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What are Hypnagogic Hallucinations?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 21, 2024
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Hypnagogic hallucinations are hallucinations which occur at the boundary between sleeping and waking. They can occur when people are falling asleep, or when they are starting to wake up, and they tend to be extremely vivid, feeling like a Technicolor Oz after the black and white Kansas of every day life. Many people experience hypnagogic hallucinations at some point during their lives, but recurrent intense hallucinations can be a sign of an underlying medical condition which may require treatment.

Visual, auditory, tactile, and kinetic sensations can all be experienced during hypnagogic hallucinations, and everyone experiences slightly different forms. Some people, for example, may feel like they are falling, and jerk themselves awake to avoid hitting the ground. Others may hear voices as they are trying to drift off to sleep, or experience a vivid sensation that someone or something is in the room. Sensory experiences such as feeling like one is submerged in a pool of water are also not uncommon.

In some cases, hypnagogic hallucinations can be frightening for the people who experience them. They may include vivid and frightening images, including images which are out of scale, which can make the hallucinations seem even more unsettling; people may see giant spiders on the walls, for example, or feel like they have shrunk down to a tiny size in the bed. The vivid experiences may also be brought to mind over the course of the day, causing inexplicable images or sensations to filter through someone's consciousness at an unexpected moment.

The cause of hypnagogic hallucinations is not fully understood. These hallucinations tend to be more common in people with sleep disorders, especially narcolepsy, but they can also appear as a side effect related to prescription drugs, and drug abusers often experience them as well. Hypnagogic hallucinations tend to be more common in young people, especially children, which may be because their minds are still developing and forming pathways, which can occasionally lead to some crossed wires.

If someone experiences numerous hypnagogic hallucinations, repetitive or not, it is a good idea to see a doctor to check for health problems which could be related to the experiences. If no cause is evident, a psychologist or similar mental health professional might be able to explore the subconscious causes and help the patient deal with the hallucinations. Consulting a psychologist can also yield useful tips for people who are shaken or upset by hypnagogic hallucinations, even if the hallucinations continue to occur.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All The Science researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon1003586 — On Jul 27, 2020

Absolute disingenuous article. During the state of near sleep and coming out of sleep, you are still connected to your higher consciousness which exists externally from your physical body. You are a spiritual being in a physical body having a life experience. Please understand that these articles are deliberately placed to make you believe the opposite! Take the time to learn about who and what you really are because there exists a Deep State Cabal that do not want you to know this and spread disinformation like this everywhere they can.

By anon1001969 — On Aug 06, 2019

I'm 14 years old. I've had these vivid pictures pop into my head for as long as I can remember. They usually randomly come up as my childhood nightmares, like slenderman. Though most of the time, they appear as little toys I clearly remember playing with as a child. But sometimes I feel like a have a magnet in my mouth, or I'm falling, then jerking myself fully awake... and weirdly, peeing my pants, haha. I've always tried talking to my mom or my five other siblings about it, but they never knew what I was talking about. It was a bit embarrassing to think I was the only one who had this "issue." I just recently started researching it curious to find out what this really was. And now that I know, I'm feeling extremely relieved to know I'm not the only one.

By apocalyps3 — On Apr 27, 2015

I'm 37 and have had these for as far back as I can remember. They occur in batches. I'll sleep normally for a month or two and then I'll have four or five days in a row of these visions. The subject of the visions change a lot, but usually they are about bugs/insects crawling around on the bed. Or recently of bugs inside the mattress and I can feel them burrowing under my legs and then through the mattress into my legs. This sounds more terrifying than how I actually experience them. It wakes me up and is confusing, but I'm not really scared. I get more upset that it causes me to lose sleep, than anything else. It can be frustrating because it doesn't happen just once a night and then its over. Generally it'll happen two or three times a night (usually about 30-60 minutes after falling asleep).

I've tried to explain the experiences to my wife, but I'm not sure she really gets it, that I can truly see and feel the visions, that I'm not sleep dreaming. Usually, she sleeps through all of it. A few times I've talked/yelled at the visions in frustration, but that's been rare.

I'm not too concerned about it, as other than a few nights of interrupted sleep, it's never been upsetting or damaging. The only unfortunate thing is that I seem to have passed it on to my daughter. The last two nights in a row she's woken us upset saying that there are ants crawling on her bed and that she can still see them. Knowing what she's experiencing, I've been able to help her through it (usually just laying on a blanket or switching blankets causes the hallucinations to stop for the night). Hopefully it's just been a series of bad dreams rather than something she'll continue on with, but it sounds exactly like what I experience.

By starlight11 — On Apr 08, 2015

I am 22 years old and I have had hallucinations for as long as I can remember. I will have a lot of them at a time and then have none for a long time. I only recently decided to look into these scary experiences and finally find out if I am crazy. I remember years ago my pillow and chair were talking to me when I thought I was awake. I thought I was going crazy. But as years went by, the hallucinations began to become more vivid and went from spiders and giant glowing colorful lights to people.

A little over a year ago, I was lying on the couch, facing the back of the couch. I remember opening my eyes and in the crack of the back of the couch, an eyeball was staring at me. Shortly after I was lying in my bed on my stomach, I opened my eyes and a young child was lying next to me, staring. This probably was the scariest experience because it ended with me running to the bathroom and crying. The latest hallucinations were a couple of months ago when I got married and moved in with my husband.

I woke up freaking out and pointing at a black dog by the bed. I scared my husband and my white dog started to bark at the space where the black dog was. I have no idea why I have these hallucinations because I do not have any sleeping disorders (that I know of). I am happy I found some explanation for these experiences throughout the years.

By anon978898 — On Nov 22, 2014

I am a paranoid schizophrenic with depression. As someone who deals with auditory hallucinations on a regular basis, I can say knowing it is not real is half the battle. I also have had cases of sleep paralysis, as well as a doomed sense that someone is in my house when I am asleep. It's mostly terrifying because I cannot wake up no matter how hard I try. But with the sleep paralysis/apnea, fighting the paralysis and trying to shake myself awake have helped wake me up. My suggestion to anyone dealing with this is to see a psychologist, a medical doctor, and a psychiatrist.

By anon978331 — On Nov 16, 2014

My hypnagogic hallucinations revolve around my mind believing people are getting into my house at night. For instance, when awake, I know that the lights shining through my bedroom window is the streetlight and/or a passing car turning a corner by the house. To my mind though, when determined, I can "see" shadows of people outside shining flashlights through the window to see in. I know it's not real, but it doesn't stop the feeling of adrenaline and my heartbeat to increase until I turn on my bedside lamp, almost to prove to my brain that it's not real.

In another area of my room, I have a router (network) with flashing green lights. It's a small, stationary box, but when I hallucinate, the box and lights move around slowly, almost like a security camera tilting up, down, left and right. And again, it sometimes appears like the lights are coming from the outside, like people are outside trying to get in through a hole in the wall. It's very scary, not because of the imagery, but the fact that I am awake, and I know its not real (or at least half of my brain does). The other half, however, believes the hallucination is real until I "prove it" by either getting up and touching the object or turning the light on. le sigh.

By anon977782 — On Nov 12, 2014

For the last eight years or so I have experienced hypnagogic hallucinations. They usually occur in conjunction with sleep paralysis, shortly before falling asleep. I will wake up and see something I know is not there. I often see snakes, or people. On one occasion I thought my ceiling fan was going to crash on top of me and after a second I realized that I was standing on my bed trying to hold the ceiling up. The most recent episode was a few days ago; I thought a woman's head was resting on the chair next to the bed I was sleeping on. Usually at times like these I experience fleeting fear and then promptly fall back asleep because I know it isn't real.

By anon958437 — On Jun 27, 2014

I get "brain zaps" and internal visions (not hallucinations) of spiders before falling asleep, and through research I have come to believe that the brain zaps are after-effects of withdrawal from antipsychotic medications which I stopped taking years ago. At least I have been able to find some information about it online.

But in addition to the brain zaps, I sometimes also experience painful "phantom" sensations like I'm being slapped and punched in the face. It's like torture. Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this?

By anon954863 — On Jun 04, 2014

Last night I had my first hallucination. About an hour into my sleep, I awoke in my dark room to a light breeze being blown over my face and when I turned to see where it had come from, two or three child-sized shadows were at the edge of my bed. Instantly, an egg shaped portal opened from my closet, with nearly blinding light and what seemed to be gale-force winds blowing against me.

The light was like nothing I had ever seen, and the portal seemed multi-dimensional. It looked like a bomb in mid explosion but had depth too it. The figures leaped into the light and the portal closed with a loud swoosh.

I was completely paralyzed, and although I tried, I couldn't scream. I thought I had been abducted by aliens, but when I turned on my light, nothing in the room was out of place. Although it was horrifying, I feel relieved that others have had these hallucinations but if anyone has had one similar to mine please let me know.

By anon952120 — On May 19, 2014

This happens to me occasionally when I'm overtired and finally allow myself to try to sleep. I feel like my brain is on overload and images start appearing. Some "feel" scary/evil. Its like dreaming while I'm still awake and its unnerving. I too have seen spiders. That's pretty odd so many have mentioned them. I have had spider dreams since I was young. I have since done a lot of research and think spider symbolism is more of a positive thing now.

By anon946705 — On Apr 21, 2014

Red yarn! I see all kinds of different hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations, ranging from the benign to the terrifying, but most often I wake up to see loose red yarn, hanging in the air a few feet above my face. It's just damned weird, is what it is.

By anon931713 — On Feb 10, 2014

@anon931574: I spoke to my Aunty today about my paralysis and hallucinations and apparently she experienced the same things. I think its a genetic thing -- runs in the family. At one point with all the hallucinations and paralysis she also thought she was haunted. She would sometimes wake up with her heart beating so fast because it scared her when she was stuck in the paralysis for so long. So she went to a sleep specialist where she stayed overnight and they had electrodes stuck on her body to test what was happening.

The nurse came in after not long after she fell asleep and told her that during her sleep she had stopped breathing. This caused not enough oxygen to go to her brain, hence the sleep paralysis. She found out that she was suffering from sleep apnea and now has to sleep with a mask that helps the air flow go into her lungs better. The doctor said she had the chance of her whole body system shutting down if the oxygen didn't flow through. Since she started using the machine she doesn't suffer from any more sleep paralysis or hallucinations.

I realized when she told me this that most times when I get sleep paralysis is when I am lying on my back. Somehow in this position my neck falls back on itself and prevents air from coming through my throat passages.

By anon931574 — On Feb 09, 2014

I am 21 years old. I've been having hallucinations for a few years now. I've always remembered that when I have dreams they've always been more vivid than anyone else I know. Sometimes when I am being stabbed or my throat is slit in my dream I can actually feel these sensations.

There have been times when I lie in my bed and while starting to fall asleep, I can hear voices of familiar people in the room with me, talking to one another when really they are not there. Sometimes I hear myself replying and having a conversation with the people in my room when really no one is there and I really haven't said a word.

There have been times where I've had at least five sleep paralysis episodes before I actually can sleep. I've felt like there was a stranger lying next to me and holding both my hands down and no matter how hard I try to pull away, it would just resist. I could even feel the weight of their head next to my arm.

I've always realized that I’m always sleepy, even in the daytime after a good night’s rest. When I’m the passenger in a car, I fall asleep really easily. Even when I'm out sometimes in a large crowd in the dance club, I yawn a lot and would rather be in bed sleeping. I thought I was just lazier than other people, but I think I am actually suffering from narcolepsy. I haven’t been diagnosed yet, but am looking to see a doctor about it soon. After realizing that could be it, I am less afraid. I really thought I was haunted before, with all the hallucinations and sleep paralysis!

By anon930862 — On Feb 06, 2014

Jeez. So much fear. Hallucinations are a powerful creative tool and by neglecting the higher mind you are invoking frightening experiences. Embrace the strange and unusual because novelty and variety and infinity are everywhere.

By anon929117 — On Jan 30, 2014

I am a male, 19 years old with a Hashimoto's thyroiditis (metabolism disorder). I've had hallucinations upon falling asleep since I was 15. After being diagnosed with and seeking treatment for Hashimoto's thyroiditis, I have noticed a decline in the number of hallucinations, although they are not gone completely. If you have these you should talk to a doctor immediately because it seems that many people have them as a result of an underlying condition.

Some nights I remember having multiple hallucinations in a row before actually being able to fall asleep for the rest of the night. The hallucinations are extremely vivid and frightening. Often times they are about waking up to find that I am being kidnapped or that I am about to die of a heart attack, stroke or something of that effect. It seems to me that the things that happen in the hallucinations are things that I am most afraid of. They almost always begin with the sensation of waking up in the place that I had fallen asleep in, and almost always end with the sensation of losing consciousness. No matter how hard I try, I can't just force myself to wake up from a hallucination like a normal dream. Some times the hallucinations are so vivid that I can even feel pain along with sight, sound, touch, etc.

One night I woke from a hallucination to find that only two minutes had passed since I had fallen asleep, even though the hallucination seemed to last much longer than that, this is how I convinced myself that they were not real.

By anon928897 — On Jan 29, 2014

I frequently have visions, only right after waking up from a deep sleep early on in the night, of actual tarantulas sitting on my pillow. Also large, fat, adorable, shining black spiders. And a large bright red spider web made of rope hanging on the side of my bureau right next to my bed with many smaller, black spiders (they look like the ones that you put on your fake Halloween spider webs) running up and down extremely fast. Sometimes the web and little black spiders appear with a deformed appearance, like clumps of red yarn strung together with black splotches (the spiders) throughout. I have always liked tarantulas and was never afraid of spiders at all, so this isn't a result of arachnophobia. I am college age, have never used drugs and do not drink alcohol. I NEVER have hallucinations during the day or any time I am awake. I have never seen a ghost or any other spirit or other phenomenon. When I see these spiders I like them and try to reach for them. There is no resistance or sensation to "touching" them and my fingers pass through them. My fingers leave a space where my fingers were, so now the spider or web has been sliced in half with a space (the width of my finger) in between, showing my pillowcase in the space. If i do not "touch" the spiders they will disappear in splotches over the course of 5 seconds. I am sure I am not dreaming for this reason: I am very near-sighted and at night, without my glasses, my bureau is somewhat blurry while my pillowcase is close enough to be in perfect focus. In my dreams I always have perfect vision. When these spiders appear, the ones on my pillow are in perfect focus, while the ones on the bureau are blurry. I see this as proof that I am not dreaming and that I am actually perceiving these spiders and webs with my own (myopic) eyes.

By anon925303 — On Jan 11, 2014

I have hallucinations regularly about an hour or so after falling asleep. The thing is for me everything is going normally and I am just peaceful and then suddenly out of the blue, I sit bolt upright and turn things into things. Like I will see a coat hanging on a door as a person with a face and a chair as someone hunched over or something like that. It is creepy, confusing and shocking but it only lasts a few minutes before I regain normal view and it turns back to the real thing, like the chair.

In the moment it is undoubtedly real to me and I am overwhelmed with fear and shock and confusion but it always lasts less than one minute or so. It is weird to say the least. Sometimes in the moment I scramble to turn on my light and sometimes I just sit in shock, it always subsides quickly though and for that I am grateful. When I go back to sleep again I am fine.

I have also seen the big spider and although I am not really scared by spiders at all, I still get the same feelings.

By anon923867 — On Dec 31, 2013

I’ve had two of these in my entire life that I know of the first one I was six or seven, I think, and it was really weird. I’m not sure if calling it a hypnagogic hallucination is correct, but when I closed my eyes, there was this green woman with a dress telling me how she would murder my parents. I could always hear her voice, but I only saw her when I closed my eyelids but when I did close them, I still saw the room as if my eyes were open. After some minutes, I went to my parents’ bedroom and told them I was having nightmares but I don’t remember waking up so I closed my eyes again and she was still there.

