When Do We Dream?
A normal cycle of sleep lasts approximately 45 minutes to an hour and a half. During the initial stage we go into a state of light trance in which we exhibit so-called alpha rhythms. There are five successive stages of sleep the deepest being the Delta state. The Delta state is when we are closest to hibernating.
Dreaming normally occurs during the alpha stage. There is some theorizing that it is an outgrowth of the time when we needed to “Sleep with one eye open” so that we remained aware of our environment and potential harm even when we were resting.
In the alpha state the mind is closest to being awake and at the same time those mental forces that control and inhibit thought and action are not fully active. In alpha our thought processes are allowed to express around feelings, thoughts and situations that may have particular significance to us since our mind is not busy censoring the way it does during the day.
This is also the reason why people may quickly forget their dreams. We often wake up with the memory of a dream fully intact but it will literally disintegrate as the part of the mind that sensors forbidden thoughts also wakes up. Under hypnosis people can also recall many of their dreams and people who write down their dreams upon awakening also have a clear recollection of their dreams.
In future articles you will learn the how the art of remembering ones dreams can be cultivated and strengthened.