Hypnogogic Hallucinations

People who have narcolepsy have such vivid dreams that sleep specialists have categorized this kind of dreaming as hypnogogic hallucinations. Usually, the dreamer cannot distinguish between the dream and reality, and upon awakening, may feel the after effects of the dream throughout the day. When I have a particularly disturbing dream, I find it hard to shake off “thinking” about it all day. This persistence of thought impacts my mood and behavior, actually making me cranky or happy throughout the day. Many specialists in the field of sleep disorders believe that the psycho-social interactions of people who suffer from narcolepsy is greatly diminished due to this phenomenon. I like to think that my dreams have meaning and reason, and it is up to me to distinguish what my subconscious is trying to tell me. Why am I lost in an abandoned building, why is some elusive person/monster chasing me,why do I dream about symbols or driving a car with no brakes and no ability to see the road?

There was a special on PBS the other night that reasoned that we dream these “nightmares” because our brains are “practicing” for the real thing. Interesting.

Anyone else experience this?