If you are writing essays about dreams and sleep, we’ve compiled some essay examples and topic ideas to help you get started.
A dream is a series of images, sounds, ideas, and feelings that we experience while unconscious when sleeping. Dreaming is essential for the human brain, so all people dream in their sleep whether they remember what they dream or not. Lack of sleep is the problem, as it can worsen existing health problems and lead to poor overall health. Dreams are fascinating, and an essay on this topic can be a compelling read.
If you are writing an essay about dreams and sleep, these 7 essay examples and topic ideas will give you an idea of where to start.
$30 per month
$79 per year
$20 per month
- 1. Why Do We Dream? By James Roland
- 2. Bad Dreams By Eli Goldstone
- 3. Why Your Brain Needs to Dream By Matthew Walker
- 4. Dreams By Hedy Marks
- 5. Do Dreams Really Mean Anything? By David B. Feldman
- 6. How to Control Your Dreams By Serena Alagappan
- 7. The Sunday Essay: My Dreams On Antidepressants By Ashleigh Young
- Essays About Dreams and Sleep Topic Ideas
- 1. What Is A Dream?
- 2. What Is The Purpose of Dreaming?
- 3. Why Are Dreams So Strand and Vivid?
- 4. Why Do Dreams Feel So Real?
- 5. Why Are Dreams So Hard To Remember?
- 6. Do Dreams Mean Anything?
- 7. Do Men And Women Dream Differently?
1. Why Do We Dream? By James Roland
“Dreams are hallucinations that occur during certain stages of sleep. They’re strongest during REM sleep, or the rapid eye movement stage, when you may be less likely to recall your dream. Much is known about the role of sleep in regulating our metabolism, blood pressure, brain function, and other aspects of health. But it’s been harder for researchers to explain the role of dreams. When you’re awake, your thoughts have a certain logic to them. When you sleep, your brain is still active, but your thoughts or dreams often make little or no sense.”
Author James Roland’s essay explains the purpose of having dreams and the factors that can influence our dreams. He also mentioned some of the reasons that cause nightmares. Debra Sullivan, a nurse educator, medically reviews his essay. Sullivan’s expertise includes cardiology, psoriasis/dermatology, pediatrics, and alternative medicine.
2. Bad Dreams By Eli Goldstone
“The first time I experienced sleep paralysis and recognised it for what it was I was a student. I had been taking MDMA and listening to Django Reinhardt. My memories of that time are mainly of taking drugs and listening to Django Reinhardt. When I woke up I was in my paralysed body. I was there, inside it. I was inside my leaden wrists, my ribcage, the thick dead roots of my hair, the bandages of skin. This time the hallucinations were auditory. I could hear someone being beaten outside my door. They were screaming for help. And I could do nothing but lie there, locked inside my body . . . whatever bit of me is not my body. That is the bit that exists, by itself, at night.”
In her essay, Author Eli Goldstone talks about her suffering from bad dreams ever since she was a child. She also talks about what she feels every time she has sleep paralysis – a feeling of being conscious but unable to move.
3. Why Your Brain Needs to Dream By Matthew Walker
“We often hear stories of people who’ve learned from their dreams or been inspired by them. Think of Paul McCartney’s story of how his hit song “Yesterday” came to him in a dream or of Mendeleev’s dream-inspired construction of the periodic table of elements. But, while many of us may feel that our dreams have special meaning or a useful purpose, science has been more skeptical of that claim. Instead of being harbingers of creativity or some kind of message from our unconscious, some scientists have considered dreaming to being an unintended consequence of sleep—a byproduct of evolution without benefit.”
Author Matthew Walker, a professor of psychology and neuroscience, shares some interesting facts about dreams in his essay. According to research, dreaming is more than just a byproduct of sleep; it also serves its essential functions in our well-being.
4. Dreams By Hedy Marks
“Dreams are basically stories and images that our mind creates while we sleep. They can be vivid. They can make you feel happy, sad, or scared. And they may seem confusing or perfectly rational. Dreams can happen at any time during sleep. But you have your most vivid dreams during a phase called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, when your brain is most active. Some experts say we dream at least four to six times a night.”
In his essay, Author Hedy Marks discusses all we need to know about dreams in detail – from defining what a dream is to tips that may help us remember our dreams. Hedy Marks is an Assistant Managing Editor at WebMD, and his essay is medically reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, a board-certified emergency physician.
