The four types of brain waves we will use to describe the stages of sleep are shown in Figure 1. It isn’t known why people have such experiences, but a likely possibility is that they are transitioning between a waking state and a dreaming state — that is, that they are dreaming while also partially awake (see below). The following video shows that it isn’t only humans who sleepwalk — other mammals also sometimes do.

Neither sleepwalkers nor people people experiencing a sleep terror seem to be dreaming during the episode (see below).
The EEG activity of a person during REM sleep looks very similar to beta waves— waves seen when a person is awake and paying attention to things.  However, people definitely are asleep during REM and, in fact, may be very difficult to awaken. EEG activity associated with each of the major stages of sleep (from Groves & Rebec, 1992, p.

Many people, however, find this confusing; and because the experiences during both types of transition are very similar or identical, we will use the term hypnagogia to refer to any transition involving sleeping and waking.

Sudden infant death syndrome causes
Sleep apnea and the brain

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