sleep? part two: what are sleep and dreams?

Thanks chief for starting this topic. I’d like to ask a question of my own if I may.

I’ve spent years studying sleep. Not dreams, but the physical sleep process itself. It’s REM sleep the provides us with the rest we need. There are four phases that brings us to REM. Studies have proven that the lack of REM sleep will affect us physically and mentally. Another “wives tale” is that we can catch up on missed sleep. You can go several nights without sleep and have fully recharged batteries after only one good night sleep.

Why do you think we need to sleep and what are dreams? Theories are that is our brain is performing housekeeping (a scandisk and defrag if you will).


Can’t answer that, but I had an interesting dream the other night. I dreamt I was dreaming. Seriously. Was dreaming, woke up, talked about my dream to a friend, then woke up for real. I don’t recall ever doing that before and I usually remember my dreams. Pretty cool.

Anybody else?

The “housekeeping” theory sounds good to me. I know that after a prolonged period of wakefulness my thought processes can get to be fairly non-linear. Well, they start out that way, I mean they can get to be rather less useful.

I just wanna be able to do what the dolphins do: sleep one hemisphere at a time.

I quite often have the dream in which I dream I’m awaking from another dream. It’s gotten to the point that I usually figure out in the dream that I am dreaming. I can then force myself awake, or start lucid dreaming.
When I suspect that I’m dreaming, I try to sit up really fast (even if I’m standing in the dream). Usually I wake with a jolt. not the drink.

MLAW, the “housekeeping” that you mentioned is pretty well on target. My husband suffers from sleep apnea, and prior to getting him a CPAP machine to keep him breathing at night, he was rarely hitting REM sleep. As a result, not only was he chronically tired, he was chronically depressed and edgy. Getting him the CPAP machine helped a great deal.

As for the “catching up on sleep” thing, my husband went in for a sleep study prior to getting the machine. They wound up putting him on it after 4 hours of observation–he had stopped breathing over 100 times. After another 4 hours of sleep with the CPAP, he said he felt better than he had in years. So he “caught up” on several years worth of bad sleep in just a few hours.

Sorry I missed Part 1 so I may be repeating. I read that when we sleep the brain’s connection to action stops - somehow… So we can think-run in dreams and not move.

You can dream that you are punching the person next to you in bed but not really do it.

The dogs do that a lot, too. At least mine do - they lay there on the floor asleep and whining slightly and just the lowest parts of the legs move.