5. Do Dreams Really Mean Anything? By David B. Feldman
“ Regardless of whether dreams foretell the future, allow us to commune with the divine, or simply provide a better understanding of ourselves, the process of analyzing them has always been highly symbolic. To understand the meaning of dreams, we must interpret them as if they were written in a secret code. A quick search of an online dream dictionary will tell you that haunted houses symbolize “unfinished emotional business,” dimly lit lamps mean you’re “feeling overwhelmed by emotional issues,” a feast indicates “a lack of balance in your life,” and garages symbolize a feeling of “lacking direction or guidance in achieving your goals.” “
Author David B. Feldman, an author, speaker, and professor of counseling psychology, believes that dreams may not mean anything, but they tell us something about our emotions. In other words, if you’ve been suffering from a series of bad dreams, it could be worth checking in with yourself to see how you’ve been feeling and perhaps consider whether there’s anything you can do to improve your mood.
6. How to Control Your Dreams By Serena Alagappan
“Ever wish you could ice skate across a winter sky, catching crumbs of gingerbread, like flakes of snow, on your tongue? How about conquering a monster in a nightmare, bouncing between mountain peaks, walking through walls, or reading minds? Have you ever longed to hold the hand of someone you loved and lost? If you want to fulfill your fantasies, or even face your fears, you might want to try taking some control of your dreams (try being the operative). People practiced in lucid dreaming—the phenomenon of being aware that you are dreaming while you are asleep—claim that the experience allows adventure, self-discovery, and euphoric joy.”
In her essay, Author Serena Alagappan talks about lucid dreams – a type of dream where a person becomes conscious during a dream. She also talked about ways to control our dreams, such as keeping a journal, reciting mantras before bed, and believing we can. However, not everyone will be able to control their dreams because the levels of lucidity and control differ significantly between individuals.
7. The Sunday Essay: My Dreams On Antidepressants By Ashleigh Young
“There was a period of six months when I tried to go off my medication – a slowly unfolding disaster – and I’d thought my dreams might settle down. Instead, they grew more deranged. Even now I think of the dream in which I was using a cigarette lighter to melt my own father, who had assumed the form of a large candle. I’ve since learned that, apart from more research being needed, this was probably a case of “REM rebound”. When you stop taking the medication, you’ll likely get a lot more REM sleep than you were getting before. In simple terms, your brain goes on a dreaming frenzy, amping up the detail.”
Author Ashleigh Young’s essay informs us how some medications, such as antidepressants, affect our dreams based on her own life experience. She said, “I’ve tried not to dwell too much on my dreams. Yes, they are vivid and at times truly gruesome, full of chaotic, unfathomable violence, but weird nights seemed a reasonable price to pay for the bearable days that SSRIs have helped me to have.”
Essays About Dreams and Sleep Topic Ideas
1. What Is A Dream?
We all know that dreams are a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring during sleep. So, if you are writing an essay about dreams and sleep, you can add some interesting facts about dreams into it – something that will catch your reader’s attention that would make them stay and read until the end. First, look into what a dream really is. Then, conduct research and show your findings.
2. What Is The Purpose of Dreaming?
There are many answers to this question – one is that dreams may have an evolutionary function, testing us in scenarios that are crucial to our survival. Dreams may also reduce the severity of emotional trauma. On the other hand, some researchers say dreams have no purpose or meaning, while some say we need dreams for physical and mental health. Take a closer look at this topic, and include what you find in your essay.
3. Why Are Dreams So Strand and Vivid?
Weird dreams could result from anxiety, stress, or sleep deprivation. So, manage your stress levels, and stick to a sleep routine to stop having weird dreams. If you wake up from a weird dream, you can fall back asleep using deep breaths or any relaxing activity. You can research other causes of weird dreams and ways to stop yourself from having them for your essay about dreams and sleep.
4. Why Do Dreams Feel So Real?
The same areas of the brain that are active when we learn and process information in the actual world are active when we dream, and they replay the information as we sleManymany things we see, hear, and feel in our everyday lives appear in our dreams. Look into more details about this topic if you want to write an informative essay about dreams and sleep.
5. Why Are Dreams So Hard To Remember?
People may not remember what happened in their dreams. Study shows that people tend to forget their dreams due to the changing levels of acetylcholine and norepinephrine during sleep. This will be quite an exciting topic for your readers because many people can relate to this. That being said, research more information about this topic, and discuss it in detail in your essay.
6. Do Dreams Mean Anything?
Although some people believe that dreams don’t mean anything, many psychologists and other experts have theorized about the deeper meaning of dreams. Therefore, your essay about dreams and sleep should delve deeper into this topic.
7. Do Men And Women Dream Differently?
According to research, women dream more often than men, and they can easily remember their dreams. Women also tend to have a bit longer dreams and more characters. This is an exciting topic idea for your essay, so research more information about it and know why all these claims.
Tip: When editing for grammar, we also recommend taking the time to improve the readability score of a piece of writing before publishing or submitting it.
If you’re stuck picking your next essay topic, check out our round-up of essay topics about education.
Join over 15,000 writers today
Get a FREE book of writing prompts and learn how to make more money from your writing.