The human sleep cycle is fascinating. Now that Halloween is over and that we no longer have time for costumes and horror, our brains still find a way to lead us in that universe with the dream world. Sure, you got a lot of candies, but they might not be enough to erase the trauma left behind by the countless horror movies you watched during that period. They’ll come back to haunt you during your sleep cycle in the form of nightmares. Halloween is not over until your brain says so!
On the other hand, you might be one of those people who as soon Halloween was over started to count the days until Christmas and have been dreaming about it every night since. But what about those dreams or those nightmares? Where do they come from? Why do we dream and how is it possible for us to do such a thing? In which phase of our sleep cycle do they happen?
REM: Rapid Eye Motion Sleep Cycle
These questions seem easy to answer but they require a deep and complex analysis to respond properly. The first thing to know about the phenomenon of dreaming is that it does not reach a consensus among the scientific community because it still remains a mystery. However, all agree to say that dreams are multiple images that we visualize when we are sleeping.
Every human being dreams at night and this action takes part in the REM (Rapid Eye Motion) phase of the sleep cycle. For those of you who don’t know much about the REM, it is one of the most active sleep cycles for our brain which is why it leads us to dream.
Why Some People Dream More Than Others
Some people give us the impression that they dream more often than others. Don’t worry, they don’t have more dreams or better ones but it is the awakening that explains this situation. If you wake up during the REM sleep cycle, you will more easily remember your dream and what it was about that if you are awakened by external sources that pull you from your sleep.
What Are Dreams and Nightmares, Exactly?
So far, there are many hypotheses that are trying to explain why we are dreaming. For some, dreams are just a random sequence of images without any meanings or links with each other. For others, under Freud’s influence, dreams have a much deeper meaning and represent the images of the mind and the subconscious of the sleeper. Recently, scientists brought a new approach that combines both visions. It suggests that at night, during a specific sleep cycle, the emotion part of the brain is very active and deals with a lot of complex emotions that would provoke the triggering of dreams.
Bad dreams or nightmares? The distinction between both words might be tricky. In both cases, it is a series of negatives images that leaves us with a bad feeling after we’ve experienced it. The difference between them is that nightmares, unlike the bad dreams, will wake you up at night and will disturb your sleep cycle.
Dreams or nightmares, you have to know that all the images you perceived while sleeping still remains a mystery for science.