Posts Tagged 'sleep paralysis'

Sleep Paralysis

Apparently there’s such a thing as sleep paralysis. Before tonight I’d never thought twice about the few times I’d woken up unable to move any muscle in my body while knowing I was awake, but upon discussing it with a friend I realized that apparently it’s a big thing. Here’s what happened:

I decided to take a little nap to recover from the five hard days of post-fall semester partying, and before I knew it the scant eight minutes of The Office season six Christmas party episode was but playing to no audience but the couch and the Ghana mask I’d bought at the Watts festival of culture a few months back. Before knocking out I’d thought about locking the front door, as I wasn’t sure if I’d locked it after I walked my roommate out, but figured that the safe neighborhood and lack of people ever trying to break in and steal things would make it okay [though now I realize the last thing I remember was the Welch’s commercial appealing to the “intellectual” consumer, as it decided to tell me that “using the grapes right after harvesting maximizes palate pleasure…” Yeah, great alliteration using words the average public would connotate as “intelligent…” in a sentence that really doesn’t make too much real sense].

Dreaming of girls and conversations and sisters of the weekend, so vivid upon waking yet lacking thought being never remembered, I woke up not too much later—time matters not—hearing the sound of a zipper being undone. I freaked out, as I’ve just consumed a new computer and have all this audio equipment I tell myself I need available for stealing lying around the open apartment, and some of this stuff was in my backpack on the table. But I couldn’t move.

I knew this was not dreamland—I saw the funky lamp in the living room hovering above me, the couch I was lying on, the grainy ceiling; I sensed reality—but I still couldn’t move. Yet I had to. There was someone about to steal my shit, and I couldn’t move my body to stop it. I normally don’t freak out—life’s too short—but I felt ready to: what if they came to my sleeping body on the couch next?

It took a few minutes—or seconds, time matters not—but I finally broke out of it. I looked up over the piano, listened to the ambience of the open living and dining room, but heard only the ticking of the two kitchen clocks. I shouted a friendly “hello” to the indoor dusk, but heard nothing; sensed nothing. I laid back down. I put the show back on and went back to sleep.

Why I’m writing about this: this sleep paralysis has happened to me before, but I’ve never thought twice about it—I figured I was still in fantasy land and it just manifested itself into where I knew I was sleeping comfortably. This time I needed to move, and I couldn’t. I was helpless in a situation I’d soon realize was conjured up by my imagination. A friend came over later and he brought up some stories of the figures his roommate’s seen wandering around the apartment and the voices and phone vibrations that arrived when he was upset with his cat. While unrelated, I felt the need to share this weird experience I’d had but a few hours earlier. After sharing with me the term “sleep paralysis,” he showed me this:

Sure, Rogan’s a comedian. But listen to what he’s saying. This is a drug that does not merely alter our image of reality like LSD or I’ll even say mushrooms: it brings you into the subconscious with something our brain produces every night anyway—this is something real. Something so much more real. Yet our brain creates it to make sure our souls experience “dreamland” as it should (shit, we spend half our minutes sleeping anyway right?). Our Western world chooses not to recognize what can’t be explained by science, but if our sub-consciousness means nothing, then should our consciousness?

The zipper sound: normally I’d associate this with the average interpretation of what it would be in a dream: dreamsleep.net says Psychological Meaning: This dream may be a sexual innuendo. A broken zipper may symbolize your frustration at not being able to resolve a problem and Mystical Meaning: Yes, there is a mystical meaning for zippers. If you dream of a broken zipper, it means others will dominate you; both of which make perfect sense given that I’ve found something special in someone this weekend (hello, dream?) that has yet to work itself out, and I was about to be unable to deal with some motherfucker breaking into my home to steal my shit.

But apparently, the zipper sound has been attributed before in this situation to our connection with the subconscious being interrupted: we’re unzipping the barrier between the sub/unconscious to the conscious world to peer inside yet we’re still on the other end. Seeing that our consciousness is the dominant perspective of ourselves in our rat-raced minds, it makes sense that the sound of a tear or rip or zip is what splits the planes of our perception. The sleep paralysis is our pineal gland still physically engrossed in DMT ( = dream mode) and thus making our brain still not ready to communicate to the rest of the body, telling it to get up and kick some ass because someone unzipped my backpack.

But why did I wake up? There was no one here for it to be some message from the beyond telling me to take care of some asshole breaking in. Nor did I realize anything or have an epiphany about something going on in my dream that I so vaguely remember: I simply went back to my nap. That leads me to believe, with no research or evidence to back it up, that my connection was just physically interrupted, plain and simple. The anxiety (five days of straight alcohol anyone?) in my brain didn’t want me leaving reality yet: it’s been six nights since I’ve had a quality night’s sober sleep, why should it just ascetically decide to sleep and relax it all off?

Maybe it doesn’t want to anymore. It wasn’t ready for dreamland.

Advertisements

share & follow:

Join 3 other followers

birdshouts

jayurbzz


Another twenty some odd young adult who believes he sees things from a unique perspective. Here be my poetry & prose, short stories, favored school papers, rantings, and "blogs." Comment, critique, and profit.