Why can t you scream in a dream?

Have you ever had a nightmare where something scary was chasing you, but when you tried to scream, no sound came out? It’s not just your imagination – this phenomenon is actually quite common. In fact, “dream paralysis”, as it’s called, affects about 8% of people at least once in their lives.

So why exactly can’t we scream in our dreams? Let’s dive into the science behind it and find out.

The mechanics of screaming

To understand why we can’t scream in dreams, let’s first take a look at what happens when we scream while awake. When we open our mouths and vocal cords vibrate, they produce sound waves that travel through the air and eventually reach someone else’s ears (or our own).

But producing these sounds requires control over certain muscle groups: specifically, those involved with respiration and vocalization. Our lungs generate sufficient air pressure to move past the resistance of closed glottis; then there are some muscular exertions which equalize pressures above/below/inside outside vocal plate thereby reproducing phonatory uniqueness required for speech.(You see what I did here? Big words make us sound smart!)

Flip Cards For Short Attention Spans:

Click to expand on Respiration Muscle Group:
Muscle Action
Diaphragmatic muscle Mainly responsible for increasing volume inside from berbsins breasta body cavity hereby creating negative pressure relative outside hence inhaling oxygen gas.
Acessory Muscles (ribcage muscles) This group acts together with the diaphragm thereby reducing total thoracic volume greatly facilitating oxygenation via inhalation.
Click to expand on Vocalisation Muscle Group:

## Dream sleep and paralysis

But what about when we’re asleep? During non-REM sleep, our bodies are actually paralyzed – this is a protective mechanism that keeps us from physically acting out our dreams (which could potentially harm ourselves or others). Essentially, it’s like your body puts on invisible handcuffs every night.

However, often times during REM cycles(which start happening approximately after ninety minutes into sleep), the brain halts these signals momentarily but sometimes might fail to resume them at ideal time which leads one being conscious however totally incapable of making voluntary movements(sluggish limbed people!).

So why does this happen?

## The amygdala’s involvement

The explanation lies within the amygdala: the part of the brain responsible for processing emotions, especially fears.

When we experience a strong emotion – like fear – the amygdala sends signals to our body that trigger certain responses. This is known as the fight-or-flight response, and it’s responsible for, among other things, increasing blood pressure and heart rate.

However REM sleep needs reduced alpha/beta waves, which are associated with a more logical or active brain state. The thought of such big muscular reactions on top of this usually comes off as too dangerous since one might potentially injure themselves.

Our brains have thus evolved to prevent us from making these movements by essentially disabling our ability to control any voluntary muscle groups- If they allowed just an outburst moving hand gesture in open space it could easily get transformed into actual movement causing suppression complications later on,the same way urges from wet-dreams results in compacted-semen-incapable-problems if left uncared for.

## Conclusion

All in all, dreaming can be frustrating task because we subject ourselves to an unpredictable mix of sensory nonsense beyond comprehension/literal laws/actions. Among those inconveniences (or conveniences)-depending how you look at them- not being able scream is quite common-one may miss out on impolitely yelling their head off but consider it safe passage from harm right! Since while there seems no harm done when simply attempting foolish dreams unless its full-throttle interpretation would we rather take chances?

Finally,next time you find yourself having a nightmare,and desperately tryna summon emergency-response-scream .Just remember:It ain’t happenin’.You’re totally powerless; blame your stupid mammal-brain which forgot evolution unfinished business- hurrah science!.

Copyright © 2023 Dane101 | Last updated: 06 Jun, 2023
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Muscle Action
Epicorniculus muscle It has an important role to play in altering the form of glottis and its inclination during vocalization. (sounds complicated, right?)
Cricothyroid muscle Elevates and elongates vocal chords.’Scary performance singing happens here!’
Vocalis (thyroarytenoid) muscles & vestibular folds/ventricular ligaments Their main function is dampening noise that may come from your pharynx coupled with controlling airflow. They’re also known as ‘false vocal cords’.(Because they’re not actively involved in sound production)