The fear during these hypnagogic hallucinations is natural; you cannot control your fear during the hallucination because you are not awake and consciously in control of your thoughts. However, they are not a sign that you have a psychological disorder or a serious condition. These hallucinations are not uncommon at some point in your life on a transient basis. However, if you have hypnagogic hallucinations on a regular basis, you should seek medical care. A regular sleep schedule and healthier lifestyle should help eliminate hypnagogic hallucinations. Keep a sleep journal to record your hypnagogic hallucinations, and this will help you keep track of your situation and share it with a doctor if you seek help. If your hallucinations began after starting a new medication, tell your doctor immediately.
Hypnagogic hallucinations are what happens when a person is asleep but sees, hears or feels things and experiences them as real even though he or she is asleep. These dreams, which are actually waking dreams are quite frightening, which is why the most common hypnagogic hallucinations are a jerk awake when someone feels they are falling right before they fall asleep. Although hallucinations feel like dreams, they are not true dreams. Lack of sleep, illness, overdose of medication, erratic sleep patterns or the like can cause them.
They occur not during sleep but on the border between sleep and waking, when you are about to go to sleep or about to wake up. Hypnagogic hallucinations are quite vivid and seem unlike dreams, but completely real to the person experiencing them. Most people experience hypnagogic hallucinations occasionally, usually in the form of feeling we’re falling as we fall asleep. If you have more severe, more frequent hallucinations, you should consult your doctor about them.
Hypnagogia is a sleep disorder, and many people have this sleep disorder for many years without being aware that they have hypnagogic hallucinations. For many people, these hallucinations may seem like bad dreams, or they may worry that something is wrong with them, for instance that they are psychotic, or have some other psychiatric disorder. But these hallucinations are not a psychiatric disorder.
If you are experiencing something similar to these hallucinations and see a psychologist about sleep disorders they may think it is trauma related, but the most likely answer is that it is not. Hypnagogic hallucinations are not psychologically related at all, but are a sleep/wake cycle problem. They are a misfiring in the brain and are completely organic. It would be best to go to a local sleep center where you can be put under observation.
1. Keep a regular sleep schedule and be careful to get enough sleep every night.
2. Control your stress. Relaxation activities such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga and the like can be very helpful in controlling stress.
3. Consult with your doctor as to whether your medications could be causing hallucinations.
4. Consider consulting a sleep specialist and having a sleep study done.
5. nderstand that these hallucinations are common and not a sign of a more serious disorder
6. Keep a sleep journal and track your symptoms to look for patterns.
Know that you are only one of many people who suffer these hypnagogic hallucinations and that it is a very common disorder.
Hypnagogic Hallucinations: What Are They?
Hypnagogic hallucinations are not dreams, but are like dreams; they are visions when you are asleep or about to fall asleep. During hypnagogic visions you see, hear and feel things that are not there. That is why hypnagogic hallucinations are called hallucinations. They occur during a state of consciousness that is officially known as hypnogogia, the transition from being awake to a state of sleep.
What Causes Hypnagogic Hallucinations?
Hypnagogic visions do not appear to be a sign of a serious disorder. Hypnagogic hallucinations can occur in anyone at any time. There are a number of possible causes for them. Lack of sleep or a disorderly sleep schedule can contribute, as these can cause problems leading to hallucinations. Drug overdose or medications can also cause hypnagogic visions.
Sleep disorders are a common link in hypnagogic hallucinations, but are not a definitive cause. These types of hallucinations also tend to run in families. It is a disorder of the sleeping and waking cycle. It is not a psychological disorder, though stress can contribute to these types of hallucinations. Hypnagogic hallucinations are not related to narcolepsy and do tend to get better with age. They are also not related to psychosis.
These hallucinations are frightening because your subconscious is in control and fools your mind into thinking that what it thinks you are seeing, feeling or hearing is real, when it is not. Because you have no way of fighting back or protecting yourself, this is terrifying.
