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Is there anything that associates this phenomenon with psychosis or a generally deteriorating state of mind? Can you experience this in your 30's for the first time? The "voices" mentioned led me to believe that it is somehow connected with it. Thanks. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:52, 23 August 2009 (UTC).

No I don't believe so. I had hypnagogia that eventually became a problem in that it sometimes became psychotic looking in content.

Theory on cause[edit]

Since the majority of sensations experienced during a hypnagogic state are negative (such as fear, the sensation of another often malevolent and invisible entity in the room, and abnormal movement sensations/distortion of normal gravatational sensation), perhaps the whole thing is an evolutionary brain "glitch", a conflict between the concious minds' fight-or-flight mechanism and the relaxed state required for restoratative sleep. The person is falling asleep, but the brain jumps ahead a little too far and the person mispercieves a threat. The natural lessening of concious movement during sleep is interpreted as one's self being restrained, and causes even more panic, and after some time the adrenal system wins the fight and the person is able to move again normally. Maybe the brain tries to do two essential opposite activities at once and the resulting sensation is felt because of a conflict?

Anyone know anything that could support this? Just throwing an idea out there.

Whatever person originally composed this page hasn't read up. All the hypnagogia I've experienced has been wondrous and joyful, and all that that I've so far found reference to in neuroscience literature is similarly supportive of life, creativity, and well-being. Your above assessment looks good, but I'm saying that I think the premise is fallacious.

Regarding the above two comments: The hypnogogic experience varies from person to person, with cases being both negative and positive. If you take into consideration the individuals psychological state, their attitudes and interpretations of the accompanying hallucinations. Then given this, you could probably accurately guess if the individual will forebode the experience or welcome it. Like the original poster said, it's a very conflicting and paradoxical state to be in - the brain is going through disintegration, and normally you shouldn't be consciously aware when this is happening. But who knows!

I had four "episodes" of hypnagoia just last night. The most I've ever had at one time. Needless to say, I'm very tired this morning. Anyway, the events I get are always terrifying. The hallucinations I've had in the past have always been of being grabbed by something evil and carried upward and pressed up against the ceiling. Now, howevever, I've been having some audible hallucinations as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:27, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Hypnagogia not related to REM sleep[edit]

As far as I know, hypnagogia is not related to REM sleep. It's a fragile experience and people that experience it can resist it and wake up. That's why WILD can be practiced without WBTB, because hypnagogia also occurs before NREM sleep. Only SP is strictly related to REM sleep.

Th third source says it is associated with SEM (Slow Eye Movement) Puddytang 00:13, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Hypnagogia is experienced in the transition between wakefulness and sleep. This transition phase is poorly understood but from what I've looked at today EEG data suggests that the covert-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep hypothesis is correct and elements of REM emerge during sleep onset (i.e. wakefulness sleep transition (WST)). Thus it appears that elements of REM sleep are responsible for hypnagogia experiences. It seems unlikely that if hypnagogia was associated with NREM anyone would remember it!!
See for instance :::[1]
Nk.sheridan   Talk 23:21, 30 March 2008 (UTC)


Hypnopompic is different - it happens while AWAKENING ... (while hypnagogic happens while falling asleep). Please see:

Also, below is correct - hypnAgogic is much more common than hypnOgogic.

Hypnopompic and hypnagogic are the same thing, they just happen at different times. All evidence about the two shows that they are an identical state. The begining of the book Hypnagogia by Andreas Mavromatis, which I mentioned below, attempts to resolve this issue. He states that in the past, hypnagogic experiences when going to sleep and awakening were misidentified as two different states, and that future writings on the subjects should just use the word "hypnagogia" to encompass both hypnagogic and hypnopompic experiences. Since it was not only the last significant work published on the subject but also the most encompassing work on the subject, I think we should follow his lead and not continue to break up the two. -GamblinMonkey 22:51, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
I believe you are incorrect. To say that "all evidence . . . shows that they are an identical state" is jibberish. See Jones et al. (2009). The article starts by pointing out that hypnagogic experiences occur during the wake-sleep transition while hypnopompic experiences are during the sleep-wake transition. They are not identical. Reference: Jones, S. R., Fernyhough, C., & Meads, D. (2009). In a dark time: Development, validation, and correlates of the Durham hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations questionnaire. Personality and Individual Differences, 46(1), 30-34. (talk) 18:02, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Just to add, the abstract of another article points out: "Hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations are visual, tactile, auditory or other sensory events, usually brief but sometimes prolonged, that occur at the transition from wakefulness to sleep (hypnagogic) or from sleep to wakefulness (hypnopompic)." As stated, hypnagogic states occur from wakefulness to sleep, while hypnopompic states are from sleep to wakefulness. Reference: Kompanje, E. J. O. (2008). ‘The devil lay upon her and held her down’ Hypnagogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis described by the Dutch physician Isbrand van Diemerbroeck (1609–1674) in 1664. Journal of Sleep Research, 17(4), 464-467. (talk) 18:06, 9 October 2013 (UTC)


The main article should be "hypnagogia", and the variant spelling "hypnogogia" redirect to it, and not viceversa, because it's the former and not the latter which is the etymologically correct spelling. Check the AHD:

Variant forms: also hypnogogic
Etymology: French hypnagogique, from Greek hupnos, sleep; see hypno– + Greek agōgos, leading (from agein, to lead; see ag- in Appendix I).

Uaxuctum 17:35, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

As that extract says it's also from hypno [2]. I think it's alright as it is - Hypnagogia redirects here too. violet/riga (t) 17:53, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It seems you are not familiar with the way Greek and Latin compounds work. Hypno is not a Greek word; the compounded words are hypnos and agōgos, whose roots are hypn- and agōg-. The -os in hypnos and agōgos is a nominative singular ending (the citation form of Greek and Latin words). The -o- in hypno- is just the connective vowel used in Greek compounds (also in Slavic compounds) to avoid unmanageable consonant clusters (like hypn- + phob- + -ia --> hypnophobia instead of hypnphobia), and corresponds to the connective -i- of Latin compounds (as in centipede, from centum [root cent-] + pēs, pedis [root ped-]). That is, hypno- is the compounding form of the root hypn- to be used when the following component starts with a consonant. When the following component starts with a vowel, it's not the initial vowel of that second part what is to be dropped, because that vowel is part of its root and as such it is meaningful (unlike the connective vowel which is a mere meaningless epenthetic sound); so instead of dropping a meaningful vowel in order to add a meaningless epenthetic sound, the epenthetic vowel is simply not added in such cases. Thus, hypn[o]- + agog[o]- + -ia compounds properly as hypnagogia, while hypnogogia is a poorly formed variant introduced (probably prompted by a misunderstood analogy with hypnopompia) by people who were not aware that the second element in the compound was actually agog- with an initial a, and not just gog- (which is what the improper form hypnogogia would imply). Uaxuctum 18:54, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
You're right - I have no idea about such compounds. You seem to know a hell of a lot, so I say we go with you. violet/riga (t) 20:35, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Which spelling is more common in the medical literature? Since this is an English encyclopedia, not a Greek encyclopedia, that should be at least as important a consideration as etymology in deciding where the article should be. CyborgTosser (Only half the battle) 00:33, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Google gives 44000 results for 'hypnagogic', 19400 for 'hypnogogic', 7540 for 'hypnagogia' and 4120 for 'hypnogogia', the first of which is this page. Therefore hypnagogia is the more common spelling and should be the title.--Army1987 12:25, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
The OED concurs, as it ought to. Septentrionalis 17:35, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

I'll move it then. violet/riga (t) 21:23, 20 August 2005 (UTC)


It is not an uncommon occurrence with 30 to 40 percent of people suffering from it at least once in their lives. However, it can be a sign of other problems such as narcolepsy or temporal lobe epilepsy.

