February 27, 2010

Dreamy

I fell asleep watching a program about dreams last night. Before I fell asleep I was pretty interested in some of the dream studies they were talking about. They've done studies that have shown that people who have more REM sleep can solve problems that require creative thinking easier than people who had little to no REM sleep. More REM sleep hence equals more creativity. Other dream studies have shown that the part of the brain that deals with negative emotions like anger and fear tend to be more active than other parts of the brain during REM sleep. Studies have also shown that people who suffer from depression slip into REM sleep right away when they go to sleep which means its possible that dreaming more exposes you to more negative stimulus than other people which in turn makes you depressed. Is this why the creative artist types seem to suffer from depression? More dreams means more creative aptitude but also could mean more depression. I'm no scientist so I don't know if I can make that leap based on the studies done but it seems to be a reasonable conclusion to me. Who knows? Maybe I dreamt the whole thing.
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Image taken from: http://bluenred.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/midnight_dreams1.jpg

9 comments:

  1. scary but interesting stuff!

    XXX, Kim

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  2. very interesting...i find most of my nightmares that i remember are within an hour or so of when i fall asleep, so weird...i went through a long period of insomnia caused by the stress of a home burglary, and ended up going to a sleep specialist. they hooked me up to all that stuff, jammed that thing in my nose (yeah very relaxing), then left me in a room to fall asleep for the evening. the irony? the sink in the room had a drip. lovely. even better? i finally did fall asleep, and the next morning they told me the monitor had turned off halfway through. you should have seen my reaction when they tried to charge my insurance :)

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  3. I'm going to take that as an explanation for the reason I'm crazy.

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  4. What the eff is REM?
    Oh, god, I see the signs!

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  5. Oh, that's scary, all right. Dreams are such an integral part of my life. Maybe that's why I write so dark... but I don't feel like I'm a depressed person. I hope I'm not, at least...

    Nevine

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  6. Interesting info...I read an article in grad school about dreams and their relevant meanings which never mentioned the part of the brain engaging anger/negative emotions..what ever happened to "sweet dreams" we always heard as kids? lol.

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  7. Kim: Yea, it was interesting.

    Eco: That sounds like all kinds of fun.

    Eva: Glad to help, my diagnosis is free... this time.

    Blue Flame: REM stands for rapid eye movement. When you're dreaming your eyes rapidly move around hence when you're in REM sleep you're dreaming. I should have made that clear.

    Nevine: Just because people dream doesn't mean that they're going to be depressed. The study they did just showed that people that were depressed went into REM sleep quicker and so got more of it.

    JennyMac: The theory behind why the brain focuses on negative emotions like fear and anger is that dreams are sort of a training for real world situations and so scary situations are important to have so that we can deal with danger in person. I don't know if this is all right or not but it was on PBS so I figure there must be some substance to it.

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  8. that is the most interesting thing I have heard all week

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