Many concepts in human states are difficult to define, some of these such as emotions, motivation and personality. Defining these is like defining fire or water; everyone knows it when they see it but they have trouble attempting to describe it in words.
Theorists have proposed a variety of notions that might be of interest. One such notion is that our species achieved consciousness only about 3000 years ago (Julian Jaynes1976). Like all animals,humans once lacked consciousness altogether, but during evolution we gradually developed what Jaynes calls the bicameral mind, a mind that served as an intermediate evolutionary step to our current consciousness. Jaynes points out however that over the last 300 years humans have become increasingly aware of the influence of the unconscious mind and its effects on behaviours.
Sleep and Dream
Circadian Rhythm impact on people differently. Some people are best in the morning others in the evening. When we sleep, the body is able to recover from the exertions of the day. According to the Theory of Energy Conservation, evolution equipped all of us with a regular pattern of sleeping and waking to conserve fuel and avoid walking into danger.(Stressors). Studies have shown that one function of REM sleep (dreaming) seems to be memory storage after new experiences, particularly memory for motor skills.
According to The Activation-Synthesis Theory of dreams, they are a product of brain activity,the brain experiencing activity as sensations, linking the sensations together to establish them into a pattern. Your brain continues to process external information, even external noises or day to day thoughts are incorporated into dreams. Your body remains active when you are asleep (Introduction to Psychology).
Hypnosis- A Transforming Power
Hypnosis, the word is derived from a Greek word meaning sleep, however it is a far different state then sleep. A hypnotic operator can certainly facilitate a client’s achievement to a trance state, a willing subject’s imagination will be stimulated with more enjoyable or more intense thoughts. It is important to note here that even though a client may take reasonable or pleasing suggestions he/she is always in control. In every stage of hypnosis, the client can select the suggestions that he/she will accept. Complete power of selectivity means that the client can reject an unwanted suggestion. Under hypnosis, a person has control of more than his/her selectivity, there is control of all faculties. Hear, see, feel, smell, taste, speak although sometimes look completely unconscious.
Every individual reacts differently under suggestion. Hypnosis is a pleasant state, the body and the mind equally suggestible,operating as a harmonious unit (Hypnotherapy,Dave Elman).
Self Hypnosis techniques when practiced repetitively can change your sleep behaviours. Many self hypnosis techniques invite the client into sleep and relaxation by simple safe methods e.g. repetitive counting can focus the mind on something other than demanding that it goes to sleep with stress and mind chatter present.(see Self Hypnosis workshops)