beyond my last post, I wanted to put information in here about what interests me most and random interestings of the week.

This past week I have ran into more stress than usual. And I with a lot of people know what happens to them when they feel very overwhelmed and under pressure. Loss of concentration, loss of sleep, appetite suppressed or heightened, many, many physical or mental affects. But for me there’s one thing that stands out. I encounter this every once in a while but with negative emotions its something that happens daily. Sleep paralysis.

What is that?, you say. Well, simply put its natural protection mechanism that prevents you from acting out your dreams. It affects most of your body, with the exception of your eyes with Rapid Eye Movement, your chest for breathing easily and toes, fingertips and lips. Its occurs during the sleep-wake border, coming and going. Scientifically its REM atonia, a natural process which happens to all people in every sleep cycle. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement (known for dreaming) and atonia means lack of muscle tension. It has been linked to disorders such as narcolepsy, migraines, anxiety disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea. During these episodes your mind starts to wake while your body is paralyzed. Often causes hallucinations from sight or sound, pressures on the chest, feelings of being watched or not alone.

A lot of sleep paralysis is associated with evil spirits, alien abductions or monsters. Feelings of chest restriction and difficulty breathing has been reported. May be due to the panic and fear of consciousness without being able to move, so you find yourself literally living your nightmares or dreams. Though, this isn’t something new. In many myths and folklore there have been instances of sleep paralysis.

In Scandinavia folklore it is caused by a woman called a mare which is a type of succubi. She is carried during her sleep to sit on the chest of sleepers and cause nightmares.

Within the Chinese culture they know it as guǐ yā chuáng), which literally translate into “ghost pressing on body”.

Going to Fiji we have a demon who comes to eat you. Usually respected as a relative who has recently passed that will come to possess the body for unfinished business.

In Japanese culture, sleep paralysis is referred to as kanashibari (金縛り), literally “bound or fastened in metal”.

In Turkey, we have the dijin. Who holds the victim down and strangles them. Believed the only way to ward off the demon is to pray to Allah while reciting specific lines of the Qur’an.

In New Guinea, people refer to this as Suk Ninmyo, believed to originate from sacred trees that use human essence to sustain its life. The trees are said to feed on human essence during night as to not disturb the human’s daily life, but sometimes people wake unnaturally during the feeding, resulting in the paralysis.

In African cultures its known to them as, “the witch riding your back”. And many others with different reasons, attackers, and defenses against them.

I remember dozens of states of paralysis. First, I’ll start with the ones I had when I was a child. Nothing too exciting here but I would feel someone tickling me. With eyes barely being able to see there was never anything there. As I got older, the nightmarish kind would be my most prominent in my mid-teens. I remember numerous them of a black shadow either at the foot of my bead or knelt on the side. The feeling of my body being paralyzed also made my dream body less controllable. Trying to move but just falling over, screaming with only a whisper coming out, and banging on the walls with little force in hopes someone would wake me. A specific type of episode I would have with this figure, one with seeing it and another just feeling its presence, I would wake up in different rooms. Now, let me say that sometimes when this happens you can literally feel things from degrees of heat, textures, and pressures.
The one in which only the presence was there I had this yearning to levitate. So I started lifting from my chest and it was so painful I thought lifting with my feet would be better. As my legs reached a 45 degree angle I felt every individual finger of two hands grabbing my ankles. After a suspended moment, I was ripped from my bed, up the stairs to the attic and placed in the small walk-in closet. Everything went black. When I “woke up” still inside the paralytic state, I was in that walk-in closet, I ran down the stairs, once again darkness taking over.

That was bizarre but I know when I’m in a paralytic state and that what’s around me isn’t real. I still may be frightened but I know it’s just a nightmare. But there are the ones that are so very real, I get so freaked out. Not that they’re scary mind you but they are just so real. It’s always really mundane actually, like I have already gotten up to take a shower, than I actually wake up to being asleep the whole time. Others occur by doing household tasks like the dishes or cleaning the bathroom. That when I truly wake up, I thought I did the task, took another nap and woke up. Then seeing the task not completed I have to scratch my head and think.

There are ones where I hear full conversations from people that live within the house but are not actually home at the time. Hearing my mom cooking, the cat scratching at the door, the tv on. It’s these that I have a hard time telling if they are dreams are not because its within my home so I feel safe, with people that live there, and daily tasks so it appears to be totally normal.

I had an episode a week ago and sometimes they feel so strong that the memory of them stays with me. It’s not very long but I was crawling up concrete stairs. As I came to the middle the bottom half of the stairs went in making the point where I was the apex of the now formed v on its side. I could literally feel the concrete on my knees like I did when I was a kid playing with chalk on the driveway. My hands had a hard time making a grip and I was starting to panic but then I said, “I know what this is, it’s sleep paralysis.” As soon as I said that I was able to sit on the stairs with ease, everything went black, and I woke up.

I have been slowly trying to control my sleep paralysis in order to turn them into lucid dreaming or OBEs. If anyone has any tips or stories about their experiences, I would love to hear them. I will be creating a follow up post about lucid dreaming from sleep paralysis.

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