The other one was when I was 13, some months ago, and this one was terrible. I went to sleep and I was like, thinking, kind of, and this demon-looking face -- I kind of imagined it. I didn’t feel scared, so after that I opened my eyes, and at the other side of the room where my sister’s bed is, I could see her legs, but they looked as if they were slowly deforming themselves. I didn’t pay attention to it. I could hear someone knocking on my parents’ bedroom door, and some distorted sounds and the ceiling fan. Then I felt like if I had woken up, and this time I was kind of scared. The sounds were still there so I was suspicious if I actually was awake, so I went to get my phone. My screensaver was a red monkey with hyperrealistic red eyes and a red background. I was sure that wasn’t my screensaver, so I just tried to go back to sleep, and this time it felt like if I really had woken up and I saw my lamp. Before, I was staring at it while going to sleep and I knew I was really awake now, so I couldn’t move, talk or make a noise and I started to get a little bit freaked out trying to talk and move. Then the song “Tiptoe through the Tulips” (which makes me scared) started playing and when that happened my whole body got goosebumps and I felt this really bad fear and I was way more desperate to move to speak to scream. I kept trying to, but I couldn’t, so after that, the face which I imagined before, but in a different pose, was starting to pop up and cover my sight with it. Each time, it appeared faster so I was really scared. I tried screaming and moving and the face of a kid also started appearing and my panic level was really high.

After some minutes of that, I could move and the music still resonated in my head, which scared me the most, but I grabbed my phone and everything was good. There wasn’t another red monkey in there so I didn’t want to sleep from that point, but luckily after watching some youtube videos I fell asleep.

After that, I was shacking the whole week. I did some research and found out that’s it. I wouldn’t want to experience another one. I really hated it and it scared me a lot.

By anon355665 — On Nov 18, 2013

About the sleep paralysis victims. I am one.

But I'm in a dream but in the exact position I fell asleep in. I see everything very clearly kind of like looking through water. everything is more brightly colored than my normal dreams and I cannot move. I panic, and most of the time something very scary happens to me.

Once I saw two feet standing on the bed. It was a woman with bare feet and a white night gown. I was able to look up, and she was just standing there on the bed in between me and my girlfriend. She was wet and had the most sinister smile on her face ear to ear very demonic and creepy. I couldn't move so I tried to speak. and I felt like I was being chocked. I finally managed to say "Jesus" and I was able to move and woke up.

Another time I awoke paralyzed like this and the devil was taunting me laughing at me. All of a sudden, I was able to move. so I got up in my dream, found someone and asked them to help me wake up. They said, "Why? Because the devil is in your dream?" and their face twisted and morphed into something evil. I turned and faced a wall and prayed. I felt like I was just standing there for about five minutes and then I woke up.

I would suggest to anyone who gets sleep paralysis two things.

1. Try to say " Jesus " I don't know why, but this helps me every time.

2. Try to just shake your head in a "no" motion. That also used to help me before I learned to say "Jesus."

I really hope this helps someone out there for the next time they get stuck and can't wake up.

By anon355110 — On Nov 13, 2013

I might have a solution for you all:

My story: I’ve experienced sleep paralysis many times before in my life. However, after I first tried ecstasy I started to hear voices as I was in between the state of wakefulness and sleep. They were voices of my friends, and my mind definitely wasn't controlling what they were saying; it was like my friends were in my mind. In a way it scared me and I had to force myself to wakeup, but after the voices were over I would experience sleep paralysis. I’m only 15 and still a frequent user of Molly and Ecstasy (I know, it’s a problem that I need to seek help for). Now every night when I fall asleep, I have very vivid dreams as I fall asleep, however part of me is still awake. I see very vivid scenes when my eyes are closed and hear very vividly as well. I don’t see things in my room though, because my eyes are closed the whole time. When I fully awake from these vivid mini dreams, I get sleep paralysis and have to jolt myself to full wakefulness.

Anyway, I found a solution. I was so happy to find a solution for myself because the half awake dreams and auditory hallucinations and sleep paralysis was always frightening and gave me that feeling of a presence in my room. If I play music while falling asleep or leave the TV on with a sleep timer (so it turns off on its own), I don’t have any of the sensations and have a normal sleep! Basically if I fall asleep with sounds around me. it works.

I’ve tested this. When I fall asleep with music or the TV on, I fall asleep normally. And when I fall asleep with pure silence, I experience the dreams and sounds and sleep paralysis.

I hope some of you try this and I’m curious as to see if it works for others!

By anon354484 — On Nov 08, 2013

I'm 15 and I've been having these for about six months, maybe longer. I've had a bad past with drugs and and even worse past with my father. I too have been having flashbacks, and I seem to have more trauma memories than seeing people or bugs. I relive every moment and more. I feel every scar as if it were happening again. I feel the emotional pain as well. I don't see it getting better.

How do I deal with this happening almost every night? I'm in high school! I should be worrying about homework and finals, not what's going to happen when I shut my eyes.

The only thing I've found to help is sleeping meds, like melatonin, which is an over the counter sleep aid, yet I have found one other thing: falling asleep to my boyfriend's voice.

By newzbug11 — On Oct 09, 2013

I had them a lot as a kid, and sometimes still have them. Mostly if I lie perfectly still, it feels as if I am lying a solid wood floor. Not a big deal. But the past few days, I have been waking up to see bugs crawling on my ceiling. I had just woken. I close my eyes and look again. I do this about three times and it really feels like I am seeing a big bug, which scares me terribly.

I did once have one when I woke in middle of the night and saw a stranger at my bedroom door. I was so terrified, I remained motionless but my heart was racing. Eventually, I closed my eyes and he was gone. I thought he was very real. I was pretty freaked out for weeks.

By anon345918 — On Aug 23, 2013

Wow, I didn't know other people were experiencing this, too! All mine are bug related. Every couple of weeks or so, while I'm trying to fall asleep, I'll think there is a spider crawling on my face, and sometimes between being asleep and waking up, I'll see a big line of ants crawling around on the wall. I'll jump up and run clear into the kitchen before I realize that there was no spider.

Except once last week actually. There actually was a spider on my face -- a daddy long legs. I squished the crap out of it after that. Makes me think these spiders were actually here the whole time.

By anon345154 — On Aug 16, 2013

I used to hallucinate often as a child, most of the time when falling asleep or waking up. The most vivid memory is when I'm falling asleep, my eyes are closed and I feel the sensation of being in a large room. Sometimes I am up very high in this room and sometimes I'm on the ground. But I always feel a strange but exciting presence in this room. It's not so much an image, but a sensation. It's quite fun and hardly happens anymore.

When I was young, I would sometimes crawl into my mom's bed in the morning and sleep for another half hour. There were large framed photos on the wall -- portraits. Sometimes I would wake up and the mouths of the people in the portraits would be moving, I thought it was fun and not scary.

By anon345026 — On Aug 14, 2013

I am 60 and have had these all my life, but not with any regularity. Usually I think there is someone in the room, walking into a corner or closet. Sometimes someone is just looking at me. As a child, I saw monkeys swinging from the curtain rods of windows.

Sometimes I see spiders on the wall, or am sure that a squirrel has come into my bed. The thing is, they are always so real. I have had dreams where I knew it was a dream, but these are so real. I get up and look for what I saw and it takes a few minutes for me to realize what happened.

By halleman — On Jul 13, 2013

My husband had to wake me up after I sat up in the bed and asked him to get the people out of my closet. He said he got up, turned on the light, opened the door and went in there. He came out and said there is no one there and turned the light off, but he said I still argued with him that they were there. He said I got really upset and told him that he didn't believe me.

The next morning I remembered a small portion of what he was saying, but not all of it. He said he really thought I was asleep and when he realized that I was really asleep he was scared. I have done this almost every night about different things -- some not as severe as others -- for the last 15 years. I have been to doctors and psychologists about this but nothing helps.

I had a very bad upbringing and was abused most of my childhood and teenage years. Could this finally be a result in my trauma that I thought I had accepted and dealt with?

By amypollick — On Jun 10, 2013

@anon338016: This sounds Sundowner's Syndrome, which can be a precursor of Alzheimer's Disease. I am not a doctor, but your mom's symptoms sound like Sundowner's to me. You and your dad meed to get her to a neurologist to get her checked out.

By anon338016 — On Jun 10, 2013

My mum is normal during the day, but as the night progresses, she turns into a totally different person. She starts slurring her words, she starts walking around the house for no reason, she can't walk straight and sometimes she makes herself sick. It's like she is 'sleep walking,' but hasn't gone to sleep yet.

My dad and I try to guide her to bed, but she turns very aggressive easily, She has accidentally hit me when she turned aggressive. Sometimes she has even woken up with bruises on her face from when she had fallen over a table after walking around the house. The next morning she can't remember anything at all and is a normal person again.

My dad and I really would like for her to see someone but she refuses and thinks there is nothing wrong. If anyone knows what this may be, please respond.

By anon337852 — On Jun 08, 2013

What I m wanting to know is if anyone else has experienced flashbacks during the day. I still get these. I've had them in the middle of the day. For no reason in particular, I will start to recall some element of what I am sure I can only have dreamed or hallucinated. The vague images in my mind (which I can never remember afterwards) are accompanied by dizziness, nausea and sometimes tunnel vision and a buzzing in my ears. Any sense of fear is mild especially now, and the experience is mostly confusing and only mildly disturbing. It usually passes in three or four seconds. Also, I suffered from anxiety, panic attacks and sleep paralysis for years.

I don't remember having these hypnagogic hallucinations while I am dreaming or when I am having sleep paralysis. These flashbacks are happening only when I awake in interactions whit s some elements during daytime. Are these brief "Dream flashbacks" from hypnagogic hallucinations, or maybe from night terrors? This is very disturbing. Should I be worried? This has been happening for five years on and off.

By anon334147 — On May 10, 2013

When I was eight, I saw two glowing red eyes above the foot of my bed, on the shelf at the top of the closet. Something swooped down and as I covered my head I could even feel the wind from this hallucination as it passed over. I am 50 and still remember this quite clearly.

By anon333836 — On May 08, 2013

I see others post things about scary images and other frightening pictures and experiences, but as I fall asleep, I get this paralysis feeling where I can only tell myself to wake up. It's hard to move, almost like I'm glued to my bed and I can move any part of my body.

I don't see anything. It is dark and somewhat frightening only due to the fact that I cannot get up. I haven't tried opening my eyes or my mouth. It's like a balance. If I decide to give in, I get this feeling as if I'm being sucked through my bed and honestly it's scary, almost like I feel as if I am going to die. If I fight it, I wake up and think for a minute, then go back to sleep and wake up in the morning.

I read some articles and somebody said to let go, and I would begin to dream outside of my body or something like that, almost like I would be able to control my dreams. They also said that with practice I could control the paralysis.

Does anybody have any info for me? Is it a demonic possession or something? I believe in God and Jesus and I will not tolerate a demon inside me. That's a no no! Please somebody tell me how to master this or stop it. Some say it's a gift and some say it's a curse. What is it, really?

By anon331155 — On Apr 21, 2013

Interesting that so many people have negative experiences with this.

I find that the most restful part of the whole night's sleep is the hypnagogic imagery upon awakening. It's very visually intense; I would say like HDTV of the mind. The imagery is totally random. Sometimes it's objects like doorknobs, sometimes abstract scenes like a rope against a inky black space. Other times, it's faces, and often, sidewalk bricks.

It always appears as though there is more, visually, to be known about the objects, seeing them in this way, hypnagogically, than if I had seen them through normal physical eyes in waking life. It's an intimate visual acuity. Textures are rich and detailed. The leather of a woman's handbag, for example, would be fascinating to stare at, for as long as the image could last (I would try to hold it for as long as possible, usually a few to several seconds), and infinitely rich in detail. No blurriness, no visual boredom or need to look at anything else whatsoever. I never feel more rested and alert mentally than after I've seen the imagery. The longer-lasting, the more intense, the better I can think and the more rested I feel. My brain is super-charged afterwards. This imagery is really the vitamin component of sleep. (Unless it's from alcohol. Alcohol can induce more images, but they do no good mentally, and they're dull and not detailed.)

I just tried to doze off at work for a few minutes. Didn't sleep, but I saw some imagery for a few seconds and that was all I needed. No more nap was necessary. It's a pretty common occurrence, but that's what prompted me to get on the 'net and write about it.

By anon329057 — On Apr 07, 2013

For the past few weeks, when I settled in for a night’s sleep, once I close my eyes I see human life forms with colorful attire and light colored hair floating around me. The scariest part of this is I open my eyes and I still see them.

By anon324580 — On Mar 11, 2013

Actually, hypnogogic is the state of consciousness between awake and asleep. Hypnopompic is the state of consciousness in which one is between sleep and awaking. I've experienced this hypnogogic state of consciousness before and I (what felt real and physical) felt that I was being picked up and moved to the other side of my room (which was very frightening). I felt conscious throughout this 10 second hypnogogic state and so I jerked myself out of it.

By anon311242 — On Dec 30, 2012

I just started researching a disorder of mine a few minutes ago, and came upon this. It fits the description almost perfectly. What I mainly experience is not a visual or audio hallucination. A doctor said that for me, information from my sub-consciousness may be leaking into my consciousnesses.

It is simply the most frightening thing I've ever experienced. I have attempted suicide because of it, and the idea still lingers with me every day. Thank you for posting this information.

By anon299522 — On Oct 25, 2012

For some (unexplained, stupid) reason, I do feel some relief due to the many posts. I thought I was going totally mad. I still feel that way, but wanted to make others feel better.

I have a horrible problem that happens every single darn night! I see people who aren't there, and I don't want to sleep anymore! I am so darned afraid and tired. Most of these are people I do not know, but some are, as last night, I saw my hubby. The night before there were many. One was my sister-in-law and the others?

Who the hell knows? I feel like I am going mad. I am not trying to make light of this, just so very frightened of what is happening to me.

By anon296143 — On Oct 09, 2012

It's a thing. It's real. I'm not just weird. I have these all the time and they scare the hell out of me. I don't even want to explain them. I was just researching 'Sleep Hallucinations' for this writing project I'm working on and I came across this and when I was reading it I literally started crying because of remembrance and because I'd previously thought that I was alone.

By anon294408 — On Oct 01, 2012

I smoked pot every day, morning until night for four years from age 16-20. Then I did mushrooms and liberty caps. For the next eight months, every time I entered alpha sleep, whether I was trying to sleep or was just bored somewhere, I had a massive jolt of adrenaline and what felt like an electric shock in my head. I believe this is tactile and makes me not sleep more than about 10 hours a week. I was in a crappy state. Now I'm just careful.

By anon292665 — On Sep 21, 2012

If you are having hypnagogic hallucinations and/or

sleep paralysis, and excessive day time sleepiness, see

a doctor and be evaluated for narcolepsy.

By anon290792 — On Sep 11, 2012

I want the fairy lights to return. Looking back, I have had some of these sensations many times before. Swirling tiny spiders, one spider, the pressure on the bed as if someone had just sat down, voices emanating from the air purifier. Only this time it was more intense.

I had just stopped taking a pain killer the day before, my husband had gone into another screaming rage, my daughter was about to be married, my step-children were coming home and, except for three days on the pain killer, I had not been sleeping well for months. An hour or so before bedtime I was sitting on my bed, working on a craft project. I looked up towards the door, sensing my husband was there. I saw a shadow as it entered the room and started to approach me. I told it, ‘Go away. I do not want you now.’ It left. What was that? Was it bad? I could almost see the black robe and hood, the proverbial scythe. It wasn’t the good witch for sure. It left as suddenly as it had come, acquiescing to my demand to go away. Then the chanting began -- soft, almost feminine chanting.

Soon thereafter, I heard a radio announcer with a garbled voice, talking fast, with high happy energy. I almost recognized his words as he introduced the country songs coming through the radio. I very rarely listen to country songs and we have no radio. My husband went to the television set to make sure it was turned off, even though he hadn’t heard anything.

Later, in bed, I was remembering the visitor. This night, only the light from the moon coming through my bedroom blinds brought light into the room. I got up to get some water. I had been thirsty for days -- thirsty as well for peace and harmony in my life and relationships. My husband was in bed next to me, still boiling from a runaway argument. Suddenly, I saw tiny fairy lights all around me. They were thousands of swirling, shining, pinprick, silvery golden lights all aground me and above me. I was incredibly amazed and delighted. My husband became angry with me, accusing me of trying to frighten him or make fun of him, but I knew that they were real. I returned to the bed and the lights continued.

