Have you ever wondered why you don't physically act out your dreams? It's because a biochemical switch, tripped as you enter the REM phase, literally blocks the brain's ability to consciously order your muscles to move. If this switch fails to work, all sorts of REM-related oddities can ensue: People might walk, talk, eat or do violence while sleeping. Victims of a condition known as night terrors literally live out their nightmares. And remember my own story about waking up paralyzed? That's what happens when the switch does its work too well, and the mind wakes up before the body regains its ability to move.
How to fall asleep is a complex question that can affect every part of your daily routine. Learn how to hit the sweet spot in your sleep-wake cycle.
Some days, there's nothing like a good nap, even if you know it might keep you up into the wee hours of the night. Have you ever pondered the secrets of sleep? Take this quiz to learn all about sleep and those little jumping sheep.