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為什么有些人記不住自己的夢?

Why can't some people remember their dreams?
為什么有些人記不住自己的夢?

I am standing outside my childhood primary school, near the front gates and the teachers’ car park. It is a bright sunny day and I am surrounded by my classmates. There must be more than a hundred of us.

我站在小時候就讀的小學外面,旁邊是學校大門和教師停車場。陽光明媚,我周圍都是同學,現場肯定有100多人。

I have a dim feeling that some of my teachers are nearby, but my attention is on two adults, neither of which I recognise. The man I see in lurid detail – from the slick shine of his hair to the golden lenses on his sunglasses. He holds up some kind of device that emits a piercing shriek. I drop to my knees with my hands against my ears. My schoolmates are all doing the same. The man is laughing maniacally.

我隱約感覺一些教過我的老師就在附近,但我的注意力集中在兩個我不認識的成年人身上。那個男的我看得清清楚楚——從他頭發的光澤到太陽鏡上的金色鏡片。他舉起的某種設備發出刺耳的聲音,我跪倒在地,雙手捂著耳朵。同學們都做著相同的動作,那人卻在狂笑。

I had that dream nearly 40 years ago, but I can remember the details as if it were yesterday. Ask me to relate anything from a dream I had earlier this week, however, and I draw a blank. If I have been dreaming – and biology would suggest I most probably have – nothing has lingered long enough to remain in my waking mind.

這個夢是我在大概40年前做的,但我記得所有細節,就像發生在昨天一樣。然而,如果讓我描述幾天前的夢,我的腦海卻是一片空白。如果我一直在做夢——并且生理特性表明我極有可能的確一直在做夢——夢中的一切存留的時間都不足以讓我在醒后仍記得。

For many of us, dreams are an almost intangible presence. If we’re lucky, we can only remember the most fleeting glimpse in the cold light of day; even those of us who can recollect past dreams in astonishing detail can wake some days with almost no memory of what we had dreamed about.

對我們很多人來說,夢幾乎是一種無形的存在。如果運氣好,我們只能在平靜下來后記住最短暫的一幕;即便是有些人能以驚人的詳細程度回憶自己做過的夢,但有時醒來后也幾乎不記得自己夢到什么了。

There is little ethereal about the reasons this might be happening, however. Why we have dreams – and whether we can remember them – are both rooted in the biology of our sleeping bodies and subconscious mind.

然而,其原因沒什么神秘的。我們為什么會做夢——以及我們是否能記住自己的夢——都源于我們睡覺時身體和潛意識的生理特性。

Sleep is more complicated than we once thought. Rather than being a plateau of unconsciousness bookended by slipping in and out of sleep, our resting brains go through a rollercoaster of mental states, with some parts being full of mental activity.

睡眠比我們曾經以為的要復雜得多。在我們睡著時,休眠的大腦并非處于因時睡時醒而被分割成多個階段的無意識且穩定的狀態,而是會經歷一系列急劇變化的精神狀態。在其中一些階段,我們的心理活動極其豐富。

Dreaming is most closely associated with the sleep state known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM). REM is sometimes known as desychronised sleep, because it can mimic some of the signs of being awake. In REM sleep, the eyes twitch rapidly, there are changes in breathing and circulation, and the body enters a paralysed state known as atonia. It happens in 90-minute-waves during sleep, and it’s at this stage that our brains tend to dream.

做夢和名為“快速眼動”(Rapid Eye Movement ,REM)的睡眠狀態關系最為密切。快速眼動有時又被稱做“去同步睡眠”,因為它能模擬一些醒著時的跡象。在快速眼動睡眠中,眼球快速移動,人體的呼吸和循環發生變化,身體進入一種名為弛緩(atonia)的癱瘓狀態。在睡眠中,這種狀態會以90分鐘為周期循環出現。我們的大腦往往會在這個階段做夢。

There is an extra flow of blood to crucial parts of our brain during the REM state: the cortex, which fills our dreams with their content, and the limbic system, which processes our emotional state. While we’re in this dream-friendly state of sleep, they fire with furious electrical activity. The frontal lobes, however – which direct our critical faculties – are quiet.<-->紐約時報中英文網 http://www.zvkdrb.live<-->

在快速眼動睡眠階段,會有額外的血液流向大腦的關鍵部位:腦皮層和大腦邊緣系統。腦皮層為我們的夢提供內容,大腦邊緣系統則負責處理我們的情緒狀態。當我們處于這種有利于做夢的睡眠狀態時,這兩個地方充斥著激烈的腦電活動。然而,掌控辨別能力的額葉卻一片沉寂。

This means we often blindly accept what is happening in this often nonsensical narrative until the time comes to wake up.

