Strange sleep disorder makes people see demons
2013 04 03
By Stephanie Pappas | LiveScience
When filmmaker Carla MacKinnon started waking up several times a week unable to move, with the sense that a disturbing presence was in the room with her, she didn’t call up her local ghost hunter. She got researching.
Now, that research is becoming a short film and multiplatform art project exploring the strange and spooky phenomenon of sleep paralysis. The film, supported by the Wellcome Trust and set to screen at the Royal College of Arts in London, will debut in May.
The Sleep Paralysis Project
Sleep paralysis happens when people become conscious while their muscles remain in the ultra-relaxed state that prevents them from acting out their dreams. The experience can be quite terrifying, with many people hallucinating a malevolent presence nearby, or even an attacker suffocating them. Surveys put the number of sleep paralysis sufferers between about 5 percent and 60 percent of the population.
"I was getting quite a lot of sleep paralysis over the summer, quite frequently, and I became quite interested in what was happening, what medically or scientifically, it was all about," MacKinnon said.
Her questions led her to talk with psychologists and scientists, as well as to people who experience the phenomenon. Myths and legends about sleep paralysis persist all over the globe, from the incubus and succubus (male and female demons, respectively) of European tales to a pink dolphin-turned-nighttime seducer in Brazil. Some of the stories MacKinnon uncovered reveal why these myths are so chilling.
One man told her about his frequent sleep paralysis episodes, during which he’d experience extremely realistic hallucinations of a young child, skipping around the bed and singing nursery rhymes. Sometimes, the child would sit on his pillow and talk to him. One night, the tot asked the man a personal question. When he refused to answer, the child transformed into a "horrendous demon," MacKinnon said.
For another man, who had the sleep disorder narcolepsy (which can make sleep paralysis more common), his dream world clashed with the real world in a horrifying way. His sleep paralysis episodes typically included hallucinations that someone else was in his house or his room — he’d hear voices or banging around. One night, he awoke in a paralyzed state and saw a figure in his room as usual.
"He suddenly realizes something is different," MacKinnon said. "He suddenly realizes that he is in sleep paralysis, and his eyes are open, but the person who is in the room is in his room in real life."
The figure was no dream demon, but an actual burglar.
Myths and science of sleep paralysis
Sleep paralysis experiences are almost certainly behind the myths of the incubus and succubus, demons thought have sex with unsuspecting humans in their sleep. In many cases, MacKinnon said, the science of sleep paralysis explains these myths. The feeling of suffocating or someone pushing down on the chest that often occurs during sleep paralysis may be a result of the automatic breathing pattern people fall into during sleep. When they become conscious while still in this breathing pattern, people may try to bring their breathing under voluntary control, leading to the feeling of suffocating.
Read the full article at: livescience.com
Tune into Red Ice Radio:
Carol de la Herran - Hour 1 - Robert Monroe & Altered States of Consciousness
Dr. David M. Jacobs - Abductions & The Human Alien Hybrid Program
Bob Frissell - Hour 1 - Transitioning Into The 4th Dimension<
Peter Russell - The Primacy of Consciousness
Anthony Peake - Hour 1 - The Nature of Reality & Twilight Zones of Consciousness
Anthony Peake & Tom Campbell - Consciousness Creates Reality
Jim Elvidge - Are we Living in a Simulation, a Programmed Reality?
Penney Peirce - Frequency, Intuition, Time & Dreams
Anthony Peake - Mystery of the Brain, Precognition, Time Dilation & Déjà vu
Penney Peirce - Dream Interpretation, Path of Inquiry & Changes in 2010
Anthony Peake - The Dreamscape, Tulpas & The Lucid Light Stimulator
Dianne Collins - QuantumThink & The End of the Great Divide
Chris Augustin - UFO Sightings, Alien Abductions & Mysterious Implants
5 mind-bending facts about dreams
Freaky Sleep Paralysis: Being Awake in Your Nightmares
Dreams of Prophecy: Evolution and the Biology of Psychic Phenomenon
Lucid Dreaming and Mental Illness
Is ’daydream learning’ possible ?
Neuroscientists successfully control the dreams of rats. Could humans be next?
Brain scanner ’reads’ people’s dreams - accurately enough to see what they are dreaming about
This Is What Alien Abduction Looks Like To Those Who Say They Were Abducted
David M. Jacobs, Ph.D - What are Alien (Human) Abductions About? (Video)
Latest News from our Front Page
Spraying Chemtrails to ’Reduce Pollution’
2014 03 11
The noxious smog choking Chinese cities is globally notorious, with photos showing the grey darkness that swallows citizens as they try to go about their lives. The thick clouds sometimes turn day to night, and wreak havoc for those with respiratory ailments. Reports of how toxic and damaging the smog is to humans and the environment completes the nightmare scenario, ...
Missing flight: Why are the phantom phones ringing FOUR DAYS after mystery disappearance? (Perhaps not underwater?)
2014 03 11
Many desperate and devastated families of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight are clinging to hope. For days they have been waiting anxiously for any word from officials about the status or location of the plane and its 239 passengers. Some of the family members have been able to ’connect’ to their missing loved ones via cellphones - the phones ring ...
Has Blackwater been deployed to Ukraine?
2014 03 11
Notorious U.S. mercenaries ’seen on the streets of flashpoint city’ as Russia claims 300 hired guns have arrived in country
Speculation was growing last night that American mercenaries had been deployed to Donetsk after videos emerged of unidentified armed men in the streets of the eastern Ukrainian city.
At least two videos published on YouTube earlier this week show burly, heavily armed ...
Pyramid of the Sun Turning to Dust
2014 03 10
All we are is dust in the wind, so the saying goes, but it’s troubling when it happens to great ancient monuments that we assume will be around forever.
Pyramid of the Sun, Pirámide del Sol, Teotihuacán, México (Wikimedia Commons)
New Scientist reports that the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico is turning to dust and could collapse:
The Pyramid of the ...
Elephants Never Forget A Voice
2014 03 10
According to a new study, wild elephants are discerning listeners who can differentiate between various human languages, genders, ages, and more. Such surprising skills continue to marvel researchers.
Not all the intellectual surprises are on the large animal front. Research has shown that crows are extremely intelligent, some dogs recognize over a thousand words and have the intellect of a toddler, ...
|More News » |