I had a strange experience when I was in my twenties. It was so unusual that I still don’t know what exactly happened. Even now (I am 59), I still remember it well. Only recently I have come up with a possible explanation. Originally I thought that I was the only one who had such an experience. Looking around the internet in the past years I discovered that many other people had similar experiences. It is a strange phenomenon that warrants further investigation.
I called my experience The Night That Didn’t Exist:
It had been an ordinary day, somewhere in my twenties, so that must be in the 1980s. In the evening I went to bed at 10 o’clock, as usual, to get up at 6.00 am, as usual, to go to work. At 10 o’clock it was already completely dark outside. I laid down in bed, closed my eyes and dozed off for ten seconds. I opened my eyes again and noticed that there was a light shining through the window. “Strange”, I thought, “What might that be?” I turned towards the window and noticed that it was light outside, that is, light from the sun. I was puzzled. I looked at the clock next to my bed, and noticed that it was 6.00 in the morning. Now I was really flabbergasted because I had only dozed off for about ten seconds. I hadn’t slept at all. I didn’t know what to think about it because I get my breakfast and catch the bus to work. Actually, I didn’t know what to think about for many, many years, until recently.
I have to explain this a little further.
When you wake up in the morning, you know you have slept because you have a feeling, especially a bodily feeling of having slept in the first place. Your body feels different because it feels refreshed, or you still feel sleepy when you wake up. You can also feel approximately how long you have slept. You have a sense of a passage of time, even if you can’t judge it right, or if you have memory problems. I normally can remember some of my dreams, but those were absent too.
When I woke up, after a few seconds, there was absolutely no sense of having slept. My body did not feel different. I closed my eyes and a moment later I opened them, and there was no time passage in between. My body was still in the exact same position. Normally, when one sleeps, the body moves around a lot during the night. There was no sense of passage of time, none. No dreams either. That is all I can tell about it, because there was nothing in between those two point in time. All I can compare it to is a filmstrip out of which a series of frames have been cut out, and the two ends taped together.
It only happened once to me. It was a one time occurrence.
Recently I looked up other people’s experiences, and I made an article describing the main characteristics of this strange phenomenon, that not only implies a total lack of memory between two points in time, but sometimes people also find themselves suddenly at another location, nearby or many miles away. If you want to find out more read my article of Missing Time: Has It Ever Happened To You?