Medical Definition of Hypnagogic

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hypnagogic: Concerning the drowsiness one commonly feels before sleep, the transitional state preceding sleep, and also the hallucinations that may occur at that time.

The original French word "hypnagogique" was derived from Greek roots "hypno-", sleep + "agogos", leading = leading to sleep. In the 19th century "hypnagogique" came across the English Channel and became "hypnagogic."

A closely allied term is "hypnoidal." It means resembling hypnosis and also refers to the subwaking state, the condition intermediate between sleeping and waking.

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Reviewed on 10/30/2018

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