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We can all agree that Sleep Paralysis could be pretty scary…
IF you do not know what exactly it is and how to react when you are going through it.
That is why we want to give you some valuable information, in order for you to avoid unpleasant experiences!
In this article, we are going to talk about:
What exactly is Sleep Paralysis
Why does it happen
When does it happen
Who can experience it
What you should do when you experience this condition
How to turn it into a LUCID DREAM!
1. What is Sleep paralysis?
Sleep paralysis is the feeling of being conscious but unable to move.
Usually it is happening naturally, however, there is a way to induce it.
You may wonder why someone would want to experience Sleep paralysis?
The reason is that we are able to turn the sleep paralysis into a lucid dream.
In the last section, we will explain more about it, so keep reading! 🙂
During the Sleep paralysis state, people are unable to move, speak, or anything.
It feels like a real paralysis.
Furthermore, it can last for a few seconds up to a couple of minutes.
You may feel it longer, even if is only for some seconds.
Another important fact: when we sleep our muscles are in relaxation.
This state is called “atonia” and it is actually an essential part of healthy sleep!
It is also possible to experience atonia even while you are awake – you may be unable to move for a few seconds.
Simply stated, electrical nerve impulses are cut off from the muscles and the brain, that is what is making us unable to move.
Usually, when you wake up from sleep naturally, you are waking up directly from a dream – whether recalled or not.
Along with this awakening, the paralysis of REM-sleep is supposed to end, but sometimes it doesn’t.
But wait for a second…
What is REM-sleep?
REM comes from Rapid Eye Movement. During the night we are going through 4 non-REM stages. After that, we enter the REM sleep.
REM sleep lasts around 10 minutes and during this period, our brains activity increases, our pulse quickens, and we have vivid dreams.
REM stages typically get longer and longer as the night goes by.
Now, we can go back to Sleep paralysis…
2. Why does it happen?
During rapid eye movement (REM sleep) the brain has vivid dreams, while the muscles of the body are essentially turned off.
While sleeping, the muscles are unable to move so that the person won’t be able to act out dreams with their body.
Sleep paralysis happens when a person wakes up before REM is finished.
The person will be conscious, but the body’s ability to move hasn’t been turned back on yet.
3. When does it happen?
Sleep paralysis can appear either when we are waking up or falling asleep.
During Sleep Paralysis we may hear, feel, or see things that are not there.
It is often accompanied by scary noises, a frightening presence in the room, the feeling of being held down, difficulties to breath etc.
Because Sleep Paralysis is connected with a highly active dream generation system, that won’t shut off even after awakening – we would “transfer” strong dream material into our awaken state.
4. Who experiences it?
7.6% of the general population, 28.3% of students, and 31.9% of psychiatric patients experienced at least one episode of sleep paralysis.
Overall it is said that in percentage, between 8% and 50% of people experience sleep paralysis at some time.
5. How to react when you have this condition? and How to get out of it?
Sleep Paralysis can be very scary, especially if you don’t know what is going on…
The thing is that you should not freak out.
And that could be not the easiest task, since like we mentioned – it can be pretty creepy.
However, you can use some of these ideas in order to avoid the Sleep paralysis:
1) Repeat in your head “It is only a dream“, ” I am safe “, etc.
2) Try to move a small part of your body, for instance, your toes, fingers, eyes, lips, etc.
Why can the movement help?
It will simply send signals to your brain and signalize that your body is awake.
3) Relax your body as much as you can, for instance, you can focus on your breath and start breathing ( just like meditation – slowly and deeply )
It could be hard, since during the Sleep paralysis you may have difficulties to breathe, a feeling of something heavy in your lungs.
But if you focus on this, and not on the things you think you are seeing (scary shadows or evil presence), you can switch off the paralysis.
Afterward, when your brain receives the information that you are not sleeping anymore, the atonia will stop, whereafter you will be able to move and the visuals and hallucinations will disappear right away.
