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Strange mental state before falling asleep (Page 1)

I've been struggling with sleep issues since I've been young. I'm the type of person that wakes up at the sound of a pindrop. Perhaps my ancestors were guards or sentries that needed to be aware even during sleep, heh.

Anyhow, getting back on topic, one of my most recent problems has been these odd feelings right before entering the first stages of sleep. It's been going on for months now and shows no signs of letting up.

Basically, the easiest way to describe it would be an overwhelming sense of mortality. I feel fragile, mortal and feel a sense as if death is near or very close to me. Thing is, I'm a very care free person, often described as laid back or relaxed. I try not to worry about things in life I can't control, and the fear of death has never been a problem. Before going to bed, I feel fine. Not stressed, not anxious at all, feel tired and as if I could sleep in a matter of minutes... and the last thing on my mind is death or thinking about my own mortality.. Then out of nowhere, when I am about to enter a dream state, I feel what I've described... There are other strange feelings too, sometimes my mind will replay a situation I've had during the day but I feel as though I'm viewing it, feeling it, experiencing it through someone else's mind. It's difficult to describe.

It's not really a fear of death that I feel; more of a deep (but false) awareness of how I'm approaching death. It almost feels as though I can almost tap in this madness and extract when and where I will die, as if it's right there but I can't quite reach it. It sounds crazy... Maybe I am going nuts, who knows. I'm 28, healthy, fit, no diseases or problems that I know of... Yet I am tormented by this.

I've done searches and have not found anyone else with this problem. I don't know if it has anything to do with the fact that I have lots of trouble initially falling asleep, or what...

I've tried everything. From reading (easy reading) before bed, which has helped, to not eating / drinking anything before sleep, to sleeping and waking up at the same times everyday, or only being in my bedroom to sleep, etc. Nothing has helped. These strange odd sensations always come up, out of nowhere, and disrupt my ability to fall asleep, keeping me on the borderline of falling asleep until the wee hours of the night.

Any advice?
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First Helper Boki
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replied May 16th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Are you getting a sense of being dead?
Do you find yourself frightened at that moments?
For how long you have difficulties falling asleep?
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replied July 25th, 2008
Re: Strange mental state before falling asleep
I have something ridiculously similar... and it's terrifying me.


I'm not depressed, though it's not like I've never been before, so I understand what depression feels like. I lead a relatively "normal" life, and am a very happy person. I've always been a very heavy sleeper, and never had any problems sleeping (even with a tv blaring or something of the like).

Except lately(just only the passed few days), the moment I lay down to go to sleep, and things get quiet, a sudden feeling overtakes me completely. It's of death - and the possible chance that there is nothing after I die. It's the nothingness after death. I can feel the nothingness... it's so difficult to explain. For the first time in my life, I literally cried myself to sleep. Since then I've been reluctant to lay down to go to sleep.


I don't think about death on a regular basis... and it's not as if I think about it on my own when I lay down. It just happens, and it truly upsets me. I don't know what to do, I don't know who can help. My boyfriend just tells me that it will "blow over", but he doesn't seem to realize the severity of the situation. I'm honestly suffering, and I just don't know what to do now.

