has ordinary sequences of imagination. For thousands of years dreams were regarded as “visions” or “prophesies.”
Dreams seem to be a way for the subconscious mind to sort out and process all the input that is encountered while people are awake. Dreams can also improve your emotional well being, reduce stress, improve creativity, and provide a “playground for your mind” while your body recovers and repairs itself.
Contrary to the view that dreams server no function one theorist suggests that, “dreams are the brains way of ‘unlearning’ or removing certain or unneeded memories” (Kasschall, Richard). In other words dreams are a form of mental housecleaning. Such mental housecleaning might be necessary because it is not useful to remember every single detail of your life. There are two functions of dreams: to fulfill conscious wishes, to guard sleep. Most dreams also have been recorded as unpleasant.
“As you begin to fall asleep your body temperature declines, your pulse rate drops, and your breathing begins to slow and even, this is called stage one sleep” (Kaschall Richard). A more active type of sleep is characterized by rapid eye movement is called REM sleep. Most humans spend at least one third of their lives sleeping, during that one third, people are usually dreaming also, some scientists characterize dreams as mass hallucinations. The four main categories of dreams are prophetic, standard, physical, and nightmare. The amount of sleep needed varies depending on the individual and on the different times of the day or night.
Sigmund Freud was the first scientist to study dreams thoroughly. Although dreams contain elements of the ordinary…the elements are often jumbled in fantastic ways. Freud was also the first theorist in the modern era to argue that dreams are an important part of our emotional lives. Some scientists are skeptical of dream interpretations, Nathienal Kleiman, one of the pioneers who discovered REM sleep, wrote in 1960, “ Dreaming may serve no function whatsoever” (Kasschall 32).
Everybody dreams, not only all humans, but mammals are shown to have REM sleep, which is associated with dreams. With just a few exceptions, all mammals go through a dreaming cycle of rapid eye movement. Since (with pets at least) this coincides with movements of the animals all having some kind of dreaming experience.
Students who get good REM sleep retain the information better and for longer periods of time. This is because the brain needs time to process information form a pattern out of it, and place it in long term memory. When people are randomly awakened during REM sleep and asked what they had just been dreaming about the reports are usually very dull or even boring, although most people do not remember what they were dreaming about.
Theories about REM sleep and why we dreams are as “bountiful” and different as dreams themselves. Some reasons why we have REM sleep are, REM sleep aids the consolidation of long-term memory, cleans the brain of unneeded information, and is necessary to provide the brain with occasional stimulation during sleep. Some scientists also say REM sleep is necessary for brain growth. Sensual input while sleeping is incorporated into dreams. Most notably, while sleeping, you hear as well as while your awake-the ears are never turned off. This leads to the consequence that what you hear while your sleeping, you’ll hear in your dreams. The sound is always coming from somewhere. Common experiences of this kind are a telephone ringing or music from a radio. It’s not important how loud the noise is to get noticed when sleeping. Even an otherwise unnoticed sound, like a mouse running over your floor, can wake you up if it is uncommon, or otherwise alarming to you. On the other hand, you can get accustomed to high levels of noise, like construction work, or traffic on the road near by.
Many dreams contain the same images, and these symbols are consistently associated with certain real life conditions and feelings. Certain conditions, stresses and personalities seem to be associated with particular dream symbols.
“In my dreams, I am on the way to work when I, notice that I have a loose tooth. I wiggle it, and then to my horror, it falls out, then I notice other teeth are loose and they too begin to fall out. Soon my gums are empty and bleeding, and I rush around wondering how I’m going to handle this or cover it up so none notices me this way” (Dream Interpretations). There is some disagreement what certain things in dreams actually mean, for example in this dream the bleeding might represent energy or “life force,” loss of blood in a dream implies that some person, situation, or relationship, is creating a drain or energy. Dreaming about teeth represents the very roots of the self, the values of a person, dreams of tooth loss often occur when a compromise is made (even for good reasons) in which the person is not sure on the decision.
Research in the area of paranormal dreams has been well done in many cases, but despite interesting findings, the scientific community has poorly received paranormal dreams. “The mind cannot deal with chaos very well, in fact it will resist and sometimes manufacture order” (The Basics about Dreaming).
Dreams are easily influenced by factors in life, they are also influenced by random outside sounds, and sometimes dreams are even influenced by earlier experiences and memories. It is normal to dream of the deceased, particularly during the first year after they have died. It is also common to dream of them on their birthday or the anniversary of their death. These dreams tend to be upsetting and bizarre at first, and then take on a less dramatic state, and grow more comforting over time.
If people think they don’t dream, they probably just don’t remember it. The most important reason why people don’t remember their dreams is because they just don’t care. Dream recall can be trained by thinking over what you have dreamed for some time and writing it down. McCarley, for example, argues, that the common experience of feeling paralyzed in a dreams simply means that the brain cells that inhibit muscle activity were randomly stimulated.
People tend to remember the more important things that happen in life and on the most part forget the rest. If that theory is correct, then those things that need to be forgotten are included in dreams, and the very act of dreaming somehow helps erase them. Francis Crick, Nobel Prize winner and Co.-Discover of DNA proposed this idea. The images in a humans dream may seem strange, but they are all parts of a story about you and your life. Nothing appears in dreams accidentally, each symbol presents valuable information. People may have an instinctive sense to understand the most confusing part of the dream, which is usually the most important part to understand. By translating the most common meaning of contemporary dream symbols, the dreams could become very meaningful.
“Shared dreaming” is being reported more frequently then ever in this century, shared dreaming in most common to, married couples, siblings still living at home, and very close friends that are living together. Although the striking nature of shared dreaming seems to suggest that these dreams are more important then others, has not yet been proven.
New methods discovered to analyze and record dreams and to determine similarities and differences between different people’s dreams. Most dreams contain references to, people, animals, physical objects, and mental objects. Most dreams interact with the objects. There is also memory, memory is very vast. During cycles of brain activity, we view dreams with out conscience mind and record them in our memory, that is why we sometimes remember dreams.
Dreams help us understand ourselves and long as we know how to interpret them. Understanding of dreams greatly advanced in the 20th century, but the work of Freud and Jung., and the discovery of REM sleep by Kleitman and Aserinsky. Today dreams are studied scientifically to learn more about “mans nature.”
Specific purpose: To Inform people about what dreams are and their purpose.
Introduction: “Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country” (Nin, The Diaries of Anais).
Thesis statement: Dreams are usually are caused by subconscious thoughts.
I. Subconscious thoughts
A.Neurons of the brain
C.Drugs and alcohol
II. Communication of dreams
III. Subconscious mind
A.Sort out information
B.Improve emotional well being
IV. View of dreams
A.Brains way of unlearning
C.Purpose of dreams
1.fulfill conscious wishes
2.to guard sleep
V. What happens during sleep
B.Breathing begins to even
1.rapid eye movement
D.Spend one third of lives sleeping
E.Four categories of dreams
VI. Sigmund Freud
A.First to study dreams thoroughly
B.First to argue about dreams
1.Important part of the emotional life
VII. Who dreams?
VIII. Theories about REM sleep
A.REM sleep aids long term memory
B.Clean brain of unneeded information
C.Provides brain with occasional stimulation during sleep
1. Necessary for brain growth
IX. Sample dream
X. Paranormal dreams
B.Cannot deal with chaos
XI. Remembering dreams
A.People don’t care about dreams
1.Thinking over dreams
2.Writing them down
1.Brain cells were stimulated
XII. Shared dreaming
B.Most common in
2.Siblings living at home
3.Very close friends living together
XIII. Methods to analyze dreams
B.Most dreams include