I have written before about different Parasomnias which cause a person to feel like they are under attack while they are asleep. From seeing and hearing things while you are falling asleep known as hypnogogia, through to shadow figures pinning you down while you are awake and paralyised known as sleep paralysis, it can be difficult to determine what is real and what is your mind playing with you. There is also another stage of sleep sort of similar to sleep paralysis which causes a person to wake up with a fright. It is called a Hypnopompic Hallucination.
A hypnopompic hallucination is associated in the same category as Hypnagogia and Sleep Paralysis. A Hypnopompic hallucination occurs when a person is just about to wake up from sleep. They may see, feel, smell or taste something that seems very real, and they may feel they are actually awake at the time. It could be hearing someone calling your name as you wake up or seeing a figure in your room. Maybe you open your eyes and see a light above the bed or in my own case, I often see black dots which come towards me. I feel like I am awake, but I really wake up often screaming from what felt like a very real experience in my own bedroom where I see black dots or mist coming at me. I can assure you that I am not under any sort of paranormal attack. This is something I have experienced since I was little and long before I started investigating the paranormal.
What sets this apart from a dream is that it lacks a story. It is not a part of the dreams that have been playing in your head throughout the night. It is a random and disconnected experience that can feel like it is taking place in your bedroom as you lie in bed. This is why so many people associate it with being a paranormal visitation as it is seperate to your dreams and you are essentially in your very own bedroom. What makes it different to sleep paraylsis is that you are not paralyised and have movement of your body and can even speak or scream which again is why a lot of people tend to think it is a paranormal experience.
While the word hallucination is used, it does not mean there is a problem with a person mentally. While it could indicate a relation to a sleep disorder, these hallucinations happen to completely healthy individuals as well. It can however also be linked to poor sleeping habits, stress and a high intake of caffiene. Lack of sleep and poor sleeping patterns can make a big contribution here (something common among paranormal investigators).
I have written previously about the close association of certain sleeping disorders with the paranormal. Often experiences during episodes of sleep paralysis or night terrors are thought to be some sort of paranormal attack when in a lot of cases they are really a form of an hallucination. You can see the article here for more information: https://livinglifeinfullspectrum.com.au/blog/parasomnia-and-the-paranormal/
When we fall asleep, we enter what is called a hypnogogic state. It can cause us to hallucinate and hear and see things that are not really happening. It can equally help us to tap into our unconscious mind to gain clarity and inspiration. Thomas Edison would famously enter a hypnagogic state when he was stuck creatively and would enter this state with a question in mind. He would hold a metal ball in his hand so that when he finally fell asleep, he would be awoken by the sound of the metal ball he had been holding in his hand. As the hypnogogic state is one that we tend to remember, he would awaken with creative inspiration or the answer to the question he was asking. It is also considered by many to be a state which allows people to communicate with spirits. Perhaps by not having all the 'noise' inside our head and having a clear mind is enough to open that door. The hynopompic state is considered to be similar state. Instead of falling asleep, you are in the midst of waking up. While it is considered to be an hallucination, is this also a state in which we are at our most open and relaxed to connect with our unconscious mind? It is a small window for something to connect with us before we fully wake?
So in short is a hypnopompic hallucination paranormal? No it isn't as it is a normal function of our brain and something that happens as we are waking up. It can feel very real and confronting and often cause a person to wake up screaming or jump our of bed with a fright. It is very easy for a person to associate this with some sort of paranormal attack, but it is important to understand that even though it feels very real, it is not. When you are investigating or researching the paranormal, it is easy to associate different experiences to have a link to the paranormal. It is just how we are wired as humans. I know myself when I first started investigating the paranormal, I experienced an influx of sleep paralysis episodes. At the time I wondered if it was some message from the other side, when in reality my body clock was completely out of whack and lack of sleep was contributing. Once I got my sleep under control, the episodes stopped even though my paranormal investigating was increasing. It is important for us to educate ourself with knowledge which can help us confront and beat the fear we may experience during sleep. I mean we are in our own homes in our rooms and the safety of our own bed. No one should feel like they are under attack. By just knowing about these things and even trying to adapt better sleep habits, you may notice a big change in what you experience.
It is important to understand that not everything we experience is paranormal, even if it feels like it is. Equally though we must also acknowledge there is so much we do not understand, yet we have experienced so many different things that we cannot explain. We wouldn't be here exploring and researching the paranormal if we didn't think there was more. While there will be a lot of cases where what we experience is just our brain falling asleep or waking up, does this explain every single instance? If a person adapts all of the healthy sleep habits and has no diagnosed sleeping conditions and yet it still continues to happen, could there be another explanation? I think it is important to at least ask these kinds of questions because even though there is an explanation, it may not be what is going on in a particular case. Our brains are very powerful yet very much understood. We don't know what the full capability of the brain is when it comes to paranormal phenomena. Can we create it? Can we cause it? Can we access information? The question is, when it comes to these dream states where our mind is clear to the point people use it to access their unconscious minds what information are these states allowing us to access? Is there more to our dreams than we think?
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Areas such as hypnagogia and sleep paralysis are written about in much more detail in my book Stuff Paranormal Investigators Need to Know Volume 1: What the eyes see and the ears hear the mind believes. Available worldwide: https://livinglifeinfullspectrum.com.au/shop/