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Transcript of Personal Project
up in the morning, don't you feel like you don't want to get up and go back
to sleep? Studies have shown that a lot of sleep, and occasionally short, 20 minute naps relieves stress and increases productivity and awareness. While sleeping, dreams occur as a release of neural activity in the brain. During this time of imaginative creativity, all your troubles are easily forgotten and drift away. In fact, while dreaming, if you have something stressful you are thinking about or going on in your life, it will sometimes manifest itself in your psyche as a nightmare. If you are able to achieve lucidity, you can actually talk to this "nightmare" and find out how to deal with it. Your brain, even without going lucid, will analyze situations and try to find a solution. Being representations of images and thoughts of your consciousness, dreams of course are a huge part in psychological analysis of yourself. However, not all of these representations are very straightforward. Coville, Charles, dir. "NOVA | What Are Dreams?" NOVA. Prod. Sarah Holt. PBS. BBC,
n.d. Dream Exploration. PBS.org. Web. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/what-are-dreams.html Raheel Qureshi Goal Statement Explore the concept of dreams. What are they and why do we have them? Are we able to control and manipulate them? Dreams have astounded everyone. We have all had them, but what exactly are they? What do they mean? Most people theorize dreams are gateways to the subconscious. However, many psychologists believe
that dreams are potentially more than that. One notable theory, proposed by psychologist Sigmund Freud, states that dreams act as a defense mechanism for our brain to relieve stress and heal our body. Therefore, he believed it replaced negative emotions and desires deemed "strange" by hiding it with symbols. He stated there are two parts of dreams, manifest and latent. Manifest is usually what you can remember and restate, and has no meaning since it hides the underlying truth. Latent holds the true meaning of the dream; the dark consciousness and desires. Freud believed that the symbols in latent dreaming were mainly dark and shameful sexual desires.
Others theorize that it can be used as a defense mechanism. Children often have nightmares of conflict,
abandonment, monsters, etc. Psychologists theorize that these dreams have deeper significant meanings (conflict representing growing up, abandonment standing for loneliness, and monsters as a twisted perspective of something they deem strange or scary). Dreams may even be a way for the brain to simulate these situations and look for different solutions. Even though you are asleep, your brain is hard at work, as active and sometimes even more active than when you're awake. It goes through memories, analyzes what you did and experienced while awake, and disposes of needless information.
During non-REM sleep, the brain is inactive and psychologists have found that
the brain replays the past in short neural bursts, analyzing and making very
loose connections. Then, during REM, the brain causes muscles to tense, heart
rate to increase, and neural activity spikes. During this time, the brain is sorting
out the information in order to try and anticipate, predict, and simulate
possible future outcomes. This cycle occurs 4-6 times while asleep, so even if
you can't remember them, you have 4-6 dreams a night. Isn't the brain amazing? "Lucid Dreaming FAQ." Lucid Dreaming Frequently Asked Questions Answered by The Lucidity
Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013. http://www.lucidity.com/LucidDreamingFAQ2.html . FAQ. . Transcript. Dream Moods, Inc. "An Online Guide To Dream Interpretation." An Online Guide To Dream
Interpretation. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013. http://www.dreammoods.com/ . "Insomnium" Insomnium. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013.
http://dreams.insomnium.co.uk/dream-theory/introduction-freud-theory-on-dreams . Frozen Star. Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under
Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Background Music: . This presentation will explore and explain many aspects of sleeping and dreaming. At the end, I will answer a few questions you have on dreaming and lucidity. Dreams are, in the simplest sense, a way for the brain to replay and analyze memories and past experiences. During REM stages, neural activity spikes as the brain is sorting the information gathered and discarding of the unnecessary information. It is for these reasons sleep is necessary. Sleeping and dreaming keeps the brain from overloading, which can result in brain damage, and even death in extreme insomniac cases.
Dreaming is the release of neural activity in bursts. Since your body is largely inactive, your subconscious has a lot of time to think and process. During sleep, your brain is recuperating and healing your body. Think of it like a computer running a security scan and fixing malware problems.
