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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Cityblog Science Club: Blog: Dream Genes

Author runs blog

Last night, I was dreaming about a chocolate river and peppermint grass surrounding me. I was having the time of my life consuming these wonderful flavors. I was in the middle of this chocolate dream and alas the alarm went off. Then, I realized it was all because of the movie I watched the previous night, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Dreams. Now for those who are not aware of this movie, it is an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where a poor boy Charlie Bucket gets an opportunity to visit Willie Wonka’s famous chocolate factory and all these wonders relating to chocolate. Dreams are an interesting component of anyone’s sleep because they seem so unreal. It is common for people to wake up suddenly after encountering a nightmare or it is possible that many people wish to stay in their perfect dreams. There are instances where people have reported that they have seen dreams which are not closely related to their real-life. How and why do we see dreams?
            Let us talk about why we see dreams? Dreams are seen when we are in the REM stage of sleep. REM or Rapid Eye Movement is the stage of sleep where the body is resting, however, the brain is still active. Now, what happens when the brain is active? The brain thinks, rather it can be said the emotional center of the brain stimulates those weird things we perceive in the dreams. But believe it or not, our brains are recollecting the daily-scenarios we encounter and plays it to us. It is like watching the same movie again but with a different perspective. Isn’t it interesting? So those completely unrelated things we see are actually connected to our real-life. That is why many artists rely on dreams to get a different perspective on their idea. Hence, sometimes considering to sleep is a good idea to get brilliant ideas! Because our brain does a lot of work for us when it is actually resting. Many theories have been developed to explain why we dream. One of the theory is that sometimes the brain presents us dreams to escape reality through making connections of emotions and narrating a completely different story. Sometimes, we see nightmares because of excessive stress and anxiety. Perhaps the brain is trying to indicate through a nightmare that we need to go a little easy in the matters of stress.
            Now let us talk about how we see dreams. One recent study discovered the role of the Chrm1 and Chrm2 genes in making our transition from the non-REM sleep to REM sleep mode.  In simple words, non-REM sleep is a “dreamless stage of sleep” contrasting the REM stage of sleep where we normally perceive a dream. The Chrm1 and Chrm2 genes help us to transition from the non-REM stage to the REM stage. This research is important as physiatric disorders and sleep-disorders are linked. So further research in the topic matter can help us in treating the sleep disorders to help psychological disorders.
            Next time when you dream about good things, thank your Chrm1 and Chrm2 genes which facilitated the transfer from the non-dreamy state to the dream state where you can actually escape the reality. But, if you happen to encounter a nightmare, do not be mad at these genes, just thank them to alert you that your stress levels are high.

Works Cited:
            Pappas, Stephanie. “Your Dreams May Come from These Two Genes”. LiveScience. Com. August 29, 2018. Date Accessed: 11 April 2019.
Nierenberg, Cari. “REM vs. Non-REM Sleep: The Stages of Sleep”. LiveScience. Com. July 19, 2017. Date Accessed: 11 April 2019.
            Roland, James. “Why Do We Dream?” Healthline. Com. Date Accessed: 11 April 2019.

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