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Sleep vs. Trance

Sleep vs. Trance



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I've been recently reading about hypnosis and I'm asking this question because I've had certain personal experiences that makes me confuse the term Trance with just simple sleep.

I'm not a fan of Heavy Metal music, but I sometimes listen to it because it somehow calms me down and I usually listen to music while wearing my big uncomfortable headphone, sitting in my chair which is also very uncomfortable and having my legs resting on my desk. When I listen to music, I almost always start to imagine things, for example I sometimes try to imagine a trip to a certain place, or I try to make up a music video for that tune in my mind. The reason why I mentioned Heavy Metal is that, when I listen to that kind of music in that uncomfortable position, I fell asleep in a way that I can still hear the music and this goes on until the whole album is finished and when I wake up I feel really really fresh like my brain has been fully reset. However, this feeling does not happen when I just go to bed or I just get some rest.

What I have read about hypnosis suggests a similar condition, which is when someone is between being conscious and unconscious (or I can't describe it well). However, the videos I have seen about it emphasis on comfort. Would this be (what's I'm experiencing) a kind of trance or hypnosis, or it is just a normal nap?

And would there be any reason why a music full of violence, yelling, and rough sounds would calm down the brain and put it into a semi-conscious state and then makes it very refreshed afterwards?


Wearing those big headphone is indirectly a way to isolate yourself from the surrounding sound. That is usually a prelude for relaxation, or meditation. (In people with audiotory disorder, or with authism, this is a way they can feel good as that remove a big source of stimulis)

On the other side for the heavy metal, study have found it can be a stress reliever, as stated in that study;

Extreme Metal Music and Anger Processing

The findings indicate that extreme music did not make angry participants angrier; rather, it appeared to match their physiological arousal and result in an increase in positive emotions. Listening to extreme music may represent a healthy way of processing anger for these listeners.

Other news site suggest the same;

One student said: "It helps me with stress. It's the general thrashiness of it. You can't really jump your anger into the floor and listen to your music at the same time with other types of music."

It's not a fact, but some smaller study clasify heavy metal fan at the same level than classical fan;

Classical music and heavy metal fans might not be different after all. New research by scientists at Heriot-Watt University has found that not only are peoples' personalities linked to their taste in music - classical and heavy metal listeners often have very similar dispositions.

With thoses study in head, I have no difficulty to understand why you can relax to such music. Is it hypnosis, trance or such ? who know, but something is sure is that those headphone and heavy metal is a good mix to deeply relax / meditate.


It's highly plausible (judging from your description) that you induce some sort of hypnotized state. I highly doubt it's strongly related to heavy metal though. The state of mind you're hinting at is not really a state between the subconscious and conscious. It's your mind deceiving your body that you're asleep without losing awareness. The increased visual imagination indicates to me that you're approaching a dreamlike state.

What about your dreams? I suggest u start writing a dream journal. Also, try practicing meditation before you go to bed and see if you achieve similar results.


Hypnosis is total concentration on an idea or concept

Our brain/mind can only think consciously about one thing at a time everything else – surroundings, other people, background sounds and so on – is then “invisible” to us. When you are focusing on something you want to do, your attention will become so avid from time to time, that you will be completely unaware of anything else – unless there has been a real need for your attention to switch to something different. That is just about the best state of hypnosis you can get! It is a total concentration on an idea or concept.It is a totally focussed state. This is sometimes referred to as a state of “selective thinking.” In the state of selective thinking, anything which is not directly connected to the current thought process, and which poses no threat to security or survival, is filtered out of conscious awareness.

A totally focussed state means exactly that

A totally focussed state means exactly that. There is only one thing going on in your mind and only one thing you are aware of. All other stimuli is simply ignored or not noticed. Concentrating on what is on the television and being hardly aware of a conversation elsewhere IS hypnosis. Watching television and listening to what somebody else says somewhere is NOT hypnosis. Reading a book and not even realising that another person has entered the room, never mind that they are talking to you, most definitely IS hypnosis. Talking to one person whilst wondering what is being said in somebody else’s conversation is NOT hypnosis. Listening to someone and being completely un-distracted by other conversation, traffic passing by outside, a telephone ringing in another room… that definitely IS hypnosis.

In all states of hypnosis, even though there is no focus upon stimuli other than the required one, there is an awareness of them – which is why everything feels so normal. That awareness is there, even in the deepest of hypnotic states, but it exists along with a recognition of complete lack of interest or concern, and it is only then that you may begin to recognise your own state of hypnosis.


Connections between Sleep and Substance Use Disorders

Most common mental disorders, from depression and anxiety to PTSD, are associated with disturbed sleep, and substance use disorders are no exception. The relationship may be complex and bidirectional: Substance use causes sleep problems but insomnia and insufficient sleep may also be a factor raising the risk of drug use and addiction. Recognizing the importance of this once-overlooked factor, addiction researchers are paying increased attention to sleep and sleep disturbances, and even thinking about ways to target sleep disruption in substance use disorder treatment and prevention.

We now know that most kinds of substance use acutely disrupt sleep-regulatory systems in the brain, affecting the time it takes to fall asleep (latency), duration of sleep, and sleep quality. People who use drugs also experience insomnia during withdrawal, which fuels drug cravings and can be a major factor leading to relapse. Additionally, because of the central role of sleep in consolidating new memories, poor quality sleep may make it harder to learn new coping and self-regulation skills necessary for recovery.