If anyone out there can help me, please don't be shy and share your thoughts or questions.
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replied December 19th, 2011
reply about sleep disorder
i have weird feelings too when i try to sleep
i lay down and try to go to sleep and i wake up suddenly after a few minutes and my mouth feels numb, and im after having a few hags too..i went to sleep on time and this weird mask come in through the door ..im sure it was a dream but it was so weird cuz i felt like i was awake
similar weird sleep disorders seem to trouble me all the time,,one thing i noticed though, is that it never happens when im drinking..only when im sober
im a perfectly normal guy..as far as i kno lol
but u have any input to my problem..please let me kno and hopefully we can figure out what is going on
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replied January 14th, 2009
I am really suffering with this as well pwnytail.. The only thing I can think of is going back in time I can remember suddenly being so afraid my parents would die - I ran into their room and begged them not to ever die! I was about 7 years old or so.
I don't know what to do except stay away from my bed until I am so tired I can hardly walk.
It is so upsetting and scary! Have you found anything to help you?
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replied January 14th, 2009
I know the feeling as well!
I have never been afraid of death before. Until one day I was watching a movie and basically blacked out as if I fell asleep I could still here the movie but couldnt make anything out because I was like talking to myself inside my head. Well I was just thinking about death like what is it going to be like and all that and then I felt mortality surround me. I had a panic attack right then and there while I was sitting on the couch. Terrified me. Sometimes it takes me forever to get to sleep because theres thoughts likke that running through my head while I am trying to go to sleep. They cant be shut off and they refuse to quiet down. The thoughts, they sit there, they fester inside my head, like little demons with long talons clawing at your mind. You cant do anything but sit there. Can't stop em no matter how hard you try. Its terrified me so bad once that I took a handful of pills to try and get it over with to find out what death is to find out whats going to happen afterwards. I ended up waking up in the hospital with black charcoal looking stuff all over my lips and face and hands...i guess i blacked out and called someone or someone found me and took me in, nobody really told me if they found me like that, and nobody asked me about it in my family, so i don't know if the subconscious part of my brain was powerful enough to overcome the deathly thoughts. because i lived. yet still on occasionally i have the thoughts inside my head, i been getting better at being able to suppress them though. I talk out loud to myself telling me about how after i die the lord is going to welcome me into the gate to the wonderful eternal bliss. I am christian not hardcore bible thumper or anything but I do believe. and it works for me for the most part...if you guys are christian or religious at all try reading or reciting your favorite scripture that you know and it may be able to comfort you enough to get passed it....dueces

Dusty xoxo
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replied January 27th, 2009
I also share a feeling somewhat like this.
If i think about it really hard, I get this weird sense of being alive.. Like I just can't believe I am actually alive, that I am a part of existence. And it seriously freaks me out so I start thinking about something else.. It's so surreal
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replied January 31st, 2009
I have the exact same thing occurring
i cannot believe someone else has this- i have the same problem, and it is so difficult to describe to anyone- Just to note- I have had sleeping problems forever- even as an infant my mother said that i was put on some sort of medication because i had my days & nights mixed up- sleep during day- awake at night- i also had night terrors for the longest time- i still only have very bad, horrifying dreams- never anything pleasant.

Anyway, just like you, i start off in bed fine- relaxed, and tired. I even begin to drift slightly into sleep- but not quite. Suddenly, i am awakened by a horrible, hopeless, and dreadful feeling- like you describe- it doesn't FEEL like i am dying- but it feels like, i don't know, just this weird overwhelming death feeling- it is hard to explain- but i feel it head to toe. In addition to the severe hopelessness & dread, i then begin to get really, like, agitated- and i start kicking the blankets, almost in a sort of tantrum, & i get extremely fire-y hot- like my body is overheated- and i am feeling an overwhelming dread- but also extreme agitation & annoyance- i am sweating & then i start panicking & crying. It always wakes my boyfriend up- he tries to calm me down & rub my back & sometimes gets a cold rag for my head- which sometimes works, sometimes it works for a second until all of the above described emotions come rushing up again- the only way i can get rid of the agitation & sweating & kicking part is if i try to let my B.F relax me & try not to let the emotions overtake me again- but i am still left with the hopeless, empty, dread and "death-feeling"- somehow it eventually passes & i fall asleep- when i wake up i can never understand what was making me so emotional. I have been on sleep meds for, again, as long as i can remember- but this is something that has only just started fairly recently- i can't figure out what triggers it- it is sporadic. It seems similar to what i assume (from what i've heard/read) a panic attack feels like, but not really the same thing.
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replied January 31st, 2009
i also want to add...
that unlike the others, i, like you, am not thinking about or having thoughts regarding things such as what happens when i die or the like- the thing that makes this strange is that it has nothing to do with such thoughts- it is not a reaction to them or anything else, rather, it just occurs seemingly out of the blue- as i am falling asleep, and am calm & relaxed, i am suddenly stricken with a deep sense of hopeless angst- like i described above- not a feeling or fear that i am dying- but, as the original poster reasoned, just an overwhelming awareness of death- that is the best i can describe it, although it still feels like i am not capturing it quite accurately.
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replied September 8th, 2011
Fear right before sleep
I have what i think is a similar phenomenon. It isn't a fear of death, but almost like an ancient thing I forgot is being remembered, or a frightening event is hidden. I'm not talking about a repressed memory. It's still part of "dreamworld." It is just a sudden fear, like there was a monster under the bed for two seconds and now it's gone, and I'm not sure if it was really there at all. No, it wasn't, it was a dream. This happens once or twice before I fall asleep for good.
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replied March 5th, 2009
Me too!!
I have experienced this EXACT same weird feeling for about 4 years now. It started out as a nightmare that would wake me, now it occurs in a awake/sleep state. It is a feeling of dread, that's how I describe it, the only way I can describe it. It is hard to explain. Has anyone been treated for this? Does anyone know what it is? I figure it was triggered by the sleep deprivation from the birth of my first son.

