While sleeping, the body goes through five stages of sleep. With each stage, the body drifts into a deeper and more restful sleep. Although research has shown that we can dream in any of the five stages of sleep, it is known that most dreaming takes place in the fifth stage. During the fifth stage of sleep, we enter a phase called Rapid Eye Movement, or REM. As we begin REM sleep, many changes occur within the body. Not only do the eyes begin to move rapidly, but also breathing and heart rate increases. The activity levels in the brain rise to the same levels as when we are awake. Despite the fact that many functions in the body are heightened, we become almost paralyzed while in the REM stage because of a release of a specific amino acid. This reaction is believed to occur so that the body does not act out on the dreams that it is experiencing. Throughout the night, we cycl...
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