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'''Hypnagogia''' (also spelled '''hypnogogia''') and '''hypnopompia''' are experiences a person can go through when falling [[sleep|asleep]] in the case of hypnagogia, or waking up, in the case of hypnopompia. When in a hypnagogic or hypnopompic state a person can have lifelike auditory, visual, or [[Tactition|tactile]] [[hallucinations]] (collectively known as '''hypnagogic hallucinations'''), perhaps even accompanied by full body [[paralysis]]. The individual is aware that these are hallucinations; the frightening part, in many cases, is the inability to react to them, even being unable to make a sound. In other cases one may enjoy truly vivid imaginations. The term was coined by the 19th century French [[psychologist]] [[Alfred Maury]].
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'''Hypnagogia''' (Greek ὕπνος, ''húpnos'' "sleep" + the [[root (linguistics)|root]] found in ἄγω, ''ágō'' "to lead away, conduct, convey", ἀγωγεύς, ''agōgeús'' "conveyor", ἀγωγή, ''agōgḗ'' "abduction, transport, leading away" etc.), often misspelled ''hypnogogia'', is a term coined by [[Louis Ferdinand Alfred Maury|Alfred Maury]] for the transitional state between [[wakefulness]] and [[sleep]].<ref>Maury, Louis Ferdinand Alfred (1848). ‘Des hallucinations hypnagogiques, ou des erreurs des sens dans l'etat intermediaire entre la veille et le sommeil’. ''Annales Medico-Psychologiques du système nerveux'', 11, 26-40.</ref><ref>{{cite book | title = Le sommeil et les rêves: études psychologiques sur ces phénomènes et les divers états qui s'y rattachent, suivies de recherches sur le developpement de l'instinct et de l'intelligence dans leurs rapports avec le phénomène du sommeil | first = Louis Ferdinand Alfred | last = Maury | publisher = Paris: Didier | year = 1865 | isbn = }}</ref>
   
Hypnagogia differs from [[hypnosis]] in that under ordinary hypnosis, people are physically inactive, and generally find their mental stimulus to be absorbing to the point that they don't differentiate between that stimulus and reality. In hypnagogic states, a person may appear to be fully awake, but still has [[Electroencephalography|brain wave]]s indicating
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==Definitions and synonyms==
that they are still technically sleeping. Also, in hypnagogic trance states the individual may be completely aware that they are sleeping or hallucinating, while this is not generally the case with hypnosis.
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Sometimes the word ''hypnagogia'' is used in a restricted sense to refer to the onset of sleep, and contrasted with ''[[hypnopompia]]'', [[Frederic William Henry Myers|Fredierick Myers’]] term for waking up.<ref>{{cite book | title = Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death | first = Frederic | last = Myers | publisher = London: Longmans | year = 1903 | isbn = }}</ref> However, ''hypnagogia'' is also regularly employed in a more general sense that covers both falling asleep and waking up, and [[Havelock Ellis]] questioned the need for separate terms.<ref>{{cite book | title = Hypnagogia: the Unique State of Consciousness Between Wakefulness and Sleep | first = Andreas | last = Mavromatis | publisher = London: Routledge and Kegan Paul | year = 1987 | isbn = 0710202822}} p. 1.</ref> Indeed, it is not always possible in practice to assign a particular episode of any given [[phenomenon (science)|phenomenon]] to one or the other, given that the same kinds of [[subjective experience|experience]] occur in both, and that people may drift in and out of sleep. In this article ''hypnagogia'' will be used in the broader sense, unless otherwise stated or implied.
   
It is not an uncommon occurrence with 30 to 40 percent of people experiencing it at least once in their lives. However, it can be a sign of other problems such as [[narcolepsy]] or [[temporal lobe epilepsy]].
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Other terms for hypnagogia, in one or both senses, that have been proposed include ‘presomnal’ or ‘anthypnic sensations’, ‘visions of half-sleep’, ‘oneirogogic images’ and ‘phantasmata’,<ref>Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 1.</ref>, ‘the borderland of sleep’, ‘praedormitium’,<ref> Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 4.</ref> the ‘borderland state’, ‘half-dream state’, ‘pre-dream condition’<ref> Lachman, Gary (2002). [http://www.forteantimes.com/features/articles/227/hypnagogia.html ‘Hypnagogia’]. ''Fortean Times''.</ref> ‘sleep onset dreams’,<ref>Stickgold, R., interviewed 30 October 2000 by Norman Swan for ''Health Report'' on Australia’s [[Radio National]] ([http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/helthrpt/stories/s206232.htm transcript]), retrieved 3 July 2008.</ref> dreamlets,<ref>Schacter, D. L. (1976). The hypnagogic state: A critical review of the literature. Psychological Bulletin, 83, 452–481.</ref> and ‘wakefulness-sleep transition’ state (WST).<ref>{{cite web |title=Róbert Bódizs, Melinda Sverteczki and Eszter Mészáros, ''Wakefulness-sleep transition: Emerging electroencephalographic similarities with the rapid eye movement phase'',| url=http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6SYT-4RCN8CP-1/2/eee96a80f27593096fdace6bb9fce440|accessdate=2008-03-31}}</ref>
   
People in the hypnagogic state sometimes experience [[sleep paralysis]], a condition in which the body is temporarily paralyzed after waking or before falling asleep. This is thought to happen when a person enters or leaves REM ([[rapid eye movement]]) sleep too quickly. During REM sleep the [[brain]] blocks the signals that allow the limbs to move to ensure that we do not act out our [[dream]]s. However, when experiencing hypnagogia or hypnopompia, the individual is still conscious of their surroundings, effectively dreaming while still awake. This fact enables [[lucid dreaming|lucid dreamers]] to enter the dream consciously directly from waking state (see [[Lucid dreams#Waking induction of lucid dreaming|wake-induced lucid dream technique]]).
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==History==
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Early references to hypnagogia are to be found in the writings of [[Aristotle]], [[Iamblichus]], [[Cardano]], [[Simon Forman]] and [[Swedenborg]].<ref>Mavromatis, op. cit. pp. 3-4.</ref> [[Romanticism]] brought a renewed interest in the subjective experience of the edges of sleep.<ref>Pfotenhauer, Helmut & Schneider, Sabine (2006). ''Nicht völlig wachen und nicht ganz ein Traum: Die Halfschlafbilder in der Literatur''. Verlag Königshausen & Neumann. ISBN 3826032748.</ref> In more recent centuries, many authors have referred to the state; [[Edgar Allan Poe]], for example, wrote of the ‘fancies’ he experienced “only when I am on the brink of sleep, with the consciousness that I am so.”<ref>Quoted by Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 4.</ref>
   
The cause of hypnagogia and hypnopompia is usually associated with the varied sleep disorders, primarily [[insomnia]].
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Serious scientific enquiry began in the 19th century with [[Johannes Peter Müller]], [[Jules Baillarger]] and [[Louis Ferdinand Alfred Maury|Alfred Maury]], and continued into the twentieth with Leroy.<ref>Leroy, E. B. (1933). ''Les visions du demi-sommeil''. Paris: Alcan.</ref>
   