Can anyone point source for that?

One source I used was from the website for the UK TV show Shattered, containing information from Chris French, Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths' College, the University of London. violet/riga (t) 09:50, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I think they mistitled their article. They are talking about Sleep paralysis (SP), not hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations. SP might happen anytime in the night, while hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations, by definition, only happen when falling asleep/waking up (SP might be linked to hypnopompic hallucinations, but the former feels more like a full dream, than the later... -even if you might think you are awake). Mathieu Bonnet 20:11, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

More important, why a phenomenon which 60 to 70 percent of mankind never experiences throughout their lives should be considered "not uncommon"?--Army1987 12:26, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure most everyone do experience hypnagogic (and hypnopompic) hallucinations multiple times in their life... It's just that most of time, the hallucinations are very limited (both in time and vividness), and people would just say they were "falling asleep"... (which is indeed what happens; I'm just trying to say people would just not remember this kind of experience as significiant, which explains the "30 to 40 percent"). Every kid who stay up later than usual, should have this kind of hallucinations, when trying to fight the need to sleep... (I often had limited hypnagogic hallucinations, when me and my family were visiting friends for dinner. Now, it happens only when I'm up for like 22 or 24 hours, or when may day was very tiring...). Mathieu Bonnet 20:11, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
According to a study in the book Hypnagogia by Andreas Mavromatis, the occurance was around 70-80% of adults have had hypnogogic experiences. They assumed the occurance was probably higher (possibly 100%) but many people either didn't take note of what was actually happening or they were hesitant to admit to hearing things like voices as it's generally considered a sign of being crazy. I don't have the book in front of me right now, so I can't directly quote it, but I read it a few months ago, I'll see if I can get my hands on another copy soon. -GamblinMonkey 22:43, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
PubMed (MEDLINE) has plenty of references. Start with PMID 11166087, then try the new feature to find related articles. Jclerman 22:53, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Interpretations of the phenomena[edit]

I see three interpretations of these experiences, and each could be expanded upon.

  • physical
  • psychological
  • spiritual

The statement, Some of these people cling to old world beliefs that what is called a hypnagogic state is more than a psychological experience, and is a spiritual one. rejects the spiritual interpretation as passe. --sparkit 04:23, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)


An odd question, but, would anyone know a way to induce Hypnagogia? --Linktoreality 04:09, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

See what the WILD technique implies. You should check out sites and forums related to lucid dreaming.

See Dream Machine in wikipedia. I am working on a mobile Virtual Reality system using a Head Mount Display which might. 05:49, 23 September 2006 (UTC)Sulik

Marijuana and Opiates as well as other substances induce "hypnagogia"-like hallucinations, but maybe these are technically something different. I find the best way is to not concentrate too hard on what you are seeing but just passively watch the back of your eyelids while you are falling asleep. The normal imagery in your mind becomes more and more vivid until it becomes a dream 00:23, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Awareness of hypnogogic/hypnopompic state[edit]

"The individual is aware that these are hallucinations" I assert from personal experience that this is false. The first few times I suffered sleep paralysis and associated hallucinations, I was quite certain they were real. Is there any backing behind this particular statement? -- User:Glenn Willen

I don't know if what I had was hypnagogia or not, but I have experienced hallucinations many times while drifting off to sleep, some of which (say, involving large spiders coming to eat me) have actually made me get out of bed and stand in another room, while full awareness comes back. At no point during these hallucinations was I aware that they were merely hallucinations. If I was, I wouldn't have been frightened. El Pollo Diablo (Talk) 01:05, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

i experience a lot of what, judging from the description here, would be called hypnagogia. it's reccurant, usualy just a slide show of grotesque, disfigured faces, and they are very disturbing and frightening eventhough i am always fully aware that these are dreams (or hallucinations, if you will).

In the past, I have had hypnagogic experiences, and just last night I had quite a vivid one, but in most all of these experiences, I was well aware of the state I was in. I saw a hallucination of a white framed oval picture on the wall that was too blury for me to make out, yet I knew it wasn't there. As I was closing my eyes, I saw the door (closed) to my room moving around and heard a creaking noise that you would assosiate with that sort of occurence. I felt a fear because my upper torso was being pulled up, so I used all of my strength to keep my self lying down as opposed to sitting up. I felt pricks all over my body like it had all "falled asleep"--just as a limb would after sitting on it or w/e--and I heard a rolling, yet constant sound like a brush being moved up and down a piece of wood. Despite being a little disturbed at all of this happening, I was entirely aware of it being hypnagogia.

Since some of the occurences I described (like being pulled upwards) don't happen to everyone in hypnagogia, maybe awareness is the same. I hope this helps. CodeLabMaster 17 November 2006

I used to have many of these types of occurences when I was a child, but only two years ago I had two in the same week. Unlike when I was younger (I'm 22 now) I vividly remembered what happened and I felt as though I was wide awake. I was lying on my back and I couldn't move my arms or legs and I couldn't scream or shout. The first experence involved a shadowy figure. I considered it then and now to be a cat made out of smoke. It walked slowly up my bed on my right side until it reached my chest and just stared at me and started basically screaming. It sounded like a human voice, but it was as if it was on fast forward and chattering in a high pitched voice. I couldn't keep my eyes off of it and it remained there until I was able to shake myself out of it. The second experience was more of a UFO abduction feeling. I was lying on my back again before falling asleep and I opened my eyes. Outside my window was a bright red light, as if something was on fire. Again, I couldn't move my limbs, only my eyes. Slowly I began to lift out of my bed. I felt as though I was at least two feet above my bed when I started drifting closer to the window. Also, my upper body began to lift a bit, and my lower body lower. Again, I was able to shake myself up and it wasn't as if I simply woke up in my bed, I kind of floated back down. Each of these experiences felt as though I was wide awake. Each time, something in my head began to feel different than it normally does before I go to sleep. I can't exactly describe what that is, but it's a sensation as though something is just off. I felt fully awake, and to this day feel as though it was as real as how I'm typing here. A truly scary experience.

User: VidaBluePhoenix

In response to your experiences;

I too have had my door pull me out of turned into a figure of a man who then grabbed my wrist violently and sat me up until i was able to "snap out" of it where upon i woke sitting up with my arm stretched first experience was of a dog smothering me, making my hands push against nothing but as if something that felt like a ton...i had vividly real dreams of playing in the backyard at night (which never happened)only to be introduced to a shadowy figure of a man, wiry and agile, and something who used my fear of it to taunt me using electricity like fast 3rd or 4th experience was of the alien abduction kind where in many thin arms skittered over me bursting from under my bed, holding me down with only the weight of the fear they induced, but no fiery lights...

it always happened when i slept on my back and concentrated on falling asleep...hearing all the silence the night had to offer, listening to my brain smoosh...i began to hear clear voices whispering to intense tingle as if your whole body was the sleeping foot, very much like the vibration of clenched muscles...the ceiling then crawled with black spots that converged into the complete darkness of having ones eyes closed, except having the feeling that they were not only wide open and that you were fully awake but are now enveloped in some heavy blackness, trapped within an evil presence perhaps as was the assumption, and a fear so desperate that your only choice of attack is to breathe heavily through gritted teeth and making as vicious a "growl" as one could until your body gets to the same page by then making you lunge at whatever it is at the side of your bed...only to wake up in defensive postures breathing heavily, teeth grinding, mimicking the possible expression of a demon which was the only culprit believed responsible at the time of the experience...

