By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness
(Continued from part 1)
SleepEducation.org points out that being awake in bed unable to move is a horrifying experience accompanied by fear, anxiety, strange sensations and experiences described as hallucinations (1).
Again, this description pertains more to ISP than the less common RISP.
Apparently, the ‘hallucinations’ can even happen if the body isn’t paralyzed upon awakening (1).
SP starts to appear during your teenage years and becomes more prominent during your 20s and 30s (1). It can follow you into later years (1), but it’s not a significant health risk (1).
SP Experiences: Joe’s Dream
Before we learn more about Peter Tosh’s sleep paralysis, let’s look at some accounts from others who’ve experienced this terrifying phenomenon.
Our first story doesn’t detail a scary encounter with demons. It’s more of an introduction into what sleep paralysis can be like for people who experience occasional ISP, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
The author, Joe, noted that while his experience wasn’t terrible, he never wanted to go through it again.
Joe’s experience began as a dream he was having of a conversation with a friend about a girl he liked (3). She had just broken up with her boyfriend, and Joe was telling his friend that he wanted to ask her out (3).
He turned around in the dream to see her standing behind him, shocked at his confession (3).
He too was shocked at having his secret exposed, and he remembers falling backward from the shock as if he were fainting (3). This made him aware he was dreaming, because he never faints in waking life (3). He immediately woke up but could hardly open his eyes (3).
He felt like he was spinning and couldn’t control his eye movement or move his arms, which felt like they weighed a thousand pounds (3). His ears were ringing, and he grunted a few times as he attempted unsuccessfully to get out of bed (3).
He couldn’t control his vision despite his attempts to look around his dimly lit room, which made him fearful (3). He wasn’t afraid of seeing demons or being held down, but he was afraid of his inability to move (3).
He decided after a while to stop fighting it and drift back to sleep, and the moment he began to drift off, his eyes snapped open and he was fully awake, alert and in control of his body (3). He was in a peaceful state and his muscles felt euphoric (3).
He likens the feeling to the effect of pain medication after surgery (3).
By the end of it all, Joe remembered he needed to get rest for an important exam and promptly went back to sleep (3). The experience was ‘strange and confusing’ for him, and thanks to the internet he was able to determine he had experienced sleep paralysis (3).
Joe’s is an obvious case of ISP, and thankfully for him there were no ‘hallucinations’ involved. Others aren’t so lucky.
“Just Coming In…”
Chrissy Stockton at Thought Catalog compiled fifteen stories from people who’ve experienced sleep paralysis. Some of them are strange, some unsettling, some fascinating and some beautiful. The first on Chrissy’s list is undeniably unsettling:
The person who shared this story has experienced sleep paralysis more than once, but he or she has never witnessed the ‘shadow’ common in SP cases (4).
One morning he was lying on his left side when he began to feel pressure in his chest (4).
He started to panic when he realized he was paralyzed (4), and he heard something whisper in his ear, “just coming in to say goodnight” (4).
He then felt like he was being pushed toward the edge of his bed (4). He described the experience with two simple words: terrifying shit (4).
Extreme Effort to Break Free
One reader’s repeated SP experiences are similar to Joe’s. He/she is also fortunate not to see demonic entities, but he lays awake and aware of his surroundings yet paralyzed with ‘extreme effort’ required to wake up the rest of his body (4).
He has to start by wiggling his toe and building momentum throughout his body, and it takes an enormous amount of energy (4). If his effort isn’t consistent he has to start over (4).
Two Golden Men
One reader reports that sleep paralysis was the best experience of her mother’s life (4).
Her mom told her that when she was younger, she woke up to find herself paralyzed and her room ‘lit up’ with two men dressed in white and gold sitting at the edge of her bed playing musical instruments (4).
One of the men was playing a guitar and the other a wind instrument she didn’t recognize (4). She felt immense joy and peace while this was happening and she wanted more than anything for the men to stay (4).
When she was finally able to move her head, she heard one man say to the other that she was awake and it was time for them to go. They vanished (4).
(Read Part 3 here.)
(1) “Sleep Paralysis – Overview & Facts”, SleepEducation.org, n.d. – http://www.sleepeducation.org/sleep-disorders-by-category/parasomnias/sleep-paralysis/overview-facts
(2) “What is Sleep Paralysis?” Sleep Paralysis World, n.d. – http://www.sleepparalysisworld.com/
(3) Joe from Minnesota, “Very Interesting Sleep Paralysis Experience”, End Your Sleep Deprivation, n.d. – http://www.end-your-sleep-deprivation.com/very-interesting-sleep-paralysis-experience.html
(4) Stories compiled by Chrissy Stockton, “15 People On Their Experience With The ‘Sleep Paralysis Demon’”, Thought Catalog, January 3, 2014 – http://thoughtcatalog.com/christine-stockton/2014/01/15-people-on-their-experience-with-the-sleep-paralysis-demon/
(Other sources embedded in report)