A Research on the Science of Dreams

Topics: Sleep

According to previous research conducted by Katja Valli and Antti Revonsuo, an average person has about three REM sleep dreams per night and about 1,200 REM dreams per year (Gottschall 81). The numbers may seem out of range, but most of the time people have trouble remembering their dreams unless it has sentimental value to them. Dreams differ from sex dreams, nightmares or funny dreams which are enjoy and dislike depending on personal influences.

Dreaming has its fascinating little world as some dreams are believed to be more fascinating then others dreams.

For example, a person who is a believer in dreams will be more affected then a person who is not a believer. People’s dreams come and go yet it has different influence on people’s daily life. Dreaming has become part of our life making it our uncontrollable world because dreaming has been used to predict situations, stimulate memories, and build our personalities.

The opposing side defends by explaining that dreams are encrypted messages from the spirit world and can only be decoded by priests (Gottschall 72).

Ancient Egyptians believed that dreams were messages from their deities and people who did not had bright dreams were believed to be the fortunate ones. Josie E Malinowski. and Horton Caroline L. argues how different types of memories are involved with different dream contents (Malinowski, Caroline). The different types of dream that are studied are involved with episodic memory and autographical memory.

The research was composed of thirty-two participants who wrote their dreams daily in a dairy for two weeks hoping to differentiate whether the dreams were autographical memories or episodic memories.

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Using a scale, the dreams where rated for their periodic richness which is put into different categories that conclude that only one dream was involved with episodic memory. The rest of the dreams are involved in an autographical memory feature which proved that memory and dream do work together. The dreams are not encrypted message sent from the spirit world as Malinoswki and Caroline proved that dreams are caused by autographical dreams and they just decoded thirty-two dreams and categorized the persons dreams differently.

Sigmund Freud, considered the father of psychoanalysis studied dream with the intention of interpreting dreams. In a Human Press Science article, Freud explained his nine theory on how he believed dreams worked and how multiple scientist from the 21st century proved that five of Freud’s theory were wrong. Today, four theories from Freud are still believed to be true, and are still well accepted today. The four theories that are accepted today are dreams are the fulfilment of a wish, disguised fulfilment of a wish, disguised fulfilment of a repressed wish and dreams are the disguised fulfilment of a repressed (Adolf).

Freud believed that nothing occurs by chance and every action and thought has an affect as being part of society. People hold back and do not always say what they have in mind and this urges have to come out some how and Freud believed that these urges come out within dreams. In an article called, “A Brief Appraisal of Freud’s Dream Theory” Freud categorized the mind into three parts that affect the dreaming Figure 1: Three category that Freud puts the brain when it comes to dreaming. mind.

The first one is the ID which is the centered around primal impulses controlling pleasure and desires. The second one is the GO which is concerned with conscious and the last part is the superego that is the censor for the ID (Adolf). This three aspect of the mind controls the body in different ways such as when the body is fully awake, the ID does not have the freedom to express itself. On the other hand, when the body is in sleeping conditions, the ID is in full control and can dream about the urges throughout the day. People struggle to remember their dreams because the superego is at work and by doing its job, it is protecting the aware mind from the disturbing images and desires raised by the unconscious.

Challenges are faced daily in different situations and imaginations could help solve and predict the outcomes. Without noticing, dreaming is a tool that is used everyday because dreams are powerful in transforming a person. There are a lot of studies that are conducted hoping to achieve the result of dream predicting future. The studies face a lot of obstacles because there is no way to prove that the dream was accurate and if the survey is true or not which lives the question “Dream Predict the Future?” with a question mark and unanswered scientifically. Predicting the future is part of great suspense that is mixed with storytelling. Storytelling and predicting the future is our own way to tell a story to ourselves.

Dreams are our own way to fulfil the mystery that we do not achieve in our waking live. When dreaming and then thinking that the dream will occur in the future is our way of deja-vu. Sometime a person is just curious and want relive the dream yet it will never be as accurate as the dream. Other ways that dreams could predict the future is after something massive have happened. For example, an earthquake happens and it brought tragic to the whole town or city. Few days after, some people believe that they had a dream about the earthquake but they did not know when it was going to occur. Depending on the person, they may believe it is a sign and that their dream do have the future in their hand.