Hypnagogic hallucinations are sometimes associated with brainstem abnormalities, but this is rare. <ref> http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/121/10/1819 Manford and Andermann (1998)] Complex visual hallucinations. Clinical and Neurobiological insights''Brain'', 121(10), 1819-1840.<br></ref>.
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The advent of [[electroencephalography]] has allowed the introspective methods of these early researchers to be supplemented with physiological data. The search for neural correlates for hypnagogic imagery began with Davis et al. in the 1930s,<ref>Davis, H., Davis, P. A., Loomis, A. L., Harvey, E. N., & Hobart, G. (1937) ‘Changes in human brain potentials during the onset of sleep’. ''Science'' 86, 448–50.</ref> and continues with increasing sophistication to this day. While the dominance of the [[behaviourism|behavourist]] paradigm led to a decline in research, especially in the English speaking world, the later 20th century has seen a revival, with investigations of hypnagogia and related [[altered state of consciousness|ASCs]] playing an important role in the emerging multidisciplinary study of [[consciousness]].<ref>Vaitl et al. (2005) ‘[http://www.mp.uni-tuebingen.de/mp/fileadmin/user_upload/Kotchoubey/Vaitl-2005-ASC.pdf Psychobiology of altered states of consciousness]’. ''Psychological Bulletin'' 131:1.</ref><ref>{{ cite book | title = Consciousness: An Introduction | first = Susan | last = Blackmore | publisher = London: Hodder & Stoughton | year = 2003 | isbn = 0-340-80909-4 }}</ref> Nevertheless, much remains to be understood about the experience and its corresponding neurology, and the topic has been somewhat neglected in comparison with sleep and dreams; hypnagogia has been described as a “well-trodden and yet unmapped territory.<ref>Mavromatis, op. cit., p. xiii.</ref>
   
Hypnagogia is often proposed as an explanation for phenomena such as reported [[alien abduction]] and religious visions of saints etc
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Important reviews of the scientific literature have been made by Leaning,<ref>Leaning, F. E. (1925). ''An introductory study of hypnagogic phenomena''.</ref> [[Daniel Schacter|Schacter]], <ref>Schacter, D. L. (1976). The hypnagogic state: A critical review of the literature. ''Psychological Bulletin'', 83, 452–481.</ref> Richardson and Mavromatis.<ref>Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 1.</ref>
   
==See also==
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==Sensory phenomena==
*[[Lucid dreaming]]
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Transition to and from [[sleep]] may be attended by a wide variety of [[sense|sensory]] experiences. These can occur in any modality, individually or combined, and range from the vague and barely perceptible to vivid [[hallucination]]s.<ref>Mavromatis, op. cit. p. 14.</ref>
*[[Sleep disorder]]
 
*[[Sleep paralysis]]
 
*[[Hypnic jerk|Hypnagogic jerk]]
 
*[[Nightmare]]
 
*[[Segmented sleep]]
 
*[[Threshold consciousness]]
 
*[[False awakening]]
 
   
==References==
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===Sights===
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Among the more commonly reported,<ref>Hori, T., Hayashi, M., & Morikawa, T. (1993). [[EEG topography|Topographical]] EEG changes and hypnagogic experience. In: Ogilvie, R.D., & Harsh, J.R. (Eds.) Sleep Onset: Normal and Abnormal Processes, pp. 237-53.</ref><ref>Germaine, A. & Nielsen T. A. (1997).
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‘Distribution of spontaneous hypnagogic images across Hori's EEG stages of sleep onset’. ''Sleep Research'' 26, p. 243.</ref> and more thoroughly researched, sensory features of hypnagogia are [[phosphenes]] which can manifest as seemingly random speckles, lines or geometrical patterns, including [[form constants]], or as [[figurative art|figurative]] (representational) [[mental image|images]]. They may be [[monochrome|monochromatic]] or richly [[colour]]ed, still or moving, flat or three-dimensional (offering an impression of [[perspective]]). Individual images are typically fleeting and given to very rapid changes. They are said to differ from [[dreams]] proper in that hypnagogic imagery is usually static and lacking in [[narrative]] content,<ref>Vaitl et al. (2005) ‘[http://www.mp.uni-tuebingen.de/mp/fileadmin/user_upload/Kotchoubey/Vaitl-2005-ASC.pdf Psychobiology of altered states of consciousness]’. ''Psychological Bulletin'' 131:1.</ref> although others understand the state rather as a gradual transition from hypnagogia to fragmentary dreams,<ref> Lehmann, D., Grass, P., & Meier, B. (1995). ‘Spontaneous conscious covert cognition states and brain electric spectral states in canonical correlations’. ''International Journal of Psychophysiology'', 19, 41–52.</ref> i.e. from simple ‘[[eigengrau|eigenlicht]]’ to whole [[imagination|imagined]] scenes. Hypnagogia can be induced with a [[Dreamachine]], which uses a pulsing frequency of light close to alpha waves to create this effect. Descriptions of exceptionally vivid and elaborate hypnagogic visuals can be found in the work of [[Marie-Jean-Léon, Marquis d'Hervey de Saint Denys]].
   
== External links ==
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===The ‘Tetris Effect’===
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People who have spent a long time at some repetitive activity before sleep, in particular one that is new to them, may find that it dominates their imagery as they grow [[somnolence|drowsy]], a tendency dubbed the [[Tetris effect]]. This effect has even been observed in [[amnesia]]cs who otherwise have no [[memory]] of the original activity.<ref>Stickgold, R., Malia, A., Maguire, D., Roddenberry, D., & O’Connor, M. (2000). ‘Replaying the game: Hypnagogic images in normals and amnesics’. ''Science'', 290(5490), pp. 350–3.</ref> When the activity involves moving objects, as in the computer game [[Tetris]], the corresponding hypnagogic images too tend to be perceived as moving. The Tetris effect is not confined to visual imagery, but can manifest in other modalities also. For example, [[Robert Stickgold]] recounts having experienced the touch of rocks while falling asleep after mountain climbing.<ref>Stickgold, R., interviewed 30 October 2000 by Norman Swan for ''Health Report'' on Australia’s [[Radio National]] ([http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/helthrpt/stories/s206232.htm transcript]), retrieved 3 July 2008.</ref> This can also occur if people swim in waves shortly before going to bed, and "feel" the waves as they drift to sleep, or people who have spent the day skiing who continue to "feel snow" under their feet.
   
