Written - August 3rd, 2005 @9:53pm
Mood - Pensive
Music - WAH!, Whispered Available on wahmusic.com
Many people may have thought, "What in the world was that?" after waking up from a strange dream. Dreams may be very interesting, but they have more to them, such as the sleep cycle, insomnia, and many others people are not aware of. Nightmares and night terrors are also more than what most people think. Dreams are very fascinating and there is much more to them than people realize, but that also means it takes more to understand them. Scientists have been studying the phenomenon for many years.
During sleep many things happen: the blood pressure and heart rate drop. The longer a person stays awake, the longer he will sleep. The Circadian system, (the body's internal clock) is what determines how long people will sleep. People normally sleep between six and a half and nine hours a day, which equals one third of our lives.
The four stages of sleep
Sleep also has four stages.
Stage 1 - The person's eyes roll slowly back and forth and the brain works less efficiently than when awake.
Stage 2 - Starts after a few minutes with slow brain waves interrupted by sudden bursts.
Stage 3 - Lasts about ten minutes and is filled with high amplitude brain waves called delta waves and it is difficult to wake the sleeper in this stage.
Stage 4 - Is where dreaming, sleepwalking, and night terrors occur. Delta waves also occur in stage 4 more than half the time.
Many people have trouble sleeping. This is called insomnia. Insomnia is a condition, not a normal event, that may be caused by internalized tension. Insomnia may be occasional or chronic. The only time insomnia can be considered normal is after a tragedy. Insomnia may also be caused by what we eat or drink late at night. It can be helped though. People can take drugs to cure it: over the counter drugs are not always effective though. Prescription drugs like Benzodiazepines and Aenosine trigger sleep. Other methods to cure insomnia include watching a comedy, relaxing, and writing your problems in a worry diary. People can also try not to worry about falling asleep. The most important thing is realizing that nothing can be done about the problems.
NREM and REM
NREM: Non-Rapid Eye Movement.
Sleep occurs in stages one, two, and three. During NREM sleep the person has less vivid dreams and their eyes move. It is an inactive stage of sleep. 97% of sleep is inactive and only about 6% of people awaken in NREM remember their dreams.
78% of sleep is NREM.
REM: Rapid Eye Movement.
Is when your eyes move back and forth under closed eyelids. REM takes place during stage 4 of sleep. It lasts up to an hour and occurs every 90 to 100 minutes, three to four times a night. In REM sleep brain temperature increases and irregular breathing and heartbeat were observed. The flow of blood also increases. Most of the people awakened in REM have remembered vivid dreams. The brain is very active in REM sleep.
Every person who has ever lived has experienced nightmares. They may be caused by certain drugs, medications, illness, or stress. Nightmares occur after about three hours of sleep. About five to ten adults have them once a month. One way to stop them is to try to reduce stress. If someone gets nightmares all the time and they are really serious and unsetting in their everyday life, they should consider therapy.
A night terror is a very scary dream, which is more serious than a nightmare. The night terror will usually cause awakening, or at least partial awakening. Unlike nightmares, which occur after three hours of sleep, night terrors happen in about the first hour or two. In a night terror many things may happen. For example, the dreamer might start screaming, making other people nearby think he is in trouble. If someone is sleepwalking, chances are that he is having a night terror. Whenever a child, or even an adult, urinates in their sleep it is usually because they have had one of these dreams. If anyone has a recurrent night terror it means that the dreamer has been struggling with this one problem, of which he may or may not be aware, for a period of time, maybe days, weeks, months, or even years!
Dreams have been studied for many, many years. When scientist studied them they found that everyone, even animals, dreams. To study dreams and sleep the scientist determine if the body is active or inactive. They also measure brainwaves to identify what stage of sleep the person is in and if he is dreaming.
Dreams have been recorded all through time. A series of mental pictures is the simplest definition of what a dream is. Scientist have found that most dreams are in color, though some people may not be aware of it since color is such a normal part of life. The people who notice are people who notice things more in daily life.
People have many different ways of interpreting dreams. Dreams usually do not mean exactly what is shown. A dream about abandonment can be interpreted to mean that there will be a break up in a relationship, or it can be called a strengthening dream to make the dreamer want to avoid this abandonment. If a person dreams about a banana it means that either the dreamer or someone close to the dreamer may become ill, but not seriously ill. If the dreamer has a baby in the dream, it means that his or her hidden talent or talents are waiting to be born. A dream about adultery symbolizes egotism and that the dreamer is more focused on himself and not the needs of others. If anyone dreams about an alligator or crocodile it is a warning of disaster.
If someone wants to remember their dreams he should try writing them down. Dreams can be very important. Artists, writers, and scientists get many of their ideas from dreams.
Dreams are more than just pictures in the mind, and scientists still do not know everything about them. Something more else may be discovered about the sleep cycle or nightmares. Interpretation might also have much more to it than what people think now. Now when people wake up from strange dreams they might start thinking about more than how funny or scary a dream may have been.
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