Question on dreaming

I’m no expert, but everything I’ve read on dreaming suggests that I should have regular sleep for awhile before having any dreams. REM sleep is Stage 5, and the four stages before this last anywhere from 5-45 minutes each.

I seem to be the exception to the rule, because I start dreaming almost immediately. It is a regular occurrence for me (2-3 times a week, I’d say) to wake up about 20-25 minutes after I fall asleep, having already had a dream. These early dreams always wake me up. It only happens once a night; after this I am able to have a normal night’s sleep.

Clearly I am some kind of freak. Why am I advancing to a dream state so quickly? Is it my strange bedtimes? Is it because I haven’t vomited for 11 years? Help me out here!

Not all dreams occur during REM sleep. My sleep pattern appears identical to yours, at least in the early stage. It seems I begin dreaming almost before I’m fully asleep, and if I wake up any time within the first 1/2 hour or so, I invariably have a wild tale on my lips. Heh heh.

Not necessarily. I’ve noticed exactly the same thing. Sometimes I’ll be disturbed just as I’m on the cusp of sleep, and I’ll realize I was somewhere in between a kind of day-dreaming and actual dreaming. I find there’s not a clear border in between when I stop thinking about something, and when it becomes a dream. My transition from non-dream to first dream seems to be more a continuum than an abrupt change.

If I might point out: you are not getting enough REM. In sleep experiments, where they woke people as soon as they went into REM they found, after about a night of doing this, that as soon as the subject “fell asleep” they went into REM. Why? Because they were deprived of it.

You may not be getting enough REM sleep during your night and your body needs it so much that you “fall into it” very fast. BTW they found if they kept this up (waking subjects every time they went into REM) they found that after a few days, these folks started to have hallucinations while awake. IMHO? REM allows you to go safely insane each night so you don’t do it while awake.

This is so true. My husband suffers from sleep apnea. Before he was diagnosed and treated for apnea, he wasn’t getting to REM sleep. Not only was he tired all the time, he was depressed & cranky. He was given a CPAP machine, and now he’s sooooo much better.