*[http://www.forteantimes.com/articles/163_hypnagogia.shtml Waking Sleep] Fortean Times on Hypnagogia
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===Sounds===
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Hypnagogic imagery is often auditory or has an auditory component. Like the visuals, hypnagogic sounds vary in intensity from faint impressions to loud noises, such as crashes and bangs ([[exploding head syndrome]]). People may imagine their own name called or a doorbell ringing. Snatches of imagined [[spoken language|speech]] are common. While typically [[nonsense|nonsensical]] and fragmented, these speech events can occasionally strike the individual as apt comments on – or summations of – their [[thought]]s at the time. They often contain [[wordplay]], [[neologism]]s and made-up [[name]]s. Hypnagogic speech may manifest as the subject’s own ‘[[internal monologue|inner voice]]’, or as the voices of others: familiar people or strangers. More rarely, [[poetry]] or [[music]] is heard.<ref>Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 81.</ref>
   
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===Sleep paralysis===
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Humming, roaring, hissing, rushing and buzzing noises are frequent in conjunction with [[sleep paralysis]] (SP). This happens when the [[REM atonia]] sets in sooner than usual, before the person is fully asleep, or persists longer than usual, after the person has (in other respects) fully awoken.<ref>{{ cite book | title = Consciousness: An Introduction | first = Susan | last = Blackmore | publisher = London: Hodder & Stoughton | year = 2003 | isbn = 0-340-80909-4 }}</ref> SP is reportedly very frequent among [[narcolepsy|narcoleptics]]. It occurs frequently in about 6% of the rest of the population, and occurs occasionally in 60%.<ref>Thorpy, M. J. (ed). (1990). ‘Sleep paralysis’. ''ICSD-International Classification of Sleep Disorders: Diagnostic and Coding Manual''. Rochester, Minn.: American Sleep Disorders Association.</ref> In surveys from Canada, China, England, Japan and Nigeria, 20 to 60% of individuals reported having experienced SP at least once in their lifetime.<ref>Blackmore, Susan J. & Parker, Jennifer J. (2002). ‘Comparing the Content of Sleep Paralysis and Dream Reports’. ''Dreaming'' 12:1, pp. 45-59.</ref><ref>Spanos, N. P., McNulty, S. A. DuBreuil, S. C. and Pires, M. (1995). ‘The frequency and correlates of sleep paralysis in a university sample’. ''Journal of Research in Personality'' 29:3, pp. 285-305.</ref> The paralysis itself is frequently accompanied by additional [[phenomena (philosophy)|phenomena]]. Typical examples include a feeling of being crushed or [[asphyxia|suffocated]], electric ‘tingles’ or ‘[[vibration]]s’, imagined speech and other noises, the imagined presence of a visible or invisible entity, and sometimes intense [[emotion]]: [[fear]] or [[euphoria]] and [[orgasm]]ic feelings.<ref>Blackmore, Susan J. & Parker, Jennifer J. (2002). ‘Comparing the Content of Sleep Paralysis and Dream Reports’. ''Dreaming'' 12:1, pp. 45-59.</ref><ref>Cheyne, J. A. (2003). ‘Sleep Paralysis and the Structure of Waking-Nightmare Hallucinations’. ''Dreaming'' 13:3, pp. 163-79.</ref> SP has been proposed as an explanation for at least some [[alien abduction]] experiences.<ref>Blackmore, Susan. (1998) ‘[http://www.csicop.org/si/9805/abduction.html Abduction by Aliens or Sleep Paralysis?]’. ''Skeptical Enquirer'', May/June 1998. (Retrieved 4 July 2008.)</ref>
   
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===Other sensations===
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[[Taste|Gustatory]], [[smell|olfactory]] and [[thermoception|thermal]] sensations in hypnagogia have all been reported, as well as [[touch|tactile]] sensations (including those kinds classed as [[paraesthesia]] or [[formication]]). Sometimes there is [[synaesthesia]]; many people report seeing a flash of light or some other visual image in response to a real sound. [[Proprioception|Proprioceptive]] effects may be noticed, with numbness and changes in perceived body size and proportions,<ref>Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 81.</ref> feelings of floating or bobbing, and [[out-of-body experience]]s.<ref>{{cite book | title = Out of Body Experiences | first = Robert | last = Petersen | publisher = Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc. | year = 1997 | isbn = 1-57174-057-0}}</ref> Perhaps the most common experience of this kind is the falling sensation, and associated [[hypnic jerk]], encountered by many people, at least occasionally, while drifting off to sleep.<ref>Oswald, Ian (1959). ‘Sudden bodily jerks on falling asleep’. ''Brain'' 82:1, pp. 92-103.</ref>
   
[[Category:Sleep disorders]]
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===Subjective interpretation===
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Hypnagogic phenomena may be interpreted as [[visions]], [[prophesies]], [[premonitions]], [[apparitions]] and [[inspiration]] (artistic or divine), depending on the experiencer’s beliefs and those of their culture.
   
*de:Hypnagogie
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==Cognitive and affective phenomena==
*es:Alucinación hipnogógica
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===Receptivity and suggestibility===
*pl:Hipnagogia
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[[Thought]] processes on the edge of sleep tend to differ radically from those of ordinary wakefulness. Hypnagogia may involve a “loosening of [[ego]] boundaries ... openness, sensitivity, internalization-subjectification of the physical and mental environment ([[empathy]]) and diffuse-absorbed [[attention]],”<ref>Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 82.</ref> Hypnagogic [[cognition]], in comparison with that of normal, alert wakefulness, is characterised by heightened [[suggestibility]],<ref>Ellis, Havelock (1897). ‘A note on hypnagogic paramnesia’. ''Mind'', New Series, Vol. 6:22, 283-287.</ref> illogic and a fluid association of [[idea]]s. Subjects are more receptive in the hypnagogic state to [[suggestion]] from an experimenter than at other times, and readily incorporate external [[stimulus|stimuli]] into hypnagogic trains of thought and subsequent dreams. This receptivity has a [[physiology|physiological]] parallel; [[EEG]] readings show elevated responsiveness to sound around the onset of sleep.<ref>Mavromatis, op cit., pp. 53-54.</ref>
{{enWP|Hypnagogia}}
 
