Although we spend, on average, one-third of our lives sleeping, the scientific study of the activity is relatively new. Officially known as somnology, the study of sleep began in earnest in 1936 with the discovery of different stages of sleep. It wasn’t until 1953 that the research really took off with the discovery of the phenomenon of R.E.M. sleep.
R.E.M. (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is an important part of our sleep cycle. It is associated with dreams, essential to the production of vital neurotransmitters, and indispensable to emotional and physical health. It was discovered when Eugene Aserinsky noticed eye movement in people, despite the fact they were asleep. He and Nathaniel Kleitman went on to show that this eye movement was associated with a natural stage of the sleep cycle. Their studies earned them the distinction of being generally considered the founders of modern sleep research.
Aserinsky died on July 22, 1998, after driving his car into a tree. No other car was involved in the accident, and accident reconstruction and an autopsy revealed no obvious reason for his loss of control. This led medical examiners to the sad and ironic conclusion that the discoverer of R.E.M. sleep died as a result of falling asleep at the wheel.
We feel obligated to elaborate on that headline. Anyone who has participated in a week-long camp with 5th and 6th-grade boys can attest to the fact that sleeping people are capable of smelling very bad. Yes, it is very possible to be aromatic while in a sleeping state. “You don’t smell the coffee and wake…Keep reading
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the morning to find that their dreams were nothing but vanity: but the dreamers of the daytime are dangerous men, for they may act upon their dreams with open eyes, to make them come true.”…Keep reading
Scientists, philosophers, and theologians have long pondered and theorized about dreams. What are they? What causes them? What purpose do they serve? The debates about dreams continue, but one thing is certain: some dreams are so powerful that they make an impact on the waking world. Sometimes the dream may affect the personal decisions of…Keep reading