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I Thought I Was Dead

by Tori
(United States)

In my dream there was a set up to my being frozen; it's like my body knew I was about to experience sleep paralysis. The events aren't relevant until someone I know in my dream asks me to drink something out of a glass. After I drink it, they immediately start laughing and tell me it was poison. I fall onto a bed and that's when the dream starts morphing...I was in reality waking up but for a moment I thought I was still dreaming, that I was paralyzed because I was dying.

I became less part of the dream and more generally terrified because I could not move, I felt like I couldn't breathe. This continued on for what felt like forever but I realize was probably only a few minutes. I began to realize that I was just sleeping and remembered where I was and that lessened the panic, but once I was back in control of my body I was still shaky and scared.

I had never heard of sleep paralysis before and felt a lot better once I realized it was something that happened to people all over the place. I don't care how dumb it sounds, it was one of the scariest few moments of my life.

Kevin's Thoughts

Tori, what you describe does not sound dumb at all. In fact, it is what makes sleep paralysis such a terribly intriguing condition to be in. How the heck can waking up completely paralyzed in an otherwise healthy body be a normal thing???

As you highlight, the key to solace is in understanding the mechanisms that create sleep paralysis. The fact that our bodies are similarly paralyzed for around 2 hours each and every night during REM sleep, the stage of sleep where most of our dreaming occurs. Without that paralysis (or REM atonia, as it is called), we would run the risk of our bodies actually acting out our dreams. Sleep paralysis, then, is just this REM paralysis outlasting our sleep for a brief period. It can be utterly terrifying while being experienced (especially with a dream involving drinking poison leading up to it!), but with a bit of sleep knowledge we can empower ourselves with reason to combat that terror.

Fantastic thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

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Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

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