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Dreams

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Dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.[1] The content and purpose of dreams are not definitively understood, though they have been a topic of scientific speculation, as well as a subject of philosophical and religious interest, throughout recorded history. The scientific study of dreams is called oneirology.[2]
Dreams mainly occur in the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep—when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake. REM sleep is revealed by continuous movements of the eyes during sleep. At times, dreams may occur during other stages of sleep. However, these dreams tend to be much less vivid or memorable.[3]
The length of a dream can vary; they may last for a few seconds, or approximately 20–30 minutes.[3] People are more likely to remember the dream if they are awakened during the REM phase. The average person has three to five dreams per night, but some may have up to seven dreams in one night.[4] The dreams tend to last longer as the night progresses. During a full eight-hour night sleep, most dreams occur in the typical two hours of REM.[5]
In modern times, dreams have been seen as a connection to the unconscious mind. They range from normal and ordinary to overly surreal and bizarre. Dreams can have varying natures, such as frightening, exciting, magical, melancholic, adventurous, or sexual. The events in dreams are generally outside the control of the dreamer, with the exception of lucid dreaming, where the dreamer is self-aware. Dreams can at times make a creative thought occur to the person or give a sense of inspiration.[6]
Opinions about the meaning of dreams have varied and shifted through time and culture. The earliest recorded dreams were acquired from materials dating back approximately 5000 years, in Mesopotamia, where they were documented on clay tablets. In the Greek and Roman periods, the people believed that dreams were direct messages from one and/or multiple deities, from deceased persons, and that they predicted the future. Some cultures practiced dream incubation with the intention of cultivating dreams that are of prophecy.[7]
Sigmund Freud, who developed the discipline of psychoanalysis, wrote extensively about dream theories and their interpretations in the early 1900s.[8] He explained dreams as manifestations of our deepest desires and anxieties, often relating to repressed childhood memories or obsessions. In The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), Freud developed a psychological technique to interpret dreams and devised a series of guidelines to understand the symbols and motifs that appear in our dreams.

Cultural meaning
Main article: Dream interpretation
Ancient history
The Dreaming is an common term within the animist creation narrative of indigenous Australians for a personal, or group, creation and for what may be understood as the "timeless time" of formative creation and perpetual creating.[9]
The Sumerians in Mesopotamia left evidence of dreams dating back to 3100 BC. According to these early recorded stories, gods and kings, like the 7th century BC scholar-king Assurbanipal, paid close attention to dreams. In his archive of clay tablets, some amounts of the story of the legendary king Gilgamesh were found.[10]
The Mesopotamians believed that the soul, or some part of it, moves out from the body of the sleeping person and actually visits the places and persons the dreamer sees in their sleep. Sometimes the god of dreams is said to carry the dreamer.[11] Babylonians and Assyrians divided dreams into "good," which were sent by the gods, and "bad," sent by demons - They also believed that their dreams were omens and prophecies.[12]
In ancient Egypt, as far back as 2000 BC, the Egyptians wrote down their dreams on papyrus. People with vivid and significant dreams were thought blessed and were considered special.[13] Ancient Egyptians believed that dreams were like oracles, bringing messages from the gods. They thought that the best way to receive divine revelation was through dreaming and thus they would induce (or "incubate") dreams. Egyptians would go to sanctuaries and sleep on special "dream beds" in hope of receiving advice, comfort, or healing from the gods.[14]

Classical history
In Chinese history, people wrote of two vital aspects of the soul of which one is freed from the body during slumber to journey a dream realm, while the other remained in the body,[15] although this belief and dream interpretation had been questioned since early times, such as by the philosopher Wang Chong (27-97).[15] The Indian text Upanishads, written between 900 and 500 BC, emphasize two meanings on dreams. The first says that dreams are merely expressions of inner desires. The second is the belief of the soul leaving the body and being guided until awakened.
The Greeks shared their beliefs with the Egyptians on how to interpret good and bad dreams, and the idea of incubating dreams. Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams also sent warnings and prophecies to those who slept at shrines and temples. The earliest Greek beliefs of dreams were that their gods physically visited the dreamers, where they entered through a keyhole, and exiting the same way after the divine message was given.
Antiphon wrote the first known Greek book on dreams in the 5th century BC. In that century, other cultures influenced Greeks to develop the belief that souls left the sleeping body.[16] Hippocrates (469-399 BC) had a simple dream theory: during the day, the soul receives images; during the night, it produces images. Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) believed dreams caused physiological activity. He thought dreams could analyze illness and predict diseases. Marcus Tullius Cicero, for his part, believed that all dreams are produced by thoughts and conversations a dreamer had during the preceding days.[17] Cicero's Somnium Scipionis described a lengthy dream vision, which in turn was commented on by Macrobius in his Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis.
In Abrahamic religions
In Judaism, dreams are considered part of the experience of the world that can be interpreted and from which lessons can be garnered. It is discussed in the Talmud, Tractate Berachot 55-60.
The ancient Hebrews connected their dreams heavily with their religion, though the Hebrews were monotheistic and believed that dreams were the voice of one god alone. Hebrews also differentiated between good dreams (from God) and bad dreams (from evil spirits). The Hebrews, like many other ancient cultures, incubated dreams in order to receive divine revelation. For example, the Hebrew prophet Samuel, would "lie down and sleep in the temple at Shiloh before the Ark and receive the word of the Lord." Most of the dreams in the Bible are in the Book of Genesis.[18]
Christians mostly shared their beliefs with the Hebrews and thought that dreams were of the supernatural element because the Old Testament had frequent stories of dreams with divine inspiration. The most famous of these dream stories was Jacob's dream of a ladder that stretched from Earth to Heaven. Many Christians preach that God can speak to his people through their dreams.
Iain R. Edgar has researched the role of dreams in Islam.[19] He has argued that dreams play an important role in the history of Islam and the lives of Muslims. Dream interpretation, is the only way that Muslims can receive revelations from God after the death of the last Prophet Mohammed.[20]

Dreams and philosophical realism
Main article: Dream argument
Some philosophers have concluded that what we think of as the "real world" could be or is an illusion (an idea known as the skeptical hypothesis about ontology).
The first recorded mention of the idea was by Zhuangzi, and it is also discussed in Hinduism, which makes extensive use of the argument in its writings.[21] It was formally introduced to Western philosophy by Descartes in the 17th century in his Meditations on First Philosophy. Stimulus, usually an auditory one, becomes a part of a dream, eventually then awakening the dreamer.

