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Dreams

By Senna Rogoyski

Highlights

  • Dreams are fantasies created by a combination of people’s past experiences while they sleep

  • There is not a definite cause to why they occur, however there are many ideas psychoanalysts have

  • There are many types of dreams

Understanding Dreams


Sometimes when one falls asleep, they experience a fantasy. Although this fantasy can vary in tones such as scary and happy situations, they all have one thing in common. Since they are subconscious, one cannot control the actions they make. It’s often that after 5 to 20 minutes after waking up, most people struggle to even remember what they just dreamt. These so-called experiences people go through during their sleep are called dreams. Despite people who state they never and can’t remember dreaming, everyone dreams including animals. Dreams are stories created in people’s minds while they sleep. Generally, they combine past experiences and worries, making it unique to the person.


First Stage : This is considered lightly sleeping, where one’s muscle activity is reduced and relaxed and there is still slow eye movement.


Second Stage : This is when eye movement completely stops. Often during this stage, there are small bursts of sleep spindles, rapid waves, while the brain waves are slowing down.


Third Stage : This is when delta waves, very slow brain waves, been to appear intertwined with the rapid, fast waves.


Fourth Stage : Typically most people consider being in this stage as having a “deep sleep”, where it becomes hard to wave the person up. There are no eye movements as the brain is focused on producing the delta waves the entire time.


Fifth Stage : Often recognized at REM, breathing starts to become heavier and faster, as there are also small, rapid jerks in the body. Some muscles, particularly the limb, become temporarily paralyzed as the heart rate and the blood pressure increase. This stage is when the dreams take place.


Why do Dreams occur?


Although experts still don’t know why people dream and it is still an area of research, there are several theories as to why people dream:

  • A space where overwhelming, pressuring, complex notions can be combined and faced

  • In order to prepare the brain for possible events and threats

  • Processing information from what happened on the day; OR heavy emotions

  • Presenting unachievable wishes and desires

  • To develop and help with memory formation

  • No purpose; combination of unnecessary information

Types of Dreams


Many psychoanalysts try to understand the meaning behind the numerous types of dreams rather than researching as to why they are caused. The types of dreams that occur depending on the events that one has gone through and the brain function are

  • Nightmares : Distressing and scary dreams that tend to include people’s fears end up with them in a state of anxiety. This can occur in both children and adults as its typically caused by trauma, stress, and illnesses.

  • Repeating dreams : If one experiences the same dream over and over, it's theorized that this is because of unsatisfied needs that the person has, such as a long-term problem.

  • Vivid dreams : These dreams have an effect of being more “real” than others as it is easier to recall because of the strong imagery and sensation.

  • Fever dreams : Fevers can often trigger and cause strange, weird dreams that most people don’t enjoy such as distorted locations and heat.

References

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