I have quite often awaken to see smoke in the room. It is usually light gray and all around me but sometimes it is concentrated in one area of the room. It goes away after a few seconds. I've also seen the smoke move out towards the window like it was floating. It used to scare me into thinking the house was on fire. Now, I just know that if I don't smell the smoke then it is ok.
Another variation less common is that I'll see columns of smoke with lights in them like a cylinder of glass. Really weird. Everything is usually black and white but last week I woke up seeing a red aura that seemed to emanate from my chest. It went away almost immediately.
Lately, I see images of people. It usually doesn't last but a few seconds but the other night I saw the image of two young girls beside my bed. They were shaking their fist at me and opening their mouths like they were yelling. I took my hand and punched right through them. The image stayed for another few seconds and then went away. I am not paralyzed like some I hear about that wake up this way. I no longer feel scared and actually feel annoyed when it happens. I have read blogs that say it is just a dream that is continuing as I wake. However, I rarely have a dream that I remember.
It does concern me that if this gets worse I may think it is real and take my gun out of the nightstand thinking I see an intruder, I've had these things going on for the last 10 years or so. My wife says I should see someone. Who? A shrink or a sleep doctor?
Your symptoms could be due to Hypnagogic hallucinations, which are hallucinations which occur between sleep and awakening. This is the symptom of a sleep disorder called Narcolepsy. This sleep disorder is characterized by excessive day time sleepiness, sleep paralysis, cataplexy where the person has episodes of loss of muscle function while awake, hypnogogic hallucinations and automatic behavior. You will need to consult your primary care physician, who may schedule you for a polysomnogram (sleep test) to rule out sleep disorders and initiate appropriate therapy.
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