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Treatment For Hypnagogic Hallucinations Without Narcolepsy?

by Dianne
(Fortson, GA, USA)

I am a 59 year old Caucasian female in relatively good health. Approximately 20 years ago, after a sleep lab evaluation, I was diagnosed with Hypnagogic Hallucinations and Restless Leg Syndrome and subsequently prescribed Klonopin. I never agreed with the RLS diagnosis and discontinued the klonopin, since it did not have any effect on the hallucinations.


My episodes do not seem to have a specific cause - I have them when under stress or when I am not under stress. I do not have the Narcolepsy component which often accompanies this disorder.

Are there any new treatments or medications? I have lived a long time with this disorder and seem to go long periods without an episode, but they have not subsided completely. I have not sought medical treatment since the initial diagnosis as most physicians seem to know very little about it.

I will be interested to hear about your experience with this particular disorder.

From Kevin

Hi Dianne! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and questions with us. While I don't have much experience with having much hypnagogic imagery myself, I've heard stories of people who experience frequent hypnagogic or hypnapompic hallucinations that have proven quite disruptive. I'm thankful that you are not having episodes as frequently anymore, but hope you'll be able to put a complete rest to the experiences soon.

To add onto what you said about narcolepsy commonly accompanying hypnagogic hallucinations, from what I know, I think a better way to think about it is the other way around: that hypnagogic hallucinations commonly accompany narcolepsy. In fact, the hallucinations themselves can independently turn up quite frequently in individuals without any other sleep disorders. It's cases like yours of very prolonged or consistent episodes that are less mainstream and more commonly associated with narcolepsy or other disorders involving abnormal REM sleep processes, such as REM sleep behavior disorder.

As far as new medication goes, I'll have to check with our advisers and Dr. Dement on that one. I don't know enough about the pharmaceutical side of the condition stay in the loop of that one, but as soon as I find out anything I'll be sure to let you know here.

Best wishes!
Kevin


P.S. Sleep related imagery always is really interesting to me. I wonder if you wouldn't mind walking me through what a typical episode may look or feel like to you to give myself and any other visitors a better/more specific perspective on how it all operates? If you'd like to, feel free to do so using the "Post Comments" link below!

(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)

Comments for Treatment For Hypnagogic Hallucinations Without Narcolepsy?

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Aug 27, 2010
Hynagogic Hallucinations
by: PDV

Thank you, Kevin, for your reply. I will be glad to share some of my hallucinations. I often see spiders on the ceiling (or bed canopy). They are usually large, at least the size of my hand or larger. When I was pregnant with my son, I also saw snakes in my bed. THAT will wake you up!

I had a fireplace in my bedroom, and I frequently thought I saw little people (leprechauns or similar) on the hearth. They were just standing there watching me sleep. Recently, I thought there was a bird in my bedroom.

Before we separated, I used to wake my husband up asking him who he was and why was he in my bed. That made for interesting breakfast conversation.

Often I think there is someone in my bedroom, and I think they have gone into the bathroom. I have gotten up, turned on the lights and searched the bathroom and my closet looking for them, before I can finally wake enough to realize there is no one there. These hallucinations are very vivid, so much so, that even turning on the light does not relieve my anxiety. It may take several minutes to become fully awake and realize it is just a hallucination.

My best friend has experienced many of these episodes (we often travel and vacation together), and she has managed to find the humor in my situation. One night she woke up to find me standing by her side of the bed, asking her if she had thrown up. I also asked her why she had a coat rack in the bed with us. As you can imagine, she loves to tell these stories :-)


Aug 28, 2010
Such A Bright Tone
by: Kevin

Thanks for that Dianne! You write with such optimism and good humor that's really a pleasure to hear. I imagine it's wonderful too to have a travel partner who can relate to your stories by nature of being a part of some of them.

The humor you ended your post with actually reminded me of a site I was shown last year by the Head Teaching Assistant of Sleep and Dreams, Alex Carney. The site is called Sleep Talkin' Man (you might have seen it before, it's gotten a bit of press) and it was put up by an American woman documenting her husband's sleep talking adventures through the night. Of course, his episodes aren't exactly the same but the nonsensical dialogue you mentioned at the end reminded me of it ;-) Plus it's an absolute riot! Give it a browse if you like:

http://sleeptalkinman.blogspot.com

Sep 26, 2010
partner has similar experiences
by: Anonymous

Hi
My partner has similar experiences on a frequent basis since he was in his ealry 20s. He is now 40. I had not heard of hynagogic states until I searched the internet trying to work out what he was experiencing. He also is very good at fantasy and often experiences highway hypnosis. He also is able to dissociate. His hypnagogy is disturbing and he spends much time trying to cope with the results of what he sees or hears, so much so that he withdraws from our relationship in order to isolate himself and process his disturbing experiences. Does any one know of how to manage these symptoms? Would visiting a sleep lab help? Much thanks.

Oct 09, 2010
hypnagogic hallucinations
by: Anonymoubrendans

Iam 77 years old and in general good health.For the past few months i have regularly imagined during the night [only] that i see a person or animal in the bedroomit is vey vivid and vey frightening .last night i saw a cat running across the room .other times it could be a child or adult standing alongside the bed.aT FIRST I THOUGHT THE ROOM WAS HAUNTED OR THAT I WAS BEING VISITED BY ALIENS .tHE WHOLE SITUATION WAS VERY FRIGHTENING.Itold my doctor about it but he had no help to offer and didnt seem to know anything about this condition.Ihave just discovered on the internet that it comes under the heading of hupnagogic hallucinations and that it is not uncommon.THIS INFORMATION MAKES IT LESS FRIGHTENING .dOES ANYONE KNOW if there is any cure for this condition? ....brendan

Oct 11, 2010
hypnagogic hallucinations are disrupting my and my husbands sleep
by: sarah g

I am a 32 year old female who has been suffering from what I think are hypnagogic hallucinations as long as I can remember. In addition to the hallucinations, I have vivid dreams and nightmares on a regular basis. My Mother and Grandmother both had similar issues. I usually have an episode several times per week with an increase around my menstral cycle. (I have insomnia that tends to increase around this time as well). This week I have had two episodes that I remember (usually remember some of it later). The first I thought there was a boy with a long coat on standing next to my baby's bed whispering to her and the second I sleep walked, talked, and crawled around in the bed looking for the rats (that I "saw" in the room). This is becoming very disruptive to my husbands sleep and I need to do something about it before we end up in different bedrooms!

Dec 22, 2010
misdiagnosed frequently
by: anon

This disorder seems so real to many that it disrupts there life and is misdiagnosed as a mental disorder alot of times, especially when the person is scared to talk about what they have experienced and are fearing there life.They are often diagnosed as schizophrenia, sometimes people who are misdiagnosed if they will see an sleep disorder clinic they can be properly diagnosed with this and it is accompanied by RlS many times, or periodic leg movement.

Dec 23, 2010
Help... I need perspective
by: Anonymous

I am a very concerned mother of a 7 year old who experiences hypnagogic hallucinations. He first experience with hallucinations was when he was an infant.. he would hallucinate with temps of 100+
Then at the age of 5yrs had a series of hallucinations from sleep state. It's so hard for him to describe but usually involves the sensation of have to have to go to the bathroom, pee or poop or throw-up, and something in his mouth... he would try to stuff anything in his mouth. This occurred about 18 times over a month period. Didn't happen again until 2 months ago. He has had about 8 episodes but this time they include visual hallucinations and leg sensations... he can not or is unwilling to describe.
How do I help him????? :-(

Dec 23, 2010
Help... I need perspective
by: Anonymous

I am a very concerned mother of a 7 year old who experiences hypnagogic hallucinations. He first experience with hallucinations was when he was an infant.. he would hallucinate with temps of 100+
Then at the age of 5yrs had a series of hallucinations from sleep state. It's so hard for him to describe but usually involves the sensation of have to have to go to the bathroom, pee or poop or throw-up, and something in his mouth... he would try to stuff anything in his mouth. This occurred about 18 times over a month period. Didn't happen again until 2 months ago. He has had about 8 episodes but this time they include visual hallucinations and leg sensations... he can not or is unwilling to describe.
How do I help him????? :-(

Dec 23, 2010
Help... I need perspective
by: Patty

I have a 7 year old son who had his first visual hallucination with fevers of 100+ as an infant.
When he was 5 yrs old he started having bodily sensations after sleeping a short period of time. He couldn't figure out if he had to poop, pee or throw-up, and he sometimes thought something was in his mouth. The episodes would last 10 - 35 minutes.
He had about 18 episodes in a months time and none until about 2 months ago. Now when he has these episodes he sometimes see things along with having these bodily sensations. I saw a pediatric neurologist who said he was confident that it is hypnagogic hallucinations which is part of narcolepsy and that I should go ahead with a sleep study. How do I put this in perspective?
I have other concerns because he was born with drugs in his system along with opiates at birth. Just want to make sure I am covering all my bases. He is a Great kid... please help me get what he needs.

Jan 05, 2011
Hypnagogia
by: Kevin Morton

Yes, certainly nothing inherently wrong with such dream imagery, and sure there are all sorts of supernatural explanations some resort to. But to the last poster, seeing the spiders and the rats and any kind of other dream imagery upon wakening is exactly what hypnagogic imagery means. More specifically in this case it is called hypnopompic imagery. More info here:

http://www.end-your-sleep-deprivation.com/hypnopompic-hallucinations.html

There's nothing inherently wrong with experiencing hypnagogic imagery--it happens to all sorts of people all the time on a really normal basis--but it can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as narcolepsy, as the original poster of this page alludes to in her title. But the imagery itself is, by definition, hypnagogic.

Jan 05, 2011
the fine line between psyhosis and hypnagogia?
by: Anonymous

Are hypnopompic hallucinations related to psychosis, or can they be an early sign of psychosis? For example, if someone experiences hypnapompic hallucinations and develops delusions about them,such as that the hallucinations predict the future, or that the content of the hallucinations can produce actual bodily pains, then can this mean a tendency towards psychosis? I'm concered that the beliefs (delusions) about the experiences may mean something more sinister than hypnagogia/hypnapompia...where is the line between psychosis and hypnagogia? Someone I know experiences daily hypnapompic experiences that are unpleasant (frightening)and makes life decisions based on his hypnapompic experiences. He also experiences voices talking to him in these experiences, where he is the chosen one to receive infomration about the war from vrey important politicians. His mother is diagnosed with schizophrenia. he tells me he only hears the voices and violent scenes as he wakes up and i'm concerned that he is not telling me everything because he doe snot want to see a doctor to be assessed. What do you all think about this?

Jan 05, 2011
IMHO
by: Patricia Diaz-Verson

As the original poster in this thread, and a sufferer of these hallucinations for more than 30 years, I feel compelled to offer my comment. I have NEVER experienced anything remotely resembling the symptoms you are describing(voices, schizophrenia, etc). Your friend needs to be evaluated by a medical professional post-haste. The symptoms you are describing do NOT appear to be a simple sleep disorder. I am not in the medical field, but I have known several families who have dealt with mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, paranoia, etc, and those problems are NOT self-correcting. One friend lost a loved one to suicide due to the "voices in his head". Please do everything you can to encourage your friend to seek help immediately.

Jan 05, 2011
thank you
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your comment. My friend has pushed me away and is in denial about his problems. The more people I speak to about it the more I realise he is ill. He refuses to see a doctor or counsellor/psychologist and gets very hostile and bitter if I very gently suggest he talk to someone or that there is a problem. I appreciate your comments as it helps me to decide what action to take. Best wishes to you! You have helped me be objective about the situation.

Jan 13, 2011
Hypnagogic Hallucinations
by: Anonymous

Wow crazy, I just read the first few entries and the women that wrote about having these hallucinations could almost have been me. I experienced a bit of this as a teenager but it only lasted a few years and always involved my nightmares coming to life as I was inbetween sleep and wakefulness.

I hadn't had any new experiances until in 2005 I was in a car accident and hit my head (badly enough that there was bleeding but not badly enough that I became brain dead). Since then I had these ongoing nightly hallucinations that were always the same. Someone was either in the bed with my partner and I or someone was in the house and I had to get up and get dressed to not be rude and take care of them. Sometimes I would to see a huge spider hanging from the ceiling and would turn on the light to see where it went, or other such things. Lately things have changed and have turned more fanciful, last night I saw what looked like a black and white bluejay with rainbow tips fly out of my partners head and bounce on his head before flying around the room. It didn't disturb me at all but was beautiful.... I don't know when these will stop or if they will, but I much prefer them to be happy and fanciful then dark and strange.


Jan 23, 2011
It's all I know
by: Anonymous

I just learned about hypnagogic halluciantions, I thought it was lucid dreaming. This is all I know when it comes to sleeping, I've always felt like it was a disorder because I've always lived with a disrupted sleep. I'm 40 years old and my first one was around the age of 8. I've learned how to deal with them though the years. I awaken immediately for no reason and I'm usually sitting up viewing many different things, most are confusing and sometimes I can get a little scared. I've woken to many bright lines being drawn across the ceiling and walls, I'm in a different room, other than my own and things are unfamilar to me, I've seen objects moving or disappearing, floating upward and I've gone so far as to search for things or family members that I thought were at my home.....etc. This happens almost everynight, is there a way to get over this? I don't have narcolepsy, I would just like to have a peaceful night sleep without waking up?

Jan 30, 2011
last post
by: Patricia Diaz-Verson

It sounds as if you experienced sleep paralysis also. Since you have been having these so frequently and therefore are not getting enough rest, I think you should discuss the possibility of your bipolar meds somehow contributing to the severity of these episodes. it could be that your meds need to be "tweaked" or perhaps even a different med prescribed. If you are not resting, then additional problems are bound to occur. I would discuss asap with my physician - be very specific and detailed about the sleep issues. Good luck!

Jan 30, 2011
Also For Anonymous
by: Kevin Morton

What you describe does sound like sleep paralysis, which can often be accompanied by this type of imagery. In addition to talking to your physician about the possible contributing effects of the medication, you may also want to read up a bit on these techniques for combating sleep paralysis: http://www.end-your-sleep-deprivation.com/sleep-paralysis-treatment.html

Feb 07, 2011
Hynagogic
by: Noel

when i am just about to head asleep or if i have woken from a sleep i often find myself not being able to move i am paralysed and cannot do anythin it feels like i am being touched,shoved i am awake and know wats goin on but cant move. sometimes i just clutch my feet a few times until finally i am released/ sometimes i hear noiss that are not there and it really upsets me. i have often told my girlfriend to keep hittin me wen im in that state and so she has but i cannot feel anything. i am hopin there is something to cure this as it is very frightning. sometimes my body just jumps as if someone has revived me. hope to hear from u soon.

