Since the beginning of time, dreams have been a mysterious wonder amongst humans. The word "dream" comes from the Middle English word dreme, which means, "joy" and "music." Everyone has dreams, and those who say they don't in fact do, but just don't remember their dreams. A person spends 6 years of their life dreaming, which is equivalent to 2,100 days in different world (dreamfacts). Many people often have weird and unexplained dreams that they usually just overlook, but research is showing that there is meaning behind dreams. In the Ancient time, the Greeks and Romans would visit dream temples to search their dreams as messages from the Gods (Gackenbach and Bosveld, 1989). Today, through advanced extended studies and research, psychologists have made remarkable theories about the characteristics of dreams, their functions, and what they mean. People can correlate their dreams into real life to solve problems and better understand themselves, once they're able to determine these factors.
When people sleep, they go through a four stage cycle which lasts for about 90-120 minutes and repeats itself about four to five times on average, but may repeat as many as seven times in one night. Dreams may occur through any of the four stages, but are most remembered by people in the last stage of sleep known as the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage. In this stage of sleep, the dreamer's eyes move back and fourth rapidly, and occurs about 90-100 minutes after they fall asleep. Also in REM sleep, the dreamer's blood pressure rises and their heart rate and respiration speeds up, and their voluntary muscles are paralyzed. Most people have several dreams in one given night, but they usually only remember very little about them. A person who lacks dream activity could have protein deficiency or a personality disorder (dreamfacts). There are five major characteristics of dreams. One is that most dreams consist of familiar people to the dreamer. The second characteristic is that most dreams take place in a building, home, or recreational area. Another is that strong feelings may occur in dreams such as anger, fear, or pain. Also, dreams can feel very real to the dreamer. They can be watching the dream or be participants in it. Last, elements from the dreamer's previous day may be part of their dream's content (Scheingold, 2002).
There are several different types of dreams. The first type of dream is a daydream, which is classified as a conscious state between being asleep and awake. It occurs when peoples' mind wonders. On average, people daydream 70-120 minutes a day. The second type of dream is a lucid dream. This dream occurs when the person realizes they're in a dream, and usually wakes themselves up. Some cultivated dreamers can remain in a lucid state of dreaming, becoming an active participant in their dream without allowing themselves to awaken. Another type of dream is a nightmare. A nightmare is described as a disturbing dream that causes the dreamer to wake up feeling anxious and scared. Recurring dreams are repeated dreams that have about the same story and theme, most being nightmares. Another type of dream is a healing dream, which refers to the dreamer's health. A prophetic dream, also known as a precognitive dream, is a dream that supposedly foretells the future. Last, there are epic dreams, which are dreams that possess beauty and contain archetypal symbology. These dreams are said to be impossible to ignore because they are so big, vivid, compelling (dreamtypes/index).
Dreams have always been interpreted to serve a function to the dreamer. Even blind people dream, because vision is not the only sense that constitutes a dream (dreamfacts). Sigmund Freud who lived from 1865-1939 analyzed dreams in order to understand certain aspects of one's personality (dreamtheory/freud). He believed that dreams functioned to satisfy unconscious sexual and aggressive wishes, because such wishes as...
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