Question: I am a 59 year old Caucasian female in relatively good health. Approximately 20 years ago, after a sleep lab evaluation, I was diagnosed with Hypnagogic Hallucinations and Restless Leg Syndrome and subsequently prescribed Klonopin. I never agreed with the RLS diagnosis and discontinued the klonopin, since it did not have any effect on the hallucinations.
My episodes do not seem to have a specific cause – I have them when under stress or when I am not under stress. I do not have the Narcolepsy component which often accompanies this disorder. Are there any new treatments or medications? I have lived a long time with this disorder and seem to go long periods without an episode, but they have not subsided completely. I have not sought medical treatment since the initial diagnosis as most physicians seem to know very little about it.I will be interested to hear about your experience with this particular disorder.From KevinHi Dianne! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and questions with us. While I don’t have much experience with having much hypnagogic imagery myself, I’ve heard stories of people who experience frequent hypnagogic or hypnapompic hallucinations that have proven quite disruptive. I’m thankful that you are not having episodes as frequently anymore, but hope you’ll be able to put a complete rest to the experiences soon.To add
onto what you said about narcolepsy commonly accompanying hypnagogic hallucinations, from what I know, I think a better way to think about it is the other way around: that hypnagogic hallucinations commonly accompany narcolepsy. In fact, the hallucinations themselves can independently turn up quite frequently in individuals without any other sleep disorders. It’s cases like yours of very prolonged or consistent episodes that are less mainstream and more commonly associated with narcolepsy or other disorders involving abnormal REM sleep processes, such as REM sleep behavior disorder.As far as new medication goes, I’ll have to check with our advisers and Dr. Dement on that one. I don’t know enough about the pharmaceutical side of the condition stay in the loop of that one, but as soon as I find out anything I’ll be sure to let you know here.Best wishes!KevinP.S. Sleep related imagery always is really interesting to me. I wonder if you wouldn’t mind walking me through what a typical episode may look or feel like to you to give myself and any other visitors a better/more specific perspective on how it all operates? If you’d like to, feel free to do so using the “Post Comments” link below!(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)