This Is Exactly What Happens To Your Body When You’re Having A Vivid Dream
Have you been dreaming more lately? So have we. We've been dreaming more than usual and they seem to be getting more vivid each night. It could be because of all the change in the air recently, and an adjustment to our sleep routine could play a part also. While sleep is definitely a time for us to rest and relax, our brains are actually very active during sleep which causes us to conjure up some elaborate and sometimes very accurate dreams. Even if you wake up not remembering a single detail of your dream, everyone does it and this is what happens to our bodies when we do.
Your frontal cortex switches off
The frontal cortex part of your brain is where complex decision making, planning and moderating social behaviour takes place. Once you fall asleep, this area basically switches off. This is the reason that dreams don't follow the same rules of time and common sense that we apply to our regular lives. It's also why our dreams tend to move around from one subject to another—one minute you're taking an exam and the next you're flying through space.
Your memories are used
Your hippocampus is a complex part of the brain that plays a big role in your learning and memory. When you're dreaming at night, this area is activated in partnership with your amygdala (where emotions live). They work together to provide you with dreams that can be super realistic and relevant to your life, and can even cause you to feel certain emotions while sleeping.
Your visual cortex comes alive
Ever wonder why you can see your dreams come to life even though you're not awake? Your visual cortex actually comes alive when you're having a vivid dream and means that you can interpret detailed images in your brain and play out visual scenarios in your dreams that can seem like real life.
Your body twitches
A hypnic jerk is an involuntary contraction of the muscles of the body while you're falling asleep. Even though your body is completely relaxed and your body is still, you'll experience body twitches throughout the dreaming phase. Ever felt like you were falling during a nap? That was a hypnic jerk.
By the way, you can sleep too much, and this is what happens to your body when you do.