26.03.2015
Having hallucinations in that blurry period right before falling asleep or right before waking up is definitely a disturbing experience and so it is important to understand the causes and see if anything can be done about this specific sleep disorder called hypnagogic hallucinations (before falling asleep) or hypnopompic (coming out of sleep). Below you will find the overview of all hypnagogic hallucinations’ causes with the aim of grasping the full picture.
There are both legal and illegal drugs and prescription medicines available on the market which can cause either hallucinations in general or, could, as a side effect, cause hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations.
Brain damage or injury can cause all kinds of havoc on your body and this includes sleep disorders such as hypnagogic hallucinations (or hypnopompic). Continuous lack of sleep can result in sleep disorders like sleep deprivation, which continue to damage the body and impair mental functioning. The connection between stress and hallucinations follows similar reasoning as the case explained above in sleep deprivation. I do not want to start a fight about God, religion, science, etc, but you must understand that hypnagogic or hypnopompic or any other such sleep disorders and hallucinations can and do occur as a result of meditation and sensory deprivation. Hypnagogic hallucinations have been reported of various causes like auditory, visual or tactile and the reports also vary in their content from religious type of reports with devils and demons to completely abstract shapes and objects (same for sounds and feelings).
What I am saying is not against any religion or science, but people who report seeing God or having some divine experience could either be truly having that or they could be having hallucinations due to sensory deprivation and there is absolutely no way of telling the difference like there is no way, during sleep, to tell the difference between the sleep world (dreams) and the real world. So meditation, prayer and sleep state are brain conditions which are similar to when a person is deprived of his or her senses and there is plenty of research which proves that sensory deprivation leads to hallucinations, out of which at least some can be similar to hypnagogic hallucinations. A new case study in the journal Sleep (Mantoan et al., 2013) reports on the terrifying hypnopompic hallucinations of a 43 year old woman who experiences intense limb pain when waking up, which vanishes within 30 seconds. In conclusion, to our knowledge this is the first report of a NREM parasomnia associated with painful paroxysms, for which we postulate the following underlying pathophysiological mechanism: an internal or external stimulus triggers arousal, facilitating the activation of innate motor pattern generators in the brainstem and activating somatosensory cortical areas to produce hypnopompic hallucinatory pain. To me, the most surprising part of the survey is that 37% reported these phenomenon at sleep onset twice a week for the past year.
2 I've occasionally felt pain in dreams that vanished upon awakening, but I'm pretty sure the episodes occurred during REM (or another stage of dreaming sleep), because visual narrative content was associated with the episodes. It happens to me aswell but usually when I wasnt sleeping a lot nights earlier or if I am very stressed (doesnt need to be during specific night, just have hard time at school etc).
My 7-year old daughter began experiencing what I believe are hypnopompic hallucinations within the past 3 months.
I have sleep paralysis and the hallucinations became worse after I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I've experienced these hallucinations after an operation when I was medicated with pain killers a few years ago. The fear during these hypnagogic hallucinations is natural; you cannot control your fear during the hallucination because you are not awake and consciously in control of your thoughts.
Hypnagogic hallucinations are what happens when a person is asleep but sees, hears or feels things and experiences them as real even though he or she is asleep. They occur not during sleep but on the border between sleep and waking, when you are about to go to sleep or about to wake up.
Hypnagogia is a sleep disorder, and many people have this sleep disorder for many years without being aware that they have hypnagogic hallucinations. If you are experiencing something similar to these hallucinations and see a psychologist about sleep disorders they may think it is trauma related, but the most likely answer is that it is not. Know that you are only one of many people who suffer these hypnagogic hallucinations and that it is a very common disorder. Hypnagogic hallucinations are not dreams, but are like dreams; they are visions when you are asleep or about to fall asleep. Sleep disorders are a common link in hypnagogic hallucinations, but are not a definitive cause. These hallucinations are frightening because your subconscious is in control and fools your mind into thinking that what it thinks you are seeing, feeling or hearing is real, when it is not. Many people actually hear people talking in the room around them during hypnagogic hallucinations, or may have conversations with others and know, on some level, that the person is not there, but not be able to wake up. Hypnagogic hallucinations can range from harmless to frightening, and they tend to be very vivid.
