We all have seen horror movies, they aren't scary at all. How about nightmares, yeah they do make us run for our life. But how many of you have been through the horrors of Sleep Paralysis.
I guess many, only you may not know it by name. It is a situation in which one is awake or wakes up, sometimes eyes open, but is unable to move a single muscle and starts to experience horrifying presence sometimes even hallucinations. Many have experienced it, often are the experience good ones too.
But how does it even happen and why?
Sleep is the state when the brain deactivates major voluntary functions and enters into the deepest parts of the mind and subconscious mind and also does many maintenance activities.
Well to prevent unwanted activities and harm, the brain first deactivates major voluntary functions, called sleep paralysis and then proceeds to enter REM (Rapid Eye Movement), the state of deep sleep with conscious mind shut off too.
Well sometimes it happens so, we are paralyzed but remain awake and the dream starts which had to happen in REM. You are on the verge of entering your subconscious and are stuck and can't even exit. It's like drowning half-way, you can breath but not without water entering too.
So you are awake, eyes open and a nightmare starts, and it's not just seeing or hearing things, actually those two are not there mostly. It is also about feeling things, smelling, tasting, being touched, and gravity and everything you sense in real, only its all random and irrational. In such state, some senses are asleep and some awake. The ones sleeping are dreaming and the ones awake are sensing reality, thus it's a waking dream.
Not even move a finger, and it happens to everyone people, usually for a bit while falling asleep and we don't remember anything of it until someday we get stuck in it. We can get stuck while waking up too. In one such event, I exited a nightmare directly into sleep paralysis and was stuck for few minutes, it was the most terrifying of experience.
In which one enters REM before sleep paralysis, and thus reacts to everything in the dreams physically. Some are partially paralyzed while some are not, and thus some just utter words while other take a ride.
Most of the people who have experienced it felt the presence of someone or something around them. Most say that the entity was right there on them sitting on their chest and it was heavy, and it was touching them with sharp things. Some have even claimed alien abduction based on sleep paralysis experiences.
And it's seen in the form of art and literature by many prominent artists. Many people with high brain activity, sleep deprived, with some mental disorder, in past or present and/or on drugs experience this quite often.
Sleep paralysis is not always a bad and terrifying experience, like sleep walking, it can happen partially too with different combinations of different senses being either awake or sleep and what the sleeping ones are dreaming and thus different experiences coming up.