A discussion on my favorite hypnosis forum, www.hypnothoughts.com, features how to utilize that dreamy, not asleep, yet not awake state called hypnagogia. The hypnagogic state is actually the period during which one is falling asleep, as opposed to hypnopompic state, which is when one is awakening.

This phenomena includes a variety of sensate experiences in numerous modalities, including visual hallucination, auditory, olfactory and gustotory and thermal sensations. The mind is not only more open to suggestibility during this state, but it readily drops censorship and repression, allowing access to seemingly illogical and spontaneous ideas. This can lead to insight for solving problems and boosting creativity.

Here is a process by which you can utilize your hypnagogic state for change within yourself. This process, or similar, has been used by creative giants such as Aristotle and Einstein.

1. Before retiring, write about subject problem, visualize it, saturate brain with it, I find mindmapping useful.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map

2. Place a pad and paper (or voice operated recorder) by bed and set alarm for twenty minutes.

3. Try to clear your mind for a minute or two.

4. As you begin to drift, write down any hypnagogic details and associations

5. If you fall asleep, when alarm goes off immediately record all thoughts and images

6. Inspect for clues, metaphorical or otherwise

Adapted from 'Head Trip' by Jeff Warren (2008)