The most common hypnagogic hallucinations are the feeling of falling. Most people experience this as a sudden kick or jerk when they’re about to fall asleep; this is a hypnagogic hallucination. But for other people, these hallucinations are much more severe. This includes the feeling that there is someone or something else in the room.
Many people actually hear people talking in the room around them during hypnagogic hallucinations, or may have conversations with others and know, on some level, that the person is not there, but not be able to wake up. Some people feel a presence of someone else in the room with them or feel that they are submerged in water. The common factor of all hypnagogic hallucinations is that they are terrifying and the person is unable to wake up.
Hypnagogia is basically a sleep/wake cycle disorder. You cannot wake up but are not completely asleep, so you see, feel and hear things that are not real, but your body is paralyzed and you are afraid. This is usually within the first couple of hours of falling asleep or after you have wakened and are going back to sleep. The terrifying thing is that you believe what you are experiencing, and you are unable to do anything about it.
Hypnagogic Hallucinations Symptoms
Have you experienced unusual thoughts or sensations while just on the threshold of falling asleep? “Hypnagogia” refers to the transitional state between sleep and wakefulness – this may be the period during falling asleep or during waking up. A number of mental phenomena may occur during this time, including lucid dreaming, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations.
Hypnagogic hallucinations can range from harmless to frightening, and they tend to be very vivid. Although these hallucinations are very common, they may be a sign of an underlying medical condition and sometimes require medical treatment or therapy.
What are the symptoms of hypnagogic hallucinations?
Many people experience hypnagogic hallucinations at some point in their lives, and it is usually obvious to the person when it happens. Hallucinations may be visual, auditory, or tactile – they include the person seeing something vivid that is not actually present, hearing a noise that has not occurred, or feeling something touch them when there is nothing there.
- A falling sensation that causes the person to jerk awake
- Seeing simple forms, such as colored circles or parts of objects
- Hearing a collection of random sounds, or sounds such as a ringing doorbell, one’s name being spoken, or oneself being criticized by a voice
- Feeling that the size or location of one’s body parts are changing – your arms and legs may feel like they are growing farther apart, or that your torso is stretching
- A feeling of levitation
- Sleep paralysis, which causes the person to be unable to move and is usually associated with terrifying visions
If you experience any of these symptoms or sensations while on the brink of sleep, they are likely the result of hypnagogic hallucinations. They may be frightening or uncomfortable, but they are normal in many people. If a person begins to experience hallucinations at times other than the transition between sleeping and waking, this is much more serious and requires medical attention. Such hallucinations are far more likely to indicate mental illnesses or other diagnosable conditions.
How are hypnagogic hallucinations treated?
Hypnagogic hallucinations are usually no cause for concern. However, they may indicate underlying medical conditions or the need for lifestyle changes. In addition, people who experience frequent episodes of frightening sleep paralysis may want to seek treatment to avoid these episodes.
If the hallucinations are diagnosed as the normal result of waking or falling asleep, some actions might be recommended to try and reduce their frequency. They can be the result of sleep deprivation or stress, so the patient should try and remove the causes of these conditions to stop experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations.
In rare cases, the doctor may determine that the hallucinations are severe and symptomatic of mental conditions like schizophrenia (75% of schizophrenics report experiencing these hallucinations), depressions, or brain damage. In these cases, the patient may be prescribed treatments such as anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, brain or ear treatments, or psychotherapy.
Hypnagogic hallucinations can range from merely interesting to horrifying, but they are generally harmless and will decrease in frequency when the person is well-rested and not stressed.
What to Do When You Stop Breathing While Sleeping
Although snoring is usually not a sign of anything serious, it can be an indication of a sleep disorder. Have you ever woken up coughing, or been told that you suddenly stopped breathing while sleeping?
Symptoms like these are often a result of obstructive sleep apnea. This sleep disorder, which causes pauses in breathing (at least ten seconds long) or very light breathing during sleep occurs in about 20% of people and can be treated in a number of ways. Although sleep apnea may not be bothersome or noticeable, if left untreated, it can lead to higher chances of developing tumors and cancer.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
During sleep apnea, the throat muscles becomes so relaxed that they obstruct breathing.
