[ELI5] What does the actual moment of falling asleep feel like and why can we never notice/remember it?


[ELI5] What does the actual moment of falling asleep feel like and why can we never notice/remember it?

In: Biology

When you fall asleep, certain parts of your brain are shut off. One of these parts is responsible for processing memories, causing you to not be able to remember.

tldr: sleepy brain make memory go bye bye

Think of falling asleep like a slow wind-down, not a switch that flips on/off. You’re winding down, so when you reach, like, 20 percent awake, you stop forming long-term memories that will “survive” the night of sleep.

I feel like i know when this is happen. My mind races with random creative things. Sometimes i jump out of it and can’t remember anything i was just thinking about. It’s a fucken cool/weird experience

There are lucid dreaming techniques that actually get around this. I’ve only been able to do it a handful of times but there’s a moment when it feels and sounds like your head goes underwater. Everything gets muffled and your body becomes paralyzed. At this point it’s like there are two versions of reality happening simultaneously. The actual experience of the room you’re in and also a “dream room” that looks exactly like it. The two sorta fight for dominance in your perception. If the real one wins you come out of it and you’re awake again. Of the other wins you enter the dream, sometimes lucid and sometimes not.

There’s no real reason for you to remember falling asleep. Its not a critical item that would require a memory slot, basically, so you have evolved to shut off the part of your brain that stores memory at that point.

I recognize when I’m falling asleep but of course not the moment when I pass into sleep. I start thinking things that don’t make sense, and realize that this isn’t something that would occur and then have the thought “ah, I’m dreaming.” and then boom lights out. can’t remember anything after that.