Can humans feel pain in their dreams?

When we encounter a particularly beautiful thing, we often send out such exclamations as “am I dreaming?” how can we judge whether we are dreaming? There is a common saying that when people dream, no matter how real the dream is, they can’t feel pain, so we just need to pinch ourselves to see if it hurts. If we feel pain, we are not dreaming. So is that a good idea? Now let’s talk about whether humans can feel pain in their dreams.

if our fingers are pricked by a needle, we will immediately feel pain. This is a scene everyone has experienced. In this process, do we really feel pain in our fingers?

the answer is No. the actual situation is that when a needle is punctured on our fingers, the receptors distributed on our fingers will be stimulated. They will immediately convert this stimulation into bioelectrical signals and send them to our brain through the nervous system. After analyzing and processing these bioelectrical signals, the brain will realize that the fingers have been pricked, So we feel the pain.

that is to say, in the above scenario, it is not our fingers that produce pain, but our brains. For example, some people who have been amputated due to an accident often feel the amputated part of their limbs, and sometimes even feel pain. This is called “phantom limb pain”. Why do you still feel pain when you have no limbs? Obviously, this is a “misjudgment” from the brain.

for example, when we hold a sitting position for too long, sometimes our lower limbs will feel numb. In this case, if we pinch our already numb feet, we will not feel pain. It can be seen that our pain is actually produced in the brain. It is our brain that determines whether we feel pain or not, and where it hurts.

when humans dream, the pain in dreams also comes from the judgment of the brain, which does not necessarily require real stimulation. Therefore, it can be said that human beings should have pain when they dream, but it seems that the saying that “no matter how real the dream is, people can not feel pain when they dream” is not reliable. But the problem is, in most dreams, we really don’t feel pain, and even if there is pain, it’s vague. Why?

pain is an important basis for human beings to perceive danger. When people feel pain, they will stop their current behavior at the first time, or try to get rid of the current situation as soon as possible. In this case, the importance of pain is more obvious. It is like a “sentinel” who is always alert. Once a danger is found, it will immediately wake human beings from their dreams.

the ancestors of human beings did not have such a safe shelter as we do now. Even when they were sleeping, they would face all kinds of dangers. It can be imagined that if they had real pain in their dreams, they would not be able to distinguish whether the danger came from the dream or the real world, thus losing the ability to perceive the external danger in their sleep.

in addition, since pain is a very strong stimulus, if a person’s dream often shows real pain, it will cause a long-term sleep disorder, resulting in a straight decline in his or her survival ability. For ancient humans, this means that it is difficult to pass on the human gene. Therefore, in the face of cruel natural selection, the pain in human dreams has gradually become blurred, and even in many cases, pain will not appear in the dream at all.

it should be pointed out that this is not always the case in human dreams. Our brain occasionally “plays tricks” to make us feel more real pain in dreams. However, this kind of pain usually has a characteristic that we must experience in the real world.

studies have shown that there is a high matching between human dreams and hippocampal activities, while humans with hippocampal damage can’t make normal dreams. We all know that the hippocampus has the functions of storing, converting and orienting long-term memory in the brain. From this, we can see that these findings prove from the side that human dreams and memory have a strong connection.

this means that when we dream, if the dream is real enough and it is very similar to some past experiences, then the brain may retrieve relevant memories, and thus produce more realistic perception, including pain. For example, when we dream of falls and scratches, we may feel more real pain, but if we dream of being bitten by a monster, the brain doesn’t know what it feels like.

to sum up, human beings can feel pain in dreams. It is only in order to survive that the human brain has weakened the perception in this dream in the evolutionary process. Nevertheless, sometimes we can still experience pain in dreams. Therefore, we can use the method of “pinching ourselves to see whether the pain is painful” to judge whether we are dreaming or not The results are not necessarily correct. Pregnant dream “Golden Dragon” is about to “give birth to a boy”? You think too much, the function of fetal dream is not here