Sleep Care

What Is Dreaming?

A dream is the progression of images, sounds and emotions that the mind creates and experiences during sleep. The content, purpose and meaning of dreams is not fully understood even though the topic has been one of interest and greatly speculated for quite some time. To understand dreaming we first need to have a brief understanding the brain. Our brains are in constant activity and various states of consciousness. We can be alert, drowsy, bored, excited, concentrated or we can be asleep, to name a few. All of these different types of consciousness produce different types of brain waves. Our conscious mind only takes up a small portion of the brain’s function and ability. Other functions like breathing, heartbeat, sight, sound and balance are controlled by other portions of the brain. Furthering that, our imaginations are controlled by a very small portion of the brain and very little is known about it. We do know that our brains try to form “order” from “chaos” (like seeing images in the grain of wood). This is our brain’s attempt at manufacturing some kind of recognizable product from disorder. Memory is also an important function of the brain

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that pertains to dreaming. Our experiences/memories tie into our imagination and our imagination ties into our memories/experiences. Quite the tangled web we have in our brains! Dreams occur during the REM (rapid eye movement) phase of sleep, which is the phase most closely linked to wakefulness. This was determined by Eugene Aserinsky in 1952 while studying a sleeping patient attached to a polygraph machine. The patient was crying out during REM phase of sleep, Aserinsky awakened the patient to discover the patient reported dreaming. Most people over the age of 10 dream four to six times per night in REM cycles that last anywhere from five to thirty minutes. In certain portions of REM sleep we can view what our brains have created as dreams and record them into our memory. The theory about the formation of dreams goes something like this. While you are resting your brain reviews and analyzes long and generic cialis canada short-term memories. Your emotions, ideas, thoughts, interactions and recent actions are stored in short term memory while your life’s trends, beliefs, philosophies and outlooks are in the long term. During this analysis these two sets of data combine, unsupervised by your conscious mind, to create a collage of visuals, sounds and emotions that the brain puts together as… a dream. So what does it all mean? This question has been asked for years with very little in solid, scientific and conclusive results. Ancient Greek philosophers attempted some theories, but it wasn’t until the late 1800’s that the first science driven theories about dreams were brought to the table. The first substantial advancement in understanding dreams came from Sigmund Freud, cialis daily dose online who claimed that dreams were simply wish fulfillment. His claim is based on the human desire for constant pleasure and sexual satisfaction. Alfred Adler furthered Freud’s claim with his case that human’s are not only moved by pleasure but also by power. Carl Jung, who was a student universal online pharmacy of Freud, is the third great mind to converge science and dreaming. Rather than approaching just dreams, Jung approached the entire over the counter sildenafil human psyche. He attempted to analyze dreams based on evaluations of the conscious mind and repetitive figures within dreams. The analysis of the two gave Jung a roadmap to understand what was happening in a dreamer’s mind. Jung concluded that characters or objects within a dream represent an idea or aspect of the dreamer that is beyond the object’s literal meaning, and the symbolism of that object is different for each person based on personality and experience. While Jung offered a lot to the frontier of science and dreaming, his views are very complex and only he could truly translate the dream world into a reality of meaning. That’s not to say that we can’t take away meaning from dreams and the symbols within them. Replacing dream images with words that give the images meaning is where dreams can be understood and start to take on personal meaning. The unconscious mind is capable in many of the same ways as the alert and conscious mind. It can send protective messages of dangerous actions and behaviors, it can terrify, it can entertain and it can even arouse the dreamer. Learning how to identify and create conscious awareness of these symbols will allow your dreams to have meaning.

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