Postclassical and medieval history
Some Indigenous American tribes and Mexican civilizations believe that dreams are a way of visiting and having contact with their ancestors.[22] Some Native American tribes used vision quests as a rite of passage, fasting and praying until an anticipated guiding dream was received, to be shared with the rest of the tribe upon their return.[23][24]
The Middle Ages brought a harsh interpretation of dreams. They were seen as evil, and the images as temptations from the devil. Many believed that during sleep, the devil could fill the human mind with corrupting and harmful thoughts. Martin Luther, founder of Protestantism, believed dreams were the work of the Devil. However, Catholics such as St. Augustine and St. Jerome claimed that the direction of their life were heavily influenced by their dreams.
In art
Dreams and dark imaginings are the theme of Goya's etching The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. There is a painting by Salvador Dalí that depicts this concept, titled Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening (1944). Henri Rousseau's last painting was The Dream. Le Rêve ("The Dream") is a 1932 painting by Pablo Picasso.
In literature
Dream frames were frequently used in medieval allegory to justify the narrative; The Book of the Duchess[25] and The Vision Concerning Piers Plowman[26] are two such dream visions. Even before them, in antiquity, the same device had been used by Cicero and Lucian of Samosata.
They have also featured in fantasy and speculative fiction since the 19th century. One of the best-known dream worlds is Wonderland from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, as well as Looking-Glass Land from its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass. Unlike many dream worlds, Carroll's logic is like that of actual dreams, with transitions and flexible causality.
Other fictional dream worlds include the Dreamlands of H. P. Lovecraft's Dream Cycle[27] and The Neverending Story's[28] world of Fantasia, which includes places like the Desert of Lost Dreams, the Sea of Possibilities and the Swamps of Sadness. Dreamworlds, shared hallucinations and other alternate realities feature in a number of works by Phillip K. Dick, such as The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and Ubik. Similar themes were explored by Jorge Luis Borges, for instance in The Circular Ruins.
In popular culture
Modern popular culture often conceives of dreams, like Freud, as expressions of the dreamer's deepest fears and desires.[29] In films such as Spellbound (1945), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Field of Dreams (1989), and Inception (2010), the protagonists must extract vital clues from surreal dreams.[30]
Most dreams in popular culture are, however, not symbolic, but straightforward and realistic depictions of their dreamer's fears and desires.[30] Dream scenes may be indistinguishable from those set in the dreamer's real world, a narrative device that undermines the dreamer's and the audience's sense of security[30] and allows horror film protagonists, such as those of Carrie (1976), Friday the 13th (1980) or An American Werewolf in London (1981) to be suddenly attacked by dark forces while resting in seemingly safe places.[30]
In speculative fiction, the line between dreams and reality may be blurred even more in the service of the story.[30] Dreams may be psychically invaded or manipulated (Dreamscape, 1984; the Nightmare on Elm Street films, 1984–2010; Inception, 2010) or even come literally true (as in The Lathe of Heaven, 1971). In Ursula K. Le Guin's book, The Lathe of Heaven (1971), the protagonist finds that his "effective" dreams can retroactively change reality. Peter Weir's 1977 Australian film The Last Wave makes a simple and straightforward postulate about the premonitory nature of dreams (from one of his Aboriginal characters) that "... dreams are the shadow of something real". Such stories play to audiences' experiences with their own dreams, which feel as real to them.[30]
Dynamic psychiatry
Freudian view of dreams
In the late 19th century, psychotherapist Sigmund Freud developed a theory that the content of dreams is driven by unconscious wish fulfillment. Freud called dreams the "royal road to the unconscious."[31] He theorized that the content of dreams reflects the dreamer's unconscious mind and specifically that dream content is shaped by unconscious wish fulfillment. He argued that important unconscious desires often relate to early childhood memories and experiences. Freud's theory describes dreams as having both manifest and latent content. Latent content relates to deep unconscious wishes or fantasies while manifest content is superficial and meaningless. Manifest content often masks or obscures latent content.
In his early work, Freud argued that the vast majority of latent dream content is sexual in nature, but he later moved away from this categorical position. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle he considered how trauma or aggression could influence dream content. He also discussed supernatural origins in Dreams and Occultism, a lecture published in New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis.[32]
Jungian and other views of dreams
Carl Jung rejected many of Freud's theories. Jung expanded on Freud's idea that dream content relates to the dreamer's unconscious desires. He described dreams as messages to the dreamer and argued that dreamers should pay attention for their own good. He came to believe that dreams present the dreamer with revelations that can uncover and help to resolve emotional or religious problems and fears.[33]
Jung wrote that recurring dreams show up repeatedly to demand attention, suggesting that the dreamer is neglecting an issue related to the dream. He believed that many of the symbols or images from these dreams return with each dream. Jung believed that memories formed throughout the day also play a role in dreaming. These memories leave impressions for the unconscious to deal with when the ego is at rest. The unconscious mind re-enacts these glimpses of the past in the form of a dream. Jung called this a day residue.[34] Jung also argued that dreaming is not a purely individual concern, that all dreams are part of "one great web of psychological factors."
