(ORDO NEWS) — The authoritative journal Lancet published the results of an extensive study by neurologist Jerome Siegel, a professor at the University of California Los Angeles (University of California Los Angeles). They shock.
Scientists have long argued about the role of dreams. There is no consensus. But there are several hypotheses, one way or another related to intelligence.
Allegedly, by showing us dreams, the brain learns. Or organizes the information received during wakefulness – “puts it on the shelves.”
And optimizes nerve connections. Or sorting through various options for solving a problem. And he prophesies. Hence the incessant attempts to first remember, and then interpret what he saw.
But it seems that the role of all dreams, including paradoxical and even nightmarish ones, is much simpler than it might seem.
So the professor decided after analyzing the duration of periods of REM sleep in a large number of warm-blooded animals.
Almost all representatives of the animal kingdom dream during this very REM sleep, accompanied by rapid eye movements (REM).
Even spiders can see. And, of course, people. At this time, the activity of the brain increases in sleeping people.
Siegel found that the length of REM sleep had nothing to do with brain size or intelligence. But it is the greater, the lower the temperature of the body, respectively, and the brain.
For example, echidnas and platypuses are single-pass, scientifically, whose temperature is about 31 degrees, they dream for almost 8 hours a day.
Most placental mammals – like us – are much less in the REM phase. And the dreams of birds heated to 41 degrees Celsius last only about an hour.
Thus, the “hot” the animal, the shorter his dreams. Homo sapiens in this sense, with its 36.6 degrees, is somewhere in between.
Siegel emphasizes that the temperature of the brain, as you fall asleep, drops sharply. And when the REM phase comes and the demonstration of various plots begins, the brain heats up.
Dreams are needed for thermoregulation. Thanks to them, the temperature of the brain rises – it does not fall below the life-threatening limit.
All in all. Probably, the more nightmarish and bizarre the dream, the faster the heating.
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