Soon I left the room to go downstairs. For more water? To check on the cat? There were more lights in the hall. Suddenly, the lights became flickering flames, bright hued yellows, menacing reds. My husband was now in the hallway. He had gotten out of bed when I said I saw more lights. ‘Quick,’ I said, ‘tell me you love me. We have to get rid of this negative energy!’ Suddenly I was frightened. Where were the fairy lights? I went back to the safety of my bed. Soon, I was up again. This time, small dash-shaped, silvery-golden lights flew around me and as I lifted my face and arms to the lights I could feel them hitting my skin, little bolts of electricity. ‘Come to me!’ I said. This was good and my husband was very concerned. I now had a sense of terrific forces being in the room. I almost joked, ‘Oh I am finally cracking up. I am having a hallucination but I am fully awake. Okay, now I am really crazy.’ He was not amused. He asked if I was ‘doing this on purpose to annoy’ him. Good grief!

In bed, the atmosphere suddenly changed. I looked up at the ceiling and in the dark room it looked sort of brown, with a moon crater like appearance. Suddenly three dimensional snakes were swirling above me, hundreds of writhing snakes and these images suddenly turned into fish and then fish like monsters. Soon, more to the point, eventually, it was over. The negative and the positive energy beams had left as swiftly as they had come. I want the fairy lights to come back. I am grateful to these testimonials. After searching the internet and finding this site I am both relieved and disappointed. Relieved because I am not alone and disappointed because perhaps the lights are not truly real after all.

By anon289594 — On Sep 05, 2012

When I was a child, about five years old, I had to go to the hospital for an operation. They gave me the wrong dose of drugs so I was awake throughout it, and the pain became a visual movie in my mind of what they where doing to me.

How I saw it was the doctors and nurses are holding me down while trying to cut me open with a bread knife and then they cut me open and I can’t do anything. I try to scream, but nothing happens, and I stop breathing for long enough that I “wake up” breathing heavily and dripping with sweat.

I think after that feeling of being powerless, I started to get these weird hallucinations, where everything would zoom out in the sense that I became very small in a big room. I then see a conveyor belt with things on it, and for a while I do nothing. Then I take one and I am rushed by a massive giant type figure that crushes me ( I get a tight feeling on my chest and can hear bones breaking). This seems to go on for ages and then I pass out and wake up an hour or so later.

I have the first nightmare (if you can call it that since it doesn’t happen when I am sleeping; it just happens when I am tired and my mind starts to wander) about once or twice a week.

The second hallucination happens most nights before I go to sleep. I wake up one or two hours later and find it hard to sleep at all after that.

By anon288646 — On Aug 31, 2012

I experienced this when I was a young teenager, hearing menacing "demonic" voices, loud sounds, footsteps, music, being unable to move, a presence, someone moving my bed, pressure on the chest. I also saw shadow people and flying Halloween pumpkins. I felt like I was about to be possessed, like a loss of energy. Then the visions stopped until I was 25. That time was very stressful for me.

I left my family's religion -- I became agnostic -- and there was a lot of drama involved in the process, lost all my friends, etc.. Then I had the most vivid hallucinations, and some of them even "extended" over the fully awake state for a few seconds. A sound woke me up and a I saw a motherly, caring figure of white light. The other day, the same thing happened again: a sound woke me up, and I saw a polygonal man beside me moving his spherical head (I'd been using a 3D modelling software that day). These were the good ones, but I've also had frighting experiences. The difference was that I was able to control them, to "fight" them mentally.

I've been practicing some meditation. So in the middle of a bad hallucination, I will start meditating and then felt like I was leaving my body, so I had no need to "fight" physically with the threatening presence, usually a shadow man. I would fight it with my ethereal body, instead. Meditating at that time made me feel like I have super powers.

Once I felt someone forcefully grabbing my arm, and I broke it in several pieces using my ethereal body. Meditating at those times helps me to control fear, and without fear and imagination I can transform the hallucination to something good.

The last time that I've heard a threatening voice, I've just commanded it to leave me alone. Since then from time to time I have some mild experiences, but they are neutral or positive. I've also experienced again the sensation of leaving my body, flying around the neighborhood and coming back to my body, and then wake up with a very pleasurable sensation all over my body.

By anon287575 — On Aug 26, 2012

I'm 14 and now and again I have hallucinations when I'm trying to get to sleep. I once hallucinated that there was a ghost hanging up washing in my room, which sounds funny, but it was actually really creepy and quite scary because I was 8 at the time. I also once hallucinated about two years ago, thinking I had an envelope so I opened it and a massive spider crawled out, over me and up my wall, then it laid loads of eggs which hatched and I spent the night covering my face with my quilt. Most of my hallucinations aren't scary though and I just imagine some of my friends in my room, but they're all laughing at me because I'm wearing no makeup or anything which makes me feel really paranoid and quite low.

I'm not sure if this is relevant to the hallucinations, but also I always feel like there's someone or something in the room with me, watching me. I don't see them, but sometimes I see little movements, like a shadow or something or my curtain moving, so I'm not sure if that's me hallucinating or not. I only ever see the movements at night though.

Thanks for this information, it's been really helpful.

By anon284233 — On Aug 09, 2012

I've been having these all my life. When I was a young child, maybe through the ages 4-11, I would be in that state of half asleep and half awake, screaming. Sometimes I'd wake up and not know if I had actually screamed or not until someone came into my room and asked me what was wrong. I didn't even know why I was screaming. I hadn't seen or heard anything; I was simply screaming. And I was so afraid of something but I didn't know what it was.

More recently, within the last year or so (I'm 17 years old) I started hearing shrieks and screams. Sometimes I wouldn't even be at the point of sleep yet. I'd just be lying in bed or really tired, and I'd hear it. A woman, very far away, would let out a shriek. But as soon as it had faded, I convinced myself I imagined it.

Last week, I had one that really shook me up. I was lying in bed, trying to sleep, like usual. Finally I was drifting off. Earlier that day, I saw my brother Matt, visiting with my mom downstairs. Once I had drifted off, I could hear their screams. It was absolutely horrific. I lay there, nearly frozen in terror. Just before their desperate cries for help faded away, I jumped out of my bed and went downstairs to investigate with a baseball bat.

I came to find out my brother had left hours ago, and my mom was napping on the couch. It was greatly disturbing to hear them screaming for help from some unknown thing. I've never heard a person scream like that before. It was terrifying.

I don't know if this has any meaning, but these kind of things have been happening ever since I began lucid dreaming. I had done it before as a child without really knowing what it was, but I started having auditory hallucinations after attempting to initiate a lucid dream.

I'm just happy to know I'm not the only one.

By anon283825 — On Aug 06, 2012

@anon283643: Nice take on the slender man meme. For those not in the know, the slender man meme was created on the Something Awful forums back in 2009.

By anon283643 — On Aug 05, 2012

When I was a child, I used to see this really tall man in our garden. He wore a black suit, and I don't remember if I could see his face, or if he even had one. I just remember feeling really calm when he was around, even though he had these really freaky long arms.

I stopped seeing him after my little sister ran away from home. I thought the grief of losing her shook those hallucinations from my mind, but after reading the article, I'm not sure why they went away. Because I'm older now?

By anon283641 — On Aug 05, 2012

Strangely enough, all of my hypnagogic episodes came shortly after taking the painkiller Vicodin. I remember the first time it happened, I had very bizarre thoughts and hallucinations. I thought three of my fingers had turned into cheesy potato wedges, and that finding their synonyms was my homework. Another time had me talking to my then girlfriend's disembodied head about a girl we used to know and how 'these brownies taste like sick'.

My very first one, though, was just my childhood brain wiring itself. I turned around to look at my doorway when I was 6, and saw a man in full Elizabethan garb. I later found out that supposedly my old hometown is the site of mass ghost sightings, but I don't buy into that supernatural bollocks. Still, makes a good story.

By anon283524 — On Aug 05, 2012

This is hard to grapple with. I read through a lot of these comments and it's amazing that so many people experience similar things. Here's my story.

At age 16 (I'm now 19), I had never had reoccurring dreams, barely remembered any dreams, never had a nightmare (only experience of falling a few times), and wasn't having an out-of-the-ordinary day. I went to sleep and woke up a few hours into the night (in a lucid dream, I guess. It felt completely real.) While lying on my back, I saw my bedroom door ajar and the light outside being switched on and off irregularly. Weirded out, I tried to get up and check but realized I couldn't move. In somewhat of a panic but thinking there was some kind of medical explanation, I tried to call out for help from my parents downstairs (three-story row house, me with the top floor to myself and the laundry room where the light was flickering) but was unable to make a sound or open my mouth. Then I felt a pressure around my neck and what felt like two hands pressing down on my throat.

Knowing this wasn't medically explainable because I was being choked and could die if this continued, I closed my eyes and prayed to God thinking that this must be a demon trying to scare/kill me (if it could). I didn't have the words to say because I was freaking out so much, so I just started praying in my head. The first words I was saying were, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." As I began to say this, a low guttural voice was saying the words what sounded like directly next to my ears, in a mocking kind of tone. The impression that I got was that the voice thought it was funny that I thought praying would save me. I then said he leads me by green pastures, he leads my by still waters.." With each slowly uttered word I breathed no more breaths because the pressure increased dramatically word by word as did the voice in volume and the voice turned from mocking to angry very vast.

Then I said the last lines of what I found out later was the first part of Psalm 23, "He restores my soul." I really believed those words, that He (God) would restore my soul and save me, and when I said the word "He" the angry voice literally screamed it at me and right at the word "restores" the pressure was relieved, and I could move and breathe. I opened my eyes eventually and saw the door still ajar but with the light off, and I feared for my life no longer for God was with me. Now I was convinced it was real, but before I went to sleep I thought, "that can't be real.."

In the morning I asked my older brother (5 years older) how his night was, and he told me he experienced a dark presence in his room while he was falling asleep, and he got on his knees and prayed quoting the very same Psalm, Psalm 23, that I was given the words to say! This rather amazing coincidence (because I hadn't experienced a dark presence before) lends itself to an idea-- that this was real. That demons are real, and that by calling on God, you can be saved from it.

I have gone to sleep a thousand times since that night, and every time I go confidently, knowing that if I'm bothered again I can just say "Leave! I belong to Jesus and he has power over you." For when I quoted the Psalm, I was praying that Jesus would intervene. Jesus was already my Lord and Savior before that night at 16, but that night confirmed that he's real.

I'm a psychology major, and I'm learning about this stuff and how it can be explained away. However with this and several other more intense experiences of deliverance by Jesus' name, I'm convinced that there is a spiritual realm and Jesus is King in it, and God allows demons sometimes to mess with us (like the temptation of Christ in the gospel of Matthew chapter 4). But if you belong to Jesus you don't have to worry. Trust in him, and you'll be delivered. I've shared this news with many friends struggling with sleep terrors and they say that it has worked for them too. Some of them have even given their lives to Jesus because of the peace they've found in Him.

Please, seek a pastor or friend who knows Jesus for more information on the sure fix. Live in Him, and He will live in you and the power that brings over fear (and sin and death) is unmistakably worth it. Everything does have an explanation. It may not always be scientific although many times they mix. Psychology and explanations are good, but sometimes when there are real demons at work the only fix is not comfort in the universal experience of these things (I met someone in a recent trip to Indonesia who had these kinds of body frozen scary dreams too), but the comfort in conquering over them.

(Check out Romans 8:37, 2 Timothy 1:7, Ephesians 6:11 if you're interested in a little biblical support. Also, ask a pastor for more information if you really want to sleep soundly every night. I've met 100-plus people with this problem who testify to these things I'm telling you. A few other posters have also mentioned it. Get Jesus and get freedom. I pray you find peace in the Prince of Peace. Philippians 4:6.)-- Rob

By zaRa139 — On Jul 25, 2012

I've had these kinds of hallucinations for quite a few years, but I believed everything had an explanation so I went online and found this. I believe knowing about the problem is a way to stop it.

The worst parts are when I see bad times from the past replay in an exaggerated way, like the room would be filled with people I know, maybe even people I like screaming at me, scolding me and hitting me.

The better times are when I have visions of the best times with some people I could never be with again, but it would hurt like hell and leave me horribly confused when I wake up.

Sometimes I just see random people sitting by my bed. The better ones are nice and they mumble random things that make me feel safe and accepted.

The more terrifying ones are people who look half human and half animal or just weird. It freaks me out just to think of it. They wait by my bed and scratch at my skin tearing it away, or they stand near my bed, beside my fan or on my desk and stare hungrily at me like I'm their target.

By anon281225 — On Jul 22, 2012

When I was younger, like 5, 6 and 7, I would always see these curly strands of color just sitting in my doorway or colorful, big spots and colorful bugs all over the bed. It really, really, confused me. Now, at 11, I always feel like I am falling and I have to jerk myself awake before I hit the ground. It's nice to know these problems are completely normal.

I didn't actually mind them, though. The colors were very pretty and the falling thing felt so cool.

By anon279651 — On Jul 13, 2012

I've had these hallucinations for as long as I can remember. It's so comforting knowing that other people have them, too.

Usually I will see some type of insect in my room, either a spider, wasp, or large bug. Sometimes there are frogs, aliens, or people. There have been frightening and disgusting ones. It is quite annoying, especially when you "wake up" and run out of your room because you see and hear a large wasp in your room.

I wonder what the meaning is. I read a lot of people have similar hallucinations: a figure in your room or some type of insect. It is very interesting but frustrating at the same time, because I try to explain it to people and they think I'm crazy.

Recently there was a man in my room, dressed like he was painting something. He was staring up at my ceiling fan. I was staring at him for a while, waiting for him to turn around or something. But he just floated up into the sky. It was weird. I definitely prefer little frogs instead of men in my room.

I wonder if anything will ever be discovered about this. It's surprising to see how many people have the same problem. Maybe one day someone will know why and help us. Best of luck to everyone. Stay safe

By anon278658 — On Jul 08, 2012

I woke up one morning, and as I was gaining consciousness, I could see some kind of bug and it seemed to be totally aware of me and seemed to be totally aware that I could see it. It crawled away and tried to hide. It was in my room and totally freaked me out. As I awakened, it disappeared. However,

over the weeks to come, it appeared again and again and I became aware of more of them. And they became aware of me, and over the weeks to come, we seemed to develop a kind of relationship. It was freaky because I couldn't see them until they got really close, but they would jump all over me and on a subconscious level, I could hear them speaking to me. They seemed to all be acting according to the instructions given to them by a single source which was located in the corner of the room. They weren't threatening me unless threatened. It was a really freaky experience at first.

I have come to deal with the fact that they are there, even though at first, I thought it was some sort of hallucination. I have actually felt their touch. They have bitten me, spat on me and even tried to feed me and I could taste what they put in my mouth. It still kind of freaks me out, but they are there. They are not meat, they cannot be seen by normal human eyes and they freak out when you do see them. They look a little like lobsters.

And since then, more bug like things have appeared, including spiders, which like to wrap things up in their webs, snakes and lizards that camouflage themselves but are still visible to me. I think it's funny but though at first, I thought it was just awakening from the end state of a dream. But it has turned into an actual, conscious reality in a visual spectrum that was previously unavailable to me. They are not threatening, but totally react to my subconscious thoughts as if they can hear me. Weird or what?

By anon278651 — On Jul 08, 2012

When I was young, I would awake to a pressure on my

chest. I was paralyzed and couldn't move. I could

see a figure on the ceiling and it appeared to be coming through the ceiling, but it wasn't human. I always thought it was just a nightmare. But recently I've discovered I wasn't the only one having these experiences. I wonder what is really going on.

By anon278650 — On Jul 08, 2012

When I close my eyes, I see a giant bug straddling the earth. I've had symptoms like many others of

you. Spiders in my room look like lobsters

sometimes crawling on me and I hear voices from them

like something from somewhere else talking, not necessarily to me, but they are there. It freaks me out to think that this is real and something is really happening. I don't want to know it, but it seems it wants to know me.

By anon277525 — On Jun 30, 2012

In the past year, I am also having hallucinations upon waking up. I am wondering if it's power lines. Do any of you have heavy power lines outside your windows? The reason is, at night I hear almost thundering. Almost heartbeats. And since I am into electronics, an old glass monitor I gave away was waving wildly. And this is probably because there are strong wave patterns in the power lines outside. I adjust the frequency of the monitor, trying to change the pattern, but to no avail. It lessened it, but did not eliminate it. I am presuming these wave patterns affect the mind if one is nearby them.

