Why Do We Get Tired
Moving During Sleep
First Hours Of Sleep
Last Hours Of Sleep
How Much Sleep Do People Need
Dream Deprivation & REM
Tips For Getting A Good Night's Sleep
Alcohol & Sleep
Exercise & Sleep
The Function of Dreams
Time & Dreaming
Lucid Dream Exercise
Viewpoint From Physics
Viewpoint From Psychology
Sleep & Learn
Pregnancy & Dreams
Most people think of sleep as a state of unconsciousness which contains brief moments of dreaming ... but sleep is actually a state of altered consciousness.
Most people think of sleep as a state of unconsciousness which contains brief moments of dreaming ... but sleep is actually a state of altered consciousness.
In the early 1900's researchers discovered the connection between dreaming and "rapid eye movements" (REM). It was noted that during times of deep sleep that the eyes would burst into "twitches" which would then subside for a couple of minutes . . . and then repeat.
Until recently, dream researchers never had a way to determine if a person was really asleep or not. A researcher would end the experiment by waking up the "subject" and asking if he/she was awake or not.
In the 1950's, researchers gained the tool they needed . . . they used a sensitive machine called an Electroencephalograph (EEG) to monitor activities of the brain in sleeping volunteers. Basically the EEG machine amplifies the electrical activity that occurs in the brain and causes it to operate a series of pens on "strips" of paper which corresponds to the electrical activity in the brain.
. . . These "marks" are called alpha waves.
As the "sleeper" becomes more drowsy the alpha waves disappear and a new pattern of marks appear which are less regular and occur at approximately 1 to 3 marks per second which are intermittently interrupted by sharp bursts of faster waves called "sleep spindles" . . .
. . this is called "slow wave" sleep.
After awhile the paper traces of the EEG machine shows another change in electrical activity . . . but this time the eyelids of the "sleeper" begin to twitch and flutter. This type of sleep is called REM sleep due to the rapid eye movements. The EEG machine showed electrical activity that was similar to the alpha waves. It was also found that rapid, irregular breathing also accompanies REM sleep --(rates exceeding 18 breaths a minute).
It was found that people go through ninety minute (approx.) sessions of sleep which continues throughout the night.
These ninety minute sessions repeat themselves four to five times per night ... and during the periods of REM, vivid dreams occur which last approximately ten minutes.
Sometimes when "sleepers" were awakened during "slow wave" sleep, they would also indicate that they were dreaming.
While a sleeper may be difficult to arouse, the EEG (electroencephalograph) registers that the brain is alert and active.
It has been found that during REM sleep the dreamer does not sleep-walk because the arms, legs, and trunk of the body are temporarily paralyzed.
A baby being born in an industrialized country can expect to spend 23 years of his/her life sleeping . . . the baby starts out by going through one hour sleep cycles that eventually lengthens, fuses, and conforms to the normal day/night patterns.
There are reports of a few people who are able to break away from the normal sleep patterns and exist on as little as two hours of sleep a day. We suspect that these people take a lot of "cat-naps" and engage in "micro sleep" throughout the day.
It used to be thought that the body required sleep to rest and heal itself . . . it is now known that the body can rest without sleep and that the healing process is actually stronger when we are awake than when we are asleep. Strangely enough, evidence also suggests that people who are deprived of sleep will tend to get sick more often than those who are not . . . probably because the conscious mind interferes with the healing process.
The fact is that we have to sleep . . . we have no choice in the matter . . . sleep is more certain than taxes.
Our bodies go through daily cycles . . . hormones and chemicals are constantly fluctuating within us. It is logical to assume that the longer we stay awake, the more a chemical is excreted into the 'system' that makes us want to sleep.
However, your brain never sleeps . . . it is always active, and controlling your body. Also, your body never sleeps . . . your hair and fingernails continue to grow . . . your heart and other organs continue to function and you heal more rapidly.
Even the nerves of your eyes, nose, ears, and taste buds are active when you are sleeping.
According to the famous sleep researcher, Dr. John Bigelow, the main reason we sleep is because, "the nobler part of the soul is united by abstraction to our higher nature and becomes a participant in the wisdom and foreknowledge of the gods".
