Question: Hi There!
My name is Christina, I’m 30 years old and I have had sleep paralysis episodes since I was 14 years old. They first started a couple of weeks after my father passed away. I can still remember the first time it happened. I had never heard of sleep paralysis before and I was sleeping on the couch one afternoon and woke up completely paralysed as if some unknown force was holding me down. It was the scariest moment of my life!During that time, I don’t know if it was from the stress of my father passing away but it happened quite regularly and I was so scared I would tell my brother and sister to give me a nudge if I fell asleep during the day and they were nearby or at least if they could see my eyelids blinking.I eventually researched my symptoms and once I learned more about sleep paralysis the idea didn’t terrify me like it used to. Also, it was happening less, maybe once every couple of months or so. Still, when I was in this state it could be very scary. I usually hear disembodied voices near my ear though I usually can’t understand what they are saying, also I sometimes hear something that I can only describe as an electrical humming sound. When I hear this electrical hum I usually feel it wash over my body as well in waves. Sometimes I think I can hear my family members walking and talking around me doing normal everyday things but when I eventually wake up they aren’t there.After many years these episodes have become less worrying and more fascinating. Especially now that they don’t always happen as often. It could be a few months and I won’t have any sleep paralysis and then I will
have a few episodes in a row, especially when I’m exhausted or stressed. One day last year I woke up paralysed, was experiencing the electrical hum and thought I would try to envision something purposefully and see how it felt. I don’t know why I thought of it but I imagined making out with a celebrity crush.It felt so real in my mind that all of a sudden I could feel him right beside me as if he was outside of my mind. It was strange but also funny and a fun experiment. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit that but I thought I would share it because I haven’t heard of anyone else enjoying sleep paralysis.Now every time I have it I try to imagine a cool place I’d like to visit, stay calm and let myself fall back asleep and try to lucid dream. It usually works and I really look forward to it now. Sleep paralysis is the best way for me to jump into a lucid dream or cool hallucination and I really have lots of fun with it. It is great not to be scared by it anymore but to feel empowered by it instead.Kevin: Such a pleasure to read this Christina, thanks for sharing. It’s a wonderful perspective to have on sleep paralysis and definitely the exception, though you’re not the only one. I think you’d have a great time checking out the writing of Ryan Hurd, whose recently published book on sleep paralysis is all about a paradigm shift in the way we view sleep paralysis–turning fear into curiosity, anxiety into enlightenment. Great stuff in there on riding SP into lucid dreams and OBEs as well. Here’s also an article from his DreamStudies website on turning sleep paralysis episodes into enriching out of body experiences.Enjoy!Kevin