Every night when the sun goes down all over the planet human beings go through this ritual. We remove our day clothes and put on this special uniform and go into a dark room and lie down on a platform, cover ourselves with some warm material and lay vertical for a few hours. If you're in good health its usually eight hours. Anything less and problems start to occur.
When we engage in this behavior we enter into a dream state. It has three stages, 1st stage is the lightest and least important called Wishful Thinking. 2nd stage is called pre-cognitive and the 3rd stage and most important and the longest is called the Venting Stage.
Imagine all day you are taking in millions of what's called Message Units or information from your environment. By the end of the day you are done. You can no longer take in anymore information. Any further information causes irritability and actually hurts. Your brain has to process all these Message Units or you could actually go crazy. That is the job of your three sleep stages. To go through all this information and decide whether its important to keep it or vent it out through the third stage of sleep. This usually happens in the early morning hours. You are able through your dreams to let go of information and stress that isn't serving you anymore. When you wake up you are literally a blank book ready to take in millions of message units again until your own personal meter shuts itself down at the end of the day.
In a clinical study they deprived 10 people of sleep for 205 hours. The subjects experienced a gradual increase in fatigue, as well as a decline of perceptual, cognitive, and psychomotor skills. episodes of brief hallucinations were experienced by the subjects. After some sleep and follow up studies all the subjects recovered without any permanent affects. Another group was studied the same way. Only this time they were awakened before they reached The Venting stage or full REM sleep. These subjects were even more anxious and irritable when awakened before the third stage of sleep. If REM deprived subjects are permitted uninterrupted sleep on subsequent nights they will dream more (more REM activity) for a night or two. This phenomenon is known as the "REM rebound effect." These observations have led experts to believe that REM or The Venting Stage, is necessary for proper development or functioning during sleep.
Have your sleep interrupted by even one hour and you will be operating throughout your day on %10 less capacity. Add drugs and or alcohol and you will never reach REM. Waking up not feeling much better than the night before.
So tonight before you go to bed put a journal or a piece of paper on your night stand and when you wake nice and refreshed quickly write down what you can remember about your dream. You will be amazed at how much you've let go of and some insight you may have gained. You may need help interpreting those strange dreams. That's a whole other class!
Goodnight and don't let the bed bugs bite!