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Essay on "answers While You Sleep"

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The article "Answers While You Sleep" by Deirdre Barrett in The Mad Science of Creativity issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND, describes why sometimes you are able to solve confusing and challenging problems in your sleep, and wake up with the correct answer in the morning. It basically states that when you are asleep, dreaming, you still focus on the problems that you have in your everyday life.

There are many characteristics of a dream. Dreams can challenge us, make no sense, or terrify us. They also can solve our problems. There are many different theories for why do we dream; Sigmund Freud thought that all dreams consist of desires of our unconscious mind, especially childhood sexuality. Other research states that dreams exist because our memories of strong feelings we may go throughout our lives. This all true; today, dreams are thought to hold all of our thoughts and feelings. Every person goes through 90 minute cycles, which include a time for rapid eye movement. Rapid eye movement (REM sleep) may also be called paradoxical sleep. It is called this way because your muscles in your body relax (or in other words, you become paralyzed) while your brain is fully functioning. This is the time where a person will dream. Although we may remember one or even no dreams, a person has a dream every time they go through the REM period of sleep. Since, your brain is fully functioning, different parts of the brain, like parts of the cortex, become more or less involved during the dreaming period than when we are awake. These facts about dreaming are proven correctly through evolution. If we wake up in panic from a dream, our ancestors were able to use this to sense danger. We don't need to move during sleep so our muscles relax. But, this doesn't thoroughly explain why we can answer serious problems in our sleep.

Sleep is very important for you. By sleeping for a certain amount of time after learning new things, you would understand and memorize the topic much more clearly. You could also, as mentioned earlier, solve challenging problems during the period of REM sleep. This can prove that dreaming allows you to think more creatively, or abstractly, in order for you to learn and solve problems, because the brain areas that make us think more logically are not as active during sleep periods. This allows you to visualize an answer to the problem you were thinking about before you went to bed. Not only does it



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