Psychology: Dreams and Dreaming Essay

Words: 3173
Pages: 13

Psychology: Dreams and Dreaming

January 13, 1997

Dreams, a nightly gift and a part of the natural process of being alive, are being rediscovered by our publisher. The meaning and value of your dreams will vary according to what you and your society decide. Our society is changing. We used to only value dreams in the context of psychotherapy. There are also a few assumptions about dreams. One is that you are always the final authority on what the dream means. Others can offer insight, suggestions and techniques for exploration and expression, but no one knows what the final meaning and value of the dreams will be for you, except you. Another assumption is that dreams come in the service of wholeness and health. If you find an
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However, because the eyes are not paralyzed, if you deliberately move your "dream" eyes in a dream, your physical eyes move also.
(Time-Life Books p. 61 ).

Referring back to the stages in sleep-the first stage is a transitional period between waking and sleeping known as hypnagogic state, the muscle relax and the person often experiences a sensation of floating or drifting. The eyes roll slowly and vivid images may flash through the mind-perhaps an eerie unfamiliar landscape, a beautiful abstract pattern or a succession of face. As those sensations and visions come and go, a sudden spasm of the body called hypnagogic startle may momentarily waken the sleeper. Then as the subject slips into the first stage of sleep, the EEG shows the spiky rapid alpha waves of a relaxed but wakeful brain giving way to the slower more regular theta waves of light slumber. Sleeps first stage is short, lasting anywhere from a few seconds to 10 minutes. The theta waves soon decrease and are mixed on EEG tracing which a combination of 2 different brain wave patterns-groups of sharp jumps called spindles, which reflect rapid bursts of brain activity, and waves known as K- complexes characterized by steep peaks and valleys. Although this stage is considered to be a true sleep phase, a person awakening from it may report having had brief bits of realistic thought or may even deny having been asleep at all. (Time-Life Books p. 97).

Between 15 and 30 minutes after