Can anyone shed any light on this? Is there a name for it or is it a symptom of something else, like anxiety or PTSD?

It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who goes through this.

Thanks!
Marina
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replied March 12th, 2009
same feelings
i felt like this now for 2 nights. the best way i can describe it is, as im about to go to sleep, i will get a very sudden feeling of me about to drift in to unconsiousness, and then i snap my self out of it by sitting up really quick and taking some deep breaths. its extremely nervewracking to me. is this how anyone else feels? almost like you feel it happening but can stop it by sitting up and breathing/ panting?
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replied March 15th, 2009
near sleep insanity
It's a very creepy mental state. I worry sometimes about what I could do in the haze of bolting out of bed and freaking out about being alive. it's slightly comforting to know that we're not alone. I feel time compress and my death to be imminent. I wake up feeling like:
a.) I can't possibly bear the pain of my impending fate.
b.) I have to get out of this life somehow.
c.) I'm completely helpless and doomed.
d.) I have to live life completely before i die.

It's a weird progression.

And then it goes away... it's like the subroutine that controls my creppy thoughts shut down as I'm falling asleep. It takes less than a minute to return to normal, but it can happen up to half a dozen times before I can finally fall asleep. I don't have issues when I'm awake, unless I really think deeply about my mortality. I'd like to find out what psychologists think of it. First signs of insanity? Will I lose the ability to cope with the reality of life someday and permanently end up in that insane state of when I'm almost falling asleep? That would suck balls.
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replied March 15th, 2009
Hm..
The same thing has been happening to me lately, and it makes me dread going to sleep at night. When I finally fall asleep I wake up feeling like I haven't rested well at all. I try to explain it to my mother but it's a hard thing to really explain. If I try to ignore the feeling I start to feel tingly all over and I have to sit up and take a deep breath.
I've also been having anxiety attacks and hyperventilating a ton, and no matter hard I try to stop it all I can't. So, I think it's connected to anxiety. Even when you're calm and everything it can definitely still happen. Sometimes it's for a reason too, I've been trying to find the reason for my anxiety, and if I can find it then I feel I can stop everything else too. I think my problem is loneliness and sadness. I'm lonely because I don't have many people I communicate with, just my parents, my brothers and occasionally one of my friends. I also have no job yet, because it's ridiculous trying to find one.. And then one of my friends killed herself last month and I know that is almost always on my mind. So I think I just need to get myself busy and I'll be okay.
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replied March 30th, 2009
Thank u everybody...
I've been experiencing the very similar, maybe even exact feelings during falling asleep. It all started in 2002. when I experienced my first dreadful panic attack- it was so hot day and I decided to refresh myself by showering with almost cold water. Then i sensed that I'm going to die, that my heart will simply stop ticking, and that it's so enevitable that I even said goodbye to my entire family. I mean, I was in overwhelming shock and until then I went to psychiatrist for like two years, took various antidepressants but nothing helped me with that sleeping issue. Strange visions occur in that state of mind, strange sounds inside my head, I fell like I'm loosing my mind, going to die and it happens on a regular basis. Sometimes I have those unexplainable phenomena like I'm becoming everything, transforming myself to some divine being, I dont know. I see things in my room-so strange and horryfing that I begin to scream from the top of my lungs in the middle of the night, it regularily wakes everybody in my house up... Sometimes I feels so hopeless, and other times nothing happens, I fall asleep calmly... It's o disturbing that I fear of sleeping anywhere else except at my own home, so that other could not hear those screams of mine. I could type so much more than this but I think I managed to explain my freakin' problem. Thanx!