   
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===Autosymbolism===
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[[Herbert Silberer]] described a process he called ''autosymbolism'', whereby hypnagogic hallucinations seem to represent, without [[psychological repression|repression]] or censorship, whatever one is thinking at the time, turning abstract [[idea]]s into a concrete [[mental image|image]], which may be perceived as an apt and succinct representation thereof.<ref>Silberer, Herbert (1909). ‘Bericht ueber eine Methode, gewisse symbolische Halluzinations-Erscheinungen hervorzurufen und zu beobachten. ''Jahrbuch für psychoanalytische Forschungen'' 1:2, pp. 513-525; Eng. Transl. by Rapaport D., 'Report on a method of eliciting and observing certain symbolic hallucination phenomena', in Rapaport’s ''Organization and pathology of thought'', pp. 195-207 (Columbia Univ. Press, New York 1951.).</ref>
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===Insight===
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This process can even lead to genuine [[insight phenomenology|insight]] into a [[problem solving|problem]], a well known example being the story of [[Kekule|August Kekulé’s]] discovery of the structure of [[benzene]].{{Fact|date=October 2008}} Similarly, the teenaged [[Karl Gauss]] obtained an insight during a hypnagogic reverie into how to construct a [[heptadecagon|17-sided polygon]].{{Fact|date=October 2008}} Many other [[artist]]s, [[writer]]s, [[scientist]]s and [[inventor]]s – including [[Ludwig van Beethoven|Beethoven]], [[Richard Wagner]], [[Walter Scott]], [[Thomas Edison]] and [[Isaac Newton]] – have credited hypnagogia and related states with enhancing their [[creativity]].<ref>Runco, Mark A. & Pritzker, Stephen R. (1999) ''Encyclopedia of Creativity: a-h'', p. 63-4.</ref>
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A widely cited instance of what could well be this phenomenon is the story of the composition of the [[Devil's Trill]] violin sonata by [[Giuseppe Tartini]]. Tartini dreamt that the devil appeared at the end of his bed and played the violin with otherwordly mastery. Tartini woke and immediately began writing the virtuoso music down, though managed only to transcribe what he painfully felt to be a massively inferior version of what he had heard in his sleep;{{Fact|date=October 2008}} incidentally, such loss of memory of the dreamt events is a common circumstance of dreams.{{Fact|date=October 2008}}
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===Amnesia===
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{{Disputed|date=October 2008}}
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A feature that hypnagogia shares with other stages of sleep is [[amnesia]]. But this is a selective forgetfulness, affecting the [[Hippocampus|hippocampal]] memory system, which is responsible for [[Episodic memory|episodic]] or [[autobiographical memory]], rather than the [[neocortex|neocortical]] memory system, responsible for [[semantic memory]].<ref>Stickgold, R., interviewed 30 October 2000 by Norman Swan for ''Health Report'' on Australia’s [[Radio National]] ([http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/helthrpt/stories/s206232.htm transcript]), retrieved 3 July 2008.</ref> It has been suggested that hypnagogia and [[REM sleep]] help in the consolidation of semantic memory,<ref>Stickgold, Robert (1998). ‘Sleep: off-line memory reprocessing’ Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2:12, pp. 484-92.</ref> but the evidence for this has been disputed.<ref>Vertes, Robert E. & Kathleen, Eastman E. (2000) ‘The case against memory consolidation in REM sleep’. Behavioral and Brain ''Behavioural and Brain Sciences'' 23, pp. 867-76.</ref> For example, suppression of [[REM sleep]] due to [[antidepressant]]s and [[lesion]]s to the [[brainstem]] has not been found to produce detrimental effects on cognition.<ref>Vertes, R. (2004) ‘Memory Consolidation in SleepDream or Reality’. ''Neuron'' 44:1, pp. 135-48.</ref>
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==Physiology==
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Physiological studies have tended to concentrate on hypnagogia in the strict sense of spontaneous sleep onset experiences. Such experiences are associated especially with stage 1 of [[NREM]] sleep,<ref>Rechtschaffen, A., & Kales, A. (1968). ''A manual of standardized terminology, techniques and scoring system for sleep stages of human subjects''. Washington, DC: Public Health Service, U.S. Government Printing.</ref> but may also occur with pre-sleep [[alpha wave]]s.<ref>Foulkes, D., & Vogel, G. (1965). ‘Mental activity at sleep onset’. ''Journal of Abnormal Psychology'' 70, 231–43.</ref><ref>Foulkes, D., & Schmidt, M. (1983). ‘Temporal sequence and unit composition in dream reports from different stages of sleep’. ''Sleep'' 6, 265–80.</ref> Davis et al. found short flashes of dreamlike imagery at the onset of sleep to correlate with drop-offs in alpha [[EEG]] activity.<ref>Davis, H., Davis, P. A., Loomis, A. L., Harvey, E. N., & Hobart, G. (1937) ‘Changes in human brain potentials during the onset of sleep’. ''Science'' 86, 448–50.</ref> Hori et al. regard sleep onset hypnagogia as a state distinct from both wakefulness and sleep with unique [[electrophysiology|electrophysiological]], [[behaviour]]al and [[subjectivity|subjective]] characteristics,<ref>Hori, T., Hayashi, M., & Morikawa, T. (1993). [[EEG topography|Topographical]] EEG changes and hypnagogic experience. In: Ogilvie, R.D., & Harsh, J.R. (Eds.) ''Sleep Onset: Normal and Abnormal Processes'', pp. 237-53.</ref><ref>Vaitl et al. (2005) [http://www.mp.uni-tuebingen.de/mp/fileadmin/user_upload/Kotchoubey/Vaitl-2005-ASC.pdf ‘Psychobiology of altered states of consciousness’]. ''Psychological Bulletin'' 131:1.</ref> while Germaine et al. have demonstrated a resemblance between the EEG [[spectral density|power spectra]] of spontaneously occurring hypnagogic images, on the one hand, and those of both [[REM sleep]] and relaxed wakefulness, on the other.<ref>Nielsen, T., Germain, A., & Ouellet, L. (1995). ‘Atonia-signalled hypnagogic imagery: Comparative EEG mapping of sleep onset transitions, REM sleep, and wakefulness’. ''Sleep Research'' 24, p. 133.</ref>
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To identify more precisely the nature of the EEG state which accompanies imagery in the transition from wakefulness to sleep, Hori et al. proposed a scheme of 9 EEG stages defined by varying proportions of [[alpha wave|alpha]] (stages 1-3), suppressed waves of less than 20μV (stage 4), [[theta wave|theta]] ripples (stage 5), proportions of [[sawtooth]] waves (stages 6-7), and presence of [[sleep spindle|spindles]] (stages 8-9).<ref>Hori, T., Hayashi, M., & Morikawa, T. (1993). Topographical EEG changes and hypnagogic experience. In: Ogilvie, R.D., & Harsh, J.R. (Eds.) ''Sleep Onset: Normal and Abnormal Processes'', pp. 237-53.</ref> Germaine and Nielsen found spontaneous hypnagogic imagery to occur mainly during Hori sleep onset stages 4 (EEG flattening) and 5 (theta ripples).<ref>Germaine, A. & Nielsen T. A. (1997). ‘Distribution of spontaneous hypnagogic images across Hori's EEG stages of sleep onset’. ''Sleep Research'' 26, p. 243.</ref>
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The ‘covert-rapid-eye-movement’ hypothesis proposes that hidden elements of [[REM sleep]] emerge during the wakefulness-sleep transition stage.<ref>Robert Bodizs, Melinda Sverteczki, Alpar Sandor Lazar and Peter Halasz (2005). Human parahippocampal activity: non-REM and REM elements in wake-sleep transition. ''Brain Research Bulletin'' 65:2, pp. 169-76.</ref> Support for this comes from Bódicz et al., who note a greater similarity between WST (wakefulness-sleep transition) EEG and REM sleep EEG than between the former and stage 2 sleep.<ref>{{cite web |title=Róbert Bódizs, Melinda Sverteczki and Eszter Mészáros, ''Wakefulness-sleep transition: Emerging electroencephalographic similarities with the rapid eye movement phase'',| url=http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6SYT-4RCN8CP-1/2/eee96a80f27593096fdace6bb9fce440|accessdate=2008-03-31}}</ref>
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[[Respiratory]] pattern changes have also been noted in the hypnagogic state, in addition to a lowered rate of [[frontalis muscle]] activity.<ref>Schacter, Daniel L. (1976). 'The hypnagogic state: A critical review of the literature'. ''Psychological Bulletin'', Vol 83:3, pp. 452-481.</ref>
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==Daydreaming and waking reveries==
