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(1950). Annual Meeting — 1950. Bul. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 6D(4):25-71.

(1950). Bulletin of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 6D(4):25-71

Annual Meeting — 1950

Scientific Sessions

As has been our custom in the past we are publishing the detailed panel discussions which took place at the Annual 1950 Meeting in Detroit. In addition, we are reproducing abstracts of the papers which were presented.

We plan to publish the abstracts of Anna Freud's talks during her visit to America in the next issue of the Bulletin.

Presleep Mechanisms of Dream Control

Richard Renneker, M.D.

The potential sleeper seeks those conditions, both externally and internally, under which he can most safely, pleasurably and with the least expenditure of energy, sleep. Control of the external conditions is usually possible through deliberate planning. Control of the internal conditions is accomplished by presleep mechanisms of decreasing or binding internal pressures, or/and dream formation.

A major function of the ego, awake and sleeping, is the conservation of energy and the creation of techniques which facilitate this end goal. The ego, therefore, attempts to make the conditions for dreaming leisurely and better planned so that the effort expended therein is proportionately minor. This economical goal is accomplished through decreasing unconscious pressure BEFORE sleep. The function of decreasing tension before sleep is not only to create conditions ideal for falling asleep, but also for staying asleep, and for securing a sound refreshing slumber in which the dream task is decreased and the energy expended during the night in dreaming and repressive work is kept at a minimum. This is a function of the normal integrated ego, and is reflected in such presleep habits as eating, defecating, urinating, reading, bathing, smoking, scratching and sexuality — all containing within them some elements of partial, substitutive physiological gratification — useful in the chronic need to decrease tension before sleep. These ego mechanisms have as their goal: presleep physiological, partial, substitutive gratification of the id demands.

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