You are spiritually "recharged" during sleep . . . have you ever noticed how well you read during the hours following sleep? . . . notice how well you comprehend.
To most people sleep appears to be a serene, and relatively uneventful experience . . . but researchers have discovered that great activity is occurring within the mind.
On the average, people "move" every six minutes while they are sleeping . . . Movement is at a maximum when people are in the REM (random eye movement) stage of sleep.
The "slow wave" phases of sleep are longer during the first few hours of sleep and are characterized by less movement, heartbeat, and blood pressure.
Dreams during this period are most often dealing with the events of the day. Some researchers point to this as evidence that the mind uses this time to file information in it's memories.
REM sleep occurs for longer periods of time during the last few hours of sleep indicating that vivid dreaming occurs most often in the few hours prior to waking up . . . these dreams most likely determine the mood we wake up with and "set the stage" for the entire day.
The amount of sleep that people require depends on the person, on average people require six to nine hours of sleep a night.
Newborn babies require approximately 16 hours a day, adolescents require approximately 9 hours and adults need about 7 or 7 1/2, . . . elderly people about six. These are averages which depend a lot on individual metabolism.
Experts are now indicating that lack of sleep is an important factor in long term health, job-related accidents, industrial injuries, and traffic fatalities.
Disasters at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, the Challenger Space Shuttle, the Exxon Valdez crash . . . were all attributed to human error and poor judgment because of people who were fatigued and working in the early morning hours.
The U.S. Transport Department estimates that 700 highway accidents a day are caused by sleepy drivers!
Sleep deprivation is chronic in about 10 percent of the population says sleep specialist Dr. Adam Moscovitch . . . and in his book, The Twenty Four Hour Society, Dr. Martin Moore-Ede says truck accidents in which fatigue was a factor costs Americans $5 billion a year.
When sleep deprivation approaches 100 hours the "subject" experiences burning eyes, hallucinations, and impaired judgment. Many sleep-deprived subjects are unable to retain information long enough to relate it to a task they are suppose to perform.
People do not die when they are deprived of sleep like they do when deprived of food or water.
Lack of sleep results in people becoming irritable, suspicious, disoriented with time, increased skin sensitivity, eye and hand tremors, problems with vision, slurred speech, poor mental concentration for doing monotonous tasks . . . Also, your ability to concentrate, your ability to produce, your level of creativity, your interaction with other workers can deteriorate very quickly.
I.Q.. tests and chess performances are normal however even after several days of sleep deprivation.
After one sleepless night, test subjects showed a dramatic decrease in performance, as much as 30 percent . . . they tended to rebound in the morning when they prepared for work with showers and coffee, they start to feel good and alert, but overall their performance continues to decline. If the sleep pattern continues for long periods of time (21 days) the decline in performance can become a "thinking habit" which can be difficult to eliminate.
After a person has been deprived of sleep for several days, he/she will tend to sleep for as much as sixteen hours to "make-up" for it and then all physical and mental functions return to normal. Notice that sixteen hours is the same amount of time that a newborn child sleeps normally . . . It's as though the body were being 'reset'.
If a person is constantly waken up before they can enter REM sleep then the first occasion of undisturbed sleep will have the "sleeper" undergoing longer periods of REM sleep as if to "catchup".
Similarly, if a person is deprived of "slow wave" sleep he/she will make -up the "slow wave" sleep as if to "catch-up".
"Sleep deprivation" studies were conducted at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington D.C. on more than 100 civilian and military personnel.
It was found that the brain craves sleep so much that it will sacrifice anything to get it . . . people who were not allowed to sleep would take emergency sleep breaks with their eyes open.
Each "sleep break" lasted only a fraction of a second and occurred three or four times an hour . . . as sleep deprivation continues the "sleep breaks" happened more often and lasted longer . . . sometimes two or three seconds.
Mental activity immediately prior to the "sleep break" is completely forgotten after the sleep . . . sometimes the "subjects" reported mental "blanks" and sometimes images and dreams.
If people are deprived of REM sleep because they are awakened before they can enter it . . . then their personalities disintegrate and impairment of their mental functions soon follows.
