Hallucinations. 750 Words Sunday, 28 August 2011.
The following is from ‘WiseGeek.com’
“Hypnopompic hallucinations are often discussed along with hypnogogic hallucinations. Both of these have to do with hallucinations occurring as people enter or exit sleep. When people are just on the edge of sleep they might experience hypnogogic hallucinations. If a person is about to wake, he or she could have a hypnopompic hallucination.
What makes hypnogogic and hypnopompic hallucinations different from dreams is that they tend to lack a story. Moreover the hallucinations may vary. People could experience a physical feeling, a smell, a sound, or quite frequently an image or sight.
The image could be a simple line, dot, pattern, or it could be a full person, animal or other. It is important to add that whatever experienced, the perception of something not there can feel very real. Hypnopompic hallucinations might make people bolt out of bed, and then feel very disoriented, or they sometimes create the sensation that the person is paralyzed and cannot move.
Hypnogogic and hypnopompic hallucinations are characterized by their “realness.” They also have a tendency to disrupt sleep. While they might suggest a person has sleep disorder, the hallucinations do not have much to say about the sanity of the person having them.
In most instances these forms of hallucinations are associated with other sleep disorders, and often particularly with inability to get to sleep. This isn’t always the case. An interesting survey study done in the last decade of the 20th century collected data from a number of people to compare how often people reported hypnogogic and hypnopompic hallucinations. Data of nearly 5000 respondents showed that quite a few people had had at least one incidence of either of these sleep or waking disturbances.
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. A conclusion that can be drawn from the study is that of the two types of hallucinations clearly hypnogogic sensations are more common. Another suggestion made by the authors of the study was that hallucinations occurring just before waking were more likely to happen if people did have a sleep disorder.
This last conclusion is perhaps important because frequent episodes of hypnopompic hallucinations may suggest poor sleep or sleep disorders that could be remedied. Yet, people may definitely fear discussing this issue with a doctor because they might believe a doctor will look at them askance. As previously mentioned, neither of these types of hallucinations indicates mental instability, and there is plenty of medical literature to back this up. On the other hand, such hallucinations really can suggest poor sleeping habits, and that can be dangerous to health on a number of levels.”
I have written about this before, not sure or can’t remember if I’ve written about it while doing my 750, but as it came up today in a discussion, I figured I’d write it up here. You maybe be thinking that the information above being from a website can’t be true because its from a website called ‘Wise Geek’. Well I’ve looked this up and have seen the same or similar details on other sites, and I’m behooved to agree with it. As someone who has experienced Hypnopompic hallucinations.
So from my point of view, what are Hypnopompic hallucinations. As its happened to me, my mind or brain wakes from REM sleep, but my body hasn’t, its still paralyzed. Our bodies are paralyzed during REM sleep to stop us from enacting our dreams, yes I know its doesn’t quiet work for everyone, I wake up but can’t move, can’t even open my eyes, then I’d get a ‘feeling’ that there is someone in the room with me, this feeling can be anything, remember its your subconscious mind at work, sometimes the image or feeling is vague other times its detailed. The first time I can remember in recent memory, it was a woman, she said my name but she was vague I details at all, the last time, I ‘felt’ a woman standing by my bedroom door, she was standing with her body facing the opposite wall but her head was looking towards me, she was dressed all in white, like a long dress, her hair was vague, blond I think shoulder length, she walked around my bed, remember this is all just a feeling, my eyes are closed because I can’t open them, the bent down, her feet were staggered a bit, she bent her knee a little and placed her hands on her thighs, she bent down closer to me the simply said, in a soft non-threatening voice “Go” thats when I woke up. Other times I’ve not heard anything and sometimes its a voice I recognize. The problem is, the feeling of being trapped, you can’t move and you have a ‘feeling’ that someone is in the rom with you can bring on feelings of dread and fear, and this will only get worse the longer your there. No matter how hard you try to move, you can’t, the move you try the more you dread being there, you feel like this presence is going to hurt you.
I always saw this as just a bad dream, because the presence could never be real, I don’t believe in ghosts and spirits, and would never look at it in that way, so I always thought they were dreams. What someone told me I might have Sleep Paralysis I looked it up and discovered Hypnogogic and Hypnopompic sleep, and that you can hallucinate. Once I started to read about both I was reminded of many occurrences from my childhood and of course these latest events. So now I had a name for what was really happening. It wasn’t some kind of spirit or ghost, it wasn’t a dream, it was very real, in my mind anyway, I was awake when it happened and my body was truly paralyzed.
Since learning about this, I’ve tried to induce it, with no success. I haven’t had it since then, February I think, and the reason I think it hasn’t come back is because I no longer have irregular sleep, its the one thing that changed, I get plenty of sleep and its as regular as a clock, as I always wake up at about the same time each and every day, give or take 10 minutes or so. Its so regular that I don’t feel like I’ve had a good nights sleep until I wake around that time no matter what time I go to bed, if I go to bed a few hours earlier I just get a few hours more sleep, but the out come is always the same, if I wake a few hours earlier then “Normal” I feel tired still, if I wake around that time, I’m fine and can jump out of bed wide awake.
I can create all the causes of Hypnopompic sleep, irregular sleep, alcohol, sleeping in the supine position. But I can’t create the levels of stress or predict a lucid dream. Or I’d be having these hallucination more often.