Dreams and Brain: What’s the relationship?
There are a lot of stories about dreams and how they inspire people. In fact, research shows that dreaming is not merely a byproduct of sleep, but it has its own essential functions. Even though people feel that they have been inspired or at least learned something from their dreams, science has a different theory.
According to science, dreaming is a byproduct of evolution without benefit. Let’s find out the relationship between dreams and the brain and what happens when you go to sleep and start dreaming.
What happens when you dream?
Whenever you dream, your entire dream is active. Right from the brainstem to the cortex, everything is functioning. Also, the dreams take place during rapid eye movement sleep. Are you wondering what REM is? It is the part of the sleep-wake cycle that is controlled by the reticular activating system.
The emotions involved in dreaming and waking are dealt with the limbic system, which is in the midbrain. Moreover, this includes the amygdala, which is usually associated with fear. Amygdala is highly active at the time of dreams.
Where does the content of the dream come from?
It comes from the cortex. Everything about your dream, be it a supernatural experience or a superhero experience, all the details and experiences come from the cortex. Moreover, this part of the brain is highly active at the time of dreams. Other parts are active as well, including the frontal lobes. However, these are least active due to which we aren’t so critical during dreams. Our brain registers all the crazy events until and unless we wake up.
Dreaming is similar to overnight therapy
A lot of times, it is noticed that the time spent while dreaming heals people. It seems to take the painful sting out of traumatic, challenging, and even emotional periods that took place during the day. In fact, it offers emotional resolution whenever you wake up.
REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep is the only time when the brain is entirely free from anxiety triggering molecule that is noradrenaline. Moreover, crucial memory and emotions related structures are reactivated. Therefore, it is a much calmer environment when you wake up.
Dreaming can assist people in de-escalating emotional reactivity, which is due to the pairing of the emotional content of dreams with a decrease in brain noradrenaline.
Dreaming also enhances problem solving and creativity
Even though non-REM sleep helps in strengthening individual memories, REM sleep helps in combining and blending those memories together. In fact, the end result is highly novel and abstract.
Dreaming also helps with creative problem-solving. Several studies show that dreaming helps in creative learning and implementing things in a much better way.
There are plenty of benefits of dreaming. It helps the brain immensely, and the things that go on inside the brain are quite impressive. However, if you don’t get a full eight hours of sleep, you will lose out on a lot of advantages. Clear all the tension and enhance your problem-solving skills by getting sufficient sleep every day.