• Question: where do dreams go when you wake up

    Asked by Nish to Marta on 17 Jul 2017.
    • Photo: Marta Maia

      Marta Maia answered on 17 Jul 2017:

      Dreams are successions of bizarre and meaningless ideas and emotions that occur during certain stages of sleep, which are produced involuntarily without obvious external sensory inputs.Human sleep occurs in several cycles during the night, each cycle consisting of 5 stages of sleep. The first 4 stages of sleep are of varying depths ranging from light sleep to very deep sleep, and these stages correspond well with a gradual decrease in the brain activity (as demonstrated by the slowing of electrical wave rhythms in EEG). All these stages put together are referred to as non-REM sleep (or slow-wave sleep). The last stage of sleep is paradoxical in the sense that there is an increased activity of the brain (almost akin to the awaken state), and is associated with roving eye movements – hence called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Dreams typically occur during REM sleep. It may be harder to remember dreams because during REM sleep our body may shut down systems in our brain responsible for creating memories. We may only remember dreams that occur just before we wake, when certain brain activities have been turned back on