more coming later
Sleep paralysis is a circumstance in which your body is completely paralyzed (except for your breathing, heartrate, eyes and eyelids), yet you remain fully lucid.
Sleep paralysis generates the stuff of nightmarish myth.
The cholinergic nervous system, which is controlled by the brain neurotransmitter acetylcholine, helps control body movement, such as sleepwalking, tossing and turning, and general muscle activity, during sleep.
-- Robert Haas, Eat Smart, Think Smart 0-06-109234-7 page 116.
Paralysis while asleep is the normal condition. The body secretes hormones which relax certain muscles and prevent you from acting out your dreams. Sleep paralysis happens when the mind wakes up before they wear off; a person remains paralyzed although they are fully lucid.
A side effect of this paralysis is that your bed feels a lot more comfortable in the morning when you wake up than it did when you first got into it. It hasn't changed, your body is just less sensitive.
Times when paralysis is not effective ∞
Some people have experienced times when they have moved during sleep.
I have physically had at least two such occurrences:
- Waking up with a sliver under one of my fingernails.
Waking up with sore arms on one of my earlier lucid dreams, from "swimming" (through the air).
I have spoken in my sleep when under stress and am aware of a number of other circumstances where stages and moods of sleep do not always equal paralysis.
Names and stories ∞
- Ag Rog, Canada (Newfoundland): A visit from the old hag. (Ag Rog)
kanashibari, Japan (金縛り, かなしばり, lit. "bound with metal")
- Other possible names: Bogeyman
- Incubus and Succubus perhaps..
Nikola Tesla's well-attended lectures involved extraordinary experiments with electrical apparatus, and whom some saw as a sinister figure.
- Will Murray, "Behind the Mask of Nyarlathotep", ''Lovecraft Studies'' No. 25 (Fall 1991); cited in Robert M. Price, ''The Nyarlathotep Cycle'', p. 9.
Related Effects ∞
Narcolepsy may have links, but I kindof doubt it.
There is an opposite disorder where people don't get paralysed enough as they go to sleep. In a minor case this results in twitching and kicking while dreaming, but in a major case they can get up and walk around.
See also Hypnic jerk.
I wonder if this is why dogs kick when they sleep sometimes. =)
There have also been reports where people have undergone surgery and have remained conscious although paralysed. Some have reported experiencing the pain of surgery! There feels, to me, to be some slight connection here.. perhaps just in the body's or mind's ability to defeat the effects of paralysis.
a note to esr ∞
Sleep Paralysis and Associated Hypnagogic and Hypnopompic Experiences - University of Waterloo
- Periodic Paralysis Resource Center
- What is Sleep Paralysis or Isolated Sleep Paralysis?
- Sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming
Secondary Resources ∞
- https://web.archive.org/web/20200226094810/https://web.stanford.edu/~dement/paralysis.html [ 1 ] was www.stanford.edu/~dement/paralysis.html
Some people's posts on the subject
- thread is dead, check out this, but you have to search for the other links on archive.org
- Allison Stein - Sleepless Nights
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