According to Dr. J. Allen Hobson, during the REM state of sleep, the brain is “warming up it’s circuits” in anticipation for the sights, sounds and emotions that may be experienced during the waking state. The REM state, or rapid eye movement state occurs after being asleep for at least 90 minutes, it is the state where people typically experience dreams. The REM state is the last stage of sleep, the other three stages include: NREW-1, NREM-2, and NREM-3.
During the REM state, all of your body’s muscles are fully relaxed and unable to move except for your eyes. During this stage, the body experiences an increase in heart rate which leads to faster breathing. The REM state connects us to reality. It is constantly running in the background, searching for the codes need to math whatever is meaningful in the environment, therefore creating our perception of reality. During the REM state, strong memories that evoke strong emotions are brought back up, such as memories with a significant other or childhood memories.
This can also be seen during daydreaming, people go into focused states of attention where people often loose their connection with whats going on for a brief moment and relive those memories. There are many theories on why we dream such as Freud’s theory. Freud’s theory says that dreams are to satisfy unconscious desires and fulfill them in dreams and not in real life. Professor Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley from Harvard University developed The Activation Synthesis Theory of Dreaming. They believed that dreams are the result of the brain trying to synthesize random signs;s, and dreams are made to fulfill expectations or to forget things going on in our lives. These two theories stood out the most to me, but I can relate to the Activation Synthesis Theory of Dreaming the most. Numerous times I have dreamt about certain things I wish I could’ve forgotten and within a few days those memories are banished from my memory.