Topic 25: Dreaming and Sleeping

Everyone dreams, its a part of life. Babies, children, teenagers, adults and elderly people, we all dream. Dreams are images,  emotions, and sensations that occur usually involuntarily in your mind during certain stages of sleep.

Stages: Lots of people dream and everyone sleeps, but hardly anyone realises that there are different stages of sleep. We have five different stages that we go through, we don’t always go through all five in the same night.

The first stage of sleep is a very light sleep that is very easy to wake up from, it normally lasts for around 10 minutes, it is also known as non-REM sleep. Your brain waves become slower, breathing becomes slow and even, blood pressure falls and little or no body movement. Stage two or NREM sleep, the sleep goes further into sleep and is harder to wake. It lasts for about 20 minutes; your brain has larger brain waves with very quick bursts of activity, body functions slow down and the sleeper can be easily awaken by sounds.

Stage three or NREM sleep normally occurs 30 to 45 minutes after the sleeper has fallen asleep. Your brain waves are slow (0.5 to 5 per second) and bigger (also known as delta waves), far more difficult to wake up and it takes a very loud noise or active attempt to wake them. Stage four or NREM sleep is the deepest sleep. This is when the sleeper will start to have virtual oblivion, body functions continue to decline, if awaken they will be confused, groggy or disorientated and this is the phase where people will (only in fair case) sleepwalk or sleep talk. The last stage is stage 5 REM sleep. Your brain is suddenly very active, brain wave activity is small and regular, big bursts of eye activity, body activity suddenly perks up, pluse rate will perk up and be irregular, breathing becomes irregular, the need for oxygen is greater, face, toes and fingers may twitch, the bodies large muscles are paralysed (legs, arms and torso), the body seems to not care about the bodies temperature, shivering and sweating and the body may slowly match the temperature around them. The first REM period is normally brief and the sleeper may wake up, but this is normal, a good sleeper wont remember waking up but a poor sleeper will and may have trouble going back to sleep.

Sleepers will normally switch between REM and NREM sleep around four to six times a night. Sleepers who wake up during non-REM sleep will not recall any dreams they have had while people who are awaken during REM sleep will be able to recall their dreams in great detail.

Why do we sleep? There are lots of reasons why we sleep, many are just theories. One idea is that we need to sleep to let our brains store away or get rid of memories from the pervious day. It also gives your body time to do “house keeping” such as feel body cells and repair the body. It is also a chance to give yourself a rest, time to recharge your batteries and get energy you will need for the next day.

Why do we dream? There are four theories why we may dream. One thought is that it goes with sleep, it helps to repair our bodies and minds. The second theory is that dreams reflet or emotions. During sleep we don’t need to focus on anything, and everything slows down while we are asleep. It is thought that when we dream it is our emotions battling it out in our dreams. The third theory is that dreams are pointless brain functions, they are just a by product. The fourth theory is that dreams are ties to how we form memories, it is thought that during this time memories are sorted from short term to long term or completely gotten rid of.

Lucid dreams and types of dreams: A lucid dream is when a dreamer realises that they are dreaming and manages to take over the dream and do what they want to do and make things that they want happen. Some people have lucid dreams while others don’t, it is a rare occurrence that is completely amazing. People have actually managed to train their minds and teach themselves to lucid dream (I have).

