Random ramblings from my beer soaked melon about politics, religion, sex, stupidities, nature, and any other subject that penetrates the haze. Sometimes crude and not for the faint of heart or people with normal intelligence, or an abundance of common sense.
Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's questions.
Edgar Cayce


There are not too many ways to wake up worse than screaming from a nightmare. If it has ever happened to you welcome to the human condition.

Just be thankful that you usually don’t remember much of it the next day. Of course the trouble is you also forget most of those really great dreams that give you the solution to all the worlds’ problems or the simple plan to make you millions. Don’t you just wish it could be different?

Be careful what you wish for.

Dreaming is so basic to our existence that you think we would understand it better.

Freud thought they were pathways to fulfill forbidden aggressive and sexual wishes. He always was obsessed with sex.

Later it was thought they were echoes of our efforts to work out conflicting emotions. Most recently they have been viewed as the unwanted byproduct of the minds attempt to make sense of random neural firing.

Some of the bright boys up at the University of Wisconsin at Madison who were looking for grants to keep them from having to actually go out and find real jobs convinced someone to pay them to find out what happens when you don’t dream.

Of course to study human dreaming they decided to use rats as their test subjects.

Go figure.

They created tanks of water for the rats to live in. in the middle they put what they described as a flower pot turned upside down. They had a big hole in the center that the rats had to straddle if they wanted to sleep. The rest of the time they had to swim around in the water.

When the rats got tired they would lay across the pot and sleep. When they went into REM sleep (the type of sleep where you dream) their bodies would relax and they would fall through the hole and wake up. So every time they started to dream they got dunked and woke up.

So the evil scientists figured out a way to stop dreaming without depriving the subjects of normal sleep. Glad I’m not a rat.

Every rat (and supposedly people) is born with a set of instinctive reactions that help them survived threatening situations. The classic fight or flight reactions.

They found that after being deprived of dreams the rats when put through tests of their instinctive reactions failed them. If put down in an open area they did not scurry to safety but just wandered around exposed. When shocked they stopped for a second and then went about their rat business. When confronted with a foreign object in their burrow, they didn’t bury it; instead they groomed themselves. All these actions would have made them easy pray.

The big surprise came when they gave the rats amphetamines and put through the tests again; nothing changed. If failure of the instinctive reactions was due to sleep deprivation the amphetamines would correct the problem, but that didn’t happen. The rats weren’t messing up because they were short on sleep. Something else was going on.

I guess that means that drinking those energy drinks won't help if you don't dream.

As Harvard sleep researcher Allan Hobson puts it, dreams are “the noise our brains make when they are doing their homework.”

This new research seems to be the first that explains the reasons for dreaming in a way that will satisfy the many conflicting groups who study dreams.

I don’t know. I just wish I could remember what I did in my dream last night with that sexy young thing, and hope it wasn’t a nightmare for her.

posted by Nit Wit at 11:22 AM | Permalink |


  • At 4:30 PM, Blogger yellowdog granny

    even when I have bad dreams I sortof enjoy them...at least I'm getting out of the house, even if it's only in my sleep..
    lately I have been taking 2 alergy pills to help me sleep at night..and they have been giving me really really weird dreams..but they have all been dead people..dreamed of jack, my daddy and several relatives..so even though they were weird dreams..it was nice to see them...

  • At 5:47 AM, Blogger Kalibitch

    I had a dream last night that involved bloggers - weird weird weird dream. I blame you and Fly for drawing the footpath in my subconscious.

  • At 9:24 AM, Blogger billy pilgrim

    i always think of going through rem and the other sleep phases the same as a restart on the old computer.

    it reorganizes the files in my brain and they need all the organization they can get.

  • At 12:21 PM, Blogger Babs

    No wonder why rats hate us. I would kill the researchers if they messed with my dream sleep or any of my sleep.
    The blonde wasn't me.

  • At 10:14 PM, Blogger BBC

    Most of the time dreams are just our brains fucking with us.