Sleep Paralysis

"Finally let’s look at those dreams where you think you may, in fact, not be dreaming – those experiences where you feel an evil presence is in your room or hovering near you and your heart is pounding with intense fear and you can’t move or shout out. What do these dreams or experiences mean? [...]

Dreams such as these cause your body to go into fear response, so your body releases adrenalin, your heart beats faster, you break out in a cold sweat and – often – you freeze, unable to move. These are natural physiological responses to fright. Sometimes you even wake up partially, opening your eyes while your mind is still dreaming. At this point something really interesting happens. Because your eyes are open, images of your dark bedroom are arriving at your brain at the same time as your brain is also seeing your dream, so, rather confused, your brain comes to one conclusion: all of this must be taking place out there, in the room! So you see your dream presence apparently in your bedroom. Often this is enough to completely frighten you awake and that is when the presence disappears but the sweat lives on. You may still feel the freeze and be unable to shout out or move.

Even if you don’t open your eyes, a frightening dream can sometimes jump you out of your dream too fast while your physical body is still in safe sleeping mode. Think about it: when you fall asleep you have all those active dreams but your body is more or less still, apart from the odd twitch and your rapidly moving eyes under your eyelids. This is the body’s way of going into safe mode: your muscles are quietened so that you don’t get up and act out your dreams and hurt yourself. But when your mind wakes up before your body – such as in a very frightening dream – your physical body can’t shout or move because it is still in safe mode."

[© Jane Teresa Anderson, January 2005]

Hey thank you for finally someone explaining me how this thing goes. I finally have a valid, composed explanation of sleep paralysis, state that I have been experiencing for a long time, before I ever thought that such things can exist.

Anyway, this comes because I had a terrorizing dream that I was dead, last night. I dreamt that before I died, I poked someone's both eyes with a pencil, in self defence. After that, there was a contest and although I fairly participated, the team of rich people won. I really needed the prize [I don't quite remember what it was, but I was very disturbed], so I went to the place where there were 6 or 7 white limos, waiting for each contestant. I entered one and I stayed NEXT to the driver, who had shoulder-length curly hair. As he started the car, I realized that he was taking me somewhere else, so I told him to let me go, but all he said is "No, in fact I will quite enjoy this ride" so I opened the door as the car was in full speed and I jumped.

Then I found myself already dead, but talking to the people around me. They were calming me down, telling me how they will bury me and how my body will start to decay in a few days and I was terrified. I was telling them that I don't want to die, but they told me "It's too late, you are already dead, you know..". I never really dreamt that I was dead before.

I normally don't discuss my dreams here, but this one stuck with me.

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