For me, I am seeing patterns on the walls come out, like wallpaper patterns. They're patterns of plants. So the plants look like they're coming out at me and in 3-D, moving. It is very bizarre. And I am very conscious sometimes. I am not scared of them. And I sit and stare and study. They eventually go away after 15 minutes, or if I decide to wake up and get out of bed. A few other times, I have seen bubbles on the walls. And almost as if I had not been in the room I woke up in. As if I were in another room. The bubbles were moving. They kind of look like bubble wrap, giant bubble wrap. All the walls and ceiling were covered with them.

My name is Neal. So if anyone can help me with these hallucinations or know something about electronics and can help find out if it's these power lines and 60 cycle hums causing these things, let me know. Maybe it's these heavy power lines causing hallucinations.

By anon274772 — On Jun 13, 2012

I've had this problem for as long as I can remember. I remember it had started off as just normal childhood fears (such as the boogeyman opening the closet or shaking your bed underneath). But the older I got the worse it got.

At about age 13, I would see hundreds of demonic faces flying at me from the dark. When I would open my eyes, they would be connected to bodily figures as they continued to fly at me. Only this time they would be joined by shrill, spine-tingling laughter. I could feel them smacking through me with warm thuds of air.

For a couple years I dealt with it, scared to fall asleep, until I decided it was time for me to sleep with a light and music of some sort. It calmed down until I reached 19 when I was living with my fiance.

We were sleeping in his room (at the time it was in a basement at his grandparents' house). I rolled over to cuddle into his chest as he held me and kissed him on the cheek and the minute I did I could feel him start to shake. At first I thought he was having some sort of seizure, but when I looked at his face his entire head was shaking violently as if being possessed in some sort of horror movie. When he finally stopped he was staring at me with a sort of zombified stare. And right then his face seemed to disfigure into this decaying skull. I was up against the wall trying to scream, but I was like a mute. I finally came out of it when I felt the decaying man slap me with his cold, hard hands.

I didn't realize I had woken my fiance up practically beating him. He had gotten bruises from me kicking and punching him. Trying to explain that experience to him only made me feel like more of a freak. I felt like I was psychotic, or worse, schizo. I still get them every now and again, but I haven't had anything as bad as I did that night, and I'm definitely not missing it.

I'm glad I found this article because it's nice to know that other people have hallucinations like this as they go to sleep.

By anon274076 — On Jun 09, 2012

I've had them for years. I've seen loads of different things. They started with spiders, wasps, flies, that sort of thing. It was getting a bit worse when I started seeing people. I was waking up with them standing over me whispering or running out of the room. The strange thing is it was always close friends. Sometimes I wake up to hear music blasting, only to sit up and it's silent again.

It's getting worrying now though as I'm getting them and can't differentiate between them and reality. I nearly badly hurt my girlfriend after hitting her repeatedly during one. Just hoping I can do something about them all.

By anon271736 — On May 28, 2012

The moment I woke up I had to do a little research and I came across this website. This morning, I felt like something slapped me in the face. That of course woke me up and made me look around. There was a blurred spot in front of my eyes but there wasn't a blurred spot any where else in the room regardless of the distance.

When I went to the bathroom, I saw a slap mark on my face. If this was a vivid dream, my dreams must be coming to life because I think something really hit me. If science can explain this, that would be great. If not, I'll chuck it up to the ghost of someone or something.

By anon268618 — On May 14, 2012

When I was very young, I remember having one of the young Grinch from the movie start walking slowly to my bedside. I pulled the covers over my head I was so scared. I also remember seeing to baby-like angels like what you might see together embracing each other and spinning while flying right over the wall the backboard of my bed. On both accounts I pulled the covers of my bed over my head.

By anon265800 — On May 03, 2012

I saw a giant dragonfly flapping around my room not so long ago.

I jumped out of bed and ran to the door, scrambling with the knob trying to open it. I had even turned the light on and it was still there. I finally got out and ran to a different room and shut the door. It was so vivid and realistic, I believed that maybe there has been an invasion of these giant dragonflies, and humans were being killed and taken over by them or something. I could find no evidence of this though, and slept on the floor in this other room.

The next day, I had to get a friend to check my room to see if this dragonfly was still there because I still wasn't sure if it was real or not. It wasn't, of course.

I've had various other hypnagonic hallucinations for years, but that was the most unusual one recently. I've seen plenty of figures around me, and people calling my name and things. I often see this pretty looking girl with long dark hair sitting on the bed next to me. She isn't anyone I recognize from reality, but when she appears I feel as though she is my girlfriend or something, and that she is supposed to be there. Quite opposite from the usual demonic presences.

I find it interesting how many people see giant insects a lot more frequently than anything else. I wonder what they symbolise. I have heard of nobody else seeing dragonflies though. Does it vary depending on what type of person you are, or what? --Josh

By anon262890 — On Apr 21, 2012

I have some tips for those suffering with this sometimes terrifying condition.

I have hypnagogic hallucinations associated with narcolepsy. They started when I was 29 in the form of someone sitting on my bed or a cat walking on my bed. They stopped for a few years and then came back much stronger and darker. Demonic creatures rapidly running over me in an overwhelming stampede, or I had sex dreams where the faceless entity turned into a demon or snakes in my mattress and in my comforter or the feeling that something was trying to pull me off my bed by my feet. I fought against it at first. I would say the Lord's Prayer, but nothing happened. I would have to struggle to pull myself out of the paralytic state and wake up fully. When I got back to sleep, it would come back until finally, I was able to fall asleep.

Many narcoleptics are also lucid dreamers, I have found. I believe there is a direct connection. When I decided to utilize my lucid dreaming ability, I "gave in" to the force trying to pull me off the bed and it took me floating outside my room into the air. Nothing scary. I began to realize that these hallucinations could not hurt me and it changed the nature of them. Although some of them were fun, I rejected the sexual dreams when they started or tried to change the nature of them to something meaningful, like an embrace or a genuine connection. For me, that was when the demonic hallucinations stopped. I think I subconsciously felt guilty and shifted the nature of the hallucinations to a spiritual one.

Now I still have them, but they've taken on a more pleasant tone. In a recurring one, my feet began to feel as if there was pressure being applied and it turns into a foot massage or a full body massage. After a long work day, those come in handy.

You may find that drinking coffee right before bed may lead to more intense hallucinations. For me, fast food leads to darker hallucinations, so I have cleaned out my diet. In general, you want to exercise, eat right, and pursue your interests. By being "whole" in that sense, you can at the very least change the nature of these hallucinations.

The most important thing is to know that they can't hurt you. You are safe. Although it may feel like you are not, tell yourself this over and over. Soon you will believe it and your subconscious mind will adjust accordingly. Hope this helps!

By anon255887 — On Mar 19, 2012

I hate these. I tend to have dreams that I'm inboard the Titanic. Some if my friends are there and I'm in first class. I dream I get on the boat and continue like I would onboard a ship. Then, I usually wake up when water begins to flow into the 'Titanic' room. I feel water trickling up my feet and leg. I get freaked out. What does it mean! --Deanna

By anon255397 — On Mar 17, 2012

I'm 26 and I've had these hallucinations for 5 years. They appear in different shapes, normally when I'm trying to go to sleep or i just wake up middle of the night having them. Sometimes, somebody is just talking in my ear or they slap me in my face. When I experience them, I feel that I'm completely awake and it's not a dream! The other kind is that I feel somebody is in my room staring at me. Recently, I'm getting a new shape of these dreams. I just wake up almost one hour after I go to sleep and I see a big scorpion on the wall. I need to blink two or three times until it goes away. I've even changed my room but it's still the same! I started hating nights because I need to go to bed!

By anon254352 — On Mar 13, 2012

I've been suffering from lucid dream states where strange things happen for at least 15 years (I'm 28 now). At one point in my life, I would get the feeling of being stuck, not being able to talk or move. I've also seen spiders dangling from the ceiling down toward me. The spider dreams are becoming more frightening.

One time the spider looked like a large lobster on the back half of its body and in the front, it had a lot of legs and it was chewing at the top of my shoulder. I screamed when I saw it and had pain and a weird scar in the same spot. Tonight I saw a very large spider, about the size of my fist, run quickly across my wall. It scared me so much that I jumped out of bed to get away from it, only to turn on the light and see nothing there.

Hearing that others are experiencing the same thing is somewhat comforting, yet there should be more study, not only on what happens, but also what it means, maybe even similar to how dream interpretation offers explanations for dream symbols.

By anon253820 — On Mar 11, 2012

Look, I just hear people calling my name sometimes when no one else is there. Is that this, or just an overactive imagination? When I'm imagining saying something, a lot of times I end up mumbling it, so I figured it might be something of that sort. I just want to make sure I'm not schizophrenic or anything.

By anon253336 — On Mar 08, 2012

The cure is Jesus! Could it really be that simple? Dreams I experienced included waking up to something screaming in my ear, like a cat hissing after dreaming of a lion attacking me, sexual abuse that seemed very real, being hit in my dreams and feeling it when I woke up, dreams of many animals biting, slashing, cutting, paralysis, can't move and unable to breathe, etc. Once I gave my life to Jesus Christ, I was given power and authority over all snakes and scorpions and all the powers of darkness, for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.

I still have dreams of things attacking me at times, but, and I say but, if what happens in my dream is some animal or whatever might start slashing me, then I start speaking scripture and the the blood of Jesus over whatever is in my dream, and the thing freaks out, and has to leave and always does, because every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!

Even the demons know who is boss, and that's Jesus. We live in a spiritual world. All around us is a spiritual battle and if you don't have Jesus, you're going to lose every battle, and ultimately wind up in hell for an eternity. Torture in hell will be worse than your dreams and it will be very real and it will be for an eternity.

If you want real peace from these crazy dreams and a life of peace, give your life to the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

The other night, I dreamed of a weasel with one eye biting my arms and then I grabbed the stupid thing and spoke to it and it stopped biting me and its eye started filling up red and then I looked to my right and there was a man standing there in my dreams and I was looking at his face. His face started to distort and turned red as well, all types of red, and then looked like some crazy creature from hell in a horror movie and was screaming and had crazy teeth. But guess what? I said get out of here in the name of Jesus, and I woke up, not afraid at all. Jesus is the only way!

Get filled with the word of Jesus and get saved. See you in Heaven!

By anon248340 — On Feb 16, 2012

I have been suffering from hallucinations while falling asleep (before my eyes are even closed) and only usually while lying on my back.

I end up seeing spiders -- hundreds of them -- coming down from my roof and on my walls *shudders* and some times crawling on me. I get so freaked out and I am paralyzed most of the time, that afterward, I have to get out of the bed and won't go back to bed until the next night. A few times I have asked my partner if he sees them, and he just says no.

By anon244839 — On Feb 03, 2012

Great article, very informative.

My dream life has always been incredibly strange. I have lived an entire lifetime in a dream and was lying on my deathbed as a 90 year old man. The last thing I did before I woke up was look at my wrinkled, pale hands. When I awoke, I still believed I was old and I felt elderly, had stiff joints and slow movements and all. It took about thirty minutes to wear off. I used to have recurring dreams of grey arms coming out of my mattress and holding me down.

I have had numerous instances of these hallucinations throughout my life (currently 25). As a child, I had frequent nightmares. I certainly understand that sometimes it is simply "crossed wires," but other times, there is something more spiritual involved.

Now I don't wish to cause anyone any undue anxiety or come off as some weird uber-spiritual nut job, but there is spirit world around us. You can call it what you like (I often find the scientific idea of intertwined dimensions makes the most sense). I say this because as I said I have had many of these over my lifetime. The earliest one I remember was when I was very young child and I "awoke" in the middle of the night. But when I tried to roll over to go back to sleep a great pressure was upon me. I imagined it as a giant ladybug (of all things). My head was stuck facing down my bed towards my feet. As I struggled to move, a pale, glowing, and floating face floated towards me. A feeling of sheer terror filled me but I still could not move as the severed face advanced. I don't think I could even blink or look away. The face was sticking its tongue out at me, in a malicious manner. It's hard to explain but the way the face protruded its tongue out was just evil. I can't remember what happened after but I remember the next morning I told my family of this.

Not so coincidentally, my brother had a dream that a bear was chasing him and this bear was making the exact same face. Now, I will explain the reason I treat this as a spiritual event. First off I have heard that the symbolism of a grotesquely protruding tongue is of a satanic nature, as are malicious bears. Masonic and satanic cultures use these symbols to represent Lucifer. Alongside that fact, my father was a minister and he was away preaching to people and apparently had a good meeting and souls were saved, etc. Many other times when my parents were out on trips such as these, I would have these experiences.

There have been other times I have had these types of hallucinations, but they were brought on by the dream itself. One time I was verbally engaged with a demon of sorts in a dream (some would call it spiritual warfare) and woke up and continued my sentence without pausing. I could feel it still with me in the room. I felt a burning sensation on my forearms and my room had a certain darkness to it. I found that praying and telling the "demon" or what have you to leave and using the name of Jesus as a command stops the symptoms immediately.

It may sound corny and all but as I said there is a spirit world I have had many spiritual experiences in my life (mostly good ones too) and the name of Jesus Christ has an authority behind it. So I urge all of you who see goblins, demons, black clouds and angry voices to give it a try. All in all, it cannot make anything worse. I hope that helps, I know it has helped me on some disturbing occasions.

By anon243838 — On Jan 30, 2012

I've experienced many hypnagogic hallucinations. Often, I hear voices before falling asleep. When waking up in the middle of a dream, I sometimes see a transition from dream to reality. Once I even punched my low-table-thingy over because I saw a face in it.

One of my hobbies is lucid dreaming, and occasionally I wake up at the point of lucidity. At times, this happens while I'm in a very realistic, yet intensely psychedelic stage of dreaming and wake up in state of paralysis where always there is some kind of monster beside me. Luckily that never lasts too long.

By anon241495 — On Jan 19, 2012

I am 19 years old. I have been scared to go to sleep the past few months. What is weird is that I have read almost all of these stories, and yet they're all the same. I have all most all of the same problems but every night. They happen and they're not the same. They shift from worse to better and tonight is a night that I can't sleep. But what is weird is I am not stressed out or not going through anything bad, or have anything bad on my mind, but it still happens.

I lay down in my bed tonight, after having one of the best days I have had in a long time, but when I went to bed and lay down, I heard these weird noises, like something was inside of my mattress. So I jumped up and turned on my lights and there was nothing, so I thought it was me just me. I lay back down and just lay there and didn't move at all and then it happened again like there was a creepy thing trying to crawl around inside my mattress or trying to get out so I prayed that it will go away so I can sleep.

By anon238699 — On Jan 04, 2012

I often "dream" and I'm not sure if I really fell asleep and dreamed or if I remained in some in-between state. Last night I thought there were rats in the room crawling under things. I thought there was someone standing in the doorway. Those were more intense than usual.

Often though, my dream seems to carry over when I first wake up, and it takes me some minutes to realize where I am and have normal thought processes.

By volleyball5 — On Jan 03, 2012

I don't know what's going on, but I'm 16 and for the past week or so I have been having really bad "nightmares". I dream that I'm getting scratched by someone and that I fall and get a bloody nose, and when I wake up I have scratches in the exact same place I did in my dream, as well as waking up with the bloody nose. My latest one is the most odd, and it is actually scaring me.

I was dreaming that I was being held down by someone and getting the word "unsafe" carved into my arm, when I woke up, looked at my arm, and there is was: "unsafe" carved into the same arm as the one in my dream! Can anybody tell me what any of this means?

By anon238215 — On Jan 02, 2012

I've had this condition intermittently since I was young, happening with greater frequency in my 20's, though now that I'm in my 30's I haven't had much of it for a while. As it happens, my Mother also has this, although she sees different things than I do.

My hallucinations are strange, with giant insects or jellyfish or other things. See, I can't really explain them. They sort of fly toward me/float over me. I used to shout when I saw them but after awhile I got used to them.

I met someone a few years ago -- a woman I worked with -- who also had it. She told me it had to do with lack of sleep.

