Sleep Education

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 

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Sleep Hallucinations – Symptoms & Risk Factors


You may have Sleep Hallucinations if you:
  • Imagine events that seem very real just before falling asleep or just after waking up
  • These imagined events are mainly visual
It is also important to know if there is something else that is causing these episodes. They may be a result of one of the following:
  • Another sleep disorder such as narcolepsy
  • A medical condition
  • Medication use
  • A mental health disorder
  • Substance abuse

Risk Factors

Sleep related hallucinations seem to be very common. They have been reported by as many as one-third of all people. They are more common in teens and young adults. In many people the episodes tend to decrease with age. They also occur slightly more often in women than in men. They are very common in people who have narcolepsy. Factors that can cause them include the following:
  • Current drug use
  • Past alcohol use
  • Anxiety
  • Mood disorders
  • Insomnia
They can also be due to an epileptic seizure. In this case they tend to be brief, visual fragments.
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