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Science of Dreams


Some Scientific Observations Concerning Dreams

Sleep laboratories have proven that everyone dreams one to two hours each night during a certain period of sleep known as alpha level, which is light sleep. Every 90-minute cycle of sleep begins with alpha, then goes into deeper sleep which is called theta, and finally deepest sleep which is called delta.

At the close of the first 90-minute cycle each night, the individual returns to alpha level sleep, where he has a short, five-minute dream period. The next time he cycles up to alpha, he has a ten-minute dream period. The third time in alpha, the dream period is about 15 minutes, and so on. If one sleeps a full eight hours, the entire last hour is essentially spent in alpha level sleep. Thus, the average person sleeping for eight hours a night will dream about one to two hours of that time.

Alpha level sleep is where one has what is called Rapid Eye Movement (REM). Rapid Eye Movement is exactly what it sounds like: the eyes of the dreamer begin moving rapidly. He is actually watching the scenes in the dream, and thus his eyes are literally moving back and forth, observing the action. By observing the alpha level sleep when Rapid Eye Movement occurs, researchers in sleep laboratories have determined when a person is dreaming and how much time is spent dreaming in an average night. They have discovered that if they awaken a person every time REM begins, preventing him from dreaming, after about three nights the individual will begin to show signs of having a nervous breakdown. Clearly dreams are an inner release mechanism which helps provide us with emotional balance and maintain our sanity. Dreams can be considered guardians of our mental and emotional well-being.

Taken from Principles of Dream Interpretation by Mark and Patti Virkler CWGMinistries.org

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