When people are prevented from dreaming they will make up the loss by staying in REM sleep longer and presumably dreaming more often (about twice as much) until they catch-up.
Even though people "must" dream, it appears that they do so less and less as they get older ... in reality, however the evidence shows that REM cycles decrease with age ... this does not mean that we dream less! Perhaps our physical reactions to our dreams decreases with age.
Medical researchers have found that severe insomnia has led to psychotic breakdown.
In one study, 35 percent of the people who had insomnia also reported having a bad "attitude" or "mood" that they were unable to "shake" such as depression . . . 15 percent had a drug or alcohol problem . . . and 12 percent were suffering from a psychological problem like job stress, anxiety, or the death of a loved one. The remaining 38 percent of people with insomnia have some sort of sleep disorder like "restless leg syndrome" in which the leg twitches regularly during the night . . . sometimes every 10 seconds.
Insomnia is often "treated" with sleeping pills and it is interesting to note that sleeping pills have the effect of reducing or eliminating REM type sleep.
Once the pills are stopped, an enormous amount of REM sleep may occur . . . often accompanied by nightmares.
All the evidence suggest that sleep is required to produce joy and vitality in life.
1) Make your sleeping routine is a "habit" . . . if possible, go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.
2) If you wake up during the night then remain in bed relaxed . . . if you do not fall back to sleep in a few minutes then go to another area of the house and read.
3) Do not "sleep-in" the next morning if you could not sleep during the night.
4) Take short 15 minute naps during the day to "refresh" yourself.
5) Even if you work the second or third "shifts" make sure that you continue your normal sleeping routines on your days off.
6) Do not work in bed or sleep in other areas of the house. Make it a habit to associate sleep with the bed . . . and then your body will know that when you crawl into bed that it is time to initiate sleep.
7) Learn how to relax. Use a self-hypnosis routine to initiate the relaxation response that accompanies sleep.
8) Don't concentrate on your insomnia because worrying about something can cause it to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
9) If you worry in bed then set up a 15 minute time slot during the day for your worrying . . . if you find yourself worrying at night then just decide to put it off until tomorrow's "time slot".
10) Don't drink liquids after dinner . . . this will decrease the probability that you will wake up during the night to urinate.
11) Avoid heavy meals late at night.
12) Medications like asthma drugs are known to interfere with sleep . . . consult with your physician.
13) Over the counter sleep aids are known to cause drowsiness in some people but may be stimulants for others.
14) If you can get in the tub three to five hours before bed, some studies show that it's better for ensuring a deeper sleep.
Research studies show that even one alcoholic drink within an hour or two before bed induces sleep ... but significantly disrupts the second half of a night's rest.
Working out several hours before bedtime will produce a more sound sleep than exercising within two hours before retiring for the night.
Many people who are deprived of sleep can recuperate from the bad effects quite quickly by taking short "cat-naps" of 15 to 20 minutes.
Longer naps of an hour or more can be counterproductive . . . they leave you drowsy and cut into your night's sleep time.
The hypnotic state has been compared to the dream state; but there are definite differences. In the dream state, visions pass through the mind like a kaleidoscope with little or no logical progression. Morals also are suspended.
In the so called "hypnotic sleep" morals are actually heightened and the logical progression of events is preserved.
We can pass into "natural" and "hypnotic" sleep in the same ways . . . we immobilize and relax our bodies, we remove strong sensations and replace them with gentle ones. Monotonous sounds or visions tend to hurry the feeling of "drifting" that accompanies both natural and hypnotic sleep.
As soon as a person enters into physical sleep, he/she looses contact with the "outer world" of reality . . . but in the hypnotic state a connection with the outside world is always maintained.
In physical sleep the body undergoes changes like heartbeat, circulation and chemistry in the brain . . . while in hypnotic sleep a person can be put into a deep sleep without fatigue or other body changes. Sometimes the sleep can be so deep that surgery can be performed without the person waking up.
Remembering what occurred in hypnotic sleep depends on how deep the sleep was. If it was a "light" sleep then everything will be remembered . . . if it is a very "deep" sleep then nothing will be remembered just as in dreams.
