One night, I figured out a whole new concept of sleep. It was quite scary, so frightening that I forgot when the first experience was, but sleep paralysis has been a quite fascinating experience when it is controlled. However, I could not control it the first time I discovered it, and it was petrifying. One night I discovered that laying on your back for a long time before going to sleep can trigger a response in your brain. This response caused me to wake up hours later with no ability to move, talk, or call for help, in fact it was physically impossible to even say a word. At that time, I genuinely thought that it was the end of me as I could barely breathe in the process. I could feel my heart starting to beat in lightning fast speed. I felt an unusual cold breeze, this was probably from sleeping next to the window, but I did not like the fact that I was aware of it. Finally, the sounds were unbelievable from TV static and some atypical beeping. I also opened my eyes and could see this yellow “demon” flying in my face which later turned out to be just the sun glaring in my face. Now, since some of the brain is unconscious during all of this, I thought this was all real instead of just being a hallucination. I eventually became normal but I knew something was up. I could not tell my parents (never did) because I was not sure if it was even real, so it was just me and the research.
I slept well but was paranoid, at the time I did not know what this phenomenon was. For a week I made sure I was a side sleeper until I found what I was looking for. Apparently, I went through sleep paralysis. During the deepest part of sleep, rapid eye movement, known as REM. The body has the ability to freeze itself so the sleeper will not have to “act out” their dreams. However, there is a slight chance the process will be disturbed to make the sleeper wake up in the middle of this period while still in a physically unconscious state. The experience only lasts for a couple of seconds but I imagine for some, it can feel like an eternity. I learned it was possible to lucid dream in this situation with the added unconsciousness. But I personally still cannot perfect it. I still go through sleep paralysis to this day. However, since I am so used to it I can become aware of my surroundings and let nature take the course, which makes the phenomenon more bothersome than scary. The concept I really find scary is not the fact that it’s impossible to move, but the thought of not being able to physically scream. The feeling of being held down with no one being able to help you. Along with opening your eyes to experience vivid hallucinations that seem so real if someone is not aware.
I also learned that just because someone sleeps differently does not mean the person is safe, no one is safe. Side sleepers and stomach sleepers can still experience it, however, it isn’t as frightening or common. That night I learned a whole new situation in the sleep experience, hopefully one day I can be an expert lucid dreamer.