How can you dream before you even fall asleep properly?

(74 Posts)

Having loads and loads of memorable dreams at the moment, many of them frankly bonkers. I thought dreams occurred during REM and that REM was during deep sleep. So how come my dreams are starting before I think I'm even asleep?

thenightsky Sat 07-Sep-13 19:56:18

I find if i get sleep deprived I dream before my body is as asleep as my mind if that makes sense.

I do sleep walk though at times like this and have woken up in hotel corridors and inside hotel wardrobes.

It's very complicated this sleep lark isn't it.

I guess perhaps its a sign that we need more sleep!

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 07-Sep-13 20:00:13

It's definitely not your heart stopping but could be something like a palpitation.

My mum is quite "woo" and reckons the jerk is when you come back into your body too fast because when we dream we "leave the physical body"

I stop dreaming entirely when I am very tired (which is quite often as I've been living on about 4 hours sleep most nights for the last 5 years).
Recently I've been working hard to improve my sleep hygiene and I'm finally getting blocks of several nights reasonable sleep at a time - the first thing that happens is my dreams return and I have an enormous sense of relief and contentment when I wake. I'm hoping it's enough incentive to break the insomnia cycle.

DollySisterDoesntLikeHerDiet Sat 07-Sep-13 20:02:33

When I get those awake dreams I see pictures, but they're very small and surrounded by black, like I'm in a very dark cinema and the screen is far away. There's sound too. Usually I think 'That's odd, I'm not asleep yet' but then I'm fully awake again and the dream goes away.

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 07-Sep-13 20:03:33

Why does memorable mean you are conscious though? I almost always remember my dreams. They fade quickly though.

Sometimes have lucid dreams but usually when I'm in it I have absolutely no idea I am dreaming and even sometimes think "Oh crap, I've dreamed about this situation before and now it's come true!"

furfoxsake Sat 07-Sep-13 20:05:35

I find that I'm so shocked to be dreaming whilst still awake that it actually reverses the falling-asleep process and I have to start again. Goddamn you, sleep, you are my Everest!

VaultFullOfTwizzlers Sat 07-Sep-13 20:11:24

I get it too. Like the radio analogy. Mine are more visual so I am aware of being about to fall asleep, could open my eyes at any second but enjoying the utterly bonkers television programme my mind is creating.

DoItTooJulia Sat 07-Sep-13 20:11:32

OYBK do you have any other sleep issues?

Or cataplexy? My DB has narcolepsy and you have described a couple of his symptoms perfectly.

Also, re the Jerk thing apparently we jerk first and in a split second the brain invents a reason, like a trip or fall. So it actually happens the opposite way to the way it feels.....

I do have insomnia at times. At the moment I'm just dreadfully sleepy and yawny all the time. It's been a stressful and tiring time over the past few months and I think my body and brain are catching up with it all.

I don't get anything like suddenly falling asleep apart from when a passenger in the car, but I'be always been lulled to sleep in a car in an instant. I need a bed that rumbles!

Lazysuzanne Sat 07-Sep-13 20:38:32

I frequently have vivid hypnogogia, it can be a way to deliberately transition into lucid drreaming.
We all have dreams, not all of us remember them

DoItTooJulia Sat 07-Sep-13 20:39:21

Hmmm. DB also falls asleep in a car at the drop of hat.

If I was you I would see my GP and ask for a referral to a sleep clinic. Excessive daytime sleepiness is only part of the picture with narcolepsy.

I don't mean to scare you, but I think it's worth investigating if you continue to have sleep issues.

Hope you are ok

It's not normally this extreme, but if it continues I will do so. Thank you for the heads up smile

lottiegarbanzo Sat 07-Sep-13 20:57:14

I consider what you described in yout OP as entirely normal. I often dream during so-light-it's-hardly-sleep sleep if I nap in the day. Similarly when I'm waking up in the morning.

I know I'm going in and out of dreams and, if I've been really sleep-deprived and close my eyes in the day, I can feel the 'hallucinations' starting almost immediately. While I'm dreaming I don't know I am but I move in and out of dream-state so much, I'm very conscious it's happening, from the waking part.

I often incorporate things I'm hearing, so will embellish speech from the radio with fantasical back-story of characters and my involvement. Afterwards I know what the interview / disucssion was about and think 'oh, that was just another dull politician, not the embellished scenario I built around it', which I can remember, for a while.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 07-Sep-13 21:00:55

I suppose my dreams are never superimposed on reality so that I feel I'm hallucinating but awake, which is more what you're talking about isn't it. I never see anything 'woo', just have a very mixed experience of the same radio programme.

It is. I'm in the same room but with bizarre things happening. I'm sure it's just an overtired sign.

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 07-Sep-13 21:10:28

Oh yeah, I get that all the time, except my dreams are normally mundane with some things just slightly out of place so I will dream that I have had a conversation with DP and then he will come in and wake me up in RL and I will be confused because I can't remember if I've talked to him about that thing or not.

It is definitely an overtired thing though. They're called waking dreams.

oinktopus Sat 07-Sep-13 21:20:53

There are parts of the brain that are activated/deactivated upon moving between sleep and consciousness. For instance, the part which stops your muscles reacting to impulses in dreams. If it doesn't activate properly, you sleepwalk. Or you may feel like you're walking through custard in a dream because your legs are moving under the blankets. If it doesn't deactivate when you wake up, you have temporary sleep paralysis (which I've had - thought I'd had a stroke in the night. Terrifying).

Similarly, the part of the brain which allows you to dream needs activating and it can happen before unconsciousness. For me, with severe sleep problems, at least one day a month I'll have a full night of waking sleep, where my eyes are open, I'm conscious of the normal world, but the dream segment of my brain is also active. It's like having two conflicting voices in your head and they really do fight all night. It takes me a long time to come out of it in the morning (up to three hours) and I'm utterly drained, panic-stricken and very low.

LittleMissGerardButlerfan Sat 07-Sep-13 21:28:22

I have something where I am falling asleep but am still slightly awake, and will say something random thinking I'm having a conversation, but then I wake up again and my OH if he is still awake just looks at me! I can remember what I said but wasn't fully conscious when I said it if you know what I mean.

It's all fascinating!

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 07-Sep-13 22:10:22

Or you may feel like you're walking through custard in a dream because your legs are moving under the blankets.

Oh my god!! Is this really what is happening?! I get this ALL THE TIME and it's so frustrating, I'm like, FFS, WHY CAN'T I RUN?? Usually when I'm trying to run away from something terrifying as well and I just can't go anywhere. Usually I end up running backwards in the hope that somehow I can propel myself further with my knees that way or something.

thenightsky Sat 07-Sep-13 22:54:22

My DH snores like a bastard and if he has been bad for couple of nights, resulting in me getting 3 hours or less for 2 nights+, I have woken with my hands round his throat and sobbing 'no, no, no, just no, stop'.

It scares us both.

Empross76 Sun 08-Sep-13 12:38:17

I've found this thread really interesting!
I have what seems like loads of dreams every night, and I wake up exhausted. It feels like my brain hasn't rested properly, even though I've had a good amount of sleep.
And it takes me ages to come round and realise where I am and what day it is and that what has just been going through my head was just dreams.
Does anybody else get this?!

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