Sunday, April 04, 2004

Journal 5: Hypnagogic Hallucinations and Myoclonic Jerks that I've had (Retro Personal Entry)

(I am transcribing journal entries from before I started this net-journal. This one is from Early College.)

Psychology Instructor: Fred Sanborn

The Hypnagogic Hallucinations are dreams that are more vivid than REM sleep. Anyone who experiences hypnagogic hallucinations tends to receive realer sensations than when they experience normal REM sleep. The sensations may be so real, you could almost "feel" whatever you touch, hear as if it is a real sound, and so on. Myoclonic Jerks are, when in hypnagogic hallucinations, the person dreams of falling or tripping over, then as they hit the ground, they are jolted awake.

Often, when I have been in bed for just a few minutes, I may "hear" music that I have not heard before, and probably does not even exist. However, the music I hear sounds very beautiful and professionally made. In fact, I thought up a theory that the great musicians may have gotten their music ideas from hypnagogic hallucinations. They may have been quick to write down a sheet of the music they dreamed about, and then became famous for it.

An embarrassing time I may have a hypnogogic hallucination and a myoclonic jerk is when I might be sleeping during class, a lecture, or a sermon. I remember dreaming about going to a postmodern-style mansion with rollerblades on, and there was a living room with two steps to a "pit," a floor area slightly lower than the rest of the room. I was attempting to jump the steps, but did not succeed. As I fell, I was jerked awake. There were other people around me, so I looked around, and noticed that other people were not looking. I assumed it was because I did not jerk too much. I was lucky that time.
However, in other cases, I was not. When I had another myoclonic jerk at a Bible Camp near Hutchinson back in 2002, this was in a bible study. I remembered when I was dozing, the Bible study leader was talking about someone whose last name was Goldstein and was from Manhattan, New York. About 10 seconds later, I hallucinated seeing a jet approaching the World Trade Center. As it crashed, making a loud explosion, I was jolted awake, in front of the other people at the picnic table.

From time to time, I keep having such experiences. Myoclonic jerks may even be beneficial because if I need to study or get things done, and doze off, those jolts help me get back on track. Until this unit, I was not able to describe such sleep abnormalities to other people.Now, I and other psychology students can relate to each other about this.

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