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[[Microsleep]] (short episodes of immediate sleep onset) may intrude into wakefulness. at any time in the wakefulness-sleep cycle, due to [[sleep deprivation]] and other conditions,<ref>Oswald, I. (1962). ''Sleeping and waking: Physiology and psychology''. Amsterdam: Elsevier.</ref> resulting in impaired cognition, amnesia.<ref>Vaitl et al. (2005) ‘[http://www.mp.uni-tuebingen.de/mp/fileadmin/user_upload/Kotchoubey/Vaitl-2005-ASC.pdf Psychobiology of altered states of consciousness]’. ''Psychological Bulletin'' 131:1.</ref>
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Gurstelle and Oliveira distinguish a state which they call ''daytime parahypnagogia'' (DPH), the spontaneous intrusion of a flash image or dreamlike thought or insight into one’s waking consciousness. DPH is typically encountered when one is “[[fatigue (medical)|tired]], [[boredom|bored]], suffering from attention fatigue, and/or engaged in a passive activity.” The exact nature of the episode may be forgotten even though the individual remembers having had such an experience.<ref>Gurstelle, E. B. & Oliveira, J. L. (2004) ‘Daytime parahypnagogia: a state of consciousness that occurs when we almost fall asleep’. ''Medical Hypotheses'' 62:2, pp. 166-8.</ref> Gustelle and Oliveira define DPH as “dissociative, [[trance]]-like, [...] but, unlike a [[daydream]], [...] not self-directed” – however, daydreams and waking reveries are often characterised as “passive,” “effortless,”<ref>Runco, Mark A. & Pritzker, Stephen R. (1999) ''Encyclopedia of Creativity: a-h'', p. 64.</ref> and “spontaneous,” <ref>Vaitl et al. (2005) ‘[http://www.mp.uni-tuebingen.de/mp/fileadmin/user_upload/Kotchoubey/Vaitl-2005-ASC.pdf Psychobiology of altered states of consciousness]’. ''Psychological Bulletin'' 131:1.</ref> while hypnagogia itself can sometimes be influenced by a form of [[autosuggestion]], or “passive concentration,”<ref>Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 73, etc.</ref> so these sorts of episode may in fact constitute a continuum between directed fantasy and the more spontaneous varieties of hypnagogia. Others have emphasised the connections between fantasy, daydreaming, dreams and hypnosis.<ref>Singer, Jerome L. & Pope, Kenneth, S. (1981) ‘Daydreaming and imagery skills as predisposing capacities for self-hypnosis’. ''International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis'', 29:3, pp. 271-81.</ref>
  +
  +
In his book, [[Zen and the Brain]], [[James Austin]] cites speculation that regular meditation develops a specialized skill of "freezing the hypnagogic process at later and later stages" of the onset of sleep, initially in alpha wave stage and later in theta.
  +
<ref>Austin, James H.(1999) ''Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness''. First MIT Press paperback edition, 1999. MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-51109-6, p. 92.</ref>
  +
  +
==Investigative methodology==
  +
Self-observation (spontaneous or systematic) was the primary tool of the early researchers. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, this has been joined by questionnaire surveys and experimental studies. All three methods have their disadvantages as well as points to recommend them.<ref>Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 286.</ref>
  +
  +
Naturally, amnesia contributes to the difficulty of studying hypnagogia, as does the typically fleeting nature of hypnagogic experiences. These problems have been tackled by experimenters in a number of ways, including voluntary or induced interruptions,<ref>Germaine, A. & Nielsen T. A. (1997). ‘Distribution of spontaneous hypnagogic images across Hori's EEG stages of sleep onset’. ''Sleep Research'' 26, p. 243.</ref> sleep manipulation,<ref>{{ cite book | title = Consciousness: An Introduction | first = Susan | last = Blackmore | publisher = London: Hodder & Stoughton | year = 2003 | isbn = 0-340-80909-4 }} p. 314.</ref> the use of techniques to “hover on the edge of sleep” thereby extending the duration of the hypnagogic state,<ref>Blackmore 2003, op. cit. p. 312.</ref> and training in the art of introspection to heighten the subject’s powers of observation and attention.<ref>Blackmore 2003, op. cit., p. 312.</ref>
  +
  +
Techniques for extending hypnagogia range from informal ones (e.g. the subject holds up one of their arms as they go to sleep, so as to be awakened when it falls),<ref>Blackmore 2003, op. cit. p. 312.</ref> to the use of biofeedback devices to induce a ‘[[theta waves|theta]]’ state, characterised by relaxation and theta EEG activity.<ref>Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 93.</ref> The theta state is produced naturally the most when we are dreaming. It has also been linked to paranormal activities and is believed to trigger the release of DMT from the pineal gland, causing a dreaming state.<ref>DMT: The Spirit Molecule,Rick Straussman</ref>
  +
  +
Another method is to induce a state said to be subjectively similar to sleep onset in a [[Ganzfeld effect|Ganzfeld]] setting, a form of [[sensory deprivation]]. But the assumption of identity between the two states may be unfounded. The average [[EEG]] spectrum in Ganzfeld is more similar to that of the relaxed waking state than to that of sleep onset.<ref>Wackermann, Jiri, Pütz, Peter, Büchi, Simone, Strauch, Inge & Lehmann, Dietrich (2000). ‘A comparison of Ganzfeld and hypnagogic state in terms of electrophysiological measures and subjective experience’. ''Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association'', pp. 302-15.</ref> Wackerman et al. conclude that “the Ganzfeld imagery, although subjectively very similar to that at sleep onset, should not be labeled as ‘hypnagogic’. Perhaps a broader category of ‘hypnagoid experience’ should be considered, covering true hypnagogic imagery as well as subjectively similar imagery produced in other states.”<ref>Wackermann et al., op. cit.</ref>
  +
  +
== Artistic and cultural references ==
  +
{{Trivia|date=October 2008}}
  +
*[[Kitchens of Distinction]] recorded a song entitled "Hypnogogic" for their 1990 album ''Strange Free World''.
  +
*The album ''The Always Open Mouth'', by the band [[Fear Before the March of Flames]], features the song "Drowning the Old Hag" which describes singer David Marion's experiences with hypnagogia.
  +
*In ''[[The Green Man]]'' by [[Kingsley Amis]] the narrator suffers from [[sleep paralysis]] and has [[hypnagogic hallucinations]].
  +
* In ''[[Disgrace]]'' by [[J.M. Coetzee]], the main character David Lurie refers to his own hypnagogic experience as he recalls his former lovers.
  +
*The electronica musician L. Pierre ([[Aidan Moffat]] formerly of Arab Strap) titled his 2005 album ''Hypnogogia''.
  +
*The song "[[A Better Son/Daughter]]" by [[Rilo Kiley]] begins with an account of [[hypnopompic]] [[sleep paralysis]].
  +
*The band [[Host Echo]] in their 2005 debut album "Be Water" featured a song titled "Hypnogogic"
  +
*In [[Herman Melville]]'s novel, ''[[Moby-Dick]]'', a hypnogogic hallucination is described in chapter 4, "The Counterpane"
  +
* [[Current 93]] published an album called [[Hypnagogue/Hypnagogue II]] in 2005
  +
*In the 1991 film [[Hook (film)|Hook]] Tinkerbell refers to Neverland as being "the place between waking and dreaming."
  +
  +
==Further reading==
  +
  +
* Leaning, F.E. (1925). An introductory study of hypnagogic phenomena. ''Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research'', '''35''', 289-409.
  +
  +
* Mavromatis, A. (1987). ''Hypnagogia: the Unique State of Consciousness Between Wakefulness and Sleep''. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
  +
  +
*{{Cite book|chapter=The Hypnagogic|title=The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness|year=2007|isbn=978-0679314080|first=Jeff|last=Warren}}
  +
  +
==References==
  +
{{reflist|2}}
  +
  +
==See also==
  +
*[[False awakening]]
  +
*[[Hypnic jerk]]
  +
*[[Hypnagogic hallucinations]]
  +
*[[Lucid dream]]
  +
*[[Meditation]]
  +
*[[Nightmare]]
  +
*[[Segmented sleep]]
  +
*[[Sleep disorder]]
  +
*[[Sleep paralysis]]
  +
*[[Tetris effect]]
  +
*[[Threshold consciousness]]
  +
*[[Hypnopompic]]
  +
*[[Yoga Nidra]]
  +
  +
==External links==
  +
*"[http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/169/4/459 Hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations: pathological phenomena?]" article in the ''[[British Journal of Psychiatry]]''
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*[http://www.forteantimes.com/features/articles/227/hypnagogia.html Gary Lachman on Hypnagogia]
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{{SleepSeries2}}
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[[Category:Sleep disorders]]
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[[Category:Sleep physiology]]
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[[Category:Lucid dreams]]
   
