First let’s talk about what our body does when we dream. When we dream, we go through a stage of sleep known as the rapid eye movement, or R.E.M. for short. According to HowStuffWorks.com, “This is the deepest stage of sleep in the sleep cycle.” In this stage, your eyes move rapidly, (shocking I know) your heart rate and breathing is irregular, and your skeletal muscles like your arms and legs are unable to move. That last part may sound a bit frightening, but scientists think it is just your brain’s way of keeping you for acting out your dream like a play. It must work too, because scientists recorded that there is a 20 out of 25 percent chance that you will not act out your dreams.
Like I wrote in the intro, no one knows what dreams are, but there are a few theories about dreams, and here is one of them. One theory states that dreams are the brain’s attempt to make scene of what’s going on around us while we sleep. Have you ever had a dream that you were eating breakfast and when you woke up you smelled bacon cooking? That is an argument for this theory. The thing that was happening in your dream was actually happening in the real world.
Another theory states that dreams are the brain’s way of organizing all the events that happened during the day. Some say that this is a way for the brain to build memories. One thing I found to be interesting is that some scientists at MIT did an experiment on some rats running through a maze, and while the rats were running through the maze, the scientists measured the brain waves of the rats. Later when the rats were sleeping, the scientists measured the brain waves again and the waves showed similarities between the waves when the rats were running through the maze. The scientists came to the conclusion that the rats were dreaming about running through the maze.
I have my own theory that dreams are the brain’s way of being entertained while you sleep.
It is estimated that a person can have 100’000 dreams in a lifetime. No one really knows for sure what dreams are or why we have them, but scientists are working on this area a lot. Who knows? Maybe they will have a new theory before you even finish reading this sentence.