Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
I frequently have fantastic ‘dreams’ - with great freeflow adventures condensed into a few hours. This is the upside to narcolepsy.
However, the sudden and unexpected onset of these dreams can lead to confusion for all concerned. People close to me will sooner or later find themselves receiving deeply inappropriate answers to questions.
We can be sitting in a car, chatting away, when I will nod off quietly and pass into immediate dreaming. Sometimes it lasts only a matter of seconds and I wake in time to answer my friend's question.
It is usually during the long pause that follows when it begins to dawn on me that the "I prefer buttered toast" answer, which seemed so logical from my dream, probably wasn't the most appropriate response to my friend's query about whether the UN should be sent into Zimbabwe.
As well as the sleep attacks, paralysis and hallucinations, the passage and distinction between being awake and being asleep and dreaming is sometimes so blurred, that your body can still go about everyday behaviour while a part of your brain is asleep and dreaming.
This trance-like "auto-behaviour" is the most unnerving symptom.
The brain slides from normal behaviour into auto-behaviour without you knowing it - it is only when clarity washes over you again, that you realise you've spent ten minutes in front of your computer not entirely sure what you've been doing.
One woman with narcolepsy reported being woken up from this autopilot state to the sound of all her crockery crashing around in the washing machine. In her narcoleptic state, she'd put the dishes in the washing machine.