By anon236756 — On Dec 25, 2011

Don't know what to call it but occasionally my wife has to wake me up from these events. I start off almost speaking an unheard of language then it turns into a shriek, I sit straight up and my eyes pop open. I can hear and see everything happening but can't stop it and my wife has to shake me out of it. What the hell is this? Please help.

By anon236566 — On Dec 23, 2011

I was awake in my bed, and I turned over to try and get back to sleep. All of a sudden I heard someone approaching, so I tried to turn around to see who it is because the only other person in the house is my housemate who is upstairs. I find that I cannot move and that I'm paralyzed! I then felt the bed give way as if someone had just got on the bed with me and then this thing whispers something to me in a deep voice and I see this weird red flashing lights in my eyes (which kind of looked like a red wormhole) as he is saying it, then it stops and I am free and can finally move!

I actually started crying afterwards because I have never had anything like this happen to me before!

Anyone else felt anything similar to this?

By anon231907 — On Nov 27, 2011

Hypnagogic hallucinations can be very beneficial. Though, like all things there is yin and yang. They can be horrifying as well. If you are suffering from malevolent hypnagogic hallucinations it is due to your unconscious mind telling you that you are not well. No need to fear, you are still in control. Train your unconscious mind with meditation, binaural beats, breathing exercises, or whatever calms your ambitious mind. You are not crazy or schizophrenic; your mind just needs conditioning.

By anon231905 — On Nov 27, 2011

I have hypnagogic hallucinations almost every day. The hallucinations don't bother me and are typically non-threatening in nature. However, I have been witness to a few terrifying hallucinations/dreams. With that being said, through meditation and controlled breathing one realizes how powerful you are. You are in control it just takes time and effort.

By anon226272 — On Oct 30, 2011

I have Narcolepsy and I am really struggling with sleep hallucinations. I have them all night. I have not rested for days and I feel like I'm being tortured. I've tried over the counter sleeping pills, xanax, nyquil. I've tried everything. Please help.

By anon225712 — On Oct 28, 2011

I used to have these when I was an adolescent. I'd always wake up in the middle of the night thinking a spider or cricket were in my bed, on my wall, etc. I had recurring bug hallucinations up until I was 21 years old. Some were so bad I'd run into the hallway screaming. I find that they're stress induced.

By anon225369 — On Oct 26, 2011

I've been having these dreams about a future war that is about to unfold in the near future. I've been seeing myself waking up in an abandoned house full of weapons and people. Some are my family and some are people I don't know, and I wake up feeling normal. I say hello to everybody, I eat breakfast put on these camouflage clothes and put on a gillie suit. I grab a sniper rifle and some ammo and everything that a rebel fighter would need so I go outside and its just jungle but I'm in australia because of the animals I see and hear and the trees and everything else.

I'm overweight but in my dream I'm not, but I'm much older – probably in my early 20's. I walk up a mountain to where there's a cliff overlooking some base but they're not Australian soldiers. They look like there middle eastern so I get on the ground and observe I pick up a radio and I signal the Australian army and give them coordinates for a bomb run. I call it in and I begin killing the wanderers silently, picking a few off and I notice a symbol that I see in every dream on my gun on my uniform. It's a cobra wrapped around a knife with barbed wire tangled around the snake and the knife has blood dripping off it and the barbed wire so the fighter bombers come in and boom, boom – 500 pound bombs drop and kill. Most of them are still crawling and I kill them all including children and women only because they're armed. Am I dreaming about a future uprising or war that comes to Australia or am I just dreaming about it because it's all in my head? What if this will happen because the dreams continue, not the same like a story line. It's different every night. Can someone tell me what they mean?

By anon223610 — On Oct 19, 2011

I have had a recurring dream where i wake up but my eyes are sewn shut, and I hear men talking then they talk about sewing my mouth shut. I try to open my eyes and take the stitches out but am unable to do so. This dream makes it very hard for me to sleep. Any ideas? I'm in desperate need of some help.

By anon222861 — On Oct 17, 2011

Sleep paralysis. I remember I'd wake up in the middle of the night face down or to the side, chest down towards the bed, I was sweating and I could barely move. It felt like something was holding me down to the bed. I couldn't get up for the longest time and when trying it was almost impossible. I could see the door do the room but it took forever to get to it and I felt incredibly, almost infinitely heavy so I was on the floor - not crawling, but one knee on the floor dragging myself, falling down catching the wall. I'd call out for help and no words came out. I heard low, loud voices behind me and in my right ear. Nobody was in the room though.

Sometimes I could eventually get up, but often I would find the urge to drag myself back to the bed because otherwise it felt like a "gravity bomb" had gone off and was holding me down to the floor. Once I'd get back to the bed I'd feel the same as I did before while in the bed. If I made it to the bathroom -- I'd turn on the light and sit on the throne, with a massive splitting migraine, and when I'd close my eyes I'd see moving color patterns and red spots. Scary. Turns out it was because I was taking Paxil and tried to quit cold turkey, or missed a dose or two. The moral of the story: don't miss doses of Paxil, folks - brain chemistry is nothing to fool around with.

Coming off of this stuff is good but you need doctor supervision. I hope this helps someone. I'd never want anybody else to experience this!

By anon222636 — On Oct 16, 2011

I have had the "dream" where you feel like someone is sitting on and pressing the chest. I was scared and felt better after I found out about sleep paralysis.

A few years later, last night, I felt a very strange thing. I felt like someone was behind me, and I felt his body parts against me. When I woke up, I had to turn around to confirm that there was nobody, just a dream. it was very scary. I have seen ghosts and unnatural things in my dreams before but what I felt last night was very different and it prompt me to search for it online.

By anon221723 — On Oct 12, 2011

These are no big deal. I have them every time I try to fall asleep on my back. It's always the same: people sitting on the edge of my bed or even sitting over me on my chest mumbling random stuff while their faces mutate. Sometimes other people will be wandering around the room. Eventually I'll gain control over a finger or a foot and try to move it to to force myself awake.

The worst part is that everything about is so surreal in the most unsettling, unnerving way like my brain is testing me and trying to make me crack by scaring me. Now I've become numb to it.

Challenge yourself to getting up and walking around while still in the dream state or influencing/changing the sex of the entities.

By AugustMoon — On Sep 12, 2011

I am curious about whether the sleep stages manifesting out of order could cause these hypnagogic hallucinations. I have experienced them on and off since childhood, but they were always most frequent and intense when I was under stress, ill or sleep deprived.

A number of years ago, it happened while lying against my boyfriend's chest, and he woke me up because my heart was beating overtime. I don't remember what I had been seeing, only that it was terrifying. Strange thing is, I had only been asleep about five minutes.

It feels like falling, not just mentally but bodily as well, and other symptoms seem to arrive in tandem with this phenomenon, including rapid breathing and irregular heart rate, at least for me. It feels like I'm falling, or have fallen asleep too fast. (Wonder why they call it "falling" asleep?)

I even happened to be in the hospital (suffering from a life-threatening infection) when it happened once. The nurses called in a doctor after I had been exhibiting what they thought was out of character behavior. Apparently I had been talking, but my eyes were wide open. In actual fact, I could see the nurses, though the room was blurry and rearranged and out of focus; these hallucinations do seem to incorporate elements from reality. I was trying to explain to them that I was asleep and that I couldn't talk, then got frustrated by their lack of understanding and began to tell them to go away.

When I woke up, the nurses were rushing towards me with the vital signs machines. The heart monitor was already hooked up and had measured my heart rate as over 150 bpm.

I found out from the doctor shortly later that I was the only individual of four others to survive this type of infection.

Think of wakefulness as air, and sleep, water. To pass between them would require a change of elements. When hypnagogic hallucinations are experienced, I wonder if this is something of a hypothetical jump in the river versus a slow immersion.

By anon213670 — On Sep 12, 2011

Wow. I'm 34, and I have done this since I was a little girl. As I begin to fall asleep, I see strange things. I know they are sort of like "awake dreams," but they are still often very disturbing. Some are almost psychedelic, some are funny, and occasionally some are utterly terrifying. I also have always had very vivid dreams and nightmares. Sometimes I wake startled because I feel like someone is standing right next to me at the side of the bed. These things have always caused me to be a poor sleeper and feel exhausted frequently.

I am really glad to know that these are not entirely abnormal -- especially the sensation of the person standing next to the bed; that can be very frightening. At least now I know it is just my brain and not because my house is haunted!

By anon204894 — On Aug 10, 2011

I've had this for ages now. My earliest memory of it was when I thought I was trapped inside my mattress. For the last couple of weeks now, almost every night, I fall asleep, I think, then wake up to find myself paralyzed. I get an overwhelming feeling that something isn't right about the room, there is something in the room or I see objects differently from what they should be.

It has been auditory the last few nights too, but I can't remember what has been said. When I wake up (or whatever happens when I can move again,) I find myself going to that object that wasn't right. Sometimes I am already standing up, or I just lie there in fear. Sometimes I remember what was going on, but other times I just know that something weird happened. It's usually within an hour of being asleep, and when my partner isn't in bed with me. It feels better to know I am not alone, but because I had a brain injury in my infant years, I am worried that it is connected. Any ideas would be gratefully received. --Jess

By anon201530 — On Jul 31, 2011

Ever since I could remember I have been having sleep problems. (I'm 17 now.) I used to see monsters and things under my dresser and on the floor when I was 5. At 7 I slept walked out of my house numerous times, and have came down the stairs screaming "We have to save the children."

Around 11 I started to pick things up in my sleep and talk about them or throw them about. More recently I have been having occurrences where I wake up to see figures in my room or spiders, snakes, turtles, cats, etc. I have seen people out side of my windows. Once I hallucinated that a man came up to window with a knife saying, "Open the door, I know no one is home." These have been very terrifying for me over the years and this article has helped me a lot! I am going to see a doctor soon and see if I can get some help.

By anon187643 — On Jun 18, 2011

I came here to figure out why me and a friend had hallucinated the same thing at the same time once. We had a bout of taking too many benadryl to get high every now and then. We had a really awe-inspiring hallucination together. He had told me that when he did benadryl alone once he saw these worms crawling out of the ground. So this time it's both of us, and he says, “Hey look! There they are! and I look at the ground and I see all these little maggots crawling up like a waterspout out of his floor. He goes to point directly where I'm looking, then they sort of crawl away and dissipate, and he says, “Hey there they are again!” and I look in the next room and I see him pointing at another one of these spouts of worms. It's certain that we were seeing the same exact hallucination and I've always wondered about the magic of the brain on how this is happening. Is it just imagination or is something more going on?

I've always been the type of person who wants to believe something more is going on. But otherwise, I do have these hallucinations every now and then, I've only ever had the 'false awakening' thing a couple times, and I'm glad because its really frustrating experience. Once I had a 'monster chasing you' dream and I woke myself up, looked around the room, and then the monster sort of popped up in the corner of my vision asking me to come back to the dream so he could keep chasing me.

Lately I’ve had very strange dreams, I’ve been able to go back to a dream I had that same night to finish it. Or I’ve had a series of four or five dreams with the same continuing storyline. Even stranger is lately I'll go to sleep in my dreams, and wake up in reality! Its a very weird feeling, its like I lay down in the dream and I 'roll out' and find myself laying in the same position awake. Its very interesting, but unnerving at times, you have to be careful to not lose your sense of reality.

I think it a lot of it has to do with stress, things in your lives bothering you and trying to get you to solve them. But in many cases, there could also be something more going on. maybe your opening yourself up to dark things. The reassurance in this is that I've always believed that if you don’t want something to bother you, you must strongly tell it to leave, and its always worked for me in my own dreams.

By anon185562 — On Jun 12, 2011

When I was 8, I had what sounds like a hypnagogic hallucination. I woke from sleep in the middle of the night to hear a man speaking very close to my face. He was coercing me to 'let him in'. I couldn't see anyone, but then again, I was so scared, I didn't want to look. It went on for about three or four minutes before the voice ceased and I knew whatever it was was gone.

Needless to say, as soon as I was able to move (I'm not sure if it was paralysis or just me completely frightened), I ran into my parent's bedroom. They told me it was a dream, but I've never had a dream like that before or since.

Now what I experienced may be considered a hallucination to the scientific community, but that voice was in no way a part of me. I don't even think I had any thoughts like that in my subconscious at the time. My parents sheltered us from scary things for that very reason. There's no way my mind could have fabricated that voice at 8 years old.

By anon181157 — On May 28, 2011

I have had frightening experiences over the years yet as of Easter I have been having them almost nightly. Last night was the worst. It was different than the other times as this time I could explain what I was seeing. Normally I will feel willed to awake and look in a certain direction and then I will see what are usually frightening hard to explain things. Usually I am in bed alone but at times my husband is there. Though I scream out many times it takes so long for him to hear and by the time he does I am a mess.

Lat night I had been asleep for about 25 minutes. I wasn't will to awake, don't really know why I did.

However this time instead of not knowing what I was seeing and watching it fade it was clear. It was a man walking past the foot of my bed, his back to me with jeans and a hoodie pulled up.

I was startled and this time it seemed startled as well, as though it was not expecting me to wake up. I freaked and it seemed to freak and tried to run and hide but it couldn't and kept running into the wall. I ran out of my room screaming for my husband who came running taking the stairs three at a time.

I was a mess, my heart beating out of my chest. I was hysterical and called my mom. I can't go on like this. I managed to get back to sleep when my husband came to bed at 2:30. I slept with the covers over my head and woke up all night in soaked sweat but refused to come out of the blankets. I figured if I don't look, it can't scare me anymore.

I am afraid to see a doctor. I don't want this in a permanent file. I too, am afraid that when I am old and possibly alone, these will overcome me and I may be lost to my mind. I am sure people would call me crazy. I am trying to find a logical solution and this may be it.

Still, last night my husband was irritated and when he said "how come this never happens when I'm around" he has no idea how much that scared me. I just want to be left alone. I am not crazy.

By anon178720 — On May 22, 2011

I am currently 14 years old. The first time I remember having a hallucination was when I was about 7. I had just woken up from a nightmare and so I went to my mom's room to sleep. I then began seeing snakes slithering throughout the bed and a figure walk down the hallway. In the years since then I have woken up seeing bugs, people, a river flowing through my room (weird huh?) and many other things. I'm comforted in knowing that other people experience similar sensations.

By anon178170 — On May 20, 2011

I am a female who recently turned 60 years old. Approximately four or five months ago, I began having hallucinations which seem to center on bugs. Initially, I was vividly seeing spiders of all sizes, shapes and colors either crawling on me (I could feel them.) or just crawling toward me on my bed.

After several hallucinations, the spiders moved to a certain wall in my bedroom and hovered in and out of the bedroom drapes. I would wake up, jump out of bed and run to the wall trying to see if this was real. When the hallucinations first began, I was determined to tear my bed apart and find the source of the spiders. After six weeks or so passed I was beginning to think I was insane (and so did my husband). I prayed and prayed to God to give me some kind of sign to let me know if these spiders were real or not. The next hallucination was not one of spiders, but a beautiful cluster of monarch butterflies. They too congregated on my bedroom wall. After that, I felt better.

The insects temporarily changed from spiders to butterflies, dragonflies, or bees. However, spiders have come back and last night the insect of choice was a large water beetle that was crawling on my pillow. I thought that perhaps these hallucinations are due to a certain drug I take for A-fib but my doctor has said no such reports have been filed about the drug. I think I will push the issue further since the episodes began around the same time I began taking the drug.

I'm trying to remain calm and approach this logically. I will be thinking about all of you and send you my best wishes for a complete recovery.

By anon176427 — On May 15, 2011

I was diagnosed with PTSD.

Ever since I was young I had believed I was dead due to the sleep paralysis; Groundhog day (false wakening);

horrific hallucinations; OBE's, paralysis, demons, alien abduction experiences, nightmares, lucid dreams,

poltergeists in the bedroom (or so it seemed).

I had been to the doctors loads of times during those years, all thought it was down to nerves. Someone else when I was older thought it was schizophrenia. Finally when I saw a psychiatrist and told her more about my life, I was told it was PTSD.

So take a look at your own experiences everyone. Is there a possibility that your body has been trying to send you a message?

I discovered that after talking it through, about 95 percent of my symptoms disappeared within a short while. I was never given any medication as it was thought to suppress the emotions.

