Dement, William Charles (1928-)

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Dement, William Charles (1928-)

Psychiatrist and researcher into phenomena relating to dreams. He was born in Wenatchee, Washington, July 29, 1928, and received his education at the University of Washington (B.S., 1951) and the University of Chicago (M.D., 1955). He joined the faculty of the Stanford University Medical School in 1963 as director of the Sleep Laboratory.

Dement and his colleagues found that sleep was essential for physical and psychological health and that deprivation tended to make individuals irritable or subject to memory loss. With his colleagues he investigated the phenomenon of the connection between a sleeper's rapid eye movements and the imagery of dreams. Although external sensory stimuli could influence dream imagery, Dement concluded that the themes of dreams arose primarily from the sleeper's mental or emotional processes.


Dement, William C. and Christopher Vaughan. The Promise of Sleep. New York: Dell Books, 2000.

Dement, William C. Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Alumni Association, 1972.