Oneirology: Your Dreams & How they work

Technical Process Scope & Description

If you’re reading this, it’s because you’re on the journey of exploring your subconscious and the intricacies of its energy. In layman’s terms? Dreams while you sleep, and what your brain does while you do it! Dreaming is very complex and can be an explorative hobby to take up, in terms of analyzing and even gaining control of them. However, this is an explanation as to the scientific study of dreams; oneirology. Process descriptions on dreaming and its analysis will be described. This information may be helpful for those curious as to why some are able to remember theirs after they wake up.

The intended audience for this process description is general with an interest in brain functionality and research. The targeted reader would have a high school education or above, and will learn about the brain in its dream state. Furthermore, methods to analyze these brain patterns will also be described. A basic knowledge of biology and anatomy is also helpful for this reader.

Technical Process Introduction

Dreaming is not simply resorted to the processes in which scientists used to think happens to the mind during sleep; simply coping with traumatic experiences and purely reacting to emotional experiences. Dreaming, a combination of many psychiatric thought, are the visuals and feelings experienced during various brain activity, usually during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

The Process

Snow White & 7 Dwarves by Franz Shrotzberg

1) Sleep
This is generally the first step in achieving the goal of having a dream. All mammals dream and their brains control the process. During sleep, various functions (like swallowing/saliva production and bladder) are temporarily shut down.

2) REM Sleep & the Brain
Since REM sleep occurs about every 90 to 120 minutes, and the brain activity being most similar to that of the awakened state, this is generally the phase in which many dreams can be recalled. During this stage of sleep, the muscles are relaxed, aside from any dreamer’s muscle movement(ex. twitching), the body temperature fluctuates, and the heart rate increases.

Rapid eye movement. It’s simple and named appropriately, as the eyes are moving at an increased rate, due to visual cortex neurons in the eye. 

Cortical surface with an overlay of the basal ganglia and thalamus
Cortical surface with an overlay of the basal ganglia and thalamus

The pons-thalamus-occuipal cortex, or pons-thalamus cortex (Sensory Association Cortex), activates when the pons-lateral geniculate (Globus Pallidus), sends waves from the pons, to the geniculate section, and through the thalamus. This starts the REM and imagery (dreaming). 

So let’s review this stage:

  1. Your eyes are moving really fast
  2. Your muscles are relaxed (near paralysis)
  3. Your heart rate is increased
  4. Your body temperature fluctuates (so sometimes that blanket is needed or thrown off to the side)
  5. Your body will physically react in other ways (but whether or not something is actually exciting is not always so)
  6. Your thalamus beings to produce various patterns that form images
  7. These images come from PTO section, up the occipital lobe and through thalamus

Process Analyzed

Research conducted by a team at the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, recorded various brain activity of three adult males during a voluntary sleep study.

An MRI scan is magnetic resonance imaging, a technique that combines magnetic and radio waves to imprint on parts of the human body, as the subject. The researchers were able to do the same by scanning the brain tissue of the subjects in the study during and when awakened from their dreams.

US Navy 030819-N-9593R-228 Civilian technician, Jose Araujo watches as a patient goes through a Magnetic Resonance Imaging, (MRI) machine
Civilian technician, Jose Araujo watches as a patient goes through a Magnetic Resonance Imaging, (MRI) machine

An MRI machine is used to conduct an MRI scan, and the volunteers, most likely were told to drink plenty of water beforehand. Most MRIs are performed after 4 to 6 hours without eating or drinking. Sleep deprivation (the volunteer’s sleep was interrupted over 200 times! ) and dehydration don’t tend to mix well.

The sleep study was conducted in the following manner:

  • The volunteers fell asleep
  • The volunteers were awakened (sleep cycle interrupted) during the early stages of sleep (about the beginning of REM cycle)
  • The volunteers were told to recall the images they saw while sleeping
  • After each patient was awakened, the researchers immediately asked for a recall of the various images they saw in their dreams. Some saw people, parts of a building, furniture and some in black and white.
Brain MRI
(brain in normal state)

In preparation for the results the researchers:

  • Divided the objects into various categories (such as street, furniture, girl)
  • The volunteers entered the MRI machine once more
  • Algorithms (rules or commands) within the computer paired each pattern that appeared in the subject, with the objects recollected
  • Each object pattern would match with various patterns found during the dreaming stage

For a majority of people, the average sleep cycle is about 7 hours or less, and this single uninterrupted cycle can lead to various dream segments momentarily paused before the next one occurs. The reason why some dreamers are able to remember their dreams without external prompting, may lie in part of their own brain chemistry; the more creative a person is, the more vivid their dreams and longer they can recall. Each recollection has a window of 20 seconds to a minute before the dream falls away from the person’s memory.


