ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Demystifying REM Sleep - Dream Sleep Is Not The Only Time For Dreams!

Updated on November 20, 2015
How many dreams can you catch?
How many dreams can you catch? | Source

For ages we have held the belief that sleep can be separated into "deep" sleep and "dream" sleep. Scientists call it the NREM and REM sleep stages. Wherever you look on the web, people will tell you that you dream in REM sleep and you are knocked-out in NREM. Well, they are wrong. New research shows that you spend much more time dreaming during the night than previously thought.



3 Reasons Why People Think Dreams Occur Only In REM Sleep

  1. Timing
  2. Content
  3. Statistics

The time of night people remember their dreams

Source

When do you remember most of your dreams? Right, when you wake up in the morning. What other possible times have you remembered a dream? During other times of awakenings during the night. We can only remember a dream when we are awake, duh. Awakenings in the morning are much more likely than early during the night. So of course we will remember more dreams in the morning and coincidentally REM sleep aka "dream sleep" is most prominent in the morning hours. The few times you remembered a dream when waking up earlier during the night was very likely out of REM sleep, too. The explanation is simple. REM sleep is known to be a much lighter sleep than NREM aka "deep sleep". I won't go into the neurobiological details behind that in this article.

People draw conclusions here from correlation rather than causation.

How can you tell if you had a dream during "deep sleep" when you have not woken up from it to actually be able to recall?

Source

The dream story people remember

Most dream recalls and dream diaries are full of wonderful, weird and progressive story lines that resemble movies: plots with gaps - otherwise they would take too long to watch. Some people can even wake up into a half sleep half awake state and willingly go back into the story by continuing to think about the story line.

These kind of dreams are very prominent early in the morning, when people drift in and out of sleep (let's assume they do not have to get up at 5am). However, the research I am introducing here has not only shown that we can dream in any stage of sleep but that dream contents differ. The dream stories are more likely to occur during "dream sleep" whereas other contents like abstract thoughts or unrelated images and the like are more prominent during "deep sleep". And again, when do you remember a dream? Well, stories are always easier to remember than abstract images and thoughts. Every memory technique will tell you as much.

The statistics behind all of this

If you are only looking at your own dream collection history, your conclusion will turn out as described in point 1 and 2 above. Science as well has little to add in terms of objective dream research and has not focused on this particular topic. More common ideas researchers are looking into include the question whether movements during REM sleep are in line with movements during dreams people experience at the same time.

In a recent study, however, published by Giulio Tononi's team in Winsconsin (Center for Sleep and Consciousness) researchers used a rather simple set-up to ask people throughout the night about their dreams. Sleepers were woken up in random intervals every 15-20 min! I actually participated myself and was surprised on how well I could go on sleeping each time. But the real shocker were the mornings when I saw how many dreams and dream like things I had voiced on record, not being able to remember half of it standing there looking at my data!

You should try that some time! Fun night for two. Please, don't try this when you're sick or on a work schedule...

The experiment here of course was supported by measuring electrical signals from the brain, categorizing participants' sleep by sleep stages. The results are eye-opening: dream recall with content was reported in 34% of NREM aka "deep sleep" (and in 77% of REM aka "dream sleep") awakenings. And we haven't even talked about those recalls yet where people knew they had dreamt something, but could not remember what exactly.

I am curious what more interesting details they will publish about this whole experiment. Objective dream research has just started!

It all boils down to memory!

To understand dreams we need to understand memory
To understand dreams we need to understand memory | Source

How much do you remember your dreams?

On average, I remember ...

See results

Want to remember more? Keep a dream diary!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)