The meaning, origin, and analysis of dreams have fascinated psychologists since the inception of the field of psychology. Sigmund Freud, often referred to as the father of psychology, focused a great deal of his theoretical energy on trying to understand and interpret dreams.
Contemporary psychologists are beginning to recognize the interconnectivity of human physiology and psychology in a way not previously understood. This is in part because of new interest in holistic health and in part because of brain/body connections we are now able to see and understand for the first time due to enhanced technology. Yoga, mindfulness, healthy eating, meditation, holistic health – all of these practices are gaining more traction in mainstream society and among psychological circles as we recognize how the mind and body work together. In light of this growing area of interest in psychology, for this assignment you will maintain a sleep/dream journal during weeks 3 and 4, and complete an analysis and reflection on your experience in a summary reflection paper in week 5.
Specifically, for this assignment you will:
- Keep a sleep/dream journal for at least 10 days throughout Weeks 3 and 4. In your journal make note of:
- any dreams you had
- any initial thoughts about the dream – events of the day that may relate, etc.
- your general sleep schedule (if you have a tracker such as fitbit, include data on your sleep patterns as well – wakefulness, restlessness, times asleep/awake per night, total sleep, etc.)
- your general eating habits by day
- your general exercise habits by day
- anything else of note in your psychological or physical health (stress, excitement, changes, etc.)
- You may use any format you wish to record the data (notepad, computer, hardcopy spreadsheet, etc.).
- Complete a 3-4 page reflection (not counting title or reference pages) in which you analyze the results of your sleep/dream journal. Consider how your psychological and physical health interacted. What patterns did you see? Discuss the impact that various factors such as fatigue, diet, stress and exercise had on your dreams and sleep patterns. Explain how this insight may impact your behaviors in the future to lead to better psychological and physical health.