Sleep Paralysis and Lucid Dreaming
In my previous sleep-improvement blog I explored some ways to combat the fear of sleep paralysis and how to break sleep paralysis. But there is another option—it’s possible to use sleep paralysis as a gateway to lucid dreaming.
Sleep paralysis (SP) occurs around the edges of sleep. That makes it an ideal starting point to enter a lucid dream—your body and brain are already mostly asleep, yet you can remain alert.
Lucid Dreams and Chronic Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis can be truly terrifying, complete with fully-visible hallucinations or sounds. You may physically have your eyes closed and still be dreaming, and yet think you’re in your own bedroom with your eyes wide open, watching horrific events unfold but being powerless to stop them.
If you’re a chronic sufferer of sleep paralysis with these dream-images and feelings of fear, discovering lucid dreaming techniques can completely change your relationship to the sleep paralysis experience. Realizing that you’re in a SP experience and making the decision to use it to facilitate a lucid dream returns you to the driver’s seat, so to speak—you regain control while “going with the flow”.
How to Move From SP to a Lucid Dream
Lucid dreaming takes practice and skill, but it can be done. The first step is exactly the same as you would do if you were trying to wake calmly from sleep paralysis—remember that you are in sleep paralysis, and control your breathing. Once you are breathing and thinking calmly, though, you can choose to enter into a dream instead of trying to wake up.
Sleep Paralysis: Tools, Tips, and Things to Remember
Dream Studies suggests three different techniques for moving from sleep paralysis to a lucid dream. These are concrete tools that you can use to create a dream in which you’re fully aware, able to control your actions and the dream world around you. If you have trouble, check out these “troubleshooting techniques” from World of Lucid Dreaming. You might also want to check out Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer’s Guide, which is an in-depth look at coping with chronic sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis can be truly terrifying, but there are ways to transform your experience. Whether you experience SP occasionally when you’re stressed or chronically, on a regular basis, sleep paralysis can become a gateway to fantastic experiences rather than a plague.
Author Bio: +Michelle Gordon is a sleep expert who researches and writes about sleep and health, and is an online publisher for the latex mattress specialist Latexmattress.org.