Fritz Perls presented his theory of dreams as part of the holistic nature of Gestalt therapy. Dreams are seen as projections of parts of the self that have been ignored, rejected, or suppressed.[35] Jung argued that one could consider every person in the dream to represent an aspect of the dreamer, which he called the subjective approach to dreams. Perls expanded this point of view to say that even inanimate objects in the dream may represent aspects of the dreamer. The dreamer may, therefore, be asked to imagine being an object in the dream and to describe it, in order to bring into awareness the characteristics of the object that correspond with the dreamer's personality.
Psychological theories of dreams
Dreams for testing and selecting mental schemas
Coutts[62] describes dreams as playing a central role in a two-phase sleep process that improves the mind's ability to meet human needs during wakefulness. During the accommodation phase, mental schemas self-modify by incorporating dream themes. During the emotional selection phase, dreams test prior schema accommodations. Those that appear adaptive are retained, while those that appear maladaptive are culled. The cycle maps to the sleep cycle, repeating several times during a typical night's sleep. Alfred Adler suggested that dreams are often emotional preparations for solving problems, intoxicating an individual away from common sense toward private logic. The residual dream feelings may either reinforce or inhibit contemplated action.
Evolutionary psychology theories of dreams
Numerous theories state that dreaming is a random by-product of REM sleep physiology and that it does not serve any natural purpose.[63] Flanagan claims that "dreams are evolutionary epiphenomena" and they have no adaptive function. "Dreaming came along as a free ride on a system designed to think and to sleep.[64] " Hobson, for different reasons, also considers dreams epiphenomena. He believes that the substance of dreams have no significant influence on waking actions, and most people go about their daily lives perfectly well without remembering their dreams.[65]
Hobson proposed the activation-synthesis theory, which states that "there is a randomness of dream imagery and the randomness synthesizes dream-generated images to fit the patterns of internally generated stimulations".[66] This theory is based on the physiology of REM sleep, and Hobson believes dreams are the outcome of the forebrain reacting to random activity beginning at the brainstem. The activation-synthesis theory hypothesizes that the peculiar nature of dreams is attributed to certain parts of the brain trying to piece together a story out of what is essentially bizarre information.[67]
However, evolutionary psychologists believe dreams serve some adaptive function for survival. Deirdre Barrett describes dreaming as simply "thinking in different biochemical state" and believes people continue to work on all the same problems—personal and objective—in that state.[68] Her research finds that anything—math, musical composition, business dilemmas—may get solved during dreaming.[69][70] In a related theory, which Mark Blechner terms "Oneiric Darwinism," dreams are seen as creating new ideas through the generation of random thought mutations. Some of these may be rejected by the mind as useless, while others may be seen as valuable and retained.[71]
Finnish psychologist Antti Revonsuo posits that dreams have evolved for "threat simulation" exclusively. According to the Threat Simulation Theory he proposes, during much of human evolution physical and interpersonal threats were serious, giving reproductive advantage to those who survived them. Therefore dreaming evolved to replicate these threats and continually practice dealing with them. In support of this theory, Revonsuo shows that contemporary dreams comprise much more threatening events than people meet in daily non-dream life, and the dreamer usually engages appropriately with them.[72] It is suggested by this theory that dreams serve the purpose of allowing for the rehearsal of threatening scenarios in order to better prepare an individual for real-life threats.
According to Tsoukalas (2012) the biology of dreaming is related to the reactive patterns elicited by predatorial encounters (especially the tonic immobility reflex), a fact that lends support to evolutionary theories claiming that dreams specialize in threat avoidance and/or emotional processing.[50]
Psychosomatic theory of dreams
Y.D. Tsai developed in 1995 a 3-hypothesis theory[73] that is claimed to provide a mechanism for mind-body interaction and explain many dream-related phenomena, including hypnosis, meridians in Chinese medicine, the increase in heart rate and breathing rate during REM sleep, that babies have longer REM sleep, lucid dreams, etc.
Dreams are a product of "dissociated imagination," which is dissociated from the conscious self and draws material from sensory memory for simulation, with feedback resulting in hallucination. By simulating the sensory signals to drive the autonomous nerves, dreams can affect mind-body interaction. In the brain and spine, the autonomous "repair nerves," which can expand the blood vessels, connect with compression and pain nerves. Repair nerves are grouped into many chains called meridians in Chinese medicine. When some repair nerves are prodded by compression or pain to send out their repair signals, a chain reaction spreads out to set other repair nerves in the same meridian into action. While dreaming, the body also employs the meridians to repair the body and help it grow and develop by simulating very intensive movement-compression signals to expand the blood vessels when the level of growth enzymes increase.