Many people experience hypnagogic hallucinations at some point in their lives, and it is usually obvious to the person when it happens. If you experience any of these symptoms or sensations while on the brink of sleep, they are likely the result of hypnagogic hallucinations. If the hallucinations are diagnosed as the normal result of waking or falling asleep, some actions might be recommended to try and reduce their frequency.
In rare cases, the doctor may determine that the hallucinations are severe and symptomatic of mental conditions like schizophrenia (75% of schizophrenics report experiencing these hallucinations), depressions, or brain damage. Hypnagogic hallucinations can range from merely interesting to horrifying, but they are generally harmless and will decrease in frequency when the person is well-rested and not stressed. Although snoring is usually not a sign of anything serious, it can be an indication of a sleep disorder. Often, the person suffering from sleep apnea does not realize that their breathing is interrupted during sleep.
If someone has told you that you stop breathing while sleeping, or if you constantly feel fatigued during the day, it is a good idea to go to the doctor and have him or her try to diagnose you. The first step in treatment for breathing interruptions during sleep is behavioral therapy. Sleep paralysis causes the person to experience vivid nightmares that may feel very dangerous, explaining the urge to move while in the state of half-awake and half–sleep. In Asia, sleep paralysis is said to occur due to ghosts pressing down on bodies of sleeping people.
With the known sleep paralysis causes, treatments or medications are rarely given unless the symptoms are reoccurring and pointing into possible disorders, like narcolepsy. There are also herbs you can drink as tea to make you go to sleep such as Valerian, chamomile, lavender, passionflower, skullcap, catnip, lime flower and hops. According to the Global Sleep Dissatisfaction formulated in 1993, insomnia is when a sufferer continuously complains for at least half a year about the kind of sleep he experiences. Medical conditions having insomnia as an effect include hormonal disorders, pain caused by physical discomforts, traumas, or brain injury. Hypnagogic hallucinations causes are brought by the half-sleep, half-awake state called hypnagogia. Hypnagogia is a general term used to describe both the onset of sleep and the awakening from sleep. Even with the studies and researches on hypnagogic hallucinations and its associates, most people still prefer to give meaning to some situations and familiar symbols that are remembered by the sleeper upon awakening.
Hypnagogic hallucinations causes pose no threat, and are not classified as disorders, except for narcolepsy possibilities. Hypnopompic hallucinations are said to contain images or situations, mostly from the state of dreaming, that are confusing, frightening, or nonsensical in nature. In the medical field, hypnopompic hallucinations may be symptoms of narcolepsy, especially when accompanied by frequent sleep paralysis. Most research had focused more on hypnagogia, the state between conscious to asleep, rather than the hypnopompic state. For those who cannot stand CPAP and mouth fixtures and would really like to treat sleep apnea permanently, surgery is their option.
To treat sleep apnea, try these CPAP alternatives in order to have a good night sleep always. Hypnagogia, or hypnagogic, or hypnopompic, are all terms which basically point at the particular periods right before falling asleep or right after waking up.
As you may imagine there are a lot more different types of hypnagogic hallucinations’ symptoms because they tend to be pretty specific to the person experiencing them, however, the list above should give you an idea of what kinds of things have already been reported. Hypnopompic hallucinations are hallucinations that occur when a person is waking from sleep.
Hypnopompic hallucinations are associated with sleep disorders that relate to the inability to get to sleep. Hypnopompic hallucinations can disrupt restful sleep, and may require medication to attain restful sleep. What makes hypnogogic and hypnopompic hallucinations different from dreams is that they tend to lack a story. In most instances these forms of hallucinations are associated with other sleep disorders, and often particularly with inability to get to sleep. As published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, over 12 % of the people surveyed experienced hypnopompic hallucinations and close to 40% had had hallucinations when falling asleep at night.
This last conclusion is perhaps important because frequent episodes of hypnopompic hallucinations may suggest poor sleep or sleep disorders that could be remedied.
I started having these after the birth of my third child and put it down to a lack of sleep.


