Dreams Are Created from What You Observe

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 11, 1999 | Go to article overview

Dreams Are Created from What You Observe


Byline: J. Hope Babowice

You wanted to know

Nicki Donato of Mundelein wanted to know:

How do dreams get in your head?

If you have a question you'd like Kids Ink to answer, write Kids Ink, c/o the Daily Herald, 50 Lakeview Parkway, Suite 104, Vernon Hills, IL 60061. Along with your question, please include your name, age, phone number, hometown, grade and school.

For further information

To learn more about dreams, Fremont Public Library suggests:

- "A Portrait of Spotted Deer's Grandfather" by Amy Littlesugar

- "Sweet Dream Pie" by Audrey Wood

- "What Do You See When You Shut Your Eyes?" by Cynthia Zarin

- "A Good Night's Sleep" by Isaac Asimov

- "Why Do We Need Sleep?" by Isaac Asimov

A bibliography of children's dream books at http://www.dreamgate.com/dream/bibs/gregory1.htm

"Sweet dreams," your parents say, as they tuck you into bed.

Nicki Donato, 6, a first-grader at St. Mary of Vernon Religious Education Program in Indian Creek, wonders, "How do dreams get in your head?"

Dr. Richard Barthel, medical director of psychiatry at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, said, "We think psychologically the dreams that are in a child's head are what they observed during the day. The observations could be important or unimportant. You look at it, hear it, feel it or smell it and it gets in your mind through your special senses."

While you are dreaming, the things you experience are changed in some way to reflect your feelings at that time. The scientific term for how those observations are changed into dreams is percept - a recognizable sensation received through the senses.

Why are some dreams scary? Barthel said that watching even a small portion of a scary movie or news program can trigger nightmares.

"You don't have to watch the entire program to have scary dreams," he said.

Stresses and difficulties encountered during the day can be relived through scary dreams.

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