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WelcomeEmily ShepardIndependent Study Project Why Do We Dream?    You may be wondering why do we dream? Well here’s the answer. Scientists aren’t exactly sure. The scientists run tests about dreams, but the brain is a complicated part of the body, so scientists aren’t exactly sure why we as humans have dreams. Scientists have done some research about what is going on in the brain while one is sleeping. There are many different theories about why we have dreams.     Some scientists believe that dreams occur, because our brain is telling us through dreams, tasks we need to remember, or remembering certain events, etc. Our brain is telling us this is what you need to remember to do. This is the important things that are happening in your life, and not to worry about anything else. The brain is sorting throughout everything that happened throughout the day and is trying to remember all the details. Many little studies have been conducted to show that when someone learns more throughout the day they have more dreams. This lead scientists to believe that dreams are a way of the brain creating memories of everything that is happening in ones life.     Another reason why we dream is, because our brain is sorting through all the things that we interpret through the day. It doesn’t matter if it is a good thing or bad our brain will sort through whatever it is. Also, we dream because our brain is typically sorting through our emotions from the past week from what events occurred throughout the week. This may start to make sense, because sometimes we have happy and fun dreams, while other dreams are sad and scary. If something traumatic happens throughout the week there is a possibility of having a nightmare or an upsetting dream.     Finally, there is our last theory, dreams are just ways of filling our brain with memories and events while we sleep. This is the most commonly known theory, and the one most people believe. People think that the brain is just filling that void of emptiness while we sleep. Keeping the brain active while our body is resting. Those are all of the theories known to man.DreamsNightmares:     Nightmares are when one is dreaming and are in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and having feelings of terror and fright. When having a nightmare, you can wake yourself because of the feeling of fear and extreme anxiety. Some causes of nightmares are, death of a loved one, side effects of sleeping pills, excessive alcohol consumption, breathing disorder in sleep, sleeping disorders, eating a meal before going to bed, which raises the body’s metabolism and brain activity, causing nightmares to occur more often.False Awakening Dreams:False Awakening Dreams are where one thinks they are awake, but they are really still sleeping and completing their regular routine in their dreams. When you thought you woke up and you are brushing your teeth, going to work, eating breakfast, taking a shower, etc. or any of your daily routines. Then, when you actually wake up,  you then realize that you were dreaming. Dreams where something is happening and one thinks that it is very real and they are awake and than they actually wake up.Reoccurring Dreams:Recurring dreams repeat themselves with little variation in story or theme.  These dreams may be positive, but most often they are nightmarish in content. Dreams may recur because a conflict depicted in the dream remains unresolved or ignored. Once you find a resolution to the problem, your recurring dreams will cease.Lucid Dreams:     Lucid dreaming is when you are dreaming and you know you are dreaming. When you lucid dream, you can control what you do with your dream. Lucid dreaming can come naturally. Some people have it on occasion and some have it more often. Almost everyone has lucid dreams at one point in their life. A lucid dream is basically a regular dream except for the fact that you know you are dreaming and can control what happens. When lucid dreaming it is a stage between staying awake and remaining conscious that you are dreaming.     The first lucid dreaming records were done by the ancient egyptians. One in five people lucid dream at least once every month. When in a lucid dream, they way to wake up is too close your eyes. Lucidity comes a special part of the brain called dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Something that can increase your dream recall and intensity is vitamin B6. Lucid dreaming was also used as a path of enlightenment.     There was a study conducted where phycologist Dr. Keith Hearne recorded the eye movement of Alan Worsley while he was in a lucid dream. They created a specific code of eye movement so that Worsley was able to communicate with Dr. Hearne while he was dreaming. This was the first study done that showed that consciousness was possible during dreams. There was another study that was conducted by Dr. Stephen LaBerge at Stanford University where he tried to prove that someone could communicate with another while in a lucid dream. He proved this theory and there were many reported incidents where someone was doing something outside of their dream that correlated with what was happening in their dream. For example there was a case where, “I once dreamed of a rat biting me in the ribs then woke up and found I was actually pinching myself”.          Many people experience lucid dreams. Some people enjoy them and think that it is cool to know you are dreaming and able to control the dream whereas some people hope they never have a lucid dream again.Dreams ContinuedDaydreaming:     Daydreaming happens when the mind wanders off and is between one being asleep and awake.  It also occurs during the awakening hours when one wakes up from a REM sleep and the brain wanders off not fully awake. During the awakening hours when your mind begins to drift off it decreases your level of awareness. The mind begins to fantasize about events occurring, past events, and upcoming events of one’s life. Every person daydreams for about 70-120 minutes a day.     