Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The great and secret show

Okay this post is all about Lucid Dreaming and my experiences with Sleep Paralysis, I decided to do this after Fang mentioned on his blog is interest in Lucid Dreaming and when he asked me in the comment section of his blog about Sleep Paralysis. Now I was going to ask him about it but thought it would be more interesting and I could explain more with a full length blog post.

I cannot in the space of one blog post explain all about Lucid Dreaming but I will simply say it is the act of entering your dreams fully conscious and being able to control them. Many people, such as your humble narrator, experience them with alarming regularity, then others have great trouble entering a “lucid state” altogether.

The first time it happened to me I was not intending to Lucid Dream at all, in fact I did not even know what was happening at all. I shall share this story with you all know; I awoke in my bedroom, feeling hazy and more than a little disorientated, sitting up I looked around, nothing in my bedroom was out of place whatsoever; my wallpaper still the deep shame of blood red, the stone, lion bust above my bed glaring out around the room as a King casting a judgmental eye over his kingdom. My oil lamps either side of my black, ornate bookcase illuminating the works of the Victorian greats. Getting out of bed I feel like I am walking through syrup, my head still muddy with a rush not unlike passion, like I am falling endlessly through silk sheets. Moving over to my book case I pull out a copy of The Divine Pantomime, flicking through the pages it is filled with half-finished sentences, jumbled words and phrases, nothing at all makes sense to me. Exiting my room I catch a glance at the bronze clock above my door it is set to 5 30am but turning around to look out my black curtains I notice it is broad daylight, my watch too is at a different time, 2 45pm. Outside the room my landing is exactly as it always is, suddenly it all makes sense, I am in a dream, I am literally in my own dreamscape. Wondering of all the possibilities that are in front of me, lifting up my hand I start to imagine white hot fire bursting forth from the palms of my hand and to my amazement it appears just like, I feel positively like Prometheus. With another slight gesture of will I am far away and standing alone in a forest, the early morning sun shining through the canopy of trees. Walking in to the distance I can hear and feel the crunch of twigs beneath my feet, the distance sounds of parrots singing in the tree branches, smiling to myself I feel at such peace, alone my solitude, my life in the real world a distant memory, I can just live in this solitary bliss for an eternity. Sadly shortly afterwards I can feel myself being pulled away back to my cold, grey reality.

With these experiences and many others I can see why people would strive for Lucid Dreaming, it is a truly intoxicating experience. Well here are my tips and tricks for gaining a lucid state.

1.       Stay awake for as long as possible, the more tired you are the better, preferably stay awake until around 2-3am.

2.       When you go to sleep, lie on your back *this is very important* and begin to daydream, keep your mind occupied, try everything you can to stay awake and focus upon this daydream.

3.       The secret to Lucid Dreaming is that you stop at the stage of REM sleep before the final one, a part of your brain is still conscious; this is why you can control the dream, because you are conscious, you are you in a dreamworld.

4.       As you drift off keep the dream in your mind and should see actually be in that dream, but able to control it.

Now on to Sleep Paralysis, no one yet knows exactly what causes Sleep Paralysis or even really what it is exactly. But what happens to me is this; I awake, usually in the middle of the night, and can feel my entire body slowly becoming paralyzed, as if someone is filling my veins with ice, I feel cold all over, my body completely immoveable and often stinging with a burning, white hot pain. Sometimes my eyes are open and I can see the room shrouded in darkness, but sometimes, I see the door opening, a tall, thin, black figure approaches, when he reaches the bed I black out and awake in the morning. If I am conscious long enough I feel a pressing down upon my chest, African’s used to call Sleep Paralysis “the witch riding your back” they used to believe that in the night a witch would come to sit upon your chest and cast curses on your soul. Now because many sufferers have had the same experience of seeing tall, thin creatures during episodes of Sleep Paralysis people often believe that it is actually alien abduction. My brother has suffered with it too and has claimed to see these creatures and more than once says before blacking out he saw a great flash of light filling his room!

Well if I ramble on much more I may sound crazy LOL so what are your thoughts upon this? I do hope I have helped Fang or at least provided something interest for him to read.


  1. Well alien abduction would probably explain a lot of your brothers behaviour. I don't think I've ever lucid dreamed myself, even though I stay up until about 2AM, and I always end up lying in bed for about half an hour or even longer sometimes because I can't turn my brain off because I constantly day dream. My mum says I used to have night terrors though. I would occasionally wake up, scream, then just lie back down and go to sleep and I don't have a single memory of doing that. I may also have never actually been told that. My memory is an odd and fickle thing.

  2. Sleep paralysis sounds terrifying :(

  3. Thanks for this! I never knew thats how you get into that dream state! I often go to bed really late and I know when I sleep on my back I have weirder dreams but I didn't know I might be on the path to having cool lucid dreams!

  4. Allow me to ramble on about this a bit further.

    Sleep paralysis is the state in which your body is asleep (your brain shuts of your body during the night so you don't act out your dreams), and thus unable to move. If your mind is still awake, but your body isn't, you're aware of this state: sleep paralysis. It is known to cause all kinds of hallucinations, though I'm not sure why. My best bet is because your mind doesn't receive any input from your body anymore, so it just makes stuff up subconsciously.

    Why your method works very well is because your body is already very tired when it goes to bed, and thus falls asleep a lot quicker. Were you to do this while you're fresh awake, or at least at a normal bedtime, you would start feeling a huge urge to move your body. This is your body testing to see if you're really asleep, before it turns itself off for the night. It's a really daunting task resisting these urges, cause basically your body's just yelling at you "MOVE ME, MOVE ME". I myself haven't succeeded in resisting them on a normal bedtime, but haven't tried really late times yet.

    Anyhoo, after your body notices it can put itself to sleep, it will, and your sleep stages begin. Keep your mind awake til REM sleep (the state in which you dream), and it'll tag along into the dreamworld. Mission accomplished!

    Bottom line, important note: sleep paralysis is absolutely safe. It can be hella scary, sure, but it's all hallucinations. Try laughing at those scary things, telling them they can't do shit to you. It'll work the fear away!

    Hope that helped,
    ~ Fang

  5. Bodies/brains are awesome. =) I've never really experienced anything like that. When I was a kid I had a series of dreams about being chased by purple goo (I don't even know) in which I'd acknowledge I was dreaming and be able to make decisions about how to escape that evil slime, but I never was able to completely control my surroundings. It never even crossed my mind.

  6. Ive tried this before and it works decently... By this I mean once or twice out of 20 or 30 attempts..

  7. I've had sleep paralysis, not fun at all.

    Lucid dreaming however, is something I want to try but haven't been successful with. :(

  8. Personally I prefer to count up, while walking up (or down) stairs. However, what I seriously don't recommend doing is asking your subconscious (to summon him/her/it just stand by a door think he's on the other side, then open the door) to show what you fear most. Make sure to look up, the usually looks absolutely wonderful.