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Sleep Dream - Sleep and Dreams

We sleep and we dream. But the sleeper has little knowledge about the activity of the brain during his sleep hours. The sleepy brain is preoccupied with the events and thoughts of the recent past when it was awake.

There are two kinds of sleep.

  • The 'non-dreaming' sleep and the 'dreaming sleep'. During the non-dreaming sleep, the thought series are rational, slow moving, unimaginative and not particularly visual. Later on these very thoughts acquire a life of their own. As every 90 minutes the curtain rises and the dreaming sleep unfolds. This lasts for about 20 minutes. Dreams during this period are bizarre and largely based on previous waking events, that will be distributed in irrational ways.
  • Dreaming sleep is also known as rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep), because the eyes are in vigorous activity similar to the awake state to look around.

During dreaming sleep our bodies and limbs try to enact the dream and move about quite violently, which can be dangerously. To prevent this, brain paralyses the body thus preventing all movements. But yep the body reacts to dream in the form of some twitching of the hand and feet and ofcourse the eye movements. Breathing and other vital functions continue normally. Suddenly when we are awoken from the dream, the paralyses continues for a while, even preventing attempts to cry out, and adding to the frightening experience. The paralysis is absent during non-dreaming sleep. Here sleep walking and sleep talking can occur, which is usually during the deepest form of non-dreaming i.e. non-REM or NREM sleep. Sleep walkers are in a world of their own, engrossed unresponsive and often they search something only known to them. They cannot be awoken and it is advisable to guide them to bed and not to wake them up.

Dreams are usually in colours but the image soon fades into black and white and in 10 minutes or so, it completely disappears unless we happen to wake up and then make a real effort to remember. Dreams are not over in a flash and it runs its full course, partly because dreaming is a light form of sleep and the sleeper is vaguely aware of his surroundings. Unless the sensation perceived is disturbing, the sleeper just dreams on.

Dreaming is not a vital state of brain recovery as it is thought to be. Within seconds of awakening from dreaming the person is fully alert and responsive. But awoken from a non-dreaming deep sleep, persons may experience confusion at times.

The parts of our brain controlling our emotions seems to be shut down during dreaming, which may be why the dreamer usually experience emotional detachment from the events. That is why one can remain asleep despite alarming and sometimes even frightening experience while dreaming. But sometimes, as it is in a nightmare, the emotions are not containable and we wake up. Whereas nightmares are made up of very frightening dreams, they are different from night terrors, which appears in non-dreaming state. In night terrors the sufferer typically sits up and cries out in fear and panic and children especially need much calming down by even more distressed parents. Strangely, unlike the parents, the child will have little recollection of any of this the next morning.

Everyone dreams. Those who claims that they do not are actually good sleepers, sleeping uninterrupted and ultimately getting up from nom-dreaming sleep in the morning. The common belief is that dreams are essential for normal mental health, by resolving inner conflicts discharging tensions. But it may not be absolutely true. Infact dreaming can make the matter far worse. People with depression tend to have sad and miserable dreams which may lead to more sad thoughts and next day. That is why it may be best that they do not dream at all. Most drugs prescribed for depression also knock out REM sleep (Dreaming Sleep). Dreaming has nothing to de with memory.

We have no idea whether new born babies dream. But they have lots of REM sleep. The unborn baby has 10 hours of REM sleep out of 24 hours which rapidly decreases after birth falling to about 5 hours a day after 1 year. REM sleep is found in almost all mammals and to a limited extent in birds.

So, why do we dream? During non-dreaming sleep, the brain probably recovers from the wear and tear of wakefulness. But probably does not like being unconscious for too long and need periodic stimulation to keep it in tune. It may well be the reason for so much REM sleep before birth, to make up for the lack of sensory stimulation to the brain for the baby in the womb.

But in the adult stage, most of the dreams are mundane, involving unknown scenery and strangery, with the scenario being an everyday scene or mishap, and the dreamer is usually participating in some way.

Sleep Disorder type.
They vary in terms of the way and the conditions they occur due to. Some of the common Sleeping disorder types vary from Behavioral sleeping disorder to circadian rhythm disorders.

Aromatherapy for Insomnia Know about various essential oils used in treating Insomnia.

Click to know more on causes of different sleep disorder types.
Sleeping disorder may arise from causes within the body or from external environment. Find out various causes of sleeping disorders such as diet, caffeine, depression, etc.

Some interesting stories of sleep disorder and insomnia.

Sleep and dreams: How too much sleep can effect your well being?
Too much of anything can cause it behave abnormally. Sleep is not an exception to this. Find the appropriate sleep time and duration.

Child Sleep- Learn to recognize child sleep disorder. Sleeping disorder in child is associated with many difficulties.

Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

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