Why We Have Nightmares and Other Disturbing Dreams

Humans spend one-third of their lifetime sleeping, which is a pretty huge chunk, isn’t it? And though dreams and their meanings have drawn interest in people for a long time, the science of dreams hasn’t gone far so there isn’t a lot of data pertaining to it. But thanks to the development of technology, it has become possible to study brain activity while sleeping, and scientists and psychologists around the world keep sharing their results, thus slowly opening the curtains to the unknown and increasingly interesting topic.

We and perhaps you too, have had at least one dream stay in our mind for a long time without ever understanding its meaning. Today we’re going to tell you what has already been learned about nightmares and weird dreams that we have.

Why do we have weird dreams?

Why We Have Nightmares and Other Disturbing Dreams

Perhaps each of us has a story about a dream where strange things were happening that seemed like total nonsense after we woke up. If you feel curious to know why this happens, there are several explanations.

Every person has their own unique dreams because people experience a variety of emotions and occurrences every day. When you fall asleep, your brain continues to work hard, distributing moments into short-term and long-term memory. It compares events that have occurred recently with those that happened a long time ago. That’s why you can see things from your childhood like playing with an old pet in a new place like where you currently live.

It all happens during the stage of rapid eye movement sleep that lasts for 10-20 minutes and repeats several times during the night. This phase is also known as “paradoxical sleep” that got its name due to physiological similarities to the waking state of a person. It’s in this phase that all parts of the brain become active except for the one responsible for logic. In addition, the concentration of serotonin and norepinephrine which are neurotransmitters responsible for logic and attention decreases during sleep. Therefore, it’s not surprising that our dreams lose any sober sense of normality. We realize that everything we have just been seeing was happening in our dreams only just after waking up.

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