Although it might appear so at first look, sleep isn’t a easy binary affair of the interval we spend awake and the interval we spend asleep. On the finish of the day, if you lay your head on a pillow and put together to float off to sleep, there’s a distinct interval, a transitional state, referred to as “hypnagogia”.
Throughout this era the place the physique is transitioning between full wakefulness and sleep, there’s a considerably elevated likelihood of experiencing a wide selection of sensory experiences. Some folks see rainbow-like gentle reveals (showing as gentle throughout their closed eyelids, however truly only a phenomenon often called “phosphenes” the place your visible nerves are stimulated within the absence of precise gentle). Individuals who play loads of video video games or carry out repetitive actions at work might expertise the “Tetris impact”, whereby scenes from the online game or their office play out as they drift off to sleep. Different sensations embrace listening to issues—an expertise which ranges from one thing as easy and calming as listening to a fan-like white noise to, for these with “exploding head syndrome”, listening to extremely startling noises—smelling issues, feeling scorching or chilly, or any variety of sensations the human physique can understand.
The state can be mentioned to be a extremely artistic one and many individuals prize the interval of semi-lucidity that occurrs between wakefulness and sleep. There’s an apocryphal story about Thomas Edison that states he would usually go to sleep holding metal ball bearings in order that as he lastly drifted off into deeper sleep and relaxed his hand, the clatter of the dropped bearings would wake him and he would file all his concepts. However Edison is hardly alone in giving credit score to the insights the twilight of the day supplies; Nikola Tesla, Isaac Newton, Beethoven, Salvador Dali, and different distinguished inventors and artists through the years all said that the interval was a extremely productive and invaluable one.