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.