In dreams we often assume identities of characters that we are not . . . just as we can in deep hypnotic states. People can be put into deep hypnotic sleep and forget who they are and take on new lives and personalities.
Research has shown that several dreams can be experienced in the course of a single nights sleep . . . all with widely varying themes.
Dreams appear to have many purposes . . . one is the organization of the days events in which emotions are given an "outlet".
The mystic or occult viewpoint of dreams is that they give people access to different times and places.
The truth is probably a combination of both but it must be pointed out that "dreaming" is a little understood process.
According to Stephen LaBerge, , a psychophysiologist at Stanford University's Sleep Research Center, lucid dreams are dreams that contain particularly vivid images . . . and the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming.
Learn to dream lucidly, LaBerge says, and you'll have enough control to stop your nightmares before they begin. You may even be able to give yourself a break from mounting daily tension and spend the night on a tranquil Florida beach, for instance, in a self-styled lucid dream.
A lucid dreamer can stop in mid-dream to analyze it.
Skilled lucid dreamers can make their dream dissolve into thin air and replace them with another.
According to the Omni science magazine, people who are natural "lucid dreamers" are rare and comprise 1/10th of the general population . . . these people are less likely to be "stressed out" or depressed. They exhibit high levels of self-esteem.
According to Jayne Gackenbach, an experimental psychologist at the University of Northern Iowa . . . most lucid dreams seem to have a mystical overlay.
Lucid dreamers are well balanced emotionally . . . dreamers that become emotional during a lucid dream find that their dreams evaporate rapidly.
Lucid dreamers are also well balanced physically . . . possibly to allow them to perform the common lucid-dream activity of flying. Gackenbach asked subjects to walk along a "balance beam" and found that the better balancers were also the more skilled dreamers.
According to experts, anyone can learn to be a "lucid dreamer" because it is a natural human ability. It may take motivation and training but anyone who is normal can learn it . . . with effort and practice.
Researchers have discovered that lucid dreams most often take place in the early morning hours for people who have normal sleep patterns . . . at approximately 5:00 A.M.
Lucid dreams can fool the dreamer into believing that the dream is real because the dream is so vivid.
Ordinary dreams will automatically become lucid when the dreamer realizes that he/she is having a dream . . . the lucid dreamer is essentially awake in the "inner world" of his/her dreams.
Experiments have shown that time passes the same in a lucid dream as it does in the world of reality . . . Lucid dreamers can be trained to communicate with the "outside world" by eye fluctuations. People can actually send out Morse Codes and communicate while they are in their dream.
By having a lucid dreamer count in his/her dream and communicating the counting as eye movements the researchers have concluded that time passes the same for lucid dreamers as it does for people who are awake.
After you wake up in the morning, enter into self-hypnosis and tell yourself that you are going to remain conscious while you go back to sleep.
Dorothy Allison is a psychic who receives information as though her "mind's eye" was a television screen.
On Dec. 3, 1967 Dorothy Allison woke from a vivid dream in which she saw a young boy's body caught in a pipe.
Because she was unable to forget the dream, she reported the incident to the local police . . . the police were unimpressed because they had a missing person's report for a five year old boy that had ben reported in the local newspapers.
The police had evidence that indicated that Michael Kuresics had drown in the Third River approximately two hours after her dream . . . but his body had not yet been found.
Police became more interested as Dorothy described details about the child's clothes that had not been revealed in the newspapers . . . she also provided the interesting information that the child's shoes were on the wrong feet.
Police brought in a psychiatrist from New York city who put Dorothy Allison into a semi-hypnotic state when she revealed that she saw . . .
1) A figure 8.
2) Offices with gold writing on the doors.
3) A grey house.
4) A school house.
5) A factory.
On Feb. 7 the body of the boy was found in a pond that was fed by the Third River . . . the police officer who was involved with the case looked around the scene and saw the grey house, the factory, a schoolhouse named No. 8, and a plant with a large parking lot.
Every detail Dorothy gave turned out to be accurate, including the shoes being on the wrong feet.
