Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hypnogogic Hallucinations

Hypnogogic Hallucinations???, huh?

Hypnagogic sensations are vivid dream-like experiences that occur as one is falling asleep or waking up. Accompanying sleep paralysis can cause the sensations to be more frightening. The features of these sensations generally vary by individual, but some are more common to the experience than others:

Most common
Falling sensation

Sensing a "presence" (often malevolent)
Pressure/weight on body (especially the chest or back).
A sensation of not being able to breathe
Impending sense of doom/death

Fairly common
Auditory sensations (often footsteps or indistinct voices, or pulsing noises). Auditory sensations which are described as noise instead of sensations of legible sounds, are often described to be similar to auditory sensations caused by Nitrous Oxide by persons who have experienced both.
Visual sensations such as lights, people or shadows walking around the room

Less common
Floating sensations (sometimes associated with out-of-body experiences)
Seamless transition into fully immersive lucid dreaming, also associated with out-of-body experiences
Tactile sensations (such as a hand touching or grabbing)

Involuntary movements (sometimes the feeling of sliding off the bed or even up walls).
The feeling of being pulled in different directions

My Experiences

I have had these hallucinations since I was 19 years old, and have noticed that they are brought on by stress. I have been amused by them most of the time, but have wondered if there is something wrong with me. One of these days I may consult some professional help (shouldn't we all?), but for now I will enjoy my hallucinagenic episodes.

I know of a couple of other people who have them. I have only asked about 5 or six people if they have the same type of experiences, and two have said yes. Both women in their 20's and 30's. And their episoded coincide with stress in their lives.

Both are frightened by them, but recover quickly. One sees their ceiling fan slow and speed up, and also has tactile hallucinations. She experiences paralysis, but eventually can "wiggle" out of it. She also feels her sheets tighten down on her or move on their own.

The other has far more frightening hallucinations involving seeing people in her room. Mine normally involve snakes and spiders, orbs, and a variety of other things. I have only had two with human like figures. I have listed them below with the approximate years they have occured.

List of Occurances:
1988 - Opened my eyes to see the open closet at the foot of my bed become a laundromat. "Zombies" or dead bodies started to climb out of the washing machines and dryers. I experienced paralysis with this one. As I shook out of it, the image faded away.

1988 - I was sick at the time, so I think this one was more fever induced. I saw an illuminated figure floating above me.

Eleven years elapsed before the next one. They coincided with starting college and a year long separation from my husband.

1999 - Watched a white light spin over the bed for a few minutes. This was one of the more peaceful ones.

1999 - The laundry beside my bed "lurched" at me. It was like someone was under the sheets. It merited a scream, and was one of the more scary ones. Notice the reoccuring laundry theme. Hmmmm.

1999 - Watched a red orb float through my living room before it escaped up the fireplace. Again, one of the peacefull ones.

1999 - Was drifting off to sleep, feeling like I was floating through the air. In my mind I was in my living room at the apartment I lived in at the time. I suddenly dropped at felt like I was bouncing. Funny thing is, I woke on the chase lounge, but swore I started out on the couch.

2000 - Woke up to find thousands of slithering snakes on my ceiling. I yelled at Joe to wake up. Of course once he woke up the snakes evaporated.

2001 - Woke up to find a man with long, wild hair standing at the side of my bed, lurching over me. I experienced paralysis on this one. Eventually he just faded.

2004 - Look over my bed and saw a spider about to have babies. It's belly popped and hundreds of spiders dropped down. Sort of looked like a chandelier. Of course I screamed and woke poor Joe up.

2006 - Saw a shadowy spider on the ceiling, but could not tell exactly what it was. I yelled at Joe to wake up and asked him was the fuck was crawling on the ceiling.

Again, poor Joe. I don't think it's as much the fact that I wake him up. It's more that I don't even need drugs for this kind of experience.

I know there are more, but that's all I can remember. Most of the time they are relaly entertaining. They can give me quite a jolt for a moment until my mind realizes that there is nothing there.

If you have these experiences, let me know!


Jared said...

I've now had 2 of these hallucinations, although I know it was real!

Experience 1: I was lying in bed watching the clock, and this shadow between my lamp and closet door started walking over to me. It leaned over and whispered in my ear "The moon is breaking apart, the world is ending". And then I got up, and went downstairs.

Experience 2: I was lying in bed again watching the clock. The same shadowy woman walked over to me and leaned over and whispered in my ear again. This time she said, "I know who you are. Wake up, Jared." Creepy creepy creepy.

Anonymous said...

i also have simalar Experiences like this just before i go to sleep i see a spider crawling down my wall but when i jump up and turn on the light its gone . i always wake up joe . poor joe . no joke this is true . any 1 else had this ????? joe is my friend