In the case of this process, the dreaming stage is a product of brain waves that can be analyzed for future studies and imagery analysis. The analysis stage uses magnetic and radio waves to imprint on the brain and its waves, to produce the scan.
If you are curious about being able to see your dreams outside of your dreams, you don’t need an MRI machine to do it! Plenty of dreamers have painted, drawn, or written about their dreams. Even photography has its surrealist capabilities due to modern technology. And due to the latter, oneirology research is only becoming more of a fruitful and intricate process for those curious on the brain and its dreaming state.

 Reference Visuals

By Colder B [CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Nevit Dilmen (talk) and Tekks (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Access a full write-up of this process in print form.

Web-Based Writing: Music

A master post for various web-based writing skills gained during my time with Cliché Magazine.

Upcoming Artist Magazine Feature  – Country 

Upcoming Artist Magazine Feature – Pop

Upcoming Artist Magazine Feature – R&B

Best Soundtracks of 2017” (Opinion)

Trending Music Mash-Ups (2017)

Artists We Hope Drop in 2018 

“Lust for Life” Album Review Blog – Indie Pop 

“Double Dutchess” Album Review Blog – Pop

Upcoming Artist of 2018 & her New EP (2018) 

“The State of Music: Physical to Digital” (Opinion) 

Artists to Know: Twin Peaks Edition (2017) 

“War & Leisure” Album Review Blog – R&B

“Artists We Wish Would Collab” (2018)

“Four Artists Who Should Try Another Genre” (Opinion) 

Upcoming Mexican Artist & European Tour (2017)

Artist News & Tragedy (2017)

Memorable Benefit Concerts (2017 – Opinion)

“5 Artists to See at Firefly” (2017 – Opinion)

Indie Artists You Should Know (2017 – Opinion) 

“One More Light” Album Review Blog – Rock

“Singles That Give Us More to Come” (2017 – Opinion)

“YouTube Covers We’re Loving (2017 – Opinion) 

“Number 1 Angel” Album Review Blog – Pop

“5 Independent Artists to Watch” (2017 – Opinion)

“Nightride vs. Joyride” Artist News/Review Blog – Pop/R&B

Social Media Copy

A documentation and samples of social media copy curated for Hippocampus Magazine, an online nonfiction publication based in Harrisburg, PA

Assignment – Tease an author’s interview or article with an interesting quote, and summarize their feature for a Facebook Post. 


Kate Walter

Teaser quote:

I think being different, being gay (even before I came out to myself), saved me and propelled me forward. Now I need to find the container for that storyline and a thread to stitch my past to the present.

Interview: Kate Walter, author of Looking for a Kiss

Written Overview:
How a writer’s experiences in the dating world, is so familiar to even the perfect stranger. Kate Walter shares her thoughts on her memoir and where her story will lead next.

Sharon Kurtzman
Teaser quote:
At the table, I dunked and munched but soon froze when I spotted one of the washed wine glasses shattered on the floor beside the garbage pail.
No one had been in the kitchen but me.

The Writing Life: The Ghost Reader by Sharon Kurtzman, Guest Columnist

Written overview:
Guest columnist Sharon Kurtzman, humorously crafts an anxious, and invisible reader craving more during a writer’s spooky residency.


Tom Farr
Teaser quote:
Storytelling is an evolutionary process. So write your first draft, but don’t let that be where your story ends. Dig deeper, get feedback, trust the process… and may the force be with you.

CRAFT: What Star Wars Can Teach Us About Storytelling by Tom Farr, Guest Columnist

Written overview:
Guest columnist Tom Farr bestows the stagnant writer with tips to push their story to galactic proportions.



Written overview:
Hannah Straton peers into White Matter, by Janet Sternburg, who writes of the dynamics of a Jewish family, post-lobotomy



Andy Harper

Teaser quote:
But this year, she would receive two long-stemmed red roses (the most I could afford),…The inscription within the card would read simply, “Will you be my Valentine?” She wasn’t there.

Written overview:
Andy Harper recalls his first time in the friend zone, during a Valentine’s Day exchange with his 6th-grade crush.




Melissa Knackmuhs Kiefer

Teaser quote:
You weigh 214 lbs. Your bulletproof vest weighs 4 lbs. and 5 oz. Your duty belt weighs 14 lbs. and 13 oz. Some days, I want to know the weight of all the things you carry.

