Why are my dreams so weird?
Why are my dreams so weird? This is a common question I get from patients and from people at a popular dinner party. For example, dreams occur during this stage of sleep called REM sleep or REM which stands for rapid of eye movement. And they're felt to be important to process events during the day and to help with storing memories. But why is the content so strange sometimes?
Well, most of the dreams are generated from the emotional part of our brain, an area called the amygdala in the limbic system or the old brain. Now, the newer parts of our brain, the neocortex, this big developing part of the brain that's sort of the area that deals with reason and reality. So during the day, things happen. We have weird primal thoughts but our forebrain is awake and able to sort of put the brakes on some of these thoughts. However, when we're asleep, studies show that blood flow to the front part of our brains decreases which means that these breaks don't have quite as much power as they do when we're awake.
Therefore, when some of these crazy things, some of these emotional centers start popping up in our dreams we don't have the wherewithal to really know that that's not a reality until, of course, we wake up. So if you're wondering how your dreams may be related to your daytime function you may consider keeping a dream journal. This is something that's very easy to do, you can just keep at the bedside and write down your dreams when you wake up in the morning. And don't worry if you're one of those people that don't remember their dreams. Well, you're probably still dreaming.
And it really depends a lot on what time you're waking up, if you're waking up in the middle of a dream or if the dream has passed. So just give it some time and keep paying attention and you'll recognize those dreams in no time.
Thanks for being with me. We'll see you next week.