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  1. Lucid dream
  2. Navigation menu
  3. 'The Head Trip' travels through many states of consciousness
  4. Lucid dream - Wikipedia

I woke and my light was on. I remembered that I'd definitely turned my light off - hey, this must be a lucid dream! So I looked at my hand for a few seconds and everything turned to white. Then I woke up, pitch black with my arms under the covers. The excitement of lucid dreaming woke me up! Sounds very similair to Dali's process. Where he would meditate holding a kitchen utensil on top of a pan.

And when he would fall asleep it would fall making a sound and wake him up with i inspration for his next painting.

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Lucid dream

I write half-awake in a semi-conscious state. Progressively, as I drink coffee, I become more conscious. This explains a lot about Houellebecq's writing. It sound interesting, but I never have heard it before and I can't find it in the link or in Google. Is it in the book? Is there other source? Creativity advisors are sometime too creative.

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Edit: Search for the sentence "In this posture, you must hold a heavy key which you will keep suspended, delicately pressed between the extremities of the thumb and forefinger of your left hand. Nomentatus on Mar 26, If you're reclined on your back a bamboo chop stick or light metal tube that's a bit bigger held with the tip a couple of inches above your forehead works.

Make sure your thumb and no fingers are below the stick so it will fall. I had heard Edison did this. TuringNYC on Mar 25, For me, this exact state is also an ideal one to truly enjoy great music. The music can become surreal and surround me. I've never used drugs, but this is how I imagine hallucinogens to be This reminds me of an experience I had once. I was lying in bed, it was about mid-day, listening to music. Suddenly I started to feel pins and needles all over my body and then felt my body disintegrate, as if I was just a "blob" of energy or something hovering in the air.

Lastly, I could clearly hear every single instrument and note in the song I was listening to without trying, as if the different layers of the music were being deconstructed in real time. The experience felt kind of like a dream, because the more I evaluated or thought about it in my head the more it seemed to slip away - it was strongest when I just calmed down and experienced it without trying to think about it.

Eventually my mind got the better of me and it stopped.

'The Head Trip' travels through many states of consciousness

I've never done drugs, but I imagine that this might be what some hallucinogenic experiences feel like though to be honest I have no real idea. I wish I could make it happen again, but I've never been successful with inducing this. Same here. But there are some things that help me getting into this state: Dont be hungry, dont be thirsty, ensure to use the restroom beforehand -- basically, get rid of nagging distractions so you can focus on just mental state.

Then work on getting to the edge of sleep. It happens to me sometimes on the subway if I'm coming home late or on a bus trip where i've starved myself of sleep beforehand usually in the winter, cozy in a overcoat. We and all the matter around us is only energy. Mass is energy in a very low frequency. Practice hypnotism or meditation and you'll change your life for the better. From the description seems you have fully entered alpha brain frequency.

It is not exactly hallucinations, just brain disconnects from body while retaining consciousness. I recommend looking up Silva method which developed various ways to achieve this healing mind state, such as countdown meditation or binaural sound. Check out Astral Dynamics by Robert Bruce. Even if you think out of body experiences aren't real, well, they're experiences.

That book explains how to enter the hypnogogic state mind awake, body asleep which I think can also lead to what you experienced. The one just before falling asleep is a really wild one. I was curious about this a few years ago and looked it up. It's called hypnagogia and people have been known to try to induce it deliberately for creative purposes. Gave it a Google. Explains my other ranting post in this thread quite well. I apparently spend quite a lot of time in this state. Get lots of really good ideas almost as many as when doodling on the condensation of a foggy shower window.

I can focus on any vague idea and then immediately summon an image or multiple images on the theme of that idea, clear as day. Wish I had this superpower while awake — making art would be a million times easier. Kenji on Mar 25, You can trigger and even control this state.

It's caused by deeply letting go and avoiding structured thoughts. I used to spend 2 hours per day on the train, for 5 years. I always kinda napped in the train, usually with ambient music in my headphones. At some point, I was able to go exactly between the waking and sleeping state, or lucid dreaming. It's an incredibly powerful experience, you can control anything, you are dreaming while your consciousness is fully awake. I also had one experience that could be described as spiritual or religious though I'm none of that that was very powerful. I'm one of those that can fall asleep anytime, anywhere.

The technique I use is to work on my "novel". I guess my mind knows I've been "working" on it for over twenty years, it's not important. At this point it's just a fantasy environment in my head I can drop into where the stresses of the real world don't exist. Not sure if you meant for this to be funny, but I laughed out loud at this because i do the exact same thing.

