As we ‘fall’ asleep, we traverse different states of consciousness with corresponding brain wave changes. Dreaming that we are falling or sinking normally means falling into a deeper state of unconsciousness. Elevator dreams often symbolise this type of feeling. We often have these experiences falling asleep as we switch from alpha wave relaxation down to theta and finally delta wave consciousness when we are totally and deeply asleep.
Sometimes we will also experience something called a ‘diatonic jump’ during the falling asleep stage. This occurs when we jump because we have felt some sort of electrical activity as the brain shuts down but the motor section of our brains is still partially functional. It is another way of falling into deeper unconsciousness. Scientists believe that the brain shuts down at different speeds, the first section to shut off is the frontal lobes which is responsible for much of our analytical thinking. The motor section of the brain is one of the last sections to shut down, so we might experience ‘electric shocks’ or jumps in our arms and legs as we fall asleep. As the brain shuts down, we gradually lose conscious awareness and sometimes experience the sensation of falling.
Falling in love might also trigger these dreams as you plunge deeper into subconscious waters….learn to swim real fast! Falling in love triggers endorphins and activates much more of our brains than we normally use and we are propelled into unconsciousness as many powerful neurotransmitters are released in the brain. You will notice everything seems brighter, more exciting and you will be in a very good mood generally as you fall in love with someone. Accessing these deeper parts of the brain can also occur during good sex and so you may also dream of falling if you are having a particularly good sex life at the moment.