Sleep paralysis

N A, modified 10 Years ago at 10/24/11 11:57 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/24/11 11:57 AM

Sleep paralysis

Posts: 157 Join Date: 7/10/11 Recent Posts
So I'm asleep and I'm dreaming that I'm watching a funny video on the internet. I know the video is supposed to be funny but nothing funny has happened yet, and I'm waiting for the punchline. Suddenly the video goes blank, there're two weird scratching sounds, and I become paralyzed and start to rapidly lose vision and consciousness. I have enough consciousness left to think: this video must be some kind of cruel trick, and then for a few seconds I feel tightness in my chest and struggle to open my eyes again. At that point I'm probably already awake but in sleep paralysis. In the meantime reality is strobing and behaving weird, it's hard to figure out where everything is, and with my eyes closed (already awake) I see fascinating geometric phosphenes. The phosphenes and strobing lasted for a few seconds after I was awake and fully conscious.

My immeditate reaction was "oh, A&P event", but then again, the experience completely matched the symptoms of sleep paralysis, didn't lead to any insights, and was unpleasant. In meditation practice I (still) have difficulty observing any vibrations, although other reasons lead me to believe I'm in Equanimity. I have had obvious A&P events before, but only on drugs. I haven't had any auras, migraines or seizures.

I wonder to what extent this (sleep paralysis, which is itself apparently related to migraine and auras) is related to mechanisms responsible for A&P.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/24/11 12:42 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/24/11 12:42 PM

RE: Sleep paralysis

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Could you describe your experience more precisely? My understanding was that sleep paralysis generally involves realistic hallucinations (not geometric phosphenes), as well as a feeling of impending doom, etc. But, I could be wrong about this.
N A, modified 10 Years ago at 10/24/11 2:02 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/24/11 1:42 PM

RE: Sleep paralysis

Posts: 157 Join Date: 7/10/11 Recent Posts
I think the phosphenes were happening just after I came out of paralysis, already somewhat awake.

Everything started with the video and then the rest of my vision in the dream going white, together with two loud sounds that had a weird synaesthetic quality (Wikipedia mentions "visceral buzzing"). The actual being paralyzed stage involved a limited consciousness, no visuals (I felt I was blind), a sense of tightness and a weight on the chest (very standard) and a sense of fear and unease (also very standard). Whatever consciousness there was was very "choppy" and difficult to follow. Gradually I became aware of the phosphenes - bright shifting fractal patterns, mostly squares.

The whole thing lasted maybe ten seconds.
Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/24/11 9:57 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/24/11 9:57 PM

RE: Sleep paralysis

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Sleep paralysis- you got it in one!

I used to get this a lot growing up and later (about 8 years ago) when I was into astral travel. Be aware of what you have been watching and thinking lately, expectation of certain events sets you up for them (or at least a parody of them), imo. Once I stopped trying to astral travel, it all died down and didn't happen any more. I was pushing myself.

The auditory hallucination i can relate too as well, though the shapes aren't familiar to me.

Be aware of context. That was a big thing for me, realising the 'why' and not the 'what' of my explorations. Diving into the content, without seeing the context.

If you are trying too hard to progress and have big expectations (I'm not saying you are and do, just relating it to what I was doing when experiencing this sort of thing), you will experience plenty of things that you will wish to tag 'progress'. The most important progress however is the ability to relax and attach no importance to all the weird things our mind does. A sort of 'whatever' attitude helps alot.

Again I think you got it right, sleep paralysis. Try to relax more, maybe you are pushing too hard?
Daniel M Ingram, modified 10 Years ago at 10/25/11 4:31 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/25/11 4:31 PM

RE: Sleep paralysis

Posts: 3230 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Yeah, I used to get sleep paralysis relatively often for a few short seconds in my youth, particularly around the period where I was really pursuing out of body stuff, lucid dreaming, flying dreams, and the like.

Even if there is not perfect correlation with your vision of how the A&P should be and what happened, there is, in my experience, a distinct correlation with the general strata of mind that really does lucid dreaming/traveling/hypnogogic vision stuff well and the A&P territory as a loose category, and so watch for what comes next, just in case it is interesting.

Sleep paralysis is just annoying or disconcerting, not dangerous, so chock it up to one more strange phenomena associated with these general pursuits. It is also associated with "the buzz": that the strange, rough, disconcerting bodily vibration and distortion stuff that can happen while re-incorporating after a travel (such as travel straight back to waking) or when coming out of a particularly lucid dream (lucid dream to waking).

Ah, the joys of phenomenology.