What is the Cause of Hypnagogic Hallucinations?
I have on many occasions over the past two years have experienced hallucinations brought on when I am really tired or falling asleep or just waking up, along with very vivid dreams. I once woke up and I thought my bed was in the tree outside, I could see the leaves above me and hear the wind, but when I sat up I was back in my bedroom. I have woken up and felt a mouse push it's way under my back, I flipped out and ran to turn on the lights, but when I look down at my leg I saw something the size of a marble crawling under my pants on my legs. I screamed and started smacking my leg, but nothing was there and it disappeared. I looked everywhere for a mouse, but nothing. I have been half awake and half asleep to where I feel my dreams happening to me as though it was real life. I close my eyes to fall asleep and I'll see images sometimes, I've even jerked before from the images. I've heard voices only a couple of times, but nothing too bad. I know I am not crazy, I'm not delusional or paranoid, and this only happens around sleep. (This doesn't happen all the time, these are just things that have happened over the past two years) I am a sixteen year old girl by the way.
So what is the cause of hypnagogic hallucinations?
Thanks so much
- ToddLv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
You were suffering from brief moments of sleep paralysis. That's halfway between REM sleep and awake state and can happen while falling asleep or just before becoming fully awake.
Your body needs to do two important things to ensure sleep, 1) apply a minor pain killer, and 2) sedate itself. When the body is aware of surrounding sensations but the sedation hasn't worn off upon waking, there is a moment where the mind concocts its own version of what is going on. And likewise while drifting off to sleep, but in the reverse order; the sedation kicks in before the mind has fully relaxed.
The sedation is there to keep you from doing something stupid while dreaming, like walking off a ledge or something. Sleepwalking is the opposite. The mind is still in a trance, but the body has motor function.
You moved with the marble incident, but then the paralysis wore off and along with it, the hallucination. Some people are stuck in the half-asleep paralyzed state for longer periods and have vivid nightmares. Many scientists accredit these for alien abductions, ghost sightings, and the like.
There are a lot of contributing factors, but the big ones for your average Joe/Jane are bad sleep schedules, insomnia, eating right before sleep, stress, pretty much anything really that would interrupt a normal restful sleep. This type of thing is common for narcoleptics. The rest of us less so; about 5% have it frequently, about 60% on occasion.