25 Sep Baby Boomer Guide to Hypnopompic hallucination – what it is and what it isnt
Psychological Article on Elderly Problems
Pscyhological articles define a hypnopompic hallucination as a vivid dreamlike hallucination that occurs as one is waking up. It is recognized as the opposite of an hypnagogic hallucination, which occurs as one is falling asleep.
By the time we reach the age of being a boomer, most of us have all been through weird and scary experiences while sleeping – experiences such as seeing ghosts floating around in the room or feeling the touch of a cold, lifeless spirit. Contrary to conventional wisdom, this certainly does not mean that the person having these experiences is going crazy. Even though the experience of seeing a unicorn in your bedroom may come across as undeniably real; there is a rational and scientific explanation to these occurrences and all that one needs to do is take a step back and relax in the understanding that this is just your brain’s way of snapping out of “dream mode” and back into “waking mode”. In layman’s terms, the brain is in a state of limbo (so to speak) – it’s pulling the cord out on the dreams and plugging back into waking consciousness.
This occurrence is known as hypnopompic hallucination. This happens when one opens his/her eyes while in a dream state causing the dream images to get overlaid by the images of the bedroom – for a brief moment, this results is an amalgamation of dream and real images and since the eyes are open, the brain assumes all of this is taking place in the bedroom.
The same mechanics are at work for other sensations as well. For example, if one feels the cold touch of a dead relative or friend then that simply means the brain is beginning to overlay the weakening dream sensations with your real life kinesthetic sense. So, the sound of beating drums in the other room, the sight of flying horses and brief encounters with unknown floral scents can all be explained by hypnopompic hallucination.
This process can also work in reverse – meaning that the brain could go into “sleep mode” even while you are partially awake. The process of dreaming is a helpful (yet complicated) phenomena. Usually its purpose is to reflect and symbolize the thoughts, feelings and emotions we engage in while awake. So, for example if you jump into bed and feel as if some one has slid into bed with you then that’s a case of your brain going into dream mode while you are still awake. However, it also reflects the fact that you are not expressing yourself entirely during your waking hours. The “someone” that slides into bed with you is actually the real you which your brain interprets as separate as it switches into “dream mode” – it’s a symbolic way of being told to, ‘reconnect, express and become one with who you really are’.
It’s important to not get scared when confronted with such experiences; but rather to relish and marvel at the intricacy and power of the human brain. It’s also important to journalize your dreams and use the content of your dreams to make improvements in your waking life. No matter how your dreams make you feel; know that the power lies in deciphering the symbolism and taking action towards positive change in your waking hours.
The Psychological Article Baby Boomer Guide to Hypnopompic hallucination – what it is and what it isnt is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of baby boomers psychological coaching tips and how to alleviate elderly problems. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.
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