Sleeping and Dreaming Essay

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Sleeping and Dreaming

Despite the large amount of time we spend asleep, surprisingly little is actually known about sleeping and dreaming. Much has been imagined, however. Over history, sleep has been conceived as the space of the soul, as a state of absence akin to death, as a virtual or alternate reality, and more recently, as a form of (sub)consciousness in which memories are built and erased. The significance attributed to dreams has varied widely as well. The Ancient Greeks had surprise dream encounters with their gods. Native Americans turned to their dreams for guidance in life. Shamans dreamed in order to gather information from the spirits.
Sleep and dreams have defined eras, cultures, and individuals. Sigmund Freud’s
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His knowledge of advances in biomedical sleep research (which is vibrant at Penn) will complement the Mellon Fellows’ cultural and historical perspectives on the subject arising from books, paintings, sculptures, movies, music, and other forms of culture.
According to Professor Van Dongen, the functions of sleep and dreams are still largely unclear to scientists. Whereas artists and humanists have long been concerned with sleep and dream states, the sciences mostly ignored it until the discovery was made that there is brain activity during sleep. It has now been documented that sleep is a necessity for health, for well-being, for the ability to think clearly—that is, for the overall quality of wakefulness. While much is known about the neurobiological underpinnings of sleep and dreams, however, the reasons behind these processes are still a mystery, and the question “what are sleeping and dreaming for?” awaits definitive answers. Under the circumstances, humanists have much to offer, not only to each other but to science as well, for the understanding of this fundamental aspect of life.

Myths and Facts about sleeping :

1. Snoring is a common problem, especially among men, but it isn’t harmful.
Although snoring may be harmless for most people, it can be a symptom of a life threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea, especially if it is accompanied by severe daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing that prevent

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