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redhen4's avatar

Has anyone else had hypnogogic hallucinations?

Asked by redhen4 (520points) October 1st, 2010

These are hallucinations that occur as you are falling asleep but not all the way asleep. Mine happen almost an hour to the minute from the time I turn the lights out.
I found a blog online but cannot find it again.
Some people say these are why people think they’ve been “alien abduction”. I don’t do that but sometimes get some really frightening ones-like being watched by a hole in the wall or ceiling, and these are getting more clever in the “how’s” they find ways to watch me.
I turn on the light to make them go away. I “know” they are not real, but in the moment it is a different story.

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6 Answers

illu's avatar

Yes, I’ve had this occur. Research Far Journey’s by Monroe at

lillycoyote's avatar

Hypnagogic hallucinations are a surprisingly hot topic on fluther. You might check the comments on some of these threads.

perspicacious's avatar

You should talk to a professional. Your description doesn’t really fit.

the100thmonkey's avatar

It strikes me as more similar to sleep paralysis than hyponogogic hallucination.

I experienced it a great deal during my late teens and early twenties. I suspect that the experiences were strongly associated with the kind and volumes of drugs I was taking at the time (ecstacy & other amphetamines; a lot), although this may not be the reason for your experiences.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I get these quite often just before falling asleep. I have a love/hate relationship with them as something profound usually comes to me in these last waking moments, then I pass out shortly after and forget everything lol.

The whole aliens thing and a lot of the other reports I’ve read on them sound strikingly similar to that of DMT trips. This would make sense though as this is the reason we dream at night :)

wundayatta's avatar

It sounds like sleep paralysis, as @the100thmonkey said, except that they happen when you go to sleep, not when you are waking up. Actually, I have to question that. How could you remember a dream you had when you were going to sleep? Surely you’d have all kinds of other dreams before you woke up, and those would be on your mind, not the ones at the beginning of the REM cycle.

As I understand it (and I’m not taking the time to look it up right now), the REM cycle happens towards morning. I don’t know if sleep paralysis or hypnagogic hallucinations occur during REM sleep or separate from it. Interesting question.

Anyway, my quess is that you think it happened just as you fell asleep, but it actually happened much further along, and indeed, it may be that they occur as you wake up, even though you experience it as being when you fall asleep. If so, it would be more standard sleep paralysis.

In any case, if you’re worried about it, see a sleep doctor. If they don’t bother you, then have fun with them. Mine them for material, if you’re a writer.

It is possible to turn them into lucid dreams (so you know you are dreaming while you dream). If you do that, you can gain more control over them. You can keep them from getting scary or freaky more easily.

These dreams are yours. They don’t come from outside anywhere. You can make them into what you want them to be, with practice. But they don’t mean anything about reality. They do not show real things. They are dreams, like other dreams—except you are awake as you dream them.

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