brains are weird

so last night i fell asleep on the couch.  then i woke up and i couldnt move.   i tried to tell casey that i couldn’t move but i couldn’t do that either.  i tried to scream but i couldn’t.  i was paralyzed.  i felt terror…like something bad was in the room. i tried to move again…nothing.  then all of a sudden it was over.  i could move.  i could talk.  i was relieved that it was over.

you might be thinking, “that would be scary…good thing it was just a dream right?” 

wrong…it wasn’t a dream. 

now you might be thinking, “yes it was…sometimes dreams seem very real.”   

this has happened to me at least 4 or 5 times  and it’s always really  scary.  i used to tell myself they were dreams but deep down i knew they were real!

so i finally looked it up and confirmed that it’s not bad dreams.  it’s called sleep paralysis.  i copied and pasted some stuff about it below:       

  • A frightening form of paralysis that occurs when a person suddenly finds himself or herself unable to move for a few minutes, most often upon falling asleep or waking up. Sleep paralysis is due to an ill-timed disconnection between the brain and the body.
  • The symptoms of sleep paralysis include sensations of noises, smells, levitation, paralysis, terror, and images of frightening intruders.

apparently paralysis during REM sleep is completely normal.  your brain “turns off” your muscles as a protective measure so that you don’t act out your dreams.  it’s called REM atonia.  sleep paralysis happens when brain wakes up before you body does.  so you your brain is fully conscious (sometimes while still dreaming) but your body isn’t. 

it’s a very bizarre feeling…and it really is scary.  now that i know im not crazy though i think it’s kinda cool…being able to experience two levels of conciousness at the same time.

here’s a video of a guy that knows about this stuff.  the first way he describes it is exactly what happens to me:

i think this guy thinks sleep paralysis is something of the supernatural realm…i don’t though.  i just think it’s weird stuff going on in our brains.  a lot of people think that this explains alien abduction stories and stuff.  here’s a video explaining the science behind sleep paralysis and the sounds, feelings, and hallucinations that accompany it:

it’s said that about half of all people will experience sleep paralysis at least once in their lives.  has anyone else experienced this??

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5 comments

  1. thepattons · November 22, 2009

    it’s happened 4 or 5 times? you didn’t tell me that. crazy!

  2. Debra · November 23, 2009

    I never knew about this either! You must have gotten that from your dad. He always dreams someone is breaking in the house and he can’t move.

  3. amymezzell · November 23, 2009

    I haven’t had that happen before, and I know we already talked about this, but I’ve experienced the weird whispering sensations related to this and woken up super terrified after hearing my name being whispered or sometimes just things I can’t make out. I have had that happen lots of times since I was fairly little – including one night last week. I can alway move when that happens, though – thank goodness!

  4. thepattons · November 23, 2009

    i did read that this can be genetic. i’ll have to ask dad about it.

  5. sarah · January 8, 2010

    yep, very scary! it happened to me and my mom too.

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