virtual dreamer

nextI have written extensively over the years about the process of falling asleep and have sorted my journal into four areas of interest.

The Sights and Sounds of Hypnagogia

 

Although this website, ergo this blog, is primarily involved in promoting our unique sleep sounds, every blue moon I like to delve into a more esoteric subject... like Hypnagogia.

 

The Relaxed BrainHypnagogia is defined as many things such as 'half-awake, half asleep' and 'sleep onset'. Hypnagogia sensory phenomena can include those little green or blue (or any color really) blobs one might see with their closed eyes right before falling asleep or even certain audible phenomena. These are referred to as hypnagogic sounds. These can occur while one is in a deep Theta brainwave state and are a precursor to non-REM dreams. It is not uncommon for the sleeper to hear buzzes, explosions, crashes, or even a disembodied voice calling them by name. This stage of sleep also might induce the feeling of falling which causes some people to jerk their bodies suddenly. This is referred to as a hypnic jerk. What can freak you out however is being hyperaware during this stage of falling asleep. Some say the reports of alien visitation and some ghost sightings have there roots in this phenomena.

 

hypnagogic imagesAs an experiment I have been concentrating on the aforementioned floating blobs during sleep onset.  I watch them like clouds drifting by in a dark sky. In fact I prefer to think of them as clouds. My hypothesis is these hypnagogic images are a precursor to sleep and dreams as they stimulate the secondary visual cortices (aka cortex) in our big brain's occipital lobe. This is the area of our brains where dreams occur. This is a scientific fact. When we close our eyes and imagine we are also stimulating the secondary visual cortex. There has been an interesting side-effect to my experimentation. Lucid dreaming.

 

Hypnagogia and Lucid Dreams

 

Lucid dreams are simply when the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. For me they represent a brief foray into another dimension. We all have superpowers in a lucid dream and I have never had a bad experience. While I have known for quite awhile that visualizing can aid the induction of a lucid dream state I was quite surprised that simply watching these hypnagogic images float by would also have a similar effect.

 

On the downside these hypnagogic events can also induce insomnia in the hyperaware sleeper. If one does not understand the sleep onset process, these internal sights and sounds can be somewhat disturbing. Just keep in mind that it is all natural and your brain is preparing your body to fall asleep. Relax, visualize and enjoy the trip into dreamland.

 

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