HYPNAGOGIC SLEEP

By Abdullah Baytops

 

The hypnagogic stage is neither dreaming nor daydreaming. It is the stage when your body movements are involuntary and stimuli do not affect you as it would when you're awake. You may feel as though your body is either doing a sudden action such as falling off a cliff or experiencing sudden jerks known as myoclonia.

Also during this stage hypnagogic hallucinations occur. This is when the sensory images provide a fear or anxiety. The most common intense hallucinations and altered states occur usually in Non-REM phases. It is the high REM-state of Dopamine, that is associated with the energy and the low sesrotonin associated with the hallucinating experience.

It is by contrast to laboratory experiments of ordinary sleep that classical hypnagogic experiences are self-arousing. Also only a minority of subjects seem to have a hypnagogic experience typically. Classical hypnagogic reports are similar to those from sensory depravation, meditation, and especially psychedelic drug states. The most common effects are a feeling of strangeness, uncannies, and unreality that occur after the sleep initially starts or the jerks. Common are also the out of body experiences that occur most commonly after sleep onset. In this stage the verbal-auditory expressions lack the linguistic ability to recall. Usually various nonsense of inaudible whispering are reported.

A similarity has been noted in hypnagogic verbal imagery to that of LSD and Mescaline. Subjects describe diffuse lights and colors that arrange themselves into various geometric patterns. They may also remain so that they develop into isolated objects undergoing striking psychedelic changes. Most common are those of bloated faces that often get quite horrifying.

The sense of floating, falling, or spinning make a person seem as though they are having an out of body experience. The sense of floating may be a continuous awareness of one's actual physical environment getting translated into an image overseeing your self from above. The hypnagogic stage of sleep is very fascinating.


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