Okay, what is happening to me? (About sleep and dreaming)(Long)

All my life I’ve had very vivid and often lucid dreams. For as long as I can remember I’ve had at least 2 or 3 dreams a night that I recall upon waking. I consider myself lucky since I know a lot of people who say they don’t ever remember their dreams, and a couple who claim they don’t dream at all. Also–and I don’t know if this is related in any way, but I think it might be–I have a tendency to get back to my dreams VERY quickly. Say, I’ll get up to use the bathroom or be awoken by something and upon closing my eyes again, almost be instantly back into the same dream.

Anyway, As of late strange things have been happening to me. I don’t know what the terms are, I can only describe it, but it all started with me waking one day to find myself feeling odd. I didn’t know what was wrong, so I closed my eyes again, only to start REMing beneath my lids. I found this to be odd, because, from what I have learned about sleeping patterns, I knew that REM didn’t usually occur until deep sleep. But here I was, with my eyes reflexing involunteerily beneath my eyelids. My heartrate sped up, and there were minor twitches of my arms and legs. My breathing suddenly became very shallow. I could hardly tell I still was doing it, actually. It was like I wasn’t even breathing at all.

The last thing that happened was this…I can only describe it as a RUSH of energy in my brain; a feeling like it was trying to disconnect itself and just float away. I also would see flashes of light and color behind my eyes. It wasn’t exactly an unpleasant feeling…but it was a very weird feeling, and thus, it scared the hell out of me. I snapped my eyes open as soon as I could.
But my curiousity had been piqued. I closed my eyes again, and immediately all the things happened again. The sudden influx of energy in my mind actually felt kinda cool. But I worried that whatever it was was dangerious and could be harmful to me.

Anyway, that was about 5 months ago.

It happened again on and off a couple times…and then, about 3 months ago, something incredible happened. It all started happening again, only this time I was in a dream…yet, I was awake at the same time. I was aware of my bedroom and me lying down on the bed, and my fan blowing on me and all that, yet my eyes were closed and I was dreaming. The dream faded out to blackness and I felt that disconnecting feeling again…but this time I went with it.

Oh man, the feeling was amazing. It was like a burst of energy in my mind and then the feeling of my brain separating from the rest of my body. I could feel my body sort of numb out and get that feeling like your arm falls asleep. I then felt like I was being lifted and floating…and here’s the really spooky part: I then opened my eyes. I opened my eyes while I was in the middle of this and saw my bedroom…but it wasn’t the same. It had all these weird colors and…well, it wasn’t exactly nice. It was actually a bit scary as I felt the presence of forboding things. It was like I was on another plain of existence, yet I felt I was still dreaming and felt my real body in the real world at the same time.
It didn’t last long, as reality snapped back in and I woke up for real.

But it didn’t stop there. That week it happened two more times…one time happening as soon as I closed my eyes after awaking from a dream, and with something new. I heard bells as the disconnection and floating thing occured.

The last time it happened was two days ago…and I’m no longer scared of it. I’m actually quite the opposite. I LOVE it and actually seek it out. It happens often; about twice a week, and is always preceeded by a dream that becomes lucid (Where I realize that I’m in a dream).

I’ve also done a little bit of study and research on it to try to find out what the hell it is, but everything I’ve read about (ASP, OBE, Astrial Projection) doesn’t seem to fit.

The closest thing that DOES fit is what’s known as Hypnogogia. If you google that and read about it, that describes a lot of what I experience…

But the thing is, I’m not sure. Because, see, it happens so often, and from what I read about Hypnogogia, it’s not all that commonplace. What’s happening to me is happening about 2 times a week.

Is there anyone who’s had similiar experiences or someone who knows about these things that can shed some light on what’s going on with me? Maybe a doctor or someone who knows about Neurology?

Could it be Hypnogogia that’s just happening more than often in a subject? And, of course, too much of it happening is not dangerous in any way to a person, is it?
Anyway, anyone with ANY info on this would be much appreciated.

There are some experts on problems of this kind at Peninsula Hospital. They will be happy and glad to have you vist them.
They will help you IN, but there is no way OUT.

And where is that located at?

Or is that from a book, TV show, movie or something and I just don’t get the reference? :smack:

I tried googling it…there are Peninsula Hospitals all over…

I’ve had similar experiences several times as well.

Have you read this staff report?

It talks about hypnagogic hallucinations.

Twice a week does seem like an awful lot. You seem to be particularly susceptible.
I like to think of it as kind of reverse sleep-walking. Your brain is partially awake, while the body is asleep.

Maybe spingears he’s referring to here, a mental hospital. :rolleyes:

For what its worth, I don’t think you’ve described anything that can hurt you.
In fact, many people would enjoy the ability to have lucid dreams with the frequency that you seem to.

Ha, Yeah, that Peninsula Hospital must be the one…

I laughed though, just a harmless joke.

Well, what I’m reading that staff report saying is about Astreal Projections, which I never feel I’ve experienced. It wasn’t anything like an AP…it was just more of a…well, how I described it.

And reading over other sites about Hypnogogia makes it seem that it’s not totally what’s happening either. I mean, it’s closer to anything so far…but the side effects of that seem to be seeing figures and spirits. Hearing your name or people approaching the bed.

Me, I’ve never seen anything other than the weird layouts and colors of my room and apartment. And the only thing I’ve heard a couple of times were bells or the clinking of things like pots and pans.

