Dr. William Dement passed away last year. He was one of the pioneers in the field of sleep medicine. He founded the first sleep clinic in the United States @stanford which is where I trained.
Early in his career at the University of Chicago he studied dreams and helped to characterize REM sleep and its association to dreaming.
Dr. Dement liked to tell a stories about how dreams could have a powerful influence on the dreamer. He once had a dream in which he developed lung cancer. He interpreted the dream as a warning from the body he could have developed a few precancerous cells. After that dream he quit smoking and felt the dream potentially saved his life.
People often told Dr. Dement stories about how dreams helped them to make big decisions such as who to marry or where to go to college.
I’ve had dreams that have made me long for a person, made me feel sad, or brought back memories but I’ve never had a dream that has seemingly served such a distinctive purpose.
Have your dreams had a major influence on your life?