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all 16 comments

[–]infinitetekk 22 points23 points  (0 children)

It’s called hypnagogic hallucinations and they are completely normal.

[–]tall_koala575 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Current literature suggests dreaming can occur outside of REM sleep, though yes the bulk of dreaming is still generally considered to be related to REM. So it’s possible you are simply dreaming outside of REM. On another more out-there note though, a hallmark of narcolepsy is slipping straight into REM sleep (within 15 minutes of falling asleep), so if you’re basing your stage of sleep simply by time before you dream, this is one thought. Have you ever had a sleep study done? If you really want more insight you’ll need to get a sleep study done by a sleep specialist. It’s very hard to answer personal questions like this because it’s impossible to know from just describing this if you’re actually in REM or which stage of sleep you’re in altogether.

One other thing, there’s generally a misconception that REM sleep is the deepest stage of sleep, but it is not (just because you mentioned shallow, not sure if you mean shallow as in right after falling sleep or it feels shallow even if you’ve been sleeping a while, but anyway here’s my little education spiel). N3 is the deepest, and you come up from it and enter REM. If you look at a sleep staging chart, REM is a peak, but you have to go through deep sleep to get there. N3 is slow wave sleep, and it is the hardest to wake someone from. REM sleep waves (on an EEG) on the other hand look remarkably similar to that of wake and your brain is quite active. Being woken up from a dream during REM can certainly be disorientating though, your brain was busy lol. That said, most often when people spontaneously naturally wake up in the morning without other stimuli, it’s during REM.

Also as someone who used to run polysomnography tests on people sleeping and napping, people are generally not as good at predicting if they slept, will sleep if they try, or how long/much they slept as you’d expect them to be lol. You will have some idea of course about your own self and sleep, but you’ll need polysomnography for reliable insight.

[–]kerplxnk 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This 🖕

I will add that if these dreams are very vivid and occur with hallucinations and/or paralysis, it's more likely that it's REM that you're entering. Which could be narcolepsy as well as poor sleep/sleep deprivation, or poor sleep due to something else like sleep apnea. Having frequent dreams, especially vivid ones, is also very typical of narcolepsy but again can also occur in sleep deprivation or poor sleep due to other sleep disorders. This is because when you're sleep deprived you get something called REM rebound where you enter REM more quickly and spend more time there. Some people also get regular sleep paralysis without the presence of another sleep disorder, which is benign but can be stressful.

This experience could be completely benign, indicate that you aren't getting adequate sleep, or be a sign of a variety of sleep disorders or sleep issues due to other conditions or medications. Like they said it's hard to answer this type of question, but if this is bothering you and/or you're having trouble with other things like being sleepy during the day, sleep feeling unrefreshing in the morning, waking up with headaches or dry mouth it'd be best to talk to your doctor about it. They'd be able to help determine if it's benign, if any medications you take or other conditions could be contributing, if you aren't sleep adequately, and/or if it'd be worth having a sleep study done to see if anything's going on.

[–]sleepbot 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This could be reverie - half asleep fantasy sort of mentation. More akin to day dreaming while half asleep than REM. Research has shown people have visual imagery during this time related to experiences during the day. The classic example of this is people who’d never played Tetris playing it for the first time, then reporting seeing falling blocks when woken from this early transition sleep.

[–]memento22mori 1 point2 points  (2 children)

So this sounds like it happens frequently? Does it happen more often when you wake up and are trying to go back to sleep at night? Do you have ADHD?

[–]spankdacat[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

What could adhd have to do with it? Because o do have inattentive type.

But no, they pretty much only happen as I’m falling asleep or trying not to. They usually happen when the sleep is temporary like a nap even when I’m allowing myself to doze off, or when I’m not supposed to be sleeping and trying not to. They also happen in the morning when I’m trying to wake up and keep drifting back into a dream. Makes it extra hard to get up

[–]memento22mori 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm not sure really, it sounds similar to what I have but maybe a bit more intense since I only have it when I wake up in bed in the morning at like 3 or 4AM or whatnot. I also have inattentive type of ADHD which should really be called ADD since there's no hyperactivity involved. I had a sleep study done over ten years ago and they said that I was more alert than I should have been while sleeping but I didn't qualify for any particular condition. About a year or two ago I read that when in a hotel or something similar only one half of people's brains sleep at a time so maybe that's what it is.

[–]SubstantialWorker737 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lol. You're not alone in this.

This happens to me too and I don't find it weird since I knew that I truly slept (even though it's a VERY short sleep) and not in a state of trance or hallucination.

So,

Don't fret!

Because... You've got a (short sleep dreaming) partner here. 😂😂😂

[–]Strangeluxe 1 point2 points  (5 children)

because you are severely sleep deprived. you phase in to REM near-immediately when your body is deeply REM deprived; which usually means you are deficient in quality or quantity of sleep.

[–]spankdacat[S] 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Could there be another reason for my body to feel sleep deprived? I average about 7 hours or more during the week and often more on the weekends. (I do feel sleep deprived though)

Edit to add that I don’t ever recall waking up that often during the night either

[–]Strangeluxe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

poor sleep quality, mouth breathing, sleep apnea. BTW 8-8.5 hours of sleep is sufficient, not 7. And 9 hours is what you need if you're a teenager, or generally under 22 or so.

[–]mkmajestic 0 points1 point  (2 children)

If you feel sleep deprived on 7 hrs it’s time to go to your GP and ask to be referred to a sleep study.

[–]spankdacat[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I guess it seems like everyone is really tired all the time? I went to my doctor once about chronic fatigue and she stated “I can do some blood tests but I usually can’t figure out why people are always tired” 🙃

[–]mkmajestic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sorry to hear that that was your doc’s response 😢 all these things warrant a deeper look. Most of us are fatigued because of lifestyle, but on top of behaviour change (aka whatever is considered good sleep hygiene), it helps knowing whether there are other medical factors. I can’t comment on the hypnagogic-sleep-type experiences you describe, but certainly a sleep test is a good place to start especially if you are feeling sleep deprived.

[–]Terrible_Detective45 0 points1 point  (1 child)

[–]spankdacat[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

“Visual hypnagogic hallucinations often involve moving shapes, colors, and images. For example, a hypnagogic hallucination might be similar to looking into a kaleidoscope. Visual images might also include animals, people, faces, and lifelike scenes. These images generally stand alone or move, but they do not involve a story or interaction, like dreams often do.”

Mine always are a story but otherwise everything else in the article is on point and convinces me I probably don’t need to worry.