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Hypnagogic Hallucinations


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#1 exanimo

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 01:03 AM

I have only had a few of these that I can remember clearly. But I was wondering how often most of you experience them? And would like to hear anyone's thoughts on them, as well.

I had a revelation yesterday while reading some Narcolepsy experiences.

When I was 7 years old I didn't have curtains in my bedroom. And our backyard did not have a fence. My parents were just down the hall watching a movie or something. I was going to bed, and it was dark outside. I remember seeing an old man outside my window, he was wiping my window. I remember hearing the rag against the glass. I yelled for my Dad who came and checked it out, but there was no one there. I have never had an explanation to this, but always believed that it was real. No doubt in my mind. Until yesterday. When it occurred to me that it was probably a hallucination that I experienced while falling asleep.

Since then I only remember a few, but none quite as real as that one. When I have them I usually feel like they are real, but once I awake I'm not confused and know they were not real. But they can be very disconcerting and scary during the experience.

Also. I don't know if this is some type of HH but sometimes when I'm falling asleep, especially when I'm not only mentally tired (as I like to call my EDS) but physically tired as well. I will be in that half awake and half asleep state and I get a rush of images. These 'images' are accompanied by some form of auditory. I remember once it was classical music. And I'm aware of being awake but not fully - and usually struggle to wake up from them. I have no control of the images, they usually start out with mundane things, landscape images or animals, but usually end up getting scary (I am afraid of the deep ocean, and often images of this come up). They just go and go and go, and I can't stop them or control them. Eventually I manage to wake up, and despite being exhausted have to keep my eyes open for a minute or two, otherwise I've fallen right back into them. :S Anyone know if this is a form of HH?

#2 SleepyRaffie

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 12:54 PM

Hi,

The frequency of mine seems to vary. They are pretty infrequent and benign right now. I did start complaining to my husband a couple weeks ago about his not turning off his phone(its pretty bright) even though I had asked him multiple times. Turns out it was the first time I asked even though I could swear I asked and he grunted each time and did not turn it off. Oh well.


I was having them much more frequently a couple of years ago. It was still only a few times a week at the most. For me it is usually the largest spider you can imagine sliding down his web onto my bed. It do not have SP during these though I do get it. I will sit up and keep my eyes on the spider while I get up out of bed and go to turn on the light. When I turn on the light the spider dissolves, but I still look for it and sometimes sleep with the light on. Even though I know it is not real, I have trouble shaking it.


As a child I had some pretty convincing ones too. I had one where I heard an alien ship landing in the lot next to me. I refused to look out the window. I am not sure if I would have seen anything if I had, but boy was I freaked out.


Colleen

#3 emilatte

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 11:39 PM

I've always wondered if what I experience are Hypnagogic Hallucinations or just an overactive imagination. Most of the time it's like extremely disturbing vivid images that I can't get out of my head when I close my eyes to fall asleep and I'm too terrified to open my eyes because it feels like something/someone is in my room next to me and I feel like if I actually do open my eyes I'll prove to myself that something is actually there. Agh this is so hard to explain!

#4 robbor21

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 05:18 AM

I used to experience HH on a daily basis, Xyrem has decreased the frequency dramatically. Some of the things I have heard are:various types of music, conversations (that I'm not participating in) when no one is there, someone snoring next to me so loud I told them to shut up (I was alone) and I heard my mother scream rape when she was out of town and I was the only one home as a teenager. Some of the experiences are: the sensation of rising or falling as I went to sleep, the mattress/cushion vibrating like a massage chair and I would feel something "pet" (like one would with a dog or cat) my leg.
A lot of the hallucinations I had involved me fighting something that was trying to get into the house. I was recently told by one of the doctors that a lot of people with N believe they have been abducted by aliens. This is because we experience sleep paralysis and when you do so you sense that something or someone is in the room with you.
The thing I find really odd is I seem to remember a very similar experience to exanimo when I was younger. It is my earliest memory and it happened when I was 4 or 5. What I remember is my uncle who is about 13 years older than me was staying over that night and was sleeping in my room on the trundle bed. I remember looking out the window into the backyard and seeing a man or something and having a conversation with it. I can then see me walking with it toward the a evergreen bush at the end of the yard.