And now let’s talk little about …
6. How to turn sleep paralysis into a lucid dream?
Sleep paralysis can appear naturally or you can induce it.
Either way, you should not try to push the paralysis away, since, in order to step into the lucid dreaming state, you should go through it.
It is kind of the “door” to enter into the conscious dream state.
If it is happening naturally you should:
1) RELAX! This is super important.
You should calm down by convincing yourself “This is only a dream“, “I am having a Sleep paralysis”, “I can go anywhere”.
How would you know that you are going through it?
Simply by the fact that you cannot move. And of course by the abnormal scenario that is around you.
2) Visualize a happy place
Imagine a location that is your favorite or just a random one, that you would like to visit.
Here, you should try to imagine as many details as you can.
For instance, what is the weather like, are you going to be alone or with someone, is it day or night and so on.
3) Try to have positive thoughts.
It may sound easy but even when we are awake, sometimes it is not the easiest task.
However, you should try to do it.
You need to stop thinking about the things that you are seeing and to ignore the paralysis. Just focus on what is the next – incredible lucid dream!
If you want to induce the Sleep paralysis in order to get to the conscious dreaming, a simple way is to use the WILD technique
(if you haven’t heard of it, or you want to remind yourself how to use it, check out our article with step-by-step guidance HERE)
You can also try to have an OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE!
This one is very fascinating too, and the truth is that Sleep paralysis is the perfect condition for experiencing OBEs.
Find out more about it HERE.
To make a point…
These are just a few ways that can help you to either stop the paralysis or transfer it into a lucid dream.
If you want to find out is Sleep paralysis dangerous and CAN YOU die from it (?), check out our new article HERE.
Furthermore, as if that is not enough and you would like to find out, even more, you should check these books:
1. Dark Intrusions: An Investigation into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences
by Louis Proud
In DARK INTRUSIONS, the author gives a well-supported explanation for the phenomena of sleep paralysis.
Despite being a controversial subject, the author thoroughly explores each point with honesty and transparency.
2. Sleep Paralysis: A Guide to Hypnagogic Visions and Visitors of the Night
by Ryan Hurd
A practical book on the phenomenon of sleep paralysis and the other odd situations that frequently occur along.
The author dedicated a big part of his life, learning about sleep paralysis as much as possible.
He wrote this book to pass that knowledge along to the rest of us.
I highly recommend this book to anyone suffering from (or just experiencing) sleep paralysis.
3. Sleep Paralysis: What It Is and How To Stop It
by Chris White
The author does an excellent job of combining a lot of research, interviews, experiences, and observations into a compact, educational, smooth read.
Once you finish the book, you will feel both educated and empowered.
The information and advice provided in the book are amazingly accurate and helpful for anyone, experiencing the phenomenon.
I haven’t written in before but I thought maybe someone will have a answer or can point me in the right direction to help me overcome this problem and hopefully embrace it rather than then it scare me…
I have been suffering from sleep paralysis for the past 8 months.
And this is not just when I go to bed at night, I mean all night, all day… this happens numerous times every day and night.
I try to sleep, I’m so tired now all the time, my eyes my head and my body is exhausted and sleep now scares me…
Let me add that I have been documenting my own experiences. There are now 6 to 8 different types of types of reoccurring sleep paralysis that I have now experienced.
When it happens, the feeling in my body it gives me when it’s happing, what point in the stages of sleep i start to physically feel it start to take over my body,
What I hear, what I see, what I do and how I feel about it, in that current state of mind.
I have had 2-5 types multiple times, and each one after the last I try to understand it more but then get scared and take myself out.
The reason why I’m scared, is because I don’t know what it feels like to let myself completely go to the other side.
Once it starts happening I starts to scare me, and then I’m too scared to let it happen and be left in the darkness or what I’m more afraid of is seeing negative entities or spirits.
I have researched a bit and a fair bit has freaked me out a little too much..
I’m now desperate for help. It’s effecting my waking life, my emotions and my mind now…
Look forward to reading any advice or anyone helping in anyway.
