Topics: Dream, Sleep, Rapid eye movement sleep Pages: 3 (1031 words) Published: December 28, 2012
Each and every night our eyes grow heavy and our minds tire. We find ourselves dragging our feet to bed. Normally we drift off to sleep and enter a stage of dreaming. As we fall asleep, our brain prepares for dreaming. Dreaming makes night interesting. Some dreams go in and out of our mind for long, while we can recall others just a few seconds after. But what is the truth about them? Dreaming is a natural event our minds go through at night. “On average, humans spend one third of their lives sleeping (Heijnen & Edgar, 2010)”. Sleeping is very important to all humans. We need sleep to function properly and achieve our fullest abilities. When we sleep we grow, and it is an opportunity for us to dream which has many benefits. Sleep is also a way for us to relieve ourselves of stress. “About 90 minutes after falling asleep, the brain creates the fertile conditions for dreams to occur (The brain prepares for dreaming, 1997)”. “When we sleep, we go through five sleep stages (Obringer, 2005)”. These stages are known as the sleeping cycle. The first stage consists of light sleep and relaxation of the muscles. During the second stage, our breathing pattern and heart rate slow down and we experience a decrease in body temperature. Halfway through the cycle we enter a deep sleep. The brain starts to produce slow delta waves. “Delta is the slowest (zero to four cycles per second) and is present in deep sleep (Obringer, 2005)”. In the fourth stage, we are in a very deep sleep with rhythmic breathing and limited muscle activity. Throughout the fifth stage our breathing and heart rate quicken and we enter the Rapid Eye Movement sleep. “Rapid eye movement (REM) was discovered in 1953 by University of Chicago researchers Eugene Aserinsky, a graduate student in physiology, and Nathaniel Kleitman, Ph.D., chair of physiology (Obringer 2005)”. During REM our bodies enter a paralysis condition. “This paralysis is caused by the release of glycine, an amino...
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