Feb 07, 2011
Curing Sleep Paralysis
by: Kevin Morton

Hey Noel, what you describe is a natural phenomenon called sleep paralysis, and while it's not something you completely "cure" like an illness there are steps you can take and be conscious of that can help you control it. The best book I know on the subject you can find here:

http://www.end-your-sleep-deprivation.com/sleep-paralysis-treatment.html

Mar 05, 2011
I think I suffer from this condition
by: John

Here is a description of what I have experienced. Shortly after falling asleep, usually within an hour, I will feel as though I have awakened when in reality I am still asleep. During this perceived awake state I will have vivid sensory experiences. Usually it is the sense that someone is in the room and, during a recent incident, that someone placed their hand around my neck and spoke into my ear. Then I have what I call layers that I go through to wake up. I will perceive that I woke up 2-4 times before actually waking up. An indicator that I in one of those "layers" is a repetitive whooshing sound that I hear. It is weird!

It has gotten to the point where I can recognize that I am in the cycle of layers and I either kick my legs or call out to my fiance to get her to wake me up and break the cycle. I can never wake myself up, only she can.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do about this?


Mar 19, 2011
elderly
by: Jane

My 85 year old mother started experiencing primarily auditory hallucinations at the onset of sleep and upon awakening. She hears people in the house moving around, talking, etc. Later in the day she still believes these were real experiences. I would like to know how to handle this with her. Should I tell her that these are hallucinations and that it is common, especially with elderly? Or should I just let it go, because the hallucinations cause no anxiety or stress? Would any medicaiton help with these?

Mar 19, 2011
Elderly mother
by: Anonymous

I would mention this to your mother's physician at her next regularly scheduled appointment (I assume you or someone goes with her). My mother passed away just a year ago at the age of 91. She had Alzheimer's disease for nearly 8 years, but I was fortunate in that she still recognized family and friends up to the end.

She began to hear birds chirping or people talking as she was falling asleep, eventually awakening during the night to the same. I never knew whether it was her disease or perhaps even a medication side effect - with Alzheimer's it is hard to tell since their short term memory is compromised. The only reason we knew she was experiencing this was because she would call out to her caregiver and ask why were there people in the house or birds, etc.

The elderly undergo many changes, some subtle, others more obvious which alert you to a possible stroke, or other life altering event. A conversation with her physician would probably help determine if this is an indicator or a change in her physical health, a reaction to medicine, the onset of dementia, or just a natural part of the aging process. Good luck and count your blessings every day that your mother is still with you.

Mar 31, 2011
Sounds with Hypnagogic Hallucinations
by: Anonymous

It's so nice to hear that other people have these hallucinations as well. I've seen all the same things too - people, rats, spiders, hands reaching for me, etc.

I've dealt with the hallucinations for about 10 years now, but lately I've noticed that they are no longer just visual perceptions--sometimes I hear noises that I later realize couldn't have actually occurred.

I have been diagnosed with narcolepsy (although I question this diagnosis because it's more like excessive drowsiness-not an inability to stay awake). But when I told my doctor that I had started hearing things during my hallucinations, he told me that wasn't a component of hypnogogic or hypnopompic hallucinations. Is that correct? It seems others on this forum hear things occasionally too.

May 02, 2011
treatment
by: Anonymous

I have been taking a very low dose of Zoloft for many years for this very problem - it has helped immensely!!! When I fell out of bed trying to escape from my husband - whom I did not recognize - I realized this was a pretty big problem. Very disruptive for that night and into the next day - confusion and a sense of dread persist.

May 10, 2011
my hypnagogic encounter
by: Anonymous

I am 40 yrs old and have been suffering from this disorder since childhood. The sights I see are disturbing to down right frightening.
Just last night I woke to see a man staring at me from outside my window I looked at him for about a minute paralyzed with fear not able to take my eyes off him. It took me another minute to remind myself that i am on the second floor and still another minute to realize i was facing away from the window. Even after knowing it wasnt real I still couldnt take my eyes off the spot where he was. I had to reach behind me to turn on my lamp because I was to scared to turn around. It wasnt until the light was on that the image went away.
This encounter lasted several minutes and I was so scared I slept with the closet light on.

May 11, 2011
I too suffer from them!
by: Anonymous

I am 37 years old and have just recently realized I am not seeing spirits in my room...they are so real! I started having them about 10 years ago repeatedly. I told my husband we had ghosts. Then we moved and I did not see anything for a. Long time, then it started again. Initially I thought they were ghost again. Often times they did not scare me once I realized they were not there to hurt me. I would lay there still as could be, scared to move because I was trying to understand WHY they were there. I would lay in bed forever and just watch them. I finally began to research on line about my visitors and realized they were hallucinations. I still have them sometimes 5-6 nights a week. My husband will find me sitting up in bed just staring down the hallway, at a wall in the room, in my bathroom ,etc. Usually I see people, once I saw a snake. I did see one person running at me with a knife. Even though when I have them now I sit and stare and tell myself it is not real it disrupts my sleep and is bothersome. I wish I knew how to make it stop. I actually have heard my name be called before and also one time I heard my husbands name be called- both times it was while sleeping and before I knew they were hallucinations. At those two separate times I saw no visual things...just the auditory. One time I saw something like a light show on my wall....that was the only time I have had things that were not living type things in a hallucination. I stated this started 10 years ago, but as a teen I use to have true night mares and wake feeling as if there was someone just outside of my door ready to kill me. I would not move as I was terrified...I guess now it makes since to believe that I had a nightmare followed by a hallucination maybe? is that what that would be called even though I did not see anything but feared there was someone there? That was a recurring dream and always woke to having that fear. Any help is appreciated. People seem to think I am crazy when I tell them...that upsets me.

May 17, 2011
Frequent Auditory Halluncinations
by: Ian UK

I was fortunate in learning about Hypnagogia before I began to have a lot of experience of them. They are never visual, always auditory and as clear as crystal.

It always occurs when I am feeling sleepy. I may hear one, two or three words but sometimes I will hear a complete sentence.

On at least two occasions I have been with another person and I have answered them, thinking the hallucination was them asking me a question or making a statement. Once I was at work. It was embarrassing and I made up some story about referring to something else I had been thinking.
about! The second time a different person said "had you fallen asleep? Were you dreaming?" I admitted it was "something like that"

I am never been worried about and with the exception of the two I have just mentioned, I am usually amused or curious by these experiences.

Jul 16, 2011
I have passed on my hypnagogic hallucinations to my 3 yr old son.
by: Nikki

For as long as I could remember I have "seen" things. Once when I was 11 I saw my dead grandfather sitting on the foot of my bed, I never met him but my brain figured out a way to create him and I was given the chance to see him smile at me. I can't say my hypnagogic hallucinations are that sweet, they are almost always full of fear, spiders, ants, and satanic writing in blood on my walls. I always thought I was crazy and one day I would turn full on skitzo! What I fear most now is my son is getting these hypnagogic hallucinations and I can't tell him it's fake because we all know how real these hallucinations look. Has anyone published anything about this condition being passed on?

Jul 19, 2011
Night Terrors & hallucinations
by: Sueeus

I frequently see spiders on the ceiling that aren't there. I don't have a fear of spiders though and seeing a litter of kittens in my bedroom at night produces the same blood curdling screams as the spiders do, yet I like kittens. One treatment I have found quite helpful though was to chuck my husband of 35 yrs out of our bed for good. No more snoring and grunting pig like noises anymore to disturb my sleep. It's amazing how quickly sleep deprivation improves when you stop sharing your bed with a farmyard animal.

Aug 03, 2011
Getting progressively scarey
by: Jess

I started having hallucinations or illusions about two years ago. It all started off with me thinking objects were people (like my stand up mirror was my father) or I would see my brother (who doesnt live at home) in my door way. Soon I would wake up and think I see someone, usually a man or child by the foot of my bed. I immediately shot out of bed and turn my light on. It is starting to get progressively worse. Just last night I thought I saw a man outside my window trying to break in. I started to scream and bang on my window for him to leave. It wasn't until I turned on the light that I realized no one was there. I went to bed shaking and my heart pounding. I thought I was the only person who went through this but now I know that there are others like me. Is there any treatments that have proven effective?

Aug 03, 2011
Getting progressively scarey
by: Jess

I started having hallucinations or illusions about two years ago. It all started off with me thinking objects were people (like my stand up mirror was my father) or I would see my brother (who doesnt live at home) in my door way. Soon I would wake up and think I see someone, usually a man or child by the foot of my bed. I immediately shot out of bed and turn my light on. It is starting to get progressively worse. Just last night I thought I saw a man outside my window trying to break in. I started to scream and bang on my window for him to leave. It wasn't until I turned on the light that I realized no one was there. I went to bed shaking and my heart pounding. I thought I was the only person who went through this but now I know that there are others like me. Is there any treatments that have proven effective?

Aug 15, 2011
Imaginary intruders
by: Amy

I have suffered from hypnagogic hallucinations since I was a teenager. I am now in my 50s. Most often they are of "intruders" in my room but have also included burning candles near the curtains, speeding trains across my bed, spiders, dogs and, most recently, smoke filled rooms. My hallucinations ALWAYS occur exactly 30 minutes after going to sleep. I thought if I could figure out why my eyes were opening 30 minutes after falling asleep I could find a way to eliminate what I was "seeing". I bought a sleep mask thinking if I couldn't see anything when I opened my eyes, I wouldn't see a hallucination. Wrong! I still had hallucinations with the sleep mask on! I even "saw" my bedroom along with the "intruder" all while wearing the mask. I do not have any other sypmtoms of narcolepsy. I have tried sleeping pills, alcohol before bed, no alcohol before bed, ear plugs, sleep masks, eating before bed, not eating before bed etc. My hallucinations only last for about 4 or 5 seconds but they are terrifying. Imagine seeing an intruder in your bedroom in the middle of the night. I know it's not real but for those 4 or 5 seconds it is to me. I have trained myself to snap out of it quickly by looking at the clock to see if it fits in the 30 minute time frame. It still takes me a good 10 or minutes to calm my racing heart. The only other oddity with regard to sleep is when I take a cat nap, which is extremely rare and probably happens less then once every 3 months, I "hear" a really loud tone as I'm drifting off that lasts through the nap and for about 3 minutes after I awaken. It sounds like a carn horn in a tunnel and it is C sharp on the piano. My cat naps are usually 10 minutes long and I can fall asleep almost instantly. I do NOT hear this tone when I fall asleep for the night, just for naps even if the naps are in my bed. I awaken completely refreshed after a 10 minute cat nap. Again, I rarely take them so it has nothing to do with sleep deprivation. I don't know if these are related to the hypnagogic hallucinations.

Aug 22, 2011
eh...
by: Anonymous

I have too many of these. They can be thrilling or awful. Sometimes they go at an unbearable speed, I try to control what goes on in them but usually end up losing control and awful things happen.

Aug 29, 2011
Is it hereditary?
by: Amy

My 23 year old married daughter just informed me today that she has had her first hypnagogic hallucination. I was so hoping none of my children would inherit this tendency from me. Are there any studies that show this is common in families?

Sep 17, 2011
IM NOT ALONE!
by: sweetdreamsnyc

I just want to say what a relief it is to hear people with my exact symptoms. I have been trying to explain thia to friends and family, off and on as it comes up, for YEARS and people atare at me like I am nuts! I am 27, female and I suffered terribly from night tremors as a kid ao i always assumed thia was an adverse effect of that. I had tried to convince myaelf I was just a weird dreamer, but these "hallucinations" are really intense. The most common for me is bugs. I will be laying in bed staring right at my wall or ceiling and see, as plain as DAY, a giant spider or cockroache or ca really long entipeed, just gross. I have seen people, kind of, usually as the seconds fade I am realizing I made thatimage out of actual shapes or objects put together. It has been secretly disturbing to me for years and I am not sure why its taken me so long to research it but I am glad I did. I dont feel ceazy anymore! Has anyone had any success with holistic treatments, I am not a fan of pills, well I used to be until they started recalling them all. Also are there any serious or life threatening causes of this?

Sep 21, 2011
Me too!
by: Annon

I started having hypnogogic hallucinations at the age of 19 (now 36) ... my mother has narcolepsy but I have none of the other symptoms.
The stories above are all so familiar (including the putting on of clothes over PJs and realising halfway through it's all just not real). My episodes are very frequent - at least 1 per night.

I've undergone days/nights of observation and EEG to see if I had epilepsy (but no) and they only found issues with my transition from phase 2 of sleep (sounds so easy vs what I felt as a floor stub turned into a coachroach). So far the only suggested treatment is short acting sleeping tablets (temaze) but we are looking into melatonin as another option.

These things are beyond terrifying! I'm in Australia and there doesn't seem to be any specialists who are even interested in this area (which makes sense given there are more life threatening and common problems).

I keep checking the internet to see if more research has been done in other countries. Looks like I'll be on sleeping tablets every night for the rest of my life.

Sep 21, 2011
Doesn't hurt to try this
by: Amy

I know we're all looking for a solution to our hypnagogic hallucinations. I'll share what works best for me. My episodes are much more frequent when I am stressed and almost non existent when I am not stressed. About 20 years ago I was having episodes almost nightly. I connected them to the extra stress I was feeling from the 2 burglaries of my home within 4 days. After I made the connection I started a ritual before bed. I walked my entire house checking every window and door to make sure they were secure. After lying down in bed, I visualized my "walk" and reassured myself window by window, door by door that everything was secure. I did not have any hypanogogic hallucinations when I did this ritual. For others, I suggest figuring out what your stressors are and dealing with calming yourself with regard to them. Do it right before sleep, too. For instance, if you're stressing about your relationship, you could reassure yourself of your own good qualities. Or if you're worried about your job, you could go over in your mind why you are a good worker and valuable to your company. It works for me. The hard part is finding out what really is bothering you. Can't hurt to try this.

Sep 25, 2011
hi
by: Anonymous

ok I'm only 13 years old and I keep seeing this cat it's this rainbow cat and I never really know what is going on but it's wicked confusing I don't know what to do....