Steve's description here is pretty dead on when it comes to what I have experienced as well.

First, I have felt this "man" who holds you down, so to speak, and it is an extremely uncomfortable and bizzare feeling. For me, it was like he was lying down beside me, but almost like underneath my bed. I actually never knew whether he was beside me lying on the bed, or kind of on the floor near the bed reaching out, and holding me down. But I just felt the presence of him beside me. It was almost as if I was certain his forearm was wrapped around my arm and chest, and he was sinking me down- and when I tried to move up, he'd push me down harder- it was horrible. Adding to the strangeness, each time I'd try to break free, he'd make a small grunting noise like some kind of animal (if i remember correctly, the duration and loudness of the grunt would depend on how hard I tried to escape) Then, i would finally wake up, free from paralysis and all would return to normal. Before I actually started analyzing my frequent hypnagogic experiences, I recall having these sensations as a younger kid- I knew there was something off- that they were not regular dreams, but I did not think much of them, until I started getting very vivd hypnagogic experiences, afterwhich I researched it on the net, and was able to learn about all of this incredible phenomena- hypnagogia/SP/lucid dreams/OBE's.

About the evil presences/shadow figures/mutated animal-humans, etc etc etc, I have felt and seen many of them, including a half jester-half freakish dog wearing a dunce cap standing at the foot of my bed, eerily dancing for me, a wizard as tall as my ceiling at the corner of my room near the door throwing flashes of light at me, and other characters you could only imagine. Scary, bizzare, otherwordly stuff... About the "lunging out" after waking, to reach for whatever was haunting you, I've had a pretty extreme case... One morning, I felt evil all around me, while paralyzed in my room. It was light out, so I figured I was waking up, but I could not move and everything in my room was normal- my computer desk, my nightlight, my blankets, my shades, my door- everyhing- I saw it all in detail- all normal and how it was supposed to be in my room. But something felt horribly off and I was paralyzed, so it felt unnatural. This fear must have triggered things in my room to turn into hostile presences. To make a long story short, at the moment of waking after this hallucination, I found my self violently kicking the black wooden dresser that was at the foot of my bed against the wall, so hard that when I realized it was just my dresser, I huddled over in pain- I had busted my foot pretty badly, and it was sore most of the day. I guess it is a good thing SP comes into play, so we don't act it out all the time like I happened to have on this one particualar occasion!

Anyone have any other similar experiences to share?

-David (

My husband and I have both had this experience. Mine was that I had just laid down to go to sleep but I sincerely don't believe that I had fallen asleep yet. Suddenly I could not move or speak. There was this evil "presence" right in my face that I could not see. There were several voices whispering in an evil voice to me; however, I could not understand what they were saying but I could feel that they had a deep hatred for me and wanted to hurt me. As I said, I could not speak or yell - I tried to yell my husband's name (who was lying right next to me) to no avail. Then, I thought the name "Jesus" and immediately they went away and I could move again. Of course I woke my husband up right away and was a bit hysterical about the whole event. I've never had anything similar happen to me before or since. I'd always assumed/hoped that this was a spiritual event and was meant to happen to me on purpose. Then, I find out about this "condition" and am really quite disapponted that perhaps my brain was just playing tricks on me. I hope that is not the case.

The article should differenciate hypnagogic hallucinations from sleep paralysis[edit]

  • I don't have enough time to edit the whole article, but I think it should be edited to differenciate hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations from sleep paralysis (SP). "[...] the frightening part, in many cases, is the inability to react to them, even being unable to make a sound." typically is related to SP, not hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations. SP related sentences should be removed or moved to the SP article. Hypnagogic hallucinations might happen even when not lying in bed, if, for example, you are really tired. Most of time, they are very limited, and you just regain consciousness, saying "you were falling asleep" (which is indeed what happens). Of course, they might develop into something more vivid, but then, you are likely to just completely fall asleep (if you are not trained to stay conscious -see articles about wake-initiated lucid dreaming). Mathieu Bonnet 20:31, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
    • I thought the same thing about this article. I have had both SP and hypnagogia and hypnagogia was like crossing into unconscious. It was cool. (SP is scary becuase of no freedom like Mathieu above said). I just saw this pattern and felt being sunken down. SP and hypnagogia are alike but I think hypnagogia has nothing to do with REM sleep. Joerite 20:43, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think either of you know what you're talking about. Sleep paralysis can be accompanied by hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations. Thus, sleep paralysis can simply be seen as one possible aspect of hypnagogia or hypnopompia. "Hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations are often associated with sleep paralysis." (Kompanje et al., 2008). Here's an illuminating quote from the scientific literature: "This case report is described here in more detail. The experiences in this case could without doubt be diagnosed as sleep paralysis accompanied by hypnagogic hallucinations." What's that say? "SLEEP PARALYSIS ACCOMPANIED BY HYPNAGOGIC HALLUCINATIONS" (Kompanje et al., 2008) See the reference. I'd also like to say that the idea that "hypnagogia and hypnagogia [sic] was like crossing into unconscious" does not make any sense. You can't experience unconsciousness. Also, to say sleep paralysis and hypnagogia are alike but hypnagogia has nothing to do with REM sleep also reveals your ignorance. A quote from the same article gives references from within that article which you could also look up: "Sleep paralysis and hypnagogic ⁄ hypnopompic hallucinations can be related to specific physiological conditions identified for REM states (Cheyne et al., 1999a,b). They arise from temporary discordance in the architecture of REM sleep (McNally and Clancy, 2005)." Hypnopompic and hypnagogic hallucinations are related to sleep paralysis and are also related to REM sleep. Read some scientific literature instead of spewing out your uninformed opinion. See for example Cheyne et al., 1999: "Hypnagogic and hypnopompic experiences (HHEs) accompanying sleep paralysis (SP) are often cited as sources of accounts of supernatural nocturnal assaults and paranormal experiences. Descriptions of such experiences are remarkably consistent across time and cultures and consistent also with known mechanisms of REM states." Furthermore, Cheyne et al. point out: "SP has been experimentally linked to REM states, particularly with sleep-onset and sleep-offset REM. " There is a pretty large body of scientific literature on this. References:
Cheyne, J. A., Rueffer, S. D., & Newby-Clark, I. R. (1999). Hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations during sleep paralysis: neurological and cultural construction of the night-mare. Consciousness and Cognition, 8(3), 319-337
Kompanje, E. J. O. (2008). ‘The devil lay upon her and held her down’ Hypnagogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis described by the Dutch physician Isbrand van Diemerbroeck (1609–1674) in 1664. Journal of Sleep Research, 17(4), 464-467.