I too can fall asleep within two minutes anytime, anywhere, while "working" on my "novel". The trick is to never go to sleep with the actual intent of going to sleep. You go to sleep with the mentality of finally, some time for myself to just lie here and work on this project in my head. I drift off seamlessly within minutes. Attempting too hard to sleep is self-defeating; ironically, the stress of actively trying to sleep will prevent you from doing just that.

But there's another important part: this only works if I've been away from screens for at least minutes and if I haven't had any caffeine in the last 6 hours. Fnoord on Mar 25, Kobo e-reader with e-ink and night mode does it for me. It can be amazingly dim, and at night it uses a hue that has almost no blue light. Comfortable fantasy world replaces worries, then sleep is easy. Figured it out in middle school. I explained it to a teacher once and they called it meditation I can do this too! I was born with a superpower, one that ensures I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime - untreated obstructive sleep apnea!

With obstructive sleep apnea, you too can fall asleep in those stressful situations like driving, in the middle of a fire drill at your desk, and while attending an important work presentation! On the serious, I have an appointment to get a CPAP tomorrow and in the meantime I sleep sitting up with my feet elevated and avoid most of the ill effects, but it's only a short term solution because it must be weighted against the possibility of a DVT or other blood clot.

PhantomGremlin on Mar 26, The APAP continuously adjusts air pressure to match your current needs. The SD card records details of every breath you take. You then plug that info into SleepyHead software and see what's happening to your body. They are happy if your AHI a measure of how bad your apnea is is below 5. But that still means you are having 5 serious events per hour. Which is bad, unless you're an insurance company. Go to cpaptalk. Works for many younger people. Old folks tend to have other medical issues that keep them from getting full benefit from CPAP. Even they can still be helped; e.

Went to my appointment, doctor wrote an order for an APAP machine, called the medical supply company who is working with the insurance and will call me later today or will receive a call from me tomorrow morning when they open. Thanks for the advice. Good luck with your CPAP. When I got mine it was like my brain firing on 8 cylinders instead of 3. Do beware that it can take a couple of weeks of use, during which your body and brain may be a little "bewildered" at getting all this oxygen during sleep!

Oh and your insurance if you live in a country that has it may require specific amounts of usage in the first month. Be very aware of that, it's easy to be "non-compliant" because you took it off in the middle of the night. I'm on month 3 of CPAP use and I didn't get the "firing on 8 cylinders instead of 3" effect -- I can't say I've noticed any change aside from "my spouse is willing to share a room with me" which isn't unsubstantial. How long did it take before this feeling kicked in?

This never noticeably happened, but thinking back, things without a doubt improved over time. The main things I notice now I used to be able to sleep 12 hours a night easy and wake up tired, now I can hardly sleep more than 8 hours and function completely fine on 6 hours. I can drive for more than 2 hours without having to pull over and take a nap. Car accident didn't help. I just dragged on wearing down little by little. My apnea got worse to the point that my partner was worried I wouldn't start breathing after stopping.

The first day after I felt a lot less pain. I was still very groggy, but I hadn't felt that good in a long time. It took a while to get up to full speed and feeling normal. Months of barely sleeping took months to recoup from. I still like 9. When I start to decline in performance or hit a wall, that's usually what I try to get back to first, because that's just hard to get squeezed in so I get less usually. Then checking if I'm getting enough exercise and calorie intake. It took me about 5 weeks. It takes a few weeks of nightly use before I feel good again.

You may not feel a night and day difference. It can be subtle, but things like not needing multiple naps a day can really make a difference to your quality of life. Get a sleep study! Be aware that it's one of those things that's like 10 good things and 8 bad things; but the good outweighs the bad. Can still fall asleep in under 5 minutes. Only difference is now I can usually control when I fall asleep.

Waterluvian on Mar 25, Just this year I learned an invaluable lesson about falling asleep. When my brain starts "daydreaming" random chains of thoughts, just let it do that. I used to try to clear my mind, but the opposite seems to work much better for me. I was just about to post the same thing.

Sometime over the last few years I started to notice I was moments away from falling asleep because my stream of consciousness would become nonsensical. I then discovered I could fall asleep faster by purposefully daydreaming nonsensical sceneries. I'll mention something related, just to see how widespread my experience is. Sometimes when I am just about to fall asleep, I suddenly become very aware of my receding consciousness.

It's a strongly uncomfortable feeling accompanied by a rush of energy that wakes me up instantly. It feels almost like my body thinks it's about to die, so it does a desperate hail mary to stay alive, or something. Very unsettling. Does anyone know what this might be about? I have always mentally separated what I described in my first comment from what I have come to associate with the term hypnic jerk. The first is more of a mental, physically still thing. The other is, for me, a sudden motion of a large body part, usually linked to dreaming about falling off something.

More importantly, the latter is emotionally neutral. I wake up going "oh, I didn't really fall. It was just a dream. It's a feeling of pure dread, but sort of wrapped in cotton. It's not a terribly precise term, to be sure. The physical jerk and anxiety aspect are often lumped together. SCHiM on Mar 25, Yes I have this sometimes. I always realize it's happening when I start to lose track of what I was thinking about, and can't recall thoughts I had just before I realized that I was falling asleep. By this time it's too late to just let it happen, and I'll have wasted a 'chance' to fall asleep so to speak.

I have the same, often it feels like my body "forgets" to breathe while falling asleep and I'm back to square 1. I think everyone gets that occasionally, but to me it feels like I'm falling and I wake up to catch myself. I close my eyes, and start trying to hear instruments. I start with the bass drum, add some hi-hats. I do this every night now, and I drift off nearly right away. I have podcast subscriptions to like 10 different history podcasts and they put me to sleep within 5 minutes most of the time. The key is that it has to be interesting enough to engage me, but not so interesting that it keeps me awake.

The History of English podcast is my favorite for that. This is my favorite podcast of all time. It's completely fascinating and yet, as with other history podcasts, it puts me to sleep in 5 minutes. I listen to them over and over to catch bits in those 5 minutes. I'll second the recommendation of the History of English podcast.

I'm roughly 20 episode in and adore it. However, I can't speak to its efficacy as a soporific. I have two 'tricks' to falling asleep but this article looks better. The first is to play the 'unrelated words' game, where you think of a word as completely unrelated to the last word as possible.

The second is to count up and work out whether the current number is prime. Both occupy the mind while minimizing stress, allowing the body to relax into sleep. I'm definitely going to try the techniques in the article though. What a gift! I'm guessing you're a fantasy writer If not, I've never seen a more obvious sign..

I expect there are many who use what you call "scenarios".


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Occupying the mind with a mundane task seems to be really helpful for me. Getting stressful thoughts off my mind is important. But just trying to stop thinking about whatever is worrying me doesn't work because my mind doesn't like to sit there doing nothing, so it looks for something to fill the time with. And the easy choice is whatever issues or problems I've been struggling with lately.

But if I do a mundane task, my brain has something to work on, and it doesn't go looking for things to occupying itself, which means the risk of thinking about something stressful is much less. Personally I use a crossword puzzle app on my phone. It requires my full attention to think through different words, and the clues give sufficient fodder that I can have some harmless, non-stressful mental tangents. And the thought of leaving a crossword puzzle and coming back later doesn't bother me, unlike say quitting a game of chess in the middle would.

How determining if a number is prime is not stressful? Well, there are algorithms It should be noted that the military and athletics are both areas that tend to select for people with good sleep to start with since poor sleep has negative impact on the things they look for and then often overwork people. So the high success rate is not surprising in those conditions. Sleep is not just the result of both physical and mental relaxation, although most people are likely to be able to sleep in that situation. Every self help book on sleep has varitions of this technique and many people find it helpful, but not everyone is able to sleep quickly even with relaxation.

As someone who falls asleep in roughly 15 seconds of putting my head on the pillow, it's fascinating that people have to adopt strategies to fall asleep. I wonder what's different about me than other people. I know of insomnia of course, and know plenty of people with it, but it still seems utterly alien to me to not be able to sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.

I don't particularly have any bedtime rituals, but I often have a cup of caffeinated black tea right before bed. I don't know whether my ability to sleep at the drop of a hat is physiological or psychological. I'd be interested to figure it out I'm My mom said On the ultra-rare occasions I don't fall asleep Instead of trying to relaaax The contrast is key.

Tension, release. It's almost like sticking your hand in bucket of room temp water. If you would've stuck your hand in an ice bucket for 5 seconds, THEN put your hand in the room temp Sounds like meditation techniques. It usually gives me new energy and focus similar to if I'd napped. After having one course of zen meditation, it seems to me meditation is pretty much the complete opposite of falling asleep. You want to stop thinking about anything, but only to feel perfectly aware of the current time and place. And your mind becomes completely focused and concentrated on.. In particular, the part in the OP where you "picture yourself being on lake, etc" looks to me as completely anti-meditation.

Zazen is just one form of meditation. According to The Mind Illuminated[1], some traditions eg. Anecdotal evidence: meditating in the evening helps me fall asleep. The trick is that I do it laying down instead of a more conventional meditation position.

Lucid dream - Wikipedia

I suspect the uncomfortable sitting position is made to help you stay awake. In the course i took, people could even ask for someone to hit them on the shoulder with a stick, to help them keep themselves awoken. The same to me. Those who are keen on exploring more should look up various relaxation methods that fall under the umbrella of Yoga Nidra. The technique described here is generally a preparatory exercise for a following 61 point or 31 point relaxation method usually done lying down on the back. As one makes progress in their practice they will find that their body and mind will start experiencing deeper rest for the same or lesser amount of sleep.

Some of the relaxation methods can be done upon waking up too -- gets rid of grogginess. There's a new trick I found that's been working out pretty well for me recently. To backtrack a bit, I've been having decent success with meditating to fall asleep. Namely, the basic technique is to simply focus on my breath -- specifically, on the very point at which I can feel my breath entering and exiting my nostrils or wherever the outermost point of my body is that I can feel my breath going in and out of , and whenever I notice my attention drifts away from my breath to just gently, without reproach, to focus it back on my breath again.

That technique usually worked for me, if I wasn't too agitated. The problem was that sometimes I'd have thoughts really rushing through my mind when I tried to fall asleep, and then even meditating like that wasn't enough. I analyzed what was going on and decided that just focusing on my breath was too monotonous, and gave me too much time for my mind to drift away to thinking about other things. What I needed was a better way to keep my mind busy with something monotonous, but not too monotonous. So I came up with a small modification which has worked better. It's basically the same as above, except on every other breath, instead of focusing on the breath, I'd focus on whatever sensation in my body that's most noticeable.

For instance, I might feel a lot of pressure on a body part that I'm lying on, like a certain part of my left arm or something. So every other breath, I'd focus on that. Whatever that is that is most noticeable might change from time to time, so I'd just go with whatever it happens to be. And every other breath, I'd focus on the sensation of my breath as usual. So effectively, I'd be alternating from focusing on my breath on one breath, and on the next on whatever sensation in my body was most noticeable, and then back to my breath. Wearing earplugs and a night mask blindfold helps too.

I think I use the same technique with another variation you might want to try out. Focus on your breath like in meditation but, at some point, slow it down as much as you can. So slow that you are on the edge of the body forcing you to breath again. You may calm down and shift into sleep quite easily.

How to fall asleep in two minutes or less: Have kids. BlackLotus89 on Mar 25, The technique described in the article is the common autogenic training [0]. I was taught this when I was a child, althought it was never of much use to me, because it didn't seem to help when I tried to use it before tests or when trying to relax. But it is effective for many people and I was even warned not to do it while bathing, because of a risk of drowning. Night mode with lowest backlight possible is what helps.

I've had various forms of insomnia most of my life. If this could really be turned into a reliable technique or product for people to fall asleep, they would become rich. Recently, my bigger problem is I wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep easily. Insomnia effects so many people and it increases to effect more people over time. I have found that reducing overall internet and computer usage has greatly increased my ability to fall asleep.

Tomminn on Mar 25, Historically, I had the classic problem of instinctively holding on to some stream of thought which I subconsciously felt the need to unwind before I would let dream consciousness take over. I figured out a nice trick to fix this. I close my eyes and visualize myself in an absurd, impossible fantasy scenario. It's amazing how quickly you will let dream consciousness kick in, when you subconsciously know you're giving it a job it's actually good at.

BirdieNZ on Mar 25, This is exactly what I do! I just start "day-dreaming" some story with myself as the main character, often with the setting being from a fantasy novel. I never manage to find out what happens in my story though, because I fall asleep before getting anywhere. Bookmarked in case I ever have trouble sleeping. I have the opposite problem, I can just fall asleep pretty much anywhere and in any position.

Just had a triple espresso or four cold brews, no problem. I fall asleep in less than a minute. Does anyone know if there is a name for that? My son has narcolepsy. When they tested him using a day time sleep study, it was his ability to fall asleep quickly, in just a couple minutes, that was the primary indicator of his condition. I believe the doctor said an ability to fall asleep and hit a certain deep stage of sleep in less than eight minutes is what they look for.

In movies and such narcolepsy is often portrayed as uncontrollably falling asleep mid-activity. Turns out that's not actually narcolepsy but a specific form of cataplexy. They are often present together, but are distinct. My son, for example, has very strong narcolepsy but relatively mild cataplexy.

Are there complications or other serious things that it can lead to? Are people with narcolepsy generally deep sleepers? I think tiredness and ability to sleep quickly are less binary and more of a spectrum. My wife, for example, is often tired and can fall asleep anywhere and relatively quickly. It affects our lives a bit, but it's not life dominating. She can push through it when needed. My son, when not on meds, is always very tired, debilitating so.

It's life dominating. He can sleep 12 hours, have breakfast, and sleep a few more hours, etc. It's not just a matter of being able to sleep or wanting to sleep, he feels exhausted roughly 20 of 24 hours a day. He would not wake up in 15 mins because a timer went off. I, on the other hand, am rarely physically tired, even when I've not got a lot of sleep. So, it may be that you are just more on the tired end of the spectrum. If your tiredness and ability to fall asleep quickly has more than a casual negative effect on your life, it may be something to talk to your doctor about.

Thanks for all the info! It started as a way to relax my thoughts when working. People with narcolepsy frequently have trouble staying asleep at night. With narcolepsy, the brain jumps into REM sleep, so it can be very difficult to get enough of the slow wave sleep that is the most vital form of sleep. It can sometimes get worse over time, but I don't know of major complications other than those directly caused by the sleep trouble and AFAIK treatment is entirely symptom based at this point.

Medical treatments for sleep disorders are generally not that good but in some cases better than nothing. Ideopathic hypersomnia or other hypersomnias might cause your symptoms also maybe more likely if you are a deep sleeper. Antihistamine use might also make that easier even second generation antihistamines affect some people that way and some random medications are also antihistamine. Or it could just be luck as you say that you are able to do that :. Unless there is more than what you mention, it sounds like an entirely good thing at this point and hopefully if so it will stay that way.

I've heard some people with that ability call it a superpower and as someone who has trouble getting to sleep it certainly sounds like one to me. The rare diseases summary of narcolepsy notes: "However, because narcolepsy often goes unrecognized or misdiagnosed, determining its true frequency in the general population is difficult. The onset of narcolepsy can occur anytime between early childhood and 50 years of age. Two peak time periods have been identified; one around 15 years of age and another around 36 years of age. Some researchers believe that narcolepsy is under-diagnosed in children.

Narcolepsy tends to remain a lifelong condition. Although the nature and severity of symptoms experienced by an affected person may varying over time, the disorder is not progressive. That could be many things, to be honest. I wonder, though, since you particularly mentioned "desk naps": Does focussing on your work exhaust you to the point of sleepiness? I originally started doing it to try to take my mind off the problem to not overthink it.

Thus the timer. Your body is not engaged or interested in what it's doing, so it seems no reason to not sleep. I've been thinking about my sleep a lot more as of late. I have no trouble being awake and activity hours a day, but unless I'm trying to keep going, around hour 18, I naturally do what Mr Winter describes. It's lights out for hours. However, I'm told that I'm a frequent sleep talker and have a habit of standing up, surveying the room, and then lying back down of which I have no recollection.

As well it's come to my attention partly from those who happen to live with me that my body seems to "cycle" different sensory groups on and off. The talking and standing being part of it, but I've also noticed external sounds influencing my dreams, many of which border on lucidity. I assume this is abnormal would like to hear otherwise , probably stemming from some deep seated need to be in constant control, but I quite enjoy being able to actively think and remember during my sleep cycle.


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  7. Which is a contrast to when I was younger and would have trouble falling asleep and had to actively drill more or less what Mr Winter taught, to no avail. Counting sheep just led to an internal Wikipedia dive into sheep and sheep related topics. A fun extension of this I just associated was that in my school years, I'd fall asleep in class, but my auditory processes would keep piping information into my brain in such a way that when the teacher thought they'd have me "caught" by asking me what the answer to the problem on the board was I could more often than not answer correctly without delay.

    I can actually confirm this -- my father served in WWII but in the Army , and he came back with this skill to fall asleep quickly. I, sadly, don't really have it. But this article has given me the idea to work on it more. The relaxation ideas here, of course, come from Indian yoga techniques, but maybe they didn't mention the history of it when teaching it. Now that would be a selling point, ha! I've started using audiobooks to help me sleep. Listening to the book keeps my thoughts from wandering and I'm usually able to fall asleep within 30 minutes or so this way.

    The Head Trip is an easy read, manages to slip you some science and also keeps the energy up as it travels through these weird and wonderful states of consciousness. And not just for bed-time. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since Follow PsyBlog.

    Published: April 16, in category: Psychology.