In order to understand why we dream, let's compare sleep to something also fundamentally important: eating. Think of this analogy: hunger is to eating as tiredness is to sleep. When you are full, you feel refreshed and side effects such as lethargy, a bloated feeling, and the need to use a restroom consequently
are felt. Dreams are in a way like the side effects of sleep. Since our
brain is processing information in our almost-lifeless state, some
of the subconscious visions remain in our memory banks,
which we are then able to access with
our conscious minds. "Why Do We Sleep, Anyway?" Healthy Sleep. Harvard.edu, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2013.
http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/why-do-we-sleep . "Sleep Stress Relief." Sleep Stress Relief. Natural Stress Relief Guide, 2009. Web. 09 Mar. 2013.
http://www.naturalstressreliefguide.com/sleep-stress-relief.html . The Science of Lucid Dreaming. By Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown. AsapSCIENCE.
YouTube. 10 Oct. 2012. Web. 09 Mar. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYSX51xBkos>. The Scientific Power of Naps. By Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown. Perf. AsapSCIENCE.
YouTube. N.p., 24 July 2012. Web. 09 Mar. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ_f9onTTQE>. Lucid dreaming is the ability to control and take the reigns of your dreams and subconcious. You become lucid when you "wake up" in a dream, which means you realize that you are dreaming. When this occurs, your conscious and subconscious minds merge, allowing you to really experience the dream as if you were awake while controlling the events. For instance, one of the most pleasurable dreams people create when going lucid is flying through a gorgeous landscape. As you are also semi-conscious, you really feel the wind on your face, the sun on your body, the exhilarating rush of flying high in the clouds...
While lucid, you can imagine anything you like. In fact, while lucid you may be even more aware of yourself and surroundings than while
awake. However, this can make nightmares seem even more real and terrifying. But, what makes lucid dreaming even more amazing is
that you can confront these monsters and even ask what they
represent. Lucid dreaming opens up the opportunity to
talk to your subconscious; your "inner you". So,
how do you engage lucidity? There are many different ways to induce a lucid dream. After some extensive research, and even trying to experience one myself, here are methods that I and many psychologists have found effective:
Probably the most effective and important step is to keep a dream journal. A dream journal is a place where, like the name states, you keep track of your dreams. This is a crucial step because it improves dream AND memory recall. Remembering your dreams allows you to imagine them over again and dreaming that you become lucid in them.
Another crucial step is preforming "reality checks". If you sense something isn't right, look around. Some good things to observe are your hand, a piece of text, or the time. If you are asleep, it will look distorted or change when you look at it again. You will realize you are dreaming and become lucid. Another good thing to look at is your reflection, but it is highly unadvised as the distorted image of yourself can lead to a nightmare. By routinely performing these, it will become a habit
and you will eventually perform it in the dream, engaging lucidity.
Another good thing to try is the M.I.L.D. (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming) technique. It involves
becoming relaxed and prepared to sleep still. Meditation or listening to binaural theta brain waves can help.
While drifting off, repeat to yourself "I will wake up" or set an alarm. When you wake up, write your dream
down in your journal (even if you don't remember dreaming, just write "nothing"). Then, when falling back to
sleep, imagine a "dream sign" in that dream to tell you are dreaming and look for that sign.
After attempting the M.I.L.D. technique, you can try the W.I.L.D. (Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming) technique. This technique involves physically falling asleep while staying mentally awake. It is quite difficult to do, but yields the best results. Once you get the hang of it, lucid dreaming becomes much easier. Find a comfortable position and try staying as still as you can. Ignore the urge to scratch or adjust. Repeat "I will lucid dream" in your head while drifting off. Keep your mind awake by focusing on something like your breathing, heartbeat, or ticking of a clock. Eventually, you will experience something known as "sleep paralysis", which is where your body is asleep but your mind is awake. You cannot move in this state, and your mind is very susceptible to mental images of all types, so be careful about nightmares. You will then be able to form and control your dreams.
