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Dreams have long exercised a fascination over the human imagination. Many people have questions about them. Dreams over time have captured the interest of many. They have continued to intrigue the simplest of people because of their meaning, their occurrences and their different styles and patterns. One of the most common questions that come up about dreams is how they occur. The theory of REM explains this. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. Dreaming is simply the early stage of sleeping. It takes place during REM, using a portion of the brain called pons, which generates signals to the brain (Lewis 3). It is a known fact that everyone dreams, and that REM occurs every 90-100 minutes as stated by Deming (4). The process of dreaming is not a psychic activity but rather a somatic process, which makes itself known as psychic (Crisp 45). Dreams most commonly concern themselves mainly with the future. They are visionary wishes of fulfillment. When a person dreams they may dreams about a certain part of their day, or something that they would like to happen. It is true that everyone dreams however, remembering a dream is often not possible (Uchida 119). When looked at closer it is quite interesting to see how many people actually remember their dreams. 15% say that they never recall their dreams, 5% remember one a night and the average person recalls his/her dream 2-3 times a week (Shafton 350). It is also important to take a look at the different meanings of dreams. Dreams consist of actions such as embracement, births, deaths, being chased and falling. Embracement tends to indicate that you are reaffirming yourself. This means that you are in the process of reassurance, such as being able to trust people. This may be friends, lovers or movie stars. Then there are dreams where births take place. It is attention grabbing to know that women that are pregnant tend to dream about small cuddly animals at early stages of their pregnancy. As well as expectant fathers tend to dream about babies, birthdays parties more than married men whose wives are not pregnant (Cartwright 158). Dreams about births represent the beginning of something, religious salvation or remodeling project. There is also death. These dreams tend to focus mainly on the ending of something, specifically relationships or people who have had bad experiences in the past. These dreams also may signal to a therapist and possibly the dreamer that the time is approaching for successful course of therapy.

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Violent deaths may represent anger and aggression, although much depends on the more general tone or atmosphere of the dream. When the dreamer dies but is not unhappy in the dream it may symbolize letting go of an old part of oneself or the destruction, which once may have existed in their life (Sheldon 101). This is known as self-transformation. However if the dream is a lifeless corps then this tends to mean that you are living a lifeless routine, which is called devitalization. Finally there are the dreams where you are being chased. Being chased in a dream could mean that there is something, which is on our minds. Something that is concerning us, mainly focusing on others and their aggressive intent or other something that is threatening or frightening (Keatz 83). If the dreamer is the pursuer than it tends to mean that he/she may be chasing after a difficult goal. Falling is a universal dream motif. Fearful falling has been studied and believed to deal with failing in life, or being overwhelmed or out of control. Flying is another type of dream that means that the dreamer has risen above something. Sigmund Freud believed this to be associated with sexual desire (Lewis 304). Astral projection, which is what is used to explain flying, falling, nakedness and unpreparedness dreams is theory that there are degrees of projection ranging from fully conscious projection to unconscious projection, which occurs during sleep. Dreams have many meanings. When a dream has more than one meaning being manifested it is known as the degree of manifestation. Sigmund Freud believed that when comparing dreams the first aspect that becomes clear is the dream content with dream thoughts. This is known as work of condensation (Freud 175). When a dream consists one or more distinct people it is known as identification. Two or more people are known as composition. Something important to take note of is that remembering specific scenes in a dream is caused by “visual excitation”(Freud 402). With different dreams come different styles and patterns. Dreams tend to have patterns that can be seen over time by keeping journals, known as dimensions. Dreams such as recurrent dreams tend to be a common thing to happen among people. Recurrent dreams that occur are often said to help the dreamer resolve an issue that he/she has been struggling for years (Deming 63). Then there are nightmares or sleep terrors. It is believed that nightmares originated from Incubus and Succubus, who were evil demons in the Middle Ages (Lewis 85). Nightmares are sometimes caused from REM pattern sufferers, which are associated with the quality of their dreams. However night terrors sufferers can improve their dreams by taking certain steps. 1. For one, keeping track of dreams can help energy-draining anxieties surrounding treatments 2. Remember what you want to dream about before you go to sleep 3. Be motivation and practice Nightmare and night terrors are also considered crisis dreaming. These dreams can be dealt by following certain steps at stated in Cartwright’s book. It states that 1. Lie still while going over dream 2. Remember intention 3. Translate pictures into words 4. Remember fragments and try to re dream them 5. Recap feelings in dreams Nightmares and night terrors are often common in both children and adults. However, it is unknown when nightmares begin to occur. Nightmares are found to be similar in both children and adults in that they create a sense of vulnerability. Psychiatrist John E. Mack explains the difference in the nature of children and adults’ nightmares this way: Nightmares occur in response to the characteristic danger situations that human beings confront in the fear of strangers and the dread of abandonment in infancy and the fear of bodily injury in early childhood, and ending with the fears of failure, death and loss of function in adulthood and old age…Nightmares may become the prototypic expression of the activities that characterize each stage of development (qtd. In Lewis 175) Although many people have these types of dreams, some do not know when they need help to cure them. Some signs that people should seek help are if they have the same bad dreams, dream about the past all the time, moaning loud and walking, exhaustion due to dreams and injuring oneself. In conclusion we dream for reasons truly unknown other than to fulfill repressed wishes (Sargent 5). Dreams come in many different styles and patterns and although their meanings are really endless, dreams are what inspire us at times, give us ideas, help us in hard times, and warn us. They are fascinating and will always continue to grab the attention of the human mind.
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