Although many psychologists have researched REM sleep and tried to explain its importance, we are still not completely certain as to why it is necessary. Scientists have even conducted experiments in which rats die from being deprived of REM sleep, bringing to light just how essential it is to our survival. There have been many possible scientific reasons as to why organisms need it. One that particularly caught my attention was that regarding real-life simulation. I recently watched an episode of Nova called "What Are Dreams?" on Netflix that went into depth about how the brain may be producing simulations of possible real-life scenarios when we dream. For instance, someone may have a dream that he or she gets fired from his or her job. Dreaming about this could mentally prepare that person for that particular situation if it were to happen in real life. Just as in the textbook, the Nova program also touched on the subject of deactivating a certain part of a cat's brain that paralyzes them during REM sleep. This experiment allowed researchers to see that, during REM sleep, the cat's movements were that of everyday activities, like hunting. I found that this evidence strongly supported the statement that REM sleep prepares one for real life by simulating real-life scenarios.
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