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bigjeff5 comments on Dissolving the Question - Less Wrong

44 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 08 March 2008 03:17AM

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Comment author: bigjeff5 01 February 2011 02:02:23AM *  0 points [-]

My test is even easier - I rarely remember dreaming. It's very similar to just blacking out. I lay down, fall asleep, and then 6-7 hours have gone by and I'm being awoken by my alarm clock. I sometimes remember parts of a particularly disturbing dream but they don't have any detail after I wake up, and within hours it is almost completely gone. In these cases it may feel like a half hour or so has passed.

I had a dream of that type a few days ago, and other than the impression that it was disturbing I can't remember a single thing about it. Nothing.

Stuff that happens when I'm awake, though, I remember very well.

Comment author: arundelo 01 February 2011 04:26:39AM 1 point [-]

So if you do have trouble telling dream from reality, you don't remember it. :-)

Comment author: bigjeff5 01 February 2011 05:28:38AM 0 points [-]

Yep :)

Comment author: scottclowe 07 February 2011 12:18:50AM 0 points [-]


Comment author: lessdazed 18 February 2011 03:52:56AM 1 point [-]

I remember about three dreams per night with no effort. Sometimes when I wake up I can remember more, but then it's impossible for me to remember them all for long. If I want to remember each of four or more dreams, I have to rehearse them immediately, otherwise I will usually forget all but three. The act of rehearsing makes it harder to remember the others, and it's weird to wake up with 6-7 dreams in my mental cache, knowing that I can't keep them all because after I actively remind myself what 3-4 were about the others will be very faint and by the time I have thought about five the others will be totally gone.

In related(?) news, often my brain wakes up before my body, and I can't move so much as my eyeballs! It's like the opposite of sleepwalking.

If I'm lying in bed, totally "locked in" and remembering a slew of dreams, I know I am awake. No one has complicated thoughts about several dreams from totally different genres while experiencing that one is unable to move a muscle without being awake.

If I'm arguing to the animated electrified skeleton of a shark that has made itself at home in my pool that he'd be better off joining his living brother in a lake in the Sierra Nevadas, who is eating campers I tell him to in exchange for hot dogs...I have a good chance of suspecting it's a dream, even within the dream.

Neither of these are tests, of course.

Comment author: gwillen 10 April 2012 07:14:42AM 1 point [-]

In related(?) news, often my brain wakes up before my body, and I can't move so much as my eyeballs! It's like the opposite of sleepwalking.

Just in case you aren't already aware (and haven't become aware since this was written) -- this is a common phenomenon (from which I suffer also), described here:


Comment author: hannahelisabeth 17 November 2012 10:52:31PM 0 points [-]

I'm not sure if I've experienced sleep paralysis before, but I've had experiences very similar to it. I will "wake up" from a dream without actually waking up. So I will know that I'm in bed, my mind will feel conscious, but my eyes will be closed and I'll be unable to move. Ususally I try to roll around to wake myself up, or to make noise so someone else will notice and wake me up. But it doesn't work, 'cause I can't move or make noise, even though it feels like I am doing those things (and yet I'm aware that I'm not, because I can feel the lack of physical sensation and auditory perceptions). But when I actually wake up and can move, it feels like waking up, rather than just not being paralyzed any more. And sometimes when I'm in that "think I'm awake and can't move" state, I imagine my environment being different than it actually is. Like, I might think I'm awake and in my own bed, and then when I wake up for real, I realize I'm at someone else's place. Which makes me think I wasn't actually awake when I felt like I was. But it feels awfully similar to sleep paralysis, so I'm not sure if it is sleep paralysis or just something very similar.

Comment author: gwillen 19 November 2012 06:18:47PM 0 points [-]

I would say that's very likely sleep paralysis; it it is very similar to my own experience.

As far as I can tell, without an outside observer to confirm this, my eyes are actually open during SP. After enough episodes I do occasionally get what seems to evidence of this (e.g. I will notice details of the world around me that I can clearly see when I wake up are actually there.)

Sleep paralysis is associated with hallucinations; particularly (for me and I think also in general) feelings of fear, or hallucinations of some entity 'coming for you', or people talking indistinctly, or people calling your name.

Generally you (or at least I) can't really think well in that state; as a state of consciousness, I guess I would describe it as "between dreaming and wakefulness." Sometimes I'm aware of what's occurring, and sometimes I'm not.

Comment author: themusicgod1 11 August 2015 03:22:29AM *  0 points [-]

No one has complicated thoughts about several dreams from totally different genres while experiencing that one is unable to move a muscle without being awake.

...I've had some pretty complicated dreams, where I've woken up from a dream(!), gone to work, made coffee, had discussions about the previous dream, had thoughts about the morality or immorality of the dream, then sometime later come to a conclusion that something was out of place(I'm not wearing pants?!) then woken up to realize that I was dreaming. I've had nested dreams a good couple of layers deep with this sort of thing going on.

That said I think you have something there, though. Sometimes I wake up (Dream or otherwise) and I remember my dream really vividly, especially when I awake suddenly, due to an alarm clock or something

But I've never had a dream that I struggled to remember what was in my dream inside of my dream. At the least, such an activity should really raise my priors that I'm toplevel.

Comment author: Brilliand 11 August 2015 06:03:08AM 1 point [-]

One method to check if you're dreaming is to hold your nose shut and try to breathe through it - if you're dreaming, your nose will work "normally", whereas if you're awake actual physics will take effect. (Note: every time I've done this while dreaming, I immediately got very excited and woke up.)