Lucid dreams and Sleep Paralysis

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ballen
Posts: 2
Joined: 05 Feb 2015 16:54

Lucid dreams and Sleep Paralysis

Postby ballen » 05 Feb 2015 19:50

Greetings everyone,

B Allen here, male, pushing 50, office worker type with a fairly normal routine. When I say 'normal' I mean I typically get up, go to work, come home, dinner, tv until time for bed around 9pm. On weekends I tend to sleep in and take naps unless otherwise gainfully employed in yard work or some sort of community activity.

As far as I can remember most of my dreams are lucid. I seem to know that I'm dreaming, just can't always do anything about it. Many of my dreams are the nightmare version where I'm confronted with a danger of some sort. These are usually dark, involve a person or an animal threatening me. Often I attack the threat, somewhat aware that it's a dream and that's when I wake up. Normally I'm yelling and throwing a punch or performing a 'stabbing action' when I awake (according to my wife). There have been a few times that I woke up from a nice dream and was able to resume it when I fell back to sleep. No idea how I did it.

Although it hasn't happened to me in about six years or so, I've experienced some really (what I consider) extreme sleep paralysis. So vivid that I did hallucinate and really thought I was on the brink of death. I've since learned that when it happens, I do realize what it is and force myself awake. I think that the reason I had them so much back then was that I rotated shifts where I work and slept pretty much anytime of the day. I was also pretty generous when I decided to sip some Kentucky Bourbon so my guess is that those two factors played a large part?

Anyway, that's about it for me. Look forward to hearing from you, what your thoughts are.

B

SophiaUk
Posts: 1
Joined: 05 Feb 2015 18:54

Re: Lucid dreams and Sleep Paralysis

Postby SophiaUk » 05 Feb 2015 21:52

Hello

I'm new here saw this forum as i was searching for reasons to explain the strange dreams/ night terrors I've been having.

I'm 23 years old and have been struggling over the past few months with what i now think are lucid dreams. They usually happen after i wake up from a deep sleep and then go back to sleep an hour or so later, they usually consist of having a trapped feeling where something is pushing me down or I'm having to struggle to get out at first i used to feel like i was shouting and fighting. On a few occasions i have out of body experience (the only word i could describe this) that was also frightening as i have seen figures and shapes in my room and even what i refer to has a grim reaper type figure..

I came to this post because they have started to get worse as I'm now hearing voices aswel shouting my name and using a few words this as only happened twice last night been one of them. I feel like I'm going insane so any advice would be great to hopefully help me understand lucid dreams bit more and control them.


Thank you :)

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ballen
Posts: 2
Joined: 05 Feb 2015 16:54

Re: Lucid dreams and Sleep Paralysis

Postby ballen » 06 Feb 2015 14:35

Good morning Sophia,

You're describing sleep paralysis. What you've described sounds exactly like what I went through for several years. I had some pretty interesting and frightening hallucinations and have heard shouting during them as well. You're right about how it can make you question your sanity and your health. First time or two I was nearly convinced that I'd had a near death experience! All that was missing was the light at the end of the tunnel and long-dead relatives. lol!! I actually went to the hospital convinced that I'd had some form of a stroke or heart attack!

For what it's worth, these were more frequent and intense when I was a shift worker, getting about 3 or 4 hours of sleep whenever I could find it. This would be in the middle of the day or wee hours of the morning. I often drank liberal amounts of bourbon some days in between, nearly binging. They started when I was about your age and the last one I experienced has to be around 8 years past. The last one I truly remember (shouting, faces floating nearby, goblins, etc) was in 2007 or 8. There was no set frequency to these; I'd often not experience one for months but would turn around and have two of them nearly within the same 24-hour period. Some were mild (only the compressed, trapped feeling) and others were intense (frightening hallucinations, voices and such). As soon as I got on a 'normal' set of working hours at the age of 39 they became nearly non-existent. Point is, they ended for me so I'm sure they can end for you. I'm not smart enough to say that the odd sleeping hours and bourbon is what caused it, just my experience. I'm also not kidding myself in thinking that they're a thing of the past for me. I'm sure I can have one again any day.

The key to enduring them is to first recognize them for what they are. In your brain there's a 'switch' of sorts that keeps you from actually running and/or punching while you dream that you're running and/or punching. This way you don't injure yourself or anyone near you. Basically it sorta disconnects the brain from the muscles so you can dream of being in a mosh pit without all the bruises and strains to show for it. With you and I, that switch gets confused and basically your mind is waking up but your body still has the 'off switch' engaged. That's what makes it so hard to move and why you really have to concentrate hard and 'will' yourself out of it.

The hallucinations I'm no way near smart enough to explain why they are there but, they're a part of it.

Best advice to keep and impress in your mind next time this happens... BREATH! Focus on your breathing. I know, it sounds like yoga instruction but it really helped me. When I got that 'trapped' feeling it was as though some(one)thing was sitting on my chest. I had trouble breathing, felt like I was dying, anxiety set in and it makes it worse. It's all in your brain, nowhere else, keep remembering that. Over time when they would hit me I'd focus on trying to relax and breath, KNOW that I AM going to wake up and everything will be fine. Just tell yourself that it's that goofy switch, nothing more, and that the switch will fix itself in a minute. Now that you know this the next one(s) should be easier to handle. It may not get easy the very next time but keep at it, you'll tame them.

I hope this helps in some small way. I encourage you to read around these discussions, there's a TON of helpful info to help you cope with these, lots of people like me who have dealt with it and can tell you different methods of coping.

Best of luck
B


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