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> Aware while sleeping
Casey
post Apr 15, 2007, 04:26 AM
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I've got a question for you guys. I figure this is the best place to find clues towards an answer.

Here's the deal:

I can hear myself snore. Not only that, but I sometimes hear myself whimper in my sleep. (kind of like dogs do)

Ever since I've started taking melatonin regularly and getting a full night's sleep, I've been hearing myself snore before I wake up. It happened before I took the hormone as well, but I'm a notoriously bad sleeper. Thus, it happened only rarely.

Furthermore, I don't always immediately wake up either. I might hear myself snore for a minute or so before I actually realize I'm the one snoring.

Melatonin aside, I'm able to cue in on external stimuli and wake up if I wish. For example, I'm a very deep sleeper once I finally get to sleep, but if I tell myself I want to wake up when my roommate leaves for work, I'll usually wake up when I hear the door. I can cue in on sunlights, music, birds, etc. If I want to ignore them, I'll sleep long into the morning.

It's kind of weird. Thunderstorms, for example, will not wake me up. Thunder claps can shake the house, and I'll sleep right through it. However, if someone quietly says may name, I'll wake right up; they have to actually say my name though as speech alone doesn't rouse me.

Also, if I'm really tired/stressed I'll frequently take a nap where I am totally aware of my thoughts. I carry on a rational, coherent, and useful line of thinking. I feel like I'm awake, and I can hear/feel things in the environment (i.e. music). However, I'm actually asleep. I usually can't tell if I'm asleep or awake. When I choose to get up, I sometimes find that I've drooled all over my pillow, and my body feels like it's been asleep.

Any thoughts?
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rhymer
post Apr 15, 2007, 02:24 PM
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I think you'll find that there are not just two states of 'awareness', ie., aware and not aware.

We all usually think of being asleep and being awake as those two states.
In reality there are other states which mat have been defined by someone.
My wife often wakes me to tell me I am snoring!
I was actually thinking at that time so could not have been fully asleep.
My guess is that there are several centres or aspects of consciousness, and they go to sleep as they deem fit, and possibly in different sequences depending on 'what's on our minds' as we are falling asleep.
So, maybe, our awareness can have several transient states between 'fully aware' and 'not aware'. It certainly seems so to me.
Another oddie is that I sometimes know I am dreaming, so how can I be 'not aware'?
Daydreaming is another oddie!
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trojan_libido
post Apr 17, 2007, 01:54 AM
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I have been delving into lucid dreaming for the past couple of years. I used to do it all the time when I was a kid, but I lost the ability for a long time and I thought it was a growing up thing. Then it happened again and I began researching it. I was overjoyed to find that others have been doing it regularly and that it was a skill that could be practised and enhanced. Finally I had evidence to prove to my friends I wasn't just making this stuff up.

When I become lucid I often "feel" the room around me and that the space I'm in doesn't gel with the dream im in. Sometimes I can teeter on the fine line between awake and asleep. Dreams often become hollow or 2D at that point, but its easy to fall fully into the dream again.

I found out from different sources that there are tests you can do to see if your dreaming, although I've never had any doubt once I become lucid. You can't alter the lighting in a dream, since there is no real light in dreams. You also can't read small text as your brain can't cope with creating this kind of detail on the fly.

I tried to test whether I was dreaming when I became lucid, but I often hit some kind of brain barrier that immediately wakes me up. The following happened to me over the last 6 months and I think its quite hilarious, although people look at me as if I'm practising voodoo:

Test 1

I dreamt I was on a cruise ship going to somewhere exotic with absolutely everyone I know and love. The atmosphere was a utopian party of heavenly proportions, everyone was smiling and laughing, love was in the air, friendships were becoming deeper. All this was of course pure emotion and imagery being fed into my body by my brain. Awesome dream. Then it all changed and we were all next to a beautiful river on the sunniest day ever recorded, the emotion and feelings continued and I didnt realise a thing.

Things suddenly reversed back onto the ship and I suddenly became lucid. I knew the whole setup was a creation of my mind and thought that it was time to test whether I could read small text and verify I was dreaming. The only small text I could think of was my mobile phone, and since it worked in the film "Waking Life" I thought I'd give it a try.

I took the phone out of my pocket and glanced at the display - immediately my brains defense mechanism kicked in and swept me off into another fantasy. Instead of understanding the result of my test, I panicked because I realised I was on a cruise ship leaving the UK behind and I was on call with no signal... I couldnt read anything and I'd interpreted that as a no signal and worried about losing my job. I woke up straight away and then realised my error, I wasn't even on call that night. lol.

Test result - Couldn't read text, failed to interpret result properly.

Test 2

A couple of bank holidays ago, after getting little sleep the night before, I watched the Godfather for the first time (I know, its a classic etc.). I had a nice snooze straight after the film and immediately fell into a dream where I was alongside Michael "The Godfather" Corleone. What I remember was we were being chased from x to y, then from y to z ad nauseaum. At one point we had gangsters shooting at us from 10-20 meters aways so we ran down a cut between two buildings. When we got out the other side the building was an old style barbers, the ones with the spriralling stripy barbers pole. Michael ran into the barbers and I realised he was trying to throw them off the scent with a quick haircut! "We dont have time!" I exclaimed, as he immediately emerged with a complete makeover - Afro with a purple suit and huge sunshades. lol. I began to get a little suspicious of my conscious state at this point. The gangsters ran past us totally oblivious and we made our escape.

