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
US Silent on Psychologists Role in CIA’s Tortures: Doctors
Physicians for Human Rights had not received any response from the US Federal Commission to their call to investigate the role of health professionals in CIA’s torture program, Deputy Director of the organization told Sputnik.
December 19 (Sputnik) — US government has not responded to calls to prosecute doctors, who participated in CIA torture program, the Deputy Director of Communications for ...
Ziolebrities: Simon Cowell donates £100,000 to Israeli soldiers to please pregnant jewish girlfriend Lauren Silverman
Cowell, 54, is also planning a secret trip to Israel soon as he embraces the Jewish faith of Silverman, 36
Gala: Billionaire Haim Saban with Cowell
Simon Cowell has publicly donated nearly £100,000 in support of the Israeli army.
The X Factor boss pledged the cash to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at a US fund-raiser in Beverly Hills.
The lavish gala ...
Former Chief Security Officer for NewsCorp: N. Koreans Not Behind Sony Hack, Interview Leak
Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor and former chief security officer for NewsCorp/Fox studios, says North Korea isn’t behind the Sony Hack.
Nigam gave several bullet points for why the hack was likely an inside job.
Attack code borrowed from a previous attack on Seoul, that’s why it’s in Korean. Private hackers typically borrow malicious code from other hackers.Nations state attacks follow ...
Sony Fires Back at Obama: Actually We Did Call the White House – Several Times
Sony fired back at Obama after the press conference saying they had several conversations with the Obama White House before and after the movie was canceled.
Via The Hollywood Reporter:
After President Obama criticized Sony for its decision to cancel The Interview's release after theater chains decided not to show the film, the studio has issued a statement elaborating on the move.
The Bankster International
Geopolitical analysis, the art of explaining power relationships through the prism of impersonal geography, can be a helpful tool for observers of the Great Game – but it also has its limitations. A case in point is the renewed US-Russia confrontation. Think tanks and policy insiders easily sell the narrative that from the dark days of the Cold War to ...
|More News » |