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Sleeping and dreaming

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Sleeping in general:

A life – saving Prime Drive/urge/ instinct

Body recovers its strength
Deprivation of sleep for more than two days can cause hallucinations, waste away physically, becoming invalid and eventually develop insanity

Mental activity: 35 Hertz ( beta
Being awake (relaxed), in a primary stage of anaesthesia: 14 Hz ( alpha (without this state you cannot fall asleep)
Light sleep: 8 Hertz
Deep sleep: 4 Hz
REM phase: frequencies change, we always dream in this phase

3 states of consciousness:
Being awake
Deep sleep
REM – sleep
REM – sleep appears after the deep sleep
Eye movement: dreaming with all senses, not totally explored
If someone is woken up in the REM – phase, he/she tend to be aggressive and peevish
You are not able to catch up normal sleep, whereas the REM – phase can be caught up
Babies: REM – phase makes up 50% of the entire sleeping time
Adults: REM – phase only makes up 20 % of the sleeping time

Sleeping disorders:
Usually originates from stress and restlessness
They can also be caused by the circumstances of life or can be of biological origin
Solutions: changing habits (such as eating, relaxation exercises, etc.)
Taking sleeping pills: dangerous, as you become depended very fast/ risk of getting addicted is very high, need more and more to get asleep –> need amphetamines in the morning to awake properly

= is a prolonged inability to sleep
According to psychiatrists this illness is less common than we generally supposed.
A problem that turns up while trying to diagnose insomnia is that even though we are able to establish how long someone sleeps, we cannot determine how beneficial someone’s sleep is.
The majority of people who suffer from insomnia are old people, who need less sleep at night.

There is no doubt that everybody dreams
We don’t know for certain, if we dream in colour or in black and white.
One theory is that we dream about two thirds in black and white and the other third in colours.
An opposing theory is that we always dream in colour, but we don’t remember the colours.
A dream consists of: perception without using the senses
Nevertheless we have an extraordinary sensual perception in our dreams (we imagine smells, heat, coldness, etc.)
Dreams fly in the face of logic
External perceptions can be integrated in a dream if we want to continue sleeping, (such a perception can be: the noise of the alarm clock), unfortunately this doesn’t work for to long( we wake up
Psychoanalytic dream theory: Freud
Via regia is the road to the subconscious

The censorship of our society:
Humans change (especially their moralities and ethical values)
Aggression was essential/crucial for survival
Sex drive/sexual instinct (coordinated by thalamus)is a basic/primal instinct, we are not able to act our primal instincts out
“Therefore is every dream a pipe dream”

Dream censorship:
Sometimes our true wishes and dreams are to embarrassing to act them out in real life
So they find a translation/ metaphor in our dreams
(e.g.: hating the own father ( we dream to smash a bug, otherwise it would be too cruel
Latent dream: gives information about our inner life, expresses infantile wishes
Manifest dream: an arrangement of sensual perceptions and thinking processes

Dream work:

Three methods:
Consolidation: an object occurs regularly, it can have different characteristics/qualities
Dislocation/ postponement: the actual storyline only appears in the background (=an unconscious message)
Symbolisation: thought get represented by metaphors, this is the most common method
C.G. Jung (student of Freud)

Criticism on Freud’s theories:
Not every dream is a (sexual) pipe dream
The interpretation of a dream is impossible without the individual
There is no dream censorship only a “dream masquerade”

New findings:
External and internal stimuli do not play an important role
Personality features ( interpretation depends on the personality)
You need the person who dreamt it to interpret a dream

Interpreting Dreams:
Using a book to interpret dreams may be helpful, but one has to be aware that a book cannot provide the exact meaning of a dream. Nevertheless, a book can give you certain signposts to help one to consider the meaning of a dream.
In general, it is to say, that we can distinguish between two different types of symbols which appear in dreams.
There are symbols which many people share, the so – called universal symbols. C.G. Jung called the universal symbols archetypes; they can provide clues to understand a dream better.
Furthermore there are symbols which are drawn form an individual experience. They only mean something for one person.

Common archetypes:
Certain dreams tend to be fairly wide spread, and seem to have a universal meaning relating to problems everyone is concerned with. An example is the fear of losing control over a situation.

Falling often symbolises the fear of losing control over one’s feelings or over a situation.

Flying or floating on the air:
If someone dreams of flying regularly, chances are high that he/she suffers from low self – esteem. In this dream he/she is compensating this lack of self – esteem and leaves everyday problems behind.

Running from a pursuer:
More than 70% of people report being chased or pursued in their dreams. Usually they find themselves trapped and unable to escape. Such dreams can appear when people are confronted with frustrating or worrying situations in their every day life.

Taking an examination:
In general dreams of passing an examination relate to some kind of wish – fulfilment. This can be the desire to pass a real examination or it can symbolise the desire to achieve success in an oncoming activity.
Dreaming about actually taking an exam can express anxieties about tasks we face in our every day life.
The so – called ‘action – replay dream’ is very common in this type of dream. It means that we have to take again an examination, which we have already taken in real life.
Normally it is good to let somebody help you with this process. If you interpret a dream on your own, you are very likely to come up with a comfortable interpretation, one that you can easily accept.
It can also be helpful to keep a dream diary on your bedside table where you write down as much as you can remember from your dream as soon as you wake up. This will improve your ability to remember dreams.

Lucid dreaming:
If you awake and than fall back to sleep (on purpose) you will be able to take control over your dream, many children and teenagers do it, the majority of adults tend not to take control over what they are dreaming
A typical lucid dream contains: everything that is unreachable in reality (far from reality)
Some artists and actors use lucid dreams being awake for practise.
It is possible to create a lucid dream artificially
Danger/problem / negative aspect: if carried to excess, people live in an illusory world exclusively, danger of addiction

Day dreams:
Naturally every person has them,
Absentminded dreaming while awake, a sequence of an imaginary situation, while being totally awake

Anticipatory day dream: imagining a future event/an event that is going to take place, usually optimistic, depressive people tend to add a certain negativity to their imaginative forecasts
Compensatory day dream: an unsatisfying event is reconstructed after a miss achievement

Loss of reality, imaginary world, addiction
Risk of accidents caused by a lack of attention

Inspiration of dreams:
Many famous artist, writers and scientists have reported that dreams have provided great material for their work. Goethe, for instance always kept a notebook beside his bedside table to write down, lines, and sometimes even entire poems which popped up in his dreams.
Even the Frankenstein monster was the product of a nightmare.
Sleeping in general (psychological):
REM - sleep, sleeping disorders, 3 states of consciousness
what is a dream?, psychoanalytic dream theory (Freud),dream work (Freud, Jung), dream interpretation, common archetypes, Lucid dreaming, day dreaming (1301 Wörter)
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