An analysis of your sleep habits. Do you go to bed at the same time every night? How many hours a night do you normally sleep? How could you be a better sleeper? Do you notice any patterns? What concepts from your text might apply to your sleep habits?
An analysis of your dreams. Why do you usually dream? Are there any patterns or reoccurring themes? Is there any consistency between the things you do during the day and the dreams you have? *If you cannot remember your dreams, you can skip this part and spend more time focusing on the steps above and below.
Your conclusion as to what is the MAIN purpose that we dream and why. Consider the theories presented in your readings.
There was a time I could never fall asleep if I was not watching something on the TV or my laptop or reading a book on the bed. I would toss and turn long after getting to bed trying to sleep with no avail especially because it was a house rule for everyone to be in bed at a particular time. When that happened, the next day I would be very unproductive during the afternoon hours. Then I discovered how easy it was to fall asleep while watching or reading something and adopted that culture until eventually, I phased it out and was able to sleep normally. On such days my dreams would be mostly about what I was watching or reading. For instance, if it was a superhero movie, I would be dreaming about being in a very tight situation and doing extraordinary things like flying to solve my problem. It was a very confusing time. However, with time, I mastered the way to handle sleeping. On an ordinary day, I sleep at around 11 pm. Sometimes, sleep comes instantly it takes a while. I learnt the art to shut off thoughts of fear, anxiousness and ambition when I went to bed. Most times, depending on the activities of the day, I fall asleep as soon as I get to bed and remember nothing the next morning about any dreams that occurred during the night. I like such kind of days because waking up in the morning feels like a complete restart with no thoughts of dreams in the night.
Dreams and dreaming are concepts that are as old as time to the human race and have been a constant debate to philosophers for long. To date, the science of dreams has not been understood fully. Controversial theorists like Sigmund Freud who thought of the brain in three parts, Id comprising desires, dreams and urges, ego comprising rationality and superego that censors Id and propels morality of the ego (Freud 1952). He further suggested that awake, the Id is suppressed but when asleep, our unsuppressed and unconscious desires come to play which is the foundation of dreams. Of course, his theory had serious shortcomings like why then it was that sometimes dreams are scary and terrifying while they are supposed to be a reflection of our unaltered desires.
Personally, on most nights I cannot remember a dream. Sometimes in some particular phases, especially when going through a big change in life, I have a series of recurring dreams most of them frightening ones. Other times I find that my activities during the day are very much responsible for the dream that appears at night while other times and most of the times, a dream has no basis or logic at all. I can dream about a place that does not exist doing things I have never done and with people I have never met. There is nothing consistent, logical or recurring about such dreams. At such times, I am sure that there is something that we as the human race have not figured about ourselves, our brains and by extension our existence.
However, science has been able to prove things like the unexplained fact that it is possible to feel physical pain from a dream consisting of physical harm, though on rare occasions. This was observed on the part of the brain that responds to pain. Other theorists and philosophers argue that in remembering a dream, the actual images and scenes from the dream are non-existent and only appear as so on waking up. One thing remains certain however, the actual state of sleeping barely determines the events in a dream. A nap for thirty minutes could have a week’s memory on a dream while an eight-hour sleep could have ten minutes of dream memory. The concept of time is non-existent in dreams. There is still much we need to investigate dreams including the myth that it is some form of communication with the supernatural world.
Freud, S. (1952). On dreams. WW Norton & Company.
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