Thursday, 7 October 2010


If something is hypnopompic, it happens when you are just beginning to wake up. Still half-conscious you imagine that the alarm clock is a fire engine, that the cockerel is your friend and that the bed is a warm womb from which you will never be induced.

It is the opposite of hypnogogic which applies to falling asleep and myoclonic jerks. Hypno is sleep and pomp is from the Greek word for send. A psychopomp is somebody who guides souls from one world to another: vide Charon, Papa Legba and Virgil.

Oh, and the immemorial reviser's belief that you'll remember a recording played to you while you're sleeping is hypnopædia.

I've got to stop doing this

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I've always wondered what the word for this was. I tended to feel like I was the only one who had these surreal thoughts before I wake up. It's weird when the alarm goes off and you're still dream, but the alarm becomes part of the dream, like as a telephone ringing or something. Fascinating.