Other hypotheses on dreaming
There are many other hypotheses about the function of dreams, including:[74] * Dreams allow the repressed parts of the mind to be satisfied through fantasy while keeping the conscious mind from thoughts that would suddenly cause one to awaken from shock.[75] * Ferenczi[76] proposed that the dream, when told, may communicate something that is not being said outright. * Dreams regulate mood.[77] * Hartmann[78] says dreams may function like psychotherapy, by "making connections in a safe place" and allowing the dreamer to integrate thoughts that may be dissociated during waking life. * LaBerge and DeGracia[79] have suggested that dreams may function, in part, to recombine unconscious elements within consciousness on a temporary basis by a process they termm “mental recombination”, in analogy with genetic recombination of DNA. From a bio-computational viewpoint, mental recombination may contribute to maintaining an optimal information processing flexibility in brain information networks.
Apparent precognition of real events
Main article: Precognition
According to surveys, it is common for people to feel their dreams are predicting subsequent life events.[91] Psychologists have explained these experiences in terms of memory biases, namely a selective memory for accurate predictions and distorted memory so that dreams are retrospectively fitted onto life experiences.[91] The multi-faceted nature of dreams makes it easy to find connections between dream content and real events.[92]
In one experiment, subjects were asked to write down their dreams in a diary. This prevented the selective memory effect, and the dreams no longer seemed accurate about the future.[93] Another experiment gave subjects a fake diary of a student with apparently precognitive dreams. This diary described events from the person's life, as well as some predictive dreams and some non-predictive dreams. When subjects were asked to recall the dreams they had read, they remembered more of the successful predictions than unsuccessful ones.[94]
Lucid dreaming
Main article: Lucid dreaming
Lucid dreaming is the conscious perception of one's state while dreaming. In this state the dreamer may often (but not always) have some degree of control over their own actions within the dream or even the characters and the environment of the dream. Dream control has been reported to improve with practiced deliberate lucid dreaming, but the ability to control aspects of the dream is not necessary for a dream to qualify as "lucid" — a lucid dream is any dream during which the dreamer knows they are dreaming.[95] The occurrence of lucid dreaming has been scientifically verified.[96]
Oneironaut is a term sometimes used for those who lucidly dream.
Communication through lucid dreaming
In 1975, parapsychologist Keith Hearne successfully communicated to a patient experiencing a lucid dream. On April 12, 1975, after being instructed to move the eyes left and right upon becoming lucid, the subject had a lucid dream and the first recorded signals from a lucid dream were recorded.[97]
Years later, psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge conducted similar work including: * Using eye signals to map the subjective sense of time in dreams * Comparing the electrical activity of the brain while singing awake and while dreaming. * Studies comparing in-dream sex, arousal, and orgasm[98]
Recalling dreams
The recall of dreams is extremely unreliable, though it is a skill that can be trained. Dreams can usually be recalled if a person is awakened while dreaming.[88] Women tend to have more frequent dream recall than men.[88] Dreams that are difficult to recall may be characterized by relatively little affect, and factors such as salience, arousal, and interference play a role in dream recall. Often, a dream may be recalled upon viewing or hearing a random trigger or stimulus. The salience hypothesis proposes that dream content that is salient, that is, novel, intense, or unusual, is more easily remembered. There is considerable evidence that vivid, intense, or unusual dream content is more frequently recalled.[100] A dream journal can be used to assist dream recall, for personal interest or psychotherapy purposes.
For some people, sensations from the previous night's dreams are sometimes spontaneously experienced in falling asleep. However they are usually too slight and fleeting to allow dream recall. At least 95% of all dreams are not remembered. Certain brain chemicals necessary for converting short-term memories into long-term ones are suppressed during REM sleep. Unless a dream is particularly vivid and if one wakes during or immediately after it, the content of the dream is not remembered.[101]
Individual differences
In line with the salience hypothesis, there is considerable evidence that people who have more vivid, intense or unusual dreams show better recall. There is evidence that continuity of consciousness is related to recall. Specifically, people who have vivid and unusual experiences during the day tend to have more memorable dream content and hence better dream recall. People who score high on measures of personality traits associated with creativity, imagination, and fantasy, such as openness to experience, daydreaming, fantasy proneness, absorption, and hypnotic susceptibility, tend to show more frequent dream recall.[100] There is also evidence for continuity between the bizarre aspects of dreaming and waking experience. That is, people who report more bizarre experiences during the day, such as people high in schizotypy (psychosis proneness) have more frequent dream recall and also report more frequent nightmares.[100]
Déjà vu
Main article: Déjà vu
One theory of déjà vu attributes the feeling of having previously seen or experienced something to having dreamt about a similar situation or place, and forgetting about it until one seems to be mysteriously reminded of the situation or the place while awake.[102]
Daydreaming
A daydream is a visionary fantasy, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass, and experienced while awake.[103] There are many different types of daydreams, and there is no consistent definition amongst psychologists.[103] The general public also uses the term for a broad variety of experiences. Research by Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett has found that people who experience vivid dream-like mental images reserve the word for these, whereas many other people refer to milder imagery, realistic future planning, review of past memories or just "spacing out"—i.e. one's mind going relatively blank—when they talk about "daydreaming."[104]
While daydreaming has long been derided as a lazy, non-productive pastime, it is now commonly acknowledged that daydreaming can be constructive in some contexts.[105] There are numerous examples of people in creative or artistic careers, such as composers, novelists and filmmakers, developing new ideas through daydreaming. Similarly, research scientists, mathematicians and physicists have developed new ideas by daydreaming about their subject areas.
Hallucination
A hallucination, in the broadest sense of the word, is a perception in the absence of a stimulus. In a stricter sense, hallucinations are perceptions in a conscious and awake state, in the absence of external stimuli, and have qualities of real perception, in that they are vivid, substantial, and located in external objective space. The latter definition distinguishes hallucinations from the related phenomena of dreaming, which does not involve wakefulness.
Nightmares
A nightmare is an unpleasant dream that can cause a strong negative emotional response from the mind, typically fear and/or horror, but also despair, anxiety and great sadness. The dream may contain situations of danger, discomfort, psychological or physical terror. Sufferers usually awaken in a state of distress and may be unable to return to sleep for a prolonged period of time.[106]
Night terrors
A night terror, also known as a sleep terror or pavor nocturnus, is a parasomnia disorder that predominantly affects children, causing feelings of terror or dread. Night terrors should not be confused with nightmares, which are bad dreams that cause the feeling of horror or fear.
Possible explanations for why we dream include: * To represent unconscious desires and wishes * To interpret random signals from the brain and body during sleep * To consolidate and process information gathered during the day * To work as a form of psychotherapy
10 Facts About Dreams
What Researchers Have Discovered About Dreams
1. Everybody Dreams
Men do it. Women do it. Even babies do it. We all dream, even those of us who claim not to. In fact, researchers have found that people usually have several dreams each night, each one lasting for between 5 to 20 minutes. During a typical lifetime, people spend an average of six years dreaming!