What occurs in your daydreams often shows your true feelings and the goals you want to achieve. Daydreams often recall various events or experiences that happened in the past or what you want to see happen in the future.       The right part of the brain is in use which is the creative and feminine side of your personality. Many scientists say that when you daydream, “it is just silly fantasies that you would want to see happen or they are wishful thoughts about events or other people”.  Worrying can also factor into your daydreams and even future events. When you worry, you visualize unwanted or negative images about a outcome of a situation. When you keep repeating unwanted or negative images, they are more likely to happen.     When you daydream, you can somewhat control the dream to visualize what you want the outcome or result to be of a situation. Scientists say that many athletes, musicians and business leaders create their daydreams to help predict success. They imagine succeeding their dream like winning the Super Bowl or making the new hit single. Tiger Woods, said that he uses daydreams to improve his skill in golf. Scientists have studied and reported that positive daydreaming is healthy for the body. Daydreaming serves as a temporary escape from reality somewhat like meditation. It is also a good way to release your frustration without physically acting them out. Often people worry about their job, family, finances, a relationship, etc. It is a way to leave the world behind and it relieves stress, improves attitude, makes creativity and refreshes the mind, body, and spirit.Mutual Dreams:Mutual dreams are when two people have the same dream. These type of dreams may be planned, which means that the two people actively work toward achieving one dream scenario. This is a way to improve your communication with that person and build trust. Mutual dreams can also be spontaneous. Not much study has gone into mutual dreams but, there is a very strong bond between the two people.  REMEach stage can last up to 5-15 minutes (STAGES OF REM SLEEP)Stage 1:The eyes are closed during Stage 1 sleep. Someone can be awakened without difficulty, however, if aroused from this stage of sleep, a person may feel as if he or she has not slept.  Muscle contraction may occur in  Stage 2: This stage is when the person is in a lighter sleep and is preparing to go into a deep sleep. During this stage the muscles start to relax. This stage is where the heart rate begins to slow and the body temperature decreases.Stages 3 and 4: These two stages are the deep sleep stages. These stages are known as slow-wave, or delta, sleep. If a person is awakened during this stage of sleep, they may feel disoriented or confused.Rem Sleep Cycle:     There are four different stages of the Rem Sleep Cycle and it starts with stage one. The first stage consists of many different things. During this stage the eyes are closed. Someone could be awakened during this stage, but if someone is aroused during this stage they would feel confused. They would also feel that they haven’t slept at all. Finally, muscle contraction may occur during this stage of sleep.     The second stage in the rem sleep cycle also consists of many different things. This stage if when the body is in a lighter sleep and is preparing to go into a deeper sleep. During this stage the muscles begin to relax, heart rate slows, and the body temperature decreases. That is what happens when you are in the second stage of the Rem Sleep cycle.     The third and fourth stages of the Rem sleep cycle are very similar. These two stages are the deep sleep stages. Stage three is a little bit of a lighter sleep than the fourth stage, but they are very close in similarity. These stages are known as the slow-wave, or delta, sleep stages. If a person is awakened during this stage of sleep, they may feel disoriented or confused. That is what the Rem sleep cycle is.You may be wondering, what is Rem? Well here’s the answer. Rem is a type of sleep that usually happens 90 minutes after you fall asleep. The first period of Rem sleep usually last for ten minutes. Each of the Rem time period after the first gradually get longer and longer, and can last up to one hour. Your heart rate and breathing patterns tend to get quicker every time you have Rem sleep. You can have very intense dreams that consists, of fears, falling, happy dreams, and much more during Rem sleep because, your brain is more active. That is what Rem is and what the Rem sleep cycle is.Sleep Paralysis Q&ASleep Paralysis:What is it?The temporary inability to move or speak when one is waking upWhy does it happen?It happens to people more often than you would think. It has even probably happened to you. During REM sleep your eyes are moving, but your muscles are immobile you just don’t realize it because you are asleep. When one wakes up and they’re muscles haven’t become mobile is when sleep paralysis takes place. Is anything different going on in your brain?Is there any way to prevent it?Having a regular sleep schedule can help people try and prevent this, but it is not 100% preventable.When does it happen?Typically happens more often when one is waking up rather than falling asleep.Although it is called SLEEP paralysis you are actually awake, but your muscles in a sense are “asleep”.How long does it last?Sleep paralysis can last anywhere from several seconds to minutes.Is having this happen dangerous?It can be if you only experience sleep paralysis 1 or 2 times it is not dangerous to one’s well being, but if it happens frequently and it interferes with your nights sleep it would be in your best interest to get it checked out.This isn’t very dangerous physically, but many people that experience sleep paralysis suffer from an anxiety attack or mental stress during and after it happens.Other Information:Evidence shows that sleep paralysis doesn’t cause long-term physical harm and isn’t tied to the development of serious psychological disorders, but it is still uncomfortable.This typically occurs in teens and early adults but one can experience sleep paralysis at any age.

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