By anon173412 — On May 07, 2011

Last night I came up with a theory of what hypnagogic hallucinations are. Although these hallucinations can occur by relaxing your eyesight and looking into your mind's eye while in bed before sleeping, they are much easier to access, more intense and more varied if you have been taking narcotics and are sleep deprived.

Last night in bed with my girlfriend (noodled) we both realized we were seeing the same phenomena. The same patterns the same shapes, changes, and time lapses.

I was amazed by this, as I had assumed the exact nature of a hallucination to be a very personal experience.

Anyway, to make sure we weren't verbally influencing each others descriptions, we both "meditated" for half an hour without speaking, and then separately wrote down what we experienced on a time line. We both then categorized as many of the individual phenomenon as possible.

When I compared they were identical. I think that is amazing, and not a result I was expecting.

In a semi darkened room looking at a plan white ceiling. The categories are as follows.

Dots, cells, small tiles, large patterned tiles and mosaics.

The first thing to note is that across our field of vision, all phenomena were performed as if on perfectly spaced grid.

Faint dots appear first, sometimes in perfect squares, others more complex sequences. The color always starting at a vivid lilac turning to deep purple.

Dots got to cells. This one is easy to describe. Peacock feathers, or rather, the iridescent eye. These cells then join together in various conglomerations such as strands or Mandelbrot sets. These conglomeration of cells move interact and fold around each other in an ever-changing and infinite variety. Total number of cells I estimate vary between 70-300.

From out behind the cells, "pushing the cells out" come the small tiles. These tiles are perfect squares, a quarter size of a cell. At first they completely fill your field of vision, and stationary.

They then like the cells, they conglomerate into two to four separate groups. For no other better way to describe this organic, yet at the same time geometric movement is swarming. Dark blue then shimmering across the spectrum to an intense purple.

These swarms then close in on themselves, becoming denser, rounder more vivid until disappearing behind the background curtain.

As this is happening to the first swarm, it is surrounded by another, ready to take its place and restart the cycle. Bioluminescent type flashes occur as the swarm compress.

Again the tiles are replaced by large, patterned tiles, or a whole, complete mosaic filling your field of vision. These many move on block around your field of vision, but always maintain their structural identity and pattern.

It's very difficult (and embarrassing)to try and convey an accurate impression of a hallucination.

But what is important in the small flavor I've tried to give above is of infinite geometric patterns within defined and unchanging categories, seamlessly combined with an organic quality. That may seem contradictory, but in reality it is very natural.

OK you've read the above blather, my conclusions are: Your brain makes a construct for you to accurately interface the outside world. In order to do this it must use algorithms to digitize and process the information received from you eyes. I know comparing computers to brains is not the best analogy, but like a computer you brain has to make efficient use of memory.

We use compression applications such as JPEGS to compress digital photos to less memory intensive chunks. I think hypnagogic hallucinations are brains compression algorithms at work.

The very geometric nature of the above patterns I described could be the usually unconscious part of your brain, scanning what you are seeing, looking patterns it can then bundle up and compress.

It's just in idea, but I think in reference to my mention of Mandelbrot sets, fractals are integral in the use of compression software.

The sheer ingenuity of the unconscious brain in producing an ever changing array of geometrical shapes leaves me in awe. It's the best art exhibition in town.

By anon173307 — On May 06, 2011

I have Hypnagogic episodes at least weekly. It's been going on for years. At first I was terrified and used to scream out, but I'm used to it now and usually know right from the beginning that it's just a hallucination. Some of the visions are terrifying - spiders, strange men, dark clouds. Other visions are totally benign. Last night I saw my son's baseball shoes levitating over my chest. Once I saw a lady in a pink dress crouched next to my bed.

I have told most of my friends and family at one point, but I've never met anyone who has had the same experiences. Tonight was the first time I actually got online to find a name for it. It feels good to know that it's a real thing and other people have experienced it.

By anon171224 — On Apr 29, 2011

I've suffered from this for the past 5 years (age of onset: 25). I usually get them just as I'm falling asleep and I'll get them a couple of nights in a row & then nothing for months but I definitely think stress is a factor. The two most intense bouts have occurred when I was getting little sleep while working a very stressful job, and more recently while in the throws of writing a PhD thesis.

Things I've "seen" include spiders crawling towards me on my bed, an 'infrared' net falling on top of me, a woman holding on to my lamp shade spinning around really fast and a gremlin-like creature standing next to my bed pointing something at me.

I wake with a start and experience a full blown anxiety reaction and have screamed out occasionally. I can usually reassure myself fairly quickly but with that sort of sympathetic nervous system arousal, it's hard to get back to sleep.

I plan to start keeping a diary of when these hallucinations occur and note down potential contributing factors. I also use a sleep talk recording app as I occasionally sleep talk and want to see if sleep talk is in anyway correlated with these hallucination episodes.

Very reassuring to hear other people's experiences. Thanks!

By anon168974 — On Apr 19, 2011

I used to have pre and post sleep hallucinations really bad. They started while I was in the Navy. They were no doubt caused by stress and lack of sleep. I've been out for two years now, but I still have them now and again.

What I have found, and this works every time I do it, is to remind myself exactly what it is that is going on. While going to sleep, just keep in your mind that nothing paranormal is going on. Remember all of these posts, and remember that you are not being haunted, and that you are not crazy. If you keep this in your mind, I really think it will help. As I said, it works for me every time.

Also, don't use the internet, watch TV, or play video games before you go to bed. That's a sure fire way of making your brain do weird stuff while you sleep. Try reading yourself to sleep (not Goosebumps, that won't help with nightmares.) Hope this helps at least one person. I know how distressing it can be. It really is very problematic for leading a healthy lifestyle. Hang in there, guys!

By anon165444 — On Apr 05, 2011

When I was a teenager it started out that I would wake up paralyzed. I wouldn't be able to move or open my eyes like most people can. It was always a little eerie. Then about a year ago I started to have a sensation that I was falling in dreams. Whether sitting in a chair or standing up, I would just start to fall into what seemed like a black abyss. I would always force myself awake because I was afraid. Not too long ago it started to happen before I fell asleep all the way. And it seemed real, not a dream.

My head always feels like its pounding and it hurts really bad like I'm biting my teeth together so hard that if I bite any harder they would break. I usually stay on my bed in the visions as I travel around. And it always starts off like my bed is tilting and I'm falling off of it. I can't make it stop either. And sometimes it gets very painful.

By anon164755 — On Apr 02, 2011

I'm 20 years old and i started having severe sleep paralysis last summer, sometimes up to four times a night. Lately, i have also been experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations in which i feel that my mind is falling down through the pillow, and i will see bright lights, hear whispers or ringing and sometimes have strange tactile feelings like as if my legs were lying on a puddle or on grass.

Whenever i have a particularly frightening experience, i find the only thing that calms me is going on sites like these and reading everyone's comments and realizing I'm not alone. I sometimes even get a bit emotional reading the comments.

I think that for those of us who will be experiencing these hallucinations and sleep paralysis for the rest of our lives, we have to always remember that these episodes are never going to harm us, and should try and see the bright side of it all by just realizing these episodes are just our minds expressing their creativity, resulting in some incredible experiences that most people will never feel, even if a lot of the time they scare us. I feel like I'm learning a lot about myself and how my mind works.

We are not crazy. We are just sleepy people with seriously creative minds! Much love to everyone.

By anon157322 — On Mar 02, 2011

I am seventeen and I suffer from hypnagogic hallucinations. If you'd like details, here's the beginning of an essay I wrote on it for English.

Here I am, in my comfortable bed, freshly showered and ready for a relaxing, peaceful slumber. I shift positions a few times, and finally I close my eyes. I lie still as the cute, small snores from my dog, loyally laying by my side, lull me to fall asleep. Moments before I actually do fall asleep, a sharp and tingly sensation shoots up my arm and my body becomes far too cold for comfort. Every part of me gets goose bumps and I start to shake. I try to stop as I lay there and pray that what I know is about to happen, doesn't. Out of nothing, my body is now hot and I struggle to remove my covers.

Tears are streaming down my face as I realize that I can't move. I weep silently as I start to give in and unwillingly accept my nightly curse. In the same way your arm or leg might fall asleep, my entire body is now almost completely paralyzed. This isn't even the worst part, my throat and mouth become dry and I cannot swallow; I know what comes next.

My head pounds and I hear an awful, high-pitched ring. I can't close my eyes anymore and it is almost painful to blink. I'm completely still now. I can faintly hear the sounds of children on a playground, the clanks and squeaks of a swing set and kids laughing. Those laughs soon morph into an elderly man who sounds like he is coughing and in a great deal of pain.

My vision blurs in and out, and I still cannot easily close my eyes. Eerie shadows dance on my ceiling and strange shapes start to form all over. The shapes and shadows start to form into pictures, some of them are well detailed and the others are still blurry. I see faces, not normal or attractive faces, their eyes are blackened, their mouths sewn shut and all I can hear now are screams.

Some of my feelings come back and I can blink, yet I am too afraid to close my eyes. I glance at a corner of my room and I never know what I'm going to see. Sometimes it's on fire, sometimes my walls are melting or other times they're just normal. My body continues to slowly turn back to normal, I reach a content temperature and I can feel my limbs. These are the symptoms of hypnagogia, and this is my life, almost every night.

I really don't understand hypnagogia too well. I obviously know what happens but, why? This isn't anything I would wish upon my greatest enemy, yet it happens to me and so many other people.

By anon156617 — On Feb 28, 2011

Like others I am glad to hear that I am not the only one. I am 26 now, and actually just had one of these visions last night. Since I was at least 13 I used to wake up shortly after sleeping, and I would jump out of bed after seeing crabs next to my bed. I would turn all the lights on and then realize it was not real. Last night I woke up to see a huge lizard looking creature next to my ceiling fan, I ran out of my room to grab a flashlight and inspected my entire room, of course it was a dream. I think my dog thinks I am crazy. Luckily these seem to occur very rarely, but still makes you feel foolish.

By anon154188 — On Feb 20, 2011

I experience these hallucinations quite frequently. I can deal with them since learning what they are, but they are still terrifying while occurring.

The first was the worst in which I woke up and felt pressure all over my body. my eyes were open and I was looking around my room. There was a thick black cloud hovering over the foot of my bed. I could feel a dark, evil presence, and could hear low demonic sounding growls and laughing but I couldn't move. the pressure continued to become greater to the point i felt that i couldn't breathe and i tried to scream but nothing would come out.

Suddenly, my body started to sit up slowly. i tried to fight it but I couldn't move. it was a similar feeling to being electrocuted -- when you're trying to break away but you can't.

Suddenly, my body flew straight up in bed and my arms moved out in front of me as if something had grabbed my wrists and started pulling me forward. i was trying to fight it and fell out of bed. i slowly was able to crawl to my bedroom door, but it felt like something was pulling me back. I began screaming inside for my mother but only a barely audible, choked whisper escaped. I got a hold of the doorknob and got the door open then blacked out. I woke up in a puddle of tears in the hallway outside of my bedroom the next morning. I had never been so frightened in my whole life. I think I must have been about 20 at the time and at 29 I still suffer from them.

By anon154185 — On Feb 20, 2011

I am a 41 male and i have been having what i thought were nightmares while falling asleep.

The strangeness to all this i was awake through it all. And strange things were happening around me. in the back of my head it felt like i was being pulled down, i could not move and speak. And i could see strange things like shadows moving around and the sound of the wind howling.

By anon153721 — On Feb 18, 2011

I'm fifty nine years old and have only just discovered that what I have been experiencing since being a teenager are hypnagogic hallucinations.

When I was nineteen, I tried to 'rescue' a newborn baby that was falling out of a crack in the ceiling and woke up to find myself standing on my bed with my hands outstretched to catch it. I woke up as I was doing it because my mother called out my name in alarm. Since I have been an older adult, there have been many times I have heard members of the family come into the house and start talking and I have tried to open my eyes and move and could not. When I have awoken, there was no one there and never had been. It wasn't terrifying but neither was it pleasant.

In the last few years, the experiences have become more frightening in that I have felt a presence in my bedroom, someone/thing pulling and twitching at the top of the sheets to get at me and a roaring wind blowing about me and blowing the sheets.

I can see the alarm clock and the room and I feel myself pull the sheets around me to protect myself and I start to pray as I am so frightened.

I found that when I managed to call out "Jesus" loudly, it stopped. I think that forcing yourself to do or say something if you can, breaks it - I usually fall back to sleep and am o.k. but recently it really unnerved me and I started to be frightened of going to sleep so I talked about it with a professional and am seeking help.

Some people say there is a link to childhood abuse and some people deny that outright.

As abuse was part of my childhood, I'm not sure if there isn't a connection in my case but I won't say that for everyone. I know that most of what I have read on the internet about hypnagogic hallucinations indicates that prior abuse isn't a factor. so I don't want to alarm people. --DSE

By anon153486 — On Feb 17, 2011

i have a 3/12 year old son who is pretty much has normal childhood. he is active, loves school and just being and doing normal 3/12 year old stuff. For the last two weeks he got the fever, and about 2 a.m. he woke up fussing and trying to go back to sleep but then he got up and said "look, look the butterfly" and his eyes were traveling all over the room as if something is flying, but then he got scared because this butterfly is coming to get him and from there it starts. He is wide awake, lights on and he is still seeing this creature and he trembles in fear and cried out.

Yep, the doctor said the fever raised suddenly so that is the cause of the hallucinating. O.K., so i thought he is traumatized, so whenever he comes in the house he will remember and be scared. This was two weeks ago, and now he's all good and healthy again, active as ever and is still being tormented by this butterfly that he alone sees, in the night. Now even in the day he sees it. We slept one night in a hotel and yes it was a peaceful night, no butterfly, but when we went outside the hotel taking him to school, he was again saying, "look the butterfly". we will try one more sleep out and see if it will help him, then try to move out of this house. Maybe a different environment might help him to forget. Can anyone out there suggest a solution!

By anon152601 — On Feb 14, 2011

I am a 32 year old woman and have been suffering from this since I was 10 years old. I have very vivid hallucinations. 100 percent of the time the hallucinations take place in my room, e.g. the ceiling fan turns into rotating switchblades that come falling down on me. Or my pillow corners turn into an evil jester; the pillow is his hat, etc.

Once a little girl was floating next to my bed. Her hair was made of snakes and her face was a melting skull. All very evil, terrifying hallucinations. Men crouched at my bedside with guns and knives, my husband sitting on the bed, his hair falling out and wings sprouting through his shoulders. I try to focus and make it go away but it intensifies.

I am always silent, holding my breath and paralyzed, praying that whatever presence is there will go away and not discover that I am laying in the bed. My heart beats so fast and hard that I think that whoever is there will hear it.

I normally have about four or five a year. However, the past week I had three. I am going to the doctor finally, as I have always dismissed this as overactive brain. Well, it is getting to be too much. I am afraid to go to bed at night.

By anon151946 — On Feb 12, 2011

I have had mostly audio, but some visual hypnagogia for years and years and years, almost every night. For me it is mostly random banal conversation or half second flashes of scenes, people, places, objects, totally random images or animations. It will go away for a few days sometimes, and I will find it hard to fall asleep, and I will miss it and feel like something is missing without it.

Sometimes I fear I have lost the ability completely and it is depressing, for me it is a very joyful experience that I look forward to every night. I rarely am frightened. Even from the start I didn't feel as though it were negative, and its more like thoughts that I am not thinking than anything else.

Hopefully more people out there have my version of hypnagogia. It's a very big part of my life.

By anon150043 — On Feb 06, 2011

If you feel that you experience these hallucinations more commonly than the average person combined with general fatigue or severe sleepiness during the day you may have narcolepsy as the article suggests. Many doctors misdiagnose narcolepsy as other disorders, such as depression or anxiety, and place people on medications they do not need as the other comments here have proven.

Narcolepsy is a severe autoimmune disease that causes the autonomic nervous system to fail.

If you feel you experience these hallucinations more than what you think is probably "normal" and you are frequently a very tired person, you really need to see a neurologist specializing in sleep disorders in order to be treated.

A "normal" person usually can only remember several episodes of these types of hallucinations over the course of their entire lifetime.

