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The Infinite Loop: Between Dreams and Reality (S&D)

by Bharad Raghavan

Right before noon, I felt a bit tired reading for midterms and decided to take a quick one hour nap before class started. After setting my books down and setting my alarm clock, I crept under the covers and tried to get some sleep.

I was already feeling pretty dazed when I was in bed and could consciously feel myself slowly transitioning into a sleepier and sleepier state. Soon, I heard a rushing/windy noise around my ears (very similar to the Noise made in the TV show LOST whenever character flashbacks occur). The rushing noise got louder and abruptly stopped. I could no longer move any of my muscles. I was still completely conscious and could see my surroundings, but no matter how hard I tried, my muscles were set in stone, and I could only feel the lungs in my chest slowly expanding/deflating. I've had these kinds of cases of sleep paralysis before, and I knew I just had to remain calm and eventually either I'd black out into sleep or regain control over my muscles. I eventually regained control of my muscles but still felt sleepy. The rushing noise once again rang in my ears and in a few seconds my body was rigid again. This time, however, I could feel my consciousness slowly fading away too. While things got more and more fuzzy, I kept repeating to myself "Lucid Dreams, Lucid Dreams, Nothing's real".

I found myself in a padded yellow cell dimly lit. I was so sure that this was not real, I decided to see if I truly had control over my dreams. I wanted the walls to turn black, and immediately they did. The next thing I knew, I was in total darkness, dimly aware that I was still in a sleeping pose, but still in a dreamlike state. I tried to summon up things in existence like Strawberries or Roller Coasters, but I only felt sensations (like taste or thrill). It still remained dark.

The next thing I knew, I was back in my bed eyes "open", my blanket covering me up to my shoulders. My eyes were fixed on the Stanford Banner hanging from my wall. When I tried to move -- nothing happened. My eyes remained fixed, my neck was rigid, and my arms and legs felt huge resistance whenever I wanted to move. I tried moving my arms again. This time I saw the blanket move and I managed to get my arms over my blanket. Immediately, the whole situation reset, with me lying in my bed, eyes fixed on the Stanford Banner, blankets covering me up to my shoulders. Again I tried moving my arms and legs, this time I saw both of them move and I got to a curled up position. Immediately, the whole situation reset and I was back in my bed, in sleeping position under the blankets, staring at the Stanford Banner. Again I tried moving, this time bringing myself to an upright position; the situation reset itself again. Each time I tried to move, I got a little bit farther, off the bed, near the door, outside the door in the hallway (I saw a janitor), but every single time I went a little farther, the next thing I knew, everything reset itself and I was back in my bed, immobilized, staring at the Stanford Banner. I knew this wasn't reality -- I couldn't really feel my arms moving or truly feel the carpet or notice details about my surroundings. But no matter what I did I ended back in the same situation, in an endless infinite loop. I wasn't sure if I was ever going to escape the situation. I had no control. I could just tell myself to calm down and keep my heart rate low (my lungs and my heart, ironically I could feel very vividly). This loop continued for a long time, but I can only remember 15 distinct cycles.

The next thing I knew, I was really awake (I don't know how to prove that), but I could feel the air rushing through my mouth and feel the texture of the bedsheets on my arms. Tentatively, I jumped off my bed and felt the carpet under my feet. I was so relieved, I ran down and immediately had lunch. As I drank my fruit punch, I thought to myself; it was never so great to be back in reality.

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Comments for The Infinite Loop: Between Dreams and Reality (S&D)

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Jan 21, 2011
by: Kevin Morton

Intense Bharad. Thanks for sharing it. You're gonna love the lectures coming up about lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis.

May 11, 2011
Same expirience
by: Beb Ica

I have this problem 2-3 years, and I still don't know what is it for real nor to control it. Right now I had one, and finally look on internet to find if someone have same prob as I am... And this sound in ears, sometimes I think my head will explode...

here is my e-mail, so, if you have found some answers, please share it with me.... psssn(at)hotmail(dot)com

Nov 27, 2011
by: Anonymous

Same thing happened to me few years ago. Day nap, sleep paralysis, fear of someone is watching me (!!!), then cycled "dream" that I woke up, tried to left the room, but every time I opened the door I got lying in bed. Eventually I woke up, but that time I didn't rushed for the door, I just set and think about it with adrenaline pumped through my heart. Frustrated and feared. Every time when I think about it, it gave me chills and fear it will happen again.

Mar 13, 2015
Same looping dreams NEW
by: Jason

I have similar dreams. Sometimes I manage to fall to the floor and crawl, or more like squirm, into the next room. But then it just resets or I go into another dream first then find myself in the same state when I wake from that dream

Once I was sleeping on my brothers couche. An arm came from behind it and started pulling me in. I woke in fright then went into my brothers room to tell him about the dream. As soon as I did, I woke up on the couche again. I went into his room to tell him about how this happened and I woke up again. This happened around 7 or 8 more times. When I was finally actually awake I was afraid to tell my brother about it out of fear of waking up again

Mar 14, 2015
... NEW
by: adi

I've just experienced that except it was resetting each time i blink .. my concept of reality has permenantly changed

Apr 28, 2016
a little late NEW
by: Erin

Years later, but this just happened to me last night in a very similar bed situation. In my bed, getting up, suddenly I'm back in bed. Throw off the blankets, back in bed. Get to my bedside shelves near my lightswitch, back in bed. I threw myself to the floor screaming at one point and ended up back in bed again. This went on for, as you said, a long time, though I can only remember maybe ten distinct loops. At one point I was getting really fatigued so I just threw my head to the opposite side and stared at my digital clock for a bit before I just shook my head a bunch until I looked back at the clock and it was the time that I normally wake up. I threw myself to the floor and felt the carpet with my hands, similar to how you said you couldn't really feel with your hands and feet in the loops, and I went and turned on my light and just put my head on the wall. I had dissociated pretty badly for a while after and for a good hour post-looping I was sure that I was going to end up back in bed again. A frightening experience.

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