During lunchtime today, I went to my nap room at work, cuddled up into my lovely blanket from Ireland and quickly fell asleep. Next thing, I awoke to the most AMAZING foot massage!! Oh la la. My feet were sore from intense yoga classes over the weekend, so I really appreciated the free yummy foot massage from…. um…. my phantom foot massaging friend?
After a minute of enjoying the massage, I thought, “Well, that was nice, but I better get back to work now.”
I tried getting up, but I was stuck physically. My head tingled with confusion, I tried lifting my neck, but it weighed a trillion tons. I struggled, gave up, struggled, gave up… Time passed. At one point, I fell off the nap bench onto the itchy carpet.
Eventually, I woke up… for real this time… on the bench (never had fallen off). Flustered and disoriented, I folded my blanket into my nap-sack, straightened by hair and returned to “real life”.
What are hypnagogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis?
For me, a majority of my hypnagogic hallucinations are negative (burglars and attackers) or just annoying (like falling off the nap bench or hearing a neighbor play the guitar in the middle of the night). Once in a blue moon, the hallucination is pleasant – like flying, hearing the most beautiful orchestra music or today’s lovely foot massage.
These positive hallucinations are few and far between, but for tonight, I’m giggling and hoping my phantom foot massager returns again soon. Or better yet, I hope he is flying around like the tooth fairy, visiting others with narcolepsy while they nap around the world!
While my daytime sleepiness, hypnagogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis have all improved greatly with medications, I still take short naps daily as a KEY part of my treatment plan, and sometimes during these naps, I still experience HH and SP, like I did today. Please note that naps are not refreshing for all people with narcolepsy, but for some, they are a huge relief.
My entire nap today was only 19 minutes. This was very “busy” mentally, but it relieved the pressure on my skull and allowed me to go back to work feeling refreshed and functional – and my feet felt great!
More about my experience working with narcolepsy.