Sleep And Dreams – Essay Example

Sleep and Dreams Order No. 263346 No. of pages Premium 6530 If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. (Henry David Thoreau)
For thousands of years now Dreams have tended to fascinate philosophers and others around the world, but since of late Dreams have come in for a lot of scrutiny and is now a subject that is under the microscope of great empirical research and scientific study.
Freud theorizes dreams as that function of the mind which protects the sleeper from all external and internal stimuli and can be called the guardian of our sleep. Light, noise etc constitute external stimuli, while our fears, desires, emotions, activities of the day are the internal stimuli, and Freud’s field of study. Dreams can be further divided according to their content as manifest and latent. Manifest content refers to all what a person remembers the moment he wakes up and can be recounted to anyone at all, while the latent dream is the one where a persons forbidden wishes and desires are visualized and they hold the key to unlocking the real meaning of the dream. A person’s dream’s may even be a repressed childhood wish while they may sometimes arise out of pre- determined biological reasons. Dreams occur when a mind is in a phase called "ego collapse", when the Id and Superego come together on a person’s Ego. A person’s unfulfilled desires during the course of the day becomes a vision when the mind is stimulated , allowing for desire fulfillment in the sleep state.
In 1977, J. Allan Hobson and Robert McClarley proposed the “activation-synthesis model of dreaming” and according to their theory, the brain circuits become activated during REM sleep. This causes the limbic system that is the seat of memories, emotions and sensations, in addition to the Hippocampus and the amygdala to become highly active. In return the brain tries to synthesize and interpret this internal activity by finding the meaning of these signals which results in dreams. This model suggests that dreams are a subjective interpretation of signal generated by the brain during sleep. Hobson, J.A. (1995).
References
Hobson, J.A. (1995). Sleep. New York: Scientific American Library.
Philosopher’s notes
www.philosophersnotes.com/quotes/by_topic/Dreams
Insomnium in Words: Dream Journal and Writing
http://www.insomnium.co.uk/words/?p=24#more-24
Why We Dream
http://library.thinkquest.org/11189/nftheories.htm