Friday, June 5, 2009

Correlations in Disorders

Today I spent a few hours looking over some of my old sites I used to go to for some entertaining and informative reads. Some of the sites though are not as entertaining as others, since many of the forums I hit contain people who have some very serious and frightening experiences with night terrors (NT) and sleep paralysis (SP). Since NT's and SP have been a common topic the last few weeks, and many before, I wanted to point out a few correlations I have found over the years.

In NT and SP there are many common sensations that people get before having the event happen to them. Most people experience an evil presence of some kind, loud hissing or chattering sounds, and vibrations followed by the SP, NT or visual hallucinations. I wanted to touch on all 4 of those types of events and the correlations I have found between those who experience SP, NT, Lucid dreaming, and psychedelic uses.

Evil Presence:

One of those areas is the common feeling of an evil presence in the room prior to even going to sleep. Here are some accounts of those I have read on the internet:
I have the night terrors and paralysis. When it comes, it comes every night for days or weeks. I'm too afraid to go to sleep. I stay awake with the lights and TV on until I am too exhausted to stay awake. I get maybe a couple of hours sleep a night, if that. When this occurs, I am overwhelmed by a sense of evil. I must make myself more evil than the evil whose presence I feel. I must kill the evil thing. But this instead becomes an infinite feedback loop. It gets more evil, I get more evil. I am awake but I can't move. I can't yell. When I do 'come out of it' I'm too terrified to sleep. Thus the days-long or weeks-long cycle begins. I dread the night. I want some sleep. I pray to anything and anyone to please protect me. I'm afraid I'm going to go insane. Please help. I am 45 years old.

I could feel something that was not suppose to be there before going to bed.(the monsters under the bed?) I could and still do feel like I am not alone. Yet I see nothing. I try to shrug it off, but all these yrs have taught me its going to be a long and bad night. I sit in bed reading or lie there watching TV and all of a suddenly I feel pushed. I can feel something on top of me and I can’t get it off. I scream yell and even fight but am frozen so it seems no good. Here is where it gets weird sometimes I am not asleep. I am just sitting there. Other times it feels as if I just closed my eyes. I know and am aware of what is going on I know that it is not a dream at least to me it’s not.

Right as I'm in bed, just barely asleep (or not even asleep? it's hard to tell which..), I sense that someone is in the room and I'm absolutely paralyzed with fear, I can't move, I can't wake up, my heart is racing, and I absolutely know someone is there. It always starts with this sickening knowledge that someone is there... even as I type this now, awake for hours, I get a little knot remembering this intense feeling of fear. I can't see them because as hard as I try I can't move to look, but I can hear the sound of someone in the room and I just KNOW someone is there, and everything is in real-time. I want to scream or run, but I physically can't. Last night for the first time I could even feel the pressure of someone behind me (I sleep on my side) it's all real and terrifying and it's like I'm trying to claw out of this horrible state of fear and panic to escape, and I can't. I know if I can scream, move, I’ll be okay, but I’m stuck in a state of adrenaline pumping fear…

I think that's what it is, since I was about 6 or 7. Typically I develop some sort of anxiety or fear as soon as I climb into bed. I immediately get a sensation that someone is near me and I know it's going to happen when I fall asleep. I've had many experiences where I can tell someone is in the room, moving around, sometimes they've even climbed in bed with me! And on occasion they're even talk to me, I've hear both a very scary male voice and a woman. During my first experience when I was about 6 or so I was like lying on my back and all of a sudden heard something crawling on the flood. I could tell that it was getting closer to the bottom of my bed and then it jumped onto my chest like it wanted to strangle me. To this day I still have trouble sleeping on my back. I've learned to crawl up in the fetal position to protect myself, although that doesn't always help! I've only had one experience, last year; where I actually opened my eyes and was still paralyzed and saw some sort of hallucination (a reptilian like creature wearing a cloak) across the room and it took me a few minutes to actually fully awake.

From reading this I gather that two things could be causing this. One, the fear of the presences is triggering the NT or SP to occur after the person goes to sleep based on the previous occurrence of a NT/SP event. The brain remembers how to create this fear into a more realistic form and the result is a fear driven dream with the effects of a NT/SP event. Two, many of these people thought that they were awake but were truly already in the early stages of NREM causing them to sensory hallucinate the presence in the room. This reaction would be caused by the body sensing the SP or the over active amygdala eliciting a fear response in the currently conscious dreamer in combo with the sensation of SP.

I am sure there are many other possibilities for the cause of this, but from my research and understanding (which is limited) these are the most plausible answers.

Here are accounts of the stranger/dweller effect after they are in SP or NT form:
Dweller type of experience- When you have separated but haven't shifted consciousness yet, and you are sensing with your physical body, you will perceive your energy body, interpret it as a threat, feel fear, and it will respond to your fear by becoming what you're afraid of.

It can be anything from a 'monster', 'intruder' or whatever else you've thought about that can cause fear. This is also known as "Old Hag", and nowadays "Alien Visitation". For some mysterious reason that I've never figured out, a lot of these dwellers have glowing red eyes. Why? Maybe some kind of evolutionary thing (fear of nocturnal animals) archetypal in nature.

I wake up always hearing weird sounds in our basement as my room was down there. One time I woke, saw this huge shape standing between the door and the closet. Nothing happened but I could swear it some beast. My NTs seemed to come when my legs were crossed as I slept on my back. I have tried to make sure they weren't crossed before sleeping.

Interesting enough I obtained most of the previous quotes from posts from two very different forums. One forum is the Night Terror Research Center which its users are trying to cope with this SP and NT visual hallucinations, while the other site Salt Cube is a group of individuals that are trying to induce the effects in order to lucid dream or have out of the body experiences (OBE).

Vibrations and Auditory:

The next area I want to hit on is the feeling that is obtained as vibrations or energy waves going through the body that is sometimes followed or produced before by the auditory whining and high pitched sounds. These feelings of vibrations are common throughout the SP and NT society as well as the lucid dreaming OBE and psychedelic groups.
From the time I was seven I had these "attacks". The first one happened after