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The process of assigning meaning to dreams


There are 5 different dream theories

The Science of Sleep
SIGMUND FREUD developed the technique of dream analysis to connect a persons conscious and unconscious minds. His work was the first to establish that dreams were worthy of scientific study. He suggested that in dreaming the mind engages in the act of primary process. That is, the dreamers unconscious fears or desires that are transformed into dream symbols. The secondary process refers to repression of the impulses and symbols in the conscious waking mind.

1. Freud's wish-fufillment

Dreams provide a "psychic safety valve"- expressing otherwise unacceptable feelings; contain manifest (remembered) content and a deeper layer of latent content- a hidden meaning.
Some studies claim that women tend to have more peaceful dreams than men. But gender itself may not be the significant variable, rather family background that forms the all-important foundation of our dreams. Loving families will make an individual have a more warm dream life, and a disturbed family life has the opposite effect. Our brightest and most optimistic dreams usually occur when we are sad in our waking worlds, and its as if the peaceful dreams happen to inspire through these bad times.
Anxiety dreams or dreams with fear, and you becoming a killer or even confronting a killer, but it doesn't mean that you will soon become a criminal. Rather, it may mean that you are carrying a weight of an undesirable personality characteristic that needs to be extinguished.
Devil dreams with their lints to Satan, fear, and fertility may indicate a new phase in life, new beginnings, and fertilization rather than negative events. A father figure that appears in a frightening dream is likely to express notions of guilt. Confronting the devils and anxieties within our dream lives can facilitate the journey toward positive emotional well-being.
As the nightmare unfolds, the pulse and respiratory rate of the dreamer can double. Some people get so troubled by their dreams, that they are too afraid to go to sleep and they remain in a semi-slumber or hypnogogia. Those with PTSD usually have flashback dreams that are horrifying.
Dreams that involve birth, life, and death show the development of maturity or a new phase in your personal development. Whether it was the loss of an old emotion, anxiety, or feelings of guilt and even the birth of a new phase.

2. Information-processing

Dreams help us sort out the days events and consolidate our memories.
Research reveals that sleep is for making memories, and restoring and rebuilding our fading memories of the day's experiences. People trained to perform tasks recall them better after a night's sleep, or even a short nap, than after several hours awake. (walker and stickgold, 2006)

3. Physiological function

Regular brain stimulation from REM sleep may help develop and preserve neural pathways.

4. Activation-synthesis

REM sleep triggers neural activity that evokes random visual memories, which our sleeping brain weaves into stories.

5. Cognitive development

Dream content reflects dreamers cognitive development- their knowledge and understanding.

Fun Fact

-You yawn in response to reduced brain metabolism. Yawning, which can be socially contagious, stretches your neck muscles and increases your heart rate, which increases your alertness.

-Artificial light delays sleep, which is why we get up when the sun rises and sleep when its dark.


1. When people dream of performing some activity, their limbs often move in concert with the dream.

2. Older adults sleep more than young adults

3. Sleepwalkers are acting out their dreams

4. Some people dream every night; others seldom dream

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