I have had hypnopompic hallucinations for about two years now and I'm 14 and I have no sleeping disorders that I know of. Hypnopompic hallucinations, on the other hand, are almost always terrifying and can make me shoot out of bed screaming bloody murder. I'm 19 and last week I was on the verge of sleep when suddenly, I swore I saw black bars hovering over me like a cage. If the brain is not able to process information or data the “normal” way it might make “errors” which we perceive as hallucinations. Continuous sleep deprivation will lead to chronic sleep deprivation which results in very negative consequences among which are severe exhaustion, abnormal brain functioning, confused and traumatized internal body processes. In simple terms this means the brain state below regular awake state and just above the deep sleep state (delta wavelengths).
Hypnopompic hallucinations are unusual sensory phenomena experienced just before or during awakening. Both types of hallucinations were more common in those with insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, anxiety disorders, and depression (according to self-report). This is a very unusual manifestation of a non-REM parasomnia, a sleep disorder involving partial arousal during the transition between non-REM and wakefulness.
Its usually like that: I try to sleep but feel ofcourse not tired while when Im up Im tired all days. They would always be accompanied by sleep paralysis and the feeling of something demonic or evil in my room. However, they are not a sign that you have a psychological disorder or a serious condition. These dreams, which are actually waking dreams are quite frightening, which is why the most common hypnagogic hallucinations are a jerk awake when someone feels they are falling right before they fall asleep. Hypnagogic hallucinations are quite vivid and seem unlike dreams, but completely real to the person experiencing them. For many people, these hallucinations may seem like bad dreams, or they may worry that something is wrong with them, for instance that they are psychotic, or have some other psychiatric disorder.
Consult with your doctor as to whether your medications could be causing hallucinations. Most people experience this as a sudden kick or jerk when they’re about to fall asleep; this is a hypnagogic hallucination. Although these hallucinations are very common, they may be a sign of an underlying medical condition and sometimes require medical treatment or therapy. Hallucinations may be visual, auditory, or tactile – they include the person seeing something vivid that is not actually present, hearing a noise that has not occurred, or feeling something touch them when there is nothing there. They can be the result of sleep deprivation or stress, so the patient should try and remove the causes of these conditions to stop experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations. This sleep disorder, which causes pauses in breathing (at least ten seconds long) or very light breathing during sleep occurs in about 20% of people and can be treated in a number of ways. There are a variety of ways to tell that you may have sleep apnea, most of which involve not feeling rested during the day. If you ever see someone snoring and they suddenly stop breathing, this is likely caused by sleep apnea. The doctor will take note of your physical symptoms and do a sleep study if they think the cause may be sleep apnea. Patients are told to make lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills and sleeping on the side instead of the back. By definition, sleep paralysis is a condition in which the muscles are unable to function when commanded while at the state of starting to fall asleep or upon awakening.
Some of the known factors that increase sleep paralysis are stress, excessive alcohol intake, sudden changes in the environment, and certain sleeping positions. To avoid the person from being alarmed or from panicking, the next time they experience sleep paralysis, it’s advisable to get information about the different stages of sleep.
This criteria includes the failure to maintain sleep, the inability to sleep, waking up early in the morning no matter how late you sleep and non-restorative sleep where you cannot go back to slumber once awake in the middle of the night or early morning. There are 9 to 15% of people who suffer daytime consequences due to failure of sleep, the inability to sleep or the incapability to go back to sleep. Most people who lack sleep or have poor quality of sleep experiences headache, fatigue, poor concentration, and sleepiness. Other than hallucinations, hypnagogia is also characterized by sleep paralysis, seeing images, hearing sounds, or other situations that are notable to the sleeper’s senses.
Further research established separate descriptions for both states; hence the terms hypnagogic hallucinations and hypnopompic hallucinations. Most are geometrical in shape, linear, or merely speckles, popping into the sleeper’s mind. Sleep paralysis is the common concern with hypnagogia and this may also vary depending on the causes.
The term hypnopompic was used by Frederic Myers, a past leader and member of the Society for Psychical Research. These hallucinations can last from seconds to minutes, including the paralysis state, and causes panic for the person experiencing it. Some people easily attribute it as a nightmare, occurring due to sleeping in an above average physical tiredness. If you drink too much alcohol, this narrows the airways thus relaxing the muscles in the throat and shutting the air passage when you sleep.
