Sleep Paralysis is thought to affect around 8% of people, yet very little is known about it. We do know that in the process of falling asleep, our body relaxes. Some people are aware of this transition from wakefulness into sleep, and this consciousness is what’s described as sleep paralysis. If you have experience with this condition and are struggling with it’s effects, here is an interesting article discussing online therapy that you may want to check out.
Patient’s experiences vary, but many report a feeling of being completely frozen, a sinister presence or darkness, hallucinations, and feelings of being choked or crushed.
“Most patients say the same thing to describe sleep paralysis: that it feels like you woke up dead. You know that your mind is awake and your body is not — so you’re trapped, essentially,” Michael Breus, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine explains.
This sense of fear is illustrated in a terrifying photo series by artist Nicolas Bruno. He described his experience with the condition to TheCultureTrip; ““A typical sleep paralysis experience will begin with a low and resonating humming or static. I will awaken and attempt to move my limbs, and immediately realise that I am immobilised and unable to fight the situation.”
“Any attempts to scream out or fight back worsen the wave of anxiety and fear that piles onto your chest like a pouring bag of concrete. The room begins to pulsate and faceless figures will begin to emerge from the corners of my room… The room will seem to fill up with water as I begin to choke, while my ears [fill] with blown-out static and screaming noises.”
Check out more of these fascinating, but terrifying images on Instagram and find more of Bruno’s work on his Facebook page.