Laughter during sleep is a relatively common occurrence. In rare cases, this may be a sign of a neurological problem, but in most cases, there is nothing to worry about.
To understand why a person laughs in a dream, it is worth understanding the types of sleep. During the night, we go through phases of fast and slow sleep, which occur cyclically.
Stage 1. The phase of the transition from wakefulness to sleep. She is very short. Breathing is moderate, muscles begin to relax, and brain waves are less active.
Stage 2. The time of light sleep before the deeper. All processes slow down: palpitations, respiration, brain activity, while the muscles relax even more than in the first phase. Eye movements under the eyelids cease.
Stage 3. The recovery phase. The sleep phase is necessary to restore energy consumption in the body. It occurs most often in the first half of the night.
The REM (quick) phase is characterized by the activity of eyeballs under the eyelids.
The slow sleep phase is the period when most dreams occur. It begins about an hour and a half after falling asleep. The eyes stop moving under the eyelids, while the brain impulses are similar to those that occur during wakefulness.
Laughter usually occurs during the REM phase, although there are cases in the slow phase.
The reasons for laughter during sleep
Laughter in a dream is not a dangerous symptom. Research scientists have confirmed that this is a harmless physiological phenomenon.
It is rare that laughter during sleep can be a sign of something more serious, for example, a violation of the REM phase. With such a disorder, paralysis of the extremities does not occur and a person physically transfers his dreams to life. He can also talk, laugh, scream, and walk.
What is Parasomnia?
Sometimes laughter during sleep is a sign of parasomnia. This type of sleep disorder causes abnormal behavioral phenomena (movements or emotions) that occur while a person is sleeping.
Sleepwalking and nightmares. Their manifestations are short-lived: in most cases, they last less than an hour. They are more common in children, but sometimes in adults.
Causes of Parasomnia:
- genetic predisposition;
- taking sedatives;
- lack of sleep;
- irregular sleep schedule;
The feeling of falling in a dream: what is its cause?
Most people at least once felt a feeling of falling in a dream and woke up because of this not very pleasant sensation. In medicine, such a false feeling of falling in a dream is called hypnogogic twitching. Most often, people experience a feeling of falling not during deep sleep, but when they fall asleep, both physiologists and doctors attribute this to the fact that the physical and nervous activity of a person during falling asleep is significantly different. The body is completely relaxed, breathing becomes deeper and more measured, but the brain remains awake. The nervous system considers muscle relaxation as a fall, and through an unpleasant sensation, the brain tries to wake a person and restore the usual tonus to the musculoskeletal system.
Another reason why a person “falls” in a dream, doctors consider stress, anxiety, and a sense of anxiety. At the time of falling asleep, the border between reality and one’s own thoughts and fantasies in the consciousness are erased, therefore negative emotions can cause hallucinations in a falling asleep person, accompanied not only by a feeling of falling but also by half-sleep about its causes. Since stress and anxiety indicate that a person does not feel comfortable and safe in real-life circumstances, in a state of half-sleep, the brain interprets these feelings more literally – a person dreams that he is falling out of bed, falling into the abyss, slipping on ice, etc. The feeling of a real fall, in this case, arises due to the fact that the body that is not completely relaxed due to stress reacts to any stimulus during falling asleep, including a change of position (turning to the other side, legs straightening).