Aware of being asleep

25 January 2014 ~ Question of the Day ~ Aware of being Asleep

Have you ever been aware of being asleep (literally, at night?)
What was that like?
How do you explain it, if you do?

I have often become aware of being asleep when the dream I am in gets unpleasant, and I notice I am able to change the reality. At that point I become aware that I am asleep, aware of dreaming a dream I don’t want to be in, and wake myself up.

I had an example of it 3 nights ago.

The systems explanation is rather detailed, but as simply as possible runs something like this:

When we sleep, the brain switches off connections between sensory inputs, and motor outputs, and usually long term memory, then allows the model of reality to restart, but without inputs to keep it entrained, and without the ability to alter things in reality (this is normal dream state). Consciousness occurs in that state, but the nature of the reality is different from normal, as it is being informed by memories and various subconscious processes, rather than reality.

There are various mechanisms of brain that allow us to wake up given appropriately dangerous external stimuli (loud noises, pain, anxiety to wakefulness etc); and some of these can be initiated from within the dream state. When this transition happens quickly enough, it is possible to recall the dream state, as the link to long term memory is initiated before the short term memory is cleared.
So in essence, we are conscious during dreaming, but normally we just don’t recall those experiences.
And there is massive variation in the population, in all of those linkages between systems. Some people remember far more dreams than other people.

Some people walk in their dreams, some fight.
Some people can have more conscious direction of their dreams than others, more awareness of the dream state.
Infinite spectra at every systems interface.

So yeah – it happens.
It tends to be very freaky the first time it happens, then one becomes more comfortable with it with practice.

[followed by]


Now we are getting into a discussion about states and levels of awareness, and that could take a very long time indeed.

There are many levels of awareness.

I dispute your claim “Consciousness doesn’t sleep”, for in my world it most certainly does. And we may be talking about very different things, for I am aware of at least a dozen levels of consciousness that I have experienced and explored.

And given that Ailsa’s dad died yesterday, and we have lots of stuff on right now, I probably simply don’t have the time to engage in that conversation to the depth that is required if clarity is to be obtained. Perhaps in a few days, once we are back home (Thursday on current plan – Monday preparation, Tuesday is funeral, Wednesday travel back home – we arrived yesterday {he died just before we arrived}, and had today mainly with her mum).

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
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