One concern that lucid dreamers may have experienced or heard about during their attempts to lucid dream is sleep paralysis. The good news is that lucid dreaming is a great way to deal with sleep paralysis and possibly never experience it again.
What is Sleep Paralysis?
Sleep paralysis occurs when your body does not move properly from REM sleep into consciousness. During REM sleep, our bodies are relaxed and our mind is typically in a dream state; however, sometimes our mind wakes during REM sleep but our bodies do not. This odd sense of paralyzation is scary even to those who experience it regularly.
What to do if you experience Sleep Paralysis?
The most important thing you can do when experiencing sleep paralysis is to relax. At this stage you have two options, you can attempt to relax back to sleep or you can wake yourself from the REM state. Most individuals who experience sleep paralysis will choose the latter. To do this, focus on your toes or fingers. Do your best to wiggle them even slightly. This will help to fully waken your body from this paralyzed state.
What you can do now is enter into a lucid dreaming state quiet easily. How? You are now in what is considered a hypnagogic state.
A hypnagogic state is a period of almost hallucinatory sleepiness. Your brain has just barely left the comfort of REM sleep and is very much prepared to return but you are now in a sleepy wakefulness from the experience you’ve just had.
To best utilize this hypnagogic state, simply lay down, relax and allow yourself to re-enter a sleep state; however, focus on an object in your mind. Something simple is a good place to start such as a circle, dot or symbol. Focus on this object until your body falls asleep and you will find that you are suddenly in control of a dream. You are aware that you are asleep but are also aware of your control of it. These sleep paralysis episodes are a blessing in disguise, so to speak.
It is distinctly possible that when you begin practicing these relaxation techniques, meditations and enter lucid dream states that you may no longer experience sleep paralysis. Why? Because sleep paralysis most often occurs because of stress or a disruption in your sleep patterns. Lucid dreaming will not only help you to enjoy your sleep more but will also help prevent future attacks of sleep paralysis by promoting proper relaxation and a feeling of control over your sleep. If sleep paralysis does occur then you can use it to your advantage by utilizing the hypnagogic state to more easily enter lucid dream states. It’s a win-win situation for the dreamer and should be a comfort to those who fear their next bout of paralysis.
Find the good in all things and start dreaming!