Sleep Experiences

This forum provides a space for you to share your sleep experiences. Many common and unusual sleep experiences are described and explained in my book Your Genius Within.

Some of the topics that you might be interested in sharing about here are: sleep talking, sleep walking, insomnia, sleep paralysis, jet lag, early birds versus night owls and long sleepers versus short sleepers.

16 thoughts on “Sleep Experiences

  1. Dr. Garlock,
    I recently had occasion to see a portion of your presentation in Telluride, at the library. Unfortunately, I did not realize the breadth the material you were covering & had a conflicting engagement that caused me to leave right after your discussion about sleep & before the self hypnosis portion of the evening.
    I have a copy of your book, which I am working my way through &, thus far, find quite fascinating. I am hopeful that you can assist me in overcoming what has become a fairly debilitating bought with sleep disruption. I was hopeful that downloading your recordings for a good night’s sleep & bedtime self-hypnosis might be a starting point, but I see they are not downloadable yet. Any projections as to when, or how, they will be available?
    My story is a lengthy one, too lengthy for here, but suffice it to say that about 2 1/2 years ago it was almost as if a switch went off, & I went from being a great, sound sleeper to experiencing extreme difficulty either falling asleep &/or staying asleep. Both conditions varying from time to time. I tried numerous holistic approaches to deal with these issues, to no avail. I have done a professional sleep study, which resulted in no firm diagnosis. I have no sleep apnea, no restless legs, no snoring. I did sleep during the test, but nothing deeper than Stage 2 sleep. I had REM sleep, but came straight out of it, at times, to waking.
    I finally bit the bullet & tried sleep aids. Thus far, the most successful of which has been name brand Ambien. I have a 5mg pill & try to only take 1/2, but often times take a whole. I also take a supplement called Kavinace Ultra PM before bed which deals with GABA, serotonin (both of which are low in me) & melatonin. I’ve had my adrenals tested, looked at cortisol & hormone levels. I’m almost 46, so sure there are some hormonal influences there, too.
    The #1 culprit for me, with my sleep, is a completely overactive brain! I cannot seem to shut off the “chatter” in my head! I would not classify it as “ruminating” or worry, so much, as just monkey brain! I firmly believe that help with hypnosis &/or meditation would help me immensely. I’m scheduled to go to a mediation retreat in December. Any thoughts to this end would be great!
    Do you have any plans to return to Telluride any time soon? Thank you!

    • Hello,
      Frst of all, thank you for attending my presentation in Telluride and for posting here on my website.
      I apologize for the delay in the publication of the recordings. We had some unforeseen technical difficulties but all should be resolved within the next two or three weeks. Once they’re available I think that the getting a good nights sleep self hypnosis recording should be of help to you.
      Sleep can be a very complicated thing and once the pattern gets off in a negative direction it is sometimes difficult to get things straightened out. I think attending a meditation retreat is a very good idea since mental chatter seems to be a good deal of the problem. I understand your hesitation to use a sleep aid but a medication such as Ambien can sometimes break the pattern and only needs to be used temporarily. Of course, that is if the drug seems to agree with you and not cause undue side effects. Meanwhile I would suggest using the counting backwards from 20 to 0 technique presented in the book and also perhaps the bedtime phrase.Try using one of the other or both while you’re lying in the bed ready to welcome sleep. Don’t think of the techniques as tools to go to sleep because trying to go to sleep is counterproductive. Just repeat the techniques a number of times focusing on the procedures rather than attempting to sleep.
      I’ll not be returning to Telluride anytime soon but would be available for a phone Consultation if at some point you think that would be helpful. Feel free to e-mail me directly at:
      Thank you again for your interest and I am happy to hear that you are finding the book worthwhile.

  2. My life is definitely overwhelming, and I do find that I put my nose down and stay the course most of the time, and I am often suprised when others tell me how stressful they think my life is. I refuse to dwell too long on the difficulties in my life because I don’t see the point. But apparently my dreams are telling me there is a point. Thank you for giving me a lot to think about. Wow, this dream stuff is intense!

  3. Hello Dr. Garlock, thanks for the personal reply! I have read your book and it’s great! I am continuing to develop my lucid dreaming skills. With your help, I will be done with Dream School soon! I will let you know how it goes.

  4. Ugh, I’m a terrible insomniac. Actually, I’m not sure if I’m truly an insomniac, or if I just need less sleep than others. I mean, I rarely feel super tired during the day or anything, but most nights, if I sleep 5 hours, that’s be a lot. I have a very hard time falling asleep typically, and I often wake up by 6:00am or 6:30am, without the use of an alarm.

    • Hello Tara, from what you have written it seems to me that getting less sleep than most people do is not a problem for you. There is a wide range of how much sleep a person needs to function well. There are well documented cases of people needing as little as two hours of sleep a night although that is rare. On the other hand there are some people who don’t do well on anything less than 12 hours of sleep. The average sleep requirement is somewhere between seven and eight hours.

      Your inability to fall asleep at night is another issue. If that leads to restlessness, frustration and anxiety than you might want to try one of the techniques from my book and maybe order the recording using self hypnosis to get a good nights sleep. The recording uses what’s called paradoxical intention to interrupt the pattern of trying and failing to go to sleep by replacing it with a much more casual attitude about falling asleep. Most people fall asleep quickly as soon as they are able to master the art of not trying to fall asleep.