Many artists, musicians, architects, engineers, and others demanding creativity to be successful have benefited from the hypnagogia state, where the mind can be totally free and open to creative and new ideas.

This is the only sentence in the whole article that mentions "freedom and openness of the mind" as a side-effect of hypnagogia. It doesn't sound very factual. Please clarify or remove. Tronno (talk | contribs) 02:00, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

hypnosis vs. hypnagogia[edit]

Hypnagogia differs from hypnosis in that under ordinary hypnosis, people are physically inactive, and generally find their mental stimulus to be absorbing to the point that they don't differentiate between that stimulus and reality. In hypnagogic states, a person may appear to be fully awake, but still has brain waves indicating that they are still technically sleeping.

As far as I know, hypnotized people can appear fully awake and are sometimes physically active, while in hypnagogia people are not normally physically active. Am I wrong, or is the article wrong? 06:13, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Sudden Falling Sensation[edit]

Myself included, nearly everyone I know has experienced a sudden falling sensation whilst falling asleep, yet in the article it is classified as a rare occurence. Is this refering to the Hypnic jerk? I have lost count of the times this has happned to me! (A.Grace 22:07, 3 May 2006 (UTC))

No if what you mean is a slow floating like feeling, without jerks. The hypnic jerk implies a muscle contraction, sudden, sometimes painful. Jclerman 22:42, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
This has happened to me (surprisingly abrupt jerking of my legs) on waking up about 10 minutes after falling asleep. I'm not a visual person, and thus do NOT have very vivid dreams (hazy, black and white at best) but I can remember me running from something in my dream. Quintus314 (talk) 03:06, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Now I know[edit]

What it's called when I see something floating in the air and then try to repel it but it disappears, when I'm almost sleeping and then feel my body strongly vibrating and hear weird repetitive noises and feel I'm inflating and spinning arround something and floating but never see anything! Cuzandor 02:25, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Own Experiences[edit]

Twenty years ago I had my fisrt experience of this condition. I woke up and it was dark but found myself totally unable to move. Eventually, I was able to summon the energy to move my fingers and then the rest of my body. But, as soon as I lay back down the paralysis came up from my toes and took hold of the rest of my body.

Since then, I have had countless experiences like this and sometimes I am so terrified I have to sleep along side my children. This is so that when trying to get myself out of the paralysis I can either summon all the energy to my fingers, so that I can attract the attention of my children or try and get some sound out of my mouth-it is like I have had a stroke. Once I have their attention, the only way they can get me out of this state is by shaking my body or banging on my chest.

Posted unsigned at 08:31 on September 5, 2006 by User:


-- I've had this happen to me three times. The first time was the scariest because I had never expierenced it before. During an afternoon nap, I thought one of my friends walked into my dormroom and was choking me and I couldn't breathe. I was convinced I must of left my door open and was being strangled to death and I tried fighting back. However, when I woke up I realized no one was even in the room and my door was locked. The second and third instances were identical to each other but different than the first. These happened during a normal night of sleep. During the second instance, I expierenced paralysis (I felt like I was up but couldn't move my body). I had incredible difficulty breathing and it felt like I was being strangled. I was trying to yell "Help" as loud as I could (again convinced I was going to die) and I felt as if I opened my mouth to scream but no sound was coming out. But the sensation was different -- it felt like someone from behind me put a rope under my chin and was pulling. At the same, I felt a "rushing" sensation as if a dark blanket or a hood was coming over my face (from below me to over my head). I awoke around 15 seconds later sweating. The third time was similiar to the second but was the only time I knew what was happening and stayed calm and I just let the expierence pass. For me, each expierence was extremely scary and lasted around 15-30 seconds. The first incident happened when I was 17 and the last one when I was 19. I haven't had another expierence in the last few years. Paradiseisland 08:52, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

I had no idea how common this was. I thought I was going crazy. It's actually normal and nobody ever thought to tell me?

--Brideshead 22:10, 20 January 2007 (UTC) I know that this is not the place for this, Wiki's not a blog, but I've just stumbled upon this article and am practically crying, i can't believe it's not just me. I've suffered from hypnagogia regularly for nearly 20 years, they are ussually just the pile-of-spider-in-bed kind but occassionaly incredibly vivid and frightening, usually involving some kind of coming-for-me event. So happy to have a name and not be alone!!!!--Brideshead 22:10, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I have had these experinces since I was a child. I also have sleep paralysis and also have some sort of different experience on occasions which is more like hypnosis while sleeping. At times, I will just have the vivid hypnagogic and hypnapompic hallucinations, but I also will wake up in the middle of a dream while actively doing something. I woke up once while dreaming there was a huge spider blocking the door and I awakened while grabbing a broom out of the closet to "fight off" the spider. I woke up another time in the kitchen in the middle of a dream while I was acting out the dream. I think it is interesting and I only have these experiences if I am very stressed out about something...... 16:01, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

My experiences have generally been positive. I find that when I am in this state, if I imagine music, it sounds very real, as if I am listening to an orchestra. The rest of the day, if I imagine music, it's only an idea about music. I have had a couple of interesting experiences: once I laid down to rest for a moment, and sat up and looked around the room. I noticed something was odd, because my computer was making a sound that it should not have been making, and realized that I was not in fact sitting up, but lying down with my eyes closed. I then opened up my eyes and saw the room for real. In a similar experience, I laid down on the floor for a moment to rest, and was looking at the carpet, and then realized this was impossible since my eyes were closed. While the music experience I can make happen just about any time I lay down in preperation for sleep, the experience of "seeing" the room, despite my eyes being closed tends to happen when I am very tired, and just close my eyes without intending to sleep. They come on very quickly after I close my eyes.--RLent 22:28, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I've experienced this several times. While I never knew what it was, I always figured it was normal. Maybe it's 'cause mine have never been especially scary, but they never worried me. Reading other peoples' experiences, though, mine are slightly different. For example, I don't really think that the "dreams" are actually occuring. Some part of me knows its a "dream" (or whatever you want to call it), but I'm not really thinking enough to end it. They last for a brief period - no more than a minute, maybe two - then something sudden happens and I "wake up" to a myoclonic jerk. The best example I can think of is one "dream" where I was outside, it was pretty uneventful, then a bee flew right by me and I jumped out of the way. When I jumped in the dream, my body also jerked and I woke up. I just read an article that said that between 72 and 77 percent of people experience hypnagogia. Check out the last sentence of the first paragraph here: ~Tori


-- I am so glad I found this page. I have been experiencing the paralysis and the feeling of a presence coupled with extreme fear and an awarness of danger. I'm scared to sleep because of it, does anyone know what to do to get rid of it?? Please.

