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Thread: Sleep Paralysis

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alice View Post
    Oh, this is very frightening, and it has happened to me a about three times in the past few years. But usually I try to push past it in order to get back into the dream state. I can also control my dreams, so does that mean I am a lucid dreamer?
    I never personally experienced sleep paralysis. But my hubby told me he has. He said it's a horrible feeling to be trapped between being asleep and awake while being unable to speak, or move. Very sad
    Not all in life is at it appears to be.

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  3. #12
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    What is truly fascinating about sleep paralysis, is the consistency of the experience about time and space and even across different cultures. These things must really represent archetypes.

    Experiences of sleep paralysis make you sound like a psycho and I rarely talked about this, especially in real life but a few years ago, I had it for a few years and it was very common, happening probably at least once a month. While that might not sound like much to someone that hasn't experienced it, it's certainly enough for a lifetime.

    The first few times are horrible and you are literally frightened to death, especially if you have never heard of the phenomenon before, which I hadn't. You basically "wake up" on your back and can't move at all, it feels like your arms and legs are tied to the bed but you can think.

    But if that weren't bad enough, you feel choked, your chest feels heavy and compressed. Then the hallucinations start to set in. For me it was always either of three things: the hag/witch(more commonly), the black man(not an African but a literally black humanoid figure)/shadow person and the evil grinning face. Of these three, the hag was the most common.

    The hag sits on your chest, chokes you and "screams in your ear"(or so you think). You want to scream, too but you can't. This lasts for what feels like an eternity and then, after an almost superhuman effort of will (it feels like you're twisting and wriggling but you don't actually move at all), you wake up fully, sweated, frightened. And if you don't get up fast enough, it might directly happen again.

    The black man and the evil grinning face had the usual symptoms, although at least they didn't scream at you, but the evil face simply hovered in the middle of my room as just an almost transparent grimace without body (well, essentially a ghost), with the most evil grin you can imagine, appearing to laugh at you (although it doesn't move its "mouth"). The black man stands close to you and additionally chokes your neck.
    These were less common experiences, compared to the hag. Thinking about it in hindsight, it might have to do with the amount of light in my room, when there was enough light from the outside shining into my room, it was mostly the evil face or the black man appearing but if it was almost entirely dark, which it usually was, it was the hag.

    After the first few times you learn to control it and how to wake up faster by your own will. It actually simply bored me eventually and I thought "Oh come on, not this shit again. But oh well, it will go away in a few seconds."
    If I had been religious, I'd probably have thought it to be a demon or something, though. Doubtless it's the origin of the original literal nightmare or, in German, Albtraum, of old.

    In general this seems to happen when you're under a lot of mental stress, lack sleep in general and your sleeping position also influences it extremely. The worst seems to be falling asleep on your left side because there's physical pressure on your heart, the second worst is sleeping on your back (in which position you invariably "wake up" when having sleep paralysis). The best for me was falling asleep on my right side, although it happened there too. Best would generally probably be sleeping on your belly but I can't fall asleep like that.

    Thankfully, the whole phenomenon eventually disappeared as suddenly as it had appeared and it never came back since.

    It's probably a glimpse of what a long time locked-in syndrome must be like and having experienced sleep paralysis(which only lasts a few (dozen) seconds or something) I'm convinced that keeping people alive in a locked-in syndrome in a hospital for years on end is nothing short of a disgusting crime while pretending to care.


    To give you a rough idea of the hallucinations:


    The hag:

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    The black man:


    Click image for larger version. 

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    I can't find a good image for the evil face(this doesn't actually seem to be a common experience for others) but this comes close but more transparent and without body:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #13
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    Interesting testimony, Jut. I've only had sleep paralysis a couple of times, and only once did it induce hallucinations. Some odd creature was sitting in the corner of my bedroom, resembling a goblin of some sort, and looking over in my direction. I also experience the whole thing in a third-person perspective, viewing myself and the room from above the bed. It was a scary experience, and I didn't feel quite comfortable about going to sleep again for some days. Can't imagine what it would feel like to experience it regularly.
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    I've never experienced sleep paralysis but have heard so much about it. The photos here by Juthunge look very frightening. That video of the goblin at the bottom was freaky.
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    I use to experience sleep paralysis on a regular basis. I'd be interested to learn why the hypnopompic hallucinations are so vivid? I've seen both the macabre face and the hag among other bizarre things. I've never really found a satisfactory explanation for why this is in the scientific literature available on the subject.

  10. #16
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    Between seven and 15 years ago I used to get the black humanoid figure in my dreams all the time.

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    A BBC television play called Penda's Fen from the seventies contains a scene which gives a very realistic impression of sleep paralysis. The entire play is worth watching and evokes a long since disappeared England where the landscape was imbued with an undercurrent of mysticism. It's the sort of thing which would never be broadcast on modern British television with its emphasis on smug interracial harmony.

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    I seem to have more hypnagogic hallucinations where you hallucinate before or during the point of falling asleep. I remember seeing myself fall off a cliff once while nodding on the couch. I woke so startled (straight up) with my heart racing that I thought I literally fell from it. It took a few seconds to orientate. Creative writers and artists sometimes use these experiences for their works by holding a ball in the hand while one falls asleep or something heavy. As it drops to the floor with a thud, the person awakens from the slumber with a vivid memory or image. Some people claim to see spirits or ghosts since they have the hallucination part when falling asleep. Others may experience microsleep that occurs within seconds to a short 3 minutes and not know that they were sleep.

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