Sleep and dreams
Sleep is a condition that recurs severally every night, at this time the eyes could be closed and the nervous system relatively inactive, consciousness suspends while the postural muscles are relaxed, it is an active period in which processing, restoration, and strengthening occurs(Hobson,2007, P.2). Hobson further describes the historical notion of sleep; he says that it was until 1955 that people came to understand what sleeping was all about, although sleeping and dreaming remains a mystery, but we have a clear notion of what happens during the period. Most people thought of sleep as a passive and dormant part of life while others thought it to be part of a time when one is half dead. When sleeping our brains are quite active, and this is the main reason that we find ourselves dreaming (Hobson, 2007, P. 56-58).
Dreaming Occurs in the mind when one is already asleep. As explained in the above paragraph the brain stays busy overseeing a variety of biological maintenance that helps to keep our body running in top condition preparing us for the next day. Keats (2009) explains dreams as a succession of ideas, ideas and emotions that occur in the mind during certain stages of sleep. He asserts that one cannot control his mind on whether to dream or not. The quality of someone’s sleep affects many aspects of life that includes; waking life, productivity, mental sharpness, creativity, weight and physical vitality.
In explaining the reasons why we should sleep. (Horne2010, P.98-100) Put it that the vital role of sleep is to help us consolidate and solidify memories. He further says that our brains take an incredible amount of information, the facts and experiences need to be processed and store. Most of these steps take place while we are sleep. It is during overnight that bits and pieces of information get transferred from the short-term memory to the stronger and long term memory trough a process known as “consolidation.” When people sleep, they tend to retain information ad perform better on memory tasks. Sleep is also essential for it enables our bodies restore and rejuvenates, grow muscles, synthesize hormones and repair tissues.
According to psychology there five types and those dreams can be experienced during the same resting period, and they can blend in together (Edwards, 2011). Edwards explains the types of dreams as Ordinary, lucid, daydreams, false awakening dreams and nightmares.
Ordinary dreams occur during rapid eye movement. In this type dream thoughts triggers the mind to dream. Casual thoughts stored into the long term memory shifts into dreams where the person dreams of passing an exam and being at the top especially when he has been revising extensively during the day. This kind of dream lacks any real story. It is quite common to forget the dream in the next morning.
Lucid dreams which occurs when one is conscious and at this time you are aware that you are dreaming, one may dream giving a speech naked in front of your friends while crying and then finally you realize that you are dreaming. A lucid dream is quite similar to the ordinary one, only that at this time one is aware.
Daydreams happen when you are awake. You may be sitting in a bus and stare off and turn out to the world around you and perhaps get surprised, Edwards put it that daydreams are a way to let your imagination wander and mostly occur during a waking state, at this time one feels drowsy and relaxed.
In a false awakening dream one may dream being awake, this is common to young ones when they wet their beds thinking that they are still awake while indeed they are sleeping.
Nightmares are disturbing types of a dream, where one experiences terror, sadness, fear, and anger. They reflect frightful and amazing events similar to those encountered in horror and thriller movies. This kind of dream mostly occurs when one is deeply stressed.
During sleep, we pass through four phases. During the first stage we have a light sleep, it is this time when we drift in and out of sleep and can easily be reawakened. Our eyes move slowly during when the muscle activity also slows down and if awakened you may only remember fragmented visual images. In the second stage, our eye movements’ stops and our brains waves become slower. In the third stage, there are extremely slow brain waves. Martin (2011), explains them as delta waves, they are usually interspersed with smaller, faster waves. In the final step the brain produces delta waves exclusively, it is at this stage when it is very difficult to wake someone, and there is no eye movement or any muscle activity.
Freud as the first psychologist came up with a theory suggesting and explaining why we dream. He believed that the mind is categorized into three areas that include superego that is concerned with good morals and it strives to be acceptable socially and well mannered, the second area was the ego that is the subconscious mind that works according to the reality principle and finally the Id that acts according to the pleasure principle and is concerned with basic instincts. Freud’s also believed that dreams are split into two parts that are; the manifest content and the latest content.
The manifest content is what upon awakening one would recall if he were to describe a dream to a friend. The latent content is what your dream means. The unconscious desires are included in this content. In his theory Freud believed the brain has three methods to convert the content, condensation is where two or more latent thoughts are condensed into one image. Displacement is where desires are displaced from the intended object while the final method is symbolism where symbols are used in disguising similar sounding or looking objects.
Martin, P. (2011). Counting Sheep: The science and pleasures of sleep and dreams. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press.
Edwards, K. (2011). The five types of dreams. Waterville, Me: Thorndike Press.
Keats, E. J. (2009). Dreams. New York: Macmillan.
Horne, J. (2010). Why to sleep: The functions of sleep in humans and other mammals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Asimov, I., & Dierks, C. (2009). Why should you sleep? Milwaukee: G. Stevens Pub.
INTELECOM Intelligent Telecommunications (Firm). (2006). Stages of sleep. Pasadena, Calif: INTELECOM.
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