PubMed (MEDLINE) has plenty of references. Start with PMID 11166087, then try the new feature to find related articles. Jclerman 22:53, 25 June 2006 (UTC) Jclerman 22:19, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
I have found that well at least for me sleeping on my back causes this sort of thing to happen. Try well, not sleeping on your back if you do. Just sleep on your side.-- (talk) 01:04, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you! I used to think this was kinda fun; mine comes with random words that are more like how you read to yourself silently rather than actual voices, and i thought "hey, what kinda random stuff do i think about?". But one night, it began to take a tone. I don't remember being stressed that day, but it felt like the "voices" were VERY angry. SCARY!! If that's not bad enough, I once was woken up from a dream by hearing my name by a voice that (for want of a better description) sounded like fire. And if THAT doesn't have ya freaked yet, both my mom's brothers and I think some family on my dad's side has been diagnosed with some sort of psychosis (schizophrenia, paranoia, etc). I try to not let the "voices" happen, but I have to really concentrate to stop it, which totally takes away the relaxation that you're supposed to feel before going to sleep. (Sometimes, resisting it or not, the "voices" can go on for up to a half hour.) So MY feelings of fear have to do more with bad experiences; what they usually "say" is usually nonsensical to the highest degree (sometimes, it would start with a "tone" of a statement and end with the "tone" or a question, or vice-versa). I'm just kinda afraid to talk to a doctor, simply because of my history, the fact that I also have depression, and the fact that, to be honest, i am easily impressionable (I began to agree with my therapist that my family was currently treating me badly based on events that already passed and that we had already resolved). (talk) 06:47, 24 November 2007 (UTC)VTPPGLVR[at] <--:wants to prevent spam:
Hmmm, now that you mention it hearing voices while lying in bed does seem familliar to me. Try drounding it out by playing music in your head. For some reason, Jennifer Lopez's Love don't Cost a Thing works best for me.-- (talk) 01:04, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I wish I could understand what's happening to me. Resembles hypnagogia, but not quite. Sometimes after lying down for sleep, I become aware that a night of torture is coming. The thought "if you fall asleep you'll die" compulsively occupies my mind. Sure enough, the moment I cross the boundary between waking and sleep, my breathing stops. When I begin to suffocate I jerk awake, only to start the cycle all over again. This continues from 10 or 11 pm until the sun rises the next day. The last couple of times it happened I became aware of a possible explanation for how I know the torture night is coming. I notice my breathing is tedious and labored. I'm no physician or psychiatrist, but here's the way I reasoned it out. First, if you're at the doctor and he has a stethoscope pressed to your back and he tells you to take a deep breath, you have no problem complying with his direction. This seems to prove that breathing may be controlled by the conscious mind. On the other hand, people don't typically suffocate in their sleep, which seems to me to prove that breathing is more typically controlled by the subconscious mind - like a heartbeat. I have hypothesized that the reason my breathing is tedious and awkward when having the "night of torture" premonition is because the autonomous control of my respiratory system has somehow been disabled. If this were the case, then wouldn't it follow that my breathing would stop upon passing into sleep, and that I'd only awake after a significant degree of suffocation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rustytincan (talkcontribs) 18:52, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

See sleep paralysis and nightmare. Jclerman (talk) 15:01, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Also sleep apnea. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 07:39, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
The article lacks mention of the euphoric feeling that can accompnay it. (talk) 05:02, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Consider change of PHENOMENA to NOUMENA.[edit]

The hypnagogic state can be accompanied by or associated with anomalous <phenomena?> such as alien abduction, extra-sensory perception, telepathy, apparitions, or prophetic or crisis visions. Consider change of PHENOMENA to NOUMENA. Phemomena are things outside the self, an observable event or physical manifestation, while noumena are things of the mind. Cite Noumenon From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 05:44, 23 September 2006 (UTC)Sulik

Incorrect use of the term "noumenon"[edit]

In case the reference to alien abduction and psychic phenomena aren't enough to set off alarm bells in people's heads, I'll just point out that User clearly has no idea what the phenomenon/noumenon distinction actually amounts to, considering that he or she thinks that "noumena are things of the mind." If fact, this is entirely incorrect. The term "noumena" in fact refers to non-perceptual entities, or rather the aspects or attributes of entities which are beyond human perceptual or conceptual capabilities. This is the major innovation of Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, which differentiated between the world as it is experienced (the world of phenomena, i.e., of things filtered through our human perceptual/conceptual apparatus) and the world as it is, in itself (the world of noumena). Thus, noumena are by definition not subject to being spoken of in positive terms, and so are obviously not "things of the mind," as User would have it. Buck Mulligan 21:57, 12 December 2006 (UTC) See Uni of Waterloo (USA) website for more useful info on hypnagogia. There's a questionnaire on it which Ifound informative & which helped to answer many questions about my own frightening experiences of sleep paralysis & visual/auditory hallucinations. It states that hypnic jerk/jerk reflex/ 'suddendrop' sensation (call it what you will) is a hang-over from our days as tree-dwellers, when relaxing too suddenly into sleep could induce a fatal fall. This seems to be a much more common occurence than sleep paralysis/haalucinations. It also discusses the question of the 'onion layer' effect of feeling that you have escaped a hypnagogic state and have awakened, only to re-awaken again and realise that your perception of being awake was false (this can occur more than once in the same episode - personal experience!) Kayti 22:58, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

It's good to see someone with some knowledge of Kant deflating that pseudo-intellectual. The link was helpful too - I had no idea that the "onion layer" effect was associated with this, although I have experienced both together several times. Why is it so damn hard to wake up? 07:06, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I couldn't find any Uni of Waterloo (USA) links when I search. There's one in Canada though? Do you have a weblink you could put here? 18:14, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

what's up with the removal?[edit]

who is the lame-O that removed the hypnagogic hallucinations page and made it redirect to hypnagogia?

as a chronic sufferer of sleep paralysis with accompanying hypnagogic hallucinations, the page provided comfort (along with reading up on forums and other sites) whenever i needed to go back and revisit it and read through all the characteristics that matched up with my experiences.. not to mention that it was a very informative page.

if the page must remain offline, can someone please at least provide all the text of that article so that i can save it on my own computer for my own personal reading? i was not expecting that page to be removed.

Wow, you are are correct- the page is gone. I was explaining to my group of friends about this subject just earlier tonight, and was wondering why Wikipedia had less information about Hypnagogic Hallucinations than I remembered, and now realize that it is because this page has been deleted. I, too, would use this page as a reference to compare my experiences with. What kind of silly reason would someone have to take down the page? It was one thousand times more scientific and informative than hundreds of other Wiki articles dealing with extremely unfounded and pointless "neo-post-pre-tech-psych-modernist" pseudo-studies on extreme sliver factions and micro fringe groups that only hypothetically exist in someone's version of our popular culture. Put the page back up.