Oct 03, 2011
I also get the hallucinations.
by: Sarah

I am 22, female, healthy and also get these hallucinations, and it's a relief to know I am not alone. Mine seem to be the same as a lot of the people above. Most frequently I see spiders in my bed. I usually wake up with a start and think I can see the spiders (usually quite small) crawling across my sheets. I always jump out of bed really quickly, turn on the light and sometimes go out of my bedroom before gradually waking up fully and realising it is just the hallucinations. I don't usually find it too too scary, but more of an inconvenience as I don't get a full night of sleep and it really seems, from reading around, that there isn't really any treatment for it.
Although most of the time it is spiders, I have also seen a cats in my bed, sometimes a baby, quite often I think I see scribbles all over my walls, and sometimes I see people standing in my room - that is really scary and I find my heart racing.
I have been having these hallucinations for about 2 years. Like many of the other people, I don't have narcolepsy either. I get them almost every night, but only really when I am sleeping in a bed I am used to sleeping in, for example at my parents house and my uni house.
I have read elsewhere that anti-depressants can be both a cause and a cure for the hallucinations. I experienced the hallucinations whilst on anti-depressant medication and when first researching the hallucinations it seemed like this could be the cause. However, I recently stopped taking the medication and am STILL having the hallucinations, so now I am more confused.
Like others above I have tried sleeping with the light on or wearing an eye mask, but it doesn't seem to make a difference.
I also read somewhere that sometimes training yourself to move a limb or shake your head when you start having a hallucination can wake you up quicker or jolt you out of it. Has anyone tried this or got any other tips?

Oct 04, 2011
hopefully helpful tips
by: Amy

In response to Sarah's comments, I can't emphasize how much stress plays a part in my hallucinations. The more stressed I am, the more I have and vice versa. Learning to deal with my stressors and calming myself at bedtime has been most helpful. I do not wake up with a "start" like you. My eyes just open, for what reason, I don't know. That's why I thought the sleep mask might help, but it didn't. One other thing I tried, in desperation, was to tuck my chin to my chest when I was falling asleep. For some odd reason, that worked for me. If the sleep mask didn't work, I don't have an explanation as to why directing my eyes downward did, but it did. Maybe my mind felt like I was making a conscious effort to help myself, therefore calming myself? Give it a try.

Oct 10, 2011
Response to Amy's comment.
by: Sarah

Thanks for the advice Amy. I agree with you on the stress thing. I think that must be a factor. I will give the chin on chest thing a go. It's worth a try!

Oct 12, 2011
Hypnagogia is a psychic portal
by: Anonymous

Have some guts people. Hypnagogia is natural psychedelia. Drugs are redundant - hypnagogia is everyone's own LSD. "Hypnagogic Hallucinations" - a disorder? Get out of here. Stop listening to doctors who don't know anything that's not in their textbooks.

What you need to calmly do is assess reality from fantasy. See the hypnagogic state as a kind of psychic realm of your mind beyond your ordinary state of consciousness and beyond your ordinary unconscious dream sleep states. ENJOY IT. Enjoy the mystery, the madness.

The best advice I can give you is to take up meditation and learn how to induce hypnagogia at will. In meditation, you enter the hypnagogic state. The difference between this self-induced entry and the automatic one upon ordinary transitioning into sleep is that via the meditation technique you retain much more subjective self-awareness (self as mind-consciousness). Thus, any experience you have therein is KNOWN to be illusory, the projection of your own mind. It can be enjoyed safely for its symbolic content particular to you and only you.

Hypnagogia is not meant to hurt you. You are not crazy, you do NOT need medication for it. When you awake from disturbing hypnagogic hallucinations, simply differentiate reality from the fantasy however you can. We all deal with this all the time. There is no one fixed reality and everything else "unreal". This is the problem with diagnosing people as crazy just because their minds produce interesting thoughts. The mind is a mystery, we must enjoy it while maintaining a functional grasp on the every day reality of fixed physical laws and so on. In other words, just like with drugs, hypnagogia may show you another world, but you'll still wake up to check the mail, take a poop, eat breakfast, walk the dog. This waking state is our "outer dream" world. It's more solid and "real" seeming than the ever shifting inner dream world. But it's still basically a dream as far as we should be concerned as experients.

I urge all of you with pronounced hypnagogic activity to consider it a good thing - that your minds have natural potential beyond many people - something that you should learn to nurture and not seek to escape. Running from it may only throw you deeper into it as your fear will determine your experiences.

With much love to all travelers,

The Hypnagogic Shaman

Oct 13, 2011
Response to the Hypnagogic Shaman
by: Amy

I take great offense to your comments. The mere fact that I have lived with hypnagogic hallucinations for the last 35 plus years proves that I "have some guts". And, to add insult to injury, you expect me to "ENJOY" them? There is NOTHING enjoyable about my hypnagogic hallucinations. Tell me what is enjoyable about waking up to an "intruder/rapist/murderer" in your bedroom in the dark of night? Yes, I know it's not real, but I don't realize that immediatley. Then there is nothing 'enjoyable' about my heart pounding so hard and fast that my chest feels like it's going to explode. Of course, it takes me about 20 minutes to stop shaking, too. I do NOT "consider" the terror of hypnagogic hallucinations to be "a good thing". What part of terrifying do you not understand? You may believe that "hypnagogia is not meant to hurt" me, but, I assure you, it does. For what it's worth, I do not think I am crazy and I have never sought out medical help for this. I have dealt with this purely on my own. I stumbled upon this site and have found it helpful to read of others' experiences and to share my own. For you to offer your patronizing comments is hurtful and borders on bullying. Shame on you, 'Shaman'!

Oct 13, 2011
Not a malfunction
by: Anonymous

While the Shaman's comments might be extreme for some there is some truth in taking responsibility. Perhaps this is not a 'malfunction' of the brain but instead message from the deep subconscious expressing themselves in a very powerful way. Everyone all the time is in some state of either positive or negative energies. Think about this, did you have these terror visions when you went to bed in a good mood? Laying awake thinking 'please please don't let me have these nightmares' is a perfect way to get yourself into the mood to have them. If someone falls asleep in very negative space of fear and anxiety then the vision that they might have could be terrifying beyond all imagination but on exactly the opposite end if you go to sleep happy the vision that you could have might be some of the most amazing things you could ever dream, beyond your dreams. I have had both kinds. This 'problem' will allow you to visit both hell and heaven and an infinite number of realms in-between, dependent on your mood. Try it, be happy no matter what, refuse to be afraid, relax even if everything inside is telling you to clench up; then see what visions come.

Oct 13, 2011
hes got a point that I didnt want to admit
by: nikki

I don’t think I can enjoy most of my hypnagogic hallucinations anymore than the rest of you that also suffer from them. but the more I think about it The Hypnagogic Shaman kind of has a point. Although they may be scary most of the time I have found it possible to control them sometimes and decide what comes out, if that makes any sense? and its actually pretty amazing. I often thought that maybe I wasnt crazy but rather "different" hypnagogic hallucinations are not the only "issue" I have. How many of you also can leave your own body? Or how many of you also have deja vu more than you think the average person has it?

I have done meditation, and have induced such a state of being able to leave my body. It was actually an awaking of your third eye meditation. So to say the least everything has been heighten since.

Oct 13, 2011
"The Original"
by: Patricia Diaz-Verson

Since I began this thread, I have been gratified to see the number of responses it has generated. This is a fairly obscure problem in that it doesn't get the "press" afforded other sleep disorders. I know that whether the respondents have been helped by the information posted here or not, they have been comforted to know they are not alone and more importantly, they are not crazy.

The response from Shaman is disturbing. To insinuate that if we just try and embrace the "enlightenment" afforded us by our awesome brains is at best condescending and at worst insulting. Would you have someone who is a schizophrenic spend more time talking to the voices in their head? At least they are fortunate, if you can call it that, in that there is medication for their condition. There have been no definitive studies of the brain to determine if this purely chemical or psychological, so for you or anyone else to insinuate that we need to just go with the flow and, in essence, get over ourselves is obtuse and insensitive.

The suggestion that we need to relax and get in a better place with only "positive energy" before nodding off to sleep is such a simplistic suggestion as to be absurd. I have endured hypnagogic episodes when my life was in as good a place as I could possibly be, but also when everything seemed to be going to hell in a handbasket. My state of mind or even external or internal stresses have never been a precursor to the episodes.

I recently found out that my 24 year old daughter has been experiencing similar problems for the past couple of years. She has had sleep paralysis on several occasions - a condition I have only experienced a few times. What is interesting is that her awareness of her sleep disturbances started at almost the same age as when I first became aware of mine. I had strange sleep disturbances when I was younger but never associated them with anything other than nightmares. She had the same, but as she grew older, she has realized that she is experiencing something similar to me. Truly, it freaked her out when she came to that realization. We have joked about my sleep issues for years - it makes them less scary to treat them as a "quirk", but she was more than a little panicked to come to the recognition that this could be hereditary.

This is a place for sharing experiences, and even suggestions which may have helped others, but most of all for receiving assurances that one is not alone. If you have not endured anything remotely similar, you can't really offer counsel to those of us who have.

Oct 17, 2011
Positivity is not simplistic
by: cjmdreamer

The idea that being in a positive space is simplistic is true, it is a very simple idea. Yet your refute is highly simplistic onto itself. You had these experiences in both good times in life and bad; this is of course true because state of being is not connected with the circumstances in your material life. Think about it, if it were then rich people would always be happy and poor people would always be sad. Life isn't that simple. and everyone has seen someone who insists on being positive despite all circumstances and someone who insists on being negative even on the most beautiful days. Your life could be great and you will still fall asleep in a negative space; it needs to be consciously recognized and controlled. Ask yourself at any given moment how happy you are, monitor your thoughts as to how negative they are, you can claim to be in a good mood but if every thought you have is criticizing something or someone or thinking about how much you hate this or are scared of that then you haven't got there yet. Try it, put on some Enya, burn a candle, take a bubble bath, read your favorite book and don't let yourself being angry, irritated, or afraid. Go to sleep happy for a week and see what happens.

Oct 25, 2011
Hypnagogic hallucinations
by: Anonymous

I am a 21 year old and i frequently experience 'visions' when i sleep. I used to think it was nothing and i would ignore them, but i can't help but think it is a sign of my brain telling me something is wrong.
Since i can remember i have had visions of animals, people, shapes and other random objects floating over my head and body, or standing in the corner of the room. I usually feel frightened and anxious, but certain visions seem to make me feel calmer than others. Just two days ago I experienced the most intense vision i have ever had. It was as if there was a bunch of shapes hanging from my ceiling, and they were so close to my face that i got the fright of my life when i opened my eyes. As i tried to grab it, it disappeared. Last night I woke up to a piece of cloth ,or something of the sort, floating over my head, and it was falling toward my face and for some reason i thought it was going to suffocate me.
I am a third year psychology student, and find these 'hallucinations' really interesting. I would love to learn more about this condition, as it is pretty clear that I might have it =)

Nov 10, 2011
So happy
by: Anonymous

I have had clinical depression & P.T.S.D for 19yrs and the medication I've been on the last 4yrs have really helped but I was still seeing things and I thought I was loosing it completely but I've been told that I have Hypnagogic Hallucinations..for years I have thought I had spirits in my house I even saw them as a child..I see children standing at my bedside I see..cat's..dog's..my own children and grandchildren..my daughter holding my granddaughter dead in her arms..men..black figures coming at me..faces coming out of the walls..feel thing's in my room coming at me and I can't see them and spider's large, small, big round ones with thousands of legs spinning towards me..nearly every night they crawl on my body sometimes up to 5 times a night..A figure ran at me & I nearly jumped over my husband to get away..at times I have really been frightened..what I can understand is that there isn't anything that can be done and although I wished it would stop it's a relieve to know that other people experience the same kind of thing..it's a shame it's not nice things we see.

Nov 10, 2011
confused
by: Anonymous

I'm abit confused..I have the same experiences that people have mentioned but if it's because you going into a sleep or coming out of one how can get I out of bed and walk to the hallucination and also tell my husband to put the light on & see him & what he's doing while I still see the hallucination..it disappears when I go to touch it..has anyone else experienced that?? I can point it out to my husband but he can't see it.

Nov 10, 2011
hard to respond
by: Amy

I understand when people posting want to remain anonymous but it makes it really hard to respond to a comment when so many people list their name as 'Anonymous'. I was going to respond to an earlier post but I realized if I addressed my comments to 'Anonymous' I could be referring to quite a few people. Please consider using a 'name' so our responses can be made directly to you. You can make up a name or a nickname. I seriously doubt anyone would be able to identify you. Thanks!

Nov 12, 2011
response to Experiencer
by: Amy

Your comments were really interesting. I agree that my hallucinations are not related in any way to my mood upon falling asleep. I also agree that their frequency is related to exhaustion. The more tired I am, the more likely I am to have one. Your comments about sleeping position and head angles really caught my attention. I mentioned in an earlier post that when I was going through a particularly bad period of really frequent hallucinations, I tried tucking my chin to my chest so my eyes wouldn't be focused outward in my room upon awakening. For some reason this has worked for me. It's really something simple to try. For me, my hallucinations ALWAYS occur exactly 30 minutes after I have fallen asleep so I don't need to sleep like that all night, just at first. I would be thrilled if this simple suggestion helps anyone.


Nov 12, 2011
response to Experiencer
by: Amy

Your comments were really interesting. I agree that my hallucinations are not related in any way to my mood upon falling asleep. I also agree that their frequency is related to exhaustion. The more tired I am, the more likely I am to have one. Your comments about sleeping position and head angles really caught my attention. I mentioned in an earlier post that when I was going through a particularly bad period of really frequent hallucinations, I tried tucking my chin to my chest so my eyes wouldn't be focused outward in my room upon awakening. For some reason this has worked for me. It's really something simple to try. For me, my hallucinations ALWAYS occur exactly 30 minutes after I have fallen asleep so I don't need to sleep like that all night, just at first. I would be thrilled if this simple suggestion helps anyone.


Nov 14, 2011
Could hypnosis help?
by: Chook

I do not suffer with hypnagogic hallucinations but became interested in hypnagogia in general because I experienced hypnagogic imagery while trying to fix the insomnia I had as a child.

I came across the term hypnagogia very recently while researching how to lucid dream. Since then I've been reading everything I can on the topic and so was lead to this thread - and may I add, many other threads just like this one! it just goes to show how comon, and yet how hidden this issue is! .

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone had tried hypnosis as a way to deal with hypnagogic imagery? I read that hypnosis can help people who want to become lucid dreamers. The hypnosis was used to help the person realise when they were dreaming. So it might not be such a leap to use hypnosis to realise when someone is having a hypnagogic hallucination? i just thought it would be worth a mention just in case it might help somebody.

