~ Topic Discussion ~ 104 ~ Sleep, Dreams, and Insomnia ~

Sleep and Dreams


Adapted from Wikipedia


Dreams are a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur in our minds during certain stages of sleep. The content and purpose of dreams are not understood, though they have been a topic of speculation through the ages. The scientific study of dreams is called oneirology.


Dreams mainly occur in the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake. REM sleep is revealed by continuous movements of the eyes as a person sleeps. Dreams may occur during other stages of sleep, however, these dreams tend to be less vivid or memorable.


The length of a dream can vary. They may last for a few seconds or up to 20 or 30 minutes. The average person has three to five dreams per night. Further, dreams tend to last longer as the night progresses. During an eight-hour sleep, most dreams occur in a two-hour stretch. People are more likely to remember their dreams if they are awakened during this REM phase.


Sigmund Freud, in his book, ¡°The Interpretation of Dreams¡± (1899), Freud developed a psychological technique to interpret dreams and devised a series of guidelines to understand the symbols and motifs that appear in our dreams.


104Set ~ 1

1) How many hours do you usually sleep each night? Do you take naps? Are you often tired?

2) Do you remember your dreams? When and how? Do you think they help you? Explain.

3) Do you talk about your dreams? Why or Why not? Does anyone listen? Why or why not?

4) Do you have any recurring dreams? What do they mean to you? Explain.

5) Do you think lucid dreaming is possible? Have you ever had any lucid dreams? Tell.

6) Where do dreams come from? Daily life? Random? Collective unconscious? Other?


Follow up ~ Try to make some of your own questions regarding sleep and dreams...



~ TLW ~ Topics for Discussion ~ Page One

~ Discuss with a teacher, in pairs, or in groups ~ Then share your results in a classroom discussion ~

1) To begin with, in groups or in pairs, select the questions you¡¯d like to talk about. 

2) Then, in pairs or in groups, ask questions and share ideas in your conversations .

3) Finally, share your ideas (as a whole) in a classroom discussion (with all pairs/groups).


For specifics, see TLW Classroom Lesson Procedures: Click here     Click to print QUESTIONS/QUESTIONS

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Adapted from Wikipedia


Insomnia, or sleeplessness, is an inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep as long as desired. There are two questions: "Do you experience difficulty sleeping?" or "Do you have difficulty falling or staying asleep?" that health professionals usually ask. Therefore, good sleep equals good health.

Insomnia is most often thought of as a symptom. Stress in the workplace, family instability, or personal psychological problems can lead to insomnia. There is also the possibility that insomnia can be genetic in nature. Insomnia can occur at any age, but it is particularly common in the elderly.


104Set ~ 2

1) Do you have insomnia? What causes sleeplessness? Are there external influences? Tell.

2) Do you think insomnia is related to anxiety? What are the sources of anxiety? Explain.

3) Do you talk about your sleep patterns? Why or Why not? Does anyone listen? Why or why not?

4) Is it possible that sleeplessness has a genetic link? Does it exist in your family? Tell.

5) Do you think there are techniques/herbs/etc that can help people sleep? Share.


Follow up ~ Try to make some of your own questions regarding insomnia.



¡°We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.¡±

¡ª William ShakespeareThe Tempest

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