Why Do People Have Dreams and Nightmares?


When you're asleep. Sometimes strange things happen. You fly through the air like a bird but you don't have wings but then all of a sudden you do have wings and you go all the way to Antarctica and float over the ice watching Penguins Waddell over the edge into the water and seals swim up just below. Sometimes after you've gone to sleep you travel to a magical place. Sometimes scary things happen. After I stay down the hill I went into a cave near the bottom of the hill and I was super scared Saw The bay on his hind. Why and then after that. I put up my covers over my head and that helped me stop making that. Lean Jameson from Walpole Massachusetts. Sent us that dream that scared him but as he points out. Then you wake up and you're actually still in your bed. Everyone Dreams and dreams play an important role in the way our brains function. But we don't always remember our dreams today on but why we're GONNA listen back to an episode. We made about dreams. Here are some of the questions you have sent us recently about. How AND WHY WE DREAM? Hi My name is Nikki. And I'm six years old. I live with faceted California and my question is how do we get dreams? And why Hello? My name is seven years old. I'm from Turkey stumble. My question is why do we dream an have two mayors my name is listed and I will live and hair. Some Burke Virginia and I'm seven years old. Why DO WE DREAM? And can you control your dreams? My name is Anne. I'm from California and I'm seven years old. My question is why do you? Sometimes I feared trips mining this connor. I am in nine years old and I'm from Menlo Park California. My question is why. Did you sometimes have dreams? That have nothing to do with your day. My name is penny. Sure I'm ten years old. Eleven thinks burden Maryland. And my question is why when you watch things or scary things get bad. Dreams about. Halloween was real anna from Passer California and three years old and my question is at what age do keister having dreams harmonies my name is Liam. I'm eight years old. I live in New Jersey and my question is how do we wake up this? We have a nightmare today. We're going to get answers from Dr David Kahn. I'm on the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School in the Department of Psychiatry. A psychiatrist is a doctor who studies the way our brains make us feel and think and behave and a psychiatrist helps make sure your brain is keeping your mood stable and your emotions healthy. That's often called mental health. Dr Kahn got interested in medicine. Partly because like so many of you. He was really interested in dreams. I dream and I said Oh my God I dream a lot. And what is that all about? Why am I dream so different than when I think during the day? Let's see if I can learn something about it. I'm a physicist by training and so I decided that's a really good new area to investigate. And it's very personal. Sometimes physics can be impersonal. Dreaming is very personal so I decided to learn more about it. Here are a few more of your questions for Dr Com. Hi My name is Colin. I'm seven years old. I live in Phoenix Arizona. And my question is why do people have dreams and nightmares? Any is luke got MS seven year. Old Girl. And I live in New York City. My question is why do you have daas nightmares? And why do you have good thoughts? Good Dreams dreaming is thinking when we're asleep when we're awake up. Rain is actively able to think but when we go to sleep. The brain doesn't stop being active. It's just as active in sometimes more active than when we are awake. So dreaming is the way the brain thinks so if dreaming is the way the brain thinks when we're asleep why does it seem so different from the way we think when we're awake? I mean I don't know about you but even when I play pretend it's not quite the same as the magical worlds. I live in when I'm dreaming. James can be very strange because parts of the brain change compared to the way the brain is when we are thinking and awake what happens. The emotional parts of the brain are very active when we are asleep and dreaming often our dreams therefore who be scary or joyful or affectionate or even nightmarish because the emotional areas of the brain become highly active when we go to sleep and start to dream however. Why don't we say okay? This is a nightmare. I don't want to happen nightmare. I'm going to stop it. We can't because another part of the brain when we go to sleep and trim the logical part stops working. It's off line so in other words. I can't tell my brain to stop having dream whether it's bad or good because that part of my brain is shut down while I'm sleeping the part of the brain. That's logical and rational and tells you you should do this. I should do that checks out when you go to sleep. And you're dreaming so right now you're listening and you can decide. I'M GONNA listen or I'm not gonNA listen to Dr Kahn or I'm going to go and get an apple from the refrigerator or a cookie. You decide but when you go to sleep and you dream you don't decide vitrine just goes on as if you weren't there of course you are there but the part of the brain that lets you decide to do this or not to do. This is offline checks out is not working. That might sound a little frightening. A part of your brain isn't working but think back to our last episode. All about sleep sleep is an important time for your brain and body to recover from all the hard work you do. All Day while you're awake and it's also a time for your brain to reorganize itself so some parts of your brain need a little time to go offline as Dr Khan calls it to get a chance to recover and clean up but those other parts of your brain. The emotional parts are still very active. And so your dream continues and Dr Khan points out. That's actually pretty cool. Anything could happen. Which is not bad because you get experiences that you wouldn't have if you're a weight because your logical mind would say or this can't be. I can't fly sometimes. People fly in their dream costs. They don't know they can't fly when you're awake. No you can't fly so essentially when I'm dreaming if I'm flying in my dream or if I am a lion in my dream my brain actually thinks that I am that thing or can do that thing. Because there's no part of my brain that's telling me it's wrong when you're dreaming the part of the brain that knows you're not a lion or you're not a tiger or you can't fly fat part of the brain coast to sleep so to speak meaning. It's not working the way it works when you're awake when you're awake if you imagine you're a lion you can imagine that but you know that you're not a lion you can imagine you're flying like Superman but you know that you're not when you go to sleep and dreaming that part of the brain isn't working the same way and so you believe you're flying you you're superman or tiger. It's great to have all these interesting experiences when your dreams are good but if you've ever had a bad dream you know that they're not always fun. Hi Lendings Friday. I'm five years of Dover Massachusetts it island. Now why are they have scary deums? I'm Mac I four years old. I live in Michigan. I question why people have bad dreams. Wait was waiting for us. Owed I was an pence. Oh Bay Neha and I'm Wendy. While he getting night why do we have bad dreams that make us feel terrible and sometimes wake us up scared or crying? Dr Com when we were asleep and dreaming the emotional areas areas of the brain. That make us feel feel good feel bad. They're highly active. And since we can't control what the dream is going to be like. Sometimes it's very joyful and we're very happy. Sometimes it's scary. Sometimes a monster might be there or a bad person is chasing us. But we don't have the brain that tells us no. There is no bad person like we do. When we're

Coming up next