2. But You Forget Most of Your Dreams
According to estimates by dream researcher J. Allan Hobson, as much as 95 percent of all dreams are quickly forgotten shortly after waking. Why are our dreams so difficult to remember? According to one theory, the changes in the brain that occur during sleep do not support the information processing and storage needed for memory formation to take place. Brain scans of sleeping individuals have shown that the frontal lobes, the area that plays a key role in memory formation, are inactive during REM sleep, the stage in which dreaming occurs.
3. Not All Dreams Are In Color

While approximately 80 percent of all dreams are in color, there are a small percentage of people who claim to only dream in black and white. In studies where dreamers have been awakened and asked to select colors from a chart that match those in their dreams, soft pastel colors are those most frequently chosen.

4. Men and Women Dream Differently
Researchers have found a number of differences between men and women when it comes to the content of their dreams. In one study, men reported more instances of dreaming about aggression than women did. According to dream researcher William Domhoff, women tend to have slightly longer dreams that feature more characters. When it comes to the characters that typically appear in dreams, men dream about other men twice as often as they do about women, while women tend to dream about both sexes equally.
5. Animals Probably Dream
Have you ever watched a sleeping dog wag its tail or move its legs while asleep? While it's hard to say for sure whether the animal is truly dreaming, researchers believe that it is likely that animals do indeed dream. Just like humans, animals go through sleep stages that include cycles of REM and NREM sleep. In one study, a gorilla was taught sign language as a means of communication. At one point, the gorilla signed "sleep pictures," possibly indicating the experience of dreaming.

6. You Can Control Your Dreams
A lucid dream is one in which you are aware that you are dreaming even though you are still asleep. During this type of dream, you can often "direct" or control the content of the dream. Approximately half of all people can remember experiencing at least one instance of lucid dreaming, and some individuals are able to have lucid dreams quite frequently.

7. Negative Emotions Are More Common in Dreams
Over a period of more than forty years, researcher Calvin S. Hall collected more than 50,000 dream accounts from college students. These reports were made available to the public during the 1990s by Hall's student William Domhoff. The dream accounts revealed that many emotions are experienced during dreams including joy, happiness and fear. The most common emotion experienced in dreams was anxiety, and negative emotions in general were much more common than positive ones.

8. Blind People Dream
While people who lost their eyesight prior to age five usually do not have visual dreams in adulthood, they still dream. Despite the lack of visuals, the dreams of the blind are just as complex and vivid as those of the sighted. Instead of visual sensations, blind individuals' dreams typically include information from the other senses such as sound, touch, taste, hearing and smell.

9. You Are Paralyzed During Your Dreams
REM sleep, the stage of sleep during which dreaming occurs, is characterized by paralysis of the voluntary muscles. Why? The phenomenon is known as REM atonia and prevents you from acting out your dreams while you're asleep. Basically, because motor neurons are not stimulated, your body does not move.
In some cases, this paralysis can even carry over into the waking state for as long as ten minutes, a condition known as sleep paralysis. Have you ever woken up from a terrifying dream only to find yourself unable to move? While the experience can be frightening, experts advise that it is perfectly normal and should last only a few minutes before normal muscle control returns.
10. Many Dreams Are Universal

While dreams are often heavily influenced by our personal experiences, researchers have found that certain themes are very common across different cultures. For example, people from all over the world frequently dream about being chased, being attacked or falling. Other common dream experiences include school events, feeling frozen and unable to move, arriving late, flying and being naked in public.

Dreams can be mysterious, but understanding the meaning of our dreams can be downright baffling. The content of our dreams can shift suddenly, feature bizarre elements or frighten us with terrifying imagery. The fact that dreams can be so rich and compelling is what causes many to believe that there must be some meaning to our dreams.

While many theories exist to explain why we dream, no one yet fully understands their purpose, let alone how to interpret the meaning of dreams. In fact, some prominent researchers such as G. William Domhoff suggest that dreams most likely serve no real purpose.
Despite this, dream interpretation has becoming increasingly popular. While research has not demonstrated a purpose for dreams, many experts believe that dreams do have meaning.

According to Domhoff:
"'Meaning' has to do with coherence and with systematic relations to other variables, and in that regard dreams do have meaning. Furthermore, they are very "revealing" of what is on our minds. We have shown that 75 to 100 dreams from a person give us a very good psychological portrait of that individual. Give us 1000 dreams over a couple of decades and we can give you a profile of the person's mind that is almost as individualized and accurate as her or his fingerprints."
Freud: Dreams as the Road to the Unconscious Mind:
In his book The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud suggested that the content of dreams is related to wish fulfillment. Freud believed that the manifest content of a dream, or the actually imagery and events of the dream, served to disguise the latent content, or the unconscious wishes of the dreamer.
Freud also described four elements of this process that he referred to as 'dream work': * Condensation – Many different ideas and concepts are represented within the span of a single dream. Information is condensed into a single thought or image.

* Displacement – This element of dream work disguises the emotional meaning of the latent content by confusing the important and insignificant parts of the dream.

* Symbolization – This operation also censors the repressed ideas contained in the dream by including objects that are meant to symbolize the latent content of the dream.

* Secondary Revision – During this final stage of the dreaming process, Freud suggested that the bizarre elements of the dream are reorganized in order to make the dream comprehensible, thus generating the manifest content of the dream.
Jung: Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious:
While Carl Jung shared some commonalities with Freud, he felt that dreams were more than an expression of repressed wishes. Jung suggested that dreams revealed both the personal and collective unconscious and believed that dreams serve to compensate for parts of the psyche that are underdeveloped in waking life. In contradiction to Jung's assertions however, later research by Hall revealed that the traits people exhibit while they awake are the same as those expressed in dreams.
Jung also suggested that archetypes such as the anima, the shadow and the animus are often represented symbolic objects or figures in dreams. These symbols, he believed, represented attitudes that are repressed by the conscious mind. Unlike Freud, who often suggested that specific symbols represent specific unconscious thoughts, Jung believed that dreams can be highly personal and that interpreting these dreams involved knowing a great deal about the individual dreamer.
Hall: Dreams as a Cognitive Process:
Calvin S. Hall proposed that dreams are part of a cognitive process in which dreams serve as ‘conceptions’ of elements of our personal lives. Hall looked for themes and patterns by analyzing thousands of dream diaries from participants, eventually creating a quantitative coding system that divided the content of dreams into a number of different categories.
According to Hall’s theory, interpreting dreams requires knowing: * The actions of the dreamer within the dream * The objects and figures in the dream * The interactions between the dreamer and the characters in the dream * The dream’s setting, transitions, and outcome
The ultimate goal of this dream interpretation is not to understand the dream, however, but to understand the dreamer.
Domhoff: Dreams as a Reflection of Waking Life:
G. William Domhoff is a prominent dream researcher who studied with Calvin Hall at the University of Miami. In large-scale studies on the content of dreams, Domhoff has found that dreams reflect the thoughts and concerns of a dreamer’s waking life. Domhoff suggests a neurocognitive model of dreams in which the process of dreaming results from neurological processes and a system of schemas. Dream content, he suggests, results from these cognitive processes.
Popularizing Dream Interpretation
Since the 1970s, dream interpretation has grown increasingly popular thanks to work by authors such as Ann Faraday. In books such as The Dream Game, Faraday outlined techniques and ideas than anyone can use to interpret their own dreams. Today, consumers can purchase a wide variety of books that offer dream dictionaries, symbol guides and tips for interpreting and understanding dreams.
Dream research will undoubtedly continue to grow and generate interest from people interested in understanding the meaning of their dreams. However, dream expert G. William Domhoff recommends that "...unless you find your dreams fun, intellectually interesting, or artistically inspiring, then feel free to forget your dreams." Others such as Cartwright and Kaszniak propose that dream interpretation may actually reveal more about the interpreter than it does about the meaning of the dream itself.
"A dream is a work of art which requires of the dreamer no particular talent, special training, or technical competence. Dreaming is a creative enterprise in which all may and most do participate." – Clark S. Hall

