Individuals that reach the REM stage of sleep become blissfully part of a fantasy world of their own making. Dreams become the byproduct of past experiences, the fear of future circumstances or some interplay between the two, with this state effectively having the ability to purge some of the deepest thoughts from within.
While Freud offered plenty of analysis when it came to interpreting dreams, the prospect of having REM sleep either abruptly terminated or prevented has been more the province of contemporary psychoanalysts. These individuals treat the issue as a sleep disorder, since one such psychoanalyst, Patrick Mahony, notes that fatigue tends to serve as a cause-and-effect component when important mistakes have been analyzed.
One of the key reasons for such errors is related to the fact that long-term memory can be negatively affected as the cumulative effect of REM deprivation takes hold. Without that conduit to rid the mind of thoughts that may be lingering, Patrick Mahony says that the individual dealing with this plight tends to become more sensitive to situations that crop up during the course of a day.
That heightened sensitivity tends to manifest itself in negative ways, with anger directed at others for what would ordinarily be considered a minor error. These individuals also tend to be more vulnerable to pain.
Some lore suggests that certain foods can lend themselves to stimulating REM sleep, though it’s usually something that is half-heartedly used as an excuse when suffering a nightmare or otherwise harrowing dream.
With countless pharmaceuticals having side effects, it’s a reality that drugs can compromise REM sleep. However, it does offer some form of REM, even if the quality is diminished. Lack of REM increases stress levels of individuals due to the lack of a viable outlet for removing such thoughts.