Sleeping is weird yet awesome. I’ve been doing some thinking about the whole idea of sleeping and dreams over the last few months and the entire idea could be covered on the X-Files. Sleeping is one of the most alien-esque things that we as humans do. Now, I thought I was alone in this thinking this way until I came across this quote from George Carlin that confirms I’m not alone in thinking that we’re a weird species.
“People say, “I’m going to sleep now,” as if it were nothing. But it’s really a bizarre activity. “For the next several hours, while the sun is gone, I’m going to become unconscious, temporarily losing command over everything I know and understand. When the sun returns, I will resume my life.” If you didn’t know what sleep was, and you had only seen it in a science fiction movie, you would think it was weird and tell all your friends about the movie you’d seen. “They had these people, you know? And they would walk around all day and be okay? And then, once a day, usually after dark, they would lie down on these special platforms and become unconscious. They would stop functioning almost completely, except deep in their minds they would have adventures and experiences that were completely impossible in real life. As they lay there, completely vulnerable to their enemies, their only movements were to occasionally shift from one position to another; or, if one of the ‘mind adventures’ got too real, they would sit up and scream and be glad they weren’t unconscious anymore. Then they would drink a lot of coffee.” So, next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you’re in a science fiction movie. And whisper, “The creature is regenerating itself.” – George Carlin
That however was not where my idea of sleep being odd ended. I needed some logic behind the idea of dreaming. To me, the whole concept of being placed into another world while sleeping didn’t make sense. While there isn’t a definite answer into what dreaming is all about – I went to Quora and came across an answer that is good enough to hold me over for tonight…The question:
One theory that hasn’t been mentioned here (but was explained on PBS NOVA) is that dreams serve to play out scenarios so that we may be better prepared when they occur in reality.
It’s well documented that sleep maintains and even enhances memories, from declarative to procedural, verbal to spatial. It’s been shown that mice visually replay running through a maze they’ve been trained on. They’re consolidating and practicing the neural connections from when they were awake.
So why is mental rehearsal of the past evolutionarily important? It allows us to reinforce what we’ve learned while also playing out actions and events that may happen next. We can act on those events without consequence and see their results.
To sum it up: Dreaming is kinda like training in the Enterprise’s Holodeck.
Answer from: Jimmy Chion
So where am I going with this post?
Bed. I’m clearly over tired.