Sleep paralysis is one of the most terrifying experiences I have ever had, and unfortunately for me, I've had quite a number of these episodes. It usually occurs when I've had a restless night, around 4.00 a.m. At the time, it feels natural, and it is hugely distressing.
As far as I know, I'm awake, and I am paralysed and can't move. Sometimes it feels like something sinister is holding me down. I try screaming in this stage of being, but nothing happens, then I try to thrash around, and nothing happens. I have learned over the years to tell myself it's not real and all I have to do is move my toe or a finger or even blink. That always works, and I am then released from this horrible experience.
I once remember one of these experiences with a friend sleeping in the same room with me. I tried screaming out to her, 'help me,' but I was frozen, and nothing could come out. As soon as I escaped from this horrible experience, I was able to sit up and wake up my friend. I was terrified. My friend calmed me down, and I eventually went back to sleep.
What is sleep paralysis?
Some cultures believe sleep paralysis is a supernatural phenomenon, including aliens, demons and vengeful spirits. Whilst the medical industry conclude that, in most cases, sleep paralysis is simply a sign that your body is not moving smoothly through the stages of sleep.
Out of Body Experiences
Another episode I often have, and too many to count, is an Out of Body Experience. This can happen during the night or early in the morning. I have written about these experiences more in this post about Out of Body Experiences.
Earlier this week, I had another strange experience, and it was the first time I've ever experienced anything like this on waking up. In saying that, I have had strange hallucinations coming out of general anaesthetics; however, this experience was different from that. I had another restless night, managed to fall back asleep around 5.00 a.m. and was in a dream state that I would describe as quite lucid. I woke myself up out of that dream, and as I opened my eyes, I saw a spider as giant as the span of my hand slowly crawling across the ceiling. I noted its legs were lifting relatively high as it was meticulously on my ceiling.
I sleep with a mosquito net becau