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...Dreams can be both fascinating and baffling, which is why they have garnered attention from philosophers, artists, writers and poets for thousands of years. Only fairly recently in history have researchers began to scientifically study the dreaming process. While people still disagree about the exact purpose of dreams and the possible interpretations of dream content, this area remains a topic of interest for both psychologists, researchers, students and anyone who wonders about the reasons behind their dreams. Dream Meanings and Interpretation: Do you often find yourself exactly why you dreamed what you did, especially after having particularly strange dreams? Despite the research and interest in dreaming, no one yet fully understands how to interpret dream meanings. Sigmund Freud’s theory of dreams contributed a great deal to the general interest in dream interpretation. Books and dream dictionaries have helped ensure that the topic remains popular today. Dreams can be mysterious, but understanding the meaning of our dreams can be downright baffling. The content of our dreams can shift suddenly, feature bizarre elements or frighten us with terrifying imagery. The fact that dreams can be so rich and compelling is what causes many to believe that there must be some meaning to our dreams. Theories about Dreams: While many theories exist to explain why we dream, no one yet fully understands their purpose, let alone how to interpret the meaning of dreams. In fact, some......

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Dream

...Machine Dreams Page 116 1. Dream Mitch- His first dream was him at the war and he dreamed of what I think was little kids dying and him killing them because he talks about seeing “The hands small and delicate like the hands of big children, and the averted faces smooth and beardless.” So this means that he was dreaming about the kids. Then the twist I think he is saying that he is taking the bull dozer and sweeping the bodies somewhere and pretending he is home and that he is just pushing the “earth” so he doesn’t have to face what he is actually doing. Mitch- This second dream I think was a nightmare and a dream combine into one dream. He dreams about I think about dying in the war. When he mentions the girl that he can’t figure out who she is floating on a bed of flowers floating across the sea. Then in church he thinks that he is floating restfully. Or it could be that he dreamt that Kate has died while he was away at war and while he was moving around he left everyone else in the family lost and without him. Jean’s- Her dream was defiantly a nightmare it was about a horrible tragedy. She dreamt that she was a child again and with her mom in a big crowd of people. She then over heard people talking and they were saying that a man had killed his children and wife. Then some man tells her this is history being made here that something this bad could even happen. 2. Machines: “Ava had a fear about her kids getting to close to the trains.” Page 31 “ Most of......

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The Dream

...The American Dream The phenomenon of the American Dream is the substance of almost all American icons, and actually achieving the American Dream is the ideal aspiration of not only Americans but immigrants as well. Some people would argue that the American Dream actually really consists only of being able to buy and own a home, but to me it is so much more! The American Dream named, because it seemingly exists only here in America, for very ambitious people to be a distinguished success through their own hard work and determination. People constantly try to achieve their own dreams. Some people, already here in America, chase their dream by wanting to be a bigger success than their parents. The others who have immigrated to this country chase their very own dream, by giving up all they had just to come and have the opportunity to succeed.  The American Dream is something that is mainly achieved with hard work and determination. First of all, you cannot have a dream without working hard at it; this definitely applies to the American Dream. Whether you are just looking for a job or working a job hard work is something that you need, without it achieving your dream becomes a lot more difficult. Hard work will also lead to more promotions and more successes a lot quicker; these tend to be apart of the average American Dream. The other big reason hard work is needed is if you do not exude a hard working attitude a lot of opportunities will pass you by. With missed......

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Dreams

...Through doing the research about dreams I have learned a vast about of important information from how to write an annotated bibliography, how to use VCU’s library system online, how to critically dissect as well as review my paper and the most important what different people believe a dream means to them. Once again my knowledge of VCU’s online library research system came in handy. Because I knew the correct ways to search of information through this data base it helped eliminate unneeded information. The writing workshops gave me and in depth look and how to read a paper from the readers point of view versus just the writer’s voice. It also gave me a chance to see how other people would create such a paper and gave me tips on where I was lacking strength. Having someone else read and criticized your work humbles you as well as gives you room to grow as a writer. Along with the workshop having you look over my paper and giving me your feedback helped be discover ways I could elaborate and fix my claim. Since this is the second time I have written and read research on the topic of dreams I feel like I have a stronger understanding of how beneficial dreams are to your lives. If I have dream that frightens me I know have a idea of where it came from and how it relates to my day to day life because I have read so many different views and opinions on dream analysis. Learning about the different ways people view the ‘meaning’ of a dream really gives me a new......

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...Kosowicz Nessler 4/5/06 Pd. 1 Dreams Dreams are an essential and important part of life. Most people want to make money; others may be looking for love. Whether someone is big or small, they all have dreams. The poem “A Gift to a Dream” by Cindy M. and the book Of Mice and Men, J. Steinbeck show that dreams are very important to someone’s lifestyle. Dreams give us a reason to continue on when life gets tough. “A Gift to a Dream”, by Cindy M. is a poem about dreams giving hope and faith. The poem reads, “hold on to your dreams, they are a doorway.” This means that when things are tough, dreams allow you to still have hope. It also states dreams, “give us a will and strength to fight with.” Dreams ease the monotony of life. The author uses a metaphor when stating, “dreams are a doorway” by comparing the dream to a doorway. This means that dreams help you find comfort and peace in a world full of chaos. They give you hope to carry on when you think there is nowhere else to go. This poem shows this about dreams. In the book Of Mice and Men, by J. Steinbeck, Lenny and George used their dream to get through daily life and make it more tolerable. George and Lenny had a dream that helped them move on in times of trouble. George telling stories was a way of rebooting hope to move on and keep going when they thought that life couldn’t get any worse. It helped them to escape reality. Candy felt useless until he had the dream and was part of George and Lenny’s......