The neurobiological mechanisms linking many forms of drug use and sleep disturbances are increasingly well understood. Dopamine is a neurochemical crucial for understanding the relationship between substance use disorders and sleep, for example. Drugs’ direct or indirect stimulation of dopamine reward pathways accounts for their addictive properties but dopamine also modulates alertness and is implicated in the sleep-wake cycle. Dopaminergic drugs are used to treat disorders of alertness and arousal such as narcolepsy. Cocaine and amphetamine-like drugs (such as methamphetamine) are among the most potent dopamine-increasing drugs, and their repeated misuse can lead to severe sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation in turn downregulates dopamine receptors, which makes people more impulsive and vulnerable to drug taking.

In addition to their effects on dopamine, drugs also affect sleep through their main pharmacological targets. For instance, marijuana interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system by binding to cannabinoid receptors this system is involved in regulating the sleep-wake cycle (among many other roles). Trouble sleeping is a very common symptom of marijuana withdrawal, reported by over 40 percent of those trying to quit the drug and sleep difficulty is reported as the most distressing symptom. (Nightmares and strange dreams are also reported.) One in ten individuals who relapsed to cannabis use cited sleep difficulty as the reason.

Opioid drugs such as heroin interact with the body’s endogenous opioid system by binding to mu-opioid receptors this system also plays a role in regulating sleep. Morpheus, the Greek god of sleep and dreams, gave his name to morphia or morphine, the medicinal derivative of opium. Natural and synthetic opioid drugs can produce profound sleepiness, but they also can disrupt sleep by increasing transitions between different stages of sleep (known as disruptions in sleep architecture), and people undergoing withdrawal can experience terrible insomnia. Opioids in brainstem regions also control respiration, and when they are taken at high doses they can dangerously inhibit breathing during sleep.

Addiction and sleep problems are intertwined in other, unexpected and complex ways. In a particularly fascinating finding published in Science Translational Medicine in 2018, a team of UCLA researchers studying the role of the wakefulness-regulating neuropeptide orexin in narcolepsy were examining human postmortem brain samples and found a brain with significantly more orexin-producing cells this individual, they then learned, had been addicted to heroin. This serendipitous discovery led the team to analyze a larger sample of brain hypothalamic tissue from individuals with heroin addiction these individuals had 54 percent more orexin-producing cells in their brains than non-heroin users. Administering morphine produced similar effects in rodents.

Further research on the overlaps between the brain circuits and signaling systems responsible for reward and those regulating sleep may help us understand individual differences in susceptibility to addiction and sleep disorders. I believe that the future of addiction treatment lies in approaches that are more personalized and multidimensional, and this includes using combinations of medications and other interventions that target specific symptoms of the disorder. It could prove very useful to target an individual’s sleep problems as one of the dimensions of treatment. For example, NIDA is currently funding research to test the efficacy of suvorexant, an FDA-approved insomnia medication that acts as an antagonist at orexin receptors, in people with opioid use disorder.

The causal relationship between impaired sleep and drug misuse/addiction can also go in the other direction. People who suffer insomnia may be at increased risk for substance use, because sufferers may self-medicate their sleep problems using alcohol or other drugs such as benzodiazepines that they may perceive as relaxing. Or, they may use stimulant drugs to compensate for daytime fatigue caused by lost sleep. Impaired sleep may also increase risk of drug use through other avenues, for instance by impairing cognition. Consequently, sleep disorders and other barriers to getting sufficient sleep are important factors to target in prevention.

Early school start times, for instance, have been the focus of considerable debate in recent years, as teenagers may be particularly vulnerable to the many health and behavioral effects of short sleep duration. I wrote previously on this blog about research findings that fewer hours of sleep correlate with increased risk of substance use and other behavior problems in teens. In this age group, tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use are all associated with poorer sleep health, including lower sleep duration, again with possible bidirectionality of causation.

Longitudinal research is needed to better clarify the complex causal links between sleep, brain development, and mental health outcomes including substance use. The Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study is examining these relationships in a large cohort of children who were recruited at age 9-10. This longitudinal study, now in its third year, is already beginning to produce valuable findings. A team of Chinese researchers using ABCD data recently published in Molecular Psychiatry their finding that kids with depressive problems had shorter sleep duration 1 year later, as well as lower volume of brain areas associated with cognitive functions like memory. We will learn much more as the ABCD study progresses.

Despite all we are learning, more research is needed on the relationship(s) between drug use, addiction, and sleep, in adults as well as young people. NIDA is currently funding several projects to study various substance use disorders and sleep, as well as the neurobiology of reward and its relation to circadian rhythms. It is an area with great potential to prevent substance use as well as to treat one of the most debilitating side effects associated with substance use disorders.


Amanita muscaria is a mushroom species traditionally used in shamanic activities by indigenous Siberian and Baltic cultures such as the Saami of Finland and the Koryaks of Eastern Siberia. Shamans used it as an alternative method of achieving a trance state. In most cases, however, Siberian shamans achieve trance by prolonged drumming and dancing.

We are all aware that our dreams may contain very different kinds of thoughts than those that we have while awake. However, there are also wakeful situations in which we can experience an altered state of consciousness (ASC)— these include hallucination, hypnotic states, trance states and meditation. In contemporary North American culture, these wakeful ASCs are thought of either as unusual events or pertaining to practices of specialists—hypnotic states induced by therapists or magicians, trances entered into by mediums conducting séances, meditation in yoga classes, or drug-induced hallucinatory experiences. The idea that bodies might be possessed by demons, witches, or spirits also exists as a popular theme in media and in some religious traditions. However, contemporary mainstream North American culture does not embrace these practices in rituals, healing practices, or as part of ordinary life. In other words, ASCs are not institutionalized (Winkelman 1986) .

