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August 26, 2010 8:36 PM Subscribe
Brainfilter: Why is my ability to visualize so unbounded when I am drifting off to sleep (but not yet dreaming)? Is this a state I can reproduce in waking life?
posted by overeducated_alligator to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
In my normal life, my visual imagination is pretty lousy. I can think verbally pretty well, but can't conjure any sort of visual object or scene in my mind.
When I'm in bed and drifting off to sleep, but still awake and largely in control of my train of thought, I experience a 5-10 minute window when my ability to visualize suddenly becomes intensely vivid. During this brief window, I can explore the wonders of whatever science fiction or fantasy universes my imagination can concoct; the scenery is both expansive and detailed. The oddest thing, to me, is that my visualizations in this period of time are even more complex and moving than my true deep-sleep dreams. (I've even had a few lucid dreams, and they were nothing like this...)
Do any neuronerds know what causes this sudden shift, and is there a way to recreate it without having to go to sleep right after? I want to make more use of this potential which seems to go untapped the other 23 3/4 hours of the day...