Sleeping doesn't always bring dreams, and when they do come, it's not always pleasant. But one experience can be so terrifying that it can scare people from going back to sleep once it happens. This is sleep paralysis and its nightmarish hallucinations.
What is sleep paralysis?
The first step of taking control of something we fear is to understand it, so, let's understand! Sleep paralysis is not some evil phenomena that just hits us with no rhyme or reason. In fact, sleep paralysis is a very crucial element of sleep, as it is the mind's way of protecting the body from being harmed when you act out your dreams.
When our ancestors first climbed trees to stay away from predators, sleep paralysis served to save their lives by not having them move unnecessarily and fall off the tree. These days, sleep paralysis makes sure we don't suddenly punch our night light when we dream.
The fear of sleep paralysis comes from one crucial fact: that while sleep paralysis affects most of the body (with the exception of the lungs so one can breathe) it does not affect the eyes. And this is where the nightmarish experiences come in.
Sleep paralysis switches on and off around the time when we are crossing from being asleep to being awake. And because of this, sometimes people tend to wake up while the sleep paralysis “switch” hasn't been turned off yet. It is a very disconcerting at best, horrifying at worst, feeling to experience being awake and not being able to move.
In the mildest cases, it simply causes the body to not be able to move for a few seconds or minutes. In the worst cases, the sleep paralysis includes terrifying hallucinations, which science has attributed to causing many reports of ghost sightings while in bed, alien abductions, and many more.
And because experiencing visions and hallucinations are part of the lucid dreaming experience, people who associate it with the hallucinations caused by sleep paralysis, and end up being turned off from trying.
So if this is a very real and terrifying risk, what should we do?
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Fear is the mind killer
The best way to deal with sleep paralysis, and the hallucinations that may come from it, is first to be able to stem your fear. Once you find yourself in a sleep paralysis state, it is very important NOT to panic. Especially since, and this is very important, it is the same fear that one experiences in sleep paralysis that causes the hallucinations!
In a sleep paralysis state, your mind may already be in a half-dreaming stage. But if the conscious mind (that is, the one that is awake and unable to move) panics, this can cause the part of the mind that is still dreaming to conjure up horrifying visions and images. It does this because the mind will try to find “explanations” to what is happening and why you are feeling fear, to make sense of what is going on.
Oftentimes this is based on your own personal or cultural beliefs. Whereas the Japanese might find themselves hallucinating a kanashibar demon sitting on their chest, the Swede might see “the old hag”, or the American might see aliens trying to experiment on them.
But if you can recognize sleep paralysis when it occurs, and calm down while it is happening, not only will you greatly reduce the chance of experiencing terrifying hallucinations, you will also be able to deal with them should they still happen (since you are aware of your situation and know that what you see isn't real!)
Most importantly however, is that sleep paralysis is actually a -very- important element of certain lucid dreaming techniques, and can easily lead to astral projections and out of body experiences should you be able to do it with good control. So don't be afraid of sleep paralysis! In fact, we have previously discussed many different lucid dreaming techniques as well as different tips on how to start lucid dreaming.
One effective way to stop nightmarish sleep paralysis from happening is to lucid dream. To help guide you in the lucid dream experience, listen to our most popular binaural beats track for lucid dreaming here.
Using a complex pattern of binaural beat and isochronic tone frequencies dedicated to help you achieve good sleep and have lucid dreams, this 8-hour music track is divided into four unique sections. In the first 2 hours we've used frequencies that range from 3-13Hz (Alpha-Theta range) to help calm your mind and feel deeply relaxed. There is a pleasurable feeling of floating and it will give effects such as stress reduction, relaxed awareness, release of serotonin, and an induction to sleep spindles as your mind and body allows itself into sleep. It also contains triggers for creativity and imagery and access to subconscious images as you doze off.
The second and third sections contain more of the Theta waves, which are also present in dreaming, sleep, deep meditation and creative inspiration. As you have already fallen asleep, the binaural beats tap into your subconsciousness as your mind prepares itself into a lucid dream state. The music is more steady so as not to interrupt your sleep.
The fourth and last section returns itself to the Alpha range with a mix of Theta and Delta. This is where deep sleep occurs and more often than not, the dream state. There is a decreased awareness of the physical world. This section also contains the Earth Resonance or Schumann Resonance, which will leave you feeling revitalized upon waking up.
Listen to this track now! And don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel here:
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