By anon149309 — On Feb 03, 2011

I just stumbled on this website and I am blown away. Both my brother and I experience similar traumatic episodes during the time between sleep and awake. I didn't know he suffered from this until a few years ago (we are both in our 40's). The experience was always about the same but intensified with time and involved a presence of evil approaching, faceless, and soon it was on you and pressing you down, then the bed would begin to tilt downward and there was a sensation of sliding. Of course, to vocalize was nearly impossible and took every ounce of strength.

Other experiences were people I knew would appear in my room and I would ask them things. Then I would realize that it wasn't real and reach over to turn on the light but it wouldn't turn on and then I'd panic. The last major episode was "electrical", like a rewiring where it felt like electricity entered the bottom of my feet, traveling through the body, and exiting the top of my head; then I awoke. I still experience the in between states but they no longer make me petrified.

I hope this helps someone. I was so scared for so many years but I think you can take control in your subconscious state. It has to be a brain chemistry thing.

By anon148183 — On Jan 31, 2011

I'm 16 and I had my first hallucination while half asleep. I can remember it sounded as if my entire room was collapsing and I felt an intense presence of some sort of entity. It really scared the crap out of me and It caused me to have extreme anxiety whenever I sleep. I'm scared to fall back asleep and I can only fall asleep with the comfort of someone else.

By anon146720 — On Jan 27, 2011

I'm 12 years old and I've had this a lot of times. The first one i had was at 10 years old. i saw a white figure coming up to me and i thought it was my brother in a white dressing gown. So i went to hug him in my bed and I wouldn't do this if i was awake.

Anyway, the second time i saw white and a screaming man and the same time a ringing noise and the rest are like the second?

By anon143558 — On Jan 16, 2011

i didn't even know this was a real thing until i was researching narcolepsy and clicked on this. I don't know if it's actually happened to me before, but here's are thoughts.

I do actually jerk myself awake a lot, but not lately. a few weeks ago, i drank a crapload of rock stars because it was new years and i wanted to stay up. i woke myself up several times by sleep talking, and then i woke up and my arms were up in the air like a zombie.

And then the other night, i kept having dreams that i would wake up, but everything was like a dream, and it happened multiple times that night. i would "wake up" from one dream, and then go up to tell my mom or something, but i could tell it was a dream. It's really hard to explain. So then, like i always see, i would pinch myself and not feel anything. Then I'd pinch harder and harder and harder but not feel anything, and i didn't know whether or not i was actually moving my arms.

It scared me so much because i was scared that i would just have to wait for hours until i woke up. then finally, i woke up in real life, but since i didn't know if it was still a dream, i pinched myself again. (stupid i know)

And this doesn't have anything to do with this, but one time when i was little, i had a dream that i was camping and had to pee, so i peed in the creek, and then woke up and peed in real life. lol.

By anon135419 — On Dec 18, 2010

I've had weird experiences as long as i can remember. When i was a child i used to have a recurring experience most nights i would have a dream of cogs turning then a young girl skipping down a street with voices of men shouting abuse at her i would then have a feeling of being smothered this would wake me up and i would see small green 'goblin' type men in my room, i would scream and my mum would come attempt to reassure me they weren’t there but i would still see them.

I'm now 17 and i still have strange experiences, i frequently have terrifying vivid nightmares in which i know I’m dreaming such as having the blood drained out of me by vampires or being sexually assaulted.I i try and wake myself up by hitting my head on the floor, etc., but it takes ages for me to wake.

I frequently see and speak to people in my room who are usually under my bed or hiding in my cupboard. I have conversations with them and ask them to come out. My friends have witnessed me doing this and ask me who I'm talking to, it’s strange because i feel as if I'm conscious when this happens then i suddenly snap out of it and realize no one is there.

I'm thinking of going to seek help as lately i dread going to sleep because of this.

By Shaunna — On Dec 18, 2010

I'm 20 years old and for the last two years have suffered with sleep paralysis, but until recently, I've experienced something far more uncomfortable.

On one occasion, I wasn't particularly dreaming but when I woke up I could physically feel someone pushing down on the side of my head and angrily whispering through gritted teeth in my ear.

When I was finally able to move there was no one there.

On a similar occasion I was sharing a bed with my friend when I heard a toilet flushing in the middle of the night followed by someone standing on the bed as though they were walking towards me. I was in a state of paralysis and when I realized that it wasn't her standing on the bed I felt two feet standing on me on the right side of my ribs. I gasped in pain and again, when I was able to move, there was no one there.

It scared the hell out of me and I was convinced that there was some spirit-type following me (although I'm not a believer of that sort of thing).

After that it seemed to calm down (though the paralysis didn't) until recently.

A couple of nights ago I had a dream that someone stabbed me, which was scary in itself but soon after I could feel someone sexually assaulting me (I'm not kidding) and I reached out and grabbed their wrist to stop them. I could physically feel the wrist. It was thin and bony and I was yelling at them to get off and when I woke up, there was no wrist in my hand.

And the most recent time was last night when I dreamed that i was being bitten by a dog. I was watching the blood pouring out of my hand and trying to get this dog off my hand when i woke up and saw a bloodstain on the wall about 5inches in diameter. The shape a tomato makes when its thrown with force at a wall. So i rubbed my eyes and looked again and it had gone. I could also feel the pain on my hand where the dog had bitten me.

I'm experiencing more and more cases of sleep paralysis which is upsetting enough but now my dreams are flowing into my reality. I just want it to stop.

By anon133944 — On Dec 13, 2010

I'm 19 and just got my first of these. I've had two now, and at first I've been freaking out about them. A lot of these posts I've seen say they have interesting visions of just patterns and stuff. But mine have been very freaky. i think its due to my stress in life. I just recently broke up with my girlfriend of three years and its been really tough.

My first hallucination was that she was there lying next to me. This wasn't frightening though, just very weird i thought. i talked to her and went back to bed. But just recently i had the most scary experience of my life. I "woke up" from my dream and went outside my bedroom and went into my friend's room and there i was hit with a sudden wave of blackness and collapsed to the floor. It felt so real and as this happened, i felt like i wasn't myself. So i tried to wake myself up but i would come back to my real self in bed and couldn't move. i was literally petrified in my bed. Which freaked me out but then i would be back in my dream and i ran to wake myself up but once i got back into my bedroom i was stuck again by this darkness that killed me. I watched myself die from my sleeping self. So i woke up again this time in real life and freaked out, thinking i just died.

I don't know – it's really hard to explain, and it's freaking me out. I hope these go away.

By anon132297 — On Dec 06, 2010

There is hope to stop hynagogia!

@ #40: That is a very common experience. Some people call them "shadow people." I had a similar experience.

I am 19 and began having these only six months ago. I think the cause was drugs, medications, and/or irregular sleeping. Anyway, I had a pretty extreme case but not as bad as #41 sounds. Two or three times a night I would have strangely random and sometimes downright scary hypnagogia that are too numerous to name.

About two months ago these stopped 99 percent. Now it is rare for me to have them even once a week. If I do have an experience it is very mild and I cannot usually tell if it was hypnagogia or just a normal dream. It is postulated that they go away with age and that is something I look forward too. Hopefully I will be fine in another six months.

@ #41: You said that they went away for periods but returned, so the cause of yours is probably internal. I really hope they cease for good. I believe my cause was external (drugs, etc) because I have never had these at a young age.

By anon131926 — On Dec 04, 2010

I'm 20, and I've recently had hallucinations from waking up, I've only ever seen patterns. i have a white wardrobe right at the side of my head and have seen criss crossed flowers growing up it once, and then a second time i have seen shiny black scale like patterns on it like dripping nail varnish. it's pretty freaky.

at the time i think I'm fully awake, and keep blinking and they do not go away until a few seconds later. I also had a migraine recently and saw odd, colourful, zigzag patterns which I've also seen after my hallucinations.

i really want to know what might be causing it. I've told a few people close to me and they think I'm being silly and making it up. it's really frustrating.

By anon130678 — On Nov 29, 2010

I am 45 years old and consider myself to be an extreme case. I have been suffering from this since i was at least 3 years old.

I was diagnosed with Hypnagogic hallucinations at age 15 and put on medication. The meds did not work. My experiences are too numerous to count. Extreme hallucinations and paralysis up to 6 times a night. Some times it will go away for months but then hits me like a brick. I'm afraid if i did not will myself out as soon as possible i would fall deep into my own mind and never get out. I'm afraid it will suffocate me when I'm old. I'm afraid to have an operation because i might be trapped in the void. These are my thoughts.

By anon129933 — On Nov 26, 2010

I just had one of these experiences last night, and after some early morning research found this site and figured I'd share my experience.

I was halfway between sleep and wakefulness when I felt a solid presence that felt like a hand on my left shoulder. I groggily turned around, still only half conscious, and saw a figure with a long black hood obscuring it's face staring directly at me. It soundlessly drew closer to my face and just stared directly at me. Then it disappeared after I gasped and screamed (which fully awoke me). This whole experience lasted only a fraction of a second, but it scared the crap out of me so bad I couldn't go to sleep for an hour and a half afterward.

By anon127421 — On Nov 16, 2010

I had some auditory hallucinations when I was going through a relationship split, I was under stress at the time and wasn't sleeping properly. I would regularly hear birdsong just before sleeping, and it was actually rather pleasant in nature. Like sleeping in an aviary. The hallucinations eventually got less the less stressed and the more sleep I had. I have not had one since.

By anon127305 — On Nov 15, 2010

I'm 19 years old and suffer from these visions on a regular basis. My hallucinations normally consist of terrifying demons, wolves with fierce red eyes, strange deities, and faceless masses.

Sometimes they hover above me and other times (it feels as if) they reach out and grab me. I remember having them as a child, and telling myself I was a wimp for fearing the night so much. I wish I had known about these, maybe I wouldn't have beaten myself up so much over it.

However, often times I would get up and go into my parents room to deal with the stress. I have had several instances where I have been up and moving and these things still chase me. There are often associated feelings of terror, impending doom, and attack. Now I am in college and I still fear the night. Hopefully this new found knowledge helps.

By anon127281 — On Nov 15, 2010

I am 30 years old and have had these hallucinations since i was 15 years old. I have recently found out what they are, thank the Lord. I really thought i was losing my mind and that i was the only one.

My psychiatrist explained to me what was happening to me. I have always been reluctant to share these experiences thinking people would think I was crazy.

I have had auditory and visual hallucinations and they are terrifying when you don't know what is happening. Thanks to all for sharing your experiences i don't feel so alone anymore.

By anon124999 — On Nov 08, 2010

I have had my hallucinations for about nine years now. I figured that stress must have triggered them as I was living with my in laws at the time, but my first one was so vivid I still remember it and it is still unfortunately talked about at family bbqs.

I was convinced a helicopter was landing on the bed so leaped out of bed in the pitch black and tried to crawl under the window to get outside. I still regularly have horrid and frightening visions where my eyes are wide open and I'm not quite awake, my poor husband cops it as I try to fight off various snakes, spiders, burgers etc. But mostly I have learned to deal with it now and have the presence of mind to tell myself that they are not real.

But I wasn't really aware of the narcolepsy angle on this and have a feeling that it could be part of it, especially with the excessive daytime sleepiness (not bad, just always feel tired). Maybe it's time to check it out with the doctor. Thanks for enlightening me!

By anon123381 — On Nov 01, 2010

I am now 38 years old and have had these for as long as I can remember. They can be as frequent as several a week, and the longest duration I went without them was in the two years following the birth of my son. I thought that the hormonal changes of pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding had gotten rid of them, but not so.

But, I want to reassure everyone here that having recurrent hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations does not necessarily mean there is an underlying medical or psychiatric issue. I am very healthy both physically and mentally.

I do believe there may be a genetic link. My sister and nephew also have them, and I think my young son does as well. They don't scare me anymore. I take it in stride. "Oh, there's a giant spider on the ceiling. It'll fade away soon." "The whispering voices are in the room again. Don't even waste your time trying to make out what they are saying."

I can will myself awake from it now. It's really no big deal to me now. All I need to figure out is how to explain this to my 2 1/2 year old son.

By anon120817 — On Oct 22, 2010

I use to have these hallucinations from the age of 16 to 19. It would usually happen right before going to sleep and sometimes before waking up. What would happen is that my eyes would open but I couldn't move, then my whole body would vibrate so terribly that I thought I was having a seizure. In fact, I thought these were seizures before I found out they were hallucinations.

The absolute worst experience I had was one were I thought I had demons and worms implanted in my body. It was so bad that I believed in the devil for a day, and I'm a practicing atheist/ physics student.

By anon120748 — On Oct 21, 2010

I have a question for wiseGEEK. Is hypnagogia the result of a brain dysfunction/deformation, in structure or in chemistry, and is there any cure?

I am going to see a psychiatrist about my hypnagogia because they are incessant. They began about three months ago and used to be lurid and lifelike. Now they are mild and have lessened. I still find them to be an annoyance and want them to stop.

In the above causes of hypnagogia, the only ones I can relate to are irregular sleep patterns. If anyone has an answer that would be awesome.

By anon120059 — On Oct 20, 2010

Thank you for this site and giving me an ID of what I experience once almost every night and I am so grateful that my auditory hallucinations are mild relative to what others are suffering.

The hallucinations started years ago - waking me from a sound sleep, but may be just as I drifting into the best sleep period of the night. Started by hearing the telephone ring, leaping out of bed, but no one there. Then instead of the telephone, it was the doorbell.

When one type of hallucination goes away, another takes its place in the pantheon. Sometimes it is a like a part from an airplane falls on my roof. Last night it was one loud bang of a door slamming. Just one sound that wakes me up and I rarely get back into a good sleep.

Interestingly, when I have guests in the house, these do not occur, and I have lived alone for a long time. Maybe get a housemate again?

By anon116520 — On Oct 06, 2010

i have just recently had a hallucination similar to what is reported, if you can call it that. i was about 30 minutes into sleep, and i tried to open my eyes and i couldn't, then i opened them and i felt extremely heavy and out of it (high almost), and with my eyes open, or so i thought. i opened them once more, gasping for air now fully awake.

By anon113714 — On Sep 25, 2010

I've had these hallucinations since I was 23. I've seen the large spiders, black cats, Darth Vader, machine guns pointing down at me from the ceiling, the ceiling falling down, and so many times men standing there, little girls, etc.

I would scream out, fly out of bed or turn the light on and they'd go away instantly. It was always l hour after I went to sleep. I couldn't figure it out because it wasn't every single night. I'm 52 now and have discovered that the foods I eat can make all the difference. The nightshade vegetables and sweet potatoes are especially bad.

This summer I wasn't having hardly any problems. And then this week I had a night where it was a few times, and the next night five times every half hour. That had never happened. I realized it was because I'd eaten salmon and sweet potatoes. Nightshades have alkaloid solanine in them and one internet site said it can have a drug-like effect.

Nightshades can even include cayenne pepper, paprika and pimentos, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes. When I watch what I eat they disappear. I do tend to be sensitive to chemicals like MSG as well. If you're sensitive to chemicals it might be worth a try to experiment with keeping a journal and what you eat and see if that helps. Food allergies can be the cause of a lot of things.

By anon113594 — On Sep 25, 2010

I've only had two (from what I can remember). The first one happened about five minutes after falling asleep. I saw my closet light on and then a tiger walked right in front of my bed. I then felt two hands start to pull down on my pants as I tried to scream (but nothing would come out) the hands then grabbed my wrists tightly and then I jolted awake.

Everything felt so real and vivid. I was pretty terrified. I even checked my arm for fingernail imprints. My second hypnagogic hallucination I felt someone sitting on top of my whole body. It was so heavy I couldn't move and barely breathe. I felt like I was paralyzed and tried screaming out to my husband but again nothing would come out. They are very scary for me.

By anon113483 — On Sep 24, 2010

I'm 19 and have recently started having these for only about a month. I think they are the aftereffects of anti-psychotics and anti-depressants that I stopped using. But I also sleep about 14 hours a day as I am recovering from drug induced psychosis from snorting too much coke and smoking too much weed.

I know what you're thinking, "These are not hypnagogic hallucinations you're a schizo! These are real hallucinations which is proven by your psychosis!" But the fact is, they only happen when I'm starting to go to sleep or starting to wake up. I have no symptoms of psychosis like hallucinations during the day.

