On the phases of sleep and dreams: in what phase of sleep do dreams dream

Experiments at the limit of human capabilities have shown that a person is able to withstand up to 7 days without water; without food you can live even more - up to 2 months, and maybe more; without communication, people lived for years, as well as without sex. And only a person really needs a dream: a person cannot do without satisfying this need for more than five days.

Plunging into sleep, we relax not only physically - our subconscious mind also rests. Only recently, researchers have found out the details of a subconscious rest that guarantees us sleep.

Siesta at the lecture

And the most interesting thing that was found out as a result of these studies is what phase of sleep dreams.

When do we dream?

We actually see dreams much more often than we think - about five times during a night's rest. Just some remain in our memory, and some are forgotten. The total time allotted by the subconscious to such visions is more than an hour in one night. In total, during our lifetime we dream about four years.

Yes, there are people who claim that they do not have dreams, but in fact, for various reasons, these stories are simply not remembered.

Since ancient times, dreams have been given great importance. In the staff of the courtiers, as a rule, there were interpreters of dreams, whose duties were to understand the details of the dream and interpret its plot in such a way that the sovereign was satisfied. By the way, the life of the interpreter depended on this.

Nightmare dream

Before making a diagnosis, the healers questioned the patient in the most thorough manner, not missing even the details of the dreams that visited him. Especially great importance was given to nightmares.

Kleitman's discovery

American neurophysiologist Nathaniel Kleitman holds the primacy in the study of the phenomenon of dreams. It was he who found out in what phase of sleep dreams are dreamed by observing the movement of the subject's eyes during rest. In the course of his laboratory observations, Kleitman found out that it is possible to change the plot of a dream by means of various noise effects produced next to a sleeping person. Also, a neurophysiologist determined by experiments how many phases of sleep exist, having examined in detail the features of each of them.

Kleitman found out that there are two phases of sleep, each of which performs certain functions. He described each of them in detail and gave them names: paradoxical and slow.

Eye movements and sleep phases

On what phase of sleep dreams are dreamed of depends on their emotional orientation and realism:

  • The dreams that we see in the paradoxical phase are distinguished by the complexity of the storyline, the brightness of emotions and the sharpness of perception.
  • The dreams that we see in the slow phase are quite close to reality, rational, and in them our consciousness works in almost the same mode as after awakening.

Associative row

Depending on which hemisphere is active at a given moment of time, it depends on which way of thinking a person uses: logical or associative.

During sleep, as you know, associative thinking dominates the logical. If, intentionally or accidentally, next to a sleeping person, for example, pour water or ring a bell, then somehow these noise effects will be woven into the outline of a dream. And it doesn’t matter in what phase of sleep the dream is: in paradoxical or slow. Waking up, a person can remember that he was dreaming of a river or that he was in a downpour.

Fantastic Laboratory

However, a slight difference still exists: if dreams are in the phase of slow sleep, then it is more difficult to affect their content, the longer the sleep in time.

Here there is another subtle point: if a person, falling asleep, tunes in to a certain stimulus, then when he activates, even if the person is in the phase of slow sleep, he will wake up.


  1. The subconscious mind is able to evaluate external events during a night's rest, and also include these events in the imaginative series of dreams.
  2. Dreams seen in a paradoxical phase are better remembered.

Falling asleep

Our body and our subconscious mind react to the process of going to bed by gradually turning off all the controlling "watchmen" of the body.

Dream travel

This process looks like this:

  • Stage one: disabling control over the sequential train of thought. Deprived of control of consciousness, thoughts randomly activate and randomly disappear.
  • Stage two: the loss of the influence of the here and now factor. At this moment, a person, with a sudden awakening, will not be able to determine either his location or time.
  • Stage three: images of dreams arise, plunging a person into the reality of sleep.

Bottom line: if we compare the subjects' stories about the dreams of the third stage and the dreams of the paradoxical phase, then they will be almost identical in terms of perception.

And it turns out that the answer to the question “in what phase of sleep do you dream” suggests four possible answers: in phases of paradoxical and slow dreams, as well as when falling asleep and waking up.

Eye movement in a dream

The researchers found that the presence of a person in a paradoxical or slow phase of sleep is indicated by the speed of his eyes. So, we turn to the question of the duration of a person’s sleep phase in time, taking into account the movement of his eyes.

  • Phase No. 1: the primary stage of going to bed with a gradual shutdown of the body’s control systems - FMS-1. It can be called a light nap, and its duration varies from 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Phase number 2: the first signs of light sleep, namely: relaxation of the muscles of the body and subtle eye movements. It is this phase - FMS-2 - that gives you dreams that are especially remembered for their brightness and storyline.
Fox man
  • Phase No. 3: the activity of brain waves slows down, eye movements are not fixed, muscles are usually relaxed, but if stressful actions are assumed in the plot of the dream, this becomes noticeable by the increasing tension of the sleeping muscles. This is the time of the combined FMS-3 and FMS-4, which are also called “delta sleep” - a deep stage from which, upon awakening, there are no impressive memories left, but the body manages to restore energy and produces growth hormone.

And then - everything is in the order of the countdown: FMS-3; FMS-2; FMS-1. The path from FMS-2 to FMS-1 is accompanied by an increasing eye movement, it is also called a period of rapid eye movement, or BDG. But the level of relaxation of the muscles of the body will be extremely high. And it is precisely in this phase of REM sleep, or FBS (it is known as "paradoxical sleep") that you see dreams of bright colors, high emotional richness and realism.


If we take into account that the time allotted to each cycle is 90 minutes, then during the night's rest we can go through 6 cycles. However, by morning, sleep is balanced at the FBS level.

Healthy sleep

The modern rhythm of life dictates its own conditions, and man obeys them. However, the fees for the imposed rules are high: neurosis, heart attacks and strokes, oncology.

Sleep is not just an organism's need for relaxation. On top of that, during such a rest, the processes of the subconscious are structured, information is filtered, the unnecessary is discarded, the necessary is placed in the "storage". And for all this, nature has allocated a certain amount of time. Man, trying to redraw the laws of nature for himself, pays an exorbitant price for his arbitrariness.

There is a rule: if you fall asleep before midnight, then the effect of sleep will be incomparably higher, because not only the body is resting, but also the subconscious.

It is no accident that our ancestors were guided by the natural rhythms of sleep and wakefulness. And numerous experiments prove that this is the best way to keep both the body and soul in a healthy state.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/A10534/

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