The “Princeton Shaman”: Shaman in Transformation Pose, Olmec, ca. 800 B.C. An image of the marine toad Bufus marinus is incised on the figure’s forehead.


Trance stare led researchers to discover a genuine hypnotic state

Hypnosis has had a long and controversial history in psychology, psychiatry and neurology. For the past hundred years, researchers have debated whether or not hypnosis really involves an altered mental state unlike the normal wakeful condition, or whether it simply reflects a cognitive state similar to those occurring outside hypnosis.

To date, there has been no reliable way for determining whether a person is actually hypnotized or simply faking or simulating hypnosis. Consequently, many researchers have considered the special, altered hypnotic state as a popular myth in psychology.

An international team of researchers from University of Skövde (Sweden), University of Turku (Finland) and Aalto University School of Science has now provided strong evidence for the existence of a genuine hypnotic state. The researchers studied the 'trance stare', a glazed look in the eyes that has often been associated with hypnosis in the popular culture but rarely studied scientifically.

The study focussed on healthy adult who is known to be highly susceptible to hypnosis, and is known to respond immediately to hypnotic suggestion. Her eye movements during hypnotic and waking state were measured with a special eye tracker. When she entered hypnosis, her eyes became glazed and her blinking date was significantly reduced. Even more importantly, hypnosis induced dramatic reduction in eye movements that are beyond volitional control in healthy adults. None of thirty tested control subjects could mimic these changes in eye movement patterns volitionally, which underlies that hypnosis does indeed involve an altered mental state which is associated with cognitive and motor changes far beyond our volitional control.

These findings have major implications for psychology and neurosciences, as they confirm the existence of a novel mental state in humans.

The findings were published on Oct. 24, 2011 in the online journal PLoS ONE.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some frequently asked questions directly pertaining to hypnopompic hallucinations. If you have any other questions, feel free to submit them in the comments section below.

How long do hypnopompic hallucinations last?

For a majority of individuals, the hypnopompic hallucinations are extremely short. They may last anywhere from a fraction of a second to seconds, or from seconds to a couple minutes. For most, the longest you’ll likely experience a hypnopompic hallucination is a few minutes.

That said, if you’re taking a certain drug or supplement, there’s a chance that hypnopompic hallucinations can be prolonged. Those taking psychoactive or brain-altering substances may perceived hallucinations that persist for substantially longer than several minutes during a hypnopompic state.

Do hypnopompic hallucinations have a secret meaning or significance?

Generally hypnopompic hallucinations have no secretive meaning or substantial significance. Think of them as bizarre sensory experiences as a result of altered or abnormal brain activity. While many people may assign them meaning such as a hidden message from a deity, they are really nothing more than odd regurgitations from the brain.

You are free to interpret them however you want and/or assign them special meaning, but they shouldn’t be considered hidden esoteric messages from the universe. In some cases, they may be related to a particular problem that you’ve been consciously working on or trying to figure out and may provide you with insight or a new way of perceiving that problem, but this isn’t as common.

Are hypnopompic hallucinations good or bad?

Hallucinations that occur during a hypnopompic state may be perceived as good, bad, or neutral. From an objective perspective, they should be considered neutral in that they are nothing more than bizarre sensory experiences stemming from alterations of brain activity. That said, if they provoke feelings of fear, they may be subjectively perceived as “bad,” whereas if they’re pleasant, they may be perceived as “good.”

Have you ever experienced hypnopompic hallucinations?

If you’ve experienced hypnopompic hallucinations, or hallucinations during the transitory period from sleeping to wakefulness, feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. Discuss the specific hallucination, including whether it was visual, auditory, tactile, or a combination of multiple senses. Also be sure to mention whether you believe there was a specific root cause of your hypnopompic hallucination (e.g. sleep deprivation) or whether it was just a normal, bizarre occurrence.

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I have woke to the swirly designs in my ceiling all began to move into complete circles. I saw 3 character type people peering in my bedroom door, laughing at me. They all looked different like the ghosts in The Casper The Ghost Movie. I’ve also seen the trees outside my window turn into dragons.

Last night a woman was standing at my bed side yelling at me, except I could t hear her voice. I could only see her mouth moving. I kept trying to close my eyes but each time I opened them, she was still there. I turned the light on and she was gone.

I also heard a news radio playing in the other room. I only hear the talking when my fan is on. Sometimes when I wake up, everything has orange paint splotches all over. It’s soooo weird, I’m so glad I found this article!!

My experiences started when I was in the hospital recovering from a “heart event”. It was like 2 small frames of view coming together to form a focused view of whatever was happening to my left. Kind of like a video. In the following weeks at home I saw lines of red boxes to my right, like small check boxes.

And next were lines of orange octagon shapes. Since then I have seen scalloped decorations on the wall, small spiders on the couch, black hieroglyphics in the air, and colored scribbles on the couch. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned is that sometimes my vision is colored like a color filter on a camera.

I fell asleep watching TV and woke to find everything orange. Falling asleep in the bath, I woke to find the wall before me was green with little hearts spread over the wall. This, of course all fades with seconds of taking note.

I have also had very similar experiences to those expressed here and I am very glad to finally be able to put a name to it. My nighttime hallucinations started as a teenager (I am now 46) and interestingly it was quite often spiders I saw that weren’t really there, similar again to others’ experiences.

