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The dreams you forget are the most important for learning


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New Scientist June 9 2018

 

DREAMING helps us learn new information, and the boring dreams we have during the deepest stages of sleep may be the most important.

As we drift off, our brainwaves slow and we enter progressively deeper stages of sleep, before returning to lighter sleep and entering a rapid eye movement (REM) stage. This cycle is typically repeated several times a night.

Until recently, we thought dreams only occurred during REM sleep. We now know that is not the case, although REM dreams are the vivid, story-like ones we tend to remember. Those we have during deeper, non-REM sleep appear to be simpler and vaguer. For example, when you recall being chased down the street by a dinosaur, that is from an REM dream, says Björn Rasch at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

To investigate the role of sleep in replaying memories and learning, Rasch and his colleagues recruited 22 volunteers. They were all asked to learn a list of 100 words that were each linked to a picture, for example, the word tree with a picture of a child sitting on a chair.

That night, the researchers used electrode caps to track what stage of sleep each person was in. Throughout the night, the team regularly woke participants up and asked them what they had been dreaming about.

The next day, the volunteers were tested on the word-picture pairs. Those who saw more of the pictures in their non-REM dreams did best. There was no such link when it came to REM sleep (bioRxivdoi.org/cqjp).

Another night, the volunteers were given a new memory task and then allowed to sleep undisturbed. The following morning, they described the dreams they could remember – and none contained pictures from the task.

This is the first hint that dreaming about things in non-REM sleep might be more important than doing so in REM sleep, says Rasch.

This article appeared in print under the headline "You forget your most important dreams"

Clare Wilson

 

 


Edited by Lance
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This is interesting. First of all, the REM cycle. I didn’t realize it was a cycle. 

Dreams. For whatever reason, I am dreaming almost nightly. It looks like if I do remember them, I’ve woken up  in a REM cycle. 

They are so vivid I’m effected, sometimes during the morning. Just feeling different.  And, I will stop fussing about not remembering them!  

My favorite dream-me flying! 

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All my dreams must be important because I rarely ever remember any of them.

 

I also usually know that I am dreaming whilst in them... I watch them like a movie rather than feel like a participant and I can stop them when I want.  I'm sure that means something.  :wacko:

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That's interesting. Sometimes I wake up feeling overwhelmed by sadness and I dont know why. Rationally, I know its because Ive dreamed about something but I dont remember what. It works the other way too and I can wake up in a particularly happy mood. When I was young, if we woke up in a grumpy mood my mum used to say "You've got out of the wrong side of bed this morning!" This confused me because my bed was up against a wall😂

I could conclude with "Sometimes I wake up Grumpy...but sometimes I let him have a lie in" :lol1:

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I has so much stress in high school because of bullying that I used to dream if I kicked my feet i could fly up and no one could touch me. I used to dream about getting to school and wind up in class naked. I was one screwed up mess. 

 

Later I would dream about something and 6 months or so later I would find myself in that situation. It was really weird. Then my dad repaired the back porch and found and old christmas tree under the floor. I used to wake up screaming at the top of my lungs. Never remembered it at all. It would sometimes scare the blazes out of me. Just glad that was over before I met my wife.

 

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On 6/13/2018 at 10:35 PM, Hope said:

All my dreams must be important because I rarely ever remember any of them.

 

I also usually know that I am dreaming whilst in them... I watch them like a movie rather than feel like a participant and I can stop them when I want.  I'm sure that means something.  :wacko:

I think this is the "Lucid dreaming". The ability to control your dreams. 

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Yet another interesting 'gift' that Jehovah gave us. Scientists can study results of the cause and benefit, but we could just have been easily created without the need for REM cycles, dreams or memory thereof.

 

From someone who has bipolar, where both awake and asleep your mind torments you, even in dream, I cannot wait to experience the peace of mind that many will feel as we get to awaken to a new day - without dragging the nightmares and negative emotions with them.

 

I wonder what a perfect mind will dream?

 

 

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