posted on Apr, 19 2004 @ 10:06 PM
We dream for a reason. We dont dream just for the fun of it. The reason we dream is memory. I will make use of a computer ananogy...
A computer has RAM, a CPU, and a HardDrive, along with other things. Our brains are similar.
When you are on the computer, changes to the system are stored in the RAM. different crucial pieces of info are stored in the RAM. When you shut your
computer off, the info in the RAM is transfered to the hard drive, to back up system settings. once power has been cut off, the RAM is cleared.
our brain does the same thing, in a very similar way. our RAM is called short term memory. our hard drive is called long term memory. our brain itself
is the CPU. anyways...
through out the day, events that happen and important pieces of information are stored in our short term memory. this way we can retain and have
access to recent info throughout the day. during the night, we only dream during REM (Rapid Eye Movement). the ratio of REM sleep, to non-REM sleep is
about 1:4. This means we are not in REM four times as much as we are in REM. typically REM lasts 45 minutes to one hour and fifteen minutes.
During REM, also the time while we dream, is the time that our RAM is cleared and stored to our hard drives. Our short term memory is transfered to
long term memory. This explains why dreams are generally relevant to what happened throughout the day.
If i had to take a guess, i would guess that the ammount of information that you stored to short term memory throughout the day, was directly
proportional to the apperant length of a dream. this would mean that if you had a fairly uneventful day, then the length of your dream may seem short.
and if your day was packed, then your dream may seem longer.
REM lasts on the average of one hour no matter what. If you had to store very little information in one hour, it may seem to take a reletivaly short
time. On the other hand, if you had tons and tons of info to dump to long term memory, then each event would have to be dumped fairly quickly. your
brain can work quickly, but in a dream time seems to go by at normal speed.
THAT is how a one hour dream can seem to last for hours, or even days, because 10 seconds of rapid dump run at "normal" speed could feel like 30
minutes. it all adds up.
sorry for ranting on, im extremely tired...