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Medical Stuck in REM sleep?

  1. Oct 12, 2005 #1
    "Stuck" in REM sleep?

    Is it possible to get "stuck" in REM sleep? Meaning, since we go through different phases of sleep, could we get stuck in the REM phase and not be able to wake up because of some weird phenomenon of phenomena?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2005 #2
    I've had experiences where I became lucid during a dream and for what ever reason I wanted to wake up but was unable to. I did eventually wake up though. Is this the sort of thing you mean?
  4. Oct 13, 2005 #3
    ya, that would be a good example.
  5. Oct 13, 2005 #4
    It has happened to me twice that I "woke up" from a dream, only to wake up from that dream. That is: I dreampt I had woken up, when I hadn't. I viewed the previous part of the dream as as dream and considered myself to now be awake. I actually dreampt myself "coming to" in a bed and everything, and getting up from that bed (in a situation that was purely fictional, but seems perfectly consistant at the time) and thinking about the dream I'd just woken up from.

    At other times I have had dreams where the issue of whether or not I'm dreaming comes up, and I alays decide I am not asleep and dreaming, but actually awake. This is probably the opposite of a lucid dream.
  6. Oct 16, 2005 #5


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    A common example of a "false awakening."
  7. Oct 16, 2005 #6
    That's a good name for it. I don't suppose it's the same thing as getting "stuck" in REM sleep, which would have a result more like sleepwalking in a genuine instance of it.
    I once saw a show about people who would emerge from sleep still "dreaming". They could move, and were aware of most things in the environment, but had dream-like hallucinations on top of it. I don't remember what they called it, but my impression was that it isn't very common. For the people featured on this program, it was a very negative, frightening experience.
  8. Nov 9, 2005 #7
    sleep paralysis is wat its called
  9. Nov 9, 2005 #8
    Sleep paralysis is quite a bit different. I've had it four times. The main feature of it is that you are paralyzed despite being aware of where you are. Sometimes you hallucinate on top of that.

    The people in the show I saw were up and out of bed, moving around, not paralyzed at all, but apparently still dreaming.
  10. Nov 9, 2005 #9
    I've never heard that experience described anywhere before; I had it last year. Pretty disconcerting but I find myself still wishing it would happen again.

    Won't waste your time with an overly prolix description, so here's a quickie:
    I needed to be doing work but I dozed off, became lucid and tried to awaken.
    I had about three counts of sleep paralysis where I would have extreme difficultly rising, and when accomplished I would fall into a dream instead of waking.
    Finally, I did rise, although a dream came with me. I managed to write on my desk in a frenzy whilst I was surrounded by gnomes opening picture albums (previously I had done such things as falling out of my body and vividly experienced the most powerful vertigo I've ever felt in my life - like a roller coaster on fast forward).
    The most unsettling aspect of the experience was no moment of transition from sleep to wake; the gnomes, etc, faded gently. I never felt awake the rest of the night.

  11. Nov 9, 2005 #10
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2005
  12. Nov 10, 2005 #11
    I've had sleep paralysis many times. I put it down to working night-shifts and the absence of a proper sleep pattern which is important. I am in the limbo between sleep and waking and basically my brain has woken up and my body has yet to wake up. Its actually not a pleasant experience at the time and it only lasts a few seconds. I try desperately to move my body and wake it up and it feels like you can't breathe. Even slight movements take (what seems like) extraordinary effort, but then I wake and everything is fine. I think this always happens at the start or end of sleep. I have no worries about it (its a well documented phenomena) and I know that if I had a day job monday-to-friday it would dissapear with the regular, natural sleep pattern that this would allow.
  13. Nov 10, 2005 #12
    Are you sure you're not sleeping now?

    Cause I'm not...
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