The Police Officer’s Wife by Melissa Knackmuhs Kiefer

Written overview:
Knackmuhs Kiefer’s words to a nameless officer in the second person, reads of a will to survive the union between two people, despite the danger.







Patricia Perry Donovan

Teaser quote:
Most children sucked their thumb. Not mine. At the first divination of stress—I swear that child could sense when her father was due home—up went her index finger, like a sailor gauging the wind’s course…It was second nature for Della, soothing herself that way.

Written overview:
Patricia Perry Donovan writes of a mother and daughter hurrying to achieve true freedom and stability in the rocky Sandias.

Meatless Nomming Pt. II – Pasta Dish

For this recipe, I was in the midst of dealing with company (not my doing) and deciding my dinner with other tummies in mind. With a fresh garden at my fingertips and a stock of pasta and tomato sauce, I decided to have at it. And so did everyone else

Meatless Spaghetti and Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

No meat doesn't mean boring. Let's brighten this plate.


  • 1/2 a box of Veggie Pasta
  • 1/2 a box of Whole Wheat Pasta
  • 1 Onion
  • 2-3 fresh tomatoes
  • 1-2 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1-2 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
  • 1 can of Tomato Sauce (I love Heinz!)
  • Minced Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Meatless Features: Olives and Mushrooms (Shiitake or Portobella)


  1. Prepare your ingredients – Dice your tomatoes and olives, mince your basil and onion, and chop your oregano, garlic and mushrooms. Prepare your sprigs of rosemary, and oregano and set them aside. Separate each into various bowls or holding spaces. Like a cutting board or a clean counter.
  2. Boil fresh water in a large pot, add a pinch of salt.
  3. Prepare a large pan – Add vegetable oil
  4. Heat the pan – Add your garlic and onions and let them cook for a minute or two.
  5. Add your sauce – Stir in all of your veggies and herbs. At low heat, simmer for at least 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  6. Cook pasta in the boiled water. Most pasta is finished between 8 to 10 minutes. The longer boiled, results a softer noodle.
  7. Drain, and toss pasta with olive oil
  8. Check that sauce! Can you smell it yet? Prepare to add it to your pasta.
  9. Throw it all together! – Toss pasta and sauce into a large dish.

And that’s it! If you’re not vegan, add some of your favorite cheese to add to the top of any plate.
Happy Nomming! 

Meatless Nomming Pt. I

In this edition, I highlight how slight hunger and ingredients around the house, can make way for a simple, yet affordable meal.

Jasmine Rice & Pigeon Peas

servings = 1-2, time = 15-20 minutes, difficulty = easy

A light, savory and simple Asian inspired dish, perfect for lunch or supper.

Meatless feature: Pigeon Peas

By User:C.L. Ramjohn (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By User:C.L. Ramjohn (Own work) [GFDL (


1 Can of Pigeon Peas
1 cup of Jasmine Rice or the microwaveable version
1 tbs of chopped green onions (scallions)
less than 1 tsp of minced hot pepper or a similar powdered variant
less than 1 tsp. Minced ginger
1 tbs of vegetable oil

Choose your rice:

If you are cooking from scratch, you must boil the water first THEN add the rice. The more water, the softer the rice and vice versa. Add any butter or salt for additional taste! Follow the bag’s cooking instructions, but most rice generally cooks between 15 to 25 minutes.

Add everything together:

1. Heat a pan with your vegetable oil
2. Add the minced veggies and spices
3. Add your rice and let it warm up for a minute or two
4. Add your peas (a balanced ratio between rice and peas)
5. Stir the ingredients together

Additional tips: Add a teaspoon of sesame oil and soy sauce during the final mixing for a more authentic taste!

And you’re done! Happy Nomming!

Spicy Sardine Soup (with Ramen!) – Meatless Nomming Pt. III

For this recipe, I was hungry, moody and desperate. Not an ideal combination when it comes to daily food intake, but with some searching around the kitchen, here is today’s how-to for stretching those noodles. With those forgotten sardines!

Spicy Sardine Ramen

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Print

From non-perishable leftovers, to a savory supper.

Credits to my stomach


  • Ramen of your choice
  • Canned Sardines
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped peppers
  • Minced or powdered garlic
  • A sprig of thyme (fresh or dried)
  • 2 to 4 tsps of Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil or spraying equivalent


  1. Boil a small pot of water for your noodles
  2. With a small saute pan, prepare with a cooking oil. Set heat to medium.
  3. Add your onion, peppers and or garlic, and saute for at least one minute
  4. Add the sardines
  5. Add the soy sauce
  6. Saute your ingredients for another minute or two.
  7. Keep stirring!
  8. Add the ramen and thyme to the water, return to boil for the recommended time.
  9. With a large bowl, add the ramen and your sauteed ingredients on top.