  5. Strangest thing happens to me sometimes. I will go to sleep and have a dream, and in that dream I will remember an actual dream I may have had a year before and wake up revisiting that older dream. Its like I watch the old dream as a movie while I am having the current dream. Weird. Not even sure if I am explaining it so you understand, but that’s what happens. I usually forget quickly what the current dream was, but ponder the memory of the older dream for a few days. Like I said, weird. I think I will buy your book and see what I can learn. Your website is very interesting.

    • Hello Alex, Thank you for your interest in my book and this website. Your dream experience is very interesting to me. It shows a kind of continuity between your earlier dream and your current dream which suggests that some of the issues that were rattling around in your mind back then are again making their appearance in your contemporary life. It might be worth thinking about that and maybe journaling a little bit about the content of the old dream and any new content at all that shows up in the new dream.

      I also sometimes experience a replay of old dreams in dreams that I’m having now. As I’m sure you’ve experienced it there is a kind of haunting feeling about it all. I have managed to sometimes see the connections. For instance I have a runaway elevator dream that reappears in dreams in which I’m having another elevator experience. You’re right, these kinds of dreams mixtures are hard to put into words.

      I’ve decided that at least part of what my runaway elevator dreams mean is that life seems to be running away at a fast pace. Try thinking about the themes in your dreams as symbols or metaphors. That might give you some clues.

      • Thanks for your response! Yeah, I wondered if maybe I am revisiting some unfinished business somehow. Cool that you know what I am talking about, but you are the dream expert so I shouldn’t be surprised! I will be looking out for those themes and stuff and I will keep you posted on what I learn.Thanks again, Doc!

  6. I used to have the same school dream, but over the past few years it has changed. I do public speaking on a regular basis and have been having dreams about my audience getting up and leaving during the middle of my talk. Then just recently I found out that a large part of my audience in real life really did have to leave for another appointment during my talk. I let them know they could leave, but they would be fulfilling my worst nightmare and giving me a complex. They stayed.

    • Hey Big Dog,all of these kinds of dreams are kind of performance anxiety dreams. It makes sense when your performance demanded by your situation changes that your dreams were changed to. In your case your role changed from student to lecturer or public speaker. It sounds like you have cooperative audiences.It’s nice to have people will respect our psychological complexes!

  7. Is this a good place to comment about re-occuring dream themes? I dream all the time about being in school and it being the end of the semester and I haven’t gone to the class but have to take the final. Or I can’t remember my locker combination and I have to get my books for a class I keep missing and I don’t even know if I am still in the class.
    Then there is the dream about have a part time job at the place I used to have my very first job at. I dream I am on the schedule but never check to see when I have to come in. Or, I have a check waiting for me because I worked but never picked up the pay check. Its almost like episodes. Once, I dreamed that I actually worked a shift. I at times dream these work dreams so much, I joke that I have a second job at night.
    I also have re-occuring themes about living in homes that look okay on the outside, but have a rotting upstairs floor, or a rotting roof, or my personal favorite, kittens in the basement that have reproduced to a point where some are dead. So I go into the basement and find all these kittens and quickly realize they have been multiplying and then find the dead ones. I feel irresponsible yet helpless in the dream. I am sure some dream analysts would love this stuff!
    I would love to figure out what all this is trying to tell me, so I could move on and stop having these dream themes.

    • I also have dreams about being back in school. Sometimes I can’t remember my locker combination. Other times I don’t know what class I am supposed to be in next. Or I realize I have a final exam in a class I have not attended all year.
      One of my favorite authors is Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Skinny Legs and All, Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates). In his novel, Villa Incognito, one of the characters has the same type of recurring shcool dreams that we have. One night, he realizes that he is dreaming and declares that he is quitting this stupid school and never going back. Then he wakes up and he never has the dream again. I hope to someday quit Dream School myself!

      • Hello Van, your description of the Tom Robbins dream and his successful attempt to move on and stop having the same repetitive dream, is a good example of how lucid dreaming can be very helpful. Learning to become aware during your dream that you are dreaming is a skill that can be developed. You can find more information about that in my book and on this website and there will also soon be a self hypnosis recording available to promote lucid dreaming in yourself.

    • Hello Stephanie, From reading your sharing it seems to me that you have a lot of rich dreams. The first bunch of dreams seem to be reflecting a kind of feeling that you have forgotten something or have lost the ability to remember something or in other ways life seems to be going fast and maybe outrunning you at times. In a very general way your dreams may be saying for you to slow down and maybe look at whether or not you need to change courses in some major or perhaps minor way.

      Your dreams about living in a home that looks fine on the outside but there is rotting wood and stuff inside and then a basement over run with cats strikes me as full of important messages. The images are vivid and intense and that often means that there are ideas that need to be attended to.

      Sometimes in dreams our home is kind of a symbol for our lives. So if I dream that my home looks good on the outside but there are problems inside that may say something about their needing to be some internal reservations or changes. Of course that’s only one possible interpretation.

      The kittens overrunning the basement strikes me as another suggestion that things are overwhelming and that life needs to slow down and maybe be looked at carefully. I myself have had dreams in which I find animals, usually horses, that have been neglected and I somehow know that it’s my fault. And those dreams occur are usually can figure out that there’s something going on with me that I don’t want to look at and I’m keeping hidden away. And I figured if I don’t start seeing these Horses and cleaning up after them that they’ll die and it will be my fault. I don’t like the feeling at all that I get from these dreams but I think they are telling me something important and I try to listen.

      I hope my reactions give you some food for thought. Let us know what you think.And thank you so much for sharing your dreams with the rest of us

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