-David (

I noticed the removal and came to this page to comment and protest. Wiki used to have a great article on hypnagogic hallucinations that I often referred to. I don't understand why it was removed. Please put it back up! 11:38, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

I can't revert the page from a redirect which means that the article must have been deleted before the redirect was created. My guess is the deletion due to a lack of references (I'm not sure though i've never seen the page itself). I'll probably make a new article about this, with plenty of references (if I have time of course). --Vampirism44 (talk) 00:50, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

This is the original creator of the "what's up with the removal?" section. I have since found what I originally sought, which was the specific list contained in the "Accompanying hallucinations" section on this website ( and several others at the time of this writing, in case this information is still of interest here. My memory fails me as it has been many years since my request, but if there really was little more beyond this list on the original "Hypnagogic Hallucinations" article on Wikipedia, then it makes some sense that it was deleted. I don't intimately know the criteria that decides whether information can be included in an article, but I'll just state that, right now, this information in any form isn't really listed in the Narcolepsy, Hypnagogia, or Sleep Paralysis pages; at best, "hallucinations" is used as an umbrella term for these more-or-less established trend symptoms, and it barely scratches the surface (and the formal/official extent of how well they've been "established" may be debatable, sorry for the flakiness). I'm not going to touch the articles here. 25 September 2010

arts and culture[edit]

I am new to this, so please forgive any mistakes in protocol. I just wanted to add an Arts/Culture Reference and I am not sure how to do it: There is an interesting description of hypnagogia in the novel Green Man by Kingsley Amis. It is a ghost story in which the narrator suffers from the condition and is therefore uncertain as to whether he is seeing supernatural beings.Salome55 23:30, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Done. Jclerman 03:38, 17 July 2007 (UTC)


Nobody has expreienced these extreme vibrations?Also sometimes an own death sensation? 14:20, 17 August 2007 (UTC)Grommy

Re: Vibrations[edit]

Yes, I have experienced the vibrations. For me, they can be ever so slight, or extreme depending on the circumstances. I have not felt them in quite a while, since I have been too preoccupied with daily life, and have had just too much on my mind recently to allow myself to relax and enter the hypnagogic/hypnopompic state to explore it.

But from what I have experienced, it is like this... At first, it is this small current of vibrations traveling throughout my whole body. Then, as I focus on staying in this state, the vibrations intensify and as I try to move, the current seems to strengthen. One time, I remember feeling so powerful from this vibrating. It was during/after a dream that I had that was quite lucid and pleasent. I remember experiencing this sort of peek into another realm/world. It was one picturesque view of this enchanted place, (whether it was a castle or a series of grassy hills I cannot remember), but it was glistening with peacefulness, and so bright, almost golden. But, I only saw it for a split second and it was a small little view as if looking in from behind bushes/etc. Upon awakening from this lucid vision and current of vibrations, I felt a unique state of bliss. That was the only way I could describe it. I also felt warm the way your body feels after waking up, but warmer than usual as if I just got out of a hot tub or something. I not only felt warm on the outside, but on the inside as well. At this moment in time, there were no worries (for whatever trivial problems I faced in everyday life at the time), and no thoughts- just pure comfort and peace. This feeling led me to want to cry and laugh at the same time. But, if I can remember correctly, laughing took over, followed by happiness as the result of this tiny experience leading me to an intuitive knowledge that life is more than just paying bills and then you die. It truly made me feel like there are other worlds out there. I know this all sounds poetic or cliched for the whole community of OBEs, astral travellers and lucid dreamers, but I can't help remembering how emotionally satisfying this little experience was. Thinking back to it, actually, during that moment if I'm not confusing this with a different experience I had, I felt that I could, if I wanted to, leave my body. That's right. That was during this little dream... It was this incredible feeling that I could leave my body while conscious and travel or something. But I did not because I was too excited. I did, however, feel this energy like an ability to lift up, but that's what it was- that was why I woke up- because I got too excited and scared of this energy. And now I remember as I'm writing this, after awakening, I was shaking and freaked out because of this new feeling and then as I settled down, the blissful state set in. That was how it went. Sorry this is so choppy, I'm still putting together the order in my head.

-David (

Merger Proposal[edit]

I recommend that the article Hypnic_jerk be merged into this article.--roger6106 23:23, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

No. Please god, no. Stop merging nouns with other nouns. I don't want to log onto wikipiedia one day and try to look up "pillows," only to find out that it re-directs to "feathers," which re-directs to "birds." I thought the goal of an encyclopedia was to be a comprehensive collection of concise entries. Sure, in a paper encyclopedia, there are certian reasonable limits. But this is the internet. There's no need to obsessively overload individual entries with other words that happen to be associated with them but which have discreet meanings. That's what I think anyway.--WarpZone 18:40, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Too late... It's endemic now...Like the pox was, now every single word gives origin to an info-pox. Soon the area covered by the info-poxes will cover every byte and the underlying patient will no be seen and even a pox for "redirect" will erupt... Jclerman 20:48, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm with Warp. The two topics are related, but (it appears to me) only as dawn and day are related. —Tamfang 05:24, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Vote to KEEP. Like WarpZone and Tamfang, there's a certain limit to what should be merged. (I say this having a history of usually advocating and supporting mergers.) Too, though, there's truth in what Jclerman has to say, but he misses the point; wikis are intended to be the hyper-hyperlinked messes they are because they are completely edited by their readers. So, yes: Too late, but instead of being miserable, we should realize that was the goal all along. This is, in fact, the end result of wikification of world knowledge. We cannot blame these two articles for the design of the system. —Animated Cascade talk 01:16, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Just some personal thoughts on the merge[edit]

I don't have much to say on the scientific end of this phenomena, nor do I believe a full "merge" is necessary. I think links suffice, as with other conditions that have several symptoms or possible correlations or just connections to other topics. I have spent hours following links, learning about all sorts of topics. I happen to experience hypnagogia almost every night, so I can speak from experience. In this state, I am fully aware of my surroundings. I can even tell you what was on the television and which episode or what was being talked about, but I am fully asleep in paralysis and can drift off back to full sleep or awaken by choice. If I choose a wakened state it takes a bit more work to get out of the paralysis. I use the pushing all my energy to my little finger technique which seems to work. Let me explain a little more. For many years, I worked to teach myself lucid dreaming and how to have obe's. At some point, I began noticing that I would enter a state where I wasn't really sleeping. My body was asleep and I couldn't move it, but part of my mind was fully aware of the thoughts and dreams I was having. In the beginning, it was much like being an actor in a movie. At some point, when not even trying to enter this state, I would enter it automatically. It used to be terrifying, but now only occasionally. The hypnic jerk can sometimes accompany the event if I am further in a sleep state, but never if I'm hypnagogic. I think it's my body or minds automatic way of attempting to "jump" out of an unpleasant state. I also experience incubus/succubus activity almost daily. That never loses it's horrific effects on me. Being the victim of rape when I was only 13, I sometimes wonder if it's not my psyche attempting to find "control" over that kind of event, but there are too many other factors to make me believe it's very real. But of course, that's discussion for a different forum. All I know about that is that I have no control over it and I can "feel" a presence. My body even moves to it's touch, as in when it lies upon me, my stomach pushes down and my hips rise when it pulls them up. Gross huh? I always find comfort in hearing more scientific explanations for what's happening to me. I am a college educated mother, wife and employee. I live a very simple life with the exception of my paranormal fascination that I've carried with me for over 20 years since reading Steven LaBerge's "Lucid Dreaming"; the book that started my journey into the sleep realm. I sometimes wish, now, that I had never begun. I feel like a traveller without a map and my guide (LaBerge) is too big to find for help. Yes, as silly as it sounds, I've attempted to contact the Lucidity Institute and Mr. LaBerge for help. In closing, I think that connections are definate between the experiences. But one doesn't have to "merge" them to find all information. They ARE NOT the same thing and by no means does the hypnic jerk always happen when a hypnagogic state is reached. If that were true, it would save my mind much misery. I would immediately awaken upon reaching that state and not have to be aware of the terrible things I experience almost daily. All I'm really saying is that "merging" anything like this is not good. It balls up two separate phenomena into one. Links are fine. Sorry I'm all over the place, I just woke up. Gypsymantis 12:34, 3 October 2007 (UTC)gypsymantis

I heard LaBerge's paper before he wrote the book. There is nothing paranormal, you describe the results of normal physiological activity. There are ways to decrease their frequency, but this place is only to discuss the text of the article. You can email me for further discussion (see my user page). Jclerman 15:40, 3 October 2007 (UTC)


Hi all, I've added templates to include this article in the wiki projects of WP:NEURO and WP:MED. Nk.sheridan   Talk 21:54, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I've also just added the WP:PSYCHOLOGY template. Nk.sheridan   Talk 22:00, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

GMail's Little .5% Joke[edit]

Where would this fit in the article?