Also, there is a book called, "Sleep paralysis - a guide to hypnagogic visions and visitors in the night" by Ryan Hurd. It is written by someone who experienced sleep paralysis and the accompanying hypnagogic hallucinations and came to figure out a way to overcome it. There may be something in there that could help? There's a copy on google books if you want to look before buying.


Nov 14, 2011
t
by: Anonymous

my last comment was on 10 November..I'm on Quetiapine and I read it supposed to help with hallucinations it has made no different's for me..I've been asked to write down what time I went to bed and what time the hallucinations are and what they are which I have been doing..last night I had something trying to push it'self in to my mouth as I tried to write it down the page had loads of word's on it although I was a clean page so I turned it over and the same thing but they started to move in all different directions and they became single letters the only way I can discribe it.. it was like something out of the Harry potter film..quite magical..wish it was always like that I cud live with that.

Nov 29, 2011
Interesting change
by: Amy

For reasons unknown to me, my hallucinations are no longer frightening. Just 2 nights ago I saw an "intruder" crouched on all fours (suspended in air) at the foot of our bed. I looked at him and was puzzled but not afraid. I am still having about 2 hallucinations every week. On rare occasions I even have 2 in one night. They are always things that have frightened me terribly for the past 35 + years but, for the life of me, I am not reacting with fear any longer. The only thing that has changed is my participation in this discussion thread. Maybe the comfort of knowing I am not alone is responsible for my new reactions. Perhaps being able to talk about my experiences has calmed my emotions. Whatever the reason...THANK YOU!!!

Nov 30, 2011
the fear factor
by: brendan

I found Amys comments about the fear factor interesting. I too dont have the same fear anymore since i now sleep with the light on and when i wake up on a visitation by an uninvited guest it is somehow not as frightening.

Dec 05, 2011
Other conditions assoiated with hypnagogia
by: Racoon

Hi there, I am 40 yo mom of 3, and have been plagued by these hallucinations since I was about 19, I think. It used to be very funny to my husband to find me swatting whatever it was that was attacking us, but since the kids its not so funny anymore as we were scared I might harm one them if they were in bed with us. I take Rivotril (clonazepam - only about quarter of a 0.5 mg tablet) and that seems to help, but I am so zonked the next morning. On the other hand I am exhausted if I had and episode the previous night, so it probably doesn't make so much of a difference. Have you found that it is related to any type of foods eaten? or more importantly any other health issues, be it psychological or physiological?

Dec 15, 2011
Difference between psychosis
by: Anonymous

I am a Mental Health Professional (MSW) and I deal with people with Schizophrenia, psychosis, etc frequently. On the other hand, I've also had hypnagogic hallucinations for many years now. And believe me, there is a big difference. Hypnagogic hallucinations only happen when you're waking or falling asleep and psychosis can happen at any time.

My own hypnagogic hallucinations started when I was around 22 although I can remember a few times when I was younger. They are only visual. They started as seeing giant spiders. The first time I screamed for my husband to come into the bedroom. Nearly all of my hallucinations have been extremely frightening. A couple times I have seen strange men in my room, which is very frightening as well. Usually takes a few minutes for me to calm down and figure out what's going on.

I went to a sleep doctor who told me that the hallucinations were "normal but not common". I have found that if I take a strong sleep aid like ambien or amitryptiline, I wont have the hallucinations because I am sleeping too soundly to hallucinate.

Dec 20, 2011
I have had the same thing since I was a child.
by: Anonymous

My first was when I was 11 it was a man with a skeleton mask on and he was walking past my window. My bedroom was on the second floor. I have also seen the Cheshire cat smiling from the foot of my bed. I have had one where it was a robot body with pinchers as hands and a balding old man's head. That one I actually screamed your not real and it faded away. Mine seem to slowly fade as I wake. I have had a creature with rolls of toilet paper for eyes and mouth sitting on me.

I have had shadows of men in the room. One had a motorcycle helmet on and when I screamed it acted scared and paced like it didn't know what to do. I have seen smoke and creatures. My ceiling fan has tried to attack me. My room has become all vines and trying to get me.

During these I see my room, my dog, my poor husband who is trying to tell me its not real. I am screaming at it that it is. I have ran out of my room and down stairs trying to get away. I am trying to control my self more when they happen. I try not to scream or run and I sit there and stare at it trying to wake. I some times will describe what I am seeing to my husband and that is the strangest. Because you know it is a hallucination.

Jan 05, 2012
Hello
by: Paul

Just read the whole of this thread and I didn't realise what I am suffering from was to do with sleep, keeping yourself to yourself too much and stress. I lack the first, do the second and am under a lot for the third (XMas, NY etc) I've only been having these for about a two weeks now. I HAVE (foolishly now I realise) been stopping up late and missing a lot of sleep thinking I don't need it because I am off work atm. I am also on anti depressants which I am going to ask to get changed tomorrow as they are listed as being one of the worst for aggravating it.

However, mine usually start in the middle evening rather than when I am asleep. Currently I am in my front room sat on my own on the laptop listening to music and there are 5 other people (mute strangers), who, everytime I look up they disappear.

Thanks, Paul.

Jan 06, 2012
Paul
by: Patricia Diaz-Verson

Paul, Your symptoms do NOT appear to be related to Hypnagogic Hallucinations. You should check with a medical doctor or psychiatrist for a diagnosis of what you are experiencing.

Jan 14, 2012
Hallucinations
by: Anonymous

I have been reading about these hallucinations that most of you or your loved ones are having. I too have experienced similar things. I have had spiders hanging down my ceiling. It does feel like a am bordering the sleep/awake phase. I than come to realize after freaking out, that it disappears and I was seeing things. I have experienced sleep paralysis but only once or twice, that I can remember.

I was just wondering if anyone else had other hallucinations. Mine will be shapes, or brightly colored spider webs all over my room. Sometimes I see red lights in my hall. Once I saw a helicopter (small) in my room. I also will see flowers in the air, or pieces of string hanging falling towards my face. I do get scared, and these in turn cause a panic attack. I am able to settle myself down pretty quickly, since I have been having panic attacks for some time now. They have been more frequent lately, and I will wake up three times a night. Once with the images and the other two times just because I panic for some reason.

I was just wondering if anyone has similar experiences, or if they know if it is stress induced? What natural things can I do to help? No medication :) Thanks

Jan 19, 2012
Want Help
by: Kourtney

I am 28 yrs female, I think I have Hypnagogic Hallucinations. I have hallucinated things while sleeping for as long as I can remember. My hallucinations are of bugs and people being in my room. They seem so real to me and I get very freaked out when I am having one. It was something that was just funny when I was younger but since 2007 after having my daughter I get violent when I am having one. I have hit and pushed my husband. It takes a few minutes and the lights to be turned on for me to realize it was not real. My heart is always racing when it happens. I have them pretty frequently. I am always tired and it is very hard for my to go to sleep. Lately I have been having the fear of having one and can't go to sleep. I went to a sleep specialist and he told me that he didn't know what was wrong with me but If I would lose weight they would probably stop. I want help so bad and don't know where to turn. I am so afraid that I am go to hurt my family during one of these hallucinations. Please give me any advice!

Jan 23, 2012
Sufferer
by: Sarah

As a fellow sufferer I've created a Facebook page for people like us to share our experiences, thoughts and concerns. I am by no means spamming it's just easier for me to keep in touch with people with the same condition. Please join. Thank you!

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/Sleep-Hypnagogia-Awareness/226782080741497

Jan 24, 2012
facebook page
by: Amy

I found the facebook page for Sleep Hypnagogia Awareness and I "liked" it but for some reason, every time I post a comment, it disappears. Am I doing something wrong?

Jan 24, 2012
Kinds of hypnogogic hallucinations
by: Anonymous

In reply to an earlier comment. I have seen all kinds of different things during my hypnagogic hallucinations. Spiders, people, objects moving. To the completely bizarre: glowing lights, a goldfish swimming in the air, a deer, a disembodied hand holding a gun. Completely random things.

I would not want to join a facebook page, because I wouldn't want my friends to see my comments, due to the stigma of these hallucinations. I do not think that most people would understand.

One thought I do have about the hallucinations is they may be related to sleep apnea. I'm not overweight or anything, but I watched a program on parasomnias and it stated that the lack of oxygen to the brain can cause you to do strange things like sleep talking/walking, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, etc. I have a history of sleep apnea as a child, although I'm not aware of having it currently. It makes sense to me.

I'm currently working on seeing another sleep dr. to find out some more answers.

Feb 22, 2012
Further attempts at treatment
by: Annon

I posted previously (Sept 21, 2011) and I've been trying some different treatments in conjunction with a neurologist.

Unfortunately none of the treatments I've tried have really made much of a difference vs just upping sleeping tablets (melatonin and emben are some of the recent drugs I've tried with no difference - temaze still the most successful). Has anyone else dealt with other medicos who have suggested treatments? Anyone else had sleep analysis? (I've had EEG (issues going into phase 2 of sleep) and sleep apnea testing (no issues with breathing)).

Kourtney - I would suggest seeing another specialist - sleep disorders and weight problems are related, but my understanding is that weight causing sleep issues is to do with more to do with breathing ... but sleep issues causing excess weight can be to do with stress / lack of sleep. I doubt there is any research that links our particular issues with weight issues given there are so few of us in the world!!

Sarah, I too will not like the facebook page because this is not something I discuss with all my friends (some know I have a "sleeping disorder" ... few understand how frightened I am of sleeping). But thank you for giving a public space that others might find.

For those with an iphone have you tried the Sleep app? ... put your iphone under your pillow and monitor your movements whilst asleep. I found this amazing for putting my sleeping issues into perspective and truly understanding how LITTLE sleep I get. On a normal night I will do multiple 30 minute sleep then wake cycles ... throughout the night ... my total sleep time might only be 3 hours (with being terrified inbetween). And my friends have issues with thier baby's crying every couple of hours - it would seem like heavenly sleep to me!

Some of my recent hallucinations make me laugh (once I've got over the terror) ... I had "shoe cam" the other night ... one of my shoes 'turned into' a spy camera! Then there was the very scary mesh cage inside the walls of my bedroom - which was amazingly complex and astounding.

Good luck sleeping everyone!

Feb 22, 2012
Lexipro
by: Sara g

I have posted here before anonymously and under a slighy different name but I wanted to share my experience strength and hope with you all. I recently (December 2011) was put on Lexipro due to some situational depression. It had nothing to do with the hypnogogia or sleeping issues I have had my whole life. I have experienced a welcome side effect (for me) of the Lexipro. I went from having the sleep episodes 3-4 times per week to once in the last two months. I am sleeping better than I ever had in my life. Seriously it was a life changer for me. The last week before I started the Lexipro I had a potentially harmful episode. My hypnogogia is combined with sleep walking talking etc at times. In my sleep, I emptied out some plastic shelving next to the bed and drug the shelf into the bed with me throwing it across my husbands side of the bed. Luckily he had not come to bed yet (hes a night owl) or he might have been hurt or at least very surprised. I have not left the bed or talked in my sleep since December!

Feb 23, 2012
Mental Illness or Nightmares caused by Hypnagogic Hallucinations
by: Anonymous

I am diagnosed schizoaffective disorder and have had problems in the past with audible and visual hallucinations during the day before I was medicated. In the past year, I've been fine during the day because my meds are working, but at night I've been having nightmares at least 2-3 times a week. I hear voices, I hear a whisper of my name, I feel like someone is pushing me, and I feel like someone is trying to strangle me. Not only that, but I've dreamed of a man looking directly at me in a hostile manner like he was going to attack me. I also see black shadows that make me feel like I'm being attacked by demons. This is the most common hallucination. Its also the most scary. When this happens, I usually start praying a rosary (in my subconscious) and than the rosary that I'm praying in my sleep usually wakes me up and the dream is over. I thought it was because of my condition, but I've been told several things. It wasn't until I was on a forum for mental illness that someone told me that I have been experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations and that they are common. I think that they are scary, but I've been practicing in my sleep to not be afraid and to let go while I'm sleeping. Its not easy, but I've learned that its possible.

Mar 20, 2012
Scary people
by: sleepysleigh

I have been diagnosed with narcolepsy without cataplexy. I have hypnogogic hallucinations almost every night that cause me to hear very, very loud sounds upon falling asleep. They also cause me to see dark figured scary people at my bedside and I go absolutely nuts. I think they want to hurt me. I start screaming and screaming and when I finally wake up, my heart is about ready to come out of my throat. These episodes are horrible. My family tells me I am screaming as if I have just been attacked terribly. I also sometimes get up and turn the light on multiple times through the night, my husband tells me. I see people in my room almost every night. I have tried clonazepam and temazapam and although they helped, I could not tolerate the side effects. I am now taking Neurontin. It is helping me. Good luck to all of you. I know what it feels like to not want to go to bed at night.

Mar 25, 2012
Patterns and trends
by: Dreamer

I've been following this list for awhile now and certain very clear trends have started to emerge. The most important one is that basically all the negative experiences reported here contain the element of fear. I know many will say duh but it is significant, if this fear didn't exist then I don't believe you would have these experiences, or they would be replaced by others of a much more pleasant character.

So let's hypothesis for a moment that this is a process aimed at working through latent fears. The fears that come up are totally understandable, intruders, rapists, murders, spiders, bugs, danger to your children and loved ones, falling, being beaten or stabbed, etc etc. There is of course a difference here between natural survival instincts and this kind of fear. In a dangerous situation this fear brings about adreneline which helps a person survive. But this only happens in real danger situations but there is nothing useful about bringing this fear home and internalizing it.

So in this hypothesis the brain is attempting to balance this out. The first step is to experience your fears, see firstly that's it's a dream and that these fears reside within you and it's not a good thing. For example if someone is having reoccurring spider experiences then they should work through this fear, go to a pet store and let a tarantula sit on their hand, work through it. If it is intruders then ask yourself if you are holding onto an unhealthy fear of intruders and if you can be honest then you can work through it and release this fear. A professional psychologist can help.

In this modern world many people live in a cage of unhealthy non adaptive fears and simply numb these feelings through prescription medication or busy work. The brains of the people here are simply not letting them do that and are forcing confrontation, sometimes night after night.

So in this hypothesis these experiences are not bad but are guides to helping the individual become a balanced person. So there are things that can be done right away which will help.

