The Facts about Sleep and Dreams
The facts about the dream state. Discover how your sleep and dreams are related. Discover why you dream, how you dream and what your dreams mean.
Sleep and dreams are said to be the minds way of making sense of the various types of input that it has to cope with throughout the day. It has been proven that the human body needs sleep in order to function successfully. It is true that sleep deprivation has a profound effect on efficiency and ability, and the function of dreams seem to balance the psychological and physiological activity within you. Mental and physical breakdowns occur very quickly without relief of the dreaming process.
During your waking hours, the focus of your activity is generally geared towards the external mind and the conscious mind. You are continually taking in information which must be either used immediately or stored until you can categorize it and fit it into some kind of pattern in your life.
You are capable of assessing what is going on, making decisions and producing realizations and insights in the light of fresh information. Both the insight and the information are stored for a later date and can appear in dreams in a random fashion.
Some would say that dreams are a self-cleaning and a self-clearing process which makes room each night for the next day’s information.
However, the question then arise as to where the cleared material goes; I suppose you could say it is a little like spring cleaning, you first throw away rubbish you then place the rest in a room out the way, and what is left you use.
In the case of dreams, the rubbish, or what is not perceived as being needed is returned to the general tip or the collective unconscious. The material which may be useful in the future is then put away to be drawn on at random and the remainder is left available for easy access.
Sleep and dreams perform two functions. One is the correct sorting and filing of information. The second is the presentation of information necessary for you the dreamer, to function successfully within the world you live in.
As your mind becomes more powerful it needs to spend less time and effort sorting out incoming information, and more time searching for relevant information to enable it to function more effectively. You dreams tap into this database of memory through experiences, perception and cultural beliefs and it then forms new ideas and concepts. It also presents you with a way of solving problems which may seem impossible on a conscious level. Once the limitation that the conscious mind places on your thought processes is removed, your mind is free to roam wherever, it pleases.
Once you are free from inhibition, it will create scenarios and situations which defy explanation by the logical side of the personality. In looking for explanations, you have to become more creative and open in the pursuit of knowledge. This will allow you to tap into not only your own storehouse of images, but also into an even more subtle level of information available to you. This is the level that Jung labeled the collective unconscious.
The term unconscious is taken to delineate many functions and aspects of the self. This aspect of your being is then scanned showing life experiences and knowledge, it then retains it in a level of memory to which you seldom have access.
The information you process than becomes the development of a concept of reality in the understanding of what is probable and what would be out of the ordinary. Your unconscious forms a set of basic physiological and psychological functions, in other words the way you survive. It is also a collection of inherited norms of conduct, beliefs and ideas.
As the collective unconscious becomes more accessible to you, it becomes obvious that there are certain patterns which continually emerge. These basic patterns often have been adjusted to fit the dream experience, although there may be a need to readjusted things so that they can be made to fit better.
There is nothing mysterious or threatening about sleep and dreams because both attributes are hard-wired into the human brain and body by billions of years of evolution. Sleep and dreams also serves to rejuvenate and restore many of your physiological and brain functions and allows you to face every day with optimized mental and physical resources. Dreams are essentially the random firing that is necessary to keep you in a state of semi-alertness while you are sleeping. Sleep and dreams also serve to reactivate and refresh your physiological system.