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Thunderbolt_

Hypnagogia

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Has anyone ever experienced some weird sensory phenomena whilst falling asleep? Some examples of this include sleep paralysis, exploding-head syndrome, the hypnagogic jerk, and sensory hallucinations.

 

I get quite a lot of auditory hallucinations on maybe one or two nights a week. They're usually very vivid, and apparently, it's all completely normal!

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I had a couple of bouts of sleep paralysis after a run of poor sleep associated with early starts for day shifts. One of the most terrifying experiences of my life.

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Yep have had a few of those from time to time especially when I had my business when mentally and physically exhausted after long days ,sleeping on your arm is quite spooky too when you wake up with a completely dead arm !...

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I had a couple of bouts of sleep paralysis after a run of poor sleep associated with early starts for day shifts. One of the most terrifying experiences of my life.

 

I've never had sleep paralysis before, and I don't think I want to have it either. Apparently you hallucinate at the same time (i.e. it looks like there is someone else in the room etc) and then when you react you can't move?

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I've never had sleep paralysis before, and I don't think I want to have it either. Apparently you hallucinate at the same time (i.e. it looks like there is someone else in the room etc) and then when you react you can't move?

 

It wasn't necessarily a hallucination, but yes I was stuck on my side and it felt as though someone was behind me.

 

I'm pretty sure I experienced it years ago too. I woke up "frozen" and something on the shelf appeared to be rocking backwards and forwards, to such an extent that it should have fallen over, but it didn't.

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I've had sleep paralysis a few times when i was younger. The first few times I had it, I could feel a 'feeling' wash over me then I just knew i couldn't move and I just had to try to move something or i thought I was going to die. I had no idea what was going on.

Then when i was doing early 5am shifts I often had a nap when i was home from work and have had the feeling something was pressing over my chest and i couldn't breathe.

My hubby tells me sometime i appear to stop breathing for split second when i sleep, and that was probably why i would find my mum leaning over me to see if i'm ok when i was a kid. Oh and i snore and talk in my sleep too. Whole conversations.

I've had the 'jerk' when i've just dropped off to sleep and the infamous 'falling dream' which jerks me awake.

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Did we not have a thread on this a while ago? Not doing it down as I've suffered various stages including the utterly terrifying sleep paralysis. MrsC has hypnagogic jerks every night in bed, it's not uncommon to get kicked in the shins or kneed in the bum.

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Rarely. But I've had hypnagogic jerks, mild sleep paralysis (unable to move but no 'night hag' or hallucinations) and exploding head syndrome. The brain is a funny old thing.

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Yep, had the lot; sleep paralysis is such a regularity since my teens (many decades ago) that I am often afraid to fall asleep, and I often 'fall off a pavement'. No idea what causes it.

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I would love to know exactly how sleep and dreams work/occur.

 

Have often, ever since childhood, fallen asleep and felt myself falling/reaching too far for something and jolt awake then cannot get off to sleep for ages.

 

The most recent strange occurrence was last Tuesday night when I was very aware of dreaming I was trapped, feeling scared and it being a struggle to release myself. I managed to force myself awake and as I was led on my back my wife's left leg was wrapped so tightly around my right leg I really was trapped! Could not move my leg without waking her. How did that dream happen?

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I would love to know exactly how sleep and dreams work/occur.

 

Have often, ever since childhood, fallen asleep and felt myself falling/reaching too far for something and jolt awake then cannot get off to sleep for ages.

 

The most recent strange occurrence was last Tuesday night when I was very aware of dreaming I was trapped, feeling scared and it being a struggle to release myself. I managed to force myself awake and as I was led on my back my wife's left leg was wrapped so tightly around my right leg I really was trapped! Could not move my leg without waking her. How did that dream happen?

 

What would you like to know? I speialised in sleep, perception and mental health in my final year of my degree. I can try and answer any questions you have, although dreams are one of the few areas we still don't know much about.

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I experience sleep paralysis and hypnagogic jerks from time to time. With the former you feel like you can't breathe even though the body is actually respiring just fine. You can't just try to fall back to sleep straight away or the paralysis will inevitably strike again; you have to wake up fully before trying to nod off again. A proverbial pain in the backside.

 

Exploding head syndrome sounds most unpleasant. :unsure2:

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I get the "falling off cliffs" spasms! Tonic/clonic? - I'm too tired for this! Have booted OH out of bed or kept him awake...

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Never had sleep paralysis etc but I have suffered insomnia in the past and I've recently started questioning whether I have some kind of sleep problem as I wake up feeling worse than I went to bed. I've also woken up drenched in sweat on several occasions!

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Never had sleep paralysis etc but I have suffered insomnia in the past and I've recently started questioning whether I have some kind of sleep problem as I wake up feeling worse than I went to bed. I've also woken up drenched in sweat on several occasions!

 

I find I go in cycles when it comes to lack of sleep. I'll go a for a few days to a week of sleeping brilliantly, then a few days of absolutely wretched sleep, to the point where I may as well have just stayed up for 3 days straight. It usually occurs during a run of day shifts when I have to be up early in the morning (I sleep absolutely fine during the day for nights).

 

By the end of one of those runs it's seriously unpleasant and pretty dangerous if I have to drive to/from work.

