I have worked out that the way most of us fall asleep at night is by being unaware of the process (This probably explains why we can never recall actually falling asleep). I believe that if we were aware of the process we’d force ourselves awake every time the sleep process starts again.
I believe this because I have aquired the ‘ability’ to be aware of falling asleep, to be conscious of it happening (I believe most good lucid dreamers have this ability). It is usually after I have already been asleep for a while and have woken up, but am still tired enough to get more sleep. I remain aware while I am falling asleep right into the start of dream imagery. As soon as I get there I force myself awake. I do this because there is an overwhelming feeling that a) I will be trapped there (and lose control) and b) ‘there’ will become a nightmare.
The rational me knows this is not the case. It knows that All that will happen is I will likely have a lucid dream which I will be able to control. And even if I don’t it’s just a dream - No harm can come to me. However the emotional me still gets terrified and forces me awake.
If I want get back to sleep I must either build the courage to not force myself awake and have a lucid dream. Or somehow switch off the awareness of the process (forget what is happening and think of something else).
There isn’t a real point to this thread. It’s just a MPSIMS.
Lobsang, I don’t really know that much about lucid dreaming, but I’ve had these experiences and after some research, chalked it up to sleep paralysis. It hasn’t happened in quite some time, though. I’ve been taking herbs to help me sleep, so I think I go unconscious before my body falls asleep.
Most of the time my sleep paralysis would occur after a full night’s (or more) sleep, but I could sleep more. It’s like my body is falling asleep but not my mind. I used to get scared because I’d hear this terrible buzzing in my head and I knew a scary dream was coming in conjunction with the desire but inability to speak or move. It seems like if you can talk yourself into relaxing through it, it’s not scary at all, but rather an interesting experience. I wish I could have someone observe me during this, that would be neat…it doesn’t happen often enough for monitoring to be practical…
Sometimes when I’m trying to sleep i begin to think too deeply about exactly what sleep is and i don’t like the idea of it and so i stay awake for hours until i manage to forget about it. The parts of sleep where you aren’t dreaming too closely resemble my ideas about death. I’ve always been curious about lucid dreams but the only times I’ve realised i was dreaming are just before i properly wake up so i never have the chance to have my fun with it. I rarely manage to get to sleep quickly because i can never clear my head of thoughts and i always end up thinking about some unanswerable question, whether it is the meaning of life or something much more mundane. As Lobsang said, this post has absolutely no purpose, no interesting content and is entirely mundane. I just thought I’d share my thoughts on sleep.
I just know I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight.
Oh, this happens to me a bunch. Even when I’m really tired and want to sleep, if I’m aware of myself drifting off then I reflexively wake myself up again. I have to distract myself, usually with the tv, in order to fall asleep. It’s only worse if I ever take a sedative. I can feel myself getting sleepy and know the drug is doing it so of course I fight it whether I want to or not. Most annoying.
Oh, and I don’t know if it’s related or not, but I have very vivid dreams usually and remember them the next morning. I am sometimes aware that I’m dreaming as well and can occasionally direct the dream.
I’m an occasional user of Calea - it’s an herb from South America, and smoking it first induces a relaxed state (though not sleepy, just slightly altered perception and a deep stillness) and then, when you go to sleep, will induce lucid dreaming. It’s traditionally used by shamans to search for a lost person or object, but I use it because a) lucid dreams are cool and b) extended periods of REM sleep leave me feeling VERY refreshed the next day.
I find that when I use it, I slip in and out of sleep frequently, although I can’t make myself wake up when I want to. My lucid dreams are often very linear, I rarely even try to excercise any control over what’s going on, and when I do, it’s rarely successful in the way I wanted it to be. When I wake up, I generally look around for a moment to see if I’m really awake, and then lay back down and give my mind permission to fall asleep. I’m very much aware of the transition from waking to sleeping, and it kind of has the feeling of when the lights go down at a theater - “Shhh! It’s starting!”. I can’t remember ever having been able to do this without Calea, and I’ve only ever had a couple lucid dreams without it. It’s a nifty little plant, I’m surprised that more people don’t use it. Perhaps it’s the method of use… the smoke is very heavy and full of tar (has a tendency to clog up the screen in my pipe) and really is pretty noxious. I have a blend that also contains lavender, peppermint, catnip and things like that which make it much more pleasing taste-wise, though it remains very heavy smoke.