Hey CS, experienced at the start of sleep these things are actually called hypnagogic hallucinations instead.The reason for the qualification in my post was that hypnagogic hallucinations are one of the four main symptoms of narcolepsy, although they are sometimes experienced in individuals without narcolepsy too.
The tornado picked me up in my car and spun me every where, I woke durring this. I was seeing my room I seen everything around me and I was seeing the dream at the same time. Here's where you can find my review of the book and a link to get it: have had these dreams ever since i can remember and i'm only 20 and cause of that i have to sleep with someone or sleep with the door open, it mostly happens when i sleep on the edge of the bed i dream of something then i half wake up see the room i'm in and there will always be someone there or i can hear someone, examples this one time i woke up and i could see the room i was in then i heard this person breathing scarily in and out and as it did the whole room started to move and it freaked me out so much that i can barely move or talk at most and i closed my eyes tell myself to wake up but most of the times i can't. My husband is on multiple medications and is battling cancer.
A few minutes ago, he woke from sleep and was paralyzed - he also had shortness of breath.
(Hypnopompic simply means it occurs when you are waking up.
Hypnagogic is the opposite, meaning occuring when you are falling asleep.)What you describe sounds exactly like sleep paralysis with some hypnopompic imagery.
So to answer your question of whether you are asleep or awake, you are essentially awake at this time but your body is still experiencing certain aspects of REM sleep. I hope this helps shed some light on what you are experiencing.
If you have any follow-up questions or comments please don't hesitate to submit them using the "Post Comments" link below!The incident of you seeing someone breaking in to attack you is a fairly common hypnopompic hallucination.As long as this is only occurring when you are waking up and not when you are falling asleep, this is virtually always completely benign, more common than you might expect, and just a product of REM functions outlasting your sleep a bit--not something to worry about at all.Before I have dreamt i am laid there paralyzed while someone is breaking in to attack me.What I don't understand is what is going on and am I awake really or are they just freaky dreams??This is a really interesting connection you've hit on between sleep paralysis and dreaming.