Dreams Understanding Essay

The subconscious is usually the right side of the brain or the opposite side of
the persons writing hand. Within the subconscious lie different types of things
such as suppressed emotions, creativity, and basic human instinct (Ullman and
Zimmerman 1979). The conscious part of the mind works when people are awake and
is the part of the mind that handles things that people can understand. No one
truly knows why a person can’t interact with the subconscious while awake,
however studies show that dreams are a way in which people can better comprehend
its behavior. The condition of the body during dreaming is interesting because
the brain shuts off all sensory receptors thus, canceling all somatic impulses (Ullman
and Zimmerman 1979). This puts the body in an almost paraplegic state. The brain
however continues to control all autonomic functions such as blood flow, heart
pulsation, and lung inflation. During the sleep, homeostasis will fluctuate
because sleep occurs on four stages (Davidmann, 1998). The individual goes from
awake to stage 1, then to 2, 3, and finally 4, the deepest stage of sleep. After
spending about twenty minutes in stage 4, they return to stage 1 and progress
back to stage 4. The individual will continue to make these cycles throughout
their sleep. Most individuals will experience about 4 to 5 cycles a night (Davidmann,
1998). This is why humans are more apt to wake up at specific times in the night
and not sporadically (most people do not notice this however). During stage 1
the individual will experience what has been named REM (Rapid Eye Movement), I
will make further elaboration on REM momentarily. For now I would like to point
out that during REM the body will show more signs of consciousness by
spontaneous muscle contractions, flagellate excretion, and oculomoter
coordination (eye movement). The body will experience these tensions and
reactions because this is the active time of sleep in the average human (Davidmann,
1998). I spoke earlier of REM (Rapid Eye Movement); it is the time in which the
individual will have their dreams. Nathaniel Kleitman discovered it in 1953. It
always occurs in the lightest stage of sleep, stage 1. It has been given its
name because of the muscle contractions in the eye motor receptors. These
electrical impulses originate from the brain stem and then travel to the eyes to
produce imagery. The catalysts for these impulses are triggered by the
subconscious mind and the emotions within it (Davidmann, 1998). The REM will
usually begin ninety minutes after sleep is initiated and will last roughly ten
to fifteen minutes (Davidmann, 1998). It is during the ten to fifteen minutes
that dreams occur. The REM will end and the individual will slip into deeper
sleeps, until the forth stage is reached. Once this occurs the mind begins to
come out of the deeper sleep stages until it reaches the REM once again. The
interesting factor is that each time the sleeper enters the REM phase of sleep
the REM phase will increase in length. This repeats four to five times in the
average sleep. The reason the dreams occur in the REM or the lightest stage is
because this is the only stage in which the conscious mind can interpret the
imagery of the subconscious. This is not to say that the subconscious doesn’t
remain active in deeper sleep stages but the conscious mind isn’t alert enough
to decipher the imagery the subconscious creates in deep sleep. A good
personification description of this is to say that the conscious simply can’t
swim as deep as the subconscious. The REM is also interesting because if a
person does not experience it they will suffer from various sleeping disorders
because it is required by the body just like sunlight is required. People who
experience exaggerated REM will suffer from fatigue and sleep depravation while
they are awake. Usually, a fully-grown person has about 4 to 5 cycles of REM
sleep, consisting of about 25% of a night’s sleep. A newborn child’s sleep can
consist of as high as 50% REM type sleep (Davidmann, 1998). As I previously
stated, a person would go through the sleep stage cycle four to five times a
night, hence four to five dreams per night. With this in mind it can be
calculated the average human being will have 136,000 dreams in a lifetime,
spending about six total years in the REM stage dreaming. Mentally retarded
individuals or people with low IQs tend to spend less time in the REM type
sleep, but other mental disorders are capable of initiating more REM type sleep.

The reason for this is unknown. Now that the diagnostics of dreams has been
covered I would like to focus on the origin of dreams from a medical standpoint.

We will write a custom essay sample on
Dreams Understanding Essay
or any similar topic only for you
Order now

As a consequence, memory, sensory, muscle-control, and cognitive areas of the
brain are randomly stimulated, resulting in the higher cortical brain attempting
to make some sense of it. The reason for these stimulations is unknown but
various medical researchers believe they are the after effects of certain
chemical reactions in the brain. This, according to the research, gives rise to
the experience of a dream, but there is controversy of the question of whether
dreams have intentional meaning. Many psychotherapists agree that dreams are
stimulated by impulses from the brain stem but they have actual meaning and are
not just hallucinations.


Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out