Dreams are probably the strangest things that come with human life. Some are extremely weird or scary, or just plain stupid. Most dreams don’t make sense, but sometimes they make too much sense. Even though dreaming is a normal part of every person’s life, no one pays attention to where they come from or what they mean.
There are five stages of sleep. Stage one of sleep is when you're drifting in and out of sleep. Sometimes during this stage, the body can have sudden muscle contractions creating that “falling” sensation. The second stage of sleep is when your eye movement stops and your brain waves become rapid. Stages three and four are also known as deep sleep. During these stages, your brain is making slow waves and delta waves. Sleep talking or walking might occur during these stages. The fifth stage is called REM sleep. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. The REM stage of sleep is where dreaming takes place and your brain and eyes are working but your muscles aren’t active. It lasts about two hours. During REM sleep, your muscles are inactive and your heart rate and blood pressure increase, while your eyes are moving rapidly behind your eyelids as dreams are being created.While dreaming, your mind is more active than when you’re awake. Dreams can occur during any stage of sleep, but they’re the most vivid during REM sleep. You could have multiple REM cycles and each could have a different dream that gets longer each cycle. An average person spends six years of their life dreaming, so that’s 52,560 hours of your life dreaming. Your whole brain is active during dreams, but your frontal lobes are the least active which is most likely the reason why you accept dreams as real when you’re asleep. The limbic system is responsible for the emotions in your dreams while the cortex is responsible for the actual content. Everybody dreams no matter what, but if you’re a deep sleeper it might get harder to remember your dreams than if you were a light sleeper.
Nightmares and night terrors are two completely different things. Anyone could have a nightmare and remember it, but young children are more likely to have night terrors. Night terrors are sudden dramatic awakenings from deep sleep and happen within two hours of falling asleep and they’re never remembered. They occur most in children because they spend more time in deep sleep. “Nightmare” is just a word for a bad dream. They could be caused by something, or they could just be random. Even gender could be a cause of certain nightmares. During a nightmare, men are more likely to dream about a natural disaster and women are more likely to dream about relationship troubles. You are more likely to get a nightmare if you have a sleeping disorder. Eating right before going to sleep can cause nightmares by increasing metabolism which makes the brain more active. Nightmares are also more frequent in people who stay up later than normal. Some psychologists say that nightmares could be the brain’s way of releasing anxiety or stress. Some think that nightmares would always be scary, but they could also be based on confusion, guilt, or sadness. These kinds of nightmares also tend to stick with you more than nightmares based on fear.
Since dreams are created by your brain, they probably know more about you than you’d like to admit. Some dreams can be realistic and some can be completely bizarre. Even so, just about every dream that you’ve had contains a message, which might be something that you really already know. It could be in the form of an animal, a color, the setting you’re in, or a recurring dream. Let’s say that if you normally have the color red in your dreams then you suddenly have a dream with the color blue, it could be telling you that you need to calm down or it could be showing the change in your mood while you’re awake. If you’re in a dream and everything seems normal, but there’s one aspect that seems off, it could also be sign for whatever is going on in your life at that point in time. If you want to try remembering an odd dream you had, it would be best to try to recall everything that happened in your dream by writing it down in a notebook as soon as you wake up. The Association of Psychological Science did a study on short term memory, and their study showed that women have better short term memory than men. This means that women would have an easier time remembering their dreams than men.
Everybody dreams, from humans, to animals, to goldfish. Some dreams contain messages, while some just contain some secret desires, or just odd feelings. Dreams could help remind you of things and they could show you a small glimpse of the future. Even with all of this information, scientists today are still trying to completely understand what dreams are.