Apparently, spell checking for the word hypnogogic in Gmail changes it to the word "spongecake"

Hilarious, but appropriate for a cultural reference?

No. --Kbh3rdtalk 03:10, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Withdrawal Symptom link[edit]

Can we use the link to Withdrawal in the Psychological Phenomena section, with the red link to "drug withdrawal"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:52, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

done it Nk.sheridan   Talk 18:11, 4 May 2008 (UTC)


I've had a go at rewriting the article, expanding it and including more references. Most of the information that was there is still included, or covered in more detail, but I did take out one or two things. I removed the unreferenced statement "Hypnagogia is also experienced by persons diagnosed with various forms of schizophrenia." While it may be true, it seems at best redundant, given that most other people experience hypnagogia too! I omitted some of the folkloric aspects of sleep paralysis, which are covered in detail in the "sleep paralyis" article. Dependent Variable (talk) 03:46, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Oh, and I left out "Hypnagogic hallucinations are mostly experienced by those with narcolepsy although it is experienced occasionally by many others without the condition, for example, during periods of stress, sleep deprivation or drug withdrawal." As far as I can work out, hypnagogia is experienced - at some time, in some form (not necessarily spectacular!) - by just about everyone, and isn't confined to people suffering from these conditions. That seems to be the assumption in a lot of the scientific literature, anyway. It would be good though to include some information on the effects of these conditions on hypnagogia, if we could find appropriate references... I did mention narcolepsy specifically in relation to sleep paralysis.Dependent Variable (talk) 03:58, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Juan-Carlos for your corrections and improvements to my contribution. In the sleep paralysis section, I've removed "depending on the questioning" because it seems redundant (without any mention of differences in how they were questioned), as did my expression "of those questioned". I changed "is...awaken" to "has...awoken", as this is more correct grammatically. I restored the qualification "in other respects" because REM atonia and dreamlike hallucinations are features normally associated with sleep, so (at least according to colloquial, informal definitions of sleep) an individual experiencing sleep paralysis might be considered not to have "fully" woken up in every respect. Dependent Variable (talk) 16:23, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

To Variable:
I expected you to be independent. The FONIA (freedom of nickname information act) allows the readers to a full disclosure of your 'dependance'. BTW, I see that you got my first name by using the FONIA.
Two comments:
  • 1. Without an explicit "depending on the wording, privacy, interface (phone, presence), dependence (student-teacher, policeman-prisoner), etc." the lay reader would not understand how bonafide expert researchers obtained numbers ranging from 20 to 60%. Eg, who would accept a SMOG analysis result of "1 to 100 ppb of rubbish" without qualifying what determined the range? was it dependent on location, time, instrument?
  • 2. (a)waking vs (a)waking-up. Years ago somebody corrected me by stating that the "up" wasn't correct when the subject wakes but remains reclined. I never checked it in the OED and don't know whether the correction was warranted. BTW, we rarely "fall" when we "fall asleep". I let you sort out the language.
One more, ie
  • 3. The prevalence "frequencies vs conditions" can't be determined considering that it depends on the questioning, which definition and tests for each condition are used, the frequent paranormal significance given by the subjects, etc. Eg, subjects would reply: it was an astral body, not SP; or an angel, not SP. William James already pointed this out, I believe. Anyhow, since you appear to be or pretend to be, or know the language of, a mathematician, you might have noticed that, as many current unresolved topics, hynagogic states and their relationship to math and science were originally brought to ligth by Poincaré.
Jclerman (talk) 18:06, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
On point 1, I don't know what factors caused the variation between these surveys (though any or all of the reasons you mention could well be significant), so I thought it best not to speculate in the article. It's quite possible that the variation is an artefact of how the questions were asked, as you say, but if we make that assertion, I think we should back it up with specific examples of differences between the methods of the surveys.
What does the article say? Doesn't it describe which mathods were used to gather and anlyze the data" Jclerman (talk) 00:33, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
On point 2 you were misinformed. To me, as a native speaker of British English, "to wake up" denotes exactly the same as "to
I remember it was an oral comment, so it had to be an American English speaker. I don't recall who was. Too many people talk to me...:-) Jclerman (talk) 00:33, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

awake". You can "wake up" without necessarily sitting or standing up as well. The OED agrees. The only difference is that "to awake" sounds rather more formal. Maybe you've heard the Beatles song A Day in the Life: "Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head"? As you rightly say, "we rarely fall when we fall asleep". Language is a quirky thing. The "up" in English phrasal verbs often has a perfective meaning, as it does in "to wake up", "to eat up", to "mess up", rather than the spatial meaning is has in, for example, "to climb up".

I appreciate your linguistic comments. It took me too many years to sort of add up the "up" to some verbsal expressions and I don't know whether I do it correctly. I was tempted to change some of your "person" to "individual" and/or "subject". For two reasons. First, "person" sounds too repetitive due to its frequency thus it may trigger a loss of attention in subjects with a narrow band-width [this is from a tentative conclusion in a model of mine, thus off-topic for this discussion]. Second, I think [as it "sounds" to me] that scholarly writings use more "individual" and "subject" than "person". Also, non-native speakers might confuse "person" with "persona". More on language, dialects, vernaculars and neurologic signs and symptoms are left for later. Jclerman (talk) 00:33, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
On point 3, I agree entirely. These frequency statistics are often misleading for the reasons you outline. Maybe this point could be added to the "Investigative methodology" section.
It shouldn't be "our" speculation. Stick to what the article says and leave the speculation for this page, although it would already be streching out the Wikipedia rules. Jclerman (talk) 00:33, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
As for my nickname, well, no one's altogether independent. You can depend on that. ;-) Dependent Variable (talk) 23:42, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Wow! I've just had a read of the new version of this article which has been rewritten by User:Dependent Variable and compared this to my older version. There certainly are a lot more sources referenced. I do have "Consciousness: An Introduction" by Blackmore but the rest I am going to have to look at in more detail. At first look I am not sure about this as an WP:RS. Nk.sheridan   Talk 23:36, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. I've added a hyphen that was missng from the German title, and got rid of those mysterious double square brackets. Not sure where they came from... And I expanded the abbreviated name of the publication. I think Susan Blackmore's book is great! Dependent Variable (talk) 23:56, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
The wikilink to phenomena (philosophy) is confusing. Use the meaning:

Phenomenon (plural phenomena): a fact or event of scientific interest susceptible to scientific description and explanation.

