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Sunday, 15 August 2021

Turning Sleep Paralysis into a Lucid Dream

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Turning Sleep Paralysis into a Lucid Dream Associative picture from Freepik

You are awake and conscious about your physical presence, but you are completely frozen and unable to do any physical movement. You want to come out of this state and try to move your body but cannot do so. A sense of horror overwhelms you.

More than 8% of the population experience this condition at least once in their lives. There are several patients that experience sleep paralysis more often based on particular medical conditions.

You can control it and convert it to a positive and healthy experience through learning and applying specific techniques.

Let's learn more about this condition, sleep paralysis, lucid dreaming, and how to turn sleep paralysis into a lucid dream.

What is Sleep Paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is a stage of inability to perform any movements at either start of sleep or upon awakening. Often, these experiences come up with strange illusions, divided into three categories:

  1. Intruder hallucinations including a sense of an evil presence.
  2. Incubus hallucinations – a feeling of tension on the chest, suffocation, and physical strain.
  3. Vestibular‐motor (V‐M) hallucinations involving illusory‐movement and out‐of‐body experiences.

The first two typically happen together and involve fear, whereas V‐M hallucinations are more favorable.

What is Lucid Dreaming?

Lucid dreaming is when a dreamer is aware of dreaming and control over characters, scenes, and events. Lucid dreams occur during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) state of sleep mostly. It can be spontaneous, and also (probably) anyone can learn it.

Association between Sleep Paralysis and Lucid Dream

Sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming are both linked to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The similarities end there, as both are different experiences. Sleep paralysis is associated with poor sleep quality, anxiety, and stress, whereas lucid dreaming with daydreaming and clear images.

In a lucid dream, the body is technically sleeping, and you enjoy out-of-body experiences; however, you get stuck in your actual physical body in sleep paralysis. However, you can learn to turn your sleep paralysis into a lucid dreaming state.

How to turn Sleep Paralysis into a Lucid Dream?

An essential factor in achieving a lucid dream after sleep paralysis is to overcome the fear, and there are ways to practice mindfulness to calm your nerves. Sleep paralysis is already halfway to a lucid dream, as the body is asleep and the mind is conscious. You can try the methods listed below to transit sleep paralysis into a lucid dream.

  1. Keep your eyes close, get conscious of your state, relax, think intentionally something like "I want to walk on the beach with my friend, " and imagine yourself into that moment: the soothing sound of waves, the sand under your feet, etc. You will enter into the lucid dream with some practice, and everything will be as transparent as your real life. Keep reminding yourself that you are in a dream through reality checks.
  2. Start focusing on lights and images above your eyes while keeping them close. If you keep focusing on them, these lights will center around your point of concentration with practice; you can use it to enter into your lucid dream.
  3. Another method is to go with the flow of the scenario but be conscious of it. Focus on your feeling about perceptual body changes, and it may leave you blank, allowing you to set the stage for your dream.