Going to sleep and seeing objects getting smaller and larger

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Hi there I am 28 years old and ever since i was a little girl i have had this reoccurance that has always annoyed me and it wasnt until today i actually spoke of it to my mum and she also claimed that she has had this aswell over the time.

Basically when i am off to sleep and my eyes are closed i can see a black background and objects in a distance that a very small and then they are moving/bouncing around and getting closer to me and becoming so big its untrue. I have seen and felt my thumb enlarge and then move around and then get smaller etc, my tongue and legs and also random other objects too. But when i come to open my eyes i am feeling really dizzy and faint and obviously the objects etc have stopped but then asoon as i reclose my eyes it happens again and again. Then i don't have this again for another year or so and is exactly the same thing that happens. It not a nice feeling but very strange. Just wondered if anybody else knows exactly what i am talking about and had this experience aswell?? Would be very interesting if you had.

I am not into drugs, hardly drink, have depression but this started when i was around 5 years old onwards.

Thanks

Emz xx

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  • Posted

    Quite a lot of us experience this - I don't know the exact figure but anecdotally I'd put it at around 5% of the population. It's quite strongly hereditary too, and probably associated with a sleep disorder. I've always had it, and so did my father and several members of his family.

    Someone is bound to come in and tell you that you ought to see a neurologist urgently because this can be a sign of various neurological diseases. Although this is true, it really isn't the case when it's been going on for years with no other symptoms. Neurological diseases advance quite quickly and, as you say, you've had it for 23 years now, with no ill-effects. I've had it since early childhood too and am in perfectly good health at age 72. (I'm a former neuro nurse, btw.)

    I agree that it can be annoying, as it can wake you up with a jump if something seems to be zooming at you. But it's no more than that, especially if it's not happening every single night. And if it's any consolation, it gets better with age. It started happening less frequently from my late 30s and dropped off very sharply after the menopause, together with another (probably related) sleep disorder that runs in my family. These days it only happens once or twice a year.

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I think you are describing hypnogogic imagery, it's the state between awake and sleep.

    You are seeing it rather soon though.

    I used to be able to induce this at will when I was younger. Then go on to have very lucid dreams (where when I was dreaming I knew I was and could to a degree affect the way the dream turned out).

    I think some people have it who have sleep paralysis problems as well.

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  • Posted

    I am fifteen years old, and i have had this dream many many times. i think it started when i was around 4 years old. i remember seeing a sort of black and white background type thing, then seeing an object. it could be anything. at one point i remember it being a bag of Halloween candy getting insanely big to the point you cant even comprehend. and then a little while later it would get insanely small to the point where you cant imagine. another time it was my Mom. she would get really big and really small. of course i could never explain this as a young child, however i would scream at the top of my lungs. my parents would run into my room and try to snap me out of it, but it was difficult for them. i dont remember this, however i do remember waking up in my moms arms but falling onto my bed and sweating a lot. everytime i opened my eyes, i was okay, but it was there every time i closed my eyes. My mom called it night terrors but im not sure if thats what it was. i used to get it every few nights and sometimes multiple times a night. it lasted about 5 years or so before i started to get them less frequently. i dont get it anymore, however if i think about it enough, can still see it. everytime now i think about it, it makes me cry. im not sure why at all, because a childhood dream shouldnt be something i cry about, but i cant hold back my tears. i hadn't explained the visual to my parents until i was 14, and they had said that neither one of them had experienced anything like it before. another thing i forgot to mention that i havent seen or read from anyone else, was that i had really loud ringing in my ears when this happened and i had to wear ear plugs to bed. i think that was another reason why i screamed at the top of my lungs when i was experiencing this. Also i know it sounds bad, but i feel kind of comforted by knowing that im not the only one who has felt/seen this.

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    • Posted

      LivD_88, you really don't need to worry about this. It really isn't anything to worry about at all. The general name for odd things that happen to us, or that we do, associated with sleep is a parasomnia.

      There are all sorts of parasomnias. I have two different ones myself. These things really aren't all that uncommon, I think it's just that most of us have learned not to talk about them for fear of being thought crazy! (Which we're not, of course.) You just need to accept that these things occasionally happen to you.

      I also have the ringing in my ears sometimes. In my case, this is associated with something called sleep paralysis, which you can google if you want to. Not everyone who has sleep paralysis is actually aware of the paralysis during episodes, but may have all the other symptoms.

      Incidentally, ear plugs are very bad for your ears, and won't make any difference anyway, as the ringing is generated inside your head.

      It may well be that this will go away as you get older, as many people have temporary sleep disorders in their teens. Even if it persists - as it has in my case - you just need to accept it as normal for you.