Jclerman (talk) 07:19, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

entoptic phenomena[edit]

Sorry, I'm not an experienced wikipedia editor. That being said, I had to point this out. Form constants, according to wikipedia are NOT entoptic phenomena.
At the bottom, under "phenomena of the visual system," under the section "other," you will find form constants listed. Someone with knowledge in the subject please fix this, it was really bugging me because as far as I know, form constants do not originate in the eye itself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:35, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

I see what you mean, and I believe you're right that form constants are an artefact of the brain rather than of the eye. To be on the safe side, I've removed the term Entoptic phenomena; a link to that article can be easily found through the Phosphene article. Don't waste any sleep over contradictions in Wikipedia though!

The respective articles define phosphene as "an entoptic phenomenon characterized by the experience of seeing light without light actually entering the eye" (including experiences due to direct stimulation of the brain), and form constant as "one of several geometric patterns which are recurringly observed during hallucinations and altered states of consciousness." According to this categorisation, form constants could be considered a kind of phosphene, and therefore presumably also an entoptic phenomenon (in spite of the etymology of the latter term). But contradicting this is the article Entoptic phenomenon which defines entoptic phenomena as "visual effects whose source is within the eye itself".

The examples listed in Entoptic phenomenon are mainly artefacts of the eye, but they also include phosphenes defined there as "the perception of light without light actually entering the eye, for instance caused by pressure applied to the closed eyes." It isn't clear from this whether the author of the article meant that only some phosphenes belong to the category entoptic phenomena, or if they would agree with the Wikipedia Phosphene article and the OED's definition of phosphenes as a "subjective sensation of light produced by mechanical stimulation of the retina (as by pressure on the eyeball) or by electrical stimulation of various parts of the visual pathway."

If the OED / Wikipedia-Phosphene definition is accepted, and we count phosphenes as entoptic, then some entoptic phenomena at least would not be generated in the eye (in spite of the etymology), and so there would be no reason not to include form constants within the set of entoptic phenomena. On the other hand, if we agree with the OED definition, but want to limit the term entoptic to artefects of the eye, then some phosphenes would have to be considered non-entoptic while other are entoptic. (The OED is no help with "entoptic" for which the only sense it offers it "relating to the appearance of the different internal structures of the eye.")

In my experience, the terms phosphenes and entoptics are often used loosely and even synonymously by writers on hypnagogia. Acknowledging this would be another way around the contradictions, even if it was found useful to recommend a stricter usage, or adopt a stricter usage for the purposes of Wikipedia. Dependent Variable (talk) 19:01, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Accuracy of "Amnesia" section[edit]

Our article hippocampus appears to contradict the reference (which is a popular-media interview of a single scientist, not a very reliable source) of there being two memory storage areas, one in the neocortex and the other in the hippocampus. This will need to be sorted out with more reference checks and one or the other sections rewritten. -- Beland (talk) 03:16, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Which bit specifically of Hippocampus contradicts this? I'm not an expert on neurology, but to my inexperienced eye, much of it seems rather to confirm, or nuance, Stickgold's statement. In particular, the section "Role in memory" says "Damage to the hippocampus does not affect some types of memory, such as the ability to learn new motor or cognitive skills (playing a musical instrument, or solving certain types of puzzles, for example). This fact suggests that such abilities depend on different types of memory (procedural memory) and different brain regions." The Hippocampus article also specifically refers to episodic memory as something the hippocampus is responsible for, in agreement with this article. And in the "Sharp waves" section it mentions a theory about interaction between the hippocampus and neocortex, characterising both as areas where memories are stored. Dependent Variable (talk) 13:39, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I've removed the disputed tag for now, as there haven't been any further objections. Dependent Variable (talk) 07:31, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Anti-cholinergic medication and Salty foods[edit]

I used to get this hypnagogic condition alot when I was taking my prescribed anti-cholinergic medication (Robinul Forte for hyperhydrosis). It would happen about once or twice a week. After I stopped taking the medication (reason unrelated to the hypnagogia, I just didn't want to spend money on medication I didn't necessarily need), the regularity of the hypnagogic condition ceased. Now it only happens when I have a really salty meal or snack right before I go to bed. In my experience, I noticed a correlation between eating high sodium foods before going to bed and vivid dreaming. Try eating jalapeno chips the next time you go to bed and see what happens with your dreams. Personal research, but it makes sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:58, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

I've heard the same thing about vitamin B6. (talk) 09:18, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Benzene Discovery[edit]

I was reading the section suggesting that Benzene was discovered during a state of hypnogogia, and I know that I learned in University that Kekule had a dream of a snake eating its own tail, and figured out the cyclical structure of benzene. Whether or not this is true I do not know, but if somebody finds an article that mentions this it would make a good citation. (talk) 03:06, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

See: Creative Cognitive Processes in Kekulé's Discovery of the Structure of the Benzene Molecule, by Albert Rothenberg, The American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 108, No. 3 (Autumn, 1995), pp. 419-438.
More complete citation and abstract are here. The Rothenberg article has a bunch of references of its own that would be useful for this article. (talk) 07:37, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

gauss 17-gon[edit]

I removed:

Similarly, the teenaged Karl Gauss obtained an insight during a hypnagogic reverie into how to construct a 17-sided polygon.

but maybe this can be salvaged. Rothenberg (cited re benzene ring) p. 421 says Gauss "actually reported that he developed the laws of induction on first awakening in the morning." It cites Gauss, C. F. (1933). Works (Vol. 5). Gottingen, Germany: W. F. Kaestner, (Original work published 1863); p. 609. (talk) 09:09, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Dunnington in "Gauss, Titan of Science" also comments on this. The note on p. 609 of Gauss's Works[3] just says "Das Inductiongesetz (Gefunden 1835. Januar 23. Morgens 7u v.d. Aufst)" tr. "The law of induction (discovered January 23, 1835 at 7 a.m. before getting up)". I do vaguely remember some story about Gauss figuring out the 17-gon construction while daydreaming, and might try to chase it down. It might be in E. T. Bell's Men of Mathematics, a notoriously unreliable book. (talk) 18:54, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

It has been suggested that Threshold consciousness be merged into this article or section.[edit]

I agree, Threshold consciousness could redirect here. Dependent Variable (talk) 07:30, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Hypnogogia is not a misspelling[edit]

According to the OED it's a recognized variant spelling, changing this shit

First "sentence" is not a sentence (just the title/etymology)[edit]

As it is right now, the first "sentence" in the intro section of the article is just "hypnagogia" in bold, followed by the parenthetical etymology of the word. Perhaps it and the following sentence should read as something like "Hypnagogia [etymology] is the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep (i.e. the onset of sleep); Alfred Maury originally coined the adjective "hypnagogic" to describe this state." Currently, it's not a sentence. --V2Blast (talk) 02:31, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I've removed the film and literature sections[edit]

It's an understatement to say that these 'In popular culture'-style sections lack detail, so I'm moving them here until someone more expansive comes along.

==Hypnagogia in film==
==Hypnagogia in literature==

K2709 (talk) 23:02, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

pick one[edit]


Well, is hypnagogia the state or the study of the state? —Tamfang (talk) 06:15, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Paul McCartney[edit]

I've removed his name from the list of artists and scientists who 'have credited hypnagogia and related states with enhancing their creativity' because of doubts whether the recent addition of his name is actually supported by the work originally cited, Runco & Pritzker's Encyclopedia of Creativity. If I'm wrong about this, please reinsert his name. Thanks. Meticulo (talk) 23:05, 7 March 2017 (UTC)