It was later found that the bridge over which the river fed the pond had pipes laid in the water where the boy's body could easily have become trapped for a period of time.
MARK TWAIN'S DREAM
Mark Twain and his brother Henry worked together on riverboats that travelled up and down the Mississippi river in the late 1850's.
While Mark was visiting his sister in St. Louis he had a dream that he saw his brother dead and lying in a steel coffin in his sister's living room. The coffin was stretched across two chairs and a bouquet with a single red flower in the middle was laying on Henry's chest.
The dream was so vivid that Mark Twain woke up assuming that it was a real event . . . before going to see the corpse he decided to take a walk and did not realize that his brother's death was a dream until he had walked half a block. He returned to the house and told his sister about the dream.
A few weeks later Mark and Henry rode a riverboat down to New Orleans . . but took different boats back. Near Memphis the boat that Henry was on blew-up due to a boiler problem. Henry was alive but in great pain as he was rushed to Memphis where he died a few days later.
Although most of the victims of the disaster were buried in wooden coffins . . . a group of Memphis women felt pity for Henry and took up a collection for a metal coffin.
When Mark came to pay his final respect everything he saw in his dream was fulfilled except for the bouquet with the red flower in the middle . . . as Mark stood beside the coffin, a woman walked up to it and placed a bouquet of white flowers with a single red rose in the middle onto the chest of Henry.
Conrad Hilton was attending a closed bid auction because he was interested in purchasing a company. He submitted his bid and went back to the hotel for the evening. In the middle of the night he woke up with a number flashing in his head, and he took it to mean that he should change his bid. The next morning he changed his bid and "beat out" the next closest bid by only $2000 . . . he went on to sell the business for a two million dollar profit.
Elias Howe was a famous inventor who worked long hard hours trying to get his new invention . . . the sewing machine . . . to work. But no matter how hard he tried he couldn't figure it out. After another day of frustration Elias Howe went to bed and had a vivid dream about a tribe of savages capturing him. He especially noticed the spears they were holding which looked like needles with a hole at the bottom.
The next morning he had the answer to his problem --- and put the "thread hole" at the "pointed" end of the needle and thus was born the sewing machine
Researchers now accept that telepathy occurs during dreams . . . and does not require a specific aptitude.
Sometimes thoughts are not transferred from one person to the other in "completed form" but rather may be interwoven into a dream that a person is having.
Dream researchers Montague Ullman and Stanley Krippner have stated that, "The psyche of man possesses a latent ESP capacity that is most likely to be deployed during sleep".
Sleep is an "altered state of consciousness" . . . and there is an abundance of evidence that it enhances psychic abilities . . . Botanist and psychic researcher Louisa Rhine compiled data for over 20 years on 100,000 ESP occurrences; she concluded that sixty five percent of them occurred during dreams.
In Brooklyn, New York, famous experiments were conducted in 1965 at the Maimonides Medical Center.
In one room, a "sleeper" was hooked-up to an EEG machine and monitored for the Random Eye Movement (REM) which occurs during dreaming . . . the "sleeper" was awakened after 5 minutes into the dream and instructed to write down what the dream was about.
In another room a "sender" was provided with sealed envelopes which contained pictures chosen at random.
The images that the "sleeper" provided were then compared with the actual picture by independent judges to determine if there were similarities.
These experiments were known for their extraordinary measures to prevent fraud. The two rooms were soundproofed --- envelopes sealed --- signatures across seals --- etc..
One "sender" concentrated on a picture of a "prize fight " at Madison Square Garden in New York . . . the "sleeper" described his dream as follows --- "Something about posts, just posts standing up from the ground and nothing else. There is some kind of feeling of movement, - Ah, Something about Madison Square Garden and a boxing fight."
Another "subject" described a dream she had about a co-worker who was looking at the front page of the New York Daily News which she could see described a building that had collapsed. Two weeks later a famous hotel in New York did collapse and probably the majority of New Yorkers saw the picture on the front page of the city newspapers.
Physicists who work with atoms have concluded that an objective view of reality must include the relationship that the mind has with what it observes . . . instead of as an independent "outside" universe.
