I wrote this in my journal this afternoon, but I thought I’d transcribe it here as well.
When I am falling asleep, usually after a long day of work, I am perpetually brought back to imaginary, hallucinated work scenarios. I will imagine I am burdened with a series of urgent work tasks, or in a conversation with a coworker. I am taxing my mind to complete the task while repeatedly forgetting I am actually in bed getting ready to sleep.
Sometimes I can ‘dilate’ out of a scenario, but rarely fully realize I don’t need to do any of these dream-work tasks. I will sometimes say to myself “I am in my bed right now, not at work, so I don’t have to make this delivery, but I might as well clean up this room…” backing out of a dream scenario through realization, only to be caught up in another one. Or, I will be approached by an imaginary dream character with a new task. Never fully grasping that I am completely free from these imaginings, and that nothing done in this ‘work’ has any consequence or purpose. Sometimes I will even be caught up in the imagination of commuting home, and the tasks I have to do before going to bed.
What does help abate this mechanism is body sensing. When I imbue Presence into my resting limbs, my breath, or my heartbeat, a certain energy is saved from being totally consumed into the world of mechanical memory review. However, I cannot stop my mind from falling into that state for any length of time, so a tension arises. I can ‘feel’ my material body safely in bed as my dream body flits between tasks and is accosted by imaginary conversations. Eventually, the period of time between falling into a state of mechanical imagination, and ‘realizing’ my way out of it becomes shorter and shorter. This will, I believe, eventually lead to the experience of ‘falling asleep consciously’, but outside of preventing useless anxiety before felling asleep, the process is exhausting and requires the willpower of a soldier.