- Also known as ephialtes vigilantium. The term daymare is indebted to the Old English noun mare, which means hag or goblin. It is used to denote an episode of acute anxiety, distress, or terror occurring during a period of wakefulness, which is often precipitated by a "daydream or a fantasy. Conceptually and phenomenologically, the daymare is considered the daytime equivalent of the "nightmare. The American psychiatrist and sleep researcher Ernest Hartmann (b. 1934) characterizes the daymare as "A daydream which becomes increasingly frightening and 'nightmarish' so that it frightens the daydreamer much as a nightmare awakens the dreamer at night. A rare phenomenon, but described by many persons with frequent nightmares." In the past, the phenomenological similarity between the day-mare and the classical nightmare has brought some authors to designate the daymare as an " incubus experience taking place during wake-fulness, characterized by the same peculiar pressure on the chest that is characteristic of the nocturnal variant. In 1830 the Scottish physician Robert MacNish (1802-1837) gave the following colourful autodescription of a daymare. "During the intensely hot summer of 1825, I experienced an attack of daymare. Immediately after dining, I threw myself on my back upon a sofa, and, before I was aware, was seized with difficult respiration, extreme dread, and utter incapability of motion or speech. I could neither move nor cry, while the breath came from my chest in broken and suffocating paroxysms. During all this time, I was perfectly awake: I saw the light glaring in at the windows in broad sultry streams; I felt the intense heat of the day pervading my frame; and heard distinctly the different noises in the street, and even the ticking of my own watch, which I had placed on the cushion beside me. I had, at the same time, the consciousness of flies buzzing around, and settling with annoying pertinacity upon my face. During the whole fit, judgment was never for a moment suspended. I felt assured that I laboured under a species of incubus. I even endeavoured to reason myself out of the feeling of dread which filled my mind, and longed with insufferable ardour for some one to open the door, and dissolve the spell which bound me in its fetters. The fit did not continue above 5 min: by degrees I recovered the use of speech and motion: and as soon as they were so far restored as to enable me to call out and move my limbs, it wore insensibly away. Upon the whole, I consider daymare and nightmare identical. They proceed from the same causes, and must be treated in a similar manner." Elsewhere MacNish states, however, that "The only difference which [would] seem to exist between the two states is, that in daymare, the reason is always unclouded - whereas in incubus it is generally more or less disturbed." Although MacNish was apparently convinced that his judgment had remained unaffected throughout the entire episode, it is not unthinkable (in retrospect) that he had actually experienced an episode of " microsleep.ReferencesHartmann, E. (1984). The nightmare. The psychology and biology ofterrifying dreams. New York, NY: Basic Books.MacNish, R. (1854). Philosophy ofsleep. Second edition. Hartford: Silas Andrus & Son.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.