The study of different stages of dreams and the different views of what dreams mean to different groups is called Oneirology. In an article titled “The Reality of Dreams,” it states that an average person may have an average dream of three or five dreams a night that may last 20 second to 20 minute each. Each dreams have five different stages which is a cycle that can have different orders depending on the person. The different stages are drifting off, drop of body temperature, light sleep, deep sleep and REM sleep. (Patel).

Stage one is a person preparing to drift of. This stage is almost like daydreaming but instead, the person is falling asleep. This is where the person will think about their day and the person is reaching his or her peaceful place which will last around seven minute in average. Stage two is where the brain, heart and body temperature starts to slow down and relax which usually takes about twenty minute in average.

Dreams affects our short and long term memories as selected dreams reflect memory processing within time. A research by an Educational Publishing Foundation conducted a 19- year-old college student to help determine how short and long term memory are affected by dreams. The result also showed that dream actions, theme, and setting were connected with daytime memories, emotions, and events (Anna, McNamara). REM dream and NREM dream were recorded differently and each dream were studied in terms of memory in which 55 dream were good for the studies. Different dreams reacquired within time which proved the theory that short and long term memory do affect dreams.

Scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston says that dreams may be the sleeping brain of telling us different ideas and instruction. A specific example is the sleeping brain working on the process of memory consolidation (Nauert). This means that when a person is in the REM sleep, the brain stimulates all the new ideas it heard during the day and categorize it into the short or long term memory depending on the importance. Without our memory, dreaming will not be useful because the dream will never be remembered. The dream that reacquires are dreams that are in the long term memory and have personal affect to the person.

Neuroscience is when scientist can map neural activity when someone is a sleep and determine relationship between different aspects. According to an article titles “Dreams, Memory, And The Ancestors: Creativity, Culture, And The Science of Sleep” the scientist examine the relationship between dreams and creativity. The two memories involved are biological and cultural memory (Glaskin). An example of culture memory are the symbols from the past, texts or monuments of ancestors. On the other hand, biological memory is involved with creativity such as writing a new song or drawing something creative.

In a research sponsored by Journal of Sleep Research, two scientist researched how different types of memories are involved with different dream contents. The study showed that the theory of dreams might effect the theory of mental control (Malinowski, Caroline). The study had 106 participants that reported their most recent dreams, answer similar questions about the content of the dream and a questionnaire trait on the personality traits. There was similarity of emotions between the dreams and waking-life emotions. Dreams with fantasies or fairytale are the dreams that has more affect on the person personality as they will try and resemble the dream and adapt their personality to fulfil their dream into reality.

Dreams cannot be controlled, but on the other hand, dreams control what a person becomes. Dreams are there to build a person creativity and personality of a person. Because we dream constantly, dreaming has shaped a person without them noticing. A person might turn aggressive because in their dream they constantly have aggressive dreams. Most dreams are positive and happy to people but on the other hand, dream could be one that haunts a person down for what he or she have done.

Perfect example of a negative dreams is a soldiers. Their dream will constantly haunt them because of the person what they have done. This will keep them awake at night and will deprive them from their REM sleep. A positive dream would be a person trying to find a solution for a problem they have been suck on for days, weeks, or months. Somehow, the memory in the dream will help the person solve the solution and discover new ideas their waking-life cannot find. Dreaming a great tool that humans need to take control over and believe that it is there to me used.

A famous activist by the name of Gloria Steinem once quoted, “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning” Dreaming is part of our everyday life and taking full control and knowing what dreams really mean can help solve many problems. There is no solid proof on what is right or wrong, but believing that dreams predict the future, stimulate memory, and build personality would change a person into someone else. A person tends to dream to forget, but what if one of the three dream dreamt at night really means something? Dreaming is an opportunity to grow as a person and believing that dreams do mean something could shape a person differently.

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A Research on the Science of Dreams. (2023, Mar 16). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-research-on-the-science-of-dreams/

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