I would wake up in a panic thinking there was a large spider on my pillow or dangling in front of me. It very quickly progressed to people though, sometimes only shadows, but other times very detailed and distinct people, young, old, male, female, there never seems to be a particular type of person.

A few nights ago I was staying in a hotel in London and woke in the early hours of the morning to see the figure of a small red-headed woman in a long sleeved red/pink dress peering over me. I jumped up and shouted out and she disappeared.

I went back to sleep but saw her two more times during the night. It was only when I asked my partner to switch sides with me that I was able to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep. I even asked the receptionist in the morning at the hotel if my room was haunted (it wasn’t)!

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1. Light trance

Just about everybody can achieve this level of hypnosis, which is really little more than deep relaxation with a focus of attention. Some therapists claim that it is a pointless state in which nothing of note can be achieved and yet, there are many people who can go no deeper than this who will still be able to achieve what they want. In fact, with well constructed suggestion this depth will allow you to achieve a great deal. It is not the hypnosis that will achieve results for you, but the therapy that we provide within the hypnotic state that will help you achieve the desired results.


10 Reasons Reading Makes You Feel Happier

Stephen King once said in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft that “books are a uniquely portable magic.” In A Dance With Dragons, George R. R. Martin says that “a reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… the man who never reads lives only one.” And J.K. Rowling perhaps summed it up best when she said that “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” There are many reasons reading make you feel happier, and these authors definitely understand that.

So many writers and readers have professed their love of reading, and if you’re a fellow book-lover, you can relate to their statements. There’s something magic about opening a book and leaving the real world behind. When times are difficult, or you are going through a painful experience, or you just want to escape, the worlds in books are always waiting for you — books can literally help you take care of yourself.

Are literary worlds truly magic, or are there actual reasons why you feel happier while reading? Even after closing the cover of a book, you may notice that you are calmer and ready to tackle life. Whether you read for relaxation, motivation, or pure escapism, the truth is that reading can actually make you happier. Here are some of the ways that being a bookworm benefits your happiness, and why you should go out and get all the books.

You Can Travel Without Physically Going Anywhere

If what you really want to do is go on an extended vacation, but you're unable to do so, reading is a great way to escape without actually leaving you seat.

Reading Reduces Stress

Stress can be a major factor in unhappiness, but reading helps relieve some tension: you can reduce your stress by reading for just six minutes at a time. Imagine how amazing you'd feel if you read for six hours. Or six days straight.

It Can Put You In A Trance

"Reading has been shown to put our brains into a pleasurable trance-like state, similar to meditation, and it brings the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm," according to the New Yorker. Nothing promotes happiness like inner calm. And apparently, nothing promotes inner calm like reading a great book.

Reading Improves Empathy

Research shows that reading actually makes you more empathetic. If you are able to put yourself in another's shoes, this will lead to greater understanding. Hopefully, in the long run, that can help us work to create a better, fairer world, and thus, a happier one.

Reading Helps You Process What Is Happening In Reality

Writer Eileen Gunn says that "what science fiction does, especially in those works that deal with the future, is help people understand that things change and that you can live through it." So when things are difficult to process, fiction can actually help you escape. but it can also help you understand the world and get through difficult times.

You Don't Have To Spend Money To Read

Thanks to libraries, you can rent books for free! The phrase "free books" is certainly a happy one.

Reading Can Help You Sleep Better

Because of the many health benefits of reading, books can actually help you sleep better. And what's happier than sleep?

You Can Meet New Friends

Whether you're discussing books online or starting a book club to talk about the latest bestseller, you can find new friends by bonding over literature. These social connections will boost your happiness, and you'll get to read even more.

Books Can Open Your Mind

Books can lead to an open mind, which will increase your happiness: you can become more tolerant and less prejudiced by reading, according to a study on Harry Potter in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

Reading Can Reduce Depression

According to a UK study, readers are "21 percent less likely to experience feelings of depression." Books are literally happiness boosters, so read on, book-lovers!


How Hypnosis Works

People have been pondering and arguing over hypnosis for more than 200 years, but science has yet to fully explain how it actually happens. We see what a person does under hypnosis, but it isn't clear why he or she does it. This puzzle is really a small piece in a much bigger puzzle: how the human mind works. It's unlikely that scientists will arrive at a definitive explanation of the mind in the foreseeable future, so it's a good bet hypnosis will remain something of a mystery as well.

But psychiatrists do understand the general characteristics of hypnosis, and they have some model of how it works. It is a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination. It's not really like sleep, because the subject is alert the whole time. It is most often compared to daydreaming, or the feeling of "losing yourself" in a book or movie. You are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the stimuli around you. You focus intently on the subject at hand, to the near exclusion of any other thought.

In the everyday trance of a daydream or movie, an imaginary world seems somewhat real to you, in the sense that it fully engages your emotions. Imaginary events can cause real fear, sadness or happiness, and you may even jolt in your seat if you are surprised by something (a monster leaping from the shadows, for example). Some researchers categorize all such trances as forms of self-hypnosis. Milton Erickson, the premier hypnotism expert of the 20th century, contended that people hypnotize themselves on a daily basis. But most psychiatrists focus on the trance state brought on by intentional relaxation and focusing exercises. This deep hypnosis is often compared to the relaxed mental state between wakefulness and sleep.