#5 SleepyRaffie

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:03 AM

robbor21,

That just put my SP in a whole new light. On many occassions I would have it and sense/see someone come into my room. It was always non-threatening though so I thought it was my roommate. But really, why would my roommate be coming in my room to check on me in the middle of the night or the early morning? Haha!


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#6 thecatnapper

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:56 AM

I have this really bad. I've only recently learned that this is not a normal thing that happens to everyone. If I had known I would have seen a doctor about it years ago. I see flashes of still images while falling asleep. Most of the time it's some wacky off the wall thing that I see. About 10 years ago I started calling this "pre-dreaming" because it usually happens for a minute or so and then I fall into a real dream that's more like watching a movie in my mind. I've always used it to gauge when I'm falling asleep. Sometimes I hear sounds like the door bell ringing, music playing, phone ringing, or someone knocking at the door. Other times it's frightening sounds like a loud boom or glass shattering. I can also smell things like perfume or foods cooking and I've smelled rotten smells when having nightmares. I have the vibrating bed sensation and almost every night since childhood I have the feeling that someone sits down at the foot of the bed as I'm falling asleep. It has never scared me because it just feels like someone is watching over me. It is so interesting how different people experience different things and I think it's mostly according to what your worst fears are. I see that a lot of people see spiders but my worst fears are snakes, drowning, and home invasion so those are the things I mainly have bad dreams or hallucinations about.

#7 sometimes

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:41 PM

My DX is IH, and my HH is infrequent. I would say it occurs once every 1-6 months. When I was 4-5 years old I would see monsters and stuff next to my bed (not under it), I think, more often....but maybe that is normal, or at least, more normal, for child. I'm not really sure.

#8 Ashmo

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 09:32 PM

Hello all :] I am 24 years old, recently diagnosed in May with Narcolepsy without Cataplexy. I have been struggling with EDS ever since I can remember but it has recently gotten worse the last 2 years, even more the last 6 months.

I have VERY vivid dreams on a nightly basis. I have also experience HH maybe once a month or so. I find HH FASCINATING!! I'll share some of mine with you!

About 5 years ago: I woke up (middle of the night/very dark outside) and got out of my bed because I thought somebody was breaking into my car. I walked around my bed to the window and pressed my face against it and looked out towards my car. I saw the drivers-side door open with a man dressed in black leaning into the car rummaging through my stuff. I was in 'shock' that this was actually happening so I took a step back from the window and kind of shook my head to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I then opened the window and yelled outside "HELLO!!" Then I looked at my car again and realized that nobody was there. Next, I walked across my room to grab my car keys and went back to the window to hit the door-lock button so the lights would flash, and again, nobody was there. I was super confused and simply crawled back into bed and fell asleep!

I know that I was dreaming because if somebody was really breaking into my car I wouldn't of yelled "HELLO!!" Haha.. Hey, have fun stealing my stuff! I would have ran downstairs to wake up my step-dad! It is such a weird feeling because I remember it like it was yesterday, but people who sleepwalk don't ever remember it!? I do not recall sleep walking before or after this incident..

About a year ago I woke up in the middle of the night and looked above our dresser and saw a large glistening/sparkling red, melon-sized spider hanging from the ceiling (I have a huge fear of spiders). I swung my arm and hit my fiance and said "Hey! There's a spider!!" He was like "What?!" and I said "There's a spider hanging there!" He then said "No there isn't Ashley, what are you talking about?!" I said "Oh, okay.." and went back to bed.

I have heard the alarm clock radio playing at a very quiet sound. I woke my fiance up and told him to shut it off, he said that it wasn't on. I still heard it and told him another two times to shut it off, then fell back asleep..

I used to get the feeling that somebody was in my room watching me sleep and it really freaked me out. I would pull the covers over my head until I finally fell asleep. It was NOT a good feeling at all. Now that I moved out of my mother's house I do not get that feeling anymore, thankfully.