Often, the person suffering from sleep apnea does not realize that their breathing is interrupted during sleep. There are a variety of ways to tell that you may have sleep apnea, most of which involve not feeling rested during the day. The disorder disturbs the sleep cycle and does not allow the body to “recharge” as it should during sleep. Some reasons to get check out include:
- Waking up feeling unrefreshed
- Falling asleep during the day
- Feeling a decline in mental sharpness
- Having feelings of depression
- Waking up several times during the night
- Falling asleep when you are a passenger in a car for any amount of time
- Falling asleep while driving
The most common way to find out that you may have sleep apnea is to be told by others. If you ever see someone snoring and they suddenly stop breathing, this is likely caused by sleep apnea.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
If someone has told you that you stop breathing while sleeping, or if you constantly feel fatigued during the day, it is a good idea to go to the doctor and have him or her try to diagnose you. The doctor will take note of your physical symptoms and do a sleep study if they think the cause may be sleep apnea. During the sleep study, the doctor will measure the number of times that your breathing is interrupted. There are three levels of sleep apnea that can be diagnosed:
- Mild: breathing is interrupted 5-14.9 times per hour
- Moderate: breathing is interrupted 15-29.9 times per hour
- Severe: breathing is interrupted over 30 times per hour
Another option is to do an informal sleep study in the patient’s home. This is called “oximetry” and involves using a small machine to measure the amount of oxygen passing through the patient’s blood.
How is sleep apnea treated?
The first step in treatment for breathing interruptions during sleep is behavioral therapy. Patients are told to make lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills and sleeping on the side instead of the back. Sometimes, medications are prescribed to lower blood pH and assist breathing. In addition, a dentist may construct an appliance that shifts the lower jaw forward to open up the airway.
For more severe cases, the most common treatment is to wear a mask that pushes air down the patient’s throat. As a last resort, surgery may be performed to correct the shape of the mouth and throat to encourage breathing.
Understanding Various Sleep Paralysis Causes
Sleep paralysis causes may stem from different things. By definition, sleep paralysis is a condition in which the muscles are unable to function when commanded while at the state of starting to fall asleep or upon awakening. It can be associated with either REM atonia or narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder that makes the person sleepy at inappropriate hours.
Sleep paralysis causes the person to experience vivid nightmares that may feel very dangerous, explaining the urge to move while in the state of half-awake and half–sleep. Some of the known factors that increase sleep paralysis are stress, excessive alcohol intake, sudden changes in the environment, and certain sleeping positions. Sleeping position is the most typical of sleep paralysis causes, especially when accompanied by physical tiredness.
There are interesting folklores regularly attached to sleep paralysis causes.
In Asia, sleep paralysis is said to occur due to ghosts pressing down on bodies of sleeping people. Some who experienced this phenomenon usually refer to being held down while sleeping. In some cases, where the person’s vision is vividly active, there are narratives of seeing shadows nearby which adds to the beliefs in supernatural involvement. In some parts of Southern United States, the ghost is referred to as a ‘hag’, and is told to signify an approaching accident or danger.
With the known sleep paralysis causes, treatments or medications are rarely given unless the symptoms are reoccurring and pointing into possible disorders, like narcolepsy. To avoid the person from being alarmed or from panicking, the next time they experience sleep paralysis, it’s advisable to get information about the different stages of sleep. Understanding the process of sleep will enable the person to analyze the probable cause of the incident and may be able to take note of it before stating a possible alien abduction.
Insomnia Dallas Tips to Cure Sleeplessness
There are many places with people who suffer from insomnia, Dallas included. Because of the busy day and nightlife in Dallas, sleeplessness cannot be avoided. Aside from work and extracurricular activities, problems, stress and lifestyle contribute to insomnia. In this article are ways to cure this condition so that you will have a restful life in Dallas.
Curing Insomnia Dallas Tip– Do Not Force Yourself to Sleep
When you cannot sleep, get up from your bed. When you force yourself to sleep, you will be more stressed. You can read a book to make your brain tired thus making you fall asleep. You can also do some light chores such as washing dirty dishes or dusting off appliances in your room.
