Chronic Sleep Paralysis: Controlling It

Growing up, hearing my mom's exaggerated yet entertaining stories of how she's seen ghosts and witches and even been abducted by aliens... I can only assume I've inherited her Sleep Paralysis. Not that I'm saying that I dont believe her, I simply understand how realistic and frightening these hallucinations can be. I myself have been having them since I was a kid. I'm 27 right now and I frequently undergo and experience sleep paralysis. Its no longer frightening (as it used to be) but more an inconvenience.

As a child I would have the most vivid, feverish, nightmares that involved hallucinations that my open eyed sleep produced. I didnt understand it until the passed few years. Sleep in the supine position (flat on your back facing up) leaves you more vulnerable to these experiences, based on my observations. Once your eyes open even in the slightest of ways, any potential "vision" you may have, will be interpreted into your dreams and become a living, breathing, nightmarish riddle of a hallucination.

This has happened to me far too many times and so once I did my research and came to terms with this condition I figured I'd stop the panic and start the enlightenment. I find it funny that we all get caught off guard and never understand that we're in a dream state. Its this phenomenon of dreams that makes these snapping out of your dream and into reality so shocking for your body as well as your psyche. Its like trying drive while the hand brake is in place. Your body is in rest mode and shuts off all muscle control (hand brake) once your brain figures out you're dreaming, it turns on the engine...the engine is running and is ready to drive but the hand brake is still on. So you're not going any where fast! This is usually the part that happens to most of us. In a dream that's just SO fantastical, so unbelievable, that you think..."no way, this has got to be a dream" your mind agrees with you and snaps you out of it. Meanwhile your body is still snoozing. That grey area between realities is what gets you. You slip into panic mode because you cant move, you're paralyzed and you cant fully understand why you're not awake. That fear is what troubles most of us... then the panic induces nightmarish visions right infront of us and the panic escalates because we cant get away or defend ourselves. Jeez why do we have to be so vulnerable in our sleep?!

Well, we've all experienced this right? What I've learned to do is, just go with it. Hard at first but once it becomes daily routine, the panic is replaced by subtle irritation. Its like, okay arms...time to move. I learned that if you fall into the fear, fear will come out at you full force and expel you into being awake by shear fright on its own. What I do is I make it work for myself. Fine, you wanna paralyze me into a hallucination fill fantasy world, okay, then I'll make it fantasy in my favor. Fly... you'd be surprised how amazing it is to do so. Have sex... its now a vivid possibility. Create... ever see Avatar?? Make your own world and live freely in it for the next remaining seconds you have in it before your brain tells your body, alright buddy, time to wake up.

Dont get me wrong, I dont figure it out all the time... so sometimes I'm still stuck in a room full of dark ominous figures trying to scare me awake. But when this does happen to me, I always try and make it work for me... no use and being afraid of yourself.
Shatteredboy Shatteredboy
26-30, M
2 Responses Jan 19, 2013

I loved this! Thanks for trying to help people cope with this phenomenon. When it happens to me, I lie there, tell myself "it's this crap again," calm myself down & then wait it out, but I find it fascinating that this happens to us.

I have had sleep paralysis and found it terrifying:(

oh it is... wouldnt want no one to experience it. It fools you into thinking and believing that your reality is morbidly twisted in such a way that it makes you question anyone and everyone around you. Then waking up and seeing that you are in fact, all alone.

My experience was being wide awake but unable to move