Monday, February 8, 2016

Iced Tea and Nightmares

This month, the seventh grade offers you a refreshing sip of Arizona Green Tea (this is not a sponsored advertisement, by the way) and some less refreshing but certainly fascinating facts about nightmares in our first non-fiction article of the year.  Enjoy!

Artwork by Adrianna N., Grade 7

An Inside Look at the Nightmares Inside our Head

    Running a million miles a minute with sweat pouring down your face like you're in a pot of boiling water. You're never going to go back to that eerie house, for a strange being is chasing you. Just as you're about to turn and face the creature . . . Bamp, Bamp, Bamp you alarm clock yanks you out of that distressing nightmare. Nightmares are startling creatures of the brain that can put a myriad of people in discomfort. For a nightmare like this to spark, there are many logistics involved that everyone should know: the triggers, brain activity during a nightmare, and the meanings of them.

Nightmares on Switches

       Children and adults, though both experience nightmares, can trigger them in different ways. For example, an immense amount of alcohol digested, drug withdrawal, and eating just before you fall asleep, are the most common reasons for a few, 2-8% of adults, to experience nightmares. In contrast, a child's nightmare can stem from anxiousness and stress, from events such as: starting school, a relative's perish, and being frightened from a horror movie or show. In addition, in some rare cases, unknown allergies can spark a nightmare. For instance, if someone kept on eating apples, since they didn't know they were allergic to them, the body fights against it and can cause a nightmare to develop. According to, "nightmares allow one to get a better gage of themself."

What Happens in Ones Head When a Nightmare Occurs?

       Nightmares, dreams . . . vivid visions in ones head while they’re sound asleep. Moreover, the dream/nightmare will always take place in a part of sleep, immediately after the big, slow brain waves become small and quick. This sleep is known as REM, or rapid eye movement. Furthermore, the dreams/nightmares take place once one has been experiencing REM for about 90 minutes; leaving one to dream for about 2 hours. According to Dr. Penny Lewis, “Probably the most interesting thing that happens when you are in REM sleep is that all of your bodily muscles are actually paralyzed, except for your eye muscles (which are darting around). So you can’t actually move when you’re in REM sleep; you remain completely motionless.” In addition to ones eyes moving rapidly in REM sleep, the cerebral cortex and the frontal love are highly active during a nightmare. Inside the cortex, a myriad of visual information, from the nightmare, is received. While the anxiety and emotion factor of the nightmare takes place deep in the frontal lobe. Even though one may look motionless as they dream, inside their head, brain activity is still alive.

Are There Meanings Behind Nightmares?

      In most nightmare occurrences, the questions that arise are: Does this mean anything? Why did it happen? Has anyone else had a nightmare like this? According to, “Nightmares can sometimes be random creations of the subconscious brain with no particular deeper interpretation. In many cases, nightmares actually do have specific causes or meaning behind them.” For example, the stereotypical undead nightmares could be caused by the inability to cope with loss, having fear of the unknown (like what’s on the other side of an alley?) or repeatedly experiencing life threatening illness, or events. Also, if one were to have anxiety about their personal life, falling to your death (in a nightmare) my mean that they don’t feel like they are able to control certain aspects of their life such: as having divorced parents, an upcoming job interview, or the powerless position to get out of the unhealthy relationship. Lastly, when a nightmare takes place in a scene with a natural disaster, the causes could be from stress and anxiety about a doctor’s appointment or test. When someone is trapped in their thoughts alone, nightmares can be our thinking process about our lives.
      Nightmares are the monsters that come out in the dark, haunting all ages for generations. Furthermore, nightmares are startling creations of the brain that affect a vast amount of people. Moreover, they can become creations in ones head due to reasons one can control (watching a horror movie). Or, for reasons that may need some dedication (getting over the grief of a death). But, everything always takes place during REM sleep. In conclusion, these frightful happening can burn a spot forever in our memories.

by Becca B., Grade 7

No comments:

Post a Comment