90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Science and Function of Dreams

A look into our dreams—from sweet to nightmare. What they do for us and how much control we have over them.

Left: Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali and his partner Gala appear at a party they gave in California in 1941. Guests were bidden to dress as bad dreams. (AP); Right: Courtesy of Boston University

We close our eyes at night and dream. Sometimes beautifully, sometimes fitfully, sometimes frighteningly. But why?

The ancients looked for omens. Sigmund Freud saw clues from our past. Some researchers now say dreams help us brace for the future. Ben Franklin advised a light supper, clean sheets, fresh air, and as little dreaming as possible — to avoid painful dreams.

And what about nightmares? Can we, should we, rewrite them? We spend a lot of our lives dreaming. What’s it all about?

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

William “Bill” Domhoff, professor of psychology and specialist in dream research at the University of California Santa Cruz. He’s author of “The Scientific Study of Dreams.”

Ross Levin, a psychologist and sleep researcher in private practice in Manhattan.

Rodger Kamenetz, author and dream therapist who was trained at North of Eden. His books include “The History of Last Night’s Dream.” He is a retired professor of English, philosophy, and religion at Louisiana State University.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jan 26, 2015
Yemeni protesters gather during a demonstration to show their support to Houthi Shiite rebels in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.  (AP)

Yemen in turmoil, a new king in Saudi Arabia. We’ll look at what’s next for the Arabian Peninsula. Plus: the President’s trip to the Indian subcontinent.

Jan 26, 2015
Frederick Daniel Hardy's "Baby's Birthday" (1867) shows a typical Victorian English family at home.  (Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Brush your teeth with soot, stay away from water, wear a steel corset. We’ll talk with the author of “How to be a Victorian.” Strange ways from another age.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 23, 2015
People enter the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colo., Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. The jury selection process in the trial of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes began Tuesday, and is expected to take several weeks to a few months. Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 in an Aurora movie theater in 2012 (AP)

The Marathon bombing, the Aurora movie theater shootings, and the challenges of picking an impartial jury.

 
Jan 23, 2015
A Cuban flag and an American flag stand in the press room during the second day of talks between U.S. and Cuban officials, in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP)

President Obama comes out swinging in his State of the Union. High level talks in Cuba. Japanese hostages. “American Sniper” controversy. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
2 Comments
 
Caller To Author Ron Rash: ‘You Cared About People Like Me’
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015

An unexpected caller from South Carolina brings back guest Ron Rash’s years as a community college professor in a movingly real way.

More »
1 Comment