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A hypnopompic state (or hypnopomp) is the state of consciousness leading out of sleep, a term coined by the spiritualist Frederick Myers. Its twin is the hypnagogic state at sleep onset; though often conflated, the two states are not identical. The hypnagogic state is rational waking cognition trying to make sense of non-linear images and associations; the hypnopompic state is emotional and credulous dreaming cognition trying to make sense of real world stolidity. They have a different phenomenological character. Depressed frontal lobe function in the first few minutes after waking – known as "sleep inertia" – causes slowed reaction time and impaired short-term memory. Sleepers often wake confused, or speak without making sense, a phenomenon the psychologist Peter McKeller calls "hypnopompic speech."

References

  • T. Balkin, A. Braun, et al., “The process of awakening: A PET study of regional brain activity patterns mediating the reestablishment of alertness and consciousness,”Brain, vol. 125, 2002, pp. 2308–19.
  • P. Tassi and A. Muzet, “Sleep inertia,” Sleep Medicine Review, vol. 4, no. 4, 2000, pp. 341–53.
  • McKellar, P (1989). Abnormal Psychology, Routledge.
  • Warren, Jeff (2007). "The Hypnopompic". The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness. ISBN 978-0679314080. 
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