Oneirology: The Science Behind Dreams And Causes Of Them
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Oneirology: The Science Behind Dreams And Causes Of Them

A look at Oneirology, the scientific study of dreams.

Defining dreams may seem as a New Age hobby. However, there is a field of science many people don’t know. The scientific field of oneirology is the scientific study of dreams. Scientists in this field research to find correlations between dreams and knowledge about brain function. An extension of this is to gain knowledge about forming memories and mental, or psychological, disorders. Oneirology is different from dream analysis in that dreams are objectively study processes behind the dreams.

Research in this field delves into the mechanics of dreams and dreaming. Things that influence dreams and disorders that may affect dreams are also studied. In this respect, oneirology overlaps with neurology. The physical matter of the brain has to be taken into account. This is to discount, or attribute, physical anomalies before pinning irregularities on psychological issues. Quantifying dreams and brain analysis are the foundation in this field. The study the use of drugs and neurotransmitters, and their effects on sleep and dreaming are also considered.

It is known that dreaming occurs mainly during REM sleep. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. This stage of sleep is marked by the random movements of the eyes. It is theorized that REM sleep is when the body and mind rest the most effectively. Although not the only time for dreams to occur, but most dreaming occurs in REM sleep. The brain itself allows brain waves to self-fire, albeit at a low rate. It is now that new memories commit to long-term, and old memories are reinforced.

To enforce the scientific nature of oneirology, dreams are defined in four parts. They are as follow;

A) A mode of thinking internally. In other words, with minimal brain activity and with external stimuli blocked.

B) An experience, although not necessarily so, is believed to be experienced through the senses.

C) Something that the dreamer, or ‘research participants’, remember.

D) The dreamer has some form of interpretation of the occurrence onto itself.

There are two generic types of dreams, the authentic dream and the illusory dream. The authentic is seen to be from the “realm of experience”. In other worlds, it is of relation to the ‘real’ material world. A dream creating a familiar frame of reference, and reflects their life and world. The illusory contains the bizarre and even the impossible. This type can be related to delusions, such as ones exhibited in mental disorders.


Oneirology can aid diagnosing disorders and the effects of drugs. This field of studying dreams looks into the effects, mental and physical, of drugs via dreams. The way dreams of affected by drugs can show how intoxication can change things like hormones and neurotransmitters. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and schizophrenia, and the nature of such disorders, have been studied and monitored through oneirology.

This does not just rely on the nature of dreams themselves. Physical attributes are also monitored. Breathing, heartbeat, EEG, amongst other tests are run to monitor the participant. It is from these kinds of tests that scientific analysis can truly be concluded, all of which stems from having a good night’s sleep.

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Comments (3)

Very interesting. I can never figure out what my dreams mean.

When I took Chantex to quit smoking, I had to most bizarre dreams! I quit the drug as soon as I started having scary dreams. They got progressively worse the longer I was on the drug. I also cannot take Melatonin due to nightmares when I take it. But, hot milk with a little dash of Kaluah does the trick on nights that I am tossing and turning.

Why do we dream? We dream to avoid multiple thinking & focus only at one thing : As our brain can not be at absolute rest(without thinking). Our brain tends to minimize multiplethinking/tasking/functions or tends to focus at one thing during dreaming(this turns out to be the reason for dreaming) Focusing on one thing not only increases our efficiency but also gives relaxation &quite satisfaction. So while dreaming our brain is just focusing on what’s going in dream not at anything else. I think thinking at a particular thing gives relaxation to our brain cells. Because during awaken time we are bounded by lot of work ,tensions and stress. We think about lot of things randomly that come in our mind . This proposal is supported by these points: 1)In case of meditation we focus at meditation only by just forgetting everything for a while. So this give relaxation to mind . The same(dreaming) happens in sleep. 2)Also in case when we go to any worshiping place we think about praying which gives quite peace to brain. At last,I want to say that we dream so that we focus on one thing which turn give rest to tired mind. By Arun Goshist Mob. :9466668887 If you liked this then please share it with others.