Have you tried yet, going to that “other side?” If you think it’s going to affect you mentally, hang onto that, that’ll prevent it from affecting you mentally. If you think it’ll affect you physically, it probably shouldn’t, it’s a dream. If you think it might be scary, we’ll then it might be scary, but if you expect it, it might be less scary. (Sorry, I can’t help much.)
if you see this message, i would be more than happy to talk with you and help you out the best i can. i suffered sleep paralysis for several decades (at least once a week) before i learned how to deal. my email is [email protected] if you want to chat about it!
stop adding these spooky images ):
Why the hell do you keep adding scary images to these articles, you’re putting people reading it in the exact wrong mind set to try out lucid dreaming, common sense ffs
Thanks for your comment Phuck U. Sorry if it creates the wrong direction, I’ve removed the scary images, I hope it’s better now.
Had a sleep paralysis last night. it was pretty freaky. I almost fell back asleep during it but tried my hardest not to because I wanted to wake up and for it to be over. I was able to move my legs but not my chest head and arms. I did hear very weird noises. like a plane mixed in with random electronic noises. I tried to sit up and this produced a feeling of electricity in my body. it was a very unpleasant feeling. i quickly relaxed and let it pass. not something i want to go through again. Glad it was the first time it’s happened to me and hopefully the last.
When I have sleep paralysis my heart races even though I’m on medication for a racing heart. I can’t move any part of my body. The first episode I tried to ask for help. I can’t even grab the sheet. I just have to wait for it to stop . That feels like hours
Hey everyone. I’ve experienced severe sleep paralysis for 5 years now. I would say that I get it at least once a week. I’ve seen sleeping doctors and the only thing they prescribe me is anti-anxiety medication.
It’s not a route I want to go but does anyone have any recommendations as to what to do during an episode? I’ve tried everything!! Nothing seems to help.
Hey Amanda, I have been experiencing this since 2005 and that time I wasn’t aware of the sleeping phases at all. In my first experience I saw my soul leaving my body. Another experience was like, one day I woke up in middle of the night sweating, completely scared and told my sister I am gonna die they have come to take me away from all of you. I want to live. She hold my hand and I immediately fall asleep with peace. With such many experiences whenever I get any nightmare I learnt to take a deep breath and open my eyes wide open, divert my mind and stay awake for couple of minutes to avoid same experience and that work really well for me. Another thing I do before sleeping is wash my feet which helped me many of the times. One day I decided to see what happens if I let continue the sleep paralysis, I used to calm my mind and think it is just a dream and nothing can harm me(like it is explained in this article) and nightmare went away, trust me it worked really well for me(used to reprogram my subconscious mind with positive thoughts). Though it did not stop but at least I was less terrified in sleep paralysis. As I read this article today, I will definitely try to induce it to lucid dream and control my dreams in a better way. I would just wish if everyone can calm theirselves in sleep paralysing state. I think this a stage where dream controls us whereas we should take control of our dreams and induce it in our way. Give it a try it helped me!
its been like 6 years since i experienced my first sleep paralysis, at first i freaked out but after sometine i learnt to kinda control it ,and in 2020 it again started coming so rapidly that now sleep paralysis happens like each night and a few days ago i wanted to sleep but in half an hour only it happened like 6 times…but now it feels fun . i also tried having OBEs from a few years but failed,but from recent times they have started happening themselves,but whenever i kinda get out of my body i get sucked back( btw i am 17)
I’ve been experiencing sleep paralysis since I was 5 years old. For the first 15 years of my life I had no idea what was going on. Most of the time the dreams would be quite scary. Now that I do understand what’s happening I simply don’t fall asleep on my back. No one needs to buy books. Just don’t fall asleep on your back unless you want to experience sleep paralysis. I do sometimes just to mess with those “negative entities” and they are correct once you get past that part you can have some fun. You just need to keep you thoughts positive and use your imagination.
Hope this helps someone!