For a long time, night dreaming was thought to interfere with the necessary rest that sleep provides. However, experiments have indicated that dreams are not only a normal part of the sleep process but also vital to psychological health.

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Dr. William Dement of the  Sleep Center of Mount Sinai Hospital, who is conducting extensive experiments on the significance of dreaming, reports that subjects whose dreams were interrupted regularly exhibited emotional disturbances such as hypertension, anxiety, irritability, and concentration difficulties. “One of the subjects, ” Dement reported,  “quit the study in panic and two insisted on stopping, because the stress was too great.”

It was also observed that in five subjects there was considerable increase in appetite, i.e. they ate a lot, during the period of dream deprivation. As soon as the subjects were allowed to dream again, all psychological disturbances vanished.  More drastic experiments in Edinburgh, Scotland, supported these findings. Volunteers who were kept awake for very long periods dreamed considerably more than usual when finally permitted to sleep. It is as though a pressure to dream builds up. That is, the more your dreaming is restricted, the more you are inclined to dream when  allowed to sleep.


If dream suppression is carried on long enough, the result is serious disorders in the personality and, therefore, experiments conducted in this area should be monitored by professionals only.


Mark the best choice.

1. Line 1, “to interfere with’ means to .

a) improve b) disturb c) recover from d) extend

2. Line 4, ‘vital’ means .

a) essential b) unimportant c) useless d) efficient

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