Sleep-associated hallucinations are supposed to be vivid, sometimes, intense sensory or visual experiences that take place while waking up or falling asleep. They could be involving sensations of movement, realistic visions of stationary objects, or even feeling that a stranger is there along with you in the room. All these hallucinations are regarded as parasomnias, a kind of serious sleep disorder that involves undesirable experiences or actions during sleep, or the transition phase between different sleep stages or the transition phase between wakefulness and sleep. Here are some FAQs about sleep-related hallucinations.

What Are Sleep-Associated Hallucinations?

Sleep-associated hallucinations are supposed to be a parasomnia. This involves unwanted events that occur in sleep. These hallucinations are supposed to be imagined events that appear to be very real. Sleep hallucinations are predominantly visual. They may be involving your senses such as smell, touch, taste, and sound. Moreover, they could be involving your sense of movement or motion. As per, it is quite possible to confuse these hallucinations with dreams. You cannot be certain if you are asleep or awake. Sleep-related hallucinations could be quite similar to scary nightmares. However, once you wake up after the nightmare, you are fully aware that it had happened very much in your sleep. Nightmares are recognized as bad dreams and they are never confused with real events.

Are Sleep-associated Hallucinations Quite Common?

Almost 40% of all adults are known to experience these hallucinations that are generally rare in kids. Both men and women are equally afflicted by sleep-related hallucinations. These hallucinations could be present along with some other sleep disorders such as sleep paralysis and narcolepsy.

What Are the Basic Symptoms of Sleep-Related Hallucinations?

Some of the main symptoms associated with such hallucinations would be sleep paralysis, excessive sleepiness during the daytime, fragmented sleep, and narcolepsy.

What Are the Major Types of Sleep-Associated Hallucinations?

Hypnagogic hallucinations: These hallucinations are supposed to be sleep-related but take place while you are trying to fall asleep. These hallucinations could be tactile or visual and maybe including the perception of sounds and sights that are not happening in reality. This is supposed to be the most common kind of sleep-associated hallucinations. We understand that hypnagogic hallucinations are supposed to be twice as common or frequent as the other type of sleep-related hallucinations called hypnopompic hallucinations. Researchers firmly believe it is quite common for adults to experience hypnagogic hallucinations at least, once during their lifetime.

Hypnopompic hallucinations: These hallucinations take place during the transition phase from being asleep to being awake. These hallucinations are episodes that are certainly brief and could be including sounds, sights and even sensations that do not exist in reality. Hypnopompic hallucinations generally take place less frequently as compared to hypnagogic hallucinations.


Skimping on sleep could expose you to the risk of sleep paralysis and hallucinations. We understand that these hallucinations and sleep paralysis are common in individuals who are known to be sleep deprived. The most effective way of avoiding sleep-related hallucinations is to get adequate total sleep time every day. Stress seems to be another contributing factor and minimizing stress could reduce the frequency of sleep-related hallucinations.