The mystery of sleep paralysis.

Sleep paralysis?

National Geographic September 2010 edition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the main mysteries that has intrigued me for quite a while now, would perhaps the be the elusive sleep paralysis. I have had the opportunity to experience this phenomenon a number of times in my 17 years of life. Imagine suffocation, fear and paralysis all wrapped into one dream, or rather state, as your eyes are open, but you’re stuck. Literally.

~ I could hear my breathing, slowly rising, then falling. A lamp was on nearby, it’s exact location unknown. I was immensely fatigued, and somewhat asleep. Or not. I was in a weird state, that was certain. I’ll just conclude my state as being that in between sleep and wakefulness. Suddenly, I heard footsteps on the hard floor behind the couch I was curled up on. A wave of terror gripped me as I came to know that there was a mysterious presence behind the couch. Again, more footsteps, the sound of wind, my body turned cold. I tried getting up, but I was extremely sleepy. I tried moving my hand but it was incredibly difficult and all my muscles were frozen. One more jerk, I got my hand on my face as I started to scratch my eyes, pulling them open. They were already open so I did nothing more than just hurt them. I could feel this ‘presence’ nearing my body. It was right behind the couch. I tried screaming, I could hear a faint noise coming from my mouth. My hearing senses were dulled. I was terrified beyond words. Was I dying? Was this death? No it couldn’t be. This has happened to me before. I asked myself over and over again. I could see a shadow on the wall, it was stationary. I tried screaming once more, but this time I could hear nothing. Not even a vague sound. Five minutes later I awoke from this ‘state’ severely shocked. This was perhaps the tenth time I’d experienced sleep paralysis.~

Perhaps my ‘condition’ is a result of extreme sleep deprivation, caffeine overdosing, or just my general stress level. What strikes me however, is that I mostly experience these kind of dreams while napping after a long day. It rarely happens at night, or in the morning. Just in the afternoons and evenings. One of the more freaky type of dreams I experienced happened during the summer of 2009.

~  Something woke me up. I don’t quite know what it was. I was sweaty, something common during the typical Pacific Northwest summers. My window was open, or so I thought, for I heard the blinds swaying and hitting the windowsill. I heard a wind blowing through. My room wasn’t very dark. I stared into the ceiling in a semi-sleep state. Suddenly I could feel a weight on my feet. I was terrified as I started pondering wether I should get up and look at it or not. I tried to sit up. I saw the silhouette of a man (at least that’s what it looked like) sitting perched on the foot of my bed. He was glaring at me with a snarl on his face. He wasn’t real. He couldn’t be. This was just a dream, wasn’t it? I started crying as I felt a sudden wave of helplessness. I couldn’t do much, clenching my teeth I fell asleep again. When I woke up I examined the foot of my bed. I saw nothing except a lock of blond hair. No one in my family is blond. ~

Now while each of these experiences are quite unique,they share the same element of fear, helplessness, and paralysis. Perhaps this phenomenon will never be explained fully, transcending the barrier that defines our realm. The only thing that I got out of these dreams, is that being paralyzed sucks.

My question to you: Am I alone? Am I the only one who’s experienced such dreams? I would love to know the kinds of dreams that people have.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “The mystery of sleep paralysis.

  1. zhoux

    holy moly, this has happened to me countless times….please write more about your experiances

  2. xclari

    pretty much the same as my experience!

  3. I have had experiences (not many) like this,too. It is definitely stuff that is worth exploring and writing about.

  4. I’m a sleep paralysis sufferer. But you can train to make the experiences less dramatic. just remember its not real and that you will wake up. Even though it feels like a long time, the episodes only last a short time. Your post very well explains how frightening sleep paralysis is.

    http://citizenshiptoheaven.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/nightmares-of-the-bottom/

  5. meagan

    you really gave a nice detailed clear explanation of your experience. you are definitely not alone. there is a strange sense that there is an ominous presence, an evil lurking in the room, if you will…and it is definitely up for some serious debate…is it psychological, is it spiritual?

    • I’m not quite sure if it’s psychological or spiritual. I’d probably say psychological because that seems like the most rational explanation, but the evil-ness about this presence was definitely felt.

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