Psychology has admitted in the last few years that abnormal occurrences do exist in the form of precognitive dreams that defy current scientific explanation . . . these dreams are often a "repeated" phenomenon.
A characteristic of dreams is that they appear to be real to the observer. They are accepted without question or logical analysis.
In our normal "waking world" we can convince ourselves of what is real and what is not by the use of our senses --- but in the "dreaming world" we believe that what we see or feel is real --- and the ability to judge the event is altered. Hypnosis also displays these qualities.
It must be remembered that dreams are not movies or TV. shows or plays . . . they are "happenings" that occur in "space". Things can move and exist in this "space" just as they do in the world of reality.
The dream is a "place" where we find ourselves when we awaken from a dream. This world is just as "real", when you are in it, as the world of "reality".
The idea that, "dreams exist in space" is important when analyzing dreams. When it is realized that dreams are not "stories" but "patterns" that occur over and over . . . we can begin to interpret the meaning of dreams. It allows us to recall our dreams.
The ancient Romans used this concept to devise a memory method that allowed them to recall facts at astonishing levels . . . their primary method was to imagine a familiar place . . . go to it and "walk through" . . . observing things as though they were "inspectors" . . . they would "deposit" the things they wanted to remember at different locations . . . like sentence number 1 of a speech to be memorized might be placed on the first step of a staircase, and sentence number two might be placed in front of a door.
Building a mental sanctuary is critical to developing "spatial recall" which is required to recall dreams.
Building Your Sanctuary
Build your own sanctuary by "calming" your mind with self-hypnosis, meditation, or deep relaxation techniques. . . remember a house that is very familiar to you. Recreate the house in your mind by walking through it and noticing details. Go through every room of the house, move objects around if you desire, make it personal to you.
We only remember dreams that occur while we are either going to sleep or while we are waking up. All the other dreams throughout the night are invisible to you.
Dreams tend to fade away very quickly . . . how many dreams have you had in your lifetime that you never thought you would forget? How many are you able to remember?
Make sure you have a pencil and paper handy at you bedside so you can record your dreams before they slip away.
By writing down even a small observation, you are making a sort of "map" to lead you back to your memories of the dream.
The Vague Dream
If you wake up and dimly remember a fading dream . . . lie perfectly still and be very alert . . . let your mind drift for a few moments . . . then, make sure your eyes are still closed as you reach for the pencil to write down what you remember.
Think about the image for a few moments because another image from the dream will often occur, write it down. Often you can reconstruct the entire dream in this fashion.
The Vivid Dream during the night
Sometimes you may awaken from a dream that is crystal clear in your mind and you feel that there is no way that you could ever write down all of the details . . . if this is the case then write down "key words" and go back to sleep. In the morning review the words and move through the dream as you would through the imaginary house that you constructed for yourself.
The Vivid Dream In The Morning
Begin by writing down the last scene you remember and continue moving back toward the beginning. Don't get "hung-up" on the "story" or you may lose important details.
"Intend" to wake up "fully conscious" and notice the physical transformation you are going through.
Know what it is to "wake up" by analyzing yourself every day for one week, notice the feeling in your body as you awaken . . . notice your breathing . . . feel your muscles. Do not move from your sleeping position as you perform this analysis.
Refrain from making any snap judgments about your dream . . . usually quick decisions are based on logical expectations . . . but the dream world does not work by the logic of our everyday world . . . it works by association of thoughts, ideas, visions, and emotions.
Assume that the dream is incomprehensible at the moment.
Turn your attention to your body . . . notice how you feel in your body . . . begin with your feet and move upwards to your head. . . concentrate on any tension you find and continue.
"Recap" the dream from your notes and your memory twice . . . first listen to it as though you were "skimming" over it. Do not analyze but just listen to get an "overview". As you are listening, notice where your mind wanders off to, at what point does the dream seem to become boring? This is a "point of resistance" . . . the point you will want to analyze.
MAKING SLEEP WORK FOR YOU
The following technique will allow you to receive information from your inner self on virtually any subject . . .
1) Before going to sleep, instruct your body to relax; turn your attention to your body and tell it to relax all muscles . . . your body is an emotional record which records your beliefs and impressions and has no choice but to follow your orders.