這意味著我們常常會盲目接受沒有意義的敘述,直到醒來。

The problem is, the more jumbled the imagery, the harder it is for us to grasp hold of. Dreams that have a clearer structure are much easier for us to remember, psychology professor and author Deidre Barrett said in a recent story on Gizmodo.

問題是,夢境越混亂,我們越難掌握。前不久,心理學教授兼作家巴雷特(Deidre Barrett)在發表在Gizmodo上的一篇文章中稱,夢的結構越清晰,我們越容易記住。

But there’s a chemical component at work which is crucial for making sure those dream images are retained: noradrenaline. Noradrenaline is a hormone that primes the body and mind for action, and our levels of it are naturally lower in deep sleep.

但有一種化學成分起了作用,它能確保我們記住夢中的畫面:去甲腎上腺素(noradrenaline)。去甲腎上腺素是一種激素,負責讓身體和大腦為行動做好準備。在深度睡眠中,我們體內的去甲腎上腺素水平自然比較低。

Francesca Siclari, a sleep research doctor at the Lausanne University Hospital, says there are clear definitions between our states of wake and sleep – and that is no accident. “It’s probably a good thing that the dream life and the waking life are completely different,” she says.

洛桑大學醫院(Lausanne University Hospital)研究睡眠的醫生西克拉里(Francesca Siclari)說,我們在清醒和睡眠狀態之間有著清晰的界定,這并非偶然。“夢中的生活和現實生活完全不同,這可能是件好事,”她說。

“I think if you remembered every detail like you can do in waking life, you would start to confuse things with what’s actually happening in your real life.”

“我覺得,如果能像在現實生活中一樣記住每一個細節,你就會把夢境和現實生活中發生的事情混淆在一起。”

She says that people suffering from sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, can find it difficult to tell the difference between their waking and sleeping lives, and this can leave them feeling confused and embarrassed. “There are also people who remember their dreams too well, and they actually start exporting those memories into their day.”

她說,患有睡眠障礙,如嗜睡癥的人,可能會覺得難以區分清醒和睡著時的生活,而這可能會使他們感到迷茫和尷尬。“也有一些人對自己的夢記得非常清楚,他們實際上會開始把這些記憶輸出到自己的日常生活中去。”

It is no accident that the dreams we remember the most come from certain periods in our sleep cycle, affected by the chemicals coursing through our sleeping bodies. “Normally we dream most vividly in REM sleep, which is when the levels of noradrenaline are low in the brain,” she says.

我們記得最清楚的夢來自睡眠周期中的特定階段,并受一些快速流經人體的化學物質的影響,這并非偶然。“通常情況下,我們在快速眼動睡眠中做的夢最清晰,在這個階段,大腦去甲腎上腺素水平較低,”她說。

    蛐蛐英語 www.zvkdrb.live

We may find ourselves dreaming right before we wake up – but our morning routines actually get in the way of remembering the imagery. Often we are startled out of our slumber by an alarm clock, which causes a spike in our noradrenaline levels – thus making it harder for us to hang onto our dreams.

我們可能會覺得自己醒來前正在做夢——但早上的常規實際上妨礙了我們對夢的記憶。我們常常是被鬧鐘從睡夢中驚醒的,這導致去甲腎上腺素水平飆升,進而加大了我們記住夢的難度。

“Someone who asks me the question of why they can’t remember their dreams, I say it’s because they fall asleep too fast, sleep too soundly and wake up with their alarm clock,” says Harvard Medical School sleep researcher Robert Stickgold. “And their response is usually, ‘How did you know that?’”

