Why Do We Dream?

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“Dreaming and their subsequent emotional interpretation have been investigated and recorded since the beginning of recorded history”. (as cited in Palagini; Rodenlicht, 2010). Recent experimental investigations applied to neurobiological and psychological perspectives of sleep identify a greatly dynamic arousal state, which in turn predicts a variety of physiological responses. One of the key stages associated within sleep is known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep; REM sleep at one stage was thought to be the primary dream period. However recent research and empirical evidence has shown that REM sleep does not have a direct relationship with dreaming, it is however purely and simply the stage of sleep which allows better recall of dreams. This is supported by Nielson (2000) who presented empirical evidence that dream recall during REM sleep in adults was as high as 60-90% after waking, whereas when individuals passed through into NREM sleep, this recall lowered substantially to 25-50%. Throughout this report, it will become clear of the relevance REM sleep has in the analysis period of these hallucinatory events. It is also important to clarify the different concepts and approaches attempting to explain dream phenomenon, such as psychoanalytical, neurobiological and finally to be discussed evolutionary explanations.

Sigmund Freud (1922) “Dreaming is the royal road to knowledge of the unconscious in mental life” (as cited in Arnold; Vogal, 2007, p20-21). Freud became adamant that dream symbols and interpretation with regards to psychoanalytical perspectives will always be prevalent and never disproven. The methodology of psychoanalysis’s enforces the notion that analysis of dream content is a vital necessity for the individual a...

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