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Thread: Hypnagogia and hypnopompia

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    Merry Christmas Blorg's Avatar
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    Hypnagogia and hypnopompia

    Has anyone experienced either of these? What is it like for you? Do you get them regularly, or only during (a) certain time(s) in your life?

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    Other terms for hypnagogia, in one or both senses, that have been proposed include "presomnal" or "anthypnic sensations", "visions of half-sleep", "oneirogogic images" and "phantasmata",[2] "the borderland of sleep", "praedormitium",[3] "borderland state", "half-dream state", "pre-dream condition",[4] "sleep onset dreams",[5] "dreamlets",[6] and "wakefulness-sleep transition" (WST).[7]

    Threshold consciousness (commonly called "half-asleep" or "half-awake", or "mind awake body asleep") describes the same mental state of someone who is moving towards sleep or wakefulness, but has not yet completed the transition. Such transitions are usually brief, but can be extended by sleep disturbance or deliberate induction, for example during meditation.[citation needed]
    A hypnopompic state (or hypnopomp) is the state of consciousness leading out of sleep, a term coined by the psychical researcher Frederic Myers. Its twin is the hypnagogic state at sleep onset; though often conflated, the two states are not identical. The hypnagogic state is rational waking cognition trying to make sense of non-linear images and associations; the hypnopompic state is emotional and credulous dreaming cognition trying to make sense of real world stolidity. They have a different phenomenological character. Depressed frontal lobe function in the first few minutes after waking – known as "sleep inertia" – causes slowed reaction time and impaired short-term memory. Sleepers often wake confused, or speak without making sense, a phenomenon the psychologist Peter McKeller calls "hypnopompic speech".[1] When the awakening occurs out of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, in which most dreams occur, the hypnopompic state is sometimes accompanied by lingering vivid imagery. Some of the creative insights attributed to dreams actually happen in this moment of awakening from REM. In Deirdre Barrett's The Committee of Sleep, Margie Profet's McArthur-award winning biology experiment is shown to be one of these.[2]
    Last night, while in a hypnopompic state, I got out of my bed, walked over to my roommate, and started talking to her. I don't remember what I said and she seemed to realize I wasn't all there because she just stared at me blankly. I woke up slowly and muttered something like, "oh, sorry, I don't know what I'm doing," and went back to bed. Another time, when I was in college, I walked out of my dorm building while half-asleep and got locked out. (I had to wait till a few hours to get back in, heh.) These states are fascinating because they shed such an interesting light on the way brains work. My brain actually felt half-conscious: there seemed to be a layer of fog clouding my perceptions. I was functioning, communicating, doing (relatively) normal human things, but "I" wasn't in there. If I believed in souls, I would say that this is what it would feel like to lose your soul.

    (I also had a series of "awake nightmares" when I was a kid. I must have been in hypnopompic states. I would wake up, and either sit up in bed or stand next to my bed. An alien would walk into my room and stand perfectly still, staring at me. Then I would scream. My rationale at the time was that my screaming scared the alien away, but I think what I was doing was screaming myself into full wakefulness - the noise shocked me out of the nightmarish hallucinatory state.)
    "Better not to feel too much until the crisis ends—and if it never ends, at least we’ll have suffered a little less, developed a useful dullness...The constant—and very real—fear of being hurt, the fear of death, of intolerable loss, or even of “mere” humiliation, leads each of us, the citizens and prisoners of the conflict, to dampen our own vitality, our emotional and intellectual range, and to cloak ourselves in more and more protective layers until we suffocate." - Toni Morrison

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    Sky Anvil Vison's Avatar
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    I do both on a regular basis. I'm actually surprised when I just "pop" awake without the transition. Is that what other people do?
    Oh fuck it, Its the 90's.

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    Bringer of Jollity MoneyJungle's Avatar
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    ^ There's about a three second bearing-gaining process for me and then I think about the business of the day and consider myself as awake as usual. It might be longer if I was vividly dreaming but those are rare for me.

    Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

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    Sky Anvil Vison's Avatar
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    Lucky Bastard, half the time my wake-up process goes something like this:

    I'll roll out of bed and drag my sorry ass to the bathroom and be brushing my teeth. Brain a giant muddled puddle of fog. A skinless woman will walk out from behind the door and start hitting on me. Oh heyy? Wait. Why are you in my bathroom? Why are you skinless? Am I half asleep still? Oh fuck, I better not still be in my bed. Fucking hell.
    Oh fuck it, Its the 90's.

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    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Perhaps related:

    When much younger, I'd frequenely (1-2 a week) sleep walk, much to the dismay and confusion of my family. Carry on whole nonsense conversations, get out of the house and down the street, open drawers and cabinets and move things senselessly, etc. None of which I'd remember, apart from being awoken from that state once or twice. I'd not believe the accounts of my family, as such, if I hadn't been awoken from sleepwalking, to be honest.

    These days I experience lucid dreaming fairly regularly, often enough tapering into a "dream I awoke" sequence, in which I believe, at first, I have awakened. I go about what I normally do each morning, until some "ontological shock" event happens, at which point I wake up for real, feeling as if I'd been dropped into the bed.

    Not sure if/how this may related to the concepts of the OP, but I suspect there is a connection (having not really researched it, tbh).

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    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vison View Post
    Oh fuck, I better not still be in my bed. Fucking hell.
    I used to get these all the time. I think it had to do with being chronically sleep deprived.

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    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    I get them from time to time. Sometimes they're interesting, sometimes they're self-sabotaging.

    The worst is hypnogogic alarm setting. That's where you imagine setting your alarm. You usually won't notice unless you manage to wake up in the middle of it. Otherwise, you just think your alarm failed or failed to wake you.

    Hypnopompia can be incredibly frustrating. I remember as a kid, getting up, getting dressed, showered etc, riding my bike to school, sitting through classes, coming home, making a snack, and realizing it had no taste, then waking up.

    I thought that was horrible until I started working. Dreaming about an entire work day just before waking up and going to work... sucks.
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

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    The Experience Catoptric's Avatar
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    I was going to post some thoughts on the state of hallucinating that can exist in these states, as it is a common theme in many phenomenon claimed by observers of the paranormal (and the crux of whether certain phenomenon coincide with the observers "spiritual" awareness.

    A book on 'Astral Projection' described events where people observed others phantom matter while still sleeping in bed, even though the observer was in a perfect state of consciousness; though this didn't coincide with going in or out of sleep state.

    I've only been known to sleepwalk and pee in roughly the same location as an apartment I had been growing up in, only that it occurred in the kitchen of another location. This was when my parents had recently divorced (stress corresponds to sleepwalking.) On occasions I might find myself on a couch asleep, even though I went to sleep in my room. None of this has occurred recently as I normally stay confined to my room and don't watch TV or do other things such as that.

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    Sky Anvil Vison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeresaJ View Post
    I used to get these all the time. I think it had to do with being chronically sleep deprived.
    Yes, it is much more frequent when chronically sleep deprived. It's also pretty common if I've overslept.
    Oh fuck it, Its the 90's.

  10. #10
    Usually after a lucid dream, I induce sleep paralysis and hallucinations myself. It's usually around a time when I see a possibility of evil leprechauns being at the end of the rainbow. All of a sudden the leprechauns tap me and say hey! you're awake but in a dark, mad world. Through hundreds of experiences, I have come to counter these nasty little pieces of shete by making myself realize that if I can't move my hands yet, it means I'm not yet awake. I have become more mad than the dark, mad hallucinations. As much as possible, I want the experience to last longer. Now it's been about 10 minutes or less. When entering sleep, I used to hate the feeling of falling, now I just you know... enter the void XD lol

    I've been wondering, we do experience around 10 dreams in a regular monophasic sleep; do they just come one after another, or are these dreams inside one another?

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