Time Slows in Dreams: Insights from Dogs & Rats Studies

Why Time Seems to Slow Down in Dreams

Walker and Huberman discuss the fascinating phenomenon of memory replay during sleep. In non-REM sleep, memory replay slows down to normal waking speed, which is important for textbook memory consolidation. However, during REM sleep, the memory replay slows down even further to 0.5 times relative to waking speed.

This finding may explain why time seems to dilate in dreams, with dreamers feeling like they’ve been dreaming for longer than the actual time passed in the real world. The neuronal evidence of slowed-down memory replay during REM sleep supports this subjective experience.

Huberman and Walker also explore the idea that animals like rats and dogs likely dream, given the similarities in their sleep patterns and components to humans. They discuss REM sleep behavioral disorder, a condition where individuals act out their dreams due to a degradation of the mechanism that normally paralyzes the body during REM sleep. This disorder occurs in both humans and dogs, further suggesting that animals do indeed dream.

More From this Episode

Leave a Comment