Dreams and Sleep Essay

1690 Words 7 Pages
Most people think of sleep as a passive and relatively still and unchanging process; however, sleep is a very active state of consciousness. While asleep, we also have thoughts, visions, and feelings otherwise known as dreams. This assessment on sleep and dreams points out the alterations in the sleep cycle while focusing on REM sleep. It will also examine the history behind dream analysis, as well as introduce lucid dreams.

All about Dreams and Sleep
Sleep is our body’s way of restoring energy while resting. As humans, we need sleep in order to survive. Sleep can get rid of an illness, lower stress levels, and strengthen one’s awareness for the day. While we sleep, whether we remember it or not, we all have dreams. A dream, as
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Faith S. Luyster describes in her journal "Sleep: A Health Imperative" certain studies that were conducted on the topic of sleep deprivation:
"The ultimate outcome of prolonged sleep deprivation in animals is death. Rats deprived of sleep die within 2 to 3 weeks. Early studies also document the fatal outcome of prolonged sleep deprivation in dogs. Murine models (e.g., mice and rats) have also demonstrated the detrimental effects of prolonged sleep deprivation on a variety of systems with noticeable changes in endocrine, metabolic, and immune function. During the early phase of prolonged sleep deprivation in rats, there is a progressive increase in energy expenditure manifested by weight loss despite increased food intake, decline in thyroid hormones, and increased plasma norepinephrine in response to metabolic demands, and decreased resistance to opportunistic infection as host defense breaks down. Following an increase in body temperature in the first few days of prolonged sleep deprivation, the last few days of survival are marked by hypothermia and a progressively debilitated state. Recent work demonstrates that repeated exposure to sleep restriction has persistent physiologic effects even after substantial time for recovery is allowed." (Luyster 2012, 1).
As demonstrated in the study, going too long without sleep will ultimately result in death. As humans, we cycle through different parts, or stages, of sleep every night. The time in which we

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