It’s very strange though…

Yeah, I don’t know why it’s so common for me. In fact, I FEEL as if it could happen even MORE often, because at times I’ll feel like it’s at the onset, but I don’t give into it.

Those first two quotes sound like an Out of Body Experience.
This is all just my opinion of course, but with the mind in a half-awakened state, it is then really easy to fall into a lucid dream. People often have control when they are in a lucid dream. If you will yourself to zoom out of the room and across the street, or to your grandmas house, then you will do so.
I believe this is often mistaken for Astral Projection.
You should experiment the next time this happens to you and see if you can will yourself to float out of the room. Or to some location of your choice.

“Seizural activity” is a pretty good catch-all description, I find. Some of what you describe sounds familiar to me. I have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and have had lots of altered consciousness episodes, shall we say.

At this point I don’t know what parts are simply the way my brain is wired, and what parts are from the various drugs I’ve been on since 1988, and what parts are sheer emotional stress and whatnot.

The whoosh of energy you felt in your head sounds similar to something I experience at times, like a big surge in some current. Occasionally it goes on for a bit, but generally it’s just an instant of WHOOMP in my head.

What I’ve become aware of, over the years, is that the electrical activity in anyone’s brain, and the accompanying sensations, are not neatly classifiable. I don’t think I ever had a “normal” seizure until I was in my twenties, at least not one that anyone witnessed.

I had a lot of sleep paralysis episodes which became creepy enough to make me scared of falling back asleep. They seem to be hypnopompic happenings (same as hypnogogic except as you’re waking). But they’re so intense, I always feel that I’m pouring my entire being into GETTING OUT OF BED, and I FINALLY manage to swing my legs over the side, and then I realize I haven’t moved a muscle. At most, I manage to vocalize in a weird spooky not-quite-screaming way. Only if I try my utmost and really really try to scream at the top of my lungs.

And this happens again and again and again and again and again and it just goes on for what seems like hours & hours & hours & hours.

Anyway my point is that whatever you’re experiencing at any particular moment usually feels very very real, regardless of what is actually happening to your body at that moment, unless we get into the nature of reality and all that philosophy stuff. My doctor (psychiatrist w/lots of neurology background) points out that during a seizure your brain can mimic any sensation at all, whether it’s visual or auditory or olfactory or vestibular.

So the sense of vividness & lucidity don’t mean a whole hell of a lot. People get so worked up about dreams that seem so real, but I don’t really see whats so strange about that. Maybe they really felt that they were walking barefoot in a cornfield, but it doesn’t mean they actually were.

I hesitate to state, “this part of what you describe is seizural, this other part is just a normal phenomenon,” etc. But I find it’s helpful to remember that what you experience physically is not EITHER “normal” OR “crazy” or pathological or supernatural or astral. A lot of my life falls into ill-defined states, with illogical unrealities & such. Some of it is closer to typical seizures, some of it is not.

I figure that it has some explanation in the electrical activity in my brain, and at some point maybe neurologists will be able to recognize what the eeg’s look like when you’re sleeping this way or that way or when you’re “floating” or whatever.

My guess is that many times, when people say they have out of body experiences, it’s just an altered perception of their surroundings. Vivid and mind-blowing, perhaps, but not necessarily cosmic.

I hope you keep experiencing the positive parts of whatever is going on. If you have more of the foreboding feelings, just see a neurologist or sleep study expert or something. But don’t worry, you’re not damaging your brain or anything.

hope this helps!

You went Todash?

btw, a lot of what people say about dreaming is um, poppycock. As you’ve noticed, the out-of-body and lucidity & awareness of dreaming, they’re pretty normal. Maybe not very common, but within the parameters of “normal.”

This is not to say that these things NEVER occur. They probably do, sometimes, and anyway, who am I, to say that anything definitely did not occur?? But I know that sometimes, it’s just part of the sleeping/dreaming process.

You will NOT die if you dream that you are dying. I’ve done that before, in fact, in my death dream, my father killed me. And of course you dream in color, at least I do. I have no idea whether or not dogs dream in color, but why in the world would such an idea ever occur to you?! (you being generally everybody) Did the dog tell you that gee, wasn’t it strange that dreams don’t feature color?

When I was little, I used to wait for these little blue & red sparkles to come around just before I fell asleep. I liked them.

I do wonder about the brains of those cats. They must have had their eyes open, if they were running around w/o hurting themselves. And apparently their eegs looked the way they did when they were actually chasing something; that was one of the things the researchers noticed.

Once I dreamed that someone threw a bomb at me, and as it exploded, I woke up, convinced that I had actually experienced a heart attack. But probably not.

If you think about it, it’s pretty incredible that things don’t get screwed up more often. All the connections that are taking place, all the time, all at once, integrating so many different senses & thoughts & feelings. All that is going on inside that compact space occupied by your brain. I’m amazed that we’re able to keep things separate at all.

I actually do believe that sometimes people can communicate with dead people or somehow receive information that they usually cannot access, while awake. If I were a spirit wishing to communicate w/a living person, I’d probably do it while they were asleep.

Oh yeah, if I ever miss doses of my medications, I always experience a lot of weird happenings.

Keep an open mind; enjoy the process, and remember that there are experts you can call if you need to.

Susan