Hope this helps

Mar 29, 2012
spider
by: Anonymous

This first time to happen to me I woke all the night to study then I fall in sleep about half hour then when I woke up and open my eyes I found something like spider move in the dark on my sister bed then when I open the light I didn't find anything

Apr 18, 2012
PTSD
by: Annon

Carmalite - I have seen psychiatrists and psychologists and yes I have been diagnosed with a form of Post Traumatis Stress Disorder because of these hypnagogic hallucinations. Of course, it's not 'post' because it occurs everynight.

The DSM (Diagnosit and Statistics Manual which is used to define mental disorders) does have a criteria for PTSD there is a direct personal experience of an event that threatens death - so I'm not sure that our hallucinations 100% qualify.

I have undergone cognitive behavioural therapy to assist ... and it helped a bit ... but there are limitations in that the therapy is often designed to teach you to cope with events in the past (vs events that will reoccur frequently) and treatment focussing working through the issues that you are 'scared' of doesn't help when you are going to have to be scared anyway. In my case I hallucinate a lot of spiders, I'm not actually scared of spiders when I'm awake (other than avoiding the deadly ones), in my dream state I am terrified of them.

I haven't tried hynotherapy because there is no way I could allow myself into that relaxed state - my psychologist tried a relaxation session once that sent me into hysterics because she mentioned going to sleep!

Amy - so pleased to hear you are doing better. I've found this noticeboard really interesting and how else do we find others who have such an odd disorder?! I do love the funny hallucinations, I had warping jelly babies once - though I had one the other night that when I realised it wasn't true my legs were shaking so much my knees gave way (obviously I'd leapt out of bed at some point).

Jul 08, 2012
Suffering from Hypnagogic hallucinations/no narcolepsy
by: Dave

My journey with this disorder began in 2010. I have had an EEG, MRI, CAT Scan all with normal results. I also had a sleep study done which ended in diagnoses of sleep apnea. I was also told that I have a problem getting into REM Sleep and the doctor said that was unusual and did not make any more comments.

I currently use a CPAP machine & take 700 mg of Seroquel. For those of you who take Seroquel you know it is outrageously expensive in this country. I also take a 10 mg tablet of Ambien.

With these meds the hallucinations (auditory, visual and tactile)have subsided some and the grossness of what I see has also subsided a bit, but dealing with this is agony.

If there is someone out there who suffers from this problem and would like to talk to me about it I would greatly appreciate it. This is uncharted territory for me and the doctors really don't know that much about it either, but if I could just talk to someone it might ease my fears.

Jul 14, 2012
hypnopompic hallucinations
by: Anonymous

For many years I had issues waking up that sound like hypnopompic hallucinations, on the milder side but they were getting worse.

For other sleep issue reasons I started taking megadoses of b-12, 1000mcg. I didn't think it would do much but I had tried all kinds of things and was considering going to a sleep specialist so I figured I'd try the B-12. Almost over night B12 made a huge difference, and a side affect that didn't become clear until time had gone by is that I've never had another one of those waking dreams.

Now, all these are symptoms, which can be caused by a variety of things. But it now appears that b & d vitamins play a huge role in brain and sleep health. And they know almost everyone is deficient in D these days. I've seen comments were hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations were kept at bay by things like eating algae, which probably lead to the conclusion that there was some deficiency at work.

I now am trying to just take a super b complex each day, which is considerably less b12, and we'll see what happens. But I've learned recently that the b vitamins need to be in a certain ration to each other so it's better to do it that way. I keep the 1000mcg of b12 on hand in case the sleep problems start up again. B deficiencies can cause hallucinations, dementia and sleep problems. Just something to consider. It could also explain why for some they seem to go away for periods of time and/or show up under stress. It could be as simple as a change in eating habits or stress causing a deficiency.

Sep 11, 2012
Glad I'm Not Alone....
by: Carolyn

I have suffered from what I now know to be Sleep Paralysis for years. It would occur very infreguently but lately has become more of a problem. I have even had some out of body experiences during my sleep paralysis. I am awake, can't move, am very afraid. I try desperately to move, yell or otherwise come out of the paralysis. It takes a valiant effort to finally break free. It is comforting to know that I am not alone, because when I have tried to explain what happens to me, people start to analyze me and give advice. Coming from someone who doesn't understand, has never heard of sleep paralysis and has never experienced an episode, to receive advice is almost annoying albeit given out of concern for me. "It's a strange, strange world we live in...." :-)

Sep 11, 2012
Glad I'm Not Alone....
by: Carolyn

I have suffered from what I now know to be Sleep Paralysis for years. It would occur very infreguently but lately has become more of a problem. I have even had some out of body experiences during my sleep paralysis. I am awake, can't move, am very afraid. I try desperately to move, yell or otherwise come out of the paralysis. It takes a valiant effort to finally break free. It is comforting to know that I am not alone, because when I have tried to explain what happens to me, people start to analyze me and give advice. Coming from someone who doesn't understand, has never heard of sleep paralysis and has never experienced an episode, to receive advice is almost annoying albeit given out of concern for me. "It's a strange, strange world we live in...." :-)

Oct 17, 2012
alixjohn
by: alixjohn180


It is a appreciable that you are too good to manage your blog because actual meaning of blog dies if irrelevant comments remain for long time.transfer deed
For good post knowledge based comments should be written so that people can learn from this blog.


Oct 17, 2012
What the ...?
by: Anonymous

I have no clue what the last post means, or why the author felt compelled to write it.

This is not a true blog, rather a place for people to share their common experience with a sleep disorder and hopefully, maybe find some comfort or at least not feel they are all alone with this problem.

My advice to the previous poster is rather than criticize, move on if this is not your cup of tea - there are plenty of blogs out there which adhere to your criteria.

Oct 17, 2012
What do i do?
by: Anonymous

It is possible that i have Hypnopompic Hallucinations. I'm seeing people, some are screaming, some are glaring. But what confuses me is that it is in animation.
Please, i don't know what to do.
If anyone has anything to contact me about for this use gmail, littlesister.5569. please, I'm frightened.

Oct 18, 2012
Response and update
by: Annon

Hi new Anonymous 17 Oct ... please see your doctor! We're all just people who have some similar symptoms but there are lots of causes for hypnagogic hallucinations that are connected to other disorders. You'll need medical help to make sure none of the other issues are causing yours.

As for the animation thing - I wouldn't rule that out ... I see jelly babies and other surreal visions. Mine are often like Salvador Dali's paintings ... melting warping clocks!

Recently I've been having a flare up (life stress doesn't help) and I'll be going on some schizophrenia drugs because I'm getting desperate. I've upped my temazepam and it's just not stopping the hallucinations like it used to. Last night I saw someone curled up asleep on the top shelf of my cupboard (it took a long time to disappear them); a red laser light going up and down my curtains and a couple of nights before I woke once I was half dressed because I'd seen someone in the window.

I hate being scared of stupid things that are not there.

Oct 29, 2012
Hypnagogic Hallucinations
by: Dee

I have experienced these sleep episodes for a long time as well. I also have issues with anxiety. After being prescribed a very low dose of the medication Lexapro for anxiety, my incidence of seeing things in the night has decreased significantly. I have been through the feelings of being "crazy" or like there was really something wrong with me. It is helpful to see that others experience these sleep issues and that I am not alone.

Dec 06, 2012
Had these symptoms for 6 years
by: Charlene

Wow, I'm so glad I decided to research this as I'm at breaking point. My first episode happened shortly after my grandad died in and I saw florescent green writing all over the wall. I thoughtI was losing it. It was terrifying. Now it's mostly hanging things, threads of whatever and I usually reach out to swipe it and snap out of it, other times my brain says it'll be over in a minute. I am always in a state of complete fear and can feel all the blood rushing through my body.

I've also 'seen' my grandad, a dodgy looking old man, spiders, huge ones and bright colours. I've been to the doctors twice and neither mentioned this condition. I am having my first CBT soon and hope this will help.

It doesn't help that I'm nursing my son at night so I am woken up a lot with him too so I am literally a mess in the morning.

Fed up now. I'm going to research into this Vitamin B. I alreadyhave take Vitamin D3 for my eczema.

Best of luck all. If anyone wants to email me with things they've tried that have worked please please get in touch! Charjunk@googlemail.com

Xx

Dec 09, 2012
Clorazil worked for me
by: Anonymous

I used to have Hypnagogia on a regular basis and I am diagnosed with schizophrenia.

I was prescribed Clozaril about 1.5 years ago and my Hypnagogia has all but gone away.

I was on other drugs prior to this but none of them helped with the Hypnagogia


Dec 09, 2012
hypnagogic hallucinations
by: Anonymous

hi im kevin im 32 years of age i comenly wake up in the corner of my room in fear not knowing wheir i am last time i remember stairing up looking into a tunnel or building from inside maybe. i am having other issues in my life guess im just looking for answers.

Jan 22, 2013
Hypnagogic "hallucinations"
by: Anonymous

Hi - I came upon this curious forum while looking up a link between flu vaccine and narcolepsy. I have had these hypnagogic phenomena for as long as I can remember, usually on weekends when I can sleep longer... I tend to wake up at usual time, realize it is Sunday and I can sleep some more, doze off again, and then have one of those hypnagogic dreams (often, in the middle of such a dream I ask myself whether this is one of these dreams again, but every time the experience feels so real that I conclude it can't possibly be a dream - exactly opposite from "lucid dreams" characterized by the fact that people know they are dreaming). About half of my hypnagogic dreams are about intruders, somebody strangling me etc. scary stuff described by many other people on this forum, but the other half tend to happen in a really beautiful city (always similar general surroundings) where everything is profoundly wonderful. I always thought these hypnagogic phenomena were a normal part of light sleep, and that everybody had them; it would never occur to me to seek any medical help for them! I suppose if you have nightmares regularly every night, to the point where they disrupt your life, you have to do something about it... but I'd be careful about taking all that psychopharmacy for trivial reasons (one wonders about the fact that this modern epidemic of Alzheimer's is coincident with such widespread use of medications that alter neurotransmitter content and metabolism in the brain).

Feb 27, 2013
Hypnotherapy
by: Anonymous

Hypnotherapy can stop the night terrors and the symptoms, you should ask a hypnotherapist to deprogram you.

Jun 06, 2013
Layers of Sleep
by: Anonymous

One post from John from 2011 really stuck out to me and is exactly what I have when I go to bed. I fall into hallucinations almost immediately when I try to fall asleep normally. My body can't move but my mind is on. I think I'm shaking and moving my arms and doing anything to wake up but in actuality I am fighting these hallucinations with my mind. I will go through multiple layers of dreams similar to the movie inception to wake up. Something bad has to happen before I move closer and closer to consciousness. Once I am finally awake, I'm in the same position as when I fell asleep, all the moving that I thought I was doing and all the visualizations were only in my mind. Anyways, it makes sleeping not a fun activity. I've resorted to using OTC sleeping pills. I don't have any problems when I take Excedrin PM (dihydramine citrate and acetaminophen). These pills changed my life for the better!

Jun 24, 2014
I have this
by: ariana

I typed in why do I see spiders that are not there and was led to this. When I fall asleep at night it takes me awhile to do so then I always wake up and while still half asleep and swear I see spiders I'm 23 now and have had this happen since I was younger. The latest episode was last night.I woke up and saw a giant spider come down on a web by my door. And one time I was woke up and the ceiling was covered in webs and I woke my bf up to tell him about it as I was waving my arms in the air. Do I have to go to the Dr for this or is it normal?

Jul 11, 2014
sleep related hallucinations
by: Anonymous

I know this is an old thread, but I just feel so alone in this - and I feel super crazy. I'm seeing a psychiatrist on Tuesday and hoping he can help. Went to a sleep doc a few years ago and found that something "neurological" was waking me up every few seconds. The hallucinations are so disruptive. One person wanted to know what they were like. I'll describe a typical one for me. Mine usually involve visual disturbances sometimes with sound - taking place on the wall in front of me where I'm sleeping - usually happens about an hour or so after I fall asleep. The surroundings are my bedroom - and my eyes are open but my brain is asleep - making this horrifying.. I woke to a loud scream of "ha" and a man dressed in a top hat, fangs and white face paint appeared from my wall - like just "popped out" and lunged at me. It brought me up off the bed and onto my feet and took about 5-10 minutes to put all the pieces together and wake up to realize that no person actually came popping out of my wall - but again..your brain is asleep and looking at things in your actual safe zone - it's horrifying. It's usually giant spiders or bugs crawling on my wall. One time, I saw my puppy trapped on the ceiling and was so upset screaming for help. Of course, when I woke up, no puppy and it made sense - the family still thinks that's funny. sometimes I jump up and i'm super confused - can't remember the last time I fed my dog that died 2 years ago and I wake up the house asking for their help to find the dog. I cook marshmallows on an open flame stove - burned my mouth last week doing that. I am mean to my daughter at times - and she's afraid that I'm going to come into her bedroom one night and strangle her because I'm so unpredictable. They had me on topomax at the sleep doc - it helped my "episodes" but I became really stupid on it. Word loss and major dark places. So on to psychiatrist Tuesday. Wish me luck.

Jul 11, 2014
sleep related hallucinations
by: Anonymous

I know this is an old thread, but I just feel so alone in this - and I feel super crazy. I'm seeing a psychiatrist on Tuesday and hoping he can help. Went to a sleep doc a few years ago and found that something "neurological" was waking me up every few seconds. The hallucinations are so disruptive. One person wanted to know what they were like. I'll describe a typical one for me. Mine usually involve visual disturbances sometimes with sound - taking place on the wall in front of me where I'm sleeping - usually happens about an hour or so after I fall asleep. The surroundings are my bedroom - and my eyes are open but my brain is asleep - making this horrifying.. I woke to a loud scream of "ha" and a man dressed in a top hat, fangs and white face paint appeared from my wall - like just "popped out" and lunged at me. It brought me up off the bed and onto my feet and took about 5-10 minutes to put all the pieces together and wake up to realize that no person actually came popping out of my wall - but again..your brain is asleep and looking at things in your actual safe zone - it's horrifying. It's usually giant spiders or bugs crawling on my wall. One time, I saw my puppy trapped on the ceiling and was so upset screaming for help. Of course, when I woke up, no puppy and it made sense - the family still thinks that's funny. sometimes I jump up and i'm super confused - can't remember the last time I fed my dog that died 2 years ago and I wake up the house asking for their help to find the dog. I cook marshmallows on an open flame stove - burned my mouth last week doing that. I am mean to my daughter at times - and she's afraid that I'm going to come into her bedroom one night and strangle her because I'm so unpredictable. They had me on topomax at the sleep doc - it helped my "episodes" but I became really stupid on it. Word loss and major dark places. So on to psychiatrist Tuesday. Wish me luck.

