Dreams Essay

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Dreaming is a form of mental activity, different from waking thought, that occurs during sleep. The nature of dream activity has been characterized by many clinical and laboratory studies. These studies show that dreams are more perceptual than conceptual: Things are seen and heard rather than thought. In terms of the senses, visual experience is present in almost all dreams; auditory experience in 40 to 50 percent; and touch, taste, smell, and pain in a relatively small percentage. A considerable amount of emotion is commonly present—usually a single, stark emotion such as fear, anger, or joy rather than the modulated emotions that occur in the waking state. Most dreams are in the form of interrupted stories, made up partly of memories,…show more content…
     Thus, two clearly distinguishable states of sleep exist. The first state, called S-synchronized sleep, or NREM-sleep, occupies most of the sleep period and is associated with a relatively low pulse and blood pressure, little activation of the autonomic nervous system, and few or no reports of dreaming. The second type of sleep, known as D-sleep, or REM-sleep, occurs cyclically during the sleep period and is characterized by activation of the autonomic nervous system, rapid eye movements, and frequent dream reports. Typically, a person has four or five periods of D-sleep during the night, whether the dreams are remembered often, rarely, or not at all; they occur at intervals of about 90 minutes and altogether constitute about 25 percent of the night’s sleep. Evidence indicates that a dream period usually lasts from 5 to 20 minutes.      Such stimuli as sounds and touches impinging on a dreamer can be incorporated into a dream if they occur during a D-period. These stimuli, however, do not initiate a D-period if one is not already in progress, so that, at least in such cases, dreams do not protect sleep in the way that Freud suggested. Although mental activity may be reported during

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