Hypnagogia is also referred to as ‘hypnagogic hallucinations’ or ‘hypnogogic state of consciousness’.
It is the experience of the transitional state of consciousness when you go from wakefulness to sleep. (The transitional state from sleep to wakefulness is called ‘hypnopompic’.)

In Hypnaogogia you might be seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting things, or experience a feeling of falling or floating. This is similar to when you’re dreaming, except you’re not asleep yet and still able to remember.

Experiencing these hallucinations can be confusing, because it can be hard to distinguish hallucination from reality. They create strong, intricate visual images in the mind that may be distorted in an unrealistic way. As a result, these hallucinations often cause fear. In some cases, they can cause you to suddenly jolt back to reality from the verge of sleep. ‘Hypnic Jerk’ or ‘The Kick’ as they call it in the movie ‘Inception’.)

Visual Hallucinations (Sights)

The beginnings of visual hallucinations occur as phosphenes – seemingly random speckles, lines or geometric patterns that may float around or remain still behind your closed eyelids.

When deeply immersed, you can control these patterns at will. To do this, just focus on changing the direction of the lines. Then mentally demand specific shapes and movements. After that it’s not difficult to have the phosphenes form a familiar face or animal.

Salvador Dali’s ‘The Persistence of Memory’ (1931)

Hypnagogia and Creativity

Artists have been using Hypnagogia as a key to their creativity: Salvador Dali nicknamed it “the slumber with a key,” and used it as creative inspiration for many of his imaginative paintings.

During hypnagogia, the brain is more fluid and open to making connections between seemingly unrelated ideas. This makes it so conducive to creative problem solving.

How to induce Hypnagogia

Thomas Edison and Dali often induced hypnagogia using a similar technique: Both men held something metal in their hands while they fell asleep. As their hand relaxed, the item would clang onto the floor and wake them up.

Scientists have observed the presence of both alpha brainwaves — which are the dominant brainwave mode when we are conscious but relaxed, for instance when daydreaming or meditating — and theta brainwaves, which are associated with restorative sleep, during Hypnagogia.

Therefore I suggest you try binaural beats or if you can, book a session with the Ajna Light, and make use of  brainwave entrainment to achieve more relaxed states of awareness which lead to the hypnagogic magic.

I experience visual and sensory effects every time I am under the Ajna Light and it can lead me into a deep meditation, which is an excellent primer for lucid dreaming (but that’s another post on its own).

Binaural Entrainment with Beats

Binaural Beats

Binaural beats are an auditory biohack designed to facilitate brainwave entrainment.

Just as pulses of neurons firing are measured with frequency, so too is sound.
The human ear can hear sounds with a frequency (pitch) between 30Hz and 18,000Hz.

The Range of Human Hearing

The Range of Human Hearing


How Binaural Beats work

In order to induce any brainwaves other than Gamma brainwaves, you need the brain to follow frequencies below 30 Hz. If you want to use sound waves for the entrainment, the problem is that humans can only hear sound waves with a frequency above 30 Hz. That’s why you need to use the phenomenon of Beats as a bio-hack to entrain the brain:

Wearing headphones, you listen to an audio track that pumps one frequency or tone in one ear and a different frequency or tone in the other ear. This means that there is an almost imperceptible difference in sound coming into your left and right ear.

Hence the term bi (meaning two) and aural (of the ear). The difference in the frequency between the left and right ear will be the frequency of the beating and therefore the target frequency for your brainwave entrainment.

If you want to play around with creating some beats, check out this applet.

Often times white noise (rain) is used in conjunction with these tones to help relax the mind and put it in a more malleable state. The result is that you can target a variety of different brainwave states that can yield varied benefits.

While the effect of any form of music on a human individual is highly personal and therefore resistant to generalization, a variety of research shows potential improvements for everything from cognitive performance to enhanced relaxation.
A UK study with control group from 2005 showed significant reduction in anxiety for pre-operative patients listening to binaural beats prior to surgery (source:  http://www.binbeat.com/images/binauralsandanxiety.pdf).

Where to get Binaural Beats

You can find binaural beats tracks for sale online or on YouTube.
Aubrey Marcus, the author of ‘Own the Day, Own your Life’, has produced two albums of binaural beats. Together you can purchase them for US$35 here.

Click here to download ‘Earth Piece’ for free, Aubrey’s favourite 30 minute track for a mid-day power nap.

My favourite Binaural Beats App is Brainwave: 35 Binaural Programs.

You can get it on iTunes. It’s only US$4.99 and has a programme for all sorts of occasions. Check it out. Definitely worth its money.