The last method is to imagine a static image (like your hand). Then, while falling asleep, keep your mind on just that picture and try not to distort it. At some point, you will fall asleep and "wake up" in your dream still viewing that static image and achieve lucidity.
There are many other methods, but these have been proven the most effective in inducing a lucid dream. Binaural Theta Brainwaves
These waves simulate the activity of the brain during low-level thinking and high-level creativity. This includes using your imagination, dreaming, and relaxing. A dream dictionary like the one at http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary/ can help you decipher the meanings behind your dreams, and consequently help you gain a better understanding of yourself. It also helps you find recurring patterns in your dreams, and find what they represent. Your dreams are literally your "inner you", your gut feelings, instincts, and psyche that is trying to talk to the "false you", the conscious awake you that suppresses certain instincts, thoughts, and actions. Naps are so beneficial because the chance of
inducing a lucid dream becomes higher, plus you
feel much more refreshed than a full 10 hour
sleep. Studies have shown that 20 to 30 minute
power-naps are the most beneficial. The reason
is because you don't delve past REM Stage 2,
meaning your consciousness is still somewhat
aware. This makes it easier to imagine and
manipulate a dream scenario. Plus, upon wake we do not experience grogginess or tiredness as we do in the mornings. The reason is due to the fact that when delving deeper than Stage 3 and complete one full REM cycle, our bodies have to reboot, so to speak. This is a property known as "sleep inertia" and is what causes that groggy feeling. The stages of sleep. About 30 minutes into sleep, the brain enters stage 3 of REM, which is when your bodily functions start shutting down, and your brain inhibits motor functions. After an hour, you are in sleep paralysis and non-REM dreaming begins. When 90 minutes has progressed, one REM cycle has occurred. Your brain activity spikes. This cycle repeats, each time not delving as far into REM stages as the last until you wake up. Sometimes in order to lucid dream you don't even have to fall asleep. If you become relaxed enough, you can slip into a daydream. Everyone has experienced a daydream when they were bored, waiting, or tired; and depending on the circumstances, a daydream can also be very lucid. What's nice about daydreams is that they can be initiated while awake and conscious, and you have more control over them. However, you can easily lose track of all going on around you as if you were asleep, so be careful. External stimuli that relax the brain, such as binaural theta brainwaves,
scented candles, and calm music can also relieve stress. Yoga and
meditation are also great ways to clear your mind and relax. When
your brain is nice and relaxed, you have a heightened sense of
creativity and imagination. It is easy to imagine vivid scenarios
when relaxed, and the stress of daily life just seems to
flow away. Rainymood.com is an excellent website
to listen to calm, relaxing music mixed
with the calm sound of rain. As just stated, dreams are a form of communication from the "inner you". This is your subconscious and includes your morality, instincts, and feelings. When lucid dreaming, you can even converse with it as it may manifest itself through an object or person. You can ask it any question (such as, "Who am I really?" or "What should I do with my life?") and it will give you its, and by extension your, honest answer. By doing this, you can learn more about yourself than you ever knew before. Thank you for viewing my project and reading my presentation. If you have any questions, you may now ask them. You can even converse with night terrors and nightmares. They typically tend to represent things that have been torturing you (examples include loneliness, stress, bullies, inner turmoil or conflict, etc.). By lucid dreaming, you are able to confront these fears... Area of Interaction Health and Social Education Sigmund Freud Dreams have many benefits. They allow you to take a glimpse at your subconscious. They sort information and experiences. They analyze the past to solve and predict the future. The truth is that brains are amazing and wondrous things! Dreams are a window into our innermost desires, our inner selves, and can help relieve stress by identifying and solving life problems.
Sleep, and also naps, are just as beneficial as they refresh and heal our bodies. It helps us stay quick, aware, and gives us time to escape reality. We soak in knowledge gained during the day. Our minds are reshaped and refreshed, and ready to take on the challenges the future poses for us. RAGE FEAR AGGRESSION decipher what they represent... LONELINESS dream a better dream... and find the solution to not only the dream,
but your real life problems as well. HAPPINESS KINDNESS COURAGE FRIENDSHIP