Curing Insomnia Dallas Tip – Relax
The reason why you cannot sleep is because you are not relaxed. Do some relaxation techniques. You can listen to soft music or try meditating. You can even perform yoga to relax your whole body. Get a massage or do some soft stretching.
Curing Insomnia Dallas Tip – Take a Warm Bath
A warm bath will relax your body especially if you lather yourself with aromatherapy body wash or soap. If you have a tub, pour warm water and drops of aromatherapy liquid soap, lavender or marjoram on it. Keep the light in your bathroom dim because bright lights will keep your eyes and mind awake. When you go back to bed, massage your body parts with a lavender-scented lotion. You can also pour lavender oil on your pillow to relax.
Curing Insomnia Dallas Tip – Beverage, Food and Herbal Tea
To cure your insomnia, you can drink a warm glass of milk as this has the protein tryptophan which make you relax. You can also have a snack that has this protein. Foods that have tryptophan are bananas, tuna, turkey, dates and figs.
There are also herbs you can drink as tea to make you go to sleep such as Valerian, chamomile, lavender, passionflower, skullcap, catnip, lime flower and hops. Check if these herbs have capsule forms.
With such insomnia Dallas tips, you are sure to have a restful sleep every night.
The Various Definition of Insomnia
Most people know only one definition of insomnia. It is basically the inability or failure to sleep. There are actually four meanings of insomnia when one researches even further. In this article are the said definitions.
The first definition is based on criteria. This criteria includes the failure to maintain sleep, the inability to sleep, waking up early in the morning no matter how late you sleep and non-restorative sleep where you cannot go back to slumber once awake in the middle of the night or early morning. You will be declared an insomniac if you experience any of these mentioned in the criteria.
Definition of Insomnia – You will suffer from insomnia if you endure the consequences of the criteria mentioned above during daytime. There are 9 to 15% of people who suffer daytime consequences due to failure of sleep, the inability to sleep or the incapability to go back to sleep.
Definition of Insomnia – Based on the Global Sleep Dissatisfaction
According to the Global Sleep Dissatisfaction formulated in 1993, insomnia is when a sufferer continuously complains for at least half a year about the kind of sleep he experiences. There are around 8 to 18% of people who has such a complaint.
Insomnia is considered a disease and has varying conditions. If you suffer from this, you need to have a proper diagnosis from a medical expert such as a psychiatrist. You have to undergo a Differential Diagnostic Procedure so as to confirm your condition of insomnia that involves an elimination process. People who suffer from this kind of insomnia have numbered to 6% of the population.
These are the different meanings of insomnia. If you want to know if you are indeed an insomniac, go to your doctor and be diagnosed properly. Your doctor will also be able to give you proper medication for this. Whatever the definition of insomnia, you need to treat it because a good sleep is needed to be healthy.
Exploring the Insomnia Meaning
The insomnia meaning can be classified into two categories. It may be a person’s difficulty to sleep or a person’s difficulty in trying to maintain being asleep. Either way, the person experiencing poor sleeping patterns should immediately look into its possible causes.
In relation to the meaning of insomnia, it may also be caused by existing physiological conditions. It is commonly considered as a symptom of some psychiatric or medical disorder.
Medical conditions having insomnia as an effect include hormonal disorders, pain caused by physical discomforts, traumas, or brain injury. Simply put, once the main problem is cured, insomnia may also cease from making an appearance.
On the other hand, another insomnia meaning may be independent of medical disorders. The insomnia may be due to different choices made in everyday life. Irregular sleeping patterns due to work schedule, stressful activities, distracting noises, or current problems may produce temporary insomnia these days. Immediate medical actions can still apply when mentioned irregular sleeping patterns prove fatal to health.
Medications and treatments also vary depending on the diagnosis of said insomnia. For cases that can be solved with appropriate relaxation methods or a stress-relieving vacation, the meaning of insomnia might not be too serious. Some people may even get used to insomnia occurring at particularly tensed moments. They calmly accept that the difficulty in sleeping should be expected and will eventually disappear.