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replied April 10th, 2009
Strange mental state before falling asleep
I've had this problem for about 18 years now. For me the only thing that will stop this is taking Ambien. It contains a drug that disconnects a part of the nervious system that triggers these attacks. You really should give it a try, it was a miracle for me.
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replied December 15th, 2009
death visions, help.
I have the same thing, yet a bit different...
as soon as i hit the pillow close my eyes, am relaxed and comfortable i start seeing these wierd visions that involve me and someone else that is close to me...
someone would die in this vision whether it be myself or a friend and it is a brutal and painful death like nothing i would ever think of !! the two people ive told this to are obviously freaked out and i havent been able to tell anyone else. but after it happens and i awake i just start crying because i dont actually want that to happen. and yet as soon as i start being relaxed with my eyes closed another one happens. i dont know how to stop it or what could help for it Sad please help.
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replied December 27th, 2009
Answer
I think when you are in a state of emptiness and nothingness your subconscious thinks of emptiness and nothingness which is theoretically what I believe the human mind associates with death. It's a simple subconscious thought process. I would sleep with the lights dim or on. Or listen to a radio or tv as you fall asleep. I bet you that will help
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replied January 6th, 2010
weird feeling when falling asleep
same feeling but not along the lines of death..

ive been getting this weird feeling as i fall sleep since i was a kid... it mostly happens when im sick and have a fever (which is the worst, i get the worst psychological feelings and its the same everytime) but it sometimes happens just for no reason when im about to fall asleep.. i just get in a weird state of mind... i cant explain very well but its a really uncomfortable feeling and it sometimes prevents me from falling asleep. i just change positions in bed and eventually i just get out of bed cause thats the only thing that seems to help... it pretty much feels like im so small laying within something so big.. and big is bad... like my bed is huge... sounds strange but it feels worse.. i just want to cry sometimes because its such a scary feeling. i cant explain it though. i wish i knew what it was. if anyone has any feedback, please reply.
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replied July 14th, 2011
Okay, wow. It was so strange to read your message. I was searching through the internet, looking for people, testimonies, anything, that would describe this feeling I've had for so long now. After a while I fall on this page, and, althought I've felt what the OP described (and have a theory as to why this feeling occurs in a half-sleeping state), this wasn't the exactly the feeling I was looking for. But, oh, hey, coincidence, here you are (or were.. wow, more than a year ago), describing this as if it were my own words. "since I was a kid", "mostly happens when I'm sick and have a fever". "Hard to explain", I know! "So small laying within something so big". The way I feel it, it happens when my eyes are closed.. You said it is as if your bed was huge, well, wow, again, hard to explain, but the way i feel it.. it's as if my head was huge... and I was so small, but inside my head .. Like I feel tiny inside my own "consciousness", and I feel everything is soooo far away. The walls of my room feel like they are a mile away, and my bed is huge, and my head is huge, and i'm so small inside of all this, and so far away.

