Hypnagogia is the experience of the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep in humans: the hypnagogic state of consciousness, during the onset of sleep. Mental phenomena that occur during this “threshold consciousness” phase include lucid thought, lucid dreaming, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis.
As stated above Hypnagogia is the state between wakefulness and sleep in humans. While the opposite state between being asleep and being awake does have a seperate name the requirement to have the name when the signs and symptoms are the same is questioned. In this mini-article we will refer to both states as hypnagogia.
As stated above there are many signs and symptoms of this but in particular the lucid dreams or in the case of some people lucid nightmares, the hallucinations, sleep paralysis, sights and sounds can often be quite distressing. This is especially true in those that have any type of anxiety disorder because of the below reason.
Herbert Silberer (a Viennese psychoanalyst) described a process he called autosymbolism, whereby hypnagogic hallucinations seem to represent, without repression or censorship, whatever one is thinking at the time, turning abstract ideas into a concrete image, which may be perceived as an apt and succinct representation thereof.
This autosymbolism in the case of anxiety disorder sufferers can cause the sufferers fears and anxieties to manifest in the form of frightening images, sounds and sights as the person is waking up or falling to sleep. This in turn can trigger your anxiety and the respective symptoms.
This does not help morning or nighttime anxiety. But working on coping skills during that specific morning and night times is essential to coping with any anxiety brought on by a hypnagogic state.
We recommend that you take time to do your muscle relaxation exercises to both distract you and reduce your anxiety that is caused by the situation. These kind of events that increase your distress will reduce as your anxiety levels reduce as you get better. Try not to focus on the events and the respective symptoms as that will only increase your anxiety and increase your distress.