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9. Remembering: Hacks 81–92 > 91. Enter the Twilight Zone: The Hypnagogic State

Enter the Twilight Zone: The Hypnagogic State

On the edge of sleep, you may enter hypnagogia, a state of freewheeling thoughts and sometimes hallucinations.

Hypnagogia, or the hypnagogic state, is a brief period of altered consciousness that occurs between wakefulness and sleep, typically as people “doze off” on their way to normal sleep. During this period, thoughts can become loosely associated, whimsical, and even bizarre. Hallucinations are very common and may take the form of flashes of lights or colors, sounds, voices (hearing your own name being called is quite common), faces, or fully formed pictures. Mental imagery may become particularly vivid and fantastical, and some people may experience synaesthesia, in which experiences in one sense are experienced in another—sounds, for example, may be experienced as visual phenomena.


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