Hypnagogic hallucinations are hallucinations that occur during the transition from wakefulness to sleep. Hypnopompic Hallucination on the other hand refers to the hallucination that occurs during transition from sleep to wakefulness.
The adjective “Hypnagogic” is actually coined by Alfred Maury. It is a phenomena that is found to exist during the threshold of consciousness which includes lucid dreaming, hallucinations, out of the body experiences and even sleep paralysis.
Almost all people experience hypnagogic hallucination at some point in their life but once it is recurring, it can be a sign of a medical condition that needs treatment.
Auditory, visual, tactile and kinetic sensations are experienced by an individual during hypnagogic hallucinations. The experiences of hallucinations are slightly different from one person to another. Most of the time, these hallucinations are frightening and cause disturbances in mental and emotional functioning of an individual. The hypnagogic experience is sometimes referred to a dream but actually it is a hallucination.
Some with hypnagogic hallucinations experiences falling off from a tall building or from a deep hole and wakes up when they are about to hit the ground, some jerks off or experiences sudden arousal when about to sleep, some felt that they are submerged in a pool, some sees that someone is in the room, some feels that they are smaller, some sees gigantic spiders, some sees different colors and shapes, some experiences leaving their body and see it on the bed sleeping, some felt that someone is touching them and other hear voices when they are alseep.
The cause of Hypnagogic hallucinations is not well understood. It was found out that this type of hallucination is commonly experienced by those with narcolepsy. It is also found to exist for those who lack sleep, have erratic sleep schedules, drug abusers, and those who take some drugs that can result to the said condition.
Children and young people are found to have more experiences of hypnagogic hallucinations than older ones. This is because their brain is still developing and still forming pathways.
If Hypnagogic hallucinations are found disturbing (repetitive or not), it is recommended to see a doctor in order to deal with this condition. If there is no specific cause, one can go and see a psychologist and related mental health professional to explore the subconscious mind. Sometimes, the hallucination is triggered by disturbed or unsolved problems from the past. Also, consulting them can help one get ideas on how to deal with the hallucination even if it still continues to occur.
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