The Physiology of Sleep and Dreaming

The Physiology of Sleep and Dreaming



...all life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and (there is) no cause to value one above the other.

H.P. Lovecraft



       Sleep and dreaming are a part of our daily lives, but how much do we really know about them? Why do we need to sleep? Why do we attribute so much meaning to our dreams? Do they even bear meaning? And what are some different cultural perspectives on dreams?

       This website contains information about the physiology of sleep and the biological and social functions of dreaming. Check out the Physiology of Sleep portion of this site to find out about different neurotransmitters and brain areas involved in sleep, PGO waves, sleep stages and the different patterns of sleep according to age. Or, for those of you who are curious to know more about the physiology of REM sleep and dreaming, how REM sleep and dreaming are associated (and not associated), and varying theories on the psychology of dreaming, go to Biological Functions of Dreaming. If you are interested in why we find or apply personal and social meaning to dreams, check out the Social Functions of Dreaming.




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Authors: Merideth Addicott, Adrian Jaramillo and Heather Moore