Dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. The content and purpose of dreams are not definitively understood, though they have been a topic of scientific speculation, as well as a subject of philosophical and religious interest, throughout recorded history. The scientific study of dreams is called oneirology. Scientists believe that, in addition to humans, certain birds and the majority of mammals also dream.
Dreams mainly occur in the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep—when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake. REM sleep is revealed by continuous movements of the eyes during sleep. At times, dreams may occur during other stages of sleep. However, these dreams tend to be much less vivid or memorable.
Dreams can last for a few seconds, or as long as twenty minutes. People are more likely to remember the dream if they are awakened during the REM phase. The average person has about 3 to 5 dreams per night, but some may have up to 7 dreams in one night. The dreams tend to last longer as the night progresses. During a full 8-hour night sleep, two hours of it is spent dreaming.
Dreams have been seen as a connection to the unconscious. They range from normal and ordinary to overly surreal and bizarre. Dreams can have varying natures, such as frightening, exciting, magical, melancholic, adventurous, or sexual. The events in dreams are generally outside the control of the dreamer, with the exception of lucid dreaming, where the dreamer is self-aware. Dreams can at times make a creative thought occur to the person or give a sense of inspiration.
Opinions about the meaning of dreams have varied and shifted through time and culture. Dream interpretations date back to 5000-4000 BC. The earliest recorded dreams were acquired from materials dating back approximately 5,000 years, in Mesopotamia, where they were documented on clay tablets. In the Greek and Roman periods, the people believed that dreams were direct messages from the gods, or from the dead and that they predicted the future. Some cultures practiced dream incubation with the intention of cultivating dreams that are prophetic.
The Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, who developed the discipline of psychoanalysis, wrote extensively about dream theories and interpretations. He explained dreams as manifestations of our deepest desires and anxieties, often relating to repressed childhood memories or obsessions. In The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud developed a psychological technique to interpret dreams and devised a series of guidelines to understand the symbols and motifs that appear in our dreams.
Other articles related to "dream, dreams":
... Dream sharing is the process of documenting or discussing both night and day dreams with others ... One of the primary purposes of sharing dreams is dream interpretation ... The sharing of dreams dates back at least as far as 4000-3000 BC in permanent form on clay tablets ...
... The symbolism that comes up in dreams and the archetypal things that you discover in the process of self dream-analysis are things that have been recurrent ... Jung's 1961 work, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, served as a specific source of inspiration for Turner, as he noted on his blog in a post preceding the album's release ... he has spoken of how the album is closely related to dreams, and that he had been keeping a dream journal during the album's compositional phase ...
... Rough Dreams is an album by Shivaree, released by Odeon Records in 2002 ... Due to disputes with the label, Rough Dreams was not officially released in the United States ...
... In Dragons of Dreams, the player characters free the elven kingdom of Silvanesti from a plague of magical nightmares ... DL10 Dragons of Dreams was written by Tracy Raye Hickman, with a cover by Clyde Caldwell and interior illustrations by Diana Magnuson, and was published by TSR in 1985 as a 32-page book and an 8-page pamphlet ... in this adventure "encounter lots of dream-generated weirdness" ...
Famous quotes containing the word dreams:
“When my dreams showed signs
no unruly images
escaping beyond borders
then I began to wonder”
—Adrienne Rich (b. 1929)
“Dreams pursue death as winds a flying fire,
Our dreams pursue our dead and do not find.”
—A.C. (Algernon Charles)
“All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.”
—William Faulkner (18971962)