I have experienced something similar, though not exactly the same, to what you are describing. Sometimes when I am on the very cusp of falling asleep,
I will hear strange noises which have occassionally taken the form of voices. Please note that it is not uncommon for perfectly normal people to
experience auditory, visual or tactile hallucinations just prior to falling asleep or after having just woken up. The state of being 'half
asleep-half awake' is known as the hypnagogic state. Hypnagogia
and hypnopompia are terms used to
describe the range of experiences people undergo during this state of near sleep.
30 to 40 percent of people will experience hallucinations whilst in the hypnagogic state at some point in their life. My father suufers from a
condition known as narcolepsy
and as a result he experiences experiences hypnagogic hallucinations
far more frequently than normal. Often these hallucinations take the form of voices and sometimes visual hallucinations. He also experiences night
terrors, which I shall discuss in a minute. My advice to you is that what you are experiencing is probably a very normal experience that most people
undergo at some stage. The fact that you say you hear the sounds
for the first few seconds of being awake
strongly leads me to believe that you are experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations. However, if you are bothered by the experiences, you should probably
consult a doctor. There are methods of controlling such experiences which your doctor can suggest. You should also be aware that hypnagogia can take
the form of sleep paralysis
. Again, this is not unheard of, and can be treated with advice
from your doctor.
Night terrors are a sleep disorder with which I am very familiar. On the surface, night terrors take the form of extreme nightmares and an inability
to be fully woken up. My father suffers from night terrors and I used to often wake to his terrible screams in the middle of the night. Efforts to
wake him up would prove ineffective, and this is a common element of night terrors.
Where night terrors differ from common nightmares is in the intensity of the experience, the inability to wake the sufferer, the length of duration
and specific physiological aspects. Whilst nightmares can be frightening, night terrors often evoke outright terror. My father is a very strong, very
no-nonsense working class builder and he screamed with absolute terror during his night terrors. Furthermore, whereas nightmares typically last for a
very short amount of time, night terrors may continue for 20 minutes or more, with frightened onlookers unable to wake the sufferer from their sleep.
Also, whereas nightmares typically occur in stages of deep REM sleep
, night terrors occur during the
deepest stages of non-REM sleep. It is believed that night terrors may be a genetic condition, although I have not experienced it myself.
Treatment for night terrors involves a broad range of options, from medication (which is how my father deals with the problem) to more holistic
treatments such as counselling and meditation. The following links are excellent sources of information on the phenomenon of night terrors:
Night Terror - Wikipedia
A brief but informative entry detailing what night terrors are, when they occur and a few treatment methods. A good place to start.
Night Terror Resource Center
An excellent site with a wealth of information regarding night terrors, sleep paralysis, medications and personal accounts from sufferers.
I think that you have little to fear from what you have related, vonwoolf. It sounds as though you are experiencing something that we all experience
to different degrees. The fact that you felt the need to perform a 'spiritual housecleaning' suggests that you are extremely concerned with
spiritual matters, which may serve to trigger or influence your hypnagogic hallucinations. My final advice: do not worry about it, but if it persists
see a doctor before you see a psychic. I doubt there is anything wrong with you that isn't wrong with all of us.
I hope I was able to help.