2) As you are relaxing, focus your attention on a problem that you want solved . . . try to solve it consciously and then think about how happy you will be if you had the perfect answer right now.
3) Drift off to sleep . . .
4) When you awaken you may find that you have the answer in your mind . . . if not then distract your mind and start to do something else. Often the answer will pop into your mind when you are preoccupied with something else.
Your subconscious "body intelligence" operates for you while you sleep ... you might curl up along the edge of your bed but your "body intelligence" will not allow you to fall out of the bed ... A mother might sleep through a raging thunderstorm but a slight sound from her baby can waken her up instantly.
These facts are clear evidence that your subconscious "body intelligence" is operating while you sleep and that it is still reacting to suggestions.
You can use periods of sleep to absorb information by playing a tape recorder that is timed to begin after you are asleep. In this way suggestions or information can be gently communicated to the "body intelligence".
Probably the biggest advantage of this type of learning is that it eliminates the tensions and anxieties which prevent us from learning in our normal waking hours.
According to the book, Hypnotism Revealed by M. Powers, an experiment was performed at the University of South Carolina. A group of 40 students was divided into two sections of twenty students each.
Professor Charles R. Elliott used an electroencephalograph machine to monitor the brain waves of the subjects to know when they were sleeping ... one group slept undisturbed while the other group was "fed" a list of words by a pillow speaker.
Upon awakening each student was asked to memorize the list of words ... those that listened to the pillow speakers memorized the list of words easily and quickly while those who did not labored with difficulty.
Probably the reason that this method was so effective is the same reason that people "re-learn" information so easily ... when people learn something and then do not use it for a long time they can re-learn it quickly and with ease.
This method can be used to learn vocabulary words, Morse code, foreign languages, and other subjects ... simply record the information you want to learn on a cassette tape and play it back while you sleep with "timer" ... the type you use to turn lights on in your house when you are on vacation.
ESP is known to be enhanced when you are sleeping ... what better time to give yourself suggestions like ...
1) Every day my psychic intuition is stronger and stronger and stronger.
2) I am a psychic who is getting more and more powerful - day by day.
3) I am sensitive to the feelings and emotions of others.
4) I am in touch with my inner self.
5) I can perceive things that have not happened yet ... I am noticing it more and more.
The positive and constructive self-suggestions (affirmations) that you give yourself while in selfhypnosis can be played back while you are sleeping to give you extra benefits effortlessly.
Anything from weight control programs to psychic" enhancement" programs can be sped-up by 4 times and listened to while you sleep. Short 5 minute bursts that can imbed your chosen "thinking habits" deep into your subconscious to make you into the person you want to be.
The idea of sleep learning is not new ... it was performed at "sleep temples" in ancient Egypt where people would go to hear helpful suggestions on living and health while they slept.
According to an article published in the Oct. 24, 1949 edition of the Los Angeles Express ... The Second World War put a heavy burden on the United States government to train Americans in foreign languages.
Research into conditioning by French psychologists led to a new method that had Americans speaking fluent Chinese in three months.
The process had a speaker beneath the pillows of the subjects which whispered lessons of the Chinese language. The lesson was played throughout the night intermittently until one hour before waking (approx.).
After several nights of this the men were given the lessons during a normal "day class" with extraordinary results ... in three months the students could speak perfect Chinese ... and without an American accent.
There are four basic sleep positions and some psychologists think that your waking behaviors are related to these patterns.
Remember that human beings are unique and complex ... simple generalizations can never fully describe one's personality.
MEN AND WOMEN DREAM DIFFERENTLY
Studies indicate that male dreams ...
(1) contain more aggression and money than their female counterparts.
(2) concern misfortunes to the dreamer more often than other characters in their dreams.
(3) contain more male characters than women's dreams.
(1) Female dreams are more emotional.
(2) Working mothers experienced more unpleasant emotions, male characters, and indoor settings than those of nonworking mothers.
(3) Women's dreams contain a higher number of family members, babies, children, and indoor settings.
Dream researchers have noted glaring differences for the dreams of pregnant women, for example ...
(1) more dreaming.