Jul 11, 2014
sleep related hallucinations
by: Anonymous

I know this is an old thread, but I just feel so alone in this - and I feel super crazy. I'm seeing a psychiatrist on Tuesday and hoping he can help. Went to a sleep doc a few years ago and found that something "neurological" was waking me up every few seconds. The hallucinations are so disruptive. One person wanted to know what they were like. I'll describe a typical one for me. Mine usually involve visual disturbances sometimes with sound - taking place on the wall in front of me where I'm sleeping - usually happens about an hour or so after I fall asleep. The surroundings are my bedroom - and my eyes are open but my brain is asleep - making this horrifying.. I woke to a loud scream of "ha" and a man dressed in a top hat, fangs and white face paint appeared from my wall - like just "popped out" and lunged at me. It brought me up off the bed and onto my feet and took about 5-10 minutes to put all the pieces together and wake up to realize that no person actually came popping out of my wall - but again..your brain is asleep and looking at things in your actual safe zone - it's horrifying. It's usually giant spiders or bugs crawling on my wall. One time, I saw my puppy trapped on the ceiling and was so upset screaming for help. Of course, when I woke up, no puppy and it made sense - the family still thinks that's funny. sometimes I jump up and i'm super confused - can't remember the last time I fed my dog that died 2 years ago and I wake up the house asking for their help to find the dog. I cook marshmallows on an open flame stove - burned my mouth last week doing that. I am mean to my daughter at times - and she's afraid that I'm going to come into her bedroom one night and strangle her because I'm so unpredictable. They had me on topomax at the sleep doc - it helped my "episodes" but I became really stupid on it. Word loss and major dark places. So on to psychiatrist Tuesday. Wish me luck.

Jul 11, 2014
worried sick
by: Anonymous

I HAVE READ ALL THE COMMENTS BUT NO ONE SEEMS TO HAVE come up with any cure for this condition. It would be interesting to hear from a specialist in this field [if there is such a person]

Jul 11, 2014
worried sick
by: Anonymous

I HAVE READ ALL THE COMMENTS BUT NO ONE SEEMS TO HAVE come up with any cure for this condition. It would be interesting to hear from a specialist in this field [if there is such a person]

Jul 11, 2014
worried sick
by: Anonymous

I HAVE READ ALL THE COMMENTS BUT NO ONE SEEMS TO HAVE come up with any cure for this condition. It would be interesting to hear from a specialist in this field [if there is such a person]

Jul 20, 2014
so happy to find this
by: TannerT

because it means that I'm not the only one. I started dealing with it in college and am now 32. I just started a new job and it has gone from once or twice a week to nightly and all I can attribute it to is stress. I have seen spiders and various creepy crawlies. Most often for me, it's a person sitting or standing in the corner of my room or standing in my closet. I came to realize a long time ago that it was related to my rem sleep, but knowing that while I sit here and type versus knowing that while i'm between consciousnesses is a whole other ballgame. I almost always command them to leave now, sometimes with just my hands and sometimes I have to tell them to leave. It sounds so crazy but my heart will start beating like nuts then I have to turn on the light and go where they were before I can fully accept that nothing was there. My family has made fun of me in the past for things that have happened, but when I plainly explained that it keeps happening a couple nights a week even as an adult they get it now. I'm not on any kind of treatment, but I generally just do my best to not take naps and try to just make it so that I fall asleep hard when I do. Rest assured guys, you're not alone.

Jul 20, 2014
Ongoing attempts at treatment
by: Annon

I've posted a couple of times in this thread.

I have kept seeing specialists for treatments and trying a range of drugs. Currently, and quite surprisingly, taking 5mg of valium before sleep has been the most effective thing to reduce the hallucinations. I've tried so many other drugs and had absolutely no effect that the doctors were not expecting such change from valium. Of course relying on valium is not ideal - but given many of the other drugs I've tried have much worse side effects and complications, I'll keep trying this whilst it works.

For those starting out on their journey of diagnosis, it is really important to check that you don't have any other disorders that the hallucinations can be a symptom of. Any who have found solutions, please do share. There are so few of us!

TannerT: I've had sleep tests done and true hypnagogic hallucinations are not in REM, they aren't dreams and are quite early in the sleep stage (mine occur in stage 2 sleep). It's one of the big differences between dreams and hallucinations - not to mention that you have your eyes open and are seeing things overlaid on the environment.

I just wish they weren't so scary - it seems so ridiculous to be terrified of spiders in the hallucinations as I'm not scared of them when I'm awake.

Aug 08, 2014
spiders and blood
by: Hannah

Through googling, I have only just found out today, that this is 'a thing'. Mine started 9 years ago, just before I moved out of my parents' house. I woke up to see loads of spiders and insects running over me in bed. I leapt up, screaming, and trying to shake them off, and came-to properly as I was running down the stairs, as my sister and mum ran upstairs to meet me. It was only then that I realised they had gone and it had been a dream. A couple of years later when I went to bed I saw a fly buzzing round but couldn't be bothered getting rid of it so just switched the light off and went to sleep. In my dream I had woken up, and found blood splattered on the wall behind me. I woke up for real when a visiting family member switched on the light and I was kneeling on my pillow facing the wall, and was holding the fly (a bluebottle) between thumb and finger. It flew off unharmed. I had a few more incidents, always involving spiders and blood. Waking up to find a boyfriend next to me covered in blood, and shaking him awake, then realising it had vanished and I had hallucinated it. In recent years this was replaced by a frequent sensation of falling, just as I was drifting off to sleep. I would wake up my partner by shouting out and grabbing hold of him and or the bed/mattress.A few months ago, my partner died unexpectedly. I was awoken from a deep sleep by him shouting from the other room, and I rushed in and called an ambulance but despite my best efforts he was gone within a few minutes. Later, the paramedics kept telling me to wash up, and I noticed the streaks of blood on my hands and one arm, were the same pattern as in the dreams I had had. I didn't piece this together with the dreams until a couple of weeks later when I moved into a new house which had an actual spider infestation, so I would wake up to find actual spiders running over me in bed. I was confused then as to whether they were real or not, as they would often disappear for weeks, and I thought I might have psychosis, but I have photos of them now so I know they are real. I thought the hallucinations had somehow been a premonition of my partners death, upon me waking, and then moving into a house with the actual spiders running over me, and I thought they would now stop. But last week I woke up screaming in the middle of the room, thinking a huge spider was on me.

Sep 06, 2014
Not completely crazy then?
by: Emma

I've read a lot of comments and are surprised how much alike all these hallucinations are. I myself hallucinate about hands and spiders falling down from the ceiling, into the bed or onto my face. Or people hanging out in my room talking to me, last time I had people in my hallucinations I had a friend sleeping next to me, and in-between us there were two other girls as well. They asked me if it was okay if they stayed awhile and there I sat, talking to my hallucinations telling them it was totally fiiine.. Good thing I told my friend about this habit of mine, so she didn't completely freak out when I was sitting there talking to something that wasn't there.

But I think the most terrifying thing are the different "insects/aliens" I've been seeing lately. Dragonflies that illuminate red light (I could also feel the wind from its wings as I put my face close to it to rule out it wasn't real.. And of course panicked when I felt the wind and thought it WAS real..) and spiders with the same qualities but with blue light..

Im pretty sure Im not schizophrenic.. And I don't have MUCH of a sleeping problem.. I sometimes nap during the day and thats when they usually happen. Or If I have napped.. So I am now going to quit napping and see if my hypnagogic hallucinations stop. I don't think (hope) that drugs are the solution for this, so I will try this and other things until I see result.

Because it is SO annoying when you finally fall asleep and get abruptly woken up by spiders or other creatures in your room that freak you out so much that you throw yourself out of bed and panic for minutes before realizing.. You're and idiot. haha

Sincerely,
Emma

Nov 08, 2014
Wow
by: Larissa

I've been having both hypnopompic and hypnagogic hallucinations for the last 9 months. They're terrifying. I've always had insomnia for as long as I can remember but constantly waking up in a state of panic has put my insomnia in a whole other category. For a few months I was actually averaging only two or three total hours of sleep per night. Finally my doctors decided that it was a problem and scheduled me for a sleep study. That was two months ago. Well tonight's the night of the sleep study and I'm so nervous. The hallucinations has seemed to ebb in the last month and instead of happening 4-5 times a night they're only occurring a few times a week. I'm nervous about having a stranger watch me while I sleep. I nervous that I won't sleep at all due to my insomnia and the fact that I'll be in a hospital like lab. I'm nervous that I'll have a hallucination and, for the first time since they've started, my significant other won't be there to snap me out of it and comfort and assure my that the things I'm seeing aren't real. But, honestly, I'm most afraid that nothing will happen at all and I will be forced to return home with no new answers. In comparison to some of your stories, my case has only been going on for a very short amount of time. But the things I see are always so frightening. I just want answers.
I also wanted to thank all of those who have posted on this thread before me. This disorder can so easily make you feel crazy and alone. It's incredibly comforting to know that there are plenty of others experiencing the same things. I makes me feel not so ashamed and alone.
Tonight's the night. Wish me luck!

Nov 08, 2014
Larissa
by: Anonymous

I had the same worries when I had my sleep study (nearly 20 years ago). I haven't seen how the recent studies work, but when I had mine, there were numerous wires attached to me. They chart brain activity which, even though you may not think you have had an episode, might actually be recorded through your brain. Just try to relax, know that the observers are there to monitor you and chart the results. The sleep study labs are so much more comfortable than when I had mine, so you will be fine. That want it to be as close to your normal sleep as possible. Sleep well - I hope you get your diagnosis, so you will know for sure what is going on. Knowing there are so many others with the same problem, and they are still around should give you comfort. This is not fatal, just frustrating and sometimes scary. Good luck!!

Nov 09, 2014
Good luck Larissa
by: Charlene G

Hope all went well. Plesae do post back and let us all know how you get on. xx

Nov 11, 2014
Hypnagogic Hallucinations
by: Cindy

Wow.... I have many of the same issues I've been reading on here. My hallucinations started when I was a child, around 5 or 6 and always involved someone in the room standing near my bed, people looking at me through the crack of the door, spiders and snakes in my bed and crawling up under my pillow. It subsided when I was about 40 but has started up again in the last few years (I'm 49 now). Mine are usually scary but I've learned to manage them. I have to take Ambien every night now to get sleep.

The most realistic ones are the alien like objects that come into the room at night. They float around and have a red or blue light on them. It's so realistic I can see the working components of the objects which are about the size of a shoe box. They hover over me and then go back up the ceiling. I finally get up and turn on the light and it takes me a minute to realize they aren't there. It's the same hallucination over and over every night. I think you learn to live with it. The one's where I find myself running around the bedroom in fear are the worst.

Dec 02, 2014
terrifying hypnagogic hallucination
by: Jamie

Well I'm really surprised so many people experience the same thing I do!

I've been having hypnagogic hallucinations for as long as I can remember but for years thought I was waking up from a dream in a vivid nightmare that's taking place in my room. Kind of like Inception, going up a dream level.

Anyways I found out that I wasn't waking up in a nightmare when I had my first roommate after highschool. He told me that I'd get up in the middle of the night, turn the light on and throw my blankets off my bed swearing about spiders and other scary creatures. Before I had the roommate, I'd always just go back to bed and wake up the next morning thinking "well, that was a very strange and vivid dream last night that occurred in my bedroom". I mostly see spiders, scorpions and demonic looking figures.

They still happen to this day and I never bothered to look them up on the internet until now because the one I had last night was terrifying. I woke up and my clothes were all over the floor and my desk and dresser drawers were wide open like someone was in my room looking for something. I looked over the side of my bed, and the bedside drawer was wide open too. Sitting in the open drawer was pile of severed arms and legs. I shot up and turned on the light to find out there were no clothes on the floor and all the drawers were closed, apart from my bedside one, which had nothing in it.

I don't have narcolepsy or an other sleep disorder that I know of but that hallucination was enough for me to look up a solution.

Dec 06, 2014
Not crazy!
by: Artemis

Wow.. This page has absolutely blown my mind.

For years now I have questioned my sanity, scared my family and provided endless amusement for any housemates with my night time antics. Since I was about 17, I have had these extremely intense visions, but it always thought I was still asleep. Intruders in my room, both threatening and non threatening, people standing by my bed watching me sleep, reaching out to me.. Then it progressed in the last couple of years from people to spiders. Spiders everywhere!

They drop from the ceiling onto me, they swarm out from my pillows, scuttle across the room and crawl out of my blankets. Recently, it has also been snakes. Now, I own a snake as a pet, have always loved them and am not scared in the least, yet when I have one of these hallucinations I'm petrified. The same with the spiders, I am always the one catching them and popping them outside because my boyfriend is so scared of them.. Yet in my hallucinations, they induce such a strong panic response that I scream, jump out of bed and flee the room. My heart is hammering, I'm shaking like a leaf and often I end up crying.

I have punched holes in doors, overturned a bookcase onto myself , and caused serious harm to ex boyfriends and myself thanks to this condition.. NO doctor has known what is wrong with me, I've been sent to sleep studies overnight, been given Valium (made me worse) and referred to a psychologist who couldn't help.

I have felt like a freak, a danger to myself, felt unable to be in a relationship in case I seriously hurt someone... I am lucky my current partner is simply incredible at supporting me through this, and interestingly I have never attacked him once in over 2.5 years together. Other partners I have had I must have felt uncomfortable with, and they became threats during my hallucinations.

It is thanks to him that I discovered that I always have these episodes in the first hour of sleep, and that my eyes are wide open. Before this, I thought I was simply imagining everything.

With this knowledge, I jumped on Google, and found this page.

I have to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has posted... You have made me feel like I'm not alone, that I am not crazy, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.. And not just spiders in the ceiling ;)

Sweet dreams everyone, and keep up the support. :)

Dec 06, 2014
Getting some sleep
by: Annon

I've posted a number of times before - it is good to see some people have found at least a "name" for what is going on.

Artemis - that fear of something that you aren't frightened of is so frustrating. I've had various specialists try to treat that fear without believing me that when I'm awake I am truly not scared of spiders. What ever is happening in that early sleep state to induce such terror in us, is completely different to normal fear/phobias.

I've had a number of months now where I've been not getting frequent episodes - first time since I was a child! It has been wonderful. I am using a combination of drugs (as approved by my doctor and neurologist combined with seeing a psychologist) which are the only thing that work for me.

As documented above, I've gone through a large number of drugs ... so please ... if this is causing issues in your life (lack of sleep is associated with serious disorders and illness) please keep pursuing solutions that might work for you. The more the medical profession hear from us, the chance that someone else might get some help.