Sleep apnea is caused by a blockage in the airway therefore it is important to remove permanently this blockage. Bearing that in mind, let’s look at the symptoms of these sleep disorders, which are a little bit difficult to classify under nice sub-heading due to their nature. At this stage in my life, it also wasn't uncommon for me to have multiple hallucinations in one night. I have found that making up a story before sleeping helps me get through the night without waking up, but it doesn't always work! Sometimes, I wake up and sometimes I feel they are good little kids just trying to see if I am sleeping and when I wake up they would hide. We really don't understand sleep very well, nor the nature of time, space and what consciousness is. This happens to me so frequently (probably because of poor sleeping habits) but it really interferes with my sleep. It has not affected my work or school yet, but if it continues, it's only a matter of time until I sleep through an alarm and miss something.
Moreover, it is possible to have hallucinations if someone is in the withdrawal period such as when trying to stop using illegal drugs or medicines. This kind of a situation can lead to confusions in the senses or sensory disruptions which can easily produce hallucinations the frequency and intensity of which would be directly correlated with how bad the sleep deprivation is. Researches done in sensory deprivation have shown that in just 15 minutes of complete sensory deprivation the subjects have experienced hallucinations.
Brain function impairment and a constant stress on the body will definitely result in bad consequences part of which might be sleep disorders such as hypnagogic hallucinations.
Their better known mirror image, hypnagogic hallucinations, are vivid and frightening episodes of seeing or hearing or feeling phantom sensations while falling asleep (or in early stage 1 sleep). It seems to me that the sleep EEG could be analyzed more thoroughly, beyond merely ruling out seizure occurrence.
I would be lying in bed unable to move, feeling horrified and sometimes hadj hallucinations.
In the last few weeks I've been under stress, and had hypnopompic hallucinations a couple of times.
Most people experience hypnagogic hallucinations occasionally, usually in the form of feeling we’re falling as we fall asleep. The common factor of all hypnagogic hallucinations is that they are terrifying and the person is unable to wake up.
This is usually within the first couple of hours of falling asleep or after you have wakened and are going back to sleep. A number of mental phenomena may occur during this time, including lucid dreaming, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations.
If a person begins to experience hallucinations at times other than the transition between sleeping and waking, this is much more serious and requires medical attention. In addition, people who experience frequent episodes of frightening sleep paralysis may want to seek treatment to avoid these episodes. Although sleep apnea may not be bothersome or noticeable, if left untreated, it can lead to higher chances of developing tumors and cancer.
The disorder disturbs the sleep cycle and does not allow the body to “recharge” as it should during sleep.


During the sleep study, the doctor will measure the number of times that your breathing is interrupted. It can be associated with either REM atonia or narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder that makes the person sleepy at inappropriate hours. Sleeping position is the most typical of sleep paralysis causes, especially when accompanied by physical tiredness. Understanding the process of sleep will enable the person to analyze the probable cause of the incident and may be able to take note of it before stating a possible alien abduction. Either way, the person experiencing poor sleeping patterns should immediately look into its possible causes. Irregular sleeping patterns due to work schedule, stressful activities, distracting noises, or current problems may produce temporary insomnia these days. Sleeping pills might help in reducing mild insomnia, but without the proper guidance and support, it might lead to abuse. In sleep literature, insomnia is defined as a sleep disorder manifested through disturbed sleep patterns. Both refer to the same symptoms, but usually unidentifiable in cases of multiple sleeping and waking episodes. The hypnopompic state is commonly associated with sleep paralysis and its other friend, hypnagogia. Upon waking up, the sleeper may be slow in reacting or remembering the details of the incident. If the cause is not a medical disorder, it is explained to be due to poor sleeping positions, stressful activities, excessive eating or alcoholic drinking before sleeping, or adjustments in a change of lifestyle.
Sometimes sleep apnea is due to obesity therefore you need to undergo a healthy diet to lose excess weight.
After a while, the hallucinations died down from multiple nights a week back to maybe once every few weeks. Patients who suffer from schizophrenia for example, vast majority of them, see hallucinations. Both are frequently associated with sleep paralysis, the terrifying condition of being half awake but unable to move. Initially, I was taken aback, as although I had just awoken, I was sitting up in bed and definitely 100% awake, but still seeing the hallucination which then faded out slowly. I realized that they weren't real one time when the hallucination was of an intricate mandala-like object up by the ceiling.
