• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

    If you’re like most DVers, you’ve probably read about a little condition called “SP.” You know: that thing that has something to do with flashing lights, crazy hallucinations, and not being able to move.

    You probably know it happens to people every night as they're falling asleep and ten-odd other factoids.

    Well, for the remainder of this guide, I need you to forget everything you think you know about “SP.”


    Because most of that “knowledge” is either wrong or misconstrued. Harsh, but the truth hurts sometimes.

    Most everything you’ve read is rhetoric passed down from LDer to LDer in a nice long game of telephone. And just like any game of telephone, things got muddled up along the way. Lucky for you, I’m here to help you wade through all the muck and make you understand what these sensations are all about.

    So. . . with all that in mind, let’s start fresh.


    Sleep Paralysis

    What is sleep paralysis?
    The term sleep paralysis is used to describe a condition wherein a person is conscious during REM atonia.

    Typical symptoms include full body paralysis, a sense of dread/fear, and flashing lights.

    About a quarter of the world’s population has experienced sleep paralysis at least once in their lives. A much smaller percent suffers from chronic episodes.

    When does sleep paralysis occur?
    Barring abnormalities, sleep paralysis occurs only during the REM phase of sleep.

    As such, during a normal WILD attempt, you will not experience sleep paralysis. This is because REM atonia--a fancy way of referring to full-body paralysis during REM--only triggers after REM has begun. By that point, a dream will have already formed and you’ll have lost consciousness.

    Why does sleep paralysis occur?
    As the REM stage begins, a certain set of neurotransmitters stop being released. As a result, the motor neurons cease passing along messages and you end up with full-body paralysis. This is pretty handy from an evolutionary standpoint, as it prevents you from acting out your dreams and potentially killing yourself.

    That explains the REM atonia aspect. Unfortunately, I’m not entirely up to speed on causes for the flashing lights and sense of danger. If I had to hypothesize, I’d guess it has something to do with the reactivation or reduced function of certain areas of the brain. Particularly those responsible for base emotions like fear and 'higher' functions like vision.

    The amygdala, for instance, shows decreased activity during sleep (according to various studies).

    In contrast, the occipital lobes reveal drastically increased activity during REM.

    Or you could throw all that science out the window and explain it with witchcraft or demonic possession like they did in the good ol' days. I won’t judge.


    NREM Sleep ~ a.k.a. Lifting the Fog

    If sleep paralysis doesn’t occur when WILDing, how do you account for all the strange experiences people report during WILD attempts?
    I wrote up a decent breakdown of a typical WILD progression. It’s a brief reference that details the stages of sleep and associates each with specific sensations.

    Read over it to get a better understanding of how a WILD works and what conscious experiences you can expect.

    If that’s the case, what’s a good replacement for the commonly used (and inherently confusing) term “SP”?
    Notice every sensation (HH, vibrations, sensory deprivation, etc.) except full-body paralysis occurs during NREM sleep.

    As such, when you see folks “trying to reach SP”--and they make a big deal out of seeing HH or vibrations--it’s more accurate to say they are “trying to reach [or pass through] NREM.”

    Therefore, “NREM” is an excellent alternative to the commonly used term “SP.” And I implore you to use it and spread the word to those still holing onto the old terminology.


    It can be confusing trying to wrap your head around these ideas. If you’re already ingrained in the incorrect way of thinking about sleep paralysis and NREM, that makes it even harder.

    Hopefully this guide has helped clear away the fog for you, but If you have any outstanding questions please don't hesitate to ask!


    Created by , 05-31-2012 at 10:18 AM
    0 Comments, 4,111 Views

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