Hypnogogic Hallucinations

hypnogogichallucinations.jpgWhat are Hypnogogic Hallucinations?

Hypnogogic hallucinations are visual, tactile, auditory, or other sensory events, that occur at the transition from from sleep to wakefulness.  You may hear sounds that are not there and see visual hallucinations. These visual and auditory images are very vivid and may be bizarre or disturbing, many times appearing as bugs, spiders, animals or people in the room.

Visual hallucinations usually consist of simple forms such as  circles, symbols, bugs, animals or people. They are very realistic but may appear distorted. It may be a spider but the spider will have 20 legs for example.  You will know you are awake during this hallucination and usually the object will just slowly fade. The objects are usually moving.

Auditory hallucinations often include someone calling your name, children laughing or playing or many times music. Often people hear patriotic music. Usually the person will hear the same lyrics or notes over and over again.

These hallucinations usually are benign and don’t meant there is a serious underlying issue. Some cases however have been linked to seizures, neurological infections/conditions, narcolepsy or sleep apnea. 

Hypnopompic hallucinations

Hypnopompic hallucinations are often mentioned along with hypnogogic hallucinations. Both of these have to do with hallucinations occurring as people enter or exit sleep. When people are just on the edge of sleep they might experience hypnogogic hallucinations. If a person is about to wake, he or she could have a hypnopompic hallucination.

Learn more about hypnopompic hallucinations here.

Sources for this Information are: 

Patient Forums and Stories

“It usually happens when I’m over fatigued and get woke up suddenly in the night.. I’ll look and see at the center of my field of view, this black mass that looks like a spider or something moving and wriggling around quickly.. then as I stare at it, it just slowly fades away…”  Click Here to Keep Reading

“Hi my name is Robert.  It is very common for me to wake up in the middle of the night, but this night was unusual. I had a normal day, went to bed at 11:00, woke up in the middle of the night and saw a Tarantula sized spider crawling in mid air, in the middle of my room, as if it were on a web…” Keep Reading Here

“I see spiders too when i wake up.  it is always when i wake up around 4 or 5 am when my husband is getting up for work.  the room is only slightly lit and i can see the wall and the dinner plate sized spider runs across the wall or ceiling where ever I am looking…” Keep Reading Here

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