What does our brain do while we sleep?

When you go to bed, you probably think that your brain is also completely turned off. But this is far from the case! And what is he really doing?

Such a complex dream

If you think that you fall asleep and sleep sweetly all night, you are greatly mistaken. In fact, the dream can be different, and it consists of several phases. Scientists have long tried to figure out their sequence and duration, and one of the researchers identified the following steps:

  1. Fall asleep. At this stage, there may be some hallucinations or images that are usually associated with the events experienced during the day. It seems to a person that he is "falling" into a dream, plunging into it.
  2. Then comes a light sleep, which can last from ten to thirty minutes. At this stage, a person is quite easy to wake up, because his brain, in fact, has not yet switched from the wakefulness regime completely and finally.
  3. The first stage of slow sleep.
  4. The second stage of slow sleep. This phase is considered the deepest, the person is completely unaware of his actions and does not realize what is happening.And so it is during this period that some people begin to talk or show physical activity: get out of bed or even move.
  5. Next comes the REM sleep stage, which some scientists call “REM”. At this stage, the muscles are completely relaxed, the body is immobilized, only periodic involuntary contractions and flinches are likely. At this time, the sleeper has very vivid and sometimes incredibly realistic dreams. And if you wake him up at such moments, he will remember everything clearly and tell the dream in the smallest details. But woke up at the stage of slow sleep about his night adventures almost nothing will remember.

From the moment you fall asleep to the start of fast sleep, it usually takes about 50-70 minutes, and then this phase repeats approximately every hour and a half.

Its duration in the first half of the night is usually no more than ten minutes, but then it gradually increases (the duration of a slow sleep at the same time, respectively, is reduced) and reaches 20-30 minutes, and by the morning it can reach up to an hour. So the longest and brightest dreams most often dream just before awakening.

REM sleep takes about a fifth of the total sleep period, that is, we can conclude that a person relaxes and fully sleeps only about six hours per night (with eight hours of sleep).

Our brain's nightly activities

So, what does the brain do during a person's sleep?

  1. Making decisions. Yes, the brain in a dream processes all the information received in a day and systematizes it, which helps, upon awakening, to quickly find the right solutions.
  2. Memorization and structuring of information. Usually, all data received per day is stored in the so-called short-term memory. And so this information is soon forgotten. But in a dream, the brain as it moves it into a long-term memory, and therefore we remember a lot of important things, moreover in a dream. In addition, the brain sort of parses all the data, puts them on the shelves, as if creating an archive. And he connects the new information with the old one, obtained earlier. So if you don't get enough sleep, then your ability to memorize can be reduced by as much as 40%!
  3. Getting rid of toxins. Yes, in a dream, the brain as it were cleaned up in our body, getting rid of everything harmful and unnecessary.And such an amazing feature was discovered in the process of observing the mice. During sleep, they got rid of substances that could damage nerve cells. This is achieved by increasing the space between the cells, so that toxins are easily eliminated.
  4. Securing muscle memory. Since during sleep data is stored in long-term memory, it allows us not only to memorize data, but also to fix and bring to automatism some motor skills, such as dance movements, strikes in sports, driving.
  5. Creative information processing. It is proven that sleep can stimulate creative activity. While a person is sleeping, completely unexpected and interesting associations and connections can form in his brain, which allows him to make creative decisions, look for new alternatives, and also see unusual scenarios. And no one would have thought of all this while awake.

Interesting Facts

Some interesting facts about the work of the brain during sleep:

  • The saying “Morning is wiser than evening” actually has scientific substantiation, because overnight the brain processes,absorbs and systematizes information. Therefore, in the morning we get up with a fresh and sober head, we remember a lot, we understand and rethink.
  • Mendeleev saw his own table of chemical elements in a dream, and this is more proof that the brain actually works at night.
  • With age, dreams usually become more complex, their plots sometimes resemble convoluted stories from films. And this is due to the fact that a person gains experience, and often some of the images and emotions during wakefulness are blocked by his brain, but at night they begin to emerge in the subconscious.
  • A dream is a reflection of reality. And it can be quite strange, since the brain in its own way interprets and modifies what is happening. And sometimes in dreams, something that happened a few days or even months ago comes up. In addition, there may be an analogy associated not with a real relationship, but with emotions. For example, if you dream that you are taking an exam on a subject that you have not learned, then you probably endured an unpleasant situation related to the inability to achieve something or make the right decision.
  • Before an important event, you must definitely sleep! So nightly preparation for exams or conferences is not the best option.
  • Scientist Kelvin Hall did research and found out that in dreams many more often face failures and troubles than victories and success. And with age, dreams are filled with negativity and even aggression. That is why often good dreams are only seen by children, and up to the age of transition.

Now you know that sleep is not only pleasant, but also useful and productive.

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