How can you dream before you even fall asleep properly?

(74 Posts)

Having loads and loads of memorable dreams at the moment, many of them frankly bonkers. I thought dreams occurred during REM and that REM was during deep sleep. So how come my dreams are starting before I think I'm even asleep?

Lazysuzanne Mon 16-Sep-13 23:59:31

Who knows...

ModeratelyObvious Mon 16-Sep-13 23:51:06

Isn't that your mind making odd connections when the future event happens though?

Lazysuzanne Fri 13-Sep-13 21:51:46

Alcibiades, I think dreaming is what your mind does when uncoupled from external input, but within that there is room for all sort of stuff, from problem solving to lucid dreaming and out of body experiences.

It seems to me that elements from the future as well as from the past get randomly woven into dreams.

Of course I cant prove anything, I wouldnt even see any point in arguing for what I believe but I have had experiences where dreams pointed strongly towards future events.
I strongly suspect there is something 'mystical' (for want of a better word) going on grin

alcibiades Fri 13-Sep-13 20:26:18

Lazysuzanne: I'd be interested in reading more about your ideas about dreams being mystical. Although I tend towards scientific explanations for almost everything, I do find it difficult to move from the biological/chemical makeup of the human brain to thinking about what is going on when I have weird dreams.

I had to look up "spandrels": en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandrel_%28biology%29. I knew the term was slightly familiar to me, but it was in terms of the original meaning. It's a rather neat co-opting of the original, I think.

I'm now wondering about the energy required for dreams. Apparently, the brain uses around 20% of the daily intake of fuel, and one hypothesis is that sleep is a means of conserving energy. I guess there's no point being awake and using energy during the hours of darkness (for diurnal creatures), so shutting down non-essential systems is a good idea. But there are times when I wake up from weird or convoluted dreams, feeling as though I'd just done a full shift of more than just filing the day's inputs.

Kitten: I hope you're getting some help with your sleep. Whatever the reason for sleep, it is well known that stress can cause disrupted sleep, and in turn that disrupted sleep can cause stress. Could your strange dreams be a side-effect of medications that you're on, or were on recently?

Thank you Julie smile

JulieMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 12-Sep-13 13:56:13

Hello,

We've been asked to find a new home for this so that it doesn't vanish.

MNHQ.

Will ask mn if it can be moved alci smile

Lazysuzanne Tue 10-Sep-13 19:03:25

there is no consensus on why we dream, whether they are useful in any way or to use Dan Dennetts phrase 'evolutionary spandrels'

I favour a mystical interpretation

alcibiades Tue 10-Sep-13 18:36:44

Kitten - maybe this thread could be moved over to the Science & Nature Club, or perhaps start a new thread there? Dreams are fascinating.

I'm not really sure why we have them - I know there's the hypothesis that they're a kind of filing system, and another hypothesis that it's the subconscious getting a word in because our conscious brain during the day is focussed on things like 'where the heck did I put my keys'. But there are also the dreams that don't seem to have any point to them at all.

Lazysuzanne Tue 10-Sep-13 18:12:15

hmm, I dunno, it's an interesting subject in many ways, I spend quite alot of time recording my own dreams and thinking about what they refer to but I'd not want to subject anyone else to what'd seem like a boring load of nonsense!

I reckon we need a dreams topic in mn - there's enough in here to fuel one!

Lazysuzanne Tue 10-Sep-13 10:40:35

I've had dreams about dreams, and dreams where I wake up into another dream.

Dreams can get very entertaining if you play close attention,but they are slippery and hard to control

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 10-Sep-13 09:00:05

My dreams quite often reference each other although I never dream about the same place twice. But I might remember something that had happened in another dream but just think it had happened in real life.

Thistledew Tue 10-Sep-13 07:27:36

I get all this too!

Dreams starting before I am properly asleep, especially if I am falling asleep on the train or similar.

Dreaming about the content of a tv or radio show if I fall asleep listening to it.

Lucid dreams. Dreams that I go straight back to even if I wake.

I would be interested to have my brain activity monitored whilst I am sleeping as I am never aware of not having been dreaming when I wake, even if I am woken suddenly from a deep sleep. I usually remember my dreams very clearly when I wake- probably not a whole 7 hrs worth but certainly enough for a couple of hours. I remember them for ages as well- some I remember clearly years later.

I also get this weird déjà vu type thing where a sight or sound I hear whilst awake triggers a flashback to a memory of a dream I have had.

I also have dreamscapes that I return to time and time again. It's not the same dream as different things always happen, but it is the same landscape. I once was berated by a shopkeeper who apparently owns a shop in my dreamscape, for not having visited more frequently! It was nothing to do with the scenario of the dream.

DH never ever remembers his dreams, although he says he is conscious of having dreamt. He listens to my explanations of my dreams with bemusement.

greenbananas Tue 10-Sep-13 00:19:07

Yes, ALWAYS look at the clock twice when you are awake, to check it says the same thing. This becomes a habit when you are asleep too - a useful trick that has saved me from many horrible nightmares!

