I begin to dream IMMEDIATELY after falling asleep
This isn't a sleep disorder, but more like a sleep question.
I'm seventeen years old, and in good health.
For most of my life, I have had incredibly vivid and detailed dreams on a regular basis. You could call my dreams almost "cinematic" in nature, and I can never once recall having a nightmare. I remember a good deal of my dreams, and I have often found myself vividly dreaming almost immediately after falling asleep.
Because of my dreaming habits, and a benign interest in psychology and human nature, I have often wondered if my dreaming habits were unusual. I'm familiar with the stages of sleep, and I have always been taught that dreaming occurs in the REM stage, which indicates a full, deep sleep.
But I dream within seconds of falling asleep, and I can even remember them if jostled awake. There have been times in class where I have fallen asleep for no more than four or five minutes, and I would have already had a visual dream of some sort. It's not as descriptive or lengthy as a full dream, but it's still a dream nonetheless. I also noticed that if I'm trying to stay awake, but I end up falling asleep, I will immediately begin to dream. My girlfriend has taken interest in this as well, for many times she will wake me up seconds after I fall asleep just to tell her if I saw anything "cool" in my quazi-dream state. Her noticing my brief dreams has led to me taking deeper notice into these immediate dreams. And whenever she wakes me, I can often recall some sort of strange and vivid dream. Once, after falling asleep for no more than thirty seconds or so, I dreamed I was driving down a windy coastal highway in a pink car. As I passed a small white toll booth on this highway, the tollbooth melted and flowed along the road, covering my car, until I was jostled awake by my girlfriend.
Is this normal? I've been told that dreaming should only really be taking place in REM sleep, and that it can actually be unhealthy to dream so quickly. I have no history of any sort of medical or psychological disorders, and I have been healthy my whole life. I'm not overly stressed, unless you count the usual high school senior stuff, but this sort of thing was happening during the carefree summer months as well.
I'm not concerned at all, it's just that I'm curious to know if this is normal, or if it's an indicator for something, or if I just happen to have a stranger head on my shoulders than I previously thought.
Thank's so much for even reading this boring thing!! I really appreciate it, and I am grateful for any type of response!