I have recently self-diagnosed myself with Exploding Head Syndrome. I didn't even know this was an actual 'syndrome,' I often hear very loud booms or crashes when I start falling asleep.. I guess I just always thought it was normal. But with finally having a diagnosis of N I am starting to realize that all these symptoms are NOT normal haha.


Happy sleeping all!
:D

#9 Megssosleepy

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 01:55 PM

I've always wondered if what I experience are Hypnagogic Hallucinations or just an overactive imagination. Most of the time it's like extremely disturbing vivid images that I can't get out of my head when I close my eyes to fall asleep and I'm too terrified to open my eyes because it feels like something/someone is in my room next to me and I feel like if I actually do open my eyes I'll prove to myself that something is actually there. Agh this is so hard to explain!


That was me to the T!! I saw things and felt things all the time when I was young! I think you dont have to explain to much because most of us understand 100%

#10 Megssosleepy

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 02:04 PM

I have this really bad. I've only recently learned that this is not a normal thing that happens to everyone. If I had known I would have seen a doctor about it years ago. I see flashes of still images while falling asleep. Most of the time it's some wacky off the wall thing that I see. About 10 years ago I started calling this "pre-dreaming" because it usually happens for a minute or so and then I fall into a real dream that's more like watching a movie in my mind. I've always used it to gauge when I'm falling asleep. Sometimes I hear sounds like the door bell ringing, music playing, phone ringing, or someone knocking at the door. Other times it's frightening sounds like a loud boom or glass shattering. I can also smell things like perfume or foods cooking and I've smelled rotten smells when having nightmares. I have the vibrating bed sensation and almost every night since childhood I have the feeling that someone sits down at the foot of the bed as I'm falling asleep. It has never scared me because it just feels like someone is watching over me. It is so interesting how different people experience different things and I think it's mostly according to what your worst fears are. I see that a lot of people see spiders but my worst fears are snakes, drowning, and home invasion so those are the things I mainly have bad dreams or hallucinations about.



I think we already spoke about this in another post :wacko: but I have the bed vibrating and music and creepy noises. My bad ones are always demons and satin... When I was younger they took the form of witches and rotting corpse... I see ants crawling on the walls all the time. First time that happened I was only 3!!! I came out of my room crying over and over, every time the lights came on, the ants were gone. I enjoy the music tho... sometimes I can concentrate on it and it will become almost like going to a live show, singing (more like humming)

2 nights ago I drempt i was cold in my car... i awoke and i was pulling my blanket into the car... that was now sitting on my bed! I also have many where my puppy is actually talking to be or giving me a sweet hug, I like those the best!

#11 Lang1725

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 12:41 PM

I've experienced something very similar. I don't know that I've had a visual hallucination, but I remember waking up as a child and swearing that there had been someone in the room with me. Like someone standing at the edge of the bed. I even could hear them breathing. But no one was there. I thought it was a ghost at the time, but I don't believe in ghosts anymore.

I have a ton of auditory hallucinations. Since being diagnosed, I am so much more aware of them. I hear music a lot. Yesterday, my boyfriend left the house with his two children and I was still asleep. I swear I heard them come back at least three times before they actually did. I heard the door open, the keys jingling, the dog barking, the kids laughing....And none of it was real. It's a little scary, but now that I have a (tentative) diagnosis, it makes a lot more sense.

The other thing you described is something that I've always considered dreaming while you're still awake. And not a daydream, obviously. But I get that a lot. As I'm dozing off, I know that I'm not fully asleep, but I will start to dream. I have no control over it. I might be able to wake myself up from it, I'm not sure. I don't think I've tried because, fortunately, the images don't tend to scare me. But that happens quite often, especially if I'm really tired.

#12 exanimo

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:27 PM

I've experienced something very similar. I don't know that I've had a visual hallucination, but I remember waking up as a child and swearing that there had been someone in the room with me. Like someone standing at the edge of the bed. I even could hear them breathing. But no one was there. I thought it was a ghost at the time, but I don't believe in ghosts anymore.

