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    1. #1
      Member chas's Avatar
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      Dire Straits

      I have been having isolated episodes of the following since 2007, and am hoping someone has experienced the same or something similar to provide me with advice. I tried browsing the forums b/c maybe a million people have posted this already...I am having trouble finding it, so I'm sorry if this is repetitive, although that would be reassuring!

      So! Occasionally, say, once or twice a month at its worst, and once every few months when it is regular or light, I have a dream where I am awake in my bed, but am usually partially blind and cannot see the entire room try as I might. It usually involves me straining to see the room but find I am paralyzed. Eventually I would realize I was dreaming, and after much work, fling my arm into the air or try to violently move a limb and I would wake up. This no longer works. I begin to freak out and think I’ll never be able to wake up, all the while placating myself by saying that I always do. It disappeared for about a period of a year, and I don’t know if it was a dream brought on by stress and when circumstances changed the dream disappeared, or if it was because I told myself sternly that I would no longer have that dream. It is back.

      That particular dream situation is more infrequent than before. However, something new has begun to happen, and I’m not even sure if I’m sleeping anymore. One month ago, I was lying in my bed and I thought I was just trying to go to sleep. All of a sudden I was shaking, more like aggressively vibrating. I thought I could hear a piercing sound, like a train coming or tornado or something, and then all of a sudden I was just laying there in the dark with a pounding heart.

      Then last night, after I had already had about two dreams, I woke up, and while trying to get back to sleep I started vibrating again. It was so frightening…it seemed like out of control shaking … I thought I was possessed or something! I couldn’t be sure if I was dreaming, I really felt like I was awake, then I put a stop to it with a firm command, and tossed and turned for an hour, totally weirded out and worried it was going to happen again. I thought I had been awake for hours, but the next time I woke up I remembered my dreams and knew I had at least gotten some sleep in the night.

      I am wondering if I am partially awake and partially dreaming when this happens, because my thoughts are scattered and I'm thinking like a disoriented person who just woke up in the middle of the night, but if I can put a stop to it I must be somewhat dreaming. I hate it, I want it to never happen again. Please help, even if you only have theories. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and the effort to respond if you do. Be assured that it is most appreciated.

    2. #2
      Member Foul's Avatar
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      Some of your symptoms sound like sleep paralysis.
      When one WILDs, the body will often fall asleep before the mind. I've often felt the vibrations you've mentioned along side feelings of pressure on the chest and some mild hallucinations. That's as helpful as I can be, sorry.
      Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia.com
      Physiologically, sleep paralysis is closely related to REM atonia, the paralysis that occurs as a natural part of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Sleep paralysis occurs either when falling asleep, or when awakening. When it occurs upon falling asleep, the person remains aware while the body shuts down for REM sleep, and it is called hypnagogic or predormital sleep paralysis. When it occurs upon awakening, the person becomes aware before the REM cycle is complete, and it is called hypnopompic or postdormital. The paralysis can last from several seconds to several minutes "by which the individual may experience panic symptoms". (described below) As the correlation with REM sleep suggests, the paralysis is not entirely complete; use of EOG traces shows that eye movement is still possible during such episodes. When there is an absence of narcolepsy, sleep paralysis is referred to as isolated sleep paralysis (ISP).

      In addition, the paralysis may be accompanied by terrifying hallucinations (hypnopompic or hypnagogic) and an acute sense of danger. Sleep paralysis is particularly frightening to the individual because of the vividness of such hallucinations. The hallucinatory element to sleep paralysis makes it even more likely that someone will interpret the experience as a dream, since completely fanciful or dream-like objects may appear in the room alongside one's normal vision. Some scientists have proposed this condition as an explanation for alien abductions and ghostly encounters. A study by Susan Blackmore and Marcus Cox (the Blackmore-Cox study) of the University of the West of England supports the suggestion that reports of alien abductions are related to sleep paralysis rather than to temporal lobe lability.

    3. #3
      Member chas's Avatar
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      Thanks for the info. It is a help simply to have someone respond! Sleep paralysis does happen to me and it is very similar to the wikipedia description. However, my experience of sleep paralysis does not seem much like the vibrations. I'm not really paralysed during the vibrations - I don't think. These vibrations are newer so I'm less familiar with all the symptoms. Usually during sleep paralysis episodes, I wake up in my bedroom, or wake up in the environment that I went to sleep in. I think I have woken up but then discover I can't see correctly, my vision is blurred or impeded. Then I realize I cannot move, and although I know I am dreaming, I slowly begin to panic and eventually wake up. I used to be able to trigger the wake up, but no longer have control over that. What a bummer, eh?

      Truly though, I thank you for responding. Oh and one more thing - what is WILDs?

