The night is a very dark and mysterious time of day; only at night, can people scream, walk, talk and sit up, sometimes without recollection in the morning. Many things are going on in the brain as the eyes close, and the mind begins to wander. A bed can turn into a dream machine for some, or it can turn into a "worst nightmare" for others. When waking up in the morning and feeling more exhausted occurs, it is time to evaluate what is going on when the mind takes over.
Sleep, as important as it is, often becomes a neglected part of life. Especially for college students, sleep sometimes is a rare thing, while some people appear to be able to do without sleep, eventually, it will "catch" up to them. Lewis Barker states that on average humans sleep eight hours a day. What goes on during these eight hours is what constitutes sleep. Once the eyelids close, the muscles relax yet, the brain is just getting started.
Many stages can be found in a typical night sleep, and there is a distinct pattern for these stages that makes sleep efficient. " When a person falls asleep, the alpha and beta patterns that accompany waking consciousness change to what is called stage 1 sleep, which is characterized by irregular, low voltage theta waves" (Barker 321). This lasts for about an hour and then it moves into stages two, three, and four. As the stages progress, the heart rate slows, and breathing softens. About an hour and a half into the sleep cycle, REM sleep occurs. This is the stage of sleep in which things start to get interesting, REM stands for rapid eye movement. In this stage, "story like dreams occur" (322). . Dreaming can be very inspirational, or informative for some, yet for others it can be frightening. Nightmares are just one of the disruptions many face that keep them from getting a good nights rest. .
A dream of running away from something chasing you can wake you with heart pounding, and blood pressure high, most simply will shrug and go back to sleep knowing that it was just a dream.