Jan 06, 2015
Hypnagogic hallucinations
by: Anonymous

I have this disorder very severely. I also suffer with RLS, and sleep apnea. I'm currently on CPAP for the apnea, but have HHE's every night. It's now part of what my sleep is..... Even my wife helps me out when it happens. I have had many doctors involved and have several chapters on this topic.

Feb 22, 2015
hypnogogic hallucinations
by: Anonymous

I have sometimes have tactile & auditory hypnogogic hallucinations. No narcolepsy. I really find it disturbing sometimes. Sometimes I drink too much to just pass out instead-use melatonin or benedryl.
I feel if I talk about it be labeled mentally I'll & put on shrink drugs. But as I go about the day & involved in other things don't notice it. Just when I'm trying to fall asleep sometimes. Had 1 eeg-but it was during the day & wasn't experiencing any symptoms. Was normal.. would be nice to be rid of it.

Mar 19, 2015
spiders!
by: Rachel

I have been having hypnagogic hallucinations for a year or so, but have only had a handful. I had one last night and decided to google it today and found out what it is! They are always so vivid and I am awake and remember being awake but truly believe that I am seeing the spider. It takes 30 seconds or so of my wife convincing me until I realize that it's not real. It has been a spider every time (which I am afraid of). After reading everyone's accounts I feel lucky that it doesn't happen more often, but it's so scary when it does! Has anyone linked it to medications? I've been on Flonase for a while, also Benadryl at night. Maybe it's one of those?

Apr 19, 2015
Please help, newest nighmares (at end) and haven't read anyone having them. I fear the disturbances will start in my wake life.
by: Anonymous

First, I never comment on these type of blogs, I just read. I started looking up schizophrenia onset/symptoms because of a recent addition to the sleep disorders I have had since I was a child: night mares, night terrors, sleep walking, feeling like evil spirits are in room and I just struggle until I can say "Jesus" and they go away, feeling paralyzed while something is happening, usually kind of scary... I have learn to deal with all of these quite well.

Now, for a few weeks/months I have dreams that disturb me more. They make me feel stresses I normally feel, and are about those things, just amplified. One example, the dream will be something like my son did a typical thing he might do, and I get irritated, I might lecture him or even yell at him about it. Again, it is so real, so vivid. I have these all the time now about my staff, my family, etc, and they are like having the worst conversations, or interactions, and I am so relieved when I wake up that they didn't happen. As you can imagine though, it is like a real life nightmare, that isn't scary, just very unhappy or stressful.
Even more recently, in the past couple of nights they are shifting to more frightening. I am in my bed in the dream, I might be just laying there thinking or doing something in bed (but I am not, I am sleeping) and people will come into my room and say things, or interrupt me, be irritating and often taunting me because I can no longer effectively make them go away. I know (as I am sleeping) they are not "real" but somehow "are" and I try everything to make them go away, blowing on them, they may shrink and (used to disappear), but now they more often shrink, morph then come taunt me more. I feel like they are not only watching me, which disturbs me, because I want to be alone, or they literally taunt me. Like today, in real awake life, my family all went to feed the homeless and I have had a stressful week and decided to sleep in. SO I DREAM: I am awakening from sleep, slowly, and I am aware my family are gone, I am in my bed, I hear a talk show on a static radio/phone. First I am trying to figure out why it's on, because my husband would never leave anything on, but I am also very interested in what is being said (now can't remember) and then these normal yet creepy, irritating "people/children/dolls...variety, keep coming around and I can't hear the show, I try to pray them away...because I know they are not good (though there is not an "evil-dark-fearful feeling present with them), praying has helped before (it has worked when I feel that pressing dark demonic sensation/presence in my room). I have tried to blow them away which worked maybe once, then not working, I try to set fire to them with some supernatural power I have just discovered-I guess because I am using telepathy to set them on fire, nothing is working anymore, and I am super stressed about not having control to make these people/taunters go away. It is so vivid. When I wake up, open my eyes to find I am in bed and none of this has happened, I am relieved, but afraid something new is wrong with my brain. I feel afraid that these things might be signs of my brain being super imbalanced, and maybe some daytime mental disorder is going to start.
Health history: I am a 43y.o. female. I have no other systemic diseases, and other than recent moderate depression, that has been treated, no mental diagnosis ever. I was put on Lexapro at night and Wellbutrin in AM about 9 months ago after suffering 3 miscarriages and failed IVF, and though still functioning well at work, was coming home sad and withdrawn everyday. I am about to wean off because my psych and talk-doc feel I am doing great, and I am, very happy, normal/best self again, though stressed a bit more at work...too busy of schedule (I am working to pare down), staff issues, the normal, but more than usual level past few months.

Family history, one 1st cousin has bi-polar, severe, with hallucinations if not on meds. I did suffer abuse as a child, but have worked through it and am "recovered" from the past abuses. Rest of family, used to live crazy lives, drugs, jail, prison, etc, but now just typical dysfunctional recovered okay folks now.
Social history/now: I am well liked by many. Involved in my church and have a close relationship with God through prayer, scripture and worship. I am looked at as "wise" and often sought out for advice or to be an ear. I have a great relationship with my husband and "son" and "mom"-not biological, but has served that role for more than 20 years. She temporarily lives with us and has been ill, and we love having her here because she is so positive and loving to all of us, yet she suffers quietly daily.
I own my own, very successful, flourishing practice in the health field (not bragging, just giving a picture of me.)
Does anyone know if these newer dreams have a name? Do they indicate mental illness onset? What can I do? We are about to adopt and embryo, which is also why I am weening off meds. Not adopting an embryo is not an option at our age, we met at 39, neither married or kids before. My "son" I have mentioned is my nephew I adopted 7 years ago when his mom was terminally ill and mentally unstable.
I'm sorry this is so long Just hoping someone will be interested and can offer help.

Apr 21, 2015
Radical idea
by: Anonymous

With the legalization of marijuana in several states (both medicinal and recreational), I was wondering if it might possibly help with the hallucinations. Mine have been far less frequent (maybe only one every 3 or 4 months), but my boyfriend has a medical marijuana license for his PTSD & migraines, and I admit I have smoked with him. An Indica strain is preferable for relaxation and sleep, and I have found that I sleep like a baby after using it (he uses a vaporizer versus a pipe or other methods). With all of the medical uses being discovered for Marijuana, I think sleep disorders might benefit from it also. Any of you who are experiencing the hallucinations often and who live in a legal state might want to give this a try. There is no known prescription drug (manufactured) which helps at this time...just a thought.

Apr 27, 2015
Please see your doctor
by: Annon - see my previous

To the person who wrote on April 19 - please see a doctor. There are a few of us that seem to have these symptoms without having other disorders (like narcolepsy or schizophrenia) but there are many things to try to help you with them. I have had my hypnagogic hallucinations for over 20 years and I now am experience a fairly good period of sleep, after working out a combination of medication that works for me.

Having support of a doctor or a sleep specialist will help you review your sleep and possibly remove some of the frightening aspect - at least they will check you to ensure there are no other problems and that it is not schizophrenia etc.

I would not recommend taking non-prescription drugs as suggested by the last poster, as it could make the hallucinations worse.

I always remind myself - this only happens when I sleep, this is not my conscious thought, this is not the REAL me - the one that controls her thoughts, it is just a very weird form of dreaming ... and no one believes the weird things that happen in their dreams are the result of logical thought!

May 02, 2015
Worth A Try
by: Anonymous

I am a 37 year old who has had Hypnogogia since I was in my Teens. Voices have woken me in my early stages of sleep for years. In my 20's I googled it and was amazed and relieved to find out what it was as the voices were entertaining but during my stressed times I would wake with an electric spark that vibrated in my head and buzzed loudly in my ears, this always made me think maybe an aneurysm was on the horizon (what awful thoughts night time brings). The voices happen when I drift off to sleep and they started by calling my name and after a few years became fragmented conversations. When I wake from one I write down the voice, the words and how it's delivered, for example a chipper Man saying 'when they turn two they turn Jim Morrison cute!' or a worried woman urging 'will someone just go out and get it?' It makes for good reading every now and then. My Brother has hallucinations (spiders or the old lady watching kind, good Lord I'm happy I don't get that), my Mum talks a lot in her sleep and my Uncle gets sleep paralysis, I've heard Mum talk about that so it's in the family. I have two children and my little girl has had sleep troubles from 10 months. I identified hers as night terrors, I had them too. There's a lot online about them. From ten months she had an average of three a week. When she was three I began a diary to find the triggers - I recorded the day's activities, food, exercise, experiences & mood. Around this time I found out my stomach issues I'd had since my teens was a gluten intolerance so I began a gluten free diet. My daughter had similar symptoms to me so I put her on a gluten free diet too. That month she went from three night terrors, as I said, a week to three in that month. After that, the night terrors didn't come back. Six months later I reintroduced gluten and within three days the night terrors returned. It was a no-brainer, no more gluten. She is a happy girl who sleeps through the night. After some reflection on the whole journey I realised my voices had gone too. I missed them in a weird way. The difference being, as an adult and being in control of what I eat, when I give in to that box of donuts then it's no surprise to be woken up by a random floating voice. That's my story. I hope this helps someone.

May 23, 2015
My Hallucination process
by: Anonymous

Hello, I found this page through looking for a solution to my prolonged hypnagogia. I am a 19 year old girl who has suffered from these hallucinations or about 5 years now. When I am in them I don't feel that I am getting any sleep and I usually am very tired for the rest of the next day. From what I've read people usually only experience hypnagogia once or twice but from checking the clock every time I get out of the hallucinations it happens frequently throughout the night for me. I've noticed that it might be related to stress for me. In the past I have been involved with musical productions and shows. When I am under pressure it is a given that I will find myself experiancinf prolonged musical practice while in the state. Lately I have gotten a new job as a cashier at a store and I have had the hallucinations every night multiple times where I am at the store checking people out non stop. At one point I woke from a hallucination to find that I had tried to scan my cup of water on my night stand and it has dumped all over me. I just want this to stop. I don't know what to do.

Jun 15, 2015
Another sufferer
by: Brooke

I thought I was alone! It is such a relief to know that these are hallucinations and not just dreams. Last night it was a shirt in the air, which obviously was being held up by a ghost. It went away as soon as my husband turned on the light, but it took awhile to convince myself that ghosts aren't real. Most of my experiences are obviously false once my brain wakes up, though I did wonder where giant spider was hiding one time. Every one of my experiences has been a different hallucination. I think last night was only the second time I've screamed from these (usually I say "Oh my God!", which I never say when awake). They always happen 20 minutes after I fall asleep, though they don't happen very frequently (2x per year I'd guess, though they have been more frequent during times of stress). Currently I presume they are happening due to the stress of moving jobs and locations. The most interesting one I had was a sign hanging over my bed with "Happy Birthday" written on it. I batted at it and it blurred in an interesting fashion (no fear in this episode). However, almost all of my episodes have been fearful. I've been trying to find out what stage of sleep 20 minutes in corresponds to. Does anyone know?

Jul 25, 2015
I was relieved to see that this happens to so many people.
by: AnonymousK

For over a year now, I have been waking up completely terrified because I would see something that wasn't there. The first time I remembered it happening, I was not alone and apparently my unconscious self knew that, because I woke up freaking out saying kill it and moving as far away from the wall I was facing without falling out of bed. That only happened once, now I just wake up unable to breathe because I would be looking at a huge black spidery thing just randomly floating around. Sometimes it is really close to me, sometimes it isn't. After I am completely awake and sitting up it will be gone. People seem to say this happened to them and it became more than just giant spider blob things. This worries me very much. This never used to happen to me, but now it's becoming weekly. It wakes me up and I'm too scared to go back to sleep, even though I know i imagined it. I guess it's fear that it'll happen again. It isn't a stress thing, I'm an 18 year old, responsibility-less soon to be college student. I just want to know how to make this problem go away because I can't go a single night without the fear that it'll happen again. Tonight, since I was woken up by the hallucination, I decided to log the date and time, and how long I had been asleep. I will try to do this every time as it could help me find some sort of pattern. Does anyone have any tips on how to handle this? The anxiety I get every night this happen sticks to me for days after it happen. I just want this issue to go away, yet there is no difinitive answer or cure to this problem. I can't imagine this happening for years or getting worse. I can't even talk to anyone about it, when I told a close friend he said "you should see a psychiatrist" in the most sarcastic, uncaring way. I don't have anyone else to tell, and I've never personally met someone who goes through this to help me deal with the anxiety it brings me.

Jul 27, 2015
Response to AnonymousK
by: Brooke

It is always worse for me when I'm stressed or anxious about something. In your case, I'd guess you're pretty stressed about leaving for college, as it is such a major life change and you don't know what to expect. It could quite possibly get much better after you get to college and are less anxious.

Aug 03, 2015
Wow, there's a place for me!
by: Anonymous

Hi!

I'm a 49yr old mom of two and I just started having this 'voice' talk to me in my sleep. It keeps waking me up in the middle of the night, but I can't ever remember what on earth it wants from me! I wake up at 1am in a dream-like state, put the light on, sit on the edge of my bed and try to figure out what I'm supposed to do (my husband loves this). Ha ha ha. The other day I took a nap and it told me I had to kill myself. Now, before you all freak out, it told me I had to do it by overdosing on candy. Ha ha ha. It certainly has a sense of humor.

Jen

Aug 03, 2015
Candy suicide meaning
by: Josie

That is funny!!! In case you are interested, I am an amateur dream interpreter who started following this thread some time ago. In a dream, death is often about ending some aspect of your life and a suicide would be about you yourself taking steps to end something about your life - and something specifically about yourself. For example, it could be about ending a bad habit or a certain pattern of behaviour.

Suicide by candy!!! Well candy is very sweet and food in dreams is to do with nurturing. So it might be that you need to end some negative aspect of yourself by being sweet and nurturing to yourself. In other words, stop beating yourself up over whatever is happening in your life and start being kind to youself and saying nice things to yourself. Treat yourself!!

A very lovely message I think. At least in this case, I think the voice was definitely on your side!

Aug 30, 2015
cure?
by: chris g

Evety night when I close my eyes in bed I see random images for a couple of hours. I used to find it intetedting but now it's just exhausting, like watching a tv thst changes channel every second.I have searched these forums but no o ne offers any help. Is there a cure?