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...Maybe dreams always start in the middle! Dreams are disjointed experiences that lurch from one seemingly unrelated plot point to the next. What makes us so sure they have a beginning? Even movies typically open in the middle of a story, with the action already underway. The only way you know a movie is at the beginning is that you remember walking into the theater and you remember the previews or opening credits. Without these cues, you might think you had missed the start of a movie also. In dreams, there is no memory or reflection. You don't relate what is happening in the dream to what came before. Instead you accept the present as it unfolds. So the beginning of a dream may simply be that point before which you can't remember anything. I'd say it's because in dream state, neuronal activity runs without the regulation of the conscious critical faculties, particularly prefrontal cortex skepticism and left hemisphere calculation. Asleep we experience a heavy unconsciousness that dissociates brain activity from external senses, it can be seen as a period of mild amnesia. Where there's no brain function aware to estimate external time there is no reason to expect dreams to have distinct beginnings, middles and ends. It's often all there, just not in the linear pattern we depend upon during our alert conscious states. People differ on whether or not they can remember their dreams. Some people have a great deal of interest in their dreams, have very vivid......

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...Dream is held in the area of our mind when we are asleep. It happens to all. Often, dream is helpful. A mathematician often gets the right method to -solve a difficult sum in his dream. Some people feel that they are taking delicious dish and sweet fruits in their dream. Sometimes a very interesting drama is enacted in our dream and that makes us laugh in our deep sleep. Sometimes we also cry due to the influence of a tragic dream. Dreams may be real or imaginary. When we think about a thing or an event very much in our practical life, a dream concerning that thing or that event touches our subconscious mind in our slumber. Once I had a dream about a strange animal. In my dream I was walking through a desert. I met an animal. I had not seen that animal before. When it came to me, I asked him his name. He said that his name was dinosaur. Still I could not believe my eyes. Because dinosaurs as a species are already extinct from the world. It was a baby dinosaur. So it did not harm me. Then I took care of the baby dinosaur. It grew up. It became my friend. It was indeed an admirable friendship. Once a drought affected our locality. We got little rain. There was no crop. People were starving. The dinosaur also could not get water and food. Still it did not break the friendship. It went wherever I went. One day it narrated its sufferings and cried. I realised that the dinosaur was really on the verge of death. But I was helpless. It was a desert where water was......

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Dreams

...you remember the last dream you had? Maybe you could fly or were falling down an endless dark tunnel. Perhaps you were awakened by a horrific dream in the middle of the night. If any of you are like me you experience vivid dreams. I would like to start by share one of my dream experiences with you all. About two months ago I had a dream that my boyfriend was cheating on me, now I know all you girls and guys can relate to this. I wake up in the morning with my dream still fresh on my mind and in a horrible mood. I am furious at my boyfriend, and for what reason? He hasn’t even done anything, but the thing is in my mind he has, because my dream is so vivid and real to me. So guys maybe this will help you understand that your girlfriend isn’t crazy and girls take it easy on them, it was just a dream. John Lennon once said, “I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” Indeed he’s not, because all of us experience dreams. You may have many question unanswered about dreams, like why you can’t remember all of your dream right after you wake up, or what your strange and wild dreams are really about. All of your questions can be answered once you are informed of the history of dream, the process of remembering dreams, and all the aspects of interpreting dreams. I have completed countless hours of research on dreams and what they mean, so today I hope to help answer some of your lingering questions about dreams. So let’s get stated by talking about the history of dreams. One cannot......

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...and visualizing the following day's interview repeatedly in my mind. Since that was mostly the only (and last) thought I had before entering my REM cycle that night, the thought had continued into my unconscious state. My dream consisted of the next days events, mainly the interview. Vividly, I went through the routine of waking up to my alarm, getting showered and dressed, eating a balanced breakfast, and arriving to the office on time. Then, the dream had skipped forward to the moment the employer looking over my resume and asking me a set of questions. Afterwards, it had rewound the interview over and over again giving me different outcomes and questions each time showing the various possibilities. When I woke up I couldn't believe that it had been a dream it felt so real but thanks to the dream it prepared me for the real deal. I felt more confident and prepared to bite the bullet and get the job that I deserve. Re-enacting my dream, I woke up to my preset alarm almost to the exact routine I mentally prepared for: got showered and dressed (in the same outfit consisting of a dress shirt and pants I saw in my dream), ate a balanced breakfast, and arrived to the office on time remembering the possibilities of questions I was going to receive. This dream was an example of sleep fueling creativity and needing a nights rest to gather ones thoughts together. The dream's assistance with recollecting the responses I've prepared for the interviewer's inquiries and fortunately......

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...Caleb Crawford Psychology Period 6 Dream Essay A dream is a period of spontaneous brain activity usually lasting from about 5-40 minutes that occurs during sleep several times a night usually about 90 minute intervals dreams allow a person to take a closer look into his their mind and themselves sometimes dreams act as a way to discover yourself, dreams can be used to solve all different types of problems. There are also certain types of dreams. There are fantasy, daydream and waking dreams. There are also lucid dreams, nightmares and night terrors. There are also certain stages in the dream cycle. In the first stage, your body temperature drops, your eyes close and your brain waves begin regular alpha rhythms, indicating a relaxed state. In many of my dreams, what happen in my dreams would happen the next day or within the following days. I think the reason for this is because when I would wake up and remember my dreams threw out that day I would be thinking about those dreams I had, had so the more I thought about it the more I would want to make those dreams come true. Like for example Tuesday night I had dreamed about a project I had due the next day in English and my dream was me presenting my PowerPoint and in my dream I had done very good on my essay. We were suppose to present for 5 minutes and I did like 6 minutes and I answered all the questions that my classmates had and I did very good on the whole project in my dream. So when it came time to present my......

