Medical Strange Sensation starting to fall asleep

  • Thread starter sas3
  • Start date

sas3

Gold Member
207
9
For as long as I can remember I have had this sensation (and before you ask, I am not smoking anything).
The feeling only occurs when I am in bed and starting to fall asleep, the only way to describe it is a strange feeling of big and small at the same time. It’s like a very tiny dust particle that seems to be as big as a mountain.
Sometimes it seems like a point of a pin with a massive amount of potential energy behind it. At times it can be very intense to the point where it scares me. Sounds seem to be louder and more intense also. I seem to get this feeling about 3 of 4 times a year

My http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/5016/chucket8.jpg" [Broken] is the only other person I know of who has experienced this feeling other than me, he describes it as a pebble that seems like an enormous rock.
I was just wondering if anyone has had the same sensation or if it has a name.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

matthyaouw

Gold Member
1,137
4
I know exactly what you mean. I've been getting it periodically for as long as I can remember, & I've never known quite how to describe it either. The size sensation is a part of it, but doesn't quite cover the scope of the feeling. I've never experienced the intense sounds though. I usually get it when falling asleep too, or when slightly 'out of it' when I'm ill.
 

Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,349
51
I don't have any answers on this, so will just suggest some questions that might help point you in a good direction to find answers elsewhere.

Does it affect your ability to fall asleep? If so, you might want to look up information on sleep disorders and see if it is described there.

If you are already falling asleep, is it possible you are starting to dream? I'm thinking along the lines of daydreams, where you're somewhat awake, but mentally "drifting off," where you might experience perceptions that are part of the dream state while still partially awake to incorporate awareness of your surroundings as well.

Is it possible you are not awake at all at the time, but are rapidly awakened from a dream so that you think you were still awake when it happened? Here I'm thinking of those times when you fall asleep and dream/feel that you're falling out of bed and it startles you awake; it usually takes a bit of time to realize you were not falling out of bed and to calm yourself to fall back asleep again.
 

matthyaouw

Gold Member
1,137
4
I don't have any answers on this, so will just suggest some questions that might help point you in a good direction to find answers elsewhere.

Does it affect your ability to fall asleep? If so, you might want to look up information on sleep disorders and see if it is described there.

If you are already falling asleep, is it possible you are starting to dream? I'm thinking along the lines of daydreams, where you're somewhat awake, but mentally "drifting off," where you might experience perceptions that are part of the dream state while still partially awake to incorporate awareness of your surroundings as well.

Is it possible you are not awake at all at the time, but are rapidly awakened from a dream so that you think you were still awake when it happened? Here I'm thinking of those times when you fall asleep and dream/feel that you're falling out of bed and it startles you awake; it usually takes a bit of time to realize you were not falling out of bed and to calm yourself to fall back asleep again.
It doesn't really affect my ability to sleep. It could be dream related, but I'm not sure. I'm certain I've had it at times when fully awake. I once woke up with it (so perhaps that time it started in a dream) and couldn't shake it for about half an hour, even though I was awake and walking around.
 
31
0
i used to have that too, it was more frequent when i was younger than now when im older. i felt like a tiny insignificant speck in a corner, and how everything is bearing down on me. i still recalled the time when i woke up late at night, yelling about how a train was about to crash through the wall, and frantically agitating my mom who tried to calm me down. i went to another room and hid under the bedsheets, staring at the ceiling while at the same time feeling crushed. mind you, i was quite young at that time, but i was fully awake at that time.
 
3
0
I know the feeling you're talking about, and it happens only 3 or 4 times a year, and was more frequent when I was younger. My impression of it is that of an incredibly dense needle, that looks slim and tiny but has as much mass as a planet.
 

sas3

Gold Member
207
9
This is very interesting it seem like this is a common experience, I wonder if any papers have been written about this.
 

matthyaouw

Gold Member
1,137
4
I've tried googling it, but the question is what to search for? Everyone's explanation of it seems to be sligtly different and so far as I'm aware it doesn't have a name...
 

J77

1,070
1
I get this -- and can make it happen; ie. control it.

Like I've opened my mind up to a massive cavernous room -- which also feels small, like you describe.

It's cool :smile:
 

matthyaouw

Gold Member
1,137
4
Really? I always find it distinctly unsettling.
 

J77

1,070
1
Really? I always find it distinctly unsettling.
Nah -- I like the vastness.

I've always been a bit of a weird sleeper -- apparently I talk quite a bit and when younger had that thing where you wake up but are paralysed because you're still really asleep -- which is strange.

