Hypnagogic Hallucinations are those 'awake dreams' you experience as you are falling asleep.
Hypnopompic hallucinations happen just as you are waking up. They are both commonly referred to as sleep paralysis.
You feel completely awake through these episodes but most often can't move or cry out. The types of hypnagogic hallucinations vary from person to person and also in intensity.
They are usually images that are frightening or out of proportion, like giant spiders or demons. You can also feel as though what you are seeing is going on right at that very moment and you are participating in it.
Some people experience tingling sensations running through their bodies, a suffocating weight on their chest, you may even feel like you are being transported to another dimension or place.
They can be absolutely terrifying since it is so very difficult to separate what is a dream and what is truly happening to you, it all feels real and like it is going on right now.
What really happens
Very simply put your body has shut down your muscles, a natural occurrence when we sleep, but it's misfired a wee bit and done it before you are fully asleep. This makes you aware that you can't move but dreaming has set in and it all feels like something has gone terribly wrong.
The good news is it's usually nothing to be concerned about medically, and a lot of people experience this. That is still small comfort to you if it is accompanied by frightening sensations and images. You can know you are having nightmares and still be affected by them.
If you can lower your stress level and get plenty of restful sleep these episodes will usually fade away. That can be difficult to do and will likely take some extra effort, but if it gets rid of the episodes or gives you control of them, it is well worth it.
If you understand what hypnagogic hallucinations are you can most often shift the scary episodes into something a little more pleasant or even stop them from happening altogether. You may find a cure for sleep paralysis of interest as it gives you instructions on how to accomplish this and more helpful advice.
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