Jan. 28th, 2017

la_rainette: (Default)

am i the only person who is like…really confused what my brain is doing while im sleeping?? like, today i woke up with the name PAT BENETAR in my head like it was in neon lights. i dont know who pat benetar is. i had to google her. turns out shes a real person.

 a few weeks ago, i woke up while partway through calculating how many days threescore fortnights would be. this sort of thing happens on a regular basis. 

and its not like its part of a dream im having. with both of those things i had had completely unrelated dreams. its like during the process of waking up my brain just fixates on a totally arbitrary scrap of data and drags it up for my conscious mind to deal with

I once read an article (I don’t remember where) about sleep on an evolutionary standpoint, wondering how the hell it could be justified in a “survival of the fittest” world. I mean, if you’re a prey you spend a lot of time unconscious while predators roam around you, and if you’re a big predator with huge teeth you waste a lot of time sleeping while the happy gazelle grazes freely. It really doesn’t seem to make much sense so the only explanation is that it probably serves an important purpose. 

I don’t think we fully understand how it works beyond “your brain is reorganizing and you will not be able to access your thoughts until it’s done defragmenting and rebooting”. However, over the course of the past years I’ve gone from being confused to being amazed, because OH BOY does my brain ever work while I am asleep. 

I joined a choir/vocal ensemble a while ago and my first few weeks were enlightening in that respect. Every time we met, we would work on two or three songs with really complicated harmonies; I would go home frustrated that I still remembered the last song we’d worked on, but not the first; I’d go to bed. 

Two days later I would find myself absent-mindedly humming the “forgotten” tunes in the shower. 

As time went on and I had to memorize more complicated harmonies for songs, I realized that there was literally zero point in trying to hammer a thing into my brain in one sitting, but if I allowed my brain to disconnect and deal with the information in its own sweet way, it would plant it in, solidly screw it where it belonged and dust its hands with the satisfaction of a job well done. And then I would wake up and KNOW THE THING. (And never ever forget it, but that is another story.)

For me, this works best with music and sounds. @hellenhighwater  , I didn’t know you could see written words in dreams (I don’t think I ever did) - how do you learn things in general? Are you a very visual learner? Maybe your brain picked up the name Pat Benatar somewhere and was trying to indicate to you that this might be of relevance to your life? Because our brains work a lot while we sleep but that doesn’t mean that they always make sense or follow a logical rule.

Because another thing I discovered over the course of the past two and half years, which have been FILLED with music, is that my brain focuses on sounds and music but I don’t get to choose what music my brain decides to focus on while I sleep. The day after I first watched the trailer for the new Beauty and the Beast, I woke up with the entire fucking SOUNDTRACK of the animated version at the forefront of my mind (”there must be more than this provincial liiiiiiiiiiife”). I was SUPPOSED to memorize a totally different set of songs, and I had not watched this movie since my girls were little, but apparently music stick to my brain forever and my brain decided that this was relevant. Okay then. I also once woke up humming a Eurovision song that I had not heard for about 20 years, and I have no idea why.

I am entirely fascinated with this process - anyone else, if you’ve had similar experiences, I’d love to hear about them.    

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