    4. #4
      Member Hattmanson's Avatar
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      I´ve tried WILD:ing a couple of times and usually I get the vibrations and it gets hard to breathe. And here´s a link to WILD - Wake Induced Lucid Dream - Dreamviews Lucid Dreaming Community & Resource

    5. #5
      Member chas's Avatar
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      ohhh...you actually try to achieve those vibrations? I guess it wouldn't be scary if you knew what it was and was trying to do it. Last night I decided I would try and bring them on and then follow it through to see what happened if I just let it occur, and also wanted to see if my body was physically vibrating of if it was mental, but of course as soon as I was ready for it I had the most peaceful night's rest...thanks for the info!

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      It sounds like sleep paralysis. Some people don't become 100% paralyzed when it happens, at least not right away. Once I was able to move my fingers for a few moments before the sleep paralysis ended.

      And yeah, lots of people who lucid dream induce sleep paralysis. It's an induction technique, after all, and a pretty cool one at that. Once you get over the initial fears and surprise that the SP has just hit, it's actually almost fun.

      As for the vibrations, I'm sure it's mental. After all, everyone goes through it once they fall asleep (unless they induce it, in which case they're still awake), and there haven't been reports of people vibrating while sleeping beside their bedmate.
      Last edited by Puffin; 10-13-2010 at 08:56 PM.

    7. #7
      Member chas's Avatar
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      Very, very interesting. Okay I guess I'll get over myself and go with the flow but do you feel partially blinded when it happens? Like, when I have those sleep paralysis dreams all I'm doing is laying in my bedchamber unable to move and feeling like I can't see very well.

      Thanks, Puffin.

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      Sometimes. I used to get sleep paralysis before I even knew what it was (scariest thing of my life), and I'd always open my eyes because not being able to move would terrify me. I'd see either something shadowy like a hand, a cute rabbit, or a dark shadow on the wall. After that I learned to just keep my eyes closed because first of all, sometimes hallucinations can be scary so you don't want to see them anyways. The second reason is because if you get too much visual stimuli from your surroundings, your body will snap out of SP.

      Changing your breathing pattern also helps to break out of it. For instance, if you're breathing slowly and lightly when it hits, start breathing in different intervals to stop the SP.

    9. #9
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      That's got to be sleep paralysis.

      Nothing to worry about here. Some people experience it randomly, some don't, and subjectively it's different for everyone. However, these experiences are perfectly normal, and everything you're experiencing during these episodes is nothing more than hallucinations. As for specifically preventing it, I don't know any fool-proof methods but it should be enough to just keep your mind off of it, and roll over whenever you get the urge to. However, you could also use this to your advantage, to WILD.

      Also, if you get a rapid and intense heartbeat, I've been impeded by that several times but have since been told it's also a hallucination. Can anyone confirm this?

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Supernova View Post
      That's got to be sleep paralysis.

      Nothing to worry about here. Some people experience it randomly, some don't, and subjectively it's different for everyone. However, these experiences are perfectly normal, and everything you're experiencing during these episodes is nothing more than hallucinations. As for specifically preventing it, I don't know any fool-proof methods but it should be enough to just keep your mind off of it, and roll over whenever you get the urge to. However, you could also use this to your advantage, to WILD.

      Also, if you get a rapid and intense heartbeat, I've been impeded by that several times but have since been told it's also a hallucination. Can anyone confirm this?
      I started taking antidepressants around ten months ago, and it really impacted my ability to enter SP (unfortunately). Yeah, I can still enter it maybe once a week, but it's a far cry from before. Regarding the heartbeat, sometimes it's a hallucination, but it can also be real, simply from your excitement or surprise that you're in SP. But if it's really fast and even loud, it's probably a hallucination.

    11. #11
      Member chas's Avatar
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      Well now that everyone's doing it I'm not so sure I want to stop it. Haha. No, but you really have all relieved my mind about this SP. If it happens again, I'll try out your advice. But that vibrating thing cannot paralysis...I'm not paralyzed?? Just humming away and hearing a train er somethin'. I guess I'll let you know what goes down when I follow through with it. I've been emboldened through all this chitchat and info.

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      I've been dealing with sleep paralysis my entire life. My father suffers from it too so when I was a little girl I thought it was normal. It wasn't until I got older and started telling people about it that I learned that not everyone has this problem.

      I've never had the vibrations, but when I fight hard to wake up and can't, then strange things will happen. For example, I'll feel like I'm getting up and then instead feel like I'm falling out of my body and hitting the ceiling or flipping around. It's not pleasant- it is like the room is spinning or everything is shaking. This happens when I'm PHYSICALLY trying to wake up- because it always starts with me straining to sit up. So my guess is that your vibration problems start happening because you are trying to do your old trick of physically moving your arm. But I can't tell from your post if you mean this vibration thing happens when you are trying to move or just out of the blue.

