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Thursday, March 15, 2018

The mysteries of the human sleep-how dreams change our personality

How do you want to sleep grey autumn morning! Seems to have the clock moved back, getting light outside the window at 6.30, and “gravity” cushion is not diminished by that. Maybe we are somehow wrong to sleep? Awaken or wrong? About the main rules of healthy sleep, we talked with the doctor of biological Sciences, main scientific employee Institute of problems of ecology and evolution them. A. N. Severtsov Russian Academy of Sciences, Chairman of the section of sleep medicine Physiological society. I. P. Pavlov Vladimir Kovalzon.

With the help of “MK” has made some amazing discoveries:

scientists are willing to invent a miracle-the alarm clock that rings only when you are ready for this;

— the lack of dreams leads to a change of the individual;

waking up in the dark is dangerous for health.

photo: Alex geldings

— Vladimir Matveyevich, tell us what segments is the dream and where do dreams?

— The dream man is a very complex condition with a cyclic structure. There are cycles, phases and stages — the foundations on which is built the science of sleep. Each ninety-minute cycle consists of phases of slow sleep (without dreams) and REM sleep (with dreams). But NREM sleep has three stages: transition (drowsy), stage of light sleep and deep sleep stage.

During REM sleep the brain are active (as well as during the most severe emotional stress during waking hours). The dreams we dream several a night, and on the rise: the first is short, not very bright pictures, then in the next cycles, eventful.

In the morning there comes time of the longest “movies”-dreams that last about 40 minutes. In these moments, our entire body usually shakes, is a very powerful brain on the background of the paralysis of the muscles. Brain activity is so high that it can not affect our visual system. Brain extracts from memory images combines whimsical elements and gives us inner vision (dreams, we “see” not with the eyes).

photo: Gennady Cherkasov
Doctor of Sciences Vladimir Kovalzon explains how to sleep.

Sometimes from a sleeping man behind closed eyelids “run” pupils, what is the reason?

Is associated with rapid eye movements during dream sleep. In addition to dreams at the end of each sleep cycle, in the beginning of the cycle, when falling asleep can be experienced so-called hypnagogic hallucinations. They are often confused with dreams, but in fact is a mental activity that occurs on the verge of wakefulness and sleep.

This often happens to us in transport, when we klyuem nose in time with the movement, but is the train or the car to slow down, we open our eyes. The brain in these moments does not work as in dreaming.

— Why we often don’t remember dreams?

Because these images are extracted from the depths of our memory, back to her do not come back. This is normal. Sometimes we remember a very small part of dreams. As a rule, these are associations that we are particularly plagued during wakefulness.

Dreams change identity

— You met people who never dreamed of?

— We had the subject, which we specially many times awakened in REM sleep, but he flatly refused to admit that something is seen. And there are, on the contrary, people who are always good at remembering dreams.

To develop this ability?

I do not know. Although I can cite the example of Michel Jouvet — the largest sleep of the XX century, from childhood to having this increased ability to remember dreams. He is now 90 years old and his bed is still lying on the table, Notepad and glowing pen, which he long after each dream records what is seen. “Often in the morning,” he says, ” I can’t parse that in my sleep “scribbled”.

But from what I understand, he compiled a card index of over five thousand dreams. He analyzed and built an interesting picture depending on the seven-day period. This experience is described in his science-fiction novels “Castle of dreams” and “the Thief of dreams”. In one of them a man deprived of dreams, and the author describes how changes in the structure of his personality. Jouvet himself, too convinced that dreams are a very important part of our psyche. The idea is fantastic, but interesting.

The idea that lack of sleep changes you as a person?

– Yes, medicine is known several cases when a person is prescribed antidepressants that suppress dreams, and for many years he is completely reduced (disappeared) REM sleep (guardian of dreams).

