REM stands for rapid eye movement and occurs during the last stage of sleep. During REM sleep, the brain and body are very active. Many professors like Freud have come up with theories concerning REM sleep and dreaming, but they are only partially correct. Dreams are ways to help people cope with stress and put people back into a normal state of consciousness for the next day. They are not just to repress wishes or to forget negative experiences.
Researching dreams is not an easy task. There is no way to visually depict the scene in someone’s mind. Of course, there are machines to see the brain waves and patterns; however, only with a case study on the person are researchers able to get an in-depth examination on the mind. Researchers can measure the breathing, heart rate, temperature, etc.; however, they will never be able to know exactly what is going on in the mind’s eye.
Freud felt “Dreams were a braid of repressed wishes.” This belief does not give the complete definition of dreaming. While sleeping, the mind is taking the stresses of the day and turning them into interesting stories. If a person had a bad day, the negative moods would be filed into a cabinet of the brain to keep it from interfering from regular tasks at hand. If a person had a good day, these memories would be kept in a cabinet to be cherished, but again in a place to prevent any distractions to the many other events occurring in daily life. Dreams try to normalize people’s moods so it works with both positive and negative stress.
Besides dreams, there are other altered states of consciousness that are practiced by humans. People study yoga and meditation. Both are ways to cope with stress by reaching a point of clarity. In yoga and meditation, people try to put themselves into the theta state where the brainwaves are slower and the mind is at a relaxed state of consciousness. Researchers can study these states of consciousness by measuring the...