Different kinds of hypnagogic hallucination

I’ve been journaling my dreams for a while now, and I think I experience two different kinds of hypnagogic hallucination. Is this usual?

  1. The first kind I only experience occasionally, almost always when my sleep has been disrupted (e.g. if I’ve had to go to bed a couple of hours later than normal for work reasons). These are only experienced within a few minutes either before falling asleep or after waking.
    a. The auditory version is a short burst of meaningless speech, of about 1 second in duration. The particular speaker’s voice is recognizable, and it’s possible to pick up the emotional emphasis on syllables, but there are no recognizable words. It is as if a long audio recording of someone speaking has been cut up into individual phonemes, which are then replayed in random order. It’s distinguishable from real sound because the words make no sense (and stop after about 1 second).
    b. The visual version is about 1 second in duration, and is visible in bright light from the real world (e.g. with the bedroom light on). Usually accompanied by a hypnic jerk. ie. I’m seeing the real world in bright light, I see something in the scene that appears completely real but isn’t, I feel as if I’m falling and then the hallucination disappears.

Both 1(a) and 1(b) feel as if my experience of the real world has had about 1 second of dream edited in to it (to use a film-editing metaphor). My guess as to what causes them is that they’re episodes of micro-sleep: I fall into dream state for about 1 second and then wake up again.

  1. The second type of hallucination occurs more often, in fact pretty much every time I try to go to sleep. The visual hallucinations differ from 1(b) in that they’re only visible in darkness or very dim light: bright light from the real world, or even just trying to imagine something, will dispel them. The length of the hallucinatory period is typically several minutes, but individual images within it are of much shorter duration (typically less than 1/2 second) and they make no coherent sense (they either look like phosphenes, or something a bit like the paintings of Hieronymous Bosch). These are usually also accompanied by a form of hypnic jerk. Somewhere in the middle of the couple of minutes of hallucination I’ll experience an involuntary muscle contraction, like receiving an electric shock, often accompanied by a sensation of falling.

This type feels more like dreams “solidifying”. They start out as completely incoherent collages of images, and slowly become replaced by something that has more of a story to it.

Much of this sounds like a text-book description of hypnagogic hallucination, but I don’t think I’ve heard before that there are two types. The difference seems to be between awake->microsleep->awake versus awake->slowly starting to fall asleep->full dream state.

I don’t get two distinct types like this, what I get is more like a continuous spectrum of different HI. The first type is the easiest to WILD from, from my experience. It feels a lot more like the beginning of the dream than simply background noise from the brain.

It could simply be that it is a lot easier to WILD, for me, if I am extremely sleepy. Microsleeps are associated with sleep deprivation and severe sleepiness. Have you noticed a difference in HI between the times when you are extremely sleepy, and the nights when you are less sleepy?

in both cases i take it it doesnt happen as soon as you lay down on your bed.
the electrical shock and muscle contraction is your brain sending signals to your body as to check if youre still awake.
this is something it always does as it goes through the process of canceling the motion of the physical body as you enter sleep so you wont make the same moves as you do when you are asleep. you experience this since you remain awake while falling asleep.

the second “type” does sound like the road into a dream, since you remain aware you experience how your senses start to manifest themselves into the dream, you see glimpses hear noises, what would later lead (as Siiw) said to a WILD if you can maintain your awanrenss throughout the process.

o-n this part id like to get some clarification:

  • you see the real world as in the room you are sleeping in in bright light?
  • you can not experience this if there isnt a light in the room?
  • example for “I see something in the scene that appears completely real but isn’t” (are your eyes open or closed?)