I have just finished watching a documentary named: “What are dreams?” It is exhilarating to watch how wonderful our brains are. Dreams are another magnificent working aspect of brain. I felt really interested when I went through certain aspects of dreams. For example, during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep brain actually sends signal to completely paralyze muscles. Do you know why? Because that is a wonderful period of time. Brain stem (the core part of brain) actually sends signal to make the brain super active. If the muscles are not paralyze, they’ll be activated and the person will walk or run or do things which may hurt themselves. Isn’t it wonderful? Some kinds of drugs can deactivate the part of brain that paralyses the muscles. Effects of such drugs on cats and dog are simply awe inspiring. They started to walk in their dreams. Cats started to catch rats, dogs started to run — all in the REM sleep. Even some of the human beings do so. People who walk/do things in dream, their brain have some problems to make the muscles paralyzed effectively. Consequently, they do these things in dream. One of my room mates in KUET used to talk in dreams. Probably this is the reason.
I have several memories during sleep when I tried to say something but could not. I know what I am going to say but I cant actually say that. I try hard and hard and at last when I can say, I feel that I am awake. It is interesting. Now my explanation to such thing is, probably that is the time of my REM sleep and my brain has paralyzed my muscles.
As already you’ve understood, there are two significant segments in dream. One is non-REM and another is REM. In non-REM sleep people sees past things. For example, what things you’ve done the whole day, you’ll see it in your non-REM dream. In this time brain collects relevant information from the whole days events and try to understand what is important and what is not. It analyzes the data for efficient use. Try to get some idea about future.
Then comes the REM part. It is a very thrilling part. This time, brain actually puts itself into a simulation of the future. It simulates different events that it predicts/imagines then put itself into such a condition. In other words, it actually trains itself to work in a completely unfamiliar condition. Makes itself better and better to work in such conditions. So, next day, the dreamer is well equipped with his/her brain trained by yesterdays experiences. That is why people get better and better when continues to do certain things. That is what we call experience.
Dreams can propagate through generations. This is another wonderful fact/idea that enthralled me. Nightmares are kind of situations through which our ancestors passed. They are fatally dangerous. That time brain needs to be very alert. High reflex is needed. Nightmares are actually “Simulations” of such situations. Knowledge gained from these situations are critical for survival. And therefore they are saved in genes. And passed to the next generations. That is why it happens that children experience nightmares involved with natural calamities, wild animals etc. However, brain changes and reforms. As a result, nightmares of adults are more modern, they are about new ways of calamities — like getting stuck in escalator etc. When watching these things I got an idea. What if some of the non-critical-for-survival information make its way into the gene? Will it be happen that a person can remember some of his/her parents memory; like people who are thought to be reincarnated?