However, if you have hypnagogic hallucinations on a regular basis, you should seek medical care. Lack of sleep, illness, overdose of medication, erratic sleep patterns or the like can cause them. If you have more severe, more frequent hallucinations, you should consult your doctor about them. They occur during a state of consciousness that is officially known as hypnogogia, the transition from being awake to a state of sleep. Lack of sleep or a disorderly sleep schedule can contribute, as these can cause problems leading to hallucinations.
It is not a psychological disorder, though stress can contribute to these types of hallucinations. Such hallucinations are far more likely to indicate mental illnesses or other diagnosable conditions.
Whatever the definition of insomnia, you need to treat it because a good sleep is needed to be healthy. Immediate medical actions can still apply when mentioned irregular sleeping patterns prove fatal to health.
They calmly accept that the difficulty in sleeping should be expected and will eventually disappear.
Mumbling nonsense upon waking up from a REM sleep is called hypnopompic speech by Peter McKeller, a psychologist.
Instead of panicking and instilling fear, it’s advisable to research and find out information related to sleeping stages to figure out the next step to take. The additional weight in your neck usually presses your air passage when you sleep thus relaxing your muscles and forbidding you to inhale. Not everyone can use mouth fixtures though but for those who use it, their sleep has become better. Breathing dilemmas that result to sleep apnea may be caused by a deviated septum and this can be removed only by surgery. One time I was sleeping facing my wall and woke up to a huge hole right in front of my face with mice and spiders crawling out of it. One simple way to test if this is the cause of your sleep disorders is to stop taking the drugs if possible for some time and see if the hypnagogic hallucinations remain or not, but do not expect an immediate effect because drugs take various amounts of time to leave your system.
This is because the complete muscle atonia typically experienced during REM sleep has oozed into lighter stages of non-REM sleep. Typically when they get access to humans via spiritistic practices they are also capable of causing nightmares, hallucinations, victims will sense an evil presence in the room, some are sexually assaulted, strangled and the like. A regular sleep schedule and healthier lifestyle should help eliminate hypnagogic hallucinations.
Hypnagogic hallucinations are not related to narcolepsy and do tend to get better with age. Also, if they were able to sleep then, they cannot sustain their sleep and suddenly wakes up in the middle of the night making them unable to sleep back again. A device called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) has been invented to treat sleep apnea. We may be able to perceive certain things that we would otherwise not as our consciousness makes the journey between the nether of sleep and the waking world. Glad to see I'm not the only one having these, as I've had plenty of other disturbing hallucinations.
That DID freak me out, so I was VERY glad to read this article, and the part about the hypnopompic statistics. Keep a sleep journal to record your hypnagogic hallucinations, and this will help you keep track of your situation and share it with a doctor if you seek help.
But because there are many people who do not like this machine, they go for other CPAP alternatives to cure their sleep apnea. If your hallucinations began after starting a new medication, tell your doctor immediately. But as soon as I turned in my bed, I saw another hallucination which was a toy RC helicopter flying around the bedroom. It has affected my wifes sleep just as much, and most of the time she can calm me down back to sleep. I remember the conversation vividly and it feels to me that I can think very clearly during the hallucination. I found reading made it more frequent as my brain would drift off and be in a more active state at the point of slipping onto sleep. So far I have been unable to pinpoint any specific reasons for hallucination or to predict when they would happen. Let her learn about the different aspects of this, tell her that it is hallucinations and just in her mind. I never scream but it happens that I comment to my man or that I turn on bed and think he said something so I woke up but he is sleeping. It sounds like that might make her feel crazy but knowing that it was hallucinations was the best piece of info I got. Who knows, maybe she'll because a sleep pathologist or a nuerobiologist and help us All. Her grandmother has narcolepsy and her father was a lite-childhood bed-wetter and continues to sleepwalk, especially if exhausted or even mildly intoxicated. I am a lucid dreamer, myself, and have been told I talk fluently in my sleep, though I have no recollection. I read cheesey romance novels before bed and having my husband in bed with me always helps because I have that peaceful, safe feeling before I sleep.




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Comments Sleep disorders hallucinations hypnopompic

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