I have very vivid and sometimes frightening dreams. Last night, I had a vile and confusing dream that went on for ages, and I went back to the same nasty dream even after I had rolled over to feed the baby - but eventually I realised I was dreaming and was able to control it - such a relief!!

Why do some of us get such weird dreams? Is it something to do with the way or brains are hardwired?

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 09-Sep-13 23:28:24

Alcibiades, I get that too! We must be dream twins grin usually when I'm asleep I don't realise I'm dreaming but then sometimes I will just suddenly think "Wait a minute, I should have just got shot but instead I was able to dodge right out of the way. Hey, I can control stuff! Ohhhhh, this is a dream, oh that's good, that means it doesn't matter if I..." and then as soon as I realise I'm dreaming I'm awake.

Apparently a good way to "teach yourself" to lucid dream (where you're aware you are dreaming and can control the dream) is to get into the habit of constantly checking you're awake, either by checking there is only one sun/moon in the sky, or looking at something like a clock face/digital display, looking away, then looking back to see if it changes illogically. If you are dreaming then you will see multiple moons/suns (if you're looking for them) and displays, clocks etc will wildly change from one viewing of them to the next even if it's a split second apart. Basically, get into the habit of checking something impossible isn't happening, and when you're dreaming you will repeat your usual habit but the impossible thing will happen because you are dreaming. Hence you are immediately alerted to the fact you are dreaming and then you can control the environment around you. The first few times you do it it usually wakes you up, though. I've always woken up a few minutes after seeing the impossibly changing clock or whatever though.

Edendance Mon 09-Sep-13 20:38:44

According to my sister (who's in the know of such things) it's self hypnotherapy- just a very very relaxed state of being which can being on dream- like feelings!

alcibiades Mon 09-Sep-13 20:37:25

I occasionally get sleep orgasms, too. And I also don't know whether they happen as I'm waking or whether they wake me up. But, I never recall any dreams associated with them.

I do occasionally have another dream phenomenon. Sometimes I wake up from a dream where I somehow know that the dream has become ridiculous. It's as though there's a logical bit of my brain that's monitoring my dreams, and steps in. It's a bit like the Colonel in Monty Python who used to walk into sketches and stop them because they were getting too silly. grin

I've mentioned elsewhere that I buy lecture-courses-on-DVD from a US company. They've got one on sleep, so I might get that next time I'm buying.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 09-Sep-13 19:42:49

YY I get sleep orgasms. Usually when I'm just waking up. Or they wake me up. Either way.

I never actually get sex in my dreams though sad They just happen randomly - I remember once I was dreaming about buying pick n mix and it happened! If ever I dream about sex it's either remembering some sex that happened beforehand or it's a situation which I can tell is about to turn into sex but never gets to that stage.

Like last night I dreamt that I was pregnant but I had to tell my DP that it might be another man's child. He was devastated and broke up with me and then I realised that I couldn't actually remember whether the whole having sex with another man thing had actually happened or not and by the time I realised it hadn't it was too late and he thought I was making it up! sad

oinktopus Mon 09-Sep-13 15:24:57

Yoni Pretty much. Because I've always had sleep problems, I took to filming myself while asleep to see if I could pick up on anything that would help. I'd had the running through custard dreams and noticed they didn't happen when my legs were clear of the blankets. I did, however, injure my feet by banging them into each other.

Also scary is how often I'd sit bolt upright and look straight at the camera despite thinking I'd had unbroken sleep.

I am a rubbish sleeper.

furfoxsake Mon 09-Sep-13 08:34:19

This might fall into the tmi category but does anyone else have an orgasm when they're in that semi-awake but dreaming state? I get it about once a fortnight and it happened this morning after the 3am feed hence why I'm posting it now.

It's so strange - I'm never sure if I had the orgasm, or if I just dreamt I had one, but I'm pretty sure it's real at the time!

thenightsky Sun 08-Sep-13 21:21:46

MakeHay I've had the paralysis thing too... woke up with a cold hand pressed against my face and screamed the place down, only to find I'd fallen asleep with my own arm over the top of my head and my fingers against the opposite cheek grin

Blimey nightsky!!!!!

MakeHayIsAWhaleNow Sun 08-Sep-13 19:46:57

Empross yes! One very memorable time (slightly not really what the thread's about but similar) when I managed to fall asleep with my legs crossed - both legs also went to sleep and when I awoke with no feeling in my legs, in that in-between state, I was convinced I was paralysed! I even got out of bed and collapsed on the floor, hysterical! It was only when pins and needles kicked in that I realised....

I hate the not being able to run in dreams thing, so frustrating. Ds giggles in his sleep, which is unbelievably cute!

Empross76 Sun 08-Sep-13 12:38:17

I've found this thread really interesting!
I have what seems like loads of dreams every night, and I wake up exhausted. It feels like my brain hasn't rested properly, even though I've had a good amount of sleep.
And it takes me ages to come round and realise where I am and what day it is and that what has just been going through my head was just dreams.
Does anybody else get this?!

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