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Awful hypnopompic hallucinations at night... Suggestions?


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Things have been going well, except for my sleep. For months I've had to sleep with a light on in my room because if not, I will almost certainly wake up from sleep and the following will happen:

-sleep paralysis, bad but not unendurable

-I will hear slamming doors, and the loud laughter of strangers

- next I will see people standing over my bed. I will try to move and run but I can't, I'm paralyzed. Im screaming inside.

-they begin to speak and start pressing down on my chest and abdomen. At this point the terror is so bad I feel like dying.

I understand these are common occurrences. I always finally am pulled back into wakeness with tears all over my face. It is awful. These hallucinations and paralysis have endured beyond medication changes so I don't know what is wrong. Only keeping the light on keeps the hallucinations away. I also have idiopathic hypersomnia if that matters.

Has anyone else dealt with these and got rid of them? I haven't slept well in three nights and have work early tomorrow. I'm at the end of my rope.

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No idea. But I am curious about the light. Are you waking up in the middle of the night unless you turn on the light, need the light to be on in the morning when you wake up, or something else?

What are the steps that prevent this from happening?

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Are they actually hallucinations? Or could they be a "false awakening" in your lucid dreams? I'm dragging that in as a possibility from your answer to the recent lucid dream thread.

Granted the following definitions come from wikipedia, there are references at the bottom of the page from organizations such as Stanford University and American Psychological Association.

A lucid dream is any dream in which one is aware that one is dreaming. The term was coined by the Dutch psychiatrist and writer Frederik (Willem) van Eeden (1860–1932).[1] In a lucid dream, the dreamer may be able to exert some degree of control over their participation within the dream or be able to manipulate their imaginary experiences in the dream environment.[2] Lucid dreams can be realistic and vivid.

A false awakening is a vivid and convincing dream about awakening from sleep, while the dreamer in reality continues to sleep. After a false awakening, subjects often dream they are performing daily morning rituals such as cooking, cleaning and eating. The experience is sometimes called a double dream, or a dream within a dream.

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I feel for you, I have had hypnagogic hallucinations before, and they are horrible.

Is there anything you can do to improve the quality of your sleep? Even a sleep med? It appears that the hallucinations lessen when you get better quality sleep.

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still get a few different recurring dreams. the worst is when there are black figures that move around the house and root through my room

they are always looking for something.

gets pretty weird when i go to sitting room in middle of night and bloody things dont go away

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I had a hypnogogic hallucination once a couple of months ago, which resulted in a panic attack in bed. In fact that was worse than my daytime hallucinations (and they were always daytime until that night). I ended up waking up completely, as I had become convinced I was going to be attacked and therefore was too frightened to sleep. I had to wait until my meds finally knocked me out to actually sleep.

The experience was so horrible that not much really helped me. I sort of mumbled to the hallucination 'go away' or something along those lines (I tried to shout but I was half asleep), and it did but not before frightening me. And I had to keep telling myself that it was an hallucination and it couldn't really hurt me. These are similar techniques that I use these days to cope with the daytime hallucinations, as the only difference for me is that the nighttime ones are more scary. I also used all my usual coping strategies for the panic attack, keep trying to breathe and remind myself that I am not going to die.

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Cetkat, I keep the light on because when the light is on I don't hallucinate visually. I still get paralysis but I don't see the people standing over me or pressing down on my chest.

Birdee, the sleep specialist I see says they are hypnopompic hallucinations.

Pamito, I have a sleeping pill PRN but it doesn't help much... Seroquel worked much better. I also find that I have them less if I sleep on my side. Sleeping on my back is a recipe for disaster.

Spongy bob, I'm sorry you deal with frightening dreams. They are awful!

And enlightened Plutonian, i agree, I have had hallucinations ( visual) during the day and these are worse to me as well. I don't know why, but they are. I try to tell myself that it's just a hallucination but it doesn't work because the sensation of them pushing on my chest is so powerful. Sometimes they also touch my face. It is the scariest thing in the world.

Like isaid, the only thing that keeps the visual hallucinations away for me is sleeping with the light on :(

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