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Dream Interpretation/Which type of sleep is this?

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Question
I am having a lot of trouble determining the stage of sleep and if this was or was not a dream.

I was taking a nap and my husband came into the room to get something out of his closet which woke me. I sat up in bed and was alert enough to realize what had woke me up and I could now hear that he was in the bathroom and I got my phone off the nightstand to check the time. I began to lean back with the intentions of laying down and falling back asleep but before I could lay back down I saw this extremely vivid but short black and white scenario in which a person I know was dragging me through the woods. It was short and choppy like a flickering horror film but very vivid and full of detail except sound. I describe that so thoroughly because I have read about hypnagogic visions and most of them are described as simple shapes or familiar images or what your eyes have been trained on prior to closing them. What I saw was more complex than that even though my behavior seems to fit with that stage of sleep. I did not continue to go back to sleep because I was disturbed by the images I saw. I can't say for sure if my eyes were closed when this happened but they most likely were. I don't remember dreaming right before being awakened.

This has never happened before. I have had hypnagogic experiences where I think I hear my name being called prior to going to sleep and also sometimes my mind seems to turn household sounds like the dryer running into melodic rhythms prior to fading off into sleep but never anything like this.

Do you think I was dreaming or hallucinating? Asleep or awake?

Answer
I would like to apologize for answering your question a little late. I never heard of hypnagogic experiences before, so my expertise on this question is limited. My logical guess is that you fell asleep as soon as your head hit the pillow. Their will be times when I'm laying down and all the sudden my body gets really really heavy and I can't even lift my arms, then I know that any min. I'm going to be sucked into a dream, I'm not sure if this is what you experienced. Perhaps you did have some vivid hallucinations before you drifted off into a dream, which would be sleep paralysis. Did you try to move your body, did you feel like you were pinned down, if so, then its sleep paralysis. I'm guessing you were in stage one sleep.

NREM Stage 1 is a light sleep and you are easily woken. You begin to lose muscle tone, causing twitches and hypnic jerks (suddenly jumping awake from a doze). You have hypnagogic hallucinations, swirling light and color patterns which hypnotize your mind into a restful sleep. Stage 1 also marks the loss of self-awareness and most sensory attachment to the physical world. Your brainwave frequencies descend from Alpha through Theta state (4-7 Hz). This sounds like what you were experiencing. If you have anymore questions feel free to ask, I hope this answered your questions. Thanks.

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Russell

Expertise

I am not a dream Interpreter, I specialize in lucid dreams. With this being said please don't ask me any questions about what your dreams mean. All dream interpretation questions will be rejected. Lucid dreams are when you realize that you are in a dream. Once you realize that you are dreaming, you can control and manipulate your dreams. I can answer questions regarding lucid dreaming, false awakening, paralysis sleep, and reality testing. I cannot answer questions regarding out of body experience.

Experience

When I was a little kid I would have 1-2 lucid dreams a year that I could control. As I got older I would have about 3-5 lucid dreams every year, but now I am averaging about 4-5 lucid dreams every month.

Education/Credentials
High School Graduate Harper College (ongoing)

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