How are hypnagogic hallucinations differentiated from childhood obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Feb 13, 2019
  • Author: Mary E Cataletto, MD; Chief Editor: Denise Serebrisky, MD  more...
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Hypnagogic hallucinations

Hypnagogic hallucinations are vivid lifelike dreams that occur just as one begins to fall asleep. These hallucinations often involve an awareness of another person or an animal in the room, bright colors, or unusual shapes. Often, other senses are involved during the experience, including touch, smell, and hearing. Older patients with narcolepsy may experience cataplexy, or the sudden brief loss of muscular tone without loss of consciousness. Multiple sleep latency testing (MSLT) following overnight polysomnography is necessary to confirm a diagnosis of narcolepsy and differentiate this from obstructive sleep apnea.

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