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The Science of Dreaming

Dreaming is one of the weirdest things we do & in this SciShow infusion Hank talks about how science is helping us understand why we dream, what our brains are up to when they’re doing it, and why dreaming may be critically important to the function of our waking brain. He also touches on the fascinating subject of lucid dreaming. Try to stay awake! Like SciShow! www.facebook.com Follow SciShow: www.twitter.com References for this episode can be found in the Google document here: dft.ba scishow, science, biology, dreaming, neuroscience, dreams, brain, human, sigmund freud, symbolic, repressed wishes, electrical activity, EEG machine, brain activity, sleep cycle, sleep stages, paralysis, paralyzed, REM sleep, paradoxical sleep, narrative dream, desire, memory, conscious, problem-solving, nap, research, simulation, evolution, test, possibility, emotion, psychiatric disorder, experience, rational, lucid dreaming, conscious brain, physiology, gray matter, cerebral cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, awareness, nightmare, depression, anxiety

Category: Anxiety Help

24 Responses to “The Science of Dreaming”

  1. 1. I’m a napping fanatic. 2. Can you say more about the “paralyzed” aspect of our bodies during REM sleep. Whenever I have lucid dreams, it is when I want to freaking wake up and MOVE. But I’m paralyzed and feel trapped. It’s very weird, and at first scared me (now I’ve learned to handle it better these days.) In any even, it can be very freaky – particularly when I feel very much like I’m awake, but cannot open my eyes or move around. Please please please say more about this!

  2. Am I the only one who’s dreamed in third person? A lot of my dreams are like watching movies: I observe the events without actually being a character in the “story”.

  3. go take a nap?! I just woke up!

  4. Sebastian Bengtsson Reply March 6, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    It means that a ridiculous demand of beauty and/or achievement is bothering you and that all you wish for is to return to simpler times with fewer demands and closer relationships with other people, as compared to the distant relations you keep with everyone in your waking life.

    Or you are a homosexual jew who likes Avatar. I don’t know, I’m not Freud.

  5. One damn weird dream i’ve had: I was in the building where you destroy your first tank in the soviet missons in CoD2 and all the russians were having sex and a Stalker from Half Life 2 was chasing me in a chair and i burried myself in the snow and the roof fell down and everyone started laughing at me for being naked and a tank came in and a rifle came out of the cannon and killed them all and we became friends… Wtf brain?

  6. tommyedisonXP 🙂

  7. TommyEdisonXP

  8. Weirdest lucid dream ive ever had was me sticking bamboo up a sexy asains woman’s ass and semen poured of the end of the bamboo and her mouth at a super fast rate, for some reason my job was to stop the flow of semen completey. When I realized I was dreaming I also realized I could stop the semen, so I thought up a valve and stopped the semen, and safely removed the bamboo, then I had sex with her for a bit before my dick got so excited I woke up and went to rub one out (you decide if im lying)

  9. Your second question can be answered pretty quickly (though I admit the answer doesn’t really satisfy me either), since the brain doesn’t think in a particular language. See Michael Erard’s Babel No More:

    “In fact, the brain doesn’t think in any language. What people refer to as ‘thinking in a language’ comes from being able to speak more immediately in a language without rehearsing it […]”

  10. I think the weirdest dream Ive had recently was; I was dressed in an outfit similar to Batman’s, I was in a park or field like area and I was being chased by a mob of faceless people and as I was running from them I kept stepping in poop or mud and it kept sticking to my shoe and made my feet weight a lot and I couldnt run after so much. I got caught by the mob of people and I got struck and woke up from fright. I woke up so confused.

  11. FreakScenePromotions Reply March 7, 2013 at 4:00 am

    sooooo when nazi’s chase me through the avatar world(flooded) what does that mean ??

  12. I once had a dream I rented wall-mart for a part and I played hide and go seek. All my friends hid behind the toilet paper section, but I hid behind cheez-it boxes and won.

  13. I’m Quite(VERY) disappointed Hank, Why didn’t you mention what I do, OOBE Sleeping
    O.O.B.E Out Of Body Experience

  14. What’s his username?

  15. manofcertaindeath Reply March 7, 2013 at 7:07 am


  16. MultiChickenburger Reply March 7, 2013 at 7:32 am

    I wonder if the habitual watching of educational YouTube videos every night before I go to sleep is why I have a generally better ability to critically think and problem solve than the majority of people. I want to do a study on this in the future.

  17. caffienelovergirl Reply March 7, 2013 at 7:58 am

    I once killed my dog’s evil dream twin in a dream and I have never had an evil twin dog dream since *knock on wood*

  18. That basically solved why teenagers typically need to sleep until noon. Now explain sleep paralysis.

  19. why can’t we remember our dreams?

  20. in dreams its your subconcious in control. and theirs a thin line between fantasy and reality. anything goes. reminds me of the matrix.

  21. :)

  22. Yay Lucid Dreaming.

  23. ive lucid dreamed about 2 or 3 times in my life 

  24. Most of my dreams are about being late to work, which makes sense since because most of my week is working and sleeping :

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