Symptoms Of Narcolepsy
4. Sleep-related hallucinations (Hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations)
Hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations are visual, tactile, auditory, or other sensory events, usually brief but occasionally prolonged, that occur at the transition from wakefulness to sleep (hypnagogic) or from sleep to wakefulness (hypnopompic). The affected individual may hear sounds that aren't there and/or see illusions. These visual and auditory illusions are very vivid and may be bizarre or disturbing to the victims.
People report being fully awake and aware but completely paralyzed. Sometimes they see a strange light. Most often there is pervasive fear, sometimes so strong that people are sure they are about to die. Other parts of their hallucination, which may include people, animals, parts of objects, or just shapes, have a mysteriously nightmarish quality.
The hallucinations are quite vivid and specific. People visualize intruders in their bedroom; they see someone coming through the window, they hear footsteps getting closer and closer and they fear they would be murdered in their bed. Some victims see frightening stranger walk in and out of their bedroom.
This phenomenon also can occur in individuals who do not suffer from narcolepsy, particularly in children.
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