I'm also quite a detailed dreamer -- I pretty much always control my dreams and can rememeber them :smile:
 

radou

Homework Helper
3,105
6
Hm, the only thing nearly close to the one you described is that just before I fall asleep some objects which are ~10 inches away seem like they're a mile away.

Btw, does anyone have an explanation for the typical experience before falling asleep - having a "pre-dream" of running and stumbling and then "waking up" instantly?
 

sas3

Gold Member
207
9
I had the sensation the other night, it only lasted a short time (a few minutes). I enjoy the sensation and wish I could make it happen like "J77".
 
45
0
According to my father's medical reference, You sniffed LSD 5-6 times in the past
 

sas3

Gold Member
207
9
Nope, Never took the LSD. (I watched other people do it)
Is there actuality an artical on it?
 
45
0
I do not completely apprenhend what you are trying to express, Can you state it more clearly?
 

sas3

Gold Member
207
9
I was asking about the article in father's medical reference book, If it is about the sensation we have been experiencing.

I would like to read it, what is the name of the book and what page is it on.
 
45
0
Here is the book

1. How to deal with psycopaths - Subhash kak
 

Evo

Mentor
22,863
2,340
Btw, does anyone have an explanation for the typical experience before falling asleep - having a "pre-dream" of running and stumbling and then "waking up" instantly?
It's called "hypnic jerk".

http://www.discovery.com/area/skinnyon/skinnyon971114/skinnyon.html [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
360
0
It's called "hypnic jerk".

http://www.discovery.com/area/skinnyon/skinnyon971114/skinnyon.html [Broken]
Sometimes ,I just disregard "hypnic" part of the expression.
And what is left is quite common phenomenon before falling asleep...
:tongue: :blushing:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
957
0
this is likely an only partly understood phenomenon sometimes related to sleep paralysis and can be very terrifying events. I wish i could remember the researchers name who is looking into the sleep paralysis/hallucianatory aspects of it/ I'll do some googling here in a bit and see if I can find him.
 
957
0
look here--good page on these types of events;
http://www.dreamsnightmares.com/sleepparalysis.html

I believe its David bufford who i heard speak on the radio--talking about the archetypal images of old hags, demons, and incubii that sometimes accompany the suffocation types of events described here. For the purely hallucinatory events, these are hypnopompic and hypnogogic hallucinations for those unfamiliar with the terms.
 
Last edited:

russ_watters

Mentor
18,747
4,948
Just saw this thread....
I get this -- and can make it happen; ie. control it.

Like I've opened my mind up to a massive cavernous room -- which also feels small, like you describe.

It's cool :smile:
I get it too, but can't control it. I would describe it as the disconnecting of your brain from your body. I will occasionally be thinking about something while falling asleep and suddenly become aware that none of my senses are functioning, at which time I snap out of it and become fully conscious again.

I don't know how close it is to reality, but a sci-fi book I own called "Day of the Cheetah" describes harnessing the phenomena to open up a person's mind and enable it to control an airplane. We, of course, can't interface a computer with the brain directly, but the description of de-coupling the brain from the body sounds very similar to what I experience. It involves lying still to minimize external stimuli and entering a conscious state not unlike hypnosis, detatching the brain from the body without actually falling asleep.
denverdoc said:
this is likely an only partly understood phenomenon sometimes related to sleep paralysis and can be very terrifying events.
Perhaps. This happens to me when I'm falling asleep though, not when waking up. I've only experienced sleep paralysis once (actually just a few months ago when I wasn't sleeping well) and was fascinated, not scared, by it. It only lasted a few seconds and I remember thinking 'huh, so that's what sleep paralysis feels like'.
 
Last edited:
957
0
Russ,
What you describe sounds very much like sleep paralysis. Basically its an evolutionary mechanism that basically chops the spinal cord in two, to prevent movement. It is confusing in that this is a normal event, but the same term is applied to the event you describe happening a few months ago. Most people are unaware of the disconnect.

(This is the guy I was thinking of Bufford.

Wrote a book called, The Terror That Comes in the Night)
 

sas3

Gold Member
207
9
Re: Strange Sensation

I had the “Big/Small” feeling again last night and it was especially intense this time.
I figured I would resurrect this thread in hope of someone seeing it and finding out a name for the sensation.
This feeling is not “sleep paralysis” or "Night Terrors" I can sense and move my arms and legs.
 

Related Threads for: Strange Sensation starting to fall asleep

Replies
5
Views
3K
Replies
13
Views
3K
Replies
2
Views
3K
Replies
23
Views
7K
  • Posted
Replies
15
Views
4K
Replies
8
Views
5K
Replies
5
Views
5K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top