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Incredible Facts About Dreams and the Brain During Sleep

Good sleep is an achievable dream. Here you can find several entertaining scientific facts about sleep, sleeping brain and other amazing phenomena. How to control your dreams, sleepwalking, studies in sleep, biological clock, lack of sleep and snoring.

1. A person can learn to control his dreams
Stephen LaBerge studies a phenomenon of lucid dreams. It turns out that we can improve the ability to understand what we see in the dream and even consciously control it. Research in this relatively new field says that lucid dreaming is the result of physiological changes in the brain in conjunction with an act of will and intention of sleeping. As a result, sleep is introduced as an element of self-consciousness.

We often wake up once realize that we sleep, but if you’re lucky or if you learn the necessary tricks – you can continue to dream.

2. We are all lunatics
Every fifth inhabitant of the Earth once in his life walked while dreaming. People do almost all the same things when dreaming as when they are awake: talk, eat, drive a car, etc. But if it repeats often, it is possible to speak of a sleep disorder. People suffering from such a disorder can move in space, but they cannot recognize faces, they do not hear, they feel no pain. In this altered state of consciousness, they are capable of anything.

3. Teenagers cannot go to sleep early
The cause of teenage depression and aggression is sleep deficit. During puberty, circadian rhythms are shifted by three hours. It turns out that sleep for teenagers at 10 pm is not just difficult, but biologically impossible.

4. Dreams are second reality
Dreams are looked and felt as reality because the activity of almost all the parts of the brain is reduced, while the sharp and steep decline is observed in the important area of planning, logical thinking, problem solving. The inaction of the area responsible for the logic explains why we lose our orientation in time and space, and why we have no doubts in the reality of the situation – for example, we are not surprised by the fact that the deceased grandfather suddenly turned to the taxi driver and why he is wearing armor.

Dream content can be strange and bizarre, because the logic sleeps when we dream.

5. A person learns while dreaming
Sleep plays an important role in the assimilation of information and skills. It seems that the light sleep stage is responsible for improving the skills of musicians, athletes and dancers. And it comes in a day or two after the first meeting and training in this skill.

To get the benefit from a workout or exercise when you master something new  in sport or playing a musical instrument, you need to sleep at least on the first night after the initial development of this new skill.

6. The biological clock does not go astray
Nathaniel Kleitman, an American scientist who was an immigrant from Russia, spent a career studying the sleep. Once he spent a month in an underground cave. He wanted to find out if external signs of time influences (sunlight, dusk, darkness) the biological clock.

It turned out that our biological clock does not depend on whether we can see the sunrise and sunset or not. It is set to the sleep-wake cycle of 24 to 25 hours.

7. Sleep deprivation can cause death
Lack of sleep can be suicidal. It was checked on rats. As a result of experiments, the researchers concluded that long vigil depletes the body, which in its turn ceases to regulate body temperature, which leads to death. For obvious reasons, no one figured out empirically whether a person can die due to lack of sleep. We can only talk about the short-term experiments conducted by government agencies, involving either voluntarily or under duress. For example, in Guantanamo CIA agents didn’t allow prisoners to sleep. They were tied together and forced to stand for more than a day.

During the day, blood pressure increased. Then there were problems with the metabolism, they began to experience an acute sense of hunger. Body temperature dropped, and the immune system was weakened. If the torture continued, it was likely that prisoners would have had problems with the mind. They began to see hallucinations. Suddenly, they have lost the ability to make simple decisions or remembering the obvious things.

The most amazing thing is that this destructive process can be stopped at any moment. It is necessary to sleep a couple of hours, and all the consequences of lack of sleep will disappear.

8. The night dreaming consisted of 2 stages
It was a time when people fell asleep after sunset and woke up after midnight. This was the first dream described in the ancient sources. The man was awake for about an hour before he went back to sleep until the morning (it was the so-called second sleep).

That night break was common, and each spent it differently: some praying, some reading, some wondered about dreams or go to the toilet, some having had sex. In the XVI century, doctors found that workers give birth to several children, because they make love after the first sleep.

Numerous experiments have proved that if a person had the chance, he would divide sleep into two halves. There are still people who sleep this way. They just live where there is no artificial lighting, computers, televisions and bad reality shows.

9. Men snore more often
Men usually sleep better next to a woman than alone. Maybe the reason is that they just enjoy the emotional intimacy, because they do not have to listen to the snoring spouse. Nature has dark sense of humor: women not only snore much less frequently than men, but also their sleep is more sensitive. So every night they suffer from insomnia, because their loved ones snore.

10. Sleep is training
Dreams are an outlet for our mind. Anxious, unpleasant dreams are an ancient defense mechanism. We are experiencing bad events in a dream to be ready for them in real life. For the brain, sleep is a dress rehearsal. This applies not only to man, but also to some animals such as cats, dogs, monkeys, pigs and so on.

The dream is a form of consciousness, which we should cherish no less than we value the experience obtained during the vigil.