In medicine, somnolence describes a level of quantitative disturbance of consciousness . The term quantitative disturbance of consciousness refers to the degree of wakefulness ( vigilance ). In contrast to this, qualitative disturbance of consciousness describes conditions such as narrowing of consciousness and shifting / expansion of consciousness.
Somnolence stands for drowsiness with abnormal sleepiness as a milder form of (quantitative) disturbance of consciousness ( slight clouding of consciousness ) with preserved responsiveness and arousal. Usually, there are no complete gaps in memory ( amnesia ). More difficult levels are called sopor (deep sleep, can only be woken up by strong stimuli such as pain; severe clouding of consciousness ) and coma (cannot be woken up; a severe form of unconsciousness ).
Somnolence and hypnosis
In hypnosis , the term somnolence is often used to describe the lightest stage of hypnotic trance . Here the test person feels spontaneous tiredness and drowsiness, physically caused by the beginning of muscle relaxation and calm breathing rhythm and mentally forced by appropriate suggestions . The waking consciousness is restricted to the words of the hypnotist. Somnolence turns into hypotaxia as the hypnosis deepens .