When you wake up in the morning, it is often difficult or impossible to remember your dreams. This is the mysterious phase of sleep. However, according to recent research, it seems possible to actually communicate during your sleep. This discovery allows us to further explore about the mysteries of sleep and dreams.
Sleep and dreams
Sleep is not uniform throughout the night. It is divided into different cyclical phases repeated several times during a period of sleep:
- The slow wave sleepis divided into three phases:
- Falling asleep ;
- Light slow wave sleep ;
- Deep slow wave sleep.
- The REM sleep or REM sleep marked by very intense brain activity and rapid eye movements.
Dreams can occur during different phases of sleep, but the longest and most elaborate dreams occur during REM sleep, which combines aspects of very deep sleep (muscle atony) with aspects of wakefulness (eye movements, intense brain activity).
Lucid dreamers able to communicate during sleep
What exactly happens during dreams? At first sight, it seems that we are isolated from the rest of the world, unable to receive and provide information. However, recent scientific work may profoundly change this view on dreams. To better understand dreams, researchers have been looking at a particular group of dreamers, called lucid dreamers. These dreamers are aware that they are dreaming and can even influence the course of their own dreams.
Previous studies have shown that these lucid dreamers were able to communicate information with others. In a new study, the researchers tested the hypothesis of two-way communication of dreamers.
To do so, researchers used lucid dreamers who were subjected to different stimuli during their dreams:
- Questions asked out loud;
- Tactile sensations ;
- Words to differentiate or mental arithmetic.
The dreamers could respond to these requests by contracting their facial muscles or moving their eyes.
For more information on sleep and states of consciousness
These experiments demonstrated that lucid dreamers were able to respond to different external stimuli. When they woke up, they remembered hearing the observer's voice and the place they had given it in their dreams. Similar results were obtained in several countries around the world, in subjects without sleep disorders and in subjects with narcolepsyadisease that promotes access to REM sleep.
These data demonstrate an external existence of a possible dialogue between the observer and the lucid dreamer and thus a two-way communication during dreams. During these communication phases, the dreamer was always in a REM sleep phase. Based on this discovery, researchers are now interested in the physiological markers of consciousness, sleep and dreaming, with the aim to better understand the role of dreams and sleep on general health.
Estelle B., Doctor of Pharmacy