For the past few months I've been on a Mirtazapine for my anxiety problems, I take my pill before bedtime. If I take it a reasonable time before I go to bed I just fall asleep quickly and get some deep high quality sleep and wake up feeling well rested. If I take it too late and or get too little sleep I wake up feeling a little sedated. It also increases my apatite but besides from eating more and sleeping better there are no noticeable effects, good or bad.
I have the bad habit of listening to podcasts in bed, usually before I fall asleep or early in the mornings. Prior to my medication this was, as expected, an undramatic affair. Nowadays this has become something far more weirder and exciting. If I listen while the meds kicks in the content of the podcasts gets mixed up with my random thoughts and memories and induces a semi-lucid, half vivid trance-like state with more or less intense hypnagogic audiovisual CEV landscapes interwoven with the podcasts. It has an almost psychedelic flavour to it. Even though I've gotten used to this it's a really weird and peculiar sensation. One interesting thing is that I don't feel that my ordinary dreams are affected much, maybe they are slightly more vivid but it's hard to tell.
This was totally unexpected and when this happened the first time I got worried and wondered WTF is going on. Was I going insane?
I have come to appreciate this temporary state of consciousness. I don't think it last more than 10 or 15 minutes. It's a bit like a poor mans lucid dreaming.
Another interesting thing is that this phenomena is in some sense controllable. If I just ignore it, I just get tired and fall asleep. If I focus on it it becomes more pronounced and intense until I eventually can't stay awake anymore.
I've heard and read about people experiencing weird things while on more hardcore sleeping pills like Zolpidem and Zopiclone but not on modest doses of a common antidepressant. The brain is an interesting creature.
While pondering this I've considered that this might just be me hyper focusing on my normal hypnagogic pre-sleep state but I've always been self-conscious about this and what I described above has a very different feel to it. But imagination, suggestion and placebo are not to be underrated.
Sadly Mirtazapine didn't do much for my anxiety problems so I quit it sometime ago but this above described effect was an interesting experience.