Those who have experienced a lucid dream are most likely going to tell you that they’ve also experienced sleep paralysis. Why is this? This is because sleep paralysis occurs when you’re aware you’re in the process of either falling to sleep, or waking up. Whilst it can be a confronting experience, and often traumatizing; it should not be feared as it’s a completely natural experience to endeavor. Similarly to lucid dreaming, sleep paralysis occurs when you’re fully aware that you’re dreaming, but it occurs when you either wake up or when you’re in the initial sleeping phase. The only difference is you are unable to move as you experience sleep paralysis.
It is true that the people who have experienced sleep paralysis were unable to move for a certain amount of time. This is because when you sleep, you enter a paralysis stage which prevents you from acting out in your sleep. So yes, your body becomes ‘paralyzed’ every time you sleep. What would you do if you had a nightmare of being killed, or even killing someone yourself, but you did not enter the paralysis phase? It would simply mean that you would act out those scenes in real life just as if you were dreaming. As a result, the body becomes paralyzed naturally to avoid these situations… for obvious reasons. This also means that you are unable to cry for help, which can result in a terrifying experience. Some may experience terrifying noises, whereas some may feel the presence of something “evil”, or even BOTH! It may leave you helpless, and terribly shaken; whereas some may enjoy the hallucination experiences.
So, the main question for sleep paralysis… how can you avoid entering into the sleep paralysis stage? Or, how can it be managed if you happen to find yourself victimized of sleep paralysis? These questions have been answered by those with experience, and can give you a great insight of what to do, and when to do it.
Avoiding Sleep Paralysis
The main reason behind sleep paralysis is as a result of entering into the REM stage of sleeping prematurely. This is often the case of sleep deprivation, and therefore it is essential to maintain a healthy and consistent sleeping pattern in order to dismiss any future sleep paralysis episodes. In addition, sleeping on your side is a proven method to help prevent sleep paralysis. Of course, you cannot force yourself to sleep on your side when you fall asleep, which is why you should find something, and stitch/sew/glue the item(s) onto your back so if you do manage to roll onto your back, the item making it uncomfortable will force you to go back onto your side. An example of an item could be pencils, a shoe, tennis balls – just about anything as long as it won’t damage your back in the instance of lying on it. There are several other ways you can prevent sleep paralysis from occurring as you sleep or wake up. Small things, such as eating healthy, exercising regularly, and relaxing. Yes – this might mean eating less junk food, less video games; but it’s for the better anyway!
If this doesn’t help you avoid sleep paralysis and keeps persisting, it’s time to see a doctor who can assist you professionally, such as with medication or other means to stop sleep paralysis from happening to you while you sleep.
Managing Sleep Paralysis
Okay – at times regardless of your diet, exercise, etc. you still may find yourself in a sleep paralysis situation. Again – it should not be feared as it’s a natural (but often scary) phase you may go through as you sleep. It should also be mentioned that you are under no physical threat as you enter the sleep paralysis phase.
Departing from the sleep paralysis stage may seem un-achievable, but can be achieved with focus and determination. Here is what you should do if you’re stuck in the sleep paralysis stage. Firstly, you should try and move if possible. Even if it’s the slightest finger movement – it should help you wake up within an instant. This includes eye movement; rapidly move your eyes around to assist your waking stage of sleep paralysis. Next, you should focus on your breathing. Learn how to control your breathing, and study/perform techniques to assist with your awakening. Lastly, if these steps don’t work, try imagining yourself moving instead of actually doing it yourself.
Additionally, talking about sleep paralysis with those who are able to empathize with you may put your mind at ease knowing you’re not the only one going through this state of dreaming. Keep record of your sleep paralysis experiences and finding the triggers will ensure that you’re well on your way to overcoming and dismissing sleep paralysis from your dreams! Obviously, once you find out what’s triggering your sleep paralysis, avoid whatever it is at all costs, unless, of course, you enjoy these experiences!
(About the Author: Kerry McGlone is a lucid dreaming enthusiast who writes over at dreamlucidly.info)