In conventional hypnosis, you approach the suggestions of the hypnotist, or your own ideas, as if they were reality. If the hypnotist suggests that your tongue has swollen up to twice its size, you'll feel a sensation in your mouth and you may have trouble talking. If the hypnotist suggests that you are drinking a chocolate milkshake, you'll taste the milkshake and feel it cooling your mouth and throat. If the hypnotist suggests that you are afraid, you may feel panicky or start to sweat. But the entire time, you are aware that it's all imaginary. Essentially, you're "playing pretend" on an intense level, as kids do.

In this special mental state, people feel uninhibited and relaxed. Presumably, this is because they tune out the worries and doubts that normally keep their actions in check. You might experience the same feeling while watching a movie: As you get engrossed in the plot, worries about your job, family, etc. fade away, until all you're thinking about is what's up on the screen.

In this state, you are also highly suggestible. That is, when the hypnotist tells you do something, you'll probably embrace the idea completely. This is what makes stage hypnotist shows so entertaining. Normally reserved, sensible adults are suddenly walking around the stage clucking like chickens or singing at the top of their lungs. Fear of embarrassment seems to fly out the window. The subject's sense of safety and morality remain entrenched throughout the experience, however. A hypnotist can't get you to do anything you don't want to do.

But what is it that makes this happen? In the next section, we'll look at the most widely accepted theory of what's going on when you become hypnotized.

People have been entering hypnotic-type trances for thousands and thousands of years various forms of meditation play an important role in many cultures' religions. But the scientific conception of hypnotism wasn't born until the late 1700s.


1. Light trance

Just about everybody can achieve this level of hypnosis, which is really little more than deep relaxation with a focus of attention. Some therapists claim that it is a pointless state in which nothing of note can be achieved and yet, there are many people who can go no deeper than this who will still be able to achieve what they want. In fact, with well constructed suggestion this depth will allow you to achieve a great deal. It is not the hypnosis that will achieve results for you, but the therapy that we provide within the hypnotic state that will help you achieve the desired results.


Amanita muscaria is a mushroom species traditionally used in shamanic activities by indigenous Siberian and Baltic cultures such as the Saami of Finland and the Koryaks of Eastern Siberia. Shamans used it as an alternative method of achieving a trance state. In most cases, however, Siberian shamans achieve trance by prolonged drumming and dancing.

We are all aware that our dreams may contain very different kinds of thoughts than those that we have while awake. However, there are also wakeful situations in which we can experience an altered state of consciousness (ASC)— these include hallucination, hypnotic states, trance states and meditation. In contemporary North American culture, these wakeful ASCs are thought of either as unusual events or pertaining to practices of specialists—hypnotic states induced by therapists or magicians, trances entered into by mediums conducting séances, meditation in yoga classes, or drug-induced hallucinatory experiences. The idea that bodies might be possessed by demons, witches, or spirits also exists as a popular theme in media and in some religious traditions. However, contemporary mainstream North American culture does not embrace these practices in rituals, healing practices, or as part of ordinary life. In other words, ASCs are not institutionalized (Winkelman 1986) .

The “Princeton Shaman”: Shaman in Transformation Pose, Olmec, ca. 800 B.C. An image of the marine toad Bufus marinus is incised on the figure’s forehead.


Hypnosis is total concentration on an idea or concept

Our brain/mind can only think consciously about one thing at a time everything else – surroundings, other people, background sounds and so on – is then “invisible” to us. When you are focusing on something you want to do, your attention will become so avid from time to time, that you will be completely unaware of anything else – unless there has been a real need for your attention to switch to something different. That is just about the best state of hypnosis you can get! It is a total concentration on an idea or concept.It is a totally focussed state. This is sometimes referred to as a state of “selective thinking.” In the state of selective thinking, anything which is not directly connected to the current thought process, and which poses no threat to security or survival, is filtered out of conscious awareness.

A totally focussed state means exactly that

A totally focussed state means exactly that. There is only one thing going on in your mind and only one thing you are aware of. All other stimuli is simply ignored or not noticed. Concentrating on what is on the television and being hardly aware of a conversation elsewhere IS hypnosis. Watching television and listening to what somebody else says somewhere is NOT hypnosis. Reading a book and not even realising that another person has entered the room, never mind that they are talking to you, most definitely IS hypnosis. Talking to one person whilst wondering what is being said in somebody else’s conversation is NOT hypnosis. Listening to someone and being completely un-distracted by other conversation, traffic passing by outside, a telephone ringing in another room… that definitely IS hypnosis.

In all states of hypnosis, even though there is no focus upon stimuli other than the required one, there is an awareness of them – which is why everything feels so normal. That awareness is there, even in the deepest of hypnotic states, but it exists along with a recognition of complete lack of interest or concern, and it is only then that you may begin to recognise your own state of hypnosis.


Connections between Sleep and Substance Use Disorders

Most common mental disorders, from depression and anxiety to PTSD, are associated with disturbed sleep, and substance use disorders are no exception. The relationship may be complex and bidirectional: Substance use causes sleep problems but insomnia and insufficient sleep may also be a factor raising the risk of drug use and addiction. Recognizing the importance of this once-overlooked factor, addiction researchers are paying increased attention to sleep and sleep disturbances, and even thinking about ways to target sleep disruption in substance use disorder treatment and prevention.

We now know that most kinds of substance use acutely disrupt sleep-regulatory systems in the brain, affecting the time it takes to fall asleep (latency), duration of sleep, and sleep quality. People who use drugs also experience insomnia during withdrawal, which fuels drug cravings and can be a major factor leading to relapse. Additionally, because of the central role of sleep in consolidating new memories, poor quality sleep may make it harder to learn new coping and self-regulation skills necessary for recovery.

