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aveffects's avatar

Is it normal to dream intensely before you go to sleep?

Asked by aveffects (212 points ) July 12th, 2010

When I go to bed to sleep I close my eyes but I either start imagining things or sometimes I will dream. Is this normal or do I just have an over active imagination?

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27 Answers

Chrissi85's avatar

I have really intense, rambling ‘dropping off dreams’ .. I have actually experimented with trying to hold on to a specific thought or concept but within a few minutes of closing my eyes and getting settled my mind has gone. It’s a lot more vivid than what I have been told other people have, which is just sort of vague thought patterns leading into actual sleep. I don’t know if it’s normal but I certainly get it. I also get it sometimes when I wake up.. very intense waking dreams that I can’t shake until I drag myself properly out of bed.

cazzie's avatar

It sounds as though you have a type of sleep deprivation. Do you get a regular 8 or 9 hours of sleep a night?

aveffects's avatar

no i can spend maybe 3 hours dreaming (or it feels like it) or in out of sleep and maybe sometimes 3 hours maybe 6 hours normally.

jfos's avatar

I’ve started dreaming before I was actually asleep all the way, but not for more than a few seconds before I snap out of it. This happens once in a while—definitely not a regular occurance.

aveffects's avatar

more recently I sometimes see images through the Fuzzy darkness you see when you close your eyes like watching a TV its real movement or people kind of like with a bit noise filter over it.

jfos's avatar

@aveffects Are the people with the “noise filter” people who are near you in real life? Maybe your brain is acknowledging that it is hearing people, but mystifying it, since you are dreaming.

aveffects's avatar

no its random i cant really make out certain people its more like just watching something i haven’t seen before not always people. and before anyone one asks i don’t take drugs or drink much.

stardust's avatar

This has happened to me a few times. Usually though, I have random thought patterns floating around for a few minutes before I drift off to sleep.

aveffects's avatar

Is it possible to develop this into anything useful?

sliceswiththings's avatar

This happens to me too! Especially in conditions like car rides when I’m not expecting to fall asleep. They’ll be quick but action-packed dreams when I’m not actually asleep yet. I was wondering if it happened to others.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

Usually, for me, it’s when I’m waking up. Those are the dreams I can go back to, change, and have fun with.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s called hypnagogia. It resembles REM sleep, but is different. From the sounds of it, I think it might resemble hypnotic states, as well.

@sliceswiththings The article also discusses “microsleep” events.

Anyway, given that there is a name for it and scientific studies of it, it must be fairly common. I don’t know if it is normal. You’ll have to define that term for me before I can answer that part of the question.

cazzie's avatar

@wundayatta does it occur more in people who are overtired?

wundayatta's avatar

@cazzie It could be. There are studies that show it happens more often with night workers and people who have been deprived of sleep.

It seems that most people don’t like it and want to stop it. If you want to stop it, here are the suggestions I found in the article cited above:

A combination of lifestyle changes and behavioral therapy can offer relief for the mild to moderate hypnogogia sufferers. An increase in the quality of nutrition, exercise and reduction of stimulants may offer a natural way to treat the problem. For the more serious cases, medication in addition to lifestyle changes and behavioral therapy reduces the severity of the episodes and possibly reduces the number of episodes. There is currently no cure for hypnogogia, but patients that educate themselves on the disorder and experiment with treatment options will find the right combination for them.

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve read that you really are asleep when this happens, a very light sleep, and still able to respond readily to external stimuli, so that you may think you’re awake but actually you’re not.

aveffects's avatar

how do i respond to a specific coment?

But in response to wundayatta yeah i shouldn’t have used the term Normal i hate it myself i just meant is it anything to worry about.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s something to worry about if it disturbs you. Otherwise, I think not.

le_inferno's avatar

I was going to say what @Jeruba did…in the first stage of sleep, you will not think you were asleep if you are awoken.

Jeruba's avatar

@aveffects, you address a specific person by typing the ‘at’ sign and choosing the person’s name when it pops up on a list. If it doesn’t pop up, you can copy and paste it. That becomes a link that goes back to the last comment made by that person.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Sleep deprivation and mental exhaustion seem to be related to these experiences for me. With my medical condition, I rarely sleep well or long enough to be able to function well for long periods.
I have not been able to sleep in a bed for years.

aveffects's avatar

@Jeruba I see a bit like twitter thanks.

Jeruba's avatar

@aveffects, just a tip for you as a newbie (welcome): unlike twitter, we also really like standard punctuation, including complete sentences with caps and periods.

stardust's avatar

@aveffects It seems that this has been compared to a hypnotic state and supposedly, it’s a good time for affirmations.

aveffects's avatar

@Jeruba ok ill try harder

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@aveffects Apparently not!

aveffects's avatar

Thanks all that helped put it into perspective.

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