Sleep paralysis is alternatively feared and sought after. Folklore associates causes of sleep paralysis with demon possession, while clinical science considers it a misfiring of the REM sleep. Learning how to induce sleep paralysis is possible but dangerous.
A Closer Look at Sleep Paralysis
Paralysis during sleep is a natural occurrence and actually protects the body from interrupting much-needed sleep on a consistent basis. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry outlines that the phenomenon of sleep paralysis is actually an outcropping of REM sleep. A partial awakening occurs before the sleep stage’s paralyzing effect wears off.
As the person partially awakens, the inability to move creates a strong sense of panic. Add to this that REM sleep is the most dream-intensive, and it stands to reason that images from otherwise unremembered dreams now invade the sleeper’s perception of reality. There is speculation that a good many tales of alien abductions, demon possession and ghostly encounters actually relate to sleep paralysis.
The Causes and Causing of Sleep Paralysis
If you were to believe a recent poster from Lucidipedia, learning how to induce sleep paralysis is actually quite simple. The trick is to time an awakening during REM sleep. To this end, the sleeper must chart a personal sleep pattern and set an alarm to sound during the REM sleeping phase.
Upon awakening, the subject should purposefully watch a video or meditate on the intent of inducing sleep paralysis. It is now time to go back to sleep with the conscious decision to experience the sensation. While doing so, the sleeper must concentrate on the feeling of the body and mind returning to a state of sleep. Immediately prior to completely falling asleep, the sleep paralysis should engage.
Dr. Friend of the LSU School of Family Medicine explains that narcolepsy patients are more prone to experience sleep paralysis than other sleepers. There is also the possibility of a genetic component.
Learning How to Induce Sleep Paralysis Just Might Kill You
While the causes of sleep paralysis are still being understood, there is the hypothesis that severe sleep paralysis may be associated with sudden unexplained nocturnal death syndrome.
The theory suggests that intense muscle atonia brought on during an unusually severe episode of sleep paralysis actually disables the cardiac muscles in addition to the diaphragm. Rather than learning how to induce the condition, it may be more worthwhile to discover how to stop sleep paralysis.