The neurobiological mechanisms linking many forms of drug use and sleep disturbances are increasingly well understood. Dopamine is a neurochemical crucial for understanding the relationship between substance use disorders and sleep, for example. Drugs’ direct or indirect stimulation of dopamine reward pathways accounts for their addictive properties but dopamine also modulates alertness and is implicated in the sleep-wake cycle. Dopaminergic drugs are used to treat disorders of alertness and arousal such as narcolepsy. Cocaine and amphetamine-like drugs (such as methamphetamine) are among the most potent dopamine-increasing drugs, and their repeated misuse can lead to severe sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation in turn downregulates dopamine receptors, which makes people more impulsive and vulnerable to drug taking.

In addition to their effects on dopamine, drugs also affect sleep through their main pharmacological targets. For instance, marijuana interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system by binding to cannabinoid receptors this system is involved in regulating the sleep-wake cycle (among many other roles). Trouble sleeping is a very common symptom of marijuana withdrawal, reported by over 40 percent of those trying to quit the drug and sleep difficulty is reported as the most distressing symptom. (Nightmares and strange dreams are also reported.) One in ten individuals who relapsed to cannabis use cited sleep difficulty as the reason.

Opioid drugs such as heroin interact with the body’s endogenous opioid system by binding to mu-opioid receptors this system also plays a role in regulating sleep. Morpheus, the Greek god of sleep and dreams, gave his name to morphia or morphine, the medicinal derivative of opium. Natural and synthetic opioid drugs can produce profound sleepiness, but they also can disrupt sleep by increasing transitions between different stages of sleep (known as disruptions in sleep architecture), and people undergoing withdrawal can experience terrible insomnia. Opioids in brainstem regions also control respiration, and when they are taken at high doses they can dangerously inhibit breathing during sleep.

Addiction and sleep problems are intertwined in other, unexpected and complex ways. In a particularly fascinating finding published in Science Translational Medicine in 2018, a team of UCLA researchers studying the role of the wakefulness-regulating neuropeptide orexin in narcolepsy were examining human postmortem brain samples and found a brain with significantly more orexin-producing cells this individual, they then learned, had been addicted to heroin. This serendipitous discovery led the team to analyze a larger sample of brain hypothalamic tissue from individuals with heroin addiction these individuals had 54 percent more orexin-producing cells in their brains than non-heroin users. Administering morphine produced similar effects in rodents.

Further research on the overlaps between the brain circuits and signaling systems responsible for reward and those regulating sleep may help us understand individual differences in susceptibility to addiction and sleep disorders. I believe that the future of addiction treatment lies in approaches that are more personalized and multidimensional, and this includes using combinations of medications and other interventions that target specific symptoms of the disorder. It could prove very useful to target an individual’s sleep problems as one of the dimensions of treatment. For example, NIDA is currently funding research to test the efficacy of suvorexant, an FDA-approved insomnia medication that acts as an antagonist at orexin receptors, in people with opioid use disorder.

The causal relationship between impaired sleep and drug misuse/addiction can also go in the other direction. People who suffer insomnia may be at increased risk for substance use, because sufferers may self-medicate their sleep problems using alcohol or other drugs such as benzodiazepines that they may perceive as relaxing. Or, they may use stimulant drugs to compensate for daytime fatigue caused by lost sleep. Impaired sleep may also increase risk of drug use through other avenues, for instance by impairing cognition. Consequently, sleep disorders and other barriers to getting sufficient sleep are important factors to target in prevention.

Early school start times, for instance, have been the focus of considerable debate in recent years, as teenagers may be particularly vulnerable to the many health and behavioral effects of short sleep duration. I wrote previously on this blog about research findings that fewer hours of sleep correlate with increased risk of substance use and other behavior problems in teens. In this age group, tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use are all associated with poorer sleep health, including lower sleep duration, again with possible bidirectionality of causation.

Longitudinal research is needed to better clarify the complex causal links between sleep, brain development, and mental health outcomes including substance use. The Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study is examining these relationships in a large cohort of children who were recruited at age 9-10. This longitudinal study, now in its third year, is already beginning to produce valuable findings. A team of Chinese researchers using ABCD data recently published in Molecular Psychiatry their finding that kids with depressive problems had shorter sleep duration 1 year later, as well as lower volume of brain areas associated with cognitive functions like memory. We will learn much more as the ABCD study progresses.

Despite all we are learning, more research is needed on the relationship(s) between drug use, addiction, and sleep, in adults as well as young people. NIDA is currently funding several projects to study various substance use disorders and sleep, as well as the neurobiology of reward and its relation to circadian rhythms. It is an area with great potential to prevent substance use as well as to treat one of the most debilitating side effects associated with substance use disorders.


Trance stare led researchers to discover a genuine hypnotic state

Hypnosis has had a long and controversial history in psychology, psychiatry and neurology. For the past hundred years, researchers have debated whether or not hypnosis really involves an altered mental state unlike the normal wakeful condition, or whether it simply reflects a cognitive state similar to those occurring outside hypnosis.

To date, there has been no reliable way for determining whether a person is actually hypnotized or simply faking or simulating hypnosis. Consequently, many researchers have considered the special, altered hypnotic state as a popular myth in psychology.