“有人問我為什么記不住自己的夢,我說那是因為他們入睡太快、睡得太沉而醒來時又是被鬧鐘叫醒的,”哈佛大學醫學院(Harvard Medical School)的睡眠研究人員斯蒂克戈爾德(Robert Stickgold)說。“他們的反應通常是,‘你怎么知道的?’”

Stickgold says that a lot of people remember their dreams from a sleep onset period, when the mind starts wandering and dreamlike imagery occurs as people drift in and out of sleep – a process called “hypnagogic dreaming”. Stickgold says he carried out a study some years ago where students in a lab were awoken shortly after they started entering this state. “Every last one of them remembered dreaming,” he says.

斯蒂克戈爾德說,很多人記得自己在睡眠開始階段做的夢。在這個階段,人們處于半睡半醒的狀態,思緒開始恍惚,夢境出現——這個過程叫“入睡前做夢”。斯蒂克戈爾德說,多年前他做過一項研究:在一個實驗室里,學生們在開始進入這種狀態后不久即被叫醒。“他們每個人都記得自己在做夢,”他說。

“This stage is the first five or 10 minutes after falling asleep. If you just fall fast asleep – the way we all wish we could – you’re not going to remember anything from that part of your sleep cycle.”

“這個階段是入睡后的最初5到10分鐘。如果你入睡很快——我們所有人都希望自己是這樣——在這個睡眠階段發生的所有事情你都記不住。”

So what if you actively want to remember your dreams? Obviously, each sleeper is different, but there are some general tips which might help you to hold on to your dreams.

那么,如果你主動想記住自己的夢呢?顯然,每個人都不一樣,但有一些通用的建議可能有助于你記住自己的夢。

“Dreams are incredibly fragile when we first wake up, and we don’t really have an answer for why that is,” says Stickgold. “If you’re the kind of person who leaps up out of bed and goes about their day, you’re not going to remember your dreams. When you sleep in on a Saturday or Sunday morning, that’s an excellent time to remember dreams.

“在我們剛醒的時候,夢非常脆弱,我們真的不知道為什么會這樣,”斯蒂克戈爾德說。“如果你是那種從床上一躍而起,直接開始一天生活的人,那么你是不會記得自己的夢的。如果你在周六或周日早上睡懶覺,這是記住夢的絕佳時間。”

“What I tell my students on my courses is, when you wake up, try to lie still – don’t even open your eyes. Try to ‘float’ and at the same time try to remember what was in your dream. What you’re doing is you’re reviewing dreams as you enter your waking state and you’ll remember them just like any other memory.”

“我在課上告訴學生,醒了以后,躺著別動,甚至不要睜眼,試著‘漂浮’,同時試著回憶夢里發生了什么。這么做其實是在進入清醒狀態時回顧你做過的夢,你會像其他記憶一樣記住它們。”

There are even more surefire ways to remember dreams, Stickgold says. “I tell people to drink three big glasses of water before they go to bed. Not three glasses of beer, because alcohol in an REM suppressant, but water. You’ll wake up three or four times in the night and you’ll tend to wake up at the end of an REM cycle of sleep which is natural.”

甚至還有更加萬無一失的記住夢的辦法,斯蒂克戈爾德說。“我讓人們在睡前喝三大杯水,不是三杯啤酒,因為酒精會抑制快速眼動睡眠,是水。這樣你就會在夜里醒三、四次,并且往往是在自然的快速眼動睡眠周期結束時醒來。”

And there is another piece of advice offered by some sleep researchers – that simply repeating to yourself as you drift towards sleep that you want to remember your dreams means you wake remembering them. Stickgold laughs. “It actually works. If you do that you really are going to remember more dreams, it’s like saying ‘There’s no place like home’. It really works.”

一些睡眠研究人員提供了另一條建議:在似睡非睡時不斷對自己重復:你要記住自己的夢。這就意味著當你醒來時,你會記得夢的內容。斯蒂克戈爾德笑了。“真的有用。如果這么做,你真的會記得更多的夢。”

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