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Popular movies and their portrayals of sleep

Filed in
  • Insomnia
  • Dreams
  • Movies

By Jack Cunningham  |  Jul 22, 2019
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SleepinMovies

If you’re not , chances are you’re having a this summer. While Disney is rampaging this year with several (and ), other studios have been failing at getting their sequels and reboots off the ground. Whether its or audiences are being put to sleep by boring and lackluster sequels. Rather than be put to sleep, why not watch a movie about sleep?

乐动体育登录Specifically, you can select one in which sleep plays a major part in the plot. There are several critically acclaimed movies that feature sleep in a significant way that are a good watch for a summer night. Some of them are accurate in their portrayal of sleep, while others are completely fictional, or draw inspiration from real-life cases.

1)      This film, written and directed by the master of horror Wes Craven, is considered one of the greatest horror films of all time. What makes it so great is that it manages to make sleep, something that every single person does, scary. Freddy Krueger, the movie’s villain and monster, invades and kills people in their dreams, thus killing them in real life. While Krueger and the main premise of this movie are completely fictitious, there were乐动体育登录 several sleep-related deaths that inspired the film. Craven was , who suffered from severe and disturbing nightmares and refused to sleep. Some of these refugees then died in their sleep during their nightmares, inspiring Craven to write the screenplay.

2)      The film, based on the 1996 book of the same name, remains one of David Fincher’s best. **This next sentence is going to have massive spoilers乐动体育登录, so if you haven’t seen it yet feel free to skip this paragraph**. For much of the film, Edward Norton’s character has , which ends up impacting his life tremendously. We find toward the end of the film that he suffers from dissociative identity disorder, creating another distinct personality that only he sees – Brad Pitt’s character, Tyler Durden. , individuals who suffer from dissociative identity disorder tend to have more sleep problems, and lower quality of sleep. This can partly explain his behavior in the beginning of the film and why he experiences insomnia.

3)      This film stars Christian Bale as a man with insomnia who hasn’t slept well in a year, thus rendering him severely emaciated. After an accident involving a co-worker, he begins to lose his ability to determine what is real. He begins to think his co-workers are secretly resenting him and trying to drive him mad with weird and cryptic messages that he finds. This is certainly an extreme scenario, as most people who have insomnia will never experience such drastic effects. In fact, many people who have insomnia  , or can function well on less sleep, than they realize. That being said, did find that insomnia symptoms are common in people who have high levels of paranoia and delusions. According to the authors, insomnia may be an overlooked problem in people who have paranoid thinking.

4)      Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet are star-crossed lovers in this romantic sci-fi film. The premise of the movie relies on two people who erase each other from their memory using the services of a fictional company. The procedure happens in their sleep – in fact, Carrey spends most of the movie in his dreamworld as his memories are erased. While Eternal Sunshine isn’t that accurate in its portrayal of technology and sleep, it is somewhat accurate . Overall, Eternal Sunshine is a fantastic film about love and loss. 

5)      The 2010 heist film, written and directed by Christopher Nolan, stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a thief who steals information by infiltrating people’s dreams and subconscious. Nolan based the idea for his movie on , in which you are aware of your dreams and can exert some control over them. While the technology to enter someone’s dreams isn’t (sadly) real, the .

6)      This film, while having very little to do with sleep, is still an honorable mention nonetheless. Keanu Reeves plays Neo, a man who awakens from a virtual reality simulation to discover a dystopian reality. This idea, waking up literally and (mainly) metaphorically, is one of the major themes of the movie. However, there’s no scientific basis for any of the technology in this film, despite . It’s still a thrilling movie.

乐动体育登录Which of your favorite sleep-related films would you add to this list?


2 Comments

  1. 1 Vincent 03 Jan
    Waking Life
  2. 2 Laura 29 Jul
    Sleeping Beauty. 

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