(2) able to recall dreams more easily than any other group.
(3) the content of dreams is unusually vivid and rich in detail, bizarre, and often nightmarish.
(4) more often have to do with their mothers,
(5) Lush growth of plants, flowers, and gardens (possibly to represent fertility).
Expectant mothers consistently assign the same meaning to specific images. Small animals represent the unborn child (kittens, puppies, bunnies, etc.).
In a 1972 study by Carolyn Winget and Frederick Kapp, it was found that women who had nightmares more often had labor of shorter duration than those who had fewer nightmares.
In another study it was found that those women who were assertive in their nightmares had significantly shorter labors than those who were often victimized in such dreams
There is an impressive body of information that indicates new mothers dreamed correctly about their babies' sex, appearance, and personality.
People should be alert to problems with their pregnancy when they have dreams about stillbirths or other complications.
Ernest Hartmann, author of The Nightmare reports that not more than one in every 200 adults has nightmares on a regular basis.
Sleep researchers estimate that 50% of the general population have no nightmares at all while 5% to 10% report them once a month or more.
Dream researchers distinguish "nightmares" from "night terrors".
Night terrors are typically abrupt awakenings during the first couple of hours of sleep ... they usually occur in deep, slow-wave sleep. The sleeper wakes in terror with body movements, sweating, a scream or cry for help. 5 Pulse and respiratory could double during the 30 seconds (approx.) of awakening.. Usually the dreamer does not remember the terror and does not know what to make of it.
Nightmares, by contrast, usually occur late during the night and during the REM portion of sleep. The nightmare often occurs during a longer than usual period of REM sleep (20 to 30 minutes) and occurs during the last three hours of sleep. Pulse and heart rates may increase but not nearly as much as during a night terror.
The person awakening from a nightmare usually remembers the dream as vivid and intense which ends with a frightening sequence.
Nightmares are far more frequent in children (3 to 6 yrs old) than in adults.
There is no solid evidence that eating something disagreeable will cause nightmares or will a lack of oxygen. One thing that does seem to cause nightmares is a physical illness. Also, depression and the onset of mental disorders are associated with the onset of nightmares.
To treat nightmares we suggest a stress reduction program to eliminate mental and physical anxieties.
Is sleeping dangerous? This is a matter of perspective ... the question might be restated to, "Is extensive use of the imagination dangerous?"
Brierre de Boismont recounted this story in his 1853 book on pages 247-249 concerning a Dom Duhaguet who was a prior at a monastery who had a friar under his supervision who frequently exhibited somnambulistic tendencies when he slept".
One night Friar Duhaguet was working at his desk when the friar entered his room in an altered state of mind. He was holding a large knife in his hand:
He went straight to by bed; appeared to satisfy himself by feeling, that I was really there; after which he struck three heavy blows so powerfully, that the blade, after piercing the clothes, entered deep into the mattress, or rather the mat, which I used instead. He returned as he came, opening and shutting quietly the two doors that led to my cell; and I was soon satisfied that he had gone directly and quietly to his own. ... The next day I summoned the somnambulist, and quietly asked him of what he had dreamed the preceding night. At this question he was agitated. "Father," he replied, "I had so strange a dream that I do not like to tell you of it; it is perhaps the work of the evil one, and ..." - "I command it," replied I, "a dream is always involuntary, and is but an illusion." "Father", said he, "I was hardly asleep before I dreamed that you had killed my mother, that her bleeding ghost appeared and demanded vengeance; at this sight, I was so enraged that I flew like a madman to your apartment and stabbed you. Soon afterwards I awoke, bathed in perspiration. I hated myself for the outrage, and then blessed God that such a crime had not ben committed." ... I then related what had occurred, and showed him the evidence of the blows which he thought were dealt upon me. Upon this, he threw himself at my feet in tears, groaning over the misfortune which had so nearly happened, and imploring such penance as I thought fit to inflict upon him.
In most countries the friar would have been found "not guilty" in a court of law because crimes committed during sleepwalking were considered involuntary. The only way a person could have been found guilty of a criminal act was if it could be demonstrated that the sleepwalker had premeditation about committing the crime.