Is SP scary?
A Sleep Paralysis FAQ
I am certain you have heard many dreadful accounts of sleep paralysis. The stories about demons, extraterrestrials, witches, ghosts, shadows, monsters, politicians, or other frightening entities appearing before a paralyzed dreamer. This has been a significant barricade encountered by several aspiring lucid dreamers. I’ve seen too many people quit lucid dreaming simply due to fear of sleep paralysis. So here is a nice little FAQ to help you overcome your fears or to answer some lingering questions about SP.
Q: That’s great. But what is SP?
A: SP, or Sleep Paralysis, is a form of paralysis your body triggers while falling asleep. Essentially, your body inhibits itself from moving during dreams so you can’t jump off cliffs or something while you are dreaming. Most of the time you are already asleep when you fall into sleep paralysis, but it’s possible to wake temporarily paralyzed. Sleep paralysis is also commonly encountered with the WILD method, though it is not required for a successful WILD. Sometimes during SP, people experience hypnagogic hallucinations, consisting of dreamlike images and sounds.
Q: Well? Is SP scary?
A: There isn’t a definite answer to this. It definitely can be a terrifying experience. But it doesn’t have to be. Hypnagogic images and hallucinations are just like dreams. The are simply unpredictable. Occasionally dreams are frightening. Occasionally sleep paralysis is frightening. Being scared and expecting something frightening to happen will only make things worse. It causes unnecessary stress which could potentially ruin your WILD. Don’t be afraid. If you know SP isn’t terrifying it won’t be.
Q: What if I encounter scary hallucinations during SP?
A: If you want to get a lucid dream, you need to keep calm. Don’t focus on the hallucinations. Instead focus on maintaining the same level of awareness. You made it this far, and you only need to hang in a bit longer to get that WILD!
Q: What if I just want to get out of SP as soon as possible?
A: If you want to get out of SP as soon as you can and get back to sleep, then you also need to keep calm. Try to make the horrors go away. Giggle at the ghosties! Try to move a bit to let your body know that you are still awake. Don’t panic when you find you can’t move, or you could potentially make things worse. Remember that the hallucinations aren’t real and they can’t hurt you! Within a few minutes, the paralysis and hallucinations should be gone.
Q: Is there a way to WILD without SP?
A: Yes. SP isn’t required for WILD. There are also derivative techniques of WILD that don’t include going through sleep paralysis. These techniques include FILD, DEILD, VILD and others. For more information, check out the FILD tutorial, the DEILD tutorial, and the BIG VILD Topic.
Q: I can’t get into SP in the first place!
A: In order to get into sleep paralysis, you still need to be able to fall asleep. But you do not need to fall into sleep paralysis to get a WILD. If you have too much awareness, you won’t be able to fall asleep. You need to retain a small slice of awareness and maintain it while normally falling asleep. You must trick your body into thinking it’s asleep in order to let it fall asleep.
Q: During WILD, I managed to get into SP but then it went away after a while!
A: There are a few reasons why this might happen. You may have actually fallen into a dream at that point and you were just dreaming you were still in bed. Another possibility is that you were focusing too much on your hypnagogic imagery or bodily situations and “woke up” from sleep paralysis.
Q: I don’t get HH in SP!
A: Hypnagogic Hallucinations are just a side effect of sleep paralysis. They will not always occur and they are not needed for WILD. Remember that the purpose of WILD isn’t to achieve hypnagogic hallucinations, but to get a Lucid Dream.
Q: It’s hard for me to breathe during SP!
A: Some people experience a feeling of suffocation while in sleep paralysis. The best thing to do in this situation is to relax and ignore it. You are completely fine. If you are trying WILD, you shouldn’t be focusing on bodily stimuli anyways.
Q: During WILD, a loud noise made me jump! What should I do?
A: This happens occasionally and is unavoidable. Just remember that it isn’t real and nothing can hurt you! If you are shocked by a loud noise, you may have to start over again. Try to stay calm!
Q: Do you have to lie on your back to get into SP?
A: No, you do not have to. It is best to lie in the most comfortable position to allow your body fall asleep faster.
The fear of sleep paralysis holds many aspiring lucid dreamers back. I hope this FAQ has lessened that fear and will help many people on their lucid journeys! Just remember: SP isn’t necessarily an unpleasant experience, and you don’t need to go through SP to WILD. If you have any other questions, don’t be afraid to ask! Good luck getting those lucid dreams!
[center]Further Reading:[/center]* The Peril and Promise of Sleep Paralysis (by Ryan Hurd)