Hallucinations are most frequent and intense when she is under stress, ill or sleep deprived
Type of Spiritual Experience
Close to being out of body- the falling sensation
A description of the experience
I am curious about whether the sleep stages manifesting out of order could cause these hypnagogic hallucinations. I have experienced them on and off since childhood, but they were always most frequent and intense when I was under stress, ill or sleep deprived.
A number of years ago, it happened while lying against my boyfriend's chest, and he woke me up because my heart was beating overtime. I don't remember what I had been seeing, only that it was terrifying. Strange thing is, I had only been asleep about five minutes.
It feels like falling, not just mentally but bodily as well, and other symptoms seem to arrive in tandem with this phenomenon, including rapid breathing and irregular heart rate, at least for me. It feels like I'm falling, or have fallen asleep too fast. (Wonder why they call it "falling" asleep?)
I even happened to be in the hospital (suffering from a life-threatening infection) when it happened once. The nurses called in a doctor after I had been exhibiting what they thought was out of character behaviour. Apparently I had been talking, but my eyes were wide open. In actual fact, I could see the nurses, though the room was blurry and rearranged and out of focus; these hallucinations do seem to incorporate elements from reality. I was trying to explain to them that I was asleep and that I couldn't talk, then got frustrated by their lack of understanding and began to tell them to go away.
When I woke up, the nurses were rushing towards me with the vital signs machines. The heart monitor was already hooked up and had measured my heart rate as over 150 bpm.
I found out from the doctor shortly later that I was the only individual of four others to survive this type of infection.
Think of wakefulness as air, and sleep, water. To pass between them would require a change of elements. When hypnagogic hallucinations are experienced, I wonder if this is something of a hypothetical jump in the river versus a slow immersion.
The source of the experienceWisegeek
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
Sleep deprivation, insomnia and mental exhaustion