States of going to sleep
Thus us a general info post for my reference to later. Also for those whom like my non-nonsense writing. This is sorted into the “general hierarchy” which is erroneous due to its simplistic nature. It is also somewhat misleading as its more a cycle than a hierarchy. Pretty much all parts of this cycle happen multiple times during a nights sleep.
Your waking state. Its self explanatory what this is. Its the state in which you are in to read this blog post.
As you start to go to sleep, you go into a pre-sleep state. This is what is sometimes refer to as “transitive”. Some meditative states are very much like “pre-sleep”. Some dreams occur hear, often vague. The “pre-sleep” is much like a micosleep and does not induce sensory shut down.
Sensory shut down
This is where your body shuts down when you go to sleep. It does this to stop you hurting yourself as you brain has to remain a little active in all regions (including movement) while you sleep. Some sections of your brain “shut down”, more than others.
Neurologically speaking this is often where things like sleepwalking and speaking while you sleep happens. It is a MYTH you should not wake a sleepwalker. Wake that sucker for their safety, or secure them if you are unable to.
Sensory shut down can fail, and some sleepers will not enter this phase for any number of reasons. A sleep doctor may be able to help with this.
Hypnagogic OR Hynogagic state
This is in fact often while you have sensory shut down. This occurs both while you go to sleep and while you wake up. Both happen. Both are slightly different in term of the neurological stuff that goes on. There are nuerochemical, neuroelecrictal stuff that happens while you sleep, and nap. Both are slightly different. Explaining exactly what happens us a long and involved process for a later post.
This is a first state of restful sleep. If you don’t go to this state you will probably wake without having rested. It is also “transitive” as you can go from here into full dreaming very quickly. OBEE’s also happen in this state and you can keep it going for some time. Shamans often can also enter into this state during trances. Again a big topic for future posts.
Rapid Eye Movement sleep is when we enter a dreaming state. Most states if sleep involve a level of dreaming. During this stage one can actually see someone dreaming by looking at your eye movement. It’s from this movement that a lot of wearable REM lucid induction devices are based.
Entering into REM sleep happens about 8-15 times a evening, and most naps enter REM but don’t go any further. Dreaming is often quite illogical in this state, but will easily be categorized into the memory, psychology and neurology model I have mentioned.
This was the most vague of all states of sleep. It was also Scientifically very hard to pin down as NREM just means not REM which could be some of the states above REM and the others below it. Some campaign to name change this state, but no ones come up with a good name as of yet.
NREM can include dreaming, having a dream in this state is usual. It used to be erroneously believed that this state was not dream conducive or you did not dream during it. Clearly proved incorrect now, this state is now defined by measuring brain activity. Certain brain waves where then used to define other states. Most of this work was done in the 1970s with some follow up, now MRI technology is being used to try an determine further steps in the dreaming/sleeping process and how neurological activity occurred.
Dreams in this state are a more logical and more “sensible” type in comparison to REM dreams.
You enter a deep sleep (also brain wave defined in the 70s) about 1-3 times a night. Lack of deep sleep in a long period is associated with depression and anxiety, as well as other health conditions. Often deep sleep is dreamless, but a dreamer may easily remember a dream from one “side” of a deep sleep to the other. Dreams can occur in this state, so it’s not certain exactly what is going on.
This is a interesting one as it is defined as both any state of sleep as well as a state if sleep beyond deep where no brain activity happens in the cortexes commonly associated with dreaming. It’s generally assumed that this state does not occur with natural sleep.