Why We Have Nightmares: Scientists show that higher activity in the left hemisphere is the reason why we have angry dreams – and this could lead to treatments for people who experience traumatic events in their sleep.
- Researchers made brain scans of participants who also described their dreams
- Angry dreams were found in connection with an imbalance of brain activity in the frontal area
- Anger while asleep and awake can be caused by the same mechanism.
- Findings Can Pave the Way to New Treatments for Nightmares in Those with PTSD
The secret of why we have angry dreams may have been discovered by scientists studying our brains while we sleep.
Experts found that an imbalance between two left and right brain regions was responsible for the disturbing nightmares.
A telltale sign is an effect called frontal alpha asymmetry. Brain activity is higher on one side of the brain.
The results are from studies in 17 healthy volunteers who studied the brain before, during and after sleep.
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Researchers from the UK, Finland and Sweden studied how our brains regulate emotions like anger and curiosity when we dream at night.
The study participants spent two nights in a sleep lab where researchers took electroencephalography (or EEG) records of their brain activity before, during, and after sleep.
Among the volunteers were 7 men and 10 women, all of whom were healthy.
Experts found that participants who had lower brain activity participated in their right frontal cortex and not in their left counterpart, while awake and experiencing more anger in their dreams during REM sleep.
"It has been shown that the expression of anger is related to relatively more left [frontal activity] whereas controlling anger is related to relatively larger activities on the right front," said lead author Pilleriin Sikka, researcher at the university Turku in Finland.
"Anger was experienced in 41% of dreams, interest in 88% of dreams.
" The participants experienced more anger in their dreams than in the evening waking state, while in the evening and in the morning the Anger values did not differ.
The telltale sign of bad dreams, researchers say, is a signature called frontal alpha asymmetry, researchers report. The results are from studies of 17 healthy volunteers (Photo Archive) _
The experts looked for evidence that the subjects had a rapid eye movement sleep (REM).
This cycle of our sleep patterns is characterized by rapid eye movements. faster pulse, faster breathing, physical exercise and more dreams.
The researchers woke the participants after experiencing a five-minute REM sleep.
Then they asked the sleepers to describe their dreams and evaluate the emotions they had experienced in them.
In these dream reports, the experts described the emotional states of the participants' dreams – such as "angry" or "interest."
The only other emotional dream state that had a significant correlation with frontal alpha asymmetry during REM Sleep was closely associated with anger – mistrust or mistrust.
The results suggest that this pattern of brain activity is a good way to predict how people control their emotions.
Previous studies have linked frontal alpha asymmetry to both anger and general wakefulness self-regulation.
The new findings can help researchers understand and possibly mitigate the emotional content of nightmares.
This may be a distressing symptom of many mental and sleep disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
The full results of the study have been published in the journal JNeurosci.
WHAT IS AN EEG AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of brain activity originally developed for clinical use.
Small sensors are attached to the scalp during the test Record the electrical signals that are generated when brain cells send messages to each other.
In the medical field, EEGs are typically performed by a well-trained specialist known as a clinical neurophysiologist.
These signals are recorded by a machine and analyzed by a physician to determine if they are unusual. 19659010] An EEG can be used to diagnose and monitor a variety of brain diseases.
It can help to determine the cause of certain symptoms, such as seizures or memory problems.
Lately, technology companies have been doing this using the technology to create brain-computer interfaces, sometimes referred to as "mind readers".
This has led to the creation and design of a number of futuristic-sounding devices.
These have come from a machine that can decode words from brainwaves without being talked about with a headband design that allows computer users to open apps with the power of thought.