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...Theories of Counseling 11/24/14 Personal Experience Paper #3 When writing down my dreams I found this to be quite interesting. As a child I use to attend counseling to help me stop dreaming because of the nightmares I use to have. Anyhow after my counseling I never seemed to dream anymore and when I did I could never seem to remember them. Unlike my dreams before my counseling as a child (which I can remember quit vividly and still remember them to this day) dreams now seem to become mixed with memories of real life events—now I just assume any memory that I can’t mentally verify as a past dream and that I must be experiencing déjà vu. Never the less, I wrote down two dreams. The first one was a lucid dream—I know this because I had the dream after I laid back down from waking up to use the bathroom. I did try to interact with the dream but normally once I become fully aware that I’m dreaming I wake up shortly after. Another issue I had was that when I go back and read what my dream was about it is very scattered; and I have a problem understanding my writing as well as remembering the dream at after re-reading days later what I had wrote. When I try to interpret my first dream all I get from it is that about 50% of it deals with what I do on a day to day bases. I work in a call center and most of my dream dealt with me in work talking on the phone to customers. The other 50% of that dream dealt with my family. I’m not really close to my relatives and I dreamed that I......

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The Dream

...The Dream. Copyright 2007 Eve Care I had a dream... One day I would open my eyes or wake up and I would no longer need smoking to keep me calmed and grounded and in that state of comfort. I would be cured. I would then walk to the trash bin with the smokes I had on hand and ditch them, along with the old habit with total good ridence and gratitude that I finally had smoked enough to cure myself. Wow. What a lie. And that was really true. I did have that dream. I dreamt it wherever I'd go. And it didn't matter where I went. I always needed a smoke. And with every smoke I had I would wonder, will this one be my last? Will I finally have enough in me to cure once and for all? It was also a way of holding onto a fantasy. Dreams do come true, but not in the way you may think they do sometimes. My dream of being smoke-free came true, but not in the way I dreamed it would. I had the most illusive dream. It is much like, the American Dream. Because each person is different and have different ideas about how to live an ethical way of life without damaging life around us now, and it is us who need to make the change, to be that change, we wish to see in the world. There are lots of lies that are told to us throughout our lives. most of mine came in the first 30 years of my life. It is hard to break free from all of those lies. They have become quite ingrained within us and when we go to release something that we have healed, another thing pops up and thus continues......

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...Dreams are very different from waking life, but it is extremely difficult clearly to define in what the difference consists. When we are dreaming, we are nearly always convinced that we are awake, and in some cases real experiences have been mistaken for dreams. The latter mistake forms the subject of a celebrated Spanish play called Life a Dream, and of an amusing story in the Arabian Nights, in which a poor man is for a jest treated as a mighty monarch, and it is contrived that he should afterwards think that all the honourable treatment he had actually received was merely a vivid dream. Sometimes even after waking, we may be doubtful whether our dream was a reality or not, especially if we happen to fall asleep in our chair and do not remember the circumstance of having fallen to sleep. Of course this doubt can only arise when there has been nothing in our dream that seems impossible to our wakened mind. It is, however, only in rare cases that a dream exactly copies the experience of our waking hours. As a rule, in our sleep all kinds of events seem to happen which in our waking hours we should know to be impossible. In our dreams we see and converse with friends who are at the other side of the world or have been long dead. We may even meet historical or fictitious characters that we have read about in books. We often lose our identity and dreams that we are someone else, and in the course of a single dream may be in turn several different persons. Space and time to the......

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...Bag of Dreams campaign started as a vision developed by the business communication class of Cebu’s Ateneo Graduate School of Business and inspired by Professor Teresa Maria A. Custodio. At first the project seemed daunting, since the class was given no more than a month and a half to develop, organize, and implement the project. Ultimately we bonded together, elected two leaders and later on broke the class in to sub groups and assigned group heads for tasks that fit their skill sets. As a class, we decided education as our advocacy and voted to target the basic facility we can give students to jump-start their school year. Most organizations donate books and classrooms. We realized that without the basic materials needed to study, students wont go to school at all. We then went in to research as to what materials were needed by students, and found the exact mix students needed to perform. We selected the San Roque Elementary School in Talisay City, Cebu as our beneficiary because it had the right amount of students enrolled and came highly recommended by the education superintendent. We then went in to deeper investigation and found that the school was in much need of help. This further inspired us to perform better. What started as a difficult task slowly and surely became something we would do anything to achieve. And with only a month to organize and prepare, the bag of dreams campaign felt like a dream to accomplish. A month later and what seemed like a dream to......

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...harder and fulfil my dreams. I therefore graduated as the Class Valedictorian of the Maxingal Elementary School Batch 2008. Then, High School years came. That serious, peculiar, happy, crazy, fun and sometimes the most troubling part of a teen’s life! It’s when things are getting pretty much SERIOUS. I took my secondary education at the Lal-lo National High School as a Special Program in the Arts student, majoring in Media Arts. Well, it’s kind’a hard for me sometimes, because people have much higher expectations on me knowing that my mom is a teacher. More challenges, many ups and downs, a lot of pressure, great expectations and many more. But those things never blocked my way in achieving my goals. Excelling is never far from enjoying the things you really love. Things really turn out right when you just believe in yourself and trust God. I graduated as the Valedictorian of our Class and received some plaques and several awards. One of which is the UP-CAGAYANOS Ten Outstanding Cagayano Youth award (TOCY) given by the UP CAGAYANOS and UP Alumni Association of Cagayan North from UPLB, which for me is a one great achievement. That special day was really historic for I have prove myself and have made my parents really proud and happy for me. And now, I really feel so lucky to have enrolled and got the chance to study in my ‘dream school’ – the University of the Philippines- Los Baños. And I know that I am now a few steps away from achieving my dream job someday, and......

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