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Latest revision as of 08:17, October 29, 2008

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Hypnagogia (Greek ὕπνος, húpnos "sleep" + the root found in ἄγω, ágō "to lead away, conduct, convey", ἀγωγεύς, agōgeús "conveyor", ἀγωγή, agōgḗ "abduction, transport, leading away" etc.), often misspelled hypnogogia, is a term coined by Alfred Maury for the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep.[1][2]

Definitions and synonymsEdit

Sometimes the word hypnagogia is used in a restricted sense to refer to the onset of sleep, and contrasted with hypnopompia, Fredierick Myers’ term for waking up.[3] However, hypnagogia is also regularly employed in a more general sense that covers both falling asleep and waking up, and Havelock Ellis questioned the need for separate terms.[4] Indeed, it is not always possible in practice to assign a particular episode of any given phenomenon to one or the other, given that the same kinds of experience occur in both, and that people may drift in and out of sleep. In this article hypnagogia will be used in the broader sense, unless otherwise stated or implied.

Other terms for hypnagogia, in one or both senses, that have been proposed include ‘presomnal’ or ‘anthypnic sensations’, ‘visions of half-sleep’, ‘oneirogogic images’ and ‘phantasmata’,[5], ‘the borderland of sleep’, ‘praedormitium’,[6] the ‘borderland state’, ‘half-dream state’, ‘pre-dream condition’[7] ‘sleep onset dreams’,[8] dreamlets,[9] and ‘wakefulness-sleep transition’ state (WST).[10]

HistoryEdit

Early references to hypnagogia are to be found in the writings of Aristotle, Iamblichus, Cardano, Simon Forman and Swedenborg.[11] Romanticism brought a renewed interest in the subjective experience of the edges of sleep.[12] In more recent centuries, many authors have referred to the state; Edgar Allan Poe, for example, wrote of the ‘fancies’ he experienced “only when I am on the brink of sleep, with the consciousness that I am so.”[13]

Serious scientific enquiry began in the 19th century with Johannes Peter Müller, Jules Baillarger and Alfred Maury, and continued into the twentieth with Leroy.[14]

The advent of electroencephalography has allowed the introspective methods of these early researchers to be supplemented with physiological data. The search for neural correlates for hypnagogic imagery began with Davis et al. in the 1930s,[15] and continues with increasing sophistication to this day. While the dominance of the behavourist paradigm led to a decline in research, especially in the English speaking world, the later 20th century has seen a revival, with investigations of hypnagogia and related ASCs playing an important role in the emerging multidisciplinary study of consciousness.[16][17] Nevertheless, much remains to be understood about the experience and its corresponding neurology, and the topic has been somewhat neglected in comparison with sleep and dreams; hypnagogia has been described as a “well-trodden and yet unmapped territory.”[18]

Important reviews of the scientific literature have been made by Leaning,[19] Schacter, [20] Richardson and Mavromatis.[21]

Sensory phenomenaEdit

Transition to and from sleep may be attended by a wide variety of sensory experiences. These can occur in any modality, individually or combined, and range from the vague and barely perceptible to vivid hallucinations.[22]

SightsEdit

Among the more commonly reported,[23][24] and more thoroughly researched, sensory features of hypnagogia are phosphenes which can manifest as seemingly random speckles, lines or geometrical patterns, including form constants, or as figurative (representational) images. They may be monochromatic or richly coloured, still or moving, flat or three-dimensional (offering an impression of perspective). Individual images are typically fleeting and given to very rapid changes. They are said to differ from dreams proper in that hypnagogic imagery is usually static and lacking in narrative content,[25] although others understand the state rather as a gradual transition from hypnagogia to fragmentary dreams,[26] i.e. from simple ‘eigenlicht’ to whole imagined scenes. Hypnagogia can be induced with a Dreamachine, which uses a pulsing frequency of light close to alpha waves to create this effect. Descriptions of exceptionally vivid and elaborate hypnagogic visuals can be found in the work of Marie-Jean-Léon, Marquis d'Hervey de Saint Denys.

The ‘Tetris Effect’Edit

People who have spent a long time at some repetitive activity before sleep, in particular one that is new to them, may find that it dominates their imagery as they grow drowsy, a tendency dubbed the Tetris effect. This effect has even been observed in amnesiacs who otherwise have no memory of the original activity.[27] When the activity involves moving objects, as in the computer game Tetris, the corresponding hypnagogic images too tend to be perceived as moving. The Tetris effect is not confined to visual imagery, but can manifest in other modalities also. For example, Robert Stickgold recounts having experienced the touch of rocks while falling asleep after mountain climbing.[28] This can also occur if people swim in waves shortly before going to bed, and "feel" the waves as they drift to sleep, or people who have spent the day skiing who continue to "feel snow" under their feet.