Is it also like this for you? First time I find someone that can relate to this, and I've been trying to explain this feeling to parents, friends, etc. ever since childhood! Hope you'll read this even though it's been more than a year!
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replied September 25th, 2011
Both tzul and Jiffius-you guys experienced exactly what I have before! I can't believe I found others that are describing what I've felt. For me it also happened mostly when I was a little kid, when I was sick and had a bad fever (though there have been a handful of rare times when I've very briefly felt the sensation as I've gotten older-I'm 25 now). I've felt the bed being huge, and also not my head being huge, but my hands. It's an odd feeling that's a weird mix of mental and physical sensation, but it makes my hands feel kind of both huge and really tiny at the same time. Also, sometimes as well as feeling really huge and stretched out, the bed would suddenly feel like I was lying on cold, hard linoleum instead. I guess maybe we were just having hallucinations from having such bad fevers and being so young? Either way, I still can't believe I've found others that have felt those exact same sensations.
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replied January 22nd, 2012
I used to get the same when I was ill as a child! I have been starting to experience it again while drifting off, my 'conciousness' feels as though its in a void of strangness, starting with deafening silence, then I experience loud, strange random noises like random shouting or beeps and smashing. The same 'feeling' has been creepin g into my waking life recently. Not nice, thats all I can say! Feels like insanity......
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replied April 9th, 2012
Jiffius, you just described EXACTLY what I feel sometimes, although it has never been related to illness for me.
I feel like my head is as big as a galaxy, but my conciousness is really microscopic within it. I have always found it to be a completely fascinating feeling, and I stay as still as I can to keep it with me for a while. I never imagined anyone else could describe that feeling so precisely how I would have!!.
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replied January 22nd, 2012
I used to get the same when I was ill as a child! I have been starting to experience it again while drifting off, my 'conciousness' feels as though its in a void of strangness, starting with deafening silence, then I experience loud, strange random noises like random shouting or beeps and smashing. The same 'feeling' has been creepin g into my waking life recently. Not nice, thats all I can say! Feels like insanity......
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replied January 24th, 2010
Hi all, I have similar experiences to the original poster. I went to a doctor about it and I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder. When I would try and sleep I would get a sudden realisation of how my life is so fragile and that i could have a stroke or heart attack at any moment. I'm only 27 and whilst these are possible, they are very ulikely. This experience would frighten me for a short period but I would get over it and it made me become nervous about going to sleep. Also i experienced palpitations and rushes of adrenalin at the most inappropriate moments.
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replied January 27th, 2010
Strange Sleep
I also have this issue, amongst other things a crazy inablity to move, and I consciously will myself to try to wake up sometimes. It sounds like you have some symptoms of this sleep disorder called Sleep Paralysis. Hope this helps. Look into it sometime Smile There's a lot of folklore information on it, but theres also real medical informations as well.
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replied January 27th, 2010
In terms of the orinal poster , they dont describe not moving. I suffer from sleep paralysis too quite regularly but what is being described isnt part of that. The dream like state is possible depersonalisation or deralization, which is part of anxiety disorders or can be experienced on its own. Sometimes we can be anxious without experiencing normal symptoms, but without resolving issues it can become severe in as in my case where i was having a panic attack which lasted a whole day. Subsequently I attended a&e cause I thought I was having a heart attack. With me my anxiety started with me having palpitations and thinking about my own mortality. I started to over think about the symptoms (known as somatization), this made the symtoms get worse and cause the symptoms were getting worse i would think about it more. In my experience, the difference with sleep paralysis is that with sleep paralysis you usually feel like your awake (and for many years I beleived I was awake, even after a neurologist told me I wasnt), whisdtling or pressure in your ear, paralysis and a sudden overwheling fear, somerimes you get hynopompic/gogic hallucinations (which relates to the folklore). I have experieced the hallucinations a few times and this as come in the form of aliens and snakes, my youngest memory is aliens when i was about 4 yrs old (the hallucinations are usually culturally sensitive and aliens are quite usual now, where as in timesd gone by it would be usual for monsters or witches)

With the anxiety you tend to have the dream like state whilst thinking about your own mortality. i.e with me id think omg i could just die of a heart attack or stroke at any moment and it would be accompanied by this dreamlike state (which is not a nice experience, people usually feel it when they go in to shock too, but may be one of the minds defence mecanisms)
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