Genius Hour Project

What are dreams?

Created By; Cierra Wilhoite

What is a dream?

A dream is something that occurs multiple times a night and is a series of images, thoughts and sensations. You can dream about something positive - something we just call a dream - and you can have nightmares or night terrors. These are just dreams that are scary or negative to us.
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What is the brain doing during sleep?

During dreams the whole brain is active, but the cortex that is responsible for the content that you are dreaming about. Throughout the time we sleep, the brain generates two types of sleep-slow-sleep waves (SWS). Slow-wave sleep is also known as deep sleep. The second type of sleep is rapid eye movement (REM).

During REM sleep there is a specific type of electrical activity that happens. When researchers woke people during this stage most of them remember just dreaming. If you look at the electrical activity during REM sleep, it is almost identical to the way the brain acts when you are awake. The difference is the production of certain chemicals (nor-epinephrine, serotonin, and histamine) are not being produced during this time. These cause the muscles to stop moving. Some people that have a disorder can achieve full REM atopia which leads to moving around when you sleep or even sleep walking.

Did you know?

1: The average human has dreams that are enough to cover 2,136 days in their life time

2: The most common emotion that is felt in dreams is anxiety, next place is anger, sadness or fear

3: The average human has up to 2,190 dreams a year

4: There are people out here that are capable to lucid dream, these people are aware they are sleeping and they have control over their dreams.

5: In our dreams we are only able to to see the faces we have viewed in real life (even if it was just in passing)

Why Do We Dream?


Hayley Birch, Colin Stuart and Mun Keat Looi. "The 20 big questions in science." The Observer. Guardian News and Media, 31 Aug. 2013. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.

MatthewSantoro. "Explaining DREAMS and What They Mean!-Facts in 5." YouTube. Matthew Santoro, 24 Nov. 2015. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.

"What Happens in the Brain During Sleep?" Scientific American. N.p., 05 Aug. 2015. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

Team, Brain And Spine. "What Happens to Your Body When You Don't Get Enough Sleep." Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. N.p., 02 Oct. 2015. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.