      All I can do is give you tips about how I deal with sleep paralysis. Sometimes, I just succumb to it and let myself fall back into a dream and I'll wake up naturally later. Other times, I hold my breath. This makes me either pass out or I wake up gasping for air. Either way, I'm out of it. Other times, I make a sound- I've found it is easier to move my vocal chords than any other muscle, so I can hum. My father could even mumble "wake me up". Someone shakes me and I'm out of it. Other times if I'm alone, just the sound of the humming (or sometimes I can even scream) will wake me up.

      But I want to add really fast that it is always possible that you are having very mild seizures. Your description sounds a lot like mild seizures. Do you have any muscle aches or pains later on?

    13. #13
      Member chas's Avatar
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      Well, as far as I know, the sleep paralysis and body vibrations are two entirely different situations. I haven’t had sleep paralysis issues for about a month, but instead have had those vibrations at least twice, maybe three times. But the vibrations are always when I’m at least partway between waking and sleeping state, if not secretly asleep entirely. With SP, sometimes I feel like I’m falling toward the ceiling too. Nothing I do wakes me up from it as a trigger anymore. I will try holding my breath though, that’s a good one. I try screaming or talking but my mouth is impeded as much as my vision. I think the best thing may to be just letting it happen and seeing if I fall back into a dream like you guys do, or wake up naturally.

      Did I mention that I booked an appointment next Monday with a psychologist about these? So I will definitely tell you all what he says about them. I am interested to know what theories he is aware of or even if he diagnoses something. Unless it is mild seizures - I am not going to take any meds, should he recommend them. Weird though if it was a seizure that I would never have one awake? Anyway I'll ask him about that possibility and let you know. Thanks.

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      Quote Originally Posted by chas View Post
      Weird though if it was a seizure that I would never have one awake? Anyway I'll ask him about that possibility and let you know. Thanks.

      I'm not a doctor or in any way knowledgeable at all about seizures! I just said that because I have a family member who has had two seizures and both were when he was sleeping. I'm not sure now if he says he was between wake and sleep, but that is how I remember him telling about it. The first seizure was a major one and he doesn't remember it but after getting up he was disoriented. The second was a minor one and he said it felt like his whole body was shaking without him being in control of it. When you said it was like you are possessed, that's what made me think of it. Also he said afterwards he was full of anxiety and felt weird- so when you said worried about happening again and being weirded out, this just really reminded me of what he told me. Also people often have some sort of experience that happens right before they have a seizure, like a feeling or sound- so that also made me think of it.

      Maybe I shouldn't post all of this because I don't know anything about seizures really, but it sounded so familiar. I didn't want to alarm you, but maybe it is something you can ask your doc about since you are going anyway.

      Probably it isn't seizures because my family member described having muscle aches afterwards and a lot of discomfort. Also you say that you were able to put a stop to it with a firm command which of course you can't do if you are having a seizure.

      So probably it is something like a new spin on the weird sensations that we get with sleep paralysis- like the flying towards the ceiling.

      Did you ever feel anxiety or disorientation when you woke up after sleep paralysis?

    15. #15
      Member Robot_Butler's Avatar
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      Those vibrations are very common during the transition between sleep and wakefulness. As you describe, they can happen as you are falling asleep, as you are waking up, or between dreams. Most WILD and OBE/AP guides will mention them as a part of the process, or even focus on them as a method of inducing the dream. It can be a very intense feeling. Sometimes, I feel like I am vibrating so hard, I am going to explode. I don't know the exact explanation, but I've always assumed they were related to the spontaneous middle ear muscle activity that is common in REM. Even if the two are unrelated, it is good to remember that your eyes are not the only muscles that spaz out in REM. If you are aware enough to focus on your body, you will feel all sorts of wacky things happening.

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      Member chas's Avatar
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      You guys are super fantastic. Thanks for everything - I'll still post what that psychologist says after my Monday appointment for curiosities sake. In the meantime, I may as well check out some of these guides.

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      Hellooo: had the appointment yesterday. He was quite possibly the nicest man in Canada. A hyperbole that would really ring true if you could have met him. Anywho - he did not really have any info for me. Long story short - he doesn't think I'm crazy and asked me about my childhood like any psychologist worth their weight. But he thinks I should get a physical. But then added as an after thought: "but there probably won't be anything wrong with you. You seem healthy". So I guess it's back to me riding them out the next time they pop up and try to boil my blood. Thanks again for your advice everyone, I feel like I can handle it now! Unless I'm laying down for bed...then I think, "don't you dare do it, bod!"

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      Member Foul's Avatar
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      All you need to remember is that you can't to any harm if it happens.
      In fact what is happening is a form of self defence that keeps you from acting out your dreams and possibly hurting yourself while you're asleep.

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      That picture is scary sherry!

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