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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

the edges of sleep

Moving Toward or Away From Sleep

I don't know about you, but I find myself sometimes a little leery of the "falling asleep" time that occurs daily ....or should I say nightly....in my life.  
It is a time of "losing control", and being a control freak, those times of losing control are a tad scarey.  
Plus, some of my most interesting times of my life have been spent in that twilight land of the edge of sleep.

If I am extra extra tired, or fatigue has overtaken me, then I don't care if I die in the process of falling asleep!
Clunk, and I am out.  
Who cares what's flitting through my mind or about my room!  
Die or sleep!  What matters it?!

But other than those times, I have a certain little nagging worry about FALLING asleep. 
What might happen?
Control freak.

The borderline of sleep, the half-dream state, is a fetching lot of data-static for a human being! 

We all know there are Stages of Sleep, but this is not about Sleep's Stages.
This post is about the edges of sleep

Am I half awake or half asleep?
Whatever, it is the threshold consciousness,  a time of "between",  a transition stage.

Strange things happen

Drowsy.......Moving Toward Fragmentary Dreams but not there yet.

Sensory Phenomena  There can be sensory phenomena.

Sights can appear:  
Random speckles, lines or geometrical pattern, monochromatic or richly colored, still or moving , flat or three-dimensional.
Usually fleeting or rapidly changing.
Reappearance of the days "novel" experiences....the chess board, the cardiac monitor, the curtains around a hospital bed, the chamber ring of a missile, the line of customers to be served, a dollar bill floating in the wind, a headless chicken (Yikes!  Where did that come from!!!), new shoes, old shoes.  Usually still shots, but can be moving. 
New employees working stressful and demanding jobs often report doing work-related tasks in this period before sleep

Touch can appear:

The touch of rocks can be felt while falling asleep after mountain climbing. 

Rough seas, or even waves you have been swimming through shortly before going to bed, can touch you as you drift to sleep.

People who have spent the day skiing may continue to "feel snow" under their feet, also people who have spent considerable time jumping on a trampoline will find that they can feel the up-and-down motion before they go to sleep. 

A person far away you care about reaches out and you feel the touch.
The motion of the long long airplane ride earlier in the day is felt. You are still flying.

Sounds can appear:

Sounds vary in intensity from faint impressions to loud noises, such as crashes and bangs (the exploding head syndrome)

People may imagine their own name called or a doorbell ringing. 

Snatches of imagined speech are common. While typically fragmented, these speech events can occasionally strike the individual as apt comments on their thoughts at the time. They may contain word-play, neologisms and made-up names. 

Speech may manifest as the subject's own "inner voice", or as the voices of others: familiar people or strangers. 

More rarely poety or music is heard.  I can tell you from personal experience I once woke up with music blasting in my head and I never, no never, want that to happen again!

Other sensations can appear:

Smells, tastes, may appear.

A flash of light may happen in response to a real sound.

We can have the terrifying sensation of falling.  

We may feel we are floating.  There can be perceived "out of body" experiences.

We might feel numb or perceive our body to be larger or smaller than it is in reality.

Mental activity and emotion phenomena can occur:

 On the edge of sleep, thought processes tend to differ radically  from those of ordinary wakefulness.  
There may be more openness, sensitivity, empathy and diffused-absorbed attention.
It is a time of heightened suggestibility, illogic and a fluid association of ideas.

It is a very vulnerable time for a human being........mind ON, control OFF.

EEG readdings show elevated responsiveness to sound around the onset of sleep

Repression and censorship are gone. If we babble, we babble our secrets.

Learning can occur:

At the edges of sleep, strange things can happen.

Creativity is enhanced. 

Problems "click through" and solve themselves. 

Understanding arrives .

This is the time of the phenomena of Visions, Prophecies, Premonitions and Apparitions.

This is the time of inspiration (artistic or divine depending on your beliefs and those of your culture).

This is a time when you can "wake yourself back up" and head to the drawing board or a paper tablet and scribble down the  precious fruits out of your edge of sleep.

My world view and my religious faith allow me to wonder in special ways about my early ancestors.  I see them, sitting under the shade trees, starting to fall asleep and having the Force of the Universe visit and transform their very brains and brain processes. Wakening up to a new way of looking at things around them.  Waking up.

Some super intelligent man once told me, "I like to be in your presence because I become fully awake around you and that is a rare thing."
I take that as one of the best compliments I have ever received (though I'd rather have had him think I was cute).  Not the best compliment, but one of the best.  
His words caused me to think about how parts of my brain are not always awake even when I am conscious and awake.  What does that mean?  
His words caused me to look around with increased consciousness about who in my society causes my brain to become more fully awake. And why does that happen?

Increasing consciousness.  
Perhaps the foundation for increasing consciousness occurs on the edges of sleep.

Maybe that is why old age is important.  Even as we are losing brain cells, we are becoming more and more fully awake, when we're not nodding off or napping. 

Perhaps because we have increased edges of sleep time??  

I sure feel like my sleep has changed, 
allowing more edges of sleep 
and less sleep in all it's stages. 

Thank you for your visit.