Dreams: Most dreaming occurs during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which we cycle through periodically during the night.
When you’re awake, your thoughts have a certain logic to them. When you sleep, your brain is still active, but your thoughts or dreams often make little or no sense. This may be because the emotional centers of the brain trigger dreams, rather than the logical regions. Even a study says that we forget 90% of our dreams within 10 minutes of having them.
Sleep medicine expert Michelle Drerup, PsyD, says that the brainstem generates REM sleep and the forebrain generates dreams.
Because if the brainstem is injured, patients dream but don’t go into REM sleep. And if the forebrain is injured, patients go into REM sleep but don’t dream.
REM sleep is also known as paradoxical sleep. The biggest difference being that the production of chemicals inside the brain like Norepinephrine, Serotonin, and Histamine causes the muscles to stop moving. This is why you can dream about flying or running around but your body doesn’t move.
People who have a disorder achieving complete REM utopia move around in their sleep or act out their dreams. Even this is the reason for sleepwalking.
Let’s talk about lucid dreams–
it’s possible to wake up & not be able to move your body and maybe you’re inside of a dream and you know that you’re dreaming. This is a superpower because, while you are in a lucid dream you can make a conscious decision about what to do, you can fly wherever you want even you can have a cup of coffee with Elon Musk. Now this is exciting, isn’t it?
But achieving a lucid dream is quite difficult or near to impossible to continue.
Now dream isn’t the only thing that happen during REM sleep, with dreams there are few things that happen during REM sleep as follows,
- You lose muscle tone
- Your breathing and heart rate become irregular,
- You can’t regulate temperature
- Your pupil constricts,
Why do we have nightmares?
The occasional nightmare is considered a dream that’s simply more frightening or upsetting. Nightmares tend to be caused by stress, anxiety, or sometimes as a reaction to certain medications.
We do know that people with post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) are more likely to have nightmares & in that case, one should get medical help.
We are still a little far away to explain that why you got particularly that dream yesterday night. There are some theories but still, researchers are finding the proofs. Though this is completely normal to have random dreams as your brain isn’t sending you any message through the dreams.