These people — a few dozen, they have a number of issues, but not with the violation of cognitive abilities: no memory problems, no problems with performance. Was a famous patient in Israel, who at age 19 received a shrapnel wound in the head, a splinter stuck in the brain, in the Department that runs the state of REM sleep. Removing it was impossible, and he lived with him under the supervision of the Israeli sleep Peres levy. Despite the fact that the young man did not see dreams, he was able to finish the Institute and work in two places: in a legal Agency and newspaper type “Moskovsky Komsomolets” editor of crossword puzzles. The assistance of neurologists it was not subsequently used.

— So, can you live without dreams?

– You can live, but lately, doctors have appear a very cautious assumption that the absence of dreams may be due to a very slow, deep changes in personal characteristics. I was told about this one woman, a prominent psychologist abroad.

It was also noticed that changes in real patients just very similar to those that occurred with the hero of the novel Jouvet. Those changes, according to the piece, slip to introvertebrate, that is focused on his internal mental activity.

For example, the hero, despite his advanced age, gradually changed the attitude, began to be young, youthful dress, he was uncharacteristic in the past, the passion for very young girls. But that’s not all: he, a scholar by profession, no longer interested in science, had a more primitive passions. As this may be due to the absence of dreams and is generally, have yet to unravel the science.

— When dreams are more important — in childhood or in adult life?

– In children it is more vivid and more relevant to their younger body. Brain maturation and the formation of the nervous system is precisely during sleep. Who watched over the child, saw every half hour he grimaces, face is red, then pales, fingers twitching… About the same can be observed in puppies, and kittens. When in one of the experiments the rats suppressed this condition, in adult life they had disorders of the brain.

If you go to bed with this on my head, the alarm clock will work when it is necessary.

The third condition of the body

— Why one in order to sleep enough 6 hours, and another 10 a little?

— This is due to differences in our genotypes. There are those who lack three ninety-minute sleep cycles (recall that each consists of slow and fast phases). Most people sleep at five cycles, which equals to approximately 8 hours, but I, for example, requires all six.

— There are now technologies that help to determine how much everyone needs to sleep to sleep?

— No need of high technology — just lie down at the end of the week in bed and sleep until night’s sleep. Wake up, look at the clock and count how many hours left to sleep (just keep in mind that sleep needs to be a full, no upgrades to the bathroom, feed the cat, cover the baby, etc.). That’s how much happens in the end — this is your optimal time for sleep.

— Have a good sleep phase to Wake up?

Is you to the issue of creating the perfect alarm clock? I often speak on this topic and don’t understand why still it is not created, because technology has already reached the required level.

— Will act as a Wake-up call?

Is he going to Wake with an audible signal when a person is most prone to lifting, then when waking up the sleep inertia will be minimal. You look like usually awakens the majority of our citizens: the ringing suddenly there is the last, longest REM sleep, when our brain is very deep in dreams… We jump, not knowing where. We stunned experienced horrible discomfort. And such trauma our nervous system we apply regularly!

— Tell us how it is technically possible to make a proper revival?

The sleep phase is monitored using a simple device. A small box mounted on the top, two electrodes on the head. All of this connects to the gadget, which lies at the bedside. The eye movement and the electroencephalogram, the program captures all the phases of sleep. If you advance its program, for example, at 7.15, not the fact that it will Wake you up at this time — after all, your ideal time for waking up may not coincide with the appointed hour. The program will look for the optimal moment for awakening, “consulting” with your brain. In the end, the call will not ring at 7.15, and, say, 6.50 — before the onset of REM sleep or immediately after its completion.

— And without the technical means to determine when a person better to Wake? For example, a child in school.

– If the role of the alarm is a man, to make it easier. The smaller the inertia of sleep is associated with moments when the patient changes posture in bed. These coups are associated with changing sleep cycles. The man, awakened in such a period, there is no state of stupefaction.

