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Psy 240 week 6 checkpoint sleeping and dreaming

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Stage 1 is a light sleep where you drift in and out of sleep and can be awakened very easily.
There is slow eye movement and decreased muscle activity. Stage 2 is where eye movement
ceases and causes brain waves to slow down but many may experience occasional periods or
bursts of brain waves. Stage 3 has slow brain waves called delta waves that are the largest and
slowest waves. In stage 4 the brain has almost all delta waves.
Stage 3 and 4 are when a person is in deep sleep and is hard to wake them. REM (Rapid Eye
Movement) sleep is the period of sleep that one’s breathing is rapid and eyes will jerk rapidly
and muscles become temporarily paralyzed. The brains waves are that experienced when a
person is awake. This stage is where males can have an erection and when most experience
dreams. If a person awake during this stage most can remember their dreams.
The beliefs about dreaming are that many believe external stimuli can be incorporated in
dreams. Some believe that dreams only last for a short time but researchers believe that they
occur in “real time”. Some believe they do not dream but do report having them if waken form
the REM but do so less than most dreamers. Another belief is that having an erection is caused
by a sexually related dream but these erections occur even without them. Last, that most believe
sleepwalkers and talkers happen when having a dream. However, these usually do not occur due
to muscles being relaxed and usually occur during stage 4.
The two theories of dreams are Freud’s theory of dreams and the activation-synthesis theory.
Freud’s theory is that dreams are triggered by unacceptable repressed wishes usually sexual in
nature. The other theory is that during REM sleep the brain-stem circuits are active and bombard
the cerebral cortex with neural signals. This suggests that the information given to the cortex
during the REM sleep is random and that the dream is the cortex’s efforts to make sense of those

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signals. I agree with the activation-synthesis theory because it does not deny that dreams have a
meaning. I believe the signals sent are trying to make a coherent story and do not have a painful
message behind them. Not all dreams are bad or sexual in nature.

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