I have a ton of auditory hallucinations. Since being diagnosed, I am so much more aware of them. I hear music a lot. Yesterday, my boyfriend left the house with his two children and I was still asleep. I swear I heard them come back at least three times before they actually did. I heard the door open, the keys jingling, the dog barking, the kids laughing....And none of it was real. It's a little scary, but now that I have a (tentative) diagnosis, it makes a lot more sense.

The other thing you described is something that I've always considered dreaming while you're still awake. And not a daydream, obviously. But I get that a lot. As I'm dozing off, I know that I'm not fully asleep, but I will start to dream. I have no control over it. I might be able to wake myself up from it, I'm not sure. I don't think I've tried because, fortunately, the images don't tend to scare me. But that happens quite often, especially if I'm really tired.


I do that a lot, the auditory hallucinations. Just like you said about thinking you hear people coming in, when they're not. If someone leaves or I'm taking a nap on the couch, I often think I hear conversations or hear people come in or out. But none of it is real! It's so frustrating. I often wake up with the intention of asking a person if they said something. And anytime that I have ever asked, they always tell me that it never happened. >.< I find that it's interesting that you say it happens when you're really tired, because this is usually when I'm more prone to experiencing them as well. I think I mentioned it in my original post, but during the 'vivid stills' I am so tired that I just want to wake up from it but usually can't, at least not right away. Eventually I'm able to, but it's so difficult. And even if I do, I have to be careful not to go right back to sleep, because if I do, I just go back in to the hallucination.

#13 gutterpunkprincess

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:44 AM

I have similar experiences to what a lot of you have posted.
When I'm falling asleep I see images in my head ranging from dots moving around to very vivid images of faces that morph into some kind of landscape that morph into something else.. It's usually still images that change into other things. A lot of times it's familiar faces, people I actually know, but often they are distorted in some grotesque way. It doesn't scare me..I guess I'm used to it. I kind of like it actually.
When I wake up.. it's way worse. I'll open my eyes and there are people walking around in my apartment. I live alone. Sometimes it's just a person walking around.. Once as a child it was my great grandmother, and she actually spoke to me, but I can't remember what she said. She passed away a few days later.
And every now and then it will be some kind of monster or.. usually a guy with a chainsaw or an axe. Those are the worst ones.
I also hear music in my head for about the first 30 minutes or so after waking. Classical music.. Usually sounds like someone playing a piano.

#14 Hank

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:40 AM

I have similar experiences to what a lot of you have posted.
When I'm falling asleep I see images in my head ranging from dots moving around to very vivid images of faces that morph into some kind of landscape that morph into something else.. It's usually still images that change into other things. A lot of times it's familiar faces, people I actually know, but often they are distorted in some grotesque way. It doesn't scare me..I guess I'm used to it. I kind of like it actually.
When I wake up.. it's way worse. I'll open my eyes and there are people walking around in my apartment. I live alone. Sometimes it's just a person walking around.. Once as a child it was my great grandmother, and she actually spoke to me, but I can't remember what she said. She passed away a few days later.
And every now and then it will be some kind of monster or.. usually a guy with a chainsaw or an axe. Those are the worst ones.
I also hear music in my head for about the first 30 minutes or so after waking. Classical music.. Usually sounds like someone playing a piano.



I hear music when I wake up also also- not all the time. Sometimes I will hear music a few days in a row. Other times, I will go for weeks without hearing anything. I had never realized this could be a symptom of anything, since it does not bother me. I just thought I had a "song stuck in my head".

#15 gutterpunkprincess

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:46 AM

I hear music when I wake up also also- not all the time. Sometimes I will hear music a few days in a row. Other times, I will go for weeks without hearing anything. I had never realized this could be a symptom of anything, since it does not bother me. I just thought I had a "song stuck in my head".



To me it's different than having a song stuck in my head because in this case it's not anything familiar, like a song i would recognize. Sometimes it's made up of things I recognize like the melody that plays when my alarm clock goes off, or a tune from a song, but it's morphed into something else entirely and it sounds like a piano.

#16 Megssosleepy

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:09 PM

To me it's different than having a song stuck in my head because in this case it's not anything familiar, like a song i would recognize. Sometimes it's made up of things I recognize like the melody that plays when my alarm clock goes off, or a tune from a song, but it's morphed into something else entirely and it sounds like a piano.


