There is a lot to be learned about sleep, with new studies frequently being published in peer-reviewed journals. Recently, researchers have found that certain changes take place inside our brains during sleep, but are still figuring out what it all means. Information on dreams is mostly theory-based and progress has been slow but, here’s what we know:
Dreaming occurs all night long: The theory that we only dream during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep has been proved false. Although we are more tuned in, and more likely to remember dreams during REM sleep, dreams occur all night without our knowledge.
Fish and insects don’t have REM sleep: Scientists study all types of species to understand how we humans sleep. REM sleep is the perfect way to tell a species is likely to dream. All mammals, all reptiles and some birds experience REM sleep.
Awakening suddenly can ruin dream recall: Waking up suddenly causes us to forget the dream world. The best way to remember dreams is to wake up slowly over a matter of minutes.
Those who remember their dreams show different brain activity: People who regularly remember their dreams have more spontaneous activity in a region of the brain called the temporo-parietal junction both when they are awake, and asleep.
Our bodies react to the dreams the same as if we were awake: Ever woke up angry at someone? The feelings we have during dreams can linger when we wake up. The same physiological experience that would happen as we were awake happens while we’re asleep. Our blood pressure and heart rate can be elevated, cementing dream emotions.
We dream in real time: Our dreams are just fleeting seconds; they can last for 10 minutes, 30 minutes or even an hour. They lengthen along with periods of REM sleep throughout the night.
Nightmares aren’t always associated with fear: Bad dreams and nightmares are often made up worries, confusion, failure, guilt and sadness. Men’s bad dreams are more likely to be centered around violence and aggression, while women’s are typically more centered on relationship conflict.
Dreams don’t become weird until we say they are: No matter how crazy dream may be, when it’s happening it is completely normal. It is only when we wake up and analyze them do they seem far-fetched or weird.
Dreams are the one place you can die and still live: There is no evidence that dying in a dream leads to death in real life. Some even say that it is actually a sign of a new beginning.
Had any crazy dreams lately? As long as your dreams aren’t too frequent, bizarre and ruining your sleep quality, start a dream journal and enjoy the ride!
Via: Huffington Post