The appropriate insomnia meaning may vary for a person living in this generation. It’s advisable to have regular breaks from stressful routines to avoid exhausting the body. Sleeping pills might help in reducing mild insomnia, but without the proper guidance and support, it might lead to abuse. There is only one body available for a person, so taking care of it should be a priority at all times.
5 Ways to Define Insomnia
Many individuals around the world are suffering from insomnia. Some know that they have insomnia, but some maybe not. However, do people really know what insomnia is? Many people define insomnia merely as a condition of difficulty to sleep. Yet, little did they know that insomnia is not all about the difficulty to sleep.
The term insomnia was derived from the Latin words “in”, which means “not” and “somnus”, which means “sleep”. Generally, insomnia is a condition of sleeping difficulties. In sleep literature, insomnia is defined as a sleep disorder manifested through disturbed sleep patterns. Actually, there are many ways to define insomnia and below are the five ways.
The first means to define insomnia is—a common sleeping disorder. Most people define insomnia this way. In fact, almost everyone had experienced trouble falling asleep even for once. Approximately one-third of the world’s population experiences insomnia. Moreover, around 70 million people in United States alone have this condition.
The second way to define insomnia is—long-term inability to fall or stay asleep. This type of insomnia is called chronic insomnia. Almost half of the people with insomnia suffer from this type. People with this condition cannot fall asleep usually at night even though they are lying in the bed for several hours already. Also, if they were able to sleep then, they cannot sustain their sleep and suddenly wakes up in the middle of the night making them unable to sleep back again. Some people may experience this for months interrupting their quality of life.
The third way to define insomnia is—inability falling asleep at conventional times. This case is for those night people who are also referred to as owls. These people are more comfortable in staying up late at night. Generally, people wake up in the morning to go to school or to work. Because of this, night people are somehow forced to wake up earlier than they can. This is also a problem faced by several shiftworkers especially when they adjust to different work schedules. Their body needs to readjust to the sleep and wake up time schedule.
The fourth way to define insomnia is—poor quality or lack of sleep. Most people who lack sleep or have poor quality of sleep experiences headache, fatigue, poor concentration, and sleepiness. Despite this, several people nowadays just ignore or neglect their insomnia. They just treat it like stress, which is normally a part of everyday life. As long as they can properly function and do their activities during the day, they feel that they are fine and still in good condition.
The fifth and last way to define insomnia is—a possible symptom of an underlying condition. Most of the time, insomnia is not just a medical condition in itself, it is a symptom. Sleeping difficulties can be due to several physical and psychological problems. These can be heart diseases, lung problems, and brain conditions. It can also be anxiety, depression, and stress.
The abovementioned are the five specific ways to define insomnia. Through this, people will now be able to recognize insomnia. Furthermore, it can somehow assist them in treating the said condition because they already know what really insomnia is.
Between Wakefulness and Sleep: Studying Hypnagogic Hallucinations
Hypnagogic hallucinations causes are brought by the half-sleep, half-awake state called hypnagogia. Other than hallucinations, hypnagogia is also characterized by sleep paralysis, seeing images, hearing sounds, or other situations that are notable to the sleeper’s senses.
Hypnagogia is a general term used to describe both the onset of sleep and the awakening from sleep. Further research established separate descriptions for both states; hence the terms hypnagogic hallucinations and hypnopompic hallucinations. Both refer to the same symptoms, but usually unidentifiable in cases of multiple sleeping and waking episodes.
Hypnagogic hallucinations causes can include several images. Most are geometrical in shape, linear, or merely speckles, popping into the sleeper’s mind. Some are trails of dreams induced by remarkable situations experienced by the person when in conscious state.
Even with the studies and researches on hypnagogic hallucinations and its associates, most people still prefer to give meaning to some situations and familiar symbols that are remembered by the sleeper upon awakening. This contributed to the vast categories of folklore, superstitions, prophecies, and even extraterrestrial involvements.
