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Throughout history there have always been stories and legends of Demons and monsters visiting us in the dark of the night. Dreams turning to nightmares as we lay our heads down to sleep. As the shadows form, and the moon slides down the sky, we awaken to find that we cannot breath. A heavy weight sits upon our chest, and to our horror a ghastly form leers at us from the darkness. We push up off of the bed, trying to escape, but find that we can't move. We are paralysed. The demon starts to stalk us from across the room, closer and closer until finally it climbs up onto our beds and leans towards us. Hearts beating so fast that we think they will burst from our chest, we silently scream. but nobody can hear us. Then darkness as we fall backwards into sleep, or is it a faint? No, It's Sleep Paralysis. We wake hours later, still covered in sweat. Our hands shake as we recall the demon in the night. Getting dressed we rush to the priest for absolution. 'Father please help me I am being possessed by a demon'. We wail. But is Sleep Paralysis a Normal Phenomenon or a Psychic Event?
The Priest tries to comfort us. 'Don't worry my son, I will exorcise you, and cast the demon out, it seems that you have drawn an Incubbus to you, I will send it back to hell'. You weep in gratitute, and pray for your recovery from this possession.
Succubus and Incubus.
Incubus and Succubus. In legend, an incubus is a male Demon that prays on women at night. The demon mates with the human woman to produce a child. It is thought that if the demon continues to assault the woman, then she will eventually die. In the same way that a Succubus will attack a human male. these legends stem from many countries, in fact the first documented evidence was from Mesopotamia, 2400bc. Scholars believed that many of the stories were made up by the human women to explain pregnancy outside of marriage. Over the years there are many different derivatives of the story, and of course many different names to identify the Demons.
The Truth Behind Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis used to be believed to be paranormal, in fact in some countries that are still very superstitious, they believe it is a form of possession For example the Exorcist film. In fact it is usually a state brought on by stress. At night your body produces a chemical that rushes through your body to stop you sleep walking, your brain will sleep in co-ordination with your body. If you suffer from stress, the chemicals in your brain deviate from the norm, causing a part of your brain to wake up. But of course the chemicals don't go away. If all your brain woke up then the chemicals will dissipate. I suffer with hyperthyroid and hypothyroid. high and low bad thyroid. When it was high, I suffered with sleep paralysis a lot. Because my brain wouldn't let me sleep properly. Sleep paralysis will cause hallucinations, which is the origin of the Succubus and Incubus legends. Demons sitting on your chest in the night, aliens abducting you etc. The reason why you hallucinate is because, unlike other hallucinations caused by illness or drugs, in sleep paralysis you are literally just dreaming while you are awake. In other words, most of your 'asleep' brain is just dreaming, but the part that wakes up is still dreaming! Therefore the hallucination reflects off of your retina in your eye, and makes you believe that you are seeing an alien etc.Believe me when I say it is terrifying! I have had two really bad Sleep Paralysis episodes. The first one involved me being completely numb from the top of my head to me toes, and 'feeling' a hand pushing against my skin. It seemed to get closer and closer, starting at my feet and working it's way up my body. When it got to my chest, I started to panic. Common sense told me that I was hallucinating, but the primal part of my brain screamed Demon! All sorts of ideas went through my head. Was it real? Has science tried to explain away a real phenomena? Maybe it really was a Demon, or some sort of being. It felt Evil. I knew that it was probably my mind panicking that made me feel this way, but to be on the safe side I started praying. In my mind I yelled for God, and then settled on Angels. It seemed to work. Psychology? maybe. Perhaps by praying I calmed myself down. Or maybe it really did work and get rid of the Demon. Who Knows? The second time that I saw something, I realised what was happening, and watched a person walk around my bedroom! The funny thing was, it wasn't scary or frightening. It was a boy with a backpack on! Strange.
So what is the truth? I can fully understand 'seeing' somebody. As I explained above, it is a classic hallucination. But to feel somebody's hand running up my body? Not sure about that!
Maybe we are all wrong. Maybe it is another dimension overlapping this one. When Sleep Paralysis occurs, maybe our brains slow down, or speed up, to the exact vibration of another world. Scientists believe there are hundreds of Dimensions out there, overlapping this world. Who am I to argue with a scientist? I have had other Sleep Paralysis moments, but I don't very often see anything. All I can say is that, to see something is one thing. To feel them on your body is quite something else!
Symptoms of Sleep Paralysis
So what does Sleep Paralysis feel like? Every episode can be different for individuals. Some say they just go to sleep and then a noise wakes them, only to find that they are paralysed, but others have the same experience as me. It can happen even if you haven't gone to sleep yet. Imagine going to bed, feeling really tired but you can't shut your brain down. Thoughts spiral around your head. you just want to sleep. Then all of a sudden you hear a really loud buzzing noise. But it is not from outside, it seems to be coming from your own head. It gets louder and louder. Then the numbness starts. It is like your body is fed up of waiting for you to go to sleep so it decides to release the chemical to make you stay still while you are sleeping. Sometimes I have heard a choir in my mind. A sound so vast it seems that I am in an auditorium, listening to people singing and playing. It feels as though my head is hollow and as big inside as St. Paul's Cathedral. And then the numbness invades your body.
There are a number of ways to try and stop Sleep paralysis.
1. Try not to get too tired. When we sleep to heavy, this can cause us to go into a very comatose type sleep. If a noise awakens us, then we are sluggish, and often it can cause this to happen.
2. Try not to get too hot. This can cause you to keep waking up, and if your body is very tired, it can bring on sleep paralysis.
3. Please don't go to bed stressed. If you do, you may suffer for it later in the night. Make sure you drink a hot milky tea or warm milk with honey, or just take a bath. Anything that will sooth you. And if all this doesn't work, try reading a book. Lot's of people fall asleep whilst reading.
And most of all, if you do have a night paralysis, please do not panic. Try and breath calmly, don't struggle as this will tire you out. And just lay there until it starts to go off. Count sheep, count to ten, pray, even sing in your mind. let your body start to realign.
When you do wake up fully, don't panic. Just get up, put the light on and drink some water. When you feel ready to go back to sleep, keep the light on and open your window. Get comfortable. And be reasured that it should only happen once in a night. When you fall back to sleep you should be fine. And remember, it is all in your mind.
Copyright Nell Rose
This started out as an answer to a question placed by kentuckyslone. I hope this gives him the answer he is looking for.
This was my experience, if any of you have had this horrible experience, please let me know below, thanks.
My Sleep paralysis was caused, mainly, by my bad thyroid. I was unaware that I had it at the time. Since then it makes sense. So please contact your Doctor for a blood test if you do start to experience this. Nine times out of ten it is because of a problem with your health. And please remember.
You are not alone.
I disagree with most of this theory ... I also have a thyroid condition and in no way whatsoever feel it has anything to do with my experiences.