I found some interesting information that I read in the second volume of The New Science of Dreaming that deals with waking and sleeping consciousness. I shared this information with R and figured that it should be shared with the readers since it is such exciting info to myself.
When we are awake the part of our brains called the thalamus is one of those things that is on the list of activated items. This in turn activates the cerbral cortex causing what we consider as waking normal consciousness. During the first stages of sleep just the opposite is accruing, as the thalamus is considered as inactive. However, in stage 2 of NREM the thalamus shows partial activation and in turn shows full activation as it reaches REM. This process is controlled by the cholinergic system as well as many other types of brain activation functions. As this comes to a shock to me and raises many different questions, it does make some sense as it is a means for why we dream in NREM stage 2. It also disproves the aspect that all dreams have no meaning, based on the concept that we are conscious while asleep and can make conscious decisions regardless of the scene around us. It also shows that we are somewhat conscious during the transtional phase between NREM and REM where sleep paralysis as well as the sudden shutting down of what seems to be important waking aspects (long term memory ect..)as well as the activation of the fearful amygdala.
Here is the model showing these transition with the updated key points of the thalamus:
I ask this now, is it possible that we are always at least slightly conscious during the transition between NREM and REM and experience these terrible effects of auditory and visual hallucinations while partially awake as well as sleep paralysis but just don't remember it?