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I find I go in cycles when it comes to lack of sleep. I'll go a for a few days to a week of sleeping brilliantly, then a few days of absolutely wretched sleep, to the point where I may as well have just stayed up for 3 days straight. It usually occurs during a run of day shifts when I have to be up early in the morning (I sleep absolutely fine during the day for nights).

 

By the end of one of those runs it's seriously unpleasant and pretty dangerous if I have to drive to/from work.

 

Similar here, but maybe not as extreme. I go through periods where I seem to sleep fairly well but I can also go for runs of a few days where I have real problems getting to sleep or have badly disrupted sleep.

 

My one ongoing major problem is waking up, or being woken up, too early. Even if I've not gone to sleep until midnight (rarely feel tired enough before then to sleep anyway), if I wake up anytime after around 5am, I find it very, very difficult to doze back off again. If I don't wake up then I usually happily sleep through until about 7am.

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Similar here, but maybe not as extreme. I go through periods where I seem to sleep fairly well but I can also go for runs of a few days where I have real problems getting to sleep or have badly disrupted sleep.

 

My one ongoing major problem is waking up, or being woken up, too early. Even if I've not gone to sleep until midnight (rarely feel tired enough before then to sleep anyway), if I wake up anytime after around 5am, I find it very, very difficult to doze back off again. If I don't wake up then I usually happily sleep through until about 7am.

 

In fairness I wouldn't describe sleeping difficulties I have as "extreme". But they're certainly debilitating and make daily life more difficult when they strike. 

 

My natural body clock is going to bed at around 1am, and getting up at around 11am-midday. As a result, early starts are a real problem for me. Whereas night shifts I generally have no problem getting to sleep for, I actually ask for more night shifts at work rather than days to suit my sleeping pattern!

 

I'm the opposite to you generally though, once I manage to get to sleep I don't normally have trouble going back to sleep if I wake in the middle of the night. But often getting to sleep in the first place is difficult. 

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I had a very large hypnagogic jerk last night. It's really strange how you get that falling/loss of control sensation and then your leg just twitches, waking you up...

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Occasionally I notice something just after closing my eyes in darkness, but before actually falling asleep: any small sound (other than the noise of hair on pillow etc, more like a door clunking or my hubby putting phone on bedside table) causes a strange visual effect like lightning/flower/cracks/star which is vivid black/white, very contrasty and sudden, as though my visual cortex has just muddled up "sound input" with "light input" - not unpleasant but definitely odd. I don't know if this has a name though?

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It's a mixture of your retinas expanding as you enter the very early stages of sleep mixed with the blood flow in your eyes. I see something similar but it's like I'm looking at tarmac really close up, like this:

 

rough-asphalte-tarmac-texture-background

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It's only when I hear a sound though, or possibly when my leg spasms or judders or whatever, I am so tired today I could probably drop off right now and test it out but then my family might notice there wasn't any tea ready for them!

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It's only when I hear a sound though, or possibly when my leg spasms or judders or whatever, I am so tired today I could probably drop off right now and test it out but then my family might notice there wasn't any tea ready for them!

 

I get the auditory hallucinations quite a lot, which are usually very vivid and I can clearly hear and understand the words and sounds, even thougb they are often very nonsensical. When I first had them I was absolutely terrified, thinking that I was going mental. Thankfully I found out that it was totally normal, and is just one of the many creative things that the human brain does when falling asleep.

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This is not strictly on the topic, but is relevant to how tricksy our brains can be, communicating to us when we are asleep: I inevitably am vividly dreaming of something water-related if I ever need the loo in my sleep enough to wake me up. One night years ago I fell asleep in bed with Radio 4 on, which kept on burbling as the World Service for hours, until I started dreaming about trying to switch off my kitchen radio. In my dream, I went up to the radio, pressed the off button: no luck. Then I tried the plug switch: no luck, the radio droned on. I then found myself trying switch after switch as I walked round my kitchen counters, each time being more and more annoyed that the radio would not shut up. Finally, I crouched down and peered under my kitchen table, where I found hundreds of switches all over the walls and floor, as if to tell me that the radio was never going to stop until I woke up. At that point I did wake up, found I could turn off the real radio, then went back to sleep in silence which was blissful and had no more radio dreams that night!

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I've never had sleep paralysis before, and I don't think I want to have it either. Apparently you hallucinate at the same time (i.e. it looks like there is someone else in the room etc) and then when you react you can't move?

I used to suffer from this quite a lot - and still occasionally do. I don't get the feeling of not being able to breathe but do get the violent rocking feeling. It certainly is very frightening - the first few times it happens anyway! It's hard to describe to someone who hasn't experienced it. Basically, you are sure you are awake and that something weird is happening when, of course, you're actually sleeping. It takes a long time to convince yourself that what's happening isn't 'real'.

 

I also had no idea what the problem was until I read about it by chance. The article I read suggested that simply avoiding sleeping on your back might help. I tried it and it worked for me - I now experience sleep paralysis only a few times a year rather than a few times a month. 

 

If you can't find a way to stop it, if I remember right, you need to try and concentrate on trying to move one hand or foot - or even just one finger or toe - to try to bring you out of the paralysed state.

 

Apparently it's such a common problem that some people think it could be the source of some ghost/UFO abduction and similar stories, which is interesting even if not much help!

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