We have 10 types of dreams. 1 Psychological Healing Dreams: these dream are often disturbing and occur in times of stress, when a difficult discussion arrives or emotional difficulty. They help you to heal and overcome negative emotions. 2. Belief Dreams: These dreams shape or add to what you belief. Most often people try to interoperate their dreams to help them.  3. Problem-Solving Dreams: These dreams are meant to have a message that will help you to overcome a problem in the waking world. 4. Physiological Dreams: These dreams reflect what you need in the waking world.  5. Dreams of Daily Life: These dreams normally have people that you know or places that you know. They often have a activity happening in the dream that has happened to us in real life or is happening outside of our dream while we sleep, such as a phone ringing outside our dream could happen inside our dream at the same time. 6. Compensatory Dreams: These dreams show the darker side of you or the side you are trying to repress. These dreams help to balance out your personality and emotions. 7. Recurring Dreams: Are dream that you have over and over again, they often have a message. The reason you keep having them is because you are missing the message that will have a big impact on your waking world. 8. Lucid dreams: These are one of my favourite dreams, please see above for the information. 9. Psychic Dreams: Many people don’t belive in these dreams. They are also know as a prophetic dream. It is when your subconscious absorbs information and makes likely assumptions on behaviour, when it comes true the person believes they have seen the future. 10. Nightmares: These are the most emotional draining dreams, they are always scary. The are meant to show a major issue in our waking world and the subconscious drives that sleep to acknowledge that fear. The dreams often provide help as to overcome this, but a great potion of people take notice of the terror not to the help being provided.

Medical conditions: Although sleep is great there are some medical conditions around sleep, there are over 100 different conditions; if you have an idea that something may be wrong with your sleep you should see a doctor. Some of them include: Insomnia, snoring, irregular sleep patterns, Musculoskeletal chronic fatigue syndrome, sleepwalking and restless legs syndrome.

Dream meanings: Many people believe that if you dream about a certain thing, place, object, person etc that it is holding a certain meaning that is important. It is believed that it is a symbol for something very important that your dream is tying to tell you. If you are interested in the meaning of you dreams Google is a great place to start or this website is a great help too: http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary/a.htm

examples:

Abuse: something from your pass will come back to haunt you; feeling victimized; seeing a child get abused could mean you feel as thought there is something wrong with your childhood.

Nachos: to dream you are eating nachos means you need more leisure time.

Duct tape: to dream of this means you have a firm hold on your life, you can separate emotions form the activity

Sage: shows wisdom, frugality and practicality

There are many more on the above website.

Facts:

  • A new born baby will make their parents miss out on 400-750 hours of sleep in the first year
  • The natural alarm clock that a person has is caused by stress hormone being released causing them to wake up exactly the same time as you r body gets into the routine.
  • Humans sleep about three hours less than monkeys
  • Snoring occurs only in non-REM sleep
  • Women need one more hour of sleep than men
  • Teenagers need the same amount of sleep as children
  • The longest record for not sleeping is 18 days, 21 hours and 40 minutes
  • The average person will spend about 6 years of their life dreaming
  • Blind people dream too. People who have lost their sight later in life will dream normally, while others who have never been able to see or lost their sight as children will dream using other senses, smell, touch and taste
  • We only dream of faces we have seen, but we wont always remember the faces we see so in the dream they seem unfamiliar
  • It is believed that daydreaming is actually you dreaming while you are awake but using different brain processes
  • Within 5 minutes of waking up the average person will forget half of their dream
  • Unborn babies dream, they dream using touch and sound
  • Sleep paralyse occurs to about 40% of the population. The sleeper realises they are asleep wake up and are unable to more for about a minutes
  •  70 % of the characters in men’s dream are other me when there are about equal amount of men and women in women’s dreams
  • Greeks thought that dreams were messages from their Gods
  • Children tend to have shorter dreams, 40%of them being nightmares
  • Animals dream just like humans
  • You wont appear in your own dreams until the age of 3 or 4

“Legend says that when you cant sleep its because you are awake in another persons dream”-Unknown

bibliography:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream

http://www.holisticonline.com/Remedies/Sleep/sleep_stages-sleep-cycle.htm

http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/sleep/basics/why-do-we-sleep.htm

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/dream2.htm

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/why-do-we-dream.htm

http://www.dreaminterpretation-dictionary.com/types-of-dreams.html

http:http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary/s.htm//www.rightdiagnosis.com/s/sleep_disorders/subtypes.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/science/sleep/facts.htm

http://list25.com/25-facts-about-dreams-that-wont-put-you-to-sleep/1/

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