How we dream....

Essay by Preci28High School, 11th grade December 2003

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Dreams are a normal and necessary function of the body. When we are robbed of our vital dreaming activity through things such as sleep deprivation, disturbances, and stress both people and animals become irritable and disoriented. Dreams come from our soul and help us to progress on life's path. They help us in a variety of ways from simple problem solving to understanding the deeper levels of our consciousness. Dreams help us gain inspiration and insight to learning how we can feel happier, healthier, and more fulfilled. Many people have solved their problems through their dreams. Some have created music and poetry in them while others have experienced prophetic dreams that have helped save lives.

Since the dawn of time, all humankind has experienced dreams. Dreams are the one thing that we have in common with everyone. For scientists dreams were guardians of sleep. It was believed that people had dreams in periods of light sleep or in the morning to keep them from waking up too quickly.

In the early 1950's Professor Nathaniel Kleitman at the University of Chicago became curious about studying whether the cycle of motor activity including eye movement in infants would somehow reveal a predictable pattern of awakening. Kleitman along with his assistant noticed that sleeping infants and adult subjects exhibit something called Rapid Eye Movement or REM several times during the course of a night's sleep. Each REM cycle can last anywhere from three to fifty-five minutes. By the time John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as president in 1961 the scientific community had come to a stunning conclusion that sleep consisted of two separate states that of Rapid Eye Movement and non-rapid eye movement.

In the first phase of sleep the brain waves slow for their waking frequency, also know as Beta, to...