      And I don't see why you should feel bad about being comforted by hearing that others have the same thing. This is perfectly natural. When my own sleep disturbances started they were much scarier than yours, but that was more than 50 years ago, when there was no internet, so it took me a long time to find out that others had the same thing. I remember being very relieved too when I did find out!

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    • Posted

      This also happened to me when I was young, one time I remember I was sitting in the back of my mom's car and I was holding a small piece of wrapping paper that had a cute design on it and then suddenly the piece of paper starting growing larger and larger until it was taking up the whole back seat and suffocating me. It is hard to describe, I'm not sure if I was dreaming or not because it felt very real and I remember being very scared and gasping for air and trying to explain what happened to my mom. Obviously it was traumatic enough for me to still remember to this day and at one point I thought that I might have experienced Alice in Wonderland syndrome, but seeing these replies I think that this is linked to sleep paralysis. I'm 21 now and haven't experienced the paper incident since I was a child but now I have very chronic sleep paralysis to the point where I have insomnia and fears of sleeping. My mom also has sleep paralysis so I'm guessing I got it from her because they say it's hereditary. I can't find anyone on the internet who had my exact experience though, most people say that objects or their surrounding will get larger or smaller but I haven't heard anyone who has felt suffocated or panicked like I had when I was a child. If this has happened to anyone reading this, I would love to hear your experience so that I can try to better understand what I was going through.

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    • Posted

      i know exactly how you feel i hardly slept as a child and when i did i slept with the lights on, one time i had this happen to me and i woke up screaming and ran to my mom to tell her that my sisters boyfriend took her but i never told anyone that i would have these things happen to me and now im 19 and found out my mom and sister both had this happen too its called hypnogogic imagery. It made me tear up talking about it too. My sister explained it to be some sort of a mind seizure but nothing that can harms you

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  • Posted

    hi, im 16 and had something simillar when i was younger, sometimes it would be a door increasing in size or an awkward angle of a cupboard and such but in my experience it was more of me zooming in. These dreams would also give me a lot of stress and anxiety and i grew out of them sometime maybe around the age of 9.?..

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  • Posted

    did anyone find a specific name for this? i experienced the same dreams. the hairs on my arms and neck stood up while i was reading everyones posts. i cant believe other people experienced this too.

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  • Posted

    This is interesting that others have experienced this. I too have had these odd dreams. Mine were only when I was very young, maybe 2-8? The dreams were frequent and impressionable enough that I still think about them often all these years later. My sister said she had them too and I have always wondered if anyone else experienced this.

    For me it was always a random object, a thing I had never seen before. It could have been any random thing but always new to me. The background was always white/bright/absent. The object would grow and shrink... to unimaginable size. This part is hard to explain but there was a deep feeling associated with these dreams and would coincide with the size of the object, as if i were also large and small, I could feel it in my hands and body and it was not necessarily a pleasant feeling. Just very odd and whatever size the object landed on would leave me with a specific sensation/feeling that I am having a hard time explaining. The dreams were not scary to me but just very odd and I definite took notice. I've not experienced anything like it since then.

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    • Posted

      This forum is making me feel a lot better about my experiences with these dreams. Mine were also always random objects, like small pieces of paper or a bottle cap or something. They would grow so large that they would start to suffocate me and I would panic. I know exactly what you mean about the uneasy feeling, reading about other people's experiences kind of triggers my memories of these dreams and makes me want to cry for some reason. The dreams must have scared me as a child because I still feel uneasy about them.

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  • Posted

    Hey,

    I'm 16 and I've also experienced something like this, although it usually isn't a dream like some of you are describing.

    In my case, I'll go to bed and after maybe 5 minutes, I can still be wide awake and fully aware, and I'll just think about random things or objects while closing my eyes and they expand like crazy or get extremely small or twist around in weird angles over and over. I am fully awake and I can control my thoughts and make it stop, so it's kind of like my default image until I think about something else or fall asleep.

    This happens to me about once a week. It's never really bothered me, except it does worry me because I have a lot of health anxiety. I used to have childhood epilepsy when I was about 8-10 and I've had one singular case of sleep paralysis that I thought was a siezure at the time. I don't think this is sleep paralysis because I am not asleep and have not been asleep before it happens.

    It's nice to know I'm not alone!

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    • Posted

      This is almost exactly how i feel! its not like a dream, but an imagination, except i cant stop mine i have to actually see to stop it and even when i go back to sleep it carries on. please look at my other comment!

      -Alice

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    • Posted

      This exactly what i experience like I'm awake but i can imagine objects get insansely big even when i open my eyes ill just imagine the objects in my room get bigger this only happens when I'm about to sleep not often though and it doesn't really affect me greatly but it definitely makes me anxious

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