I've found the best way to stop these is to get a healthier sleep, set a bedtime and set your alarm clock.

By anon111496 — On Sep 16, 2010

I am 18 now and starting college. I've been having these hallucinations for a few years, maybe since I was around 14.

I have them almost immediately after lying down and closing my eyes to sleep. I can control what I want to see and if something is frightening I can quickly change it to something peaceful. Often times my hallucinations are accompanied by original music that I have never heard before; it is very similar to a visualizer on itunes.

I hope anybody who has trouble with these hallucinations can learn to tame them as I did. I used to see horribly graphic and violent things falling asleep when I was younger.

By anon108995 — On Sep 05, 2010

I have had these for as long as I remember, and very often. I look forward to them. I see people and places I have never been or seen. It makes me feel as though I have had a past life. I see the most amazing colours and faces that flash past me. I have never felt scared from them.

I describe it is as like a film before I fall asleep. I can't alter them, as I have tried many times as I fall asleep. It surprises me that I can also do maths sums when I dream.

I feel very fortunate that I have never experienced the fear that most people seem to from these visions. I look up on them as adventures of the mind.

By anon108789 — On Sep 04, 2010

i had the big/little hallucinations as a child following a migraine, and it was an awful feeling.

I'm almost 40 and just now realize that they were hallucinations, wow. my reason for finding this is researching why my mom is suffering from 24/7 tactile hallucinations (feels weird stuff).

I've researched this night and day for months now. There are three things you guys should at least consider: 1. if sleep related ambien and other sleeping pills can cause hallucinations. i had them only twice as an adult and it was the two of the four times i took sleeping pills. 2. get an eye exam please. some ocular conditions can cause this -- weird but true. 3. if you take any prescriptions realize at any time you can develop an allergy to them regardless of length of time you have been on them three days to 10 years -- doesn't matter!

By anon104600 — On Aug 17, 2010

I have had what I believe is hypnagogic hallucinations since I was a child, so I don't believe mine are a result of stress.

I had them two to six times a week. I had a sleep study done in my 20's and again in my 40's. After working with a neurologist for a couple years and trying many different drugs, I have finally found one that has completely stopped the episodes. It's called clonazepam. I only take 1/2 mg each night.

In the morning, I take 100 mg provigil. He was surprised that clonazepam worked, but it does. Just wanted to pass this information on in case it can help someone else. Good luck to you all.

By anon102766 — On Aug 09, 2010

i actually had many hallucinations as i fell asleep or woke up. the first time wasn't even that bad. i hallucinated i was lying in my bed and my boyfriend said goodnight and got into bed with me. Then he rolled over and vanished. Then my boyfriend came into the room for real almost immediately afterward.

the second time was a great deal more disturbing. I just rolled over onto my side and i say the hall light was on and my door was open. Standing in the doorway was a small figure (about 4ft tall) hunched over and staring at me with two white eyes. It didn't look three dimensional, more like a solid silhouette. I looked at it, but it didn't move an inch, and it began to frighten me. I turned over and went back to sleep.

My next one was when i was in the bed with my boyfriend. I had the sensation i was carrying cups of coffee up stairs, but I dropped them. I ended up shooting up and yelling "whoa oh no!" My boyfriend woke up scared to death and screamed "What's wrong?" and i simply replied "i dropped the coffee" and went back to sleep. that one was pretty funny.

By anon99943 — On Jul 27, 2010

I'm not sure what I suffer from.

Sometimes it can take me days to sleep, and when I finally am so tired that I'm falling asleep, I get intense pains like electricity is being pumped through my body, or that I have been thrown in water and cannot breath, these cause me to shoot out of bed and hit out trying to grab something that I cannot see. I've already dislocated my shoulder because of the sheer terror of these experiences.

It's the pain I feel that wakes me up, and happens at least 20 times a night as I try to sleep. Sometimes when I've been interrupted in my sleep by the pain, I have a tendency to hallucinate as I'm waking. These range from huge transparent spiders (they don't actually really resemble spiders, more like strange starfish) that move across my wall, to black mist or odd small pale blue people (they look like wrinkled old men) stood in my room at the foot of the bed or at its side, they wear hoods. It's a really weird hallucination.

When I do dream, it's very vivid, I'm able to remember everything. I generally dream about war and death. Sleeping for me is torture.

I also find it very difficult to sleep at night, and find myself only able to find sleep between 6-9 a.m.

It's only during sleep or between sleeping and waking I experience these things.

If anyone has the same experience or got effective help please let me know.

By jannymaha — On Jul 13, 2010

I've had many vivid dreams (and more). I even dislocated my clavicle bone when I ran into the doorway after I 'saw' a shadow coming towards me in one of my hallucinations. I was finally diagnosed with Moderate Narcolepsy after 24 years of suffering. Yes, suffering, for I never looked forward to going to sleep because I knew my 'nightmares' would come as I was falling asleep or waking up.

Sleep paralysis, hypnagogic hallucinations, vivid and lucid dreaming, different levels of cataplexy, excessive daytime sleepiness, and possibly more, are all symptoms of narcolepsy. Speak to your doctor.

Many people everyone believe that narcolepsy means we can fall asleep at any time even while talking to someone. Even some doctors do not know about narcolepsy and will be stubborn if you tell them about something they don't know about.

If he doesn't listen or makes you feel as if it is all in your head, as my previous doctor did (I switched doctors with the help of my insurance company) then ask him to refer you to a sleep specialist. My doctor referred me to a neurologist who specializes in sleep medicine and he sent me for a sleep study. Now I take medicine (Anafranil in the evening and Adderall during the day) that keep all my symptoms at bay. Good luck to all and God bless.

By anon95006 — On Jul 11, 2010

I had these about three or four times last night. It would be around 30-40 minutes into me starting to fall asleep, as in I was no longer completely conscious and then my eyes would ease open and I'd see these white, luminous puff balls floating on my ceiling. It scared me so much that I ran out of my room into the bathroom where there was light.

Then I changed rooms and went to sleep in the living room, and as I was falling asleep I'd hear noises of something other than my dog moving. Then 30 minutes in, when I suddenly opened my eyes, I saw this green porcupine like creature treading towards me in the darkness. It was really vivid for a moment, then it disappeared completely, so I tried to fall asleep again in a different position and 30-40 minutes later my eyes opened again and I see this luminous light on the tv screen.

For a minute I was thinking maybe my house was haunted, but I've lived here two years now and I even know the original owners, so it didn't really make a lot of sense. It all just really messed up my sleep.

By anon91223 — On Jun 20, 2010

Be careful! The average sicko psychiatrist will think "Schizophrenic" rather than sleep disorder. A person must explicitly tell the doctors these things only happen during sleep!

By anon86272 — On May 24, 2010

I get these every night before I sleep, except mine hurt, every time I do I wake up screaming in pain. I've been having them for years and years and I have finally decided that seeing someone is probably the way to go!

By anon84041 — On May 13, 2010

just to add to my previous post: these dreams I had always occurred right before I fell asleep. I used to tell my mom that I thought I dreamed with my eyes open because I could always see my room. But as I got older, the crayola backpacks and walking visuals faded and just turned into fizzing Technicolor splotches.

By anon84038 — On May 13, 2010

I use to have these as a child very frequently and I loved them. The dreams are so vivid. I recall one hallucination where everything and anything around me was fizzing in and out of just gorgeous colors; it was like a psychedelic technicolor bliss. And always I had the feeling of warm chills going through my entire body.

In another, I vividly recall my whole room having different colored Crayola backpacks all along my walls and my turtle "piggy bank" you could say was walking across the room. In the very last one I had I experienced my pants got up, took a couple steps and fell across the room.When I woke up they were not across the room, but right next to me where I put them.

I have read up that these dreams occur in young children but I stopped having the dreams when I was about 13. I miss them; they were so trippy and surreal!

By anon82626 — On May 06, 2010

I'm a 20 year old student, and contrary to everyone here, I actually look forward to these crazy hallucinations, which like everyone else, can take an extremely vivid form.

I experience these hallucinations almost every night.

Many times it starts to get uncontrollably frightening, from milder things like screaming to truly horrifying scenes like heads getting ripped apart, but I've learned to control them, or at least to reassure myself that it's all in my head.

Otherwise, I experience amazing music and colours, and then lucid dreaming (i.e. controlling my own dreams), which is always a lot of fun, as you can will yourself to do practically anything and it'll seem real.

For example, jumping off a cliff and flying.

So yeah, I actually really enjoy these experiences.

By anon81682 — On May 03, 2010

I am a 20 year old student. i have had Hypnagogic Hallucination for about six months now, due to stress and lack of sleep. At first i was not to sure what i had. It was terrifying, as if someone is trying to send me a message. At one point I had these hallucinations three times in a row in one night. Sometimes i use to stay up the whole night trying to find out the problem.

However, i would like to inform everyone we could prevent it. I advise everyone who has it to have a set bedtime and wake up every morning at the same time. Yoga has also helped me, and green tea. Let me know what helps you. Thank you.

By anon75741 — On Apr 07, 2010

I am 16, so I'm also not sure if I'm still in the category as a "child", although I'm sure I am.

I only have these sensations occasionally, and they are always intense. Never knew it was an issue, but I don't have much of a problem with these hallucinations because they are bearable, and I also have vivid and terrifying dreams.

I thought that it was normal to have the falling sensations and jerk yourself awake, and that happened to me more often before becoming a teenager.

At one point it was so intense it woke me up and had me crying. I've had the same experiences with the voices after waking up in the night, and responded to them. And I'm not sure if I do have these specific hallucinations or not, because what happens to me is while my eyes are closed, before I am asleep.

I get extremely vivid images, for the most part they are disturbing, and occasionally accompanied with a physical sensation, pressure or pain.

What I find would be interesting to find out, though, is if these hallucinations can follow into sleep. I've been woken by loud crashes that were only in my brain, but would that only be classified as dreaming?

So I have experienced each category of these hallucinations, just after my eyes are closed, which makes me question if it is the same thing or not.

Because these experiences and sensations have not affected my life in any way, I'm not worried about them, I simply find the technicalities interesting, as well as reading other peoples' personal experiences with their hallucinations.

It's great that, for the people whose daily lives this does affect, there are "cures". I wish everyone well!

and there goes my input (:

By BadKitty — On Mar 31, 2010

To anon71024: I do not believe your experiences are the same as all of the others. While most of these people who experience these types of hallucinations have them while falling asleep or just after falling asleep (or even just waking), your experiences occur as you are trying to go to sleep.

You have not been in that twilight of between sleep and wakefulness. You stated that you are still awake. Because of this, I would suggest that you talk to someone about this problem, such as a medical doctor or maybe even a psychiatrist or a psychologist. There are ways to get control over this problem as you suggest you want.

For your own sake, I would not continue to put off a consult with a professional. I can't imagine you must be getting enough sleep with this problem. Good luck.

By anon73674 — On Mar 28, 2010

I've had these for as long as I can remember. I am now 25. They only happen on occasion and sometimes are very scary.

When I was younger I would see things like butterflies, monsters etc. Now I see people. I have visual auditory tactile and olfactory hallucinations. I get migraines with the olfactory ones.

The worst visual and tactile one I had was of a man who pinched my nose shut and held my mouth shut as she pushed my head into the pillow. It was so real that right before I fell asleep I thought for sure I was going to die. Normally it's just a man, standing in my room, petting my dog or something. Creepy.

By anon71024 — On Mar 17, 2010

I am now 20 and I've had auditory hallucinations while trying to fall asleep since I was in grade school.

When I was younger I would hear my mom and sister shouting at each other. I used to always think it was real, and would then realize that it was all in my head. I've continued to hear voices for all these years, but they have rarely been terrifying.

Since I've had them my whole life, I always recognized that what I hear while trying to fall asleep is not actually real. Sometimes the voices are people I know, and sometimes they are complete strangers. I've heard people talking in different languages. The interesting thing is, they will sometimes speak about things far more articulately than I consciously can, or about things I feel I have no knowledge of.

Obviously I have this information stored in my brain somewhere, but it can only be accessed subconsciously, apparently!

So my issue is not with the actual voices frightening me. I am more frustrated with my complete lack of control over them. I can't get them to stop, and I don't hear them when I am drifting off to sleep. I hear them while I'm in bed, rolling around for hours. I've had insomnia for years, and I feel like this is greatly because these voices won't let me fall asleep- they are too distracting.

I'm also frustrated that I cannot find others who seem to have this exact situation as me. Even other people with the auditory hallucinations talk more about hearing them while they drift off to sleep, or only hearing single words, repeated names, or loud crashing sounds.

I wish that I could get a better idea of what is wrong with my brain to cause these- and how I can control them and get better sleep.

One last thing- the funny thing is, I never knew that hearing voices while trying to sleep was abnormal until my freshman year of college. I was relaying a story to a friend and mentioned my voices- and that is when I found out that it is something quite more rare. haha.

By anon69815 — On Mar 10, 2010

I'm only 19, and I've had these things for years already. I remember having a sleepover with a friend, and he was fast asleep, and I got up to use the washroom. I heard his voice say "what are you doing?" and I told him that I was using the washroom.

I heard my brother ask me the same thing, and I again told him that I was just using the washroom. I realized when I came out of the washroom that everyone in the house was fast asleep. Now I know what happened!

It was the images of skinny discolored bald people sitting on me and eating my insides that kind of gave it away for me as to what it was. I just didn't realize what happened during my sleepover was a hypnagogic hallucination until just now though.

By anon68422 — On Mar 02, 2010

I am particularly interested in knowing if anyone else has seen these hypnagogic hallucinations in relation to Alzheimer's disease.

My friend kept telling us (at a Wives Support Group) that her husband was having "spells". I said they sounded like seizures. She replied that the several doctors she had described these "spells" to had said "no, not seizures."

Finally a G.P. with a Geriatric Clinic in our community listened more carefully to what my friend described and came up with "hypnagogic hallucinations."

It is a relief for my friend to have a name for what is happening, and to hope that these seizures will not progress on to full epileptic seizures. Thanks for the information. Anyone else who has such a story related to A.D. please respond.

By anon68093 — On Feb 28, 2010

If you only knew what a relief it was to read this information and the comments from others who share in this terrifying "thing".

I thought I was going crazy but noticed that it all started several months after I had started a certain medication. I would have feelings of something like a rat running across my bed and could actually feel it. Then I could feel an evil presence in the room. Hard to explain but I know others who suffer from this will relate.

Thank you for sharing this info. -PeacethruPain

By anon62773 — On Jan 28, 2010

I have had these off and on for years since my early 20s. Usually at times when I'm most stressed. In the beginning I used to see insects crawling on the wall or flying around. Over the years they have progressed to people standing around the room, toppling boxes about to fall on my bed (which caused me to scream and roll onto the floor) or things floating through the ceiling. They always go away after a few seconds or as soon as I turn on the light.

I'm seldom really frightened by these visions. Usually, I'm extremely confused and will often talk directly to the people I see in the room. Then I laugh at myself and go bad to sleep. The really funny part is it will almost always happen around half an hour after I go to sleep. Sometimes multiple times a week.

By anon61689 — On Jan 21, 2010

I am 28 years old and have also experienced these hallucinations all the way from my early teen years. I was just diagnosed last week and I have to say it feels so good to know I'm not crazy and not the only adult having these terror visions.

I have had everything from giant spiders coming at me to disembodied heads staring at me. The most recent was a little boy standing on the foot of my bed. They are so frightening that I have to turn on the light to clear my head.

My doctor put me on some anti-anxiety pills at night and told me to cut out all caffeine until things improve.

Thank you for sharing this info!

By BadKitty — On Jan 16, 2010

The hallucinations can be very terrifying. I had them from age 15 through my 30's. It took me years to find out what they were and what caused them. I'm glad to see that information such as this is now available freely on the internet. Now if I ever suffer from another one of these visions, I'll know that it's due to my insomnia and not the real thing.

By anon60853 — On Jan 16, 2010

After decades of having repeat episodes of terrifying visions and not knowing whether real or not, I am happy to have finally found the cause. These visions have always preyed upon me as my most terrifying fears: large spiders, snakes, and one exceptional vision came as a lightning bolt that came crashing through the bedroom wall. Thank you for your definition.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

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