How do you sleep?

By: Alison Chodak

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Imagine, waking up not being able to move, a black figure moves towards the bed, you are scared and then all of a sudden you wake up. It was all a dream – more like a nightmare. This is called sleep paralysis. Webster Dictionary describes sleep paralysis as, “a complete temporary paralysis occurring in connection with sleep and especially upon waking.”

Sarah Rance, a student at Niagara University, has experienced sleep paralysis, and her experience was a terrifying one.  She woke up from her nap and tried to move her body, but she couldn’t and then she fell into darkness. She was able to grab her phone and saw a scary evil face that complemented a shadowy figure who tried to reach out and grab her. She then woke up and to this day Rance believes that was a demon trying to grab her.

Sometimes sleep paralysis happens when children are young. That happened to Max Liebel, another NU, and he was petrified. His experience differed from that of Rance. He was six years old and he remembers vividly waking up and seeing what resembled a Muppet character which was making ghost noises, and he tried moving and yelling but he couldn’t do either. When he woke up, he had a panic attack and his mother had to calm him down.

An anonymous source also shared their experience with sleep paralysis. They said it started with a nightmare and then they woke up in a dream world that felt ominously similar to reality. They couldn’t tell the difference between the two. They attempted to move their fingers, followed by the rest of their body, but they remained still. At that point they saw bodies and creatures from a dream world and every time they experience this, the scenario is always a little different. They wake up scared and knowing these creatures are there for a reason, but not a good one.

Sleep paralysis affects people all over the world. They see scary things and they can’t control it. If you want to learn more about sleep paralysis, check out “The Nightmare” on Netflix.

Feature image by Carlos Ebert attribution 2.0 generic (CC by 2.0).

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