Oct 01, 2015
no sleep
by: sarah z

I really wish I could make these hypnogogic hallucinations go away. I've always had them(since I can remember) but since I've gotten lyme it's become an almost every night thing. I'll see people (big and small) walking around my room, lunging at me or talking to me. I used to get more funny and innocent ones, like cubes and laundry baskets but now it seems to be more sinister. It's also accompanied by feelings of terror or a sense of being watched. I'm just terrified to go to sleep without my husband in the room. I just want it to stop or at least not be so threatening.

Oct 07, 2015
Iron may help
by: sick of it too

I have all of the same "visions" everyone has been talking about, at early onset of sleep, for the past 20 years. They are excruciating.

The only relief I have gotten is by taking iron supplements (over the counter, in the form of ferrous sulfate 325 mg.) It was prescribed to me by my sleep doctor because I have periodic limb movements (restless legs) because apparently having low iron can cause these limb movements. It has lessened my hallucinations (and leg movements) significantly, from having them nightly to only a few times per month. If I stop taking the iron for a while, the hallucinations increase.

Of note, it is not my iron or hemoglobin level that is low, it is my "ferritin" level. My sleep doctor frequently tests specifically the ferritin level as it is an indictor of iron in your blood also. Apparently, it is the low ferritin that causes the sleep problems.


Oct 15, 2015
Thank you
by: MC

Thank you all so much for sharing! I have been experiencing things like this since I was about 39 yrs old.I am now 46. I have been more entertained than scared as a general rule. However, I recently had a hallucination that had me jumping over my s/o and not willing to go back to my side of the bed even when I realized it wasn't real. Two nights later I had him up turning on the lights to see a person at the end of the bed that I also had realized was not real. I think my S/O is a bit tired of inturrupted sleep. I am inclined to agree regarding stress being a factor, but I have had some extreme stress in the last 2 years and did not notice an increase in hallucinations during those times. I have had much less stress lately and am having more "severe" hallucinations. Any ideas?

Nov 07, 2015
Sweet Dreams Are Made of These
by: Night Gallery

I have two kinds of hypnagogic hallucinations. The first I call "dark". In those people appear as shadowy figures next to the bed, over the bed, and standing out of the bed. These figures can walk, run, or fly, sometimes through the bed and through me. The second ones I call "daylight". I wake up to a vividly lit setting. Figures in a "daylight" rarely move. Then the scene fades. Daylights can be benign or the most terrifying. My favorite darks: the disembodied skeletal hand that was yanking on my sleep apnea machine tube; the crow that flew at me from the end of the bed; the train that went by at the head of the bed. My favorite daylight: the airport scene with a women and child coming down an escalator. My most terrifying daylights: the person running in a swamp towards me; the vines growing in a nearby closet; and, the two people standing in the room staring at me.

To counteract the hallucinations, I drink 4-6 oz. of linden tea, or a take a half teaspoon-teaspoon of linden honey. Both must be from western Ukraine or Moldavia to work. They prevent hallucinations about 90% of the time. Before linden, I took Clonazepam, which never worked that well for me, and had side affects such as short-term memory loss. Linden is all natural and tastes good.

Nov 07, 2015
Snooze Alarm
by: sick of it too

I'm curious to know if any of you use the snooze feature on your alarm clock. I have always had a hard time waking up, so I have often pushed that snooze button for an hour before getting up. I've done this since I was in high school.

On occasions where I use the snooze a lot, that night going to bed my hallucinations are severe. They usually happen shortly after falling asleep, so I think the snooze button has essentially trained my body to wake up every eight minutes (the length of the snooze before alarming again.) I'm not sure why the hallucinations have a fear component to them, but I've heard before that the snooze button can be dangerous to your sleep.

Anyone else have snooze button issues with their hallucinations?

Jan 08, 2016
It's been awhile!
by: Amy

It's been awhile since I've posted. I've had some computer issues that have deleted my bookmarks. This site showed up on my Facebook memories today so I read some of the entries that have been posted since I was last here. I continue to have hypnagogic hallucinations although less frequently. As I wrote earlier, they are not bothering me to the point of terror any longer. I continue to believe that knowing there are others like me help me deal with them more rationally. Unfortunately, both of my daughters have reported experiencing them now. Neither one, however, experiences terror with them. I believe their being able to talk openly and without fear of ridicule is what makes this possible which is exactly how I feel when I participate on this forum. Happy New Year!

Jan 11, 2016
lighted hypnagogic hallucinations
by: Anonymous

My experiences began with sudden loss of vision due to fast growing cataracts (according to me). The first ones were lit up as though a bright light was shinning on the characters in my hallucinations. They were also in color. Then the hallucinations changed to black and white with no light...mostly images. My hallucinations have been interesting, comical, of a friendly nature...I've seen people, animals, stuffed animals, spiders,etc. There was a lady trying to sell me her baby, and another lady displaying dresses for me to select.
Never frightening. I honestly became disappointed when the lit ones changed to black and white. I'd really like to know why that occurred.
I am a 62 year old retired guidance counselor.





Jan 18, 2016
Experience
by: bluemoon

I have read with attention many of the post. I have been since 2008 in a long and lonely journey with hallucinations. They started being awake as voices and then lights..then animals, insects…
They started after I had a bowel obstruction surgery followed by divorce. I am reflecting what triggered all of this and I have three conclusions. 1. Could be PTSD triggered by stress of operation plus divorce. 2. Poor intestinal flora in the gut after surgery (BAD BACTERIA)and 3. Simple stress. It can be a mixture of these factors factors. Or maybe some mineral deficiency.
Trauma stored in the hippocampus can be also….just reflections
I never told a doctor about it neither told any relative because I never wanted them to label me wrongly or medicate me with pills that wont work. Doctors don’t know much. I used to express lots of fatigue and depression at times when I had gastro intestinal follow-ups after my surgery but the doctors said it was not related to the gut (they lie because nowadays there is lots of scientific research that proves that indeed the gut is linked with mental health). Gluten is also liked to mental health google it.
At the beginning I had the most terrifying hallucinations: things or entities banging the windows, rats, cats, at night being wake up but helicopter noises, seeing orbs. The worse one was some light kind of evil thing sucking energy from my back and a huge insect picture.
I have gone from religious interpretation to a more scientific approach. It is a process linked with consciousness, fear, trauma …for many is linked to chakras activity.. My 3rd eye is very active.
What helps? Probiotics (which I started recently), gluten free diet, vitamin C, D, Omega oil. I never fought the hallucinations so they fade away easily and I just have few. KEEP AWAY FROM STRESS. Night hallucinations have been reduced but I still see randomly insects like hallucinations when I am fully awake…it worries me..



Mar 20, 2016
Beyond The Veil? NEW
by: SageWeed

Not promoting or selling, just offering some outside perspective as a long time sufferer of sleep paralysis and night terrors. I happened upon this thread as I was doing some research for work. I too, share many of the same and similar experiences written about here. However, I have the ability to provide some interesting perspective.

I work as a camera operator for a major network paranormal investigation team. Over the last two years, the frequency of sleep paralysis and these experiences have increased for me tremendously. The human mind is capable of many things, including hallucinations, fabrication, and imagination. However, it is very capable of perceiving the conscious awareness of spiritual energy.

I have been to all the doctors, I've had the sleep studies, CT scans, etc. I was given the same typical answers from all of them, much like the rest of you here. And now for what I know to be true from my experiences with being in some of the most proven haunted locations in the United States. You are never alone, there is a place we all go following death. You can rest easy, knowing that life goes on. I have witnessed some amazing things through a camera lens. Self illuminating light balls, and streaks of many different colors. I have seen verifiable human apparitions and energy with my own eyes. I have witnessed conscious and intelligent conversation with investigators from spirits, as well as powerful demonic and angelic beings. There is no denying what investigators and a crew, all witness together. I have been tugged, pulled, shoved, and felt energy raging so powerfully through my body. It felt as though I was on the brink of levitating. Doctors can explain and control the physical body your spirit exists in. They can't control the spirit and conscious awareness that is your true self.

I will leave this post with some interesting facts for you to take in and think about. Neurologists have proven, as insulting as it may be to their scientific formula, there is much they cant explain. During night attacks from The Old Hag Theory to Demonic attacks. The human brain, specifically the amygdala, activates only in response to a physical stimulation. Triggering the fight or flight response. If this were truly an explainable hallucination scientific theory. The brain and amygdala would react first, triggering the hallucination, triggering the physical response. However, it's the complete opposite... The attack wakes the brain...

Mar 20, 2016
Beyond The Veil? NEW
by: SageWeed

Not promoting or selling, just offering some outside perspective as a long time sufferer of sleep paralysis and night terrors. I happened upon this thread as I was doing some research for work. I too, share many of the same and similar experiences written about here. However, I have the ability to provide some interesting perspective.

I work as a camera operator for a major network paranormal investigation team. Over the last two years, the frequency of sleep paralysis and these experiences have increased for me tremendously. The human mind is capable of many things, including hallucinations, fabrication, and imagination. However, it is very capable of perceiving the conscious awareness of spiritual energy.

I have been to all the doctors, I've had the sleep studies, CT scans, etc. I was given the same typical answers from all of them, much like the rest of you here. And now for what I know to be true from my experiences with being in some of the most proven haunted locations in the United States. You are never alone, there is a place we all go following death. You can rest easy, knowing that life goes on. I have witnessed some amazing things through a camera lens. Self illuminating light balls, and streaks of many different colors. I have seen verifiable human apparitions and energy with my own eyes. I have witnessed conscious and intelligent conversation with investigators from spirits, as well as powerful demonic and angelic beings. There is no denying what investigators and a crew, all witness together. I have been tugged, pulled, shoved, and felt energy raging so powerfully through my body. It felt as though I was on the brink of levitating. Doctors can explain and control the physical body your spirit exists in. They can't control the spirit and conscious awareness that is your true self.

I will leave this post with some interesting facts for you to take in and think about. Neurologists have proven, as insulting as it may be to their scientific formula, there is much they cant explain. During night attacks from The Old Hag Theory to Demonic attacks. The human brain, specifically the amygdala, activates only in response to a physical stimulation. Triggering the fight or flight response. If this were truly an explainable hallucination scientific theory. The brain and amygdala would react first, triggering the hallucination, triggering the physical response. However, it's the complete opposite... The attack wakes the brain...

Mar 20, 2016
Beyond The Veil? NEW
by: SageWeed

Not promoting or selling, just offering some outside perspective as a long time sufferer of sleep paralysis and night terrors. I happened upon this thread as I was doing some research for work. I too, share many of the same and similar experiences written about here. However, I have the ability to provide some interesting perspective.

I work as a camera operator for a major network paranormal investigation team. Over the last two years, the frequency of sleep paralysis and these experiences have increased for me tremendously. The human mind is capable of many things, including hallucinations, fabrication, and imagination. However, it is very capable of perceiving the conscious awareness of spiritual energy.

I have been to all the doctors, I've had the sleep studies, CT scans, etc. I was given the same typical answers from all of them, much like the rest of you here. And now for what I know to be true from my experiences with being in some of the most proven haunted locations in the United States. You are never alone, there is a place we all go following death. You can rest easy, knowing that life goes on. I have witnessed some amazing things through a camera lens. Self illuminating light balls, and streaks of many different colors. I have seen verifiable human apparitions and energy with my own eyes. I have witnessed conscious and intelligent conversation with investigators from spirits, as well as powerful demonic and angelic beings. There is no denying what investigators and a crew, all witness together. I have been tugged, pulled, shoved, and felt energy raging so powerfully through my body. It felt as though I was on the brink of levitating. Doctors can explain and control the physical body your spirit exists in. They can't control the spirit and conscious awareness that is your true self.

I will leave this post with some interesting facts for you to take in and think about. Neurologists have proven, as insulting as it may be to their scientific formula, there is much they cant explain. During night attacks from The Old Hag Theory to Demonic attacks. The human brain, specifically the amygdala, activates only in response to a physical stimulation. Triggering the fight or flight response. If this were truly an explainable hallucination scientific theory. The brain and amygdala would react first, triggering the hallucination, triggering the physical response. However, it's the complete opposite... The attack wakes the brain...

Jul 24, 2016
Help me!!1 NEW
by: Hassam Haider

My Father is 59 years old and has been suffering from same symptoms as u are.I just want to ask have u find any treatment.

Aug 10, 2016
Hypnogogic hallucinations NEW
by: 1dashingchick

I used to sleep with my eyes open all the time. I do it less now...mainly when I am extremely tired. I can see the room around me and I dream things into it. I can't move or respond, only beg myself to wake enough to turn or move a limb, anything to fully wake me from the experience. It used to be simple, my mom calling my name to wake me, not being able to respond. Sometimes, a spider crawling toward me on my blanket. Then I couldn't for the life of my figure out why my twin was hiding in the shadows behind my bedroom door and making a strange noise as to startle me. I just knew I was so tired that couldn't tell her to cut it out. The next morning I asked her why she was messing with me and she laughed and denied trying to scare me. My fear set in when I realized she was telling the truth...to me it was so real. What was that? I was too embarrassed to really talk about it with people. I had no real understanding of what was happening to me. Last year I was laying in bed on my back. M uh bedroom door was open and the room was dark. I could hear my sister downstairs bidding a man good bye. I didn't recognize the voice. Instead of hearing anyone exit the front door, I began to hear footsteps up the stairs and it hit me. My heart was pounding and I wanted to get up but I couldn't. I was paralyzed. A tall, dark figure came into my room. It walked across the bottom of the bed and up the side until it was next to me. I say " it" because I saw no face. It was dark but it gave off a masculine presence. I never wanted to move so badly in all my life. It bent down and began to whisper in my ear. I couldn't make it out and suddenly it was so soft and clear. " Wake up, motherf#@$er." Then it just repeated that, louder and louder until it was shouting at me, demanding me to wake. I was terrified and I felt like I was in imminent danger.Finally I could move my arm and I sat up in bed crying. It was gone. I had to keep myself awake at all costs. I turned on every light in the room. I stayed up for hours until I felt that I was so tired maybe I could lay down and go to a peaceful sleep. So I laid on my side, facing a night stand where I had a tabletop fan sitting. I was trying to convince myself everything was ok. I think I blinked and just like that, the fan was running, I could hear it. The blades were turning but I felt no breeze on my face...it wasn t even plugged in. I was at it again, terrified of what could come, trying to tell myself to wake up. Now, I tell a few people, because they won't look at me like I have a problem...but mainly because I want someon ed to shake MD awake if they see me sleeping with my eyes open. I just need the help. It happens less now but when it does, I'm afraid to sleep. What can I do? Can someone help?

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