The music I hear is usually wordless and very melodic and classical. I really enjoy it, and it helps me fall asleep faster. :) Mine are usually a piano as well but if I listen closely enough I can hear other instruments or even a slight hum of a human voice.

#17 Megssosleepy

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:16 PM

I do that a lot, the auditory hallucinations. Just like you said about thinking you hear people coming in, when they're not. If someone leaves or I'm taking a nap on the couch, I often think I hear conversations or hear people come in or out. But none of it is real! It's so frustrating. I often wake up with the intention of asking a person if they said something. And anytime that I have ever asked, they always tell me that it never happened. >.< I find that it's interesting that you say it happens when you're really tired, because this is usually when I'm more prone to experiencing them as well. I think I mentioned it in my original post, but during the 'vivid stills' I am so tired that I just want to wake up from it but usually can't, at least not right away. Eventually I'm able to, but it's so difficult. And even if I do, I have to be careful not to go right back to sleep, because if I do, I just go back in to the hallucination.


I find when I am overly tired and stressed I have more SP with HH, and I do tend to get stuck where I force myself awake but fall right back in, and they get scarier and scarier each time.

When I was a kid I had this really nasty witch that like to scrap her long nails on the window... or ants would crawl on the ceiling. I also saw dark shadows and felt a weight on my bed.

When I was younger I would hear all sorts of stuff, and is why I was such a scared little child... I heard voices, creaking, doors opening, and stuff moving in my closet.

Recently my HH has improved 10 fold, they are very slight and dont tend to be as scary. The music still plays almost every night, but I think its cuz I allow it... I havent been dragged to hell by demons in almost a year!

#18 sweetest_shone

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:50 AM

It looks like its been while since anyone has posted on this thread, but this is a good one so I didn't want to start a whole new one. But I have a question about HH. I know I experience this, when I'm in bed in that half awake half asleep floaty sleep I hear the TV on in the other room when it's not on. This has been going on for years, much before my N Dx. I just thought it was me.

Something new here for the last few weeks is I hear my hubby come home at night. He works nights and he usually gets home late around 11pm or sometimes as late as 1 or 2 am. If i am asleep I hear the key in the door and the front door open. But it's not him b/c a short time later 15-45 mins later I hear him really come in. The screen door, the keys in door, the front door open and the alarm chime and he sets all his things down and goes back out to walk the dog.

I thought that my hearing that and the fact that it wasn't real was HH. But here is where my question comes in. The same thing happened last night except for I was fully awake. Or at least I thought I was. I was on my phone on this site, I was actually on here browsing through and reading different things. This really freaks me out b/c I'm 100 percent sure that I was awake. And I was even getting annoyed b/c it was several minutes and I still hadn't heard him take out the dog. And then, like I said about 20-30 mins after I heard that he came in for real and took the dog right out.
I don't understand this. Can you have HH and be fully awake?? Totally starting to get freaked out.

#19 MINItron

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 01:22 PM

I thought that my hearing that and the fact that it wasn't real was HH. But here is where my question comes in. The same thing happened last night except for I was fully awake. Or at least I thought I was. I was on my phone on this site, I was actually on here browsing through and reading different things. This really freaks me out b/c I'm 100 percent sure that I was awake. And I was even getting annoyed b/c it was several minutes and I still hadn't heard him take out the dog. And then, like I said about 20-30 mins after I heard that he came in for real and took the dog right out.
I don't understand this. Can you have HH and be fully awake?? Totally starting to get freaked out.

 

It's possible that you were not as awake as you thought you were. If you were comfortable, and browsing away you may have started to go to sleep without realizing it. That could explain the HH. I now that I have many times started to drift off while browsing the web without really noticing what is happening. You could have even started to slip into the realm of Automatic Behaviour if you were still reading and clicking through to links. I usually only get HH and SP under very specific conditions though.



#20 DeathRabbit

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 01:43 PM

^What he said. One time I was at work and I heard my boss just screaming my name down the hall. So I ran to his office all flustered and he wasn't even there. He was on lunch break.