SoundsEdit

Hypnagogic imagery is often auditory or has an auditory component. Like the visuals, hypnagogic sounds vary in intensity from faint impressions to loud noises, such as crashes and bangs (exploding head syndrome). People may imagine their own name called or a doorbell ringing. Snatches of imagined speech are common. While typically nonsensical and fragmented, these speech events can occasionally strike the individual as apt comments on – or summations of – their thoughts at the time. They often contain wordplay, neologisms and made-up names. Hypnagogic speech may manifest as the subject’s own ‘inner voice’, or as the voices of others: familiar people or strangers. More rarely, poetry or music is heard.[29]

Sleep paralysisEdit

Humming, roaring, hissing, rushing and buzzing noises are frequent in conjunction with sleep paralysis (SP). This happens when the REM atonia sets in sooner than usual, before the person is fully asleep, or persists longer than usual, after the person has (in other respects) fully awoken.[30] SP is reportedly very frequent among narcoleptics. It occurs frequently in about 6% of the rest of the population, and occurs occasionally in 60%.[31] In surveys from Canada, China, England, Japan and Nigeria, 20 to 60% of individuals reported having experienced SP at least once in their lifetime.[32][33] The paralysis itself is frequently accompanied by additional phenomena. Typical examples include a feeling of being crushed or suffocated, electric ‘tingles’ or ‘vibrations’, imagined speech and other noises, the imagined presence of a visible or invisible entity, and sometimes intense emotion: fear or euphoria and orgasmic feelings.[34][35] SP has been proposed as an explanation for at least some alien abduction experiences.[36]

Other sensationsEdit

Gustatory, olfactory and thermal sensations in hypnagogia have all been reported, as well as tactile sensations (including those kinds classed as paraesthesia or formication). Sometimes there is synaesthesia; many people report seeing a flash of light or some other visual image in response to a real sound. Proprioceptive effects may be noticed, with numbness and changes in perceived body size and proportions,[37] feelings of floating or bobbing, and out-of-body experiences.[38] Perhaps the most common experience of this kind is the falling sensation, and associated hypnic jerk, encountered by many people, at least occasionally, while drifting off to sleep.[39]

Subjective interpretationEdit

Hypnagogic phenomena may be interpreted as visions, prophesies, premonitions, apparitions and inspiration (artistic or divine), depending on the experiencer’s beliefs and those of their culture.

Cognitive and affective phenomenaEdit

Receptivity and suggestibilityEdit

Thought processes on the edge of sleep tend to differ radically from those of ordinary wakefulness. Hypnagogia may involve a “loosening of ego boundaries ... openness, sensitivity, internalization-subjectification of the physical and mental environment (empathy) and diffuse-absorbed attention,”[40] Hypnagogic cognition, in comparison with that of normal, alert wakefulness, is characterised by heightened suggestibility,[41] illogic and a fluid association of ideas. Subjects are more receptive in the hypnagogic state to suggestion from an experimenter than at other times, and readily incorporate external stimuli into hypnagogic trains of thought and subsequent dreams. This receptivity has a physiological parallel; EEG readings show elevated responsiveness to sound around the onset of sleep.[42]

AutosymbolismEdit

Herbert Silberer described a process he called autosymbolism, whereby hypnagogic hallucinations seem to represent, without repression or censorship, whatever one is thinking at the time, turning abstract ideas into a concrete image, which may be perceived as an apt and succinct representation thereof.[43]

InsightEdit

This process can even lead to genuine insight into a problem, a well known example being the story of August Kekulé’s discovery of the structure of benzene.[How to reference and link to summary or text] Similarly, the teenaged Karl Gauss obtained an insight during a hypnagogic reverie into how to construct a 17-sided polygon.[How to reference and link to summary or text] Many other artists, writers, scientists and inventors – including Beethoven, Richard Wagner, Walter Scott, Thomas Edison and Isaac Newton – have credited hypnagogia and related states with enhancing their creativity.[44] A widely cited instance of what could well be this phenomenon is the story of the composition of the Devil's Trill violin sonata by Giuseppe Tartini. Tartini dreamt that the devil appeared at the end of his bed and played the violin with otherwordly mastery. Tartini woke and immediately began writing the virtuoso music down, though managed only to transcribe what he painfully felt to be a massively inferior version of what he had heard in his sleep;[How to reference and link to summary or text] incidentally, such loss of memory of the dreamt events is a common circumstance of dreams.[How to reference and link to summary or text]

AmnesiaEdit

Stop hand
The factual accuracy of this article is disputed.
Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page.

A feature that hypnagogia shares with other stages of sleep is amnesia. But this is a selective forgetfulness, affecting the hippocampal memory system, which is responsible for episodic or autobiographical memory, rather than the neocortical memory system, responsible for semantic memory.[45] It has been suggested that hypnagogia and REM sleep help in the consolidation of semantic memory,[46] but the evidence for this has been disputed.[47] For example, suppression of REM sleep due to antidepressants and lesions to the brainstem has not been found to produce detrimental effects on cognition.[48]

PhysiologyEdit

Physiological studies have tended to concentrate on hypnagogia in the strict sense of spontaneous sleep onset experiences. Such experiences are associated especially with stage 1 of NREM sleep,[49] but may also occur with pre-sleep alpha waves.[50][51] Davis et al. found short flashes of dreamlike imagery at the onset of sleep to correlate with drop-offs in alpha EEG activity.[52] Hori et al. regard sleep onset hypnagogia as a state distinct from both wakefulness and sleep with unique electrophysiological, behavioural and subjective characteristics,[53][54] while Germaine et al. have demonstrated a resemblance between the EEG power spectra of spontaneously occurring hypnagogic images, on the one hand, and those of both REM sleep and relaxed wakefulness, on the other.[55]

To identify more precisely the nature of the EEG state which accompanies imagery in the transition from wakefulness to sleep, Hori et al. proposed a scheme of 9 EEG stages defined by varying proportions of alpha (stages 1-3), suppressed waves of less than 20μV (stage 4), theta ripples (stage 5), proportions of sawtooth waves (stages 6-7), and presence of spindles (stages 8-9).[56] Germaine and Nielsen found spontaneous hypnagogic imagery to occur mainly during Hori sleep onset stages 4 (EEG flattening) and 5 (theta ripples).[57]

The ‘covert-rapid-eye-movement’ hypothesis proposes that hidden elements of REM sleep emerge during the wakefulness-sleep transition stage.[58] Support for this comes from Bódicz et al., who note a greater similarity between WST (wakefulness-sleep transition) EEG and REM sleep EEG than between the former and stage 2 sleep.[59]

Respiratory pattern changes have also been noted in the hypnagogic state, in addition to a lowered rate of frontalis muscle activity.[60]

Daydreaming and waking reveriesEdit

Microsleep (short episodes of immediate sleep onset) may intrude into wakefulness. at any time in the wakefulness-sleep cycle, due to sleep deprivation and other conditions,[61] resulting in impaired cognition, amnesia.[62]

Gurstelle and Oliveira distinguish a state which they call daytime parahypnagogia (DPH), the spontaneous intrusion of a flash image or dreamlike thought or insight into one’s waking consciousness. DPH is typically encountered when one is “tired, bored, suffering from attention fatigue, and/or engaged in a passive activity.” The exact nature of the episode may be forgotten even though the individual remembers having had such an experience.[63] Gustelle and Oliveira define DPH as “dissociative, trance-like, [...] but, unlike a daydream, [...] not self-directed” – however, daydreams and waking reveries are often characterised as “passive,” “effortless,”[64] and “spontaneous,” [65] while hypnagogia itself can sometimes be influenced by a form of autosuggestion, or “passive concentration,”[66] so these sorts of episode may in fact constitute a continuum between directed fantasy and the more spontaneous varieties of hypnagogia. Others have emphasised the connections between fantasy, daydreaming, dreams and hypnosis.[67]

In his book, Zen and the Brain, James Austin cites speculation that regular meditation develops a specialized skill of "freezing the hypnagogic process at later and later stages" of the onset of sleep, initially in alpha wave stage and later in theta. [68]