Before the era of electroencephalography scientists just described how people sleep by measuring movement during sleep (the so-called method of ecografie). At the dawn of the sleep experts came to the conclusion that kids are changing position during sleep at intervals of time. Then the EEG was checked, and found that each change of posture consistent with the sleep cycle. Was 1953, the journal Nature published a little article about periodically appearing in the dream, the flashes of rapid eye movements, and with this began the science of somnology. By the way, the author is an American physiologist Nathaniel Kleitman — until the end and did not believe that a cyclical manifestations of brain activity during sleep. He was more inclined to release our compatriot Ivan Pavlov that sleep is a passive process and is associated with decreased activity of the cerebral cortex.

Only in 1963 at the Lyon Symposium Michel Jouvet first clearly formulated the opening of a new, third condition of the body. To wakefulness and normal sleep, added the so-called REM sleep (REM-sleep, dream sleep).

In the movie “fallen” hero Yevgeny Leonov proved that dreams can even in the bathroom.

Time, ago!

— Are you happy with the fact that politicians still listen to the scientists and transferred last year arrow hours ago?

– Of course, satisfied. Vladimir B. Dorokhov Institute of higher nervous activity and neurophysiology of RAS were present as experts in the state Duma two years ago. The government was literally swamped with complaints from parents whose children couldn’t sleep because of the introduction throughout the country of so-called “Medvedev’s” time, ahead of the sun belt as much as 2 hours! It was a mass phenomenon across the country.

We explained to the officials that it is necessary to minimize the period of time during the year when we have to Wake up before dawn. From rises in the dark in the body fails. For example, two groups of world famous chronobiologist conducted a study and showed that the two cities located on opposite edges of the same time zone (Western and Eastern borders), women with breast cancer is always more that is located on the Eastern. At the Western border the length of the period during the year when people get up before dawn, always slightly shorter.

— Why is it singled out breast cancer?

— This form of cancer is hormonally dependent on timely receipt of light and the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. By the way, after the research of the European Commission of chronobiology recommended that the people living on the borders of time zones to shift the mode of the day for half an hour. And if there are controversial issues, to decide only in favor of the left (Western) side. Now Saint Petersburg is erroneously transferred to one belt with Moscow instead of Moscow, caught right in the middle of the belt, transfer the belt of St. Petersburg. We are now deprived of one hour of morning light, and the inhabitants of the Northern capital — two. Pitertsy during the year, awake in the dark for two months.

— I remember when we discussed the question of transferring the two years ago, you said that Russia is required to set the clock two hours ago, and was transferred only one. Is that enough?

— Enough! Moscow still ahead of her waist, astronomical. It would be necessary to move the hour hand one hour back.

Then there are politicians listening to you, but the rest of your errors are not corrected? Why, in your opinion, is this happening?

– In science we just talked about how to translate all time zones in the country on real astronomical time.

In the nineteenth century was convened by the world Congress, which decided to divide the Earth into 24 zones. It was a brilliant solution. Unfortunately, it is unknown who suggested it. Belt separation allowed people to synchronize their clocks and physiological rhythms, it was adequate astronomical.

But then, unfortunately, the country began to change the lap time as someone wants. This can not be allowed. The UN has a special Commission which was to follow it, but it does nothing.

We even got to the point that in addition to the translated forward by two hours of arrows and even reduced the number of time zones. In the end, in the far East, people found themselves without light, they are half (!) woke up in the dark. Politicians have forgotten that they are not omnipotent, they can not command the Sun when he should get up… human Nature is so constructed that we need to Wake up after sunrise, and the other should not be.

In the end, we come now to the Soviet countdown?

— Yes, now the hands of our clock are translated exactly (ahead of astronomical time by one hour), as it was after the introduction of daylight saving time in the Soviet Union under Lenin. Whose arguments were guided by this time, again unclear.

— Seem to have decided to cater to “your and our”.

— No compromise here can not be. Question about the health of the population can not be solved in a democratic way, it solved only on the basis of the scientific conclusions of experts-experts.


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