An international team of researchers from University of Skövde (Sweden), University of Turku (Finland) and Aalto University School of Science has now provided strong evidence for the existence of a genuine hypnotic state. The researchers studied the 'trance stare', a glazed look in the eyes that has often been associated with hypnosis in the popular culture but rarely studied scientifically.

The study focussed on healthy adult who is known to be highly susceptible to hypnosis, and is known to respond immediately to hypnotic suggestion. Her eye movements during hypnotic and waking state were measured with a special eye tracker. When she entered hypnosis, her eyes became glazed and her blinking date was significantly reduced. Even more importantly, hypnosis induced dramatic reduction in eye movements that are beyond volitional control in healthy adults. None of thirty tested control subjects could mimic these changes in eye movement patterns volitionally, which underlies that hypnosis does indeed involve an altered mental state which is associated with cognitive and motor changes far beyond our volitional control.

These findings have major implications for psychology and neurosciences, as they confirm the existence of a novel mental state in humans.

The findings were published on Oct. 24, 2011 in the online journal PLoS ONE.


How Hypnosis Works

People have been pondering and arguing over hypnosis for more than 200 years, but science has yet to fully explain how it actually happens. We see what a person does under hypnosis, but it isn't clear why he or she does it. This puzzle is really a small piece in a much bigger puzzle: how the human mind works. It's unlikely that scientists will arrive at a definitive explanation of the mind in the foreseeable future, so it's a good bet hypnosis will remain something of a mystery as well.

But psychiatrists do understand the general characteristics of hypnosis, and they have some model of how it works. It is a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination. It's not really like sleep, because the subject is alert the whole time. It is most often compared to daydreaming, or the feeling of "losing yourself" in a book or movie. You are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the stimuli around you. You focus intently on the subject at hand, to the near exclusion of any other thought.

In the everyday trance of a daydream or movie, an imaginary world seems somewhat real to you, in the sense that it fully engages your emotions. Imaginary events can cause real fear, sadness or happiness, and you may even jolt in your seat if you are surprised by something (a monster leaping from the shadows, for example). Some researchers categorize all such trances as forms of self-hypnosis. Milton Erickson, the premier hypnotism expert of the 20th century, contended that people hypnotize themselves on a daily basis. But most psychiatrists focus on the trance state brought on by intentional relaxation and focusing exercises. This deep hypnosis is often compared to the relaxed mental state between wakefulness and sleep.

In conventional hypnosis, you approach the suggestions of the hypnotist, or your own ideas, as if they were reality. If the hypnotist suggests that your tongue has swollen up to twice its size, you'll feel a sensation in your mouth and you may have trouble talking. If the hypnotist suggests that you are drinking a chocolate milkshake, you'll taste the milkshake and feel it cooling your mouth and throat. If the hypnotist suggests that you are afraid, you may feel panicky or start to sweat. But the entire time, you are aware that it's all imaginary. Essentially, you're "playing pretend" on an intense level, as kids do.

In this special mental state, people feel uninhibited and relaxed. Presumably, this is because they tune out the worries and doubts that normally keep their actions in check. You might experience the same feeling while watching a movie: As you get engrossed in the plot, worries about your job, family, etc. fade away, until all you're thinking about is what's up on the screen.

In this state, you are also highly suggestible. That is, when the hypnotist tells you do something, you'll probably embrace the idea completely. This is what makes stage hypnotist shows so entertaining. Normally reserved, sensible adults are suddenly walking around the stage clucking like chickens or singing at the top of their lungs. Fear of embarrassment seems to fly out the window. The subject's sense of safety and morality remain entrenched throughout the experience, however. A hypnotist can't get you to do anything you don't want to do.

But what is it that makes this happen? In the next section, we'll look at the most widely accepted theory of what's going on when you become hypnotized.

People have been entering hypnotic-type trances for thousands and thousands of years various forms of meditation play an important role in many cultures' religions. But the scientific conception of hypnotism wasn't born until the late 1700s.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some frequently asked questions directly pertaining to hypnopompic hallucinations. If you have any other questions, feel free to submit them in the comments section below.

How long do hypnopompic hallucinations last?

For a majority of individuals, the hypnopompic hallucinations are extremely short. They may last anywhere from a fraction of a second to seconds, or from seconds to a couple minutes. For most, the longest you’ll likely experience a hypnopompic hallucination is a few minutes.

That said, if you’re taking a certain drug or supplement, there’s a chance that hypnopompic hallucinations can be prolonged. Those taking psychoactive or brain-altering substances may perceived hallucinations that persist for substantially longer than several minutes during a hypnopompic state.

Do hypnopompic hallucinations have a secret meaning or significance?

Generally hypnopompic hallucinations have no secretive meaning or substantial significance. Think of them as bizarre sensory experiences as a result of altered or abnormal brain activity. While many people may assign them meaning such as a hidden message from a deity, they are really nothing more than odd regurgitations from the brain.

You are free to interpret them however you want and/or assign them special meaning, but they shouldn’t be considered hidden esoteric messages from the universe. In some cases, they may be related to a particular problem that you’ve been consciously working on or trying to figure out and may provide you with insight or a new way of perceiving that problem, but this isn’t as common.

Are hypnopompic hallucinations good or bad?

Hallucinations that occur during a hypnopompic state may be perceived as good, bad, or neutral. From an objective perspective, they should be considered neutral in that they are nothing more than bizarre sensory experiences stemming from alterations of brain activity. That said, if they provoke feelings of fear, they may be subjectively perceived as “bad,” whereas if they’re pleasant, they may be perceived as “good.”

Have you ever experienced hypnopompic hallucinations?

If you’ve experienced hypnopompic hallucinations, or hallucinations during the transitory period from sleeping to wakefulness, feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. Discuss the specific hallucination, including whether it was visual, auditory, tactile, or a combination of multiple senses. Also be sure to mention whether you believe there was a specific root cause of your hypnopompic hallucination (e.g. sleep deprivation) or whether it was just a normal, bizarre occurrence.

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I have woke to the swirly designs in my ceiling all began to move into complete circles. I saw 3 character type people peering in my bedroom door, laughing at me. They all looked different like the ghosts in The Casper The Ghost Movie. I’ve also seen the trees outside my window turn into dragons.

Last night a woman was standing at my bed side yelling at me, except I could t hear her voice. I could only see her mouth moving. I kept trying to close my eyes but each time I opened them, she was still there. I turned the light on and she was gone.

I also heard a news radio playing in the other room. I only hear the talking when my fan is on. Sometimes when I wake up, everything has orange paint splotches all over. It’s soooo weird, I’m so glad I found this article!!

My experiences started when I was in the hospital recovering from a “heart event”. It was like 2 small frames of view coming together to form a focused view of whatever was happening to my left. Kind of like a video. In the following weeks at home I saw lines of red boxes to my right, like small check boxes.

And next were lines of orange octagon shapes. Since then I have seen scalloped decorations on the wall, small spiders on the couch, black hieroglyphics in the air, and colored scribbles on the couch. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned is that sometimes my vision is colored like a color filter on a camera.

I fell asleep watching TV and woke to find everything orange. Falling asleep in the bath, I woke to find the wall before me was green with little hearts spread over the wall. This, of course all fades with seconds of taking note.

I have also had very similar experiences to those expressed here and I am very glad to finally be able to put a name to it. My nighttime hallucinations started as a teenager (I am now 46) and interestingly it was quite often spiders I saw that weren’t really there, similar again to others’ experiences.

I would wake up in a panic thinking there was a large spider on my pillow or dangling in front of me. It very quickly progressed to people though, sometimes only shadows, but other times very detailed and distinct people, young, old, male, female, there never seems to be a particular type of person.

A few nights ago I was staying in a hotel in London and woke in the early hours of the morning to see the figure of a small red-headed woman in a long sleeved red/pink dress peering over me. I jumped up and shouted out and she disappeared.

I went back to sleep but saw her two more times during the night. It was only when I asked my partner to switch sides with me that I was able to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep. I even asked the receptionist in the morning at the hotel if my room was haunted (it wasn’t)!

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10 Reasons Reading Makes You Feel Happier

Stephen King once said in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft that “books are a uniquely portable magic.” In A Dance With Dragons, George R. R. Martin says that “a reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… the man who never reads lives only one.” And J.K. Rowling perhaps summed it up best when she said that “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” There are many reasons reading make you feel happier, and these authors definitely understand that.

So many writers and readers have professed their love of reading, and if you’re a fellow book-lover, you can relate to their statements. There’s something magic about opening a book and leaving the real world behind. When times are difficult, or you are going through a painful experience, or you just want to escape, the worlds in books are always waiting for you — books can literally help you take care of yourself.

Are literary worlds truly magic, or are there actual reasons why you feel happier while reading? Even after closing the cover of a book, you may notice that you are calmer and ready to tackle life. Whether you read for relaxation, motivation, or pure escapism, the truth is that reading can actually make you happier. Here are some of the ways that being a bookworm benefits your happiness, and why you should go out and get all the books.

You Can Travel Without Physically Going Anywhere

If what you really want to do is go on an extended vacation, but you're unable to do so, reading is a great way to escape without actually leaving you seat.

Reading Reduces Stress

Stress can be a major factor in unhappiness, but reading helps relieve some tension: you can reduce your stress by reading for just six minutes at a time. Imagine how amazing you'd feel if you read for six hours. Or six days straight.

It Can Put You In A Trance

"Reading has been shown to put our brains into a pleasurable trance-like state, similar to meditation, and it brings the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm," according to the New Yorker. Nothing promotes happiness like inner calm. And apparently, nothing promotes inner calm like reading a great book.

Reading Improves Empathy

Research shows that reading actually makes you more empathetic. If you are able to put yourself in another's shoes, this will lead to greater understanding. Hopefully, in the long run, that can help us work to create a better, fairer world, and thus, a happier one.

Reading Helps You Process What Is Happening In Reality

Writer Eileen Gunn says that "what science fiction does, especially in those works that deal with the future, is help people understand that things change and that you can live through it." So when things are difficult to process, fiction can actually help you escape. but it can also help you understand the world and get through difficult times.

You Don't Have To Spend Money To Read

Thanks to libraries, you can rent books for free! The phrase "free books" is certainly a happy one.

Reading Can Help You Sleep Better

Because of the many health benefits of reading, books can actually help you sleep better. And what's happier than sleep?

You Can Meet New Friends

Whether you're discussing books online or starting a book club to talk about the latest bestseller, you can find new friends by bonding over literature. These social connections will boost your happiness, and you'll get to read even more.

Books Can Open Your Mind

Books can lead to an open mind, which will increase your happiness: you can become more tolerant and less prejudiced by reading, according to a study on Harry Potter in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

Reading Can Reduce Depression

According to a UK study, readers are "21 percent less likely to experience feelings of depression." Books are literally happiness boosters, so read on, book-lovers!


Watch the video: Trance Tiesto VS House Tiesto (August 2022).