Next thing we were walking up a huge concert halls stairs, very posh and very epic. I actually felt the space i was walking into was huge, different from the rest of the dream. I suddenly became lucid when I realised the space I was feeling was actually the room I was asleep in - things suddenly became super real. The twinkling lights they had on the lip of every stair on the staircase were brighter than ever, beautiful chandaliers glinting in the light.

I wondered what to do now I knew I was dreaming and I reached the top of the stairs. I walked over to a balcony and took in an awesome view of the whole concert hall with people coming in and the band practising - only the best for the Corleones I thought. Then I thought I'd rebel against the natural urge to see the show, I turned around and saw a bare dark area behind me with the odd table and chair.

I noticed a singular gangster reading a paper like he'd been quickly dropped there too fill a hole in my dream. Ah ha! I thought, now i'm getting to the bottom of "mind". I sauntered over to the guy at the table and took a look at his paper to do the reading test again...
and the headline read...

FA FAH FE FE FAH FE

I woke myself up in a fit of laughter.

Test result - partially successful, I could read the text but either my brain tricked me into waking up, or I made the text up myself in some sub-consciuos way. Given the previous test I'd assume I was tricked by the sleep/dream mechanism to wake up.

Sorry for the long text, but hopefully you got a little laugh or guffaw out of it. biggrin.gif
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Casey
post Apr 17, 2007, 02:37 AM
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I've "read" things in my dreams before. But it's pretty clear that the only things I can "read" are probably whole words stored as a symbol is. (i.e. the word 'store' is read wholly, not as s-t-o-r-e)

Lucid dreams are a peculiar thing. If I become frustrated in a dream, I almost always become lucid in order to resolve the problem. Then, the dream usually takes back over. For example, often times I'll dream that I miss a flight. More often than not, I'll realize it's a dream, then I'll teleport to my destination. Then the dream takes back over.

If I miss a deadline in a dream, I'll rewind the whole dream to a point before the deadline.

But, whenever I have a lucid dream, I cannot perceive external stimuli. I can fully control the dream, I know I'm in the dream, but the external world is cut off unless I choose to wake up.
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Dara
post Jun 24, 2007, 07:42 AM
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I also am very aware in my sleep. I can be in the middle of a dream, but the minute one of my dogs gets up, I hear it and jump out of bed(the only reason they get up in the middle of the night is to go out, if I dont get up they will pee on my floor...lol). I also hear my son in his room. It's alwyas been odd to me how I can be dreaming but aware of the noises in my home.

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lucid_dream
post Jun 24, 2007, 12:00 PM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Apr 17, 2007, 02:54 AM) *
You also can't read small text as your brain can't cope with creating this kind of detail on the fly.

I have read small text in books before during lucid dreaming, and also while teetering at the hazy boundary of dreaming and being awake. There have been times in the past when I couldn't read the text and that it would appear blurry, but on wakening, I would resolve that next time I was lucidly dreaming that I would try again to read the text. Sure enough, it soon followed that I was able to read text during lucid dreams, text that initially looked blurry but on focusing (or relaxing?) would resolve itself into individual words. The funny thing is, the text is always complete gibberish. More specifically, the gibberish consisted of real words, but their combination into sentences made no sense. For example, "dog snakes green here chance", or similar nonsense.

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opfor101
post Dec 27, 2007, 11:53 PM
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hmmm how do you guys manage to get lucid dreams?

i've actually been trying to do this for a while now.

it was FAR easier when i was a kid.
i remember once, when i was in a dream, i realized it was a dream and told myself to wake up, tried to wash my face in a water fountain in the dream and i wouldnt wake up. so after a couple seconds i eventually did wake up.

i just wish that i was able to get lucid all the time.

i remember once when i was barely lucid (like hard to control, every other minute i would delve back into being "under control")

but it was a fun one, i remember i was able to run VERY fast and across water.also the fact that i can run into walls without getting hurt (destroying the walls in the process lol)

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trojan_libido
post Feb 06, 2008, 02:40 AM
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There are many methods to become lucid, but almost all of them suggest a dream diary next to your bed. Forcing yourself to recall your dreams somehow helps with keeping conscious during sleep. For the methods after this one, you should check out a non-religious and non-new age website (although they can have decent information littered in their preaching pages).
QUOTE(lucid)
More specifically, the gibberish consisted of real words, but their combination into sentences made no sense. For example, "dog snakes green here chance", or similar nonsense.
This is a strange phenomenon isn't it? Its either your brain just filling in the detail as you read without any attempt at a cohesive sentence, or some kind of subconscious symbolism. My attempt to read the paper and the "FE FE FAH FA FE" bullshit as the headline just made me laugh because I immediately felt like I'd been tricked by my own brains defense mechanism - ie stopping you being aware whilst asleep. It worked lol.
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