Good sleep is indeed beneficial for physical and mental health. Scientists have also emphasized and said that sleep plays a huge role in the proper functioning of the brain. Now a study has been published claiming that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (the second stage of sleep) can improve emotional memory. This study was conducted by researchers from the University of Bern. This result supports other recent studies, according to which sleep calms the neuronal activity of the brain.
The second stage of sleep is called rapid eye movement sleep. This is the stage where we dream more and remember most when we wake up. At the same time, the earlier stage of sleep is called NREM, or non-rapid eye movement sleep. In simple language, it is called deep sleep. NREM is longer than REM.
The prefrontal cortex in the brain is where most emotional processes take place. REM is a state of sleep in which the sleeper sees dreams with a high emotional content. However, the paradox before this study was that the prefrontal cortex is inactive during sleep.
So how did people see dreams with emotional content that made perfect sense? Professor Antoine Adamantidis of the Department of Biomedical Research at the University of Bern conducted research to answer the same.
During rapid eye movements, the message is received in the brain, but the neurons do not carry it further. The study found that the entrance nodes of the neurons received and coded signals, which allowed the REM sleepers to understand the emotions in the dream and understand the difference between safety and danger, but the exit node was asleep.
This output node that determines how we react to a particular danger when we sleep leads to the absence of our overreaction to the situation. Overall, it gives REM sleepers a huge survival advantage, as they are much better able to distinguish between safety and danger and make informed decisions.
The study was conducted on rats and the intelligibility of a human’s psychological processes during sleep will be further analyzed based on the results of this study.
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