Learn about REM sleep with iMinds insightful audio knowledge series. REM is an important component of sleep. But sleep itself is a difficult phenomenon to study because it is such an insular process. Dreams in particular are highly elusive for the researcher of sleep. As dreaming is a "state of mind", theories concerning it are frustratingly convoluted and highly theory-based, with any advancement unlikely to be supported by hard evidence. However, what scientists can do is measure the physical reactions that take place in our bodies and by our bodies when we are sleeping. This helps us understand what happens to us when we sleep and what REM is all about.
From close monitoring of sleeping subjects, scientists have been able to discover an arc that we all go through in our unconscious state. Basically, sleep is divided into two cycles: REM and NREM. The former stands for "rapid eye movement" and the latter stands for "non-rapid eye movement".
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Sleep is a difficult subject for scientists to study, but a major discovery was made by Nathaniel Kleitman and Eugene Aserinksy when they identified rapid eye movement, so named for the quick motions made by the eye during sleep. It is during REM sleep where dreams occur and the brain is most active. This iMinds production is a brief but illuminating overview of REM sleep, performed with a satisfying calm by Elouise Rothwell. Her soothing style seems fitting with the subject matter, and she relaxes the reader even as she informs.
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