If by dream, we are to mean only an operation of the mind during sleep of which the dreamer is conscious when he awakes, then the problem remains unanswered; although it is to be said that most people, on being suddenly woken, awake invariably to find that the sudden waking has broken off a dream, and this seems to make it very probable indeed that the mind is unconsciously active all the while that we sleep, but that it is comparatively seldom that a memory of its activity remains with us when we awake. When we awake gradually, in a normal manner, it is likely that as we regain full use of our sensory apparatus the impressions it conveys to us gradually efface those feeble ones that have come to us during sleep, and so we forget the latter. In case of a sudden awakening, memory and attention become active before any awakening sensory impressions have intervened to obliterate the impressionsmade in sleep. Incidentally the question arises as to the meaning we are to give the word "dream". It would be far more convenient to restrict it to operation of the mind during sleep that is remembered on awaking ; but since, in common parlance, we use it of and operation of the mind during sleep (though forgotten by ourselves on awaking) of which others can take notice (as we say of dogs that they "dream" when they yap and move in their sleep), it is better perhaps to use it, for the present, at least, in its common sense, although, if we adopt the view that the mind is active throughout all the sleeping hours, we must look on "dreaming" in that sense as a constant accident of sleep.


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Dreams -Their Meanings - H G Hutchinson 1901