I just started following you because I love medical stuff and your blog seems really interesting :)
& since you try your best to answer questions from your followers about medical things and health, I have two things to ask about about my health... (I'm not sure if others have asked.)
1) Sometimes... I forget to breathe for a couple of seconds when I'm awake. I'll realize it and gasp for air, in shock. What does this mean in terms of my health?
2) There are a bunch of nights when I'm really tired, just before I fall asleep, I envision a scene, and all of a sudden, I jump into it, and I realize that I have just jumped into a dream, and I am aware that I'm dreaming. But it seems because I know that I am, I'm trying really hard not to wake up because it is an amazing experience and I feel that my heart is beating really fast and the back of my head is pounding. I'll wake up and feel really dizzy, but I'll still be able to jump right back into the same dream. I have almost full control of these kind of dreams (I guess like a lucid dreamer), but that feeling of forcing myself into (and staying in) a dream I created by making images in my head is a really weird one. I don't really understand exactly how the brain works in a tired state or in sleep, but I hope you can find information that can explain my experience to me, so that I don't feel like a crazy person who makes up worlds to play in during the night, in my dreams... Thank you, -Sarah
Hi there, Sarah —
I’m glad you’re enjoying this little puttering hobby of mine. :)
1) Um, not sure about this one. Lots of possibilities to consider. Do you do this in your sleep too (sleep apnea)? Do you have a very thick neck, big tongue, or large tonsils (obstructive apnea)? Are you just really bad at multi-tasking? (j/k!) Have you had any head trauma or do you have a history of seizures (partial seizures)? Do you feel as if you fall asleep for a quick moment, associated with that feeling of forgetting to breathe (narcolepsy or other related sleeping disorders)? Are you on any new medications, or using any herbal supplements/street drugs/alcohol (chemical-related side effects)? (Also: it doesn’t sound like Ondine’s Curse, which makes people stop breathing when they’re asleep and unable to consciously tell their brain to take a breath — but that’s a neat condition to read about.) Anywho, mention it to your doctor next time you see them.
2) Sounds like a hypnagogic hallucination — interestingly enough, you’re not the first person to ask me about this! Here’s what I wrote about it before. It’s not a big deal at all. (And regardless, there’s nothing crazy about “making up worlds to play in during the night in your dreams” — that’s just having an abundance of creativity!) :)