And you’re done! Happy Nomming!

Apple Cider Vinegar – Smelly but Four Strong Benefits!

It’s been a few months since I’ve graduated, but growing one with sleep hasn’t deterred me from keeping up with my tried and true habits! Let’s face it, without any set location to reach or set places to go each day (compared to the college life), post-grad life can get pretty boring.

But that doesn’t mean you have to forgo all your efforts! Those in my boat and those on their own islands…Let’s start with apple cider vinegar, or ACV!

By Phongnguyen1410 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Phongnguyen1410 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
As I stated before in a previous post, ACV is highly beneficial, but there are other things it can be used for.

Four ways ACV can change your body

Hair – I can’t recall the exact source of this tip, but after experiencing some scalp changes since returning to a more natural hair regimen (pH balance most likely), ACV was a life-saver! The itching after using a deep conditioner, or the dull and lifeless look my curls had, vanished! How to? Just take a cap-ful, and drop it into any regular ol’ cup and dilute with cool water. I found that my scalp calmed down if I used it after shampooing, or even during a deep condition. Try to use it in-between rinsing any of the soap out. ACV does NOT smell like rosemary!

– You can dilute a bit with water and use it as a nightly toner (watch those hands!), or drink a sweetened/unsweetened diluted mixture first thing in the morning. Simple and easy.

Nails – Simply take a diluted cap-ful, and a small cotton ball or Q-tip, and rub on your nails or pour the mixture into a bowl and let them soak for around five to ten minutes. With all the good bacteria (see probiotics,) the ACV may do your nails some good cleaning, as well as make for a nice healthy shine! Be sure to moisturize after!

Body – Don’t forget your skin is the largest organ and deserves some TLC from time to time. Your pH levels can also reflect on the surface of your skin, and anything that off-sets it, can be reset if it’s a surface issue only. If you are a diligent exerciser, come into contact with a lot of surfaces or just plain sweat tons, try taking a vinegar bath.

The higher salt content in your sweat, the more irritable your skin may be. Clean it inside and out!
The higher salt content in your sweat, the more irritable your skin may be. Clean it inside and out!

Dilute some ACV and rinse it over your body, or fill up a clean bathtub and let your skin feel it! I also find it good for a salad dressing base, just don’t over do it...erosion and all that…

ACV is a new and easy start for anyone new not just to the PescLife but to a healthy one! Just make sure it looks ‘gross’ (it’s the mother dear! ) and drink plenty of water along the way! Your body will begin to glow and your cups of morning coffee may begin to lessen.

Maybe. No guarantees!

Copy & Scripts

A master post for various script-writing skills gained during my time in communications courses at Elizabethtown College.

Copy-writing Campaign for student improv group, Mad Cow: Copy-writing Campaign Script (30)


VO-SOT: Student Senate Funds

Promotional Web Video Treatment & Script: WEB VIDEO TREATMENT & SCRIPT


News Release & Backgrounder: Local College

TV EpisodeTV Script – American Horror Story – From Fort to Hotel

Social Media CopyFacebook, Hippocampus Magazine

Forever Meatless? Questions for the future

When I first made the choice to go meatless, there was an intent that I wouldn’t do it forever. I do very much want a nice hot dog and grilled burger. Let’s be honest, the alternatives can only do so much if your heart’s not in it…no veggie burgers allowed!

I want to be able to trust the meat suppliers in this country but I simply can’t bring myself to. I applaud those who are able to name Shadow and put him down for their Thanksgiving dinner later in the year.

Whatever you do, don't get attached. Don't even stare at this picture too long.
Whatever you do, don’t get attached. Don’t even stare at this picture too long.

I miss lamb and rice, curry goat…I miss all the good stuff! But until I get to a point where certain health issues or the environment (or spinach, e. coli paranoia) proves too difficult to keep it up – I guess I’ll have that hamburger.

But for now, I have enough faith that my experiences these last few years have given me enough confidence that I can manage it. I do hope to live in an area where meat is available to those like me; wanting to relive the days of old and fry up something good. It is then, I’ll tell the stories of my attempts and experiences of living in an meatless world shrouded by meat-eaters and those without regard for us. 

As the sun sets, maybe one my taste for meat will arise? By
As the sun sets, maybe one my taste for meat will arise? By

Have faith in your choices and happy nomming! This blog will be here and a personal document space for any future habits during my journey as a ‘meatless.’