Describe the stages of sleep. In which stage do we dream? What are the five common beliefs about dreaming? What are the two common theories about dreams? Which of the two theories do you agree with?
There are four stages of sleep;
Stage One is when we first fall asleep; it is often only a light sleep and is referred to as the time between wakefulness and sleep. During stage one the brain emits high frequency theta waves which are slow brain waves. The duration of stage one is approximately 5-10 minutes and is you woke at this point it might feel as if you were never asleep.
Stage Two is where the brain emits rapid rhythmic brain waves known as sleep spindles and K complexes; this period of sleep lasts approximately 20 minutes and during this time the heart rate and body temperature drop.
Stage Three is where delta waves are emitted which are deep, slow brain waves. This stage is where people become less responsive to noise and activity around them and at the end of this stage is where bed wetting and sleepwalking will take place. This stage is a deep sleep and is referred to as delta sleep where delta waves begin as occasional and then become more constant. This stage lasts approximately 30 minutes.
During the sleep period a person will cycle through the stages but once they return to stage one it will be different to the initial stage one sleep type. Re-occurring stage one sleep is followed by REMs which is when breathing becomes faster, irregular and shallow. Eye movement becomes more rapid, brain waves during this stage increase to levels experienced when a person is awake. A person’s heart rate increases and their blood pressure rises. In this stage men can develop erections and the body loses some ability to regulate its temperature. This is the period where most dreams occur, and, if awoken during REM sleep, a person can remember the dreams. Most people experience three to five intervals of REM sleep each night.
According to Pinel (2007),