Sleep, Dreaming, and Human Health

Sleep, Dreaming, and Human Health by Kelly BulkeleyDominican University’s Albertus Magnus Society will present a lecture titled “Sleep, Dreaming, and Human Health” by Dr. Kelly Bulkeley, visiting scholar at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, on Thursday, February 11 at 7:00 p.m. The lecture will be held in Priory Campus Room 263, 7200 W. Division Street, River Forest. The event is free and open to the public.

     Bulkeley will explain how sleep and dreaming are natural processes hard-wired into the human brain, as well as universal portals into religious experience and spiritual insight. He will describe current scientific research on the health benefits of sleep and the evolutionary functions of dreaming. He will integrate these findings with philosophical and religious teachings about the healing power of dreams.

     Established in 2006 by the Siena Center of Dominican University, the Albertus Magnus Society pursues new information and insight in a setting that is both scholarly and congenial, and reflects the Dominican understanding of the compatibility of religion and science. The society was named for Albertus Magnus, patron saint of scientists, and thirteenth century Dominican famed for scientific discoveries and a theology reflective of the emerging science of his day. For more information on the Albertus Magnus Society, please call (708) 714-9105 or visit the website at http://www.dom.edu/ams.

Dreams, Religion & Spirituality Research: Reference Links

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American Dreamers: How Sleep, Dreams, and Religion Intersect

Interested in the ways that sleep, dreams and religion intersect for American Dreamers?  Below are some of the data charts from my book American Dreamers.

Religious Attendance x Sleep

More than once a week Never
Sleep Less than 6 hours a night 11 18
6-8.9 hours a night 84 76
More than 9 hours a night 2 6
Insomnia Never 70 51
1-2 nights a week 13 19
3 or more nights a week 13 27

Religious Attendance x Dream Prototypes

More than once a week Never
A person who’s now dead appearing alive 29 41
Magically flying in the air 25 29
Being chased or attacked 33 45
Falling 40 44
Sexual experiences 34 50
Being in a situation exactly like your regular waking life 53 63
Being aware you’re dreaming and able to control the dream 37 47

Chapter 3 discusses these findings in relation to the religious and spiritual dimensions of the dreams of the journal keepers. For more on dreaming and religion generally, see Dreaming in the World’s Religions: A Comparative History.