Hypnagogia may induce fear in people who find no rational meanings in the images reflected in the hypnagogic state. Even so, this state is said to have beneficial effects in the form of creative thoughts or ideas. Edgar Allan Poe even wrote about the things—he called them ‘fancies’—he experience while in between wakefulness and sleep. He called these experiences ‘pleasurable’ and able to provide glimpses into the spiritual nature.
Hypnagogic hallucinations causes pose no threat, and are not classified as disorders, except for narcolepsy possibilities. Sleep paralysis is the common concern with hypnagogia and this may also vary depending on the causes. There is no clear treatment or medication applied to avoid hypnagogic states exhibited by healthy people. Only proper information can help in ensuring a good night’s sleep.
Hypnopompic Hallucinations: Meaningful or Nonsense?
Hypnopompic hallucinations occur in the waking up stage of REM sleep. The term hypnopompic was used by Frederic Myers, a past leader and member of the Society for Psychical Research. The hypnopompic state is commonly associated with sleep paralysis and its other friend, hypnagogia.
Hypnopompic hallucinations are said to contain images or situations, mostly from the state of dreaming, that are confusing, frightening, or nonsensical in nature. These hallucinations can last from seconds to minutes, including the paralysis state, and causes panic for the person experiencing it.
In most cases, hypnopompic hallucinations are not life threatening. Some people easily attribute it as a nightmare, occurring due to sleeping in an above average physical tiredness. Upon waking up, the sleeper may be slow in reacting or remembering the details of the incident. Mumbling nonsense upon waking up from a REM sleep is called hypnopompic speech by Peter McKeller, a psychologist.
In the medical field, hypnopompic hallucinations may be symptoms of narcolepsy, especially when accompanied by frequent sleep paralysis.
The hypnopompic state is sometimes inserted with folklore stories. The theory of a ‘hag’ pressing down on the sleeping body had taken many variations from different countries. It is also said to be an aftermath of alien abduction or a warning of impending danger.
Most research had focused more on hypnagogia, the state between conscious to asleep, rather than the hypnopompic state. Hypnopompic hallucinations are mostly considered as natural effects of an REM sleep. If the cause is not a medical disorder, it is explained to be due to poor sleeping positions, stressful activities, excessive eating or alcoholic drinking before sleeping, or adjustments in a change of lifestyle. Instead of panicking and instilling fear, it’s advisable to research and find out information related to sleeping stages to figure out the next step to take.
CPAP Alternatives to Cure Sleep Apnea
There are people who suffer from sleep apnea. This is a condition where breathing is interrupted as they sleep at night. They would wake up as they choke due to the absence of air in their body. When this regularly happens, this can lead to a stroke and heart ailments. A device called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) has been invented to treat sleep apnea. But because there are many people who do not like this machine, they go for other CPAP alternatives to cure their sleep apnea.
CPAP Alternatives – Changes in Lifestyle
The doctors would sometimes say that sleep apnea is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. If you drink too much alcohol, this narrows the airways thus relaxing the muscles in the throat and shutting the air passage when you sleep. Sometimes sleep apnea is due to obesity therefore you need to undergo a healthy diet to lose excess weight. The additional weight in your neck usually presses your air passage when you sleep thus relaxing your muscles and forbidding you to inhale. A lifestyle change is one of the most natural CPAP alternatives.
Mouth fixtures help treat sleep apnea based on studies made in the last ten years. This device makes the lower jaw move forward a little thus opening the airway and allowing oxygen to flow. This then gives uninterrupted sleep. Not everyone can use mouth fixtures though but for those who use it, their sleep has become better.
CPAP Alternatives – Surgery
For those who cannot stand CPAP and mouth fixtures and would really like to treat sleep apnea permanently, surgery is their option. Sleep apnea is caused by a blockage in the airway therefore it is important to remove permanently this blockage. Tonsils may be removed or implants may be placed in the throat so that the airway would remain open when the muscles there relax. Breathing dilemmas that result to sleep apnea may be caused by a deviated septum and this can be removed only by surgery.
To treat sleep apnea, try these CPAP alternatives in order to have a good night sleep always.