HELP!!! Or, was this a psychotic episode, or a signal that I should go to bed?

Okay, I’m sitting here, browsing 'Net, when all of a sudden, my mind just starts to wander, and my thoughts feel like they do when I’m half asleep-either just waking up, or just falling asleep. You know, all weird, and jumbled, like they don’t make sense?

And then I snap back, like you do when you’re in that very light sleep and then you jolt awake.

What the FUCK? Could it just be me drifting off and that I’m tired? Because that scared the CRAP out of me, and now I think I’m having a panic attack!



Sounds like you had Too Much Dope.
Go sleep it off. :slight_smile:

I’m going to have to second Squink’s opinion. Not everyone is equipped to stay up uber-late.

Myself on the other hand… the darkness is my time. I wallow in it; not unlike a pig, in some mud-like substance.

It’s called a microsleep. It’s what causes drivers to wake up on the wrong side of the interstate heading for a truck. If you can fall asleep doing a complex and dangerous activity like driving, dozing off before the PC is child’s play.

I once fell in a limbo between the dream and the wakefulness. I was driving with work partners in a highway, Cuernavaca-Mexico D.F.

We stayed awake the whole night before and we drove on to taking turns. Suddenly, I started to see strange shapes in the landscape and was part of a story I couldn’t recall some minutes later, but never missed the road. I was scared to death. I stopped the car and all three of us decided to sleep in the highway a couple of hours.

It was truly terrifying.

happens to me almost every day in class, except i do not fight it.

just yesterday i was dreaming in class, but at the same time kept my eyes open and was rapping with my fingers on the table so that professor thinks i am awake. but even though i heard him speaking, the meaning of his words was not reaching my mind, i would not be able to repeat a single thing he said :slight_smile:

Lullabye, and goodnight, to our Guinnie in dreamland…


I have found these jumbled, disconnected moments to be immensely productive in the past; when there is a difficult problem to solve and I’m trapped in the rut of a linear, narrow thought-process, mixing everything up, even to the point of absurdity, often allows the pieces to reassemble themselves in the form of a solution (or at least allows one to consider possibilities outside of the rut).

I agree with the other posters. There’s no cause for alarm. This is simply your body’s way of telling to you log off and go to bed.

I think I’ve actually had that before…

Sometimes, when I’m extremely tired, I just have to close my eyes for a brief second, and all of a sudden, I’ll wake up from this semi-sleep, all audio around me will be suddenly amplified as-if my mind tuned them out when I was in my half-second nap, and illuminated objects seem to spin around me. It’s quite a neat feeling. You feel like you’re in a dream.

No drugs involved, either.

“Microsleep”? Hats off todon’t askfor knowing there is a formal name for this.

I used to have this experience all of the time, but merely called it “drifting”. I attended law school while working full-time and averaging about five hours of pro bonowork a week. During this period in my life I was also visiting my mother at a nursing home two or three times a week, and it was rather a long commute.

No doubt a great many people have more demands on their time than this (for instance, I was single in law school, and some of my night school classmates had families to consider besides), but I had a history of sleep disorders to boot. Once in a great while as I reviewed my lecture notes I would find that the random, jumbled reveries I had fallen into from time-to-time during class had intruded, e. g. “‘ancient’ is here a term of art, meaning a document such as a newspaper which is at least twenty years old, since you can putt okay but can’t really play golf”. It added a little spice to last-minute exam review.

The hipster monologist Lord Buckley did an entertaining piece about this which concluded, so near as I recall, “but here’s a question; who was driving the car while you were gone?”

When I drift off to sleep while I’m reading, I begin to see the words as collections of random letters. They’re all of the right size, but they simply make no sense. It isn’t even as coherent as a greeking: No lorem ipsum' or anything like a correct ratio of vowels to consonants, just words like xargghe’ or`cwrtdz’. (On the second hand, I suppose those could be Welsh terms my unconscious brain knows.)

When I start to do that, I turn off the light and go to sleep.

Derleth… you sound so much like me.

Are you a fellow Latin/Welsh geek? :slight_smile:

I’m a total Latin zealot, in the process of finishing my fourth year of it in high school right now, and it will be my minor field in college. I learn Welsh in my spare time.

SpACatta: I really should put in smilies more often. That Welsh comment was a joke made by someone who doesn’t know more than a word of the language. (That word is cwm (yes, I can even pronounce it), and only because it’s a word in English, too.) I know Latin as it relates to English words, but not much more.

I’m interested in languages as a whole, but my only attempts to learn foreign languages failed miserably. (Spanish twice and German once, all times in public schools.) So I focus on studying English and computer languages.


Well, no offense to your studies, but English is evil :slight_smile:

It’s my primary language, but if I was fluent in another, I’d speak another. It’s just so illogical - so many exceptions… must learn Welsh… must learn Latin…

I’ve heard that people in this state of mind are very susceptible to suggestion…

::whispers gently obscene suggestions in Guinastasia’s ear::

go ahead, it’s all right, no one’s watching.

SpACatta: I appreciate English for its oddities because I know about how it got that way. When you study the rather convoluted history of English, you begin to understand that it had the choice of dying off and splintering or mutating into a language that’s both related to and different from every other language in Europe.

To summarize:
[li]First came the Germanic tribes, speaking group of languages related to modern German: gendered, consonant-rich, and prone to long compound words. Of course, the tribes didn’t all speak a single dialect. To trade, they began to simplify the oddities of their languages and move towards a common pidgin.[/li][li]Then, the Romans. They came, they saw, they kicked Britain’s ass. They established Hadrian’s Wall, but more as a tool of trade than a defensive position. They left behind some good buildings, roads, and other deteritus, and they helped Christianity spread to the area. What they didn’t do, however, was leave behind too many words. Very little of our Romance-derived vocabulary dates back to the Roman occupation.[/li][li]Next up were the Vikings, from Norway. They attacked, invaded, and did settle the region, creating the Danelaw in the process. Their language mixed promiscuously with the Germanic dialects native to the natives, and so Old English was formed from Germanic dialects and Old Norse. Beowulf was written in Old English, and it is the best-known manuscript to survive from this period.[/li][li]In 1066, William the Conqueror invaded Britain from the Normandy region of France. The Normans were themselves Viking descendents, but they’d learned French while living in Normandy and had become quite the French nobles. Thus, they imposed their Romance tongue as well as their rule on the locals. This is where most of our Romance words come from, as well as a good deal of our synonyms. Want to know why we have both swine and pork, or shut and close? That’s why. That’s also a reason why English has a huge vocabulary: We’ve been able to fuse two distinct linguistic groups with no need to trim either one. :slight_smile: This is how Middle English, language of Chaucer, came to be.[/li][li]In time for the plays of Shakespeare, there came a Great Vowel Shift. Coupled with the standardizing effects of the printing press, this changed Middle English into Modern English (or Early Modern, if you want to distinguish it from what we speak now). Old Willie wrote in Modern English, which is why we can read his plays largely without a gloss. Try that with Chaucer or Beowulf.[/li]
Also around this time, English was beginning to colonize and trade with the world riding with the British Navy. The New World colonies were beginning to take off, and other adventures were yielding riches… and words. English now borrows from the languages of every continent and major linguistic group on Earth, usually without modifying the spellings too much. :wink:

I do this all the time while sitting in class. While I’m dozing off, I THINK everything makes sense and that my notes are completely legible. When class is over and I’m putting all my papers away though, I’ll see that I’ve just doodled a lot on the paper and written random words like “spaghetti” all over my zoology notes.

Yeah WOW don’t ask. Do you work in a sleep research lab or something. :)*

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