Investigative methodologyEdit

Self-observation (spontaneous or systematic) was the primary tool of the early researchers. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, this has been joined by questionnaire surveys and experimental studies. All three methods have their disadvantages as well as points to recommend them.[69]

Naturally, amnesia contributes to the difficulty of studying hypnagogia, as does the typically fleeting nature of hypnagogic experiences. These problems have been tackled by experimenters in a number of ways, including voluntary or induced interruptions,[70] sleep manipulation,[71] the use of techniques to “hover on the edge of sleep” thereby extending the duration of the hypnagogic state,[72] and training in the art of introspection to heighten the subject’s powers of observation and attention.[73]

Techniques for extending hypnagogia range from informal ones (e.g. the subject holds up one of their arms as they go to sleep, so as to be awakened when it falls),[74] to the use of biofeedback devices to induce a ‘theta’ state, characterised by relaxation and theta EEG activity.[75] The theta state is produced naturally the most when we are dreaming. It has also been linked to paranormal activities and is believed to trigger the release of DMT from the pineal gland, causing a dreaming state.[76]

Another method is to induce a state said to be subjectively similar to sleep onset in a Ganzfeld setting, a form of sensory deprivation. But the assumption of identity between the two states may be unfounded. The average EEG spectrum in Ganzfeld is more similar to that of the relaxed waking state than to that of sleep onset.[77] Wackerman et al. conclude that “the Ganzfeld imagery, although subjectively very similar to that at sleep onset, should not be labeled as ‘hypnagogic’. Perhaps a broader category of ‘hypnagoid experience’ should be considered, covering true hypnagogic imagery as well as subjectively similar imagery produced in other states.”[78]

Artistic and cultural references Edit

Further readingEdit

  • Leaning, F.E. (1925). An introductory study of hypnagogic phenomena. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 35, 289-409.
  • Mavromatis, A. (1987). Hypnagogia: the Unique State of Consciousness Between Wakefulness and Sleep. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
  • Warren, Jeff (2007). "The Hypnagogic" The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Maury, Louis Ferdinand Alfred (1848). ‘Des hallucinations hypnagogiques, ou des erreurs des sens dans l'etat intermediaire entre la veille et le sommeil’. Annales Medico-Psychologiques du système nerveux, 11, 26-40.
  2. Maury, Louis Ferdinand Alfred (1865). Le sommeil et les rêves: études psychologiques sur ces phénomènes et les divers états qui s'y rattachent, suivies de recherches sur le developpement de l'instinct et de l'intelligence dans leurs rapports avec le phénomène du sommeil, Paris: Didier.
  3. Myers, Frederic (1903). Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death, London: Longmans.
  4. Mavromatis, Andreas (1987). Hypnagogia: the Unique State of Consciousness Between Wakefulness and Sleep, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. p. 1.
  5. Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 1.
  6. Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 4.
  7. Lachman, Gary (2002). ‘Hypnagogia’. Fortean Times.
  8. Stickgold, R., interviewed 30 October 2000 by Norman Swan for Health Report on Australia’s Radio National (transcript), retrieved 3 July 2008.
  9. Schacter, D. L. (1976). The hypnagogic state: A critical review of the literature. Psychological Bulletin, 83, 452–481.
  10. Róbert Bódizs, Melinda Sverteczki and Eszter Mészáros, Wakefulness-sleep transition: Emerging electroencephalographic similarities with the rapid eye movement phase,. URL accessed on 2008-03-31.
  11. Mavromatis, op. cit. pp. 3-4.
  12. Pfotenhauer, Helmut & Schneider, Sabine (2006). Nicht völlig wachen und nicht ganz ein Traum: Die Halfschlafbilder in der Literatur. Verlag Königshausen & Neumann. ISBN 3826032748.
  13. Quoted by Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 4.
  14. Leroy, E. B. (1933). Les visions du demi-sommeil. Paris: Alcan.
  15. Davis, H., Davis, P. A., Loomis, A. L., Harvey, E. N., & Hobart, G. (1937) ‘Changes in human brain potentials during the onset of sleep’. Science 86, 448–50.
  16. Vaitl et al. (2005) ‘Psychobiology of altered states of consciousness’. Psychological Bulletin 131:1.
  17. Blackmore, Susan (2003). Consciousness: An Introduction, London: Hodder & Stoughton.
  18. Mavromatis, op. cit., p. xiii.
  19. Leaning, F. E. (1925). An introductory study of hypnagogic phenomena.
  20. Schacter, D. L. (1976). The hypnagogic state: A critical review of the literature. Psychological Bulletin, 83, 452–481.
  21. Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 1.
  22. Mavromatis, op. cit. p. 14.
  23. Hori, T., Hayashi, M., & Morikawa, T. (1993). Topographical EEG changes and hypnagogic experience. In: Ogilvie, R.D., & Harsh, J.R. (Eds.) Sleep Onset: Normal and Abnormal Processes, pp. 237-53.
  24. Germaine, A. & Nielsen T. A. (1997). ‘Distribution of spontaneous hypnagogic images across Hori's EEG stages of sleep onset’. Sleep Research 26, p. 243.
  25. Vaitl et al. (2005) ‘Psychobiology of altered states of consciousness’. Psychological Bulletin 131:1.
  26. Lehmann, D., Grass, P., & Meier, B. (1995). ‘Spontaneous conscious covert cognition states and brain electric spectral states in canonical correlations’. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 19, 41–52.
  27. Stickgold, R., Malia, A., Maguire, D., Roddenberry, D., & O’Connor, M. (2000). ‘Replaying the game: Hypnagogic images in normals and amnesics’. Science, 290(5490), pp. 350–3.
  28. Stickgold, R., interviewed 30 October 2000 by Norman Swan for Health Report on Australia’s Radio National (transcript), retrieved 3 July 2008.
  29. Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 81.
  30. Blackmore, Susan (2003). Consciousness: An Introduction, London: Hodder & Stoughton.
  31. Thorpy, M. J. (ed). (1990). ‘Sleep paralysis’. ICSD-International Classification of Sleep Disorders: Diagnostic and Coding Manual. Rochester, Minn.: American Sleep Disorders Association.
  32. Blackmore, Susan J. & Parker, Jennifer J. (2002). ‘Comparing the Content of Sleep Paralysis and Dream Reports’. Dreaming 12:1, pp. 45-59.
  33. Spanos, N. P., McNulty, S. A. DuBreuil, S. C. and Pires, M. (1995). ‘The frequency and correlates of sleep paralysis in a university sample’. Journal of Research in Personality 29:3, pp. 285-305.
  34. Blackmore, Susan J. & Parker, Jennifer J. (2002). ‘Comparing the Content of Sleep Paralysis and Dream Reports’. Dreaming 12:1, pp. 45-59.
  35. Cheyne, J. A. (2003). ‘Sleep Paralysis and the Structure of Waking-Nightmare Hallucinations’. Dreaming 13:3, pp. 163-79.
  36. Blackmore, Susan. (1998) ‘Abduction by Aliens or Sleep Paralysis?’. Skeptical Enquirer, May/June 1998. (Retrieved 4 July 2008.)
  37. Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 81.
  38. Petersen, Robert (1997). Out of Body Experiences, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
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