Hypnagogic State

Also found in: Medical.

Hypnagogic State; Hypnopompic State

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The hypnagogic state is that level of light trance which is entered at the time just prior to falling asleep at night. It is also the state entered when daydreaming; a state between being fully awake and being asleep. It has been described as “an artificially induced dream state with a resemblance to hypnosis.” (Hypnotism Comes Of Age, 1948) It can be characterized by illusions of vision or sound. The hypnagogic state was first noted about 1845, by J. G. F. Baillarger (1809–1890) in France and W. Griesinger (1817–1868) in Germany. The hypnapompic state is the light trance when just emerging from sleep. Both are at the alpha level, when the brainwave activity is between 8 and 13 cycles per second.


Shepard, Leslie A: Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. New York: Avon Books, 1978
Wolfe, Bernard and Raymond Rosenthal: Hypnotism Comes Of Age. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1948