Microsleep with REM
My acquaintance (MA) who gets microsleep with REM experiences (MWR) seems to be getting the ‘speech’ variety only recently (no visual stuff). Indeed, one of the things MA has noticed is that speech type MWRs may occur for a while and then visual types will occur for a while. They don’t seem to mix. In between these episodes, there may be long periods when no MWRs are experienced at all.
MA has recently noticed something else about speech MWRs. As noted previously, these often occur when MA is reading. But, curiously, the speech MWRs are never about what MA is reading. Also, the content of each speech MWR is unrelated to the previous one, even when they occur just seconds apart. It should be said that MWRs do not happen every time MA reads, only occasionally.
So what are MWRs and who gets them? When people are sleep-deprived they can be subject to microsleep. These are periods of a second or two, up to minutes, when someone is not responsive despite often having their eyes open. They can be difficult to detect, both for the experiencer and anyone watching them. During these periods, the experiencer will miss any sensory input. Someone doing a monotonous task, like driving, can also get microsleeps. They are most frequent at times of day when the experiencer would normally be asleep.
People vary enormously in their ability to cope with sleep deprivation. It is now thought possible that, when sleep deprived, parts of our brains may go 'off line' temporarily while we are apparently awake. In this condition we become forgetful or daydream, both of which could result in reports of apparent paranormal activity.
A few people experience brief dream states during microsleep episodes - microsleep with REM - MWR. They could be related to hypnogogia and may be indicative of a sleep disorder or sleep deprivation. Either way, they can produce paranormal reports even though the witness appears, and believes themselves to be, fully awake and alert. It should be emphasized that MWRs are rare.
Some people with MWRs may realise they have had one when they wake up, in which case they may not interpret their experience as paranormal. MWRs (sometimes called micro-dreams) may be seen as an extreme case of SOREM - sleep onset REM. Sleep disorders often go undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed, for many years or even a lifetime.