What are dreams?
Dreams are stories and images that our minds create while we sleep. They can be entertaining, fun, romantic, disturbing, frightening and sometimes bizarre.
1) Fast facts on dreams
- Though a few people may not remember dreaming, it is thought that everyone dreams between 3 to 6 times per night.
- It is thought that each dream lasts between 5 to 20 minutes.
- Around 95% of dreams are forgotten by the time a person gets out of bed.
- Dreaming can help you learn and develop long-term memories.
- Women dream more about family, children and indoor settings when compared with men.
- Recalling something from last week that has appeared in your dream is called the “dream-lag effect.”
- There is a difference in the quality and quantity of dreams experienced in rapid eye movement and non-rapid eye movement sleep.
- 48% of people that feature in a dream are recognized by the person dreaming.
- Blind people dream more with other sensory components compared with sighted people.
- Both sleep and dream quality are affected by alcohol.
2) Phases of sleep
There are five phases of sleep in a sleep cycle:
- Stage 1 – light sleep, eyes move slowly, and muscle activity slows. This stage forms 4-5% of total sleep
- Stage 2 – eye movement stops and brain waves (fluctuations of electrical activity that can be measured by electrodes) become slower, with occasional bursts of rapid waves called sleep spindles. This stage forms 45-55% of total sleep
- Stage 3 – extremely slow brain waves called delta waves begin to appear, interspersed with smaller, faster waves. 4-6% of total sleep
- Stage 4 – the brain produces delta waves almost exclusively. It is very difficult to wake someone during stages 3 and 4, which together are called “deep sleep.” There is no eye movement or muscle activity. People awakened while in deep sleep do not adjust immediately and often feel groggy and disoriented for several minutes after they wake up. This forms 12-15% of total sleep
- Stage 5 – REM – breathing becomes more rapid, irregular and shallow, eyes jerk rapidly in various directions, and limb muscles become temporarily paralyzed. Heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, and males develop penile erections. When people awaken during REM sleep, they often describe bizarre and illogical tales – dreams. Forms 20-25% of total sleep time.
3) Why do we dream?
There are several hypotheses and concepts as to why we dream. Are dreams merely part of the sleep cycle or do they serve some other purpose?
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.
From converging evidence and new research methodologies, researchers have speculated that dreaming:
- Is offline memory reprocessing – consolidates learning and memory tasks.
- Is a subsystem of the waking default network, which is active during mind wandering and daydreaming. Dreaming could be seen as cognitive simulation of real life experiences.
- Participates in the development of cognitive capabilities.
- Is psychoanalytic; dreams are highly meaningful reflections of unconscious mental functioning.
- Is a unique state of consciousness that incorporates three temporal dimensions: experience of the present, processing of the past, and preparation for the future.
- Provides a psychological space where overwhelming, contradictory, or highly complex notions can be brought together by the dreaming ego that would be unsettling while awake. This process serves the need for psychological balance and equilibrium. Source: https://www.quora.com/How-do-we-dream-And-why?share=1
The smallest, most simple dream
Is worth being achieved.
The smallest grain of faith
Is actually all it takes.
Having one person who believes in you
Is a major help, too.
Never give up on any of your dreams.
With faith, love, and support, you can do anything.
If you have to stand alone,
Your dreams will still be your own.
If someone shares a dream with you,
Work with them so it will come true.
Do not let anything stand in your way;
Do not worry about what pessimists say.
Your dreams can come true someday;
You know exactly what it takes. Poem By Priscilla May https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/dreams-47
A Dream Within A Dream
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
Poem by Edgar Allan Poe
Make Your Dream Concrete,
Think, plan, make it real!