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Dreams Research Paper Final

Page history last edited by AKabodian 9 years, 3 months ago

 

This paper was written by the one and the only, Samantha J. Marable.

 

A lot happens when we are asleep. We dream, have nightmares, and even walk about! Dreams occur during REM sleep. They often seem random and scattered, because they are based on random aspects of our past day. Dreams and nightmares are very complex, and very important things happen when we are dreaming. Despite dreams occurring for as long as man has existed, we still know very little about them.

 

There are 5 different stages of sleep. Stage 1 is the first stage of sleep. This sleep stage is very light with little brain activity and the sleeper can be woken easily. Stage 2 comes next. Stage 2 is slightly deeper sleep than stage 1, with more brain activity. Then comes stage 3, deep sleep. It is harder to wake people up during stage 3, and this is when we start to experience slow brain waves known as delta waves. After stage 3, comes stage 4. Stage 4 is when sleepwalking and other activities can take place and is referred to as delta sleep because of the delta brain waves that happen at this time. When stage 4 is over, REM starts. You dream during REM, and REM occurs 4-5 times per night, you cycle through stages 2-4 then REM. There are 5 stages of sleep which are all very different. 

 

Many things happen as result of REM sleep. During REM, you essentially are memorizing all the happenings of your day. Wail scientists still know verry little about what happens during REM, it is obviously linked with memorization. This would explain why newborns sleep is made up of 80% REM, infants 50% REM,and adults sleep only consists of 20% REM, because the younger you are, the more you are learning. Some scientists believe dreams are the visual cortex's way of coping with random signals that are created during REM. They believe that it is the visual cortex's way of linking the signals by making a story.  Without REM, we would not be able to learn.

 

For as long as mankind has been around, dream interpretations have been fascinating to many. For example, the flying dream, which is very common, can mean that you are on top of things and in control. Or if you find yourself being chased by a man with a club, he could represent your father. Some scientists believe that dreams consist of repressed emotions that are released during sleep. But others believe that dreams are purely random and have no meaning. Dreams can mean almost anything. 

 

Nightmares are dreams that can be traumatizing or wake the sleeper. Nightmares occur during REM like dreams. They are caused by high stress or anxiety, and some clinicians believe they help us work through traumatic events.They mostly happen during the ages of 3 and 10, and are more common in girls than boys. Nightmares are the same thing as dreams, but will often wake the dreamer. 

 

Sleepwalking can be very dangerous and is very complex. Sleepwalking happens during stages 3-4 of sleep. Despite the common assumption that we sleepwalk when dreaming, it is impossible to move when dreaming. Our bodies paralyze our voluntary muscles so we don't act out our dreams. Then there is the classic question: should you wake a sleepwalker? The answer is no. The experience can be traumatizing to the sleepwalker and it is best to simply guide them back to bed. The sleepwalker will have no memory of the event taking place. 

 

There are many factors that contribute to the creation of dreams. Dreams relate to REM in that they only occur during REM. This is because when REM is happening, the brain is memorizing the days experiences. The pons set off random electrical charges that are occasionally picked up by the visual cortex, which then proceeds to make a story to link the random messages, thus creating dreams. 

 

In conclusion, there is more to sleep then we think. We dream, sleepwalk, have nightmares, etc. We know very little about why, or how we dream, even though we have been dreaming for as long as man has recorded data. REM is vital to dreaming, and in some unknown way, to learning and memorization. Dreams are based on random aspects of our awakening life and can mean many things.

 

 

Work Cited:

 

Dream. 6 may 2013 <en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki|dream>

 

Kastner, Jonathan and Marianna Kastner. Sleep the Mysterious Third of your Life. New York: Hariourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1968

 

Nightmares. 6 may 2013 <psychologytoday.com/conditions/nightmares>

 

Nightmares and dreams. 7 may 2013 <nightmaresanddreams.com/facts.html>

 

Obringer, Lee Ann. How Dreams Work. 7 may 2013 <science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/dream1.htm>.

 

Rosen, Marvin. Sleep and Dreaming. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2006

 

Stibich, Marh. Understanding Dreams. 6 may 2013 <longevity.about.com/od/sleep/a/dreams_REM.htm>.

 

 

 

 

 

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