I have recently started experimenting with lucid dreaming and I really wand to try the WILD technique, but I get freaked out when my body becomes paralyzed. It feels like I can't breath, do I really stop breathing or should I just let it take over and relax?
Unfortunately there is no way to 100% positively confirm that you don’t stop breathing unless you were in a sleep lab and they were able to watch you sleep. I have noticed from many people’s reports as well as my own experiences that the experience of a WILD has you experience a lot of events that are not really happening.
Unless you have had sleep problems in the past where you have had sleep apnea (stop breathing while sleeping) then you may just be experiencing the paralysis effect making it seem that you stopped breathing. During sleep paralysis our lower body is unable to move due to your brainstem actively inhibiting your interior horned cells. These cells fortunately do not control breathing, or we would die while we sleep as this paralysis is a natural condition. Since we are unable to move, or feel (except in extreme cases) the outside world during REM and stage 2 NREM, you may be experiencing this absence of feeling of your body move in relation to your breathing, therefore thinking that you are not breathing. Many people also experience falling through their bed or floating due to loss of spatial perception in reaction to the deactivation of specific parts of your brain.
If you truly have concern about if you are not breathing during your sleep (WILD or not) you should visit a doctor that can monitor you at a sleep lab. If you think that it’s not an issue, experience the sleep paralysis and follow through and your body will react as necessary.