The unbearable lightness of falling asleep

Doing this, you get to know what the sensation of falling asleep feels like, much better than most people have occasion to.

Actually, I knew what it was like before I first did Uberman. The last sleep disorder I developed, the one that drove me over the edge, so to speak, and into the arms of polyphasism, was this curious problem: Every time I laid down to sleep, I would lay perfectly still and quiet my body. Some short time later I would feel a gentle sinking sensation, followed by a tingle that passed over my whole body, as if I’d sunk through a layer of fizzies. Once that had happened, my breathing and heartbeat and every other bodily function would slow to a crawl, and I knew for a fact that I was, in fact, asleep. …Except that the other part, where I lost consciousness, wouldn’t come. I could lay there as long as I wanted, trapped in what felt like a coma, but I wouldn’t actually go unconscious. I would listen to noises, think thoughts, feel my body locked down tight (I could move, but it was quite an effort at first, and by doing it I would almost certainly “wake myself up”). But I couldn’t actually lose consciousness. After the novelty of it wore off (a couple times, in other words), it became hellish. “Sleeping” was too boring to do for very long, and anyway even if I did, it wasn’t half as restful as it should be, because, well, I was awake for all of it. Pretty soon I would give up after about 20 minutes, and that’s how I ended up sleeping only 20 or 40 minutes a day for two weeks, and looking and probably acting like the walking dead, which led my best friend out of concern to search for a solution, and find what became the Uberman schedule.

It’s funny, I always thought the fact that I still felt the sensation of going to sleep when I *was* on Uberman was because I still had the sleep disorder, but my body was compensating somehow and letting me lose consciousness shortly thereafter. Today (all naps good so far), I realized that I can feel it again — the same exact sensation, except, thank the gods, shortly after the “tingle and shutdown”, I lose consciousness.

Interesting observatory powerz? Or yet another way in which I miserably fail the Normal Exams? Ah, well. I’ve got an icky little cafe and a buttload of Economics homework callin’ my name, so I’m out, yo. Ta!

-PD

About puredoxyk

Word addict, kungfu/taiji nut, and life-partner to polyphasic sleep. Rabid fan of as many hobbies as the world will let me pry into its piddly fourth dimension (it helps to have knocked out the fourth wall).
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7 Responses to The unbearable lightness of falling asleep

  1. Aximilation says:

    Very curious, I’ve had sleep paralysis before, normally when waking up, I’ve always felt it to be strangely amusing (since I knew what was going on) but feeling that falling asleep? I don’t know about that.

  2. Renegade says:

    I find it interesting that you take this subject like you do. This is a regular thing for me, and when I am using my “dream yoga” methods for lucid dreaming that is the first thing that comes when I fall asleep around 30 minutes. I’m sure you would technically be considered sleeping, probably stage 1, but if you hallucinate your in the hypnogogic state, but alas, it seems you have difficulty going any deeper.

    That is probably just a form of insomnia where your body is falling asleep, and your so sleep deprived it cannot be helped, despite your mind’s restlessness, from what i understand.

    anyways

  3. Denyse says:

    Lucid dreamers often try to do just this actually. We call it WILD – Wake-Induced Lucid Dreams. It’s really difficult to stay aware while your consciousness falls asleep, though. I can see the difficulty you had.

  4. puredoxyk says:

    No kidding? I used to have it all the time, pre-Uberman, when I had just about every stupid sleep disorder there was…but i haven’t had it since. Hmm. Thanks for the input!

  5. The funny thing is that I had sleep paralysis a few times during my life, but since going everyman I had it twice in less than 20 days. Hope it doesn’t happen to you, I mean polynapping with sleep paralysis is a bitch.

  6. PureDoxyk says:

    The deuce you say. Hmm, I’ll have to look that up. How to escape one’s body could be a useful skill in several situations I can think of. ;)

  7. Anonymous says:

    “stuck here in Hypnogogia again!”

    People who train to do OBE’s (out of body jaunts) would kill for your skill. That conscious but caught-in-amber feeling is the launch point. Give it a try some time!

    :-D
    Heidi

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