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Since I was little I've had half sleeping hallucinations. They almost always take the form of spiders, usually dangling above my head. I'll scream, say something about them, even reach my hand up and try to make them go away, because fully regaining consciousness and turning the light on in a panic. I had a really bad one last night- first with the spider above my head, and then when I started falling asleep again, a whole nest of spiders on my dresser/window, and I started hearing this song. It sounded almost like Fall Out Boy or something akin to them, something I don't ever listen to, and I could still vaguely hear it in my head when I sat up freaking out, but it faded very quickly.
I also felt like there was some sort of presence outside of my door, and I connected the presence to the song, which made me paranoid that someone was actually outside of my door, so I kept almost falling asleep and then jerking awake, staring at the door and the closet (which currently doesn't have doors, which terrifies me, because I HATE open doors, especially to closed in rooms, they scare the shit out of me)
thinking someone was there. And then I just couldn't sleep, I kept hearing voices in my head like someone was holding it open on the top and yelling things in, filling the blanks, forming sentences that I wasn't even making.

All of this was going on in a semi-unconscious state, keep in mine. It's like half of me was going insane.

Probably one of the scarier times it's happened to me. So I finally looked it up, and it's a sleep disorder called hypnagogia.

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.

People with hypnagogia will have hallucinations that will range from seeing dots, spots or designs, all the way up to full scenes and actions. Mine seem to be somewhat in the middle, with it always taking the form of spiders- I read about some guy that keeps hallucinating that a dark figure opens the door and comes to stand over his bed. I think that sort of thing has only happened once or twice to me.
Sensory inputs include sounds, sleep paralysis, and other feelings too. I get the sounds- the song, obviously, and often I'll think someone's talking or hear loud banging or slamming.

It's eerie, really. I understand that it's just the brain playing tricks, but it's still really disturbing. They're a lot different from dreams because you honestly see them there. Your eyes will be open but your head will still be somewhere else. I honestly see spiders above my head, until I turn the light on. Often I'll go as far as pulling my blankets and pillows off, searching for them, sure that they were there.

The dark figure thing freaks me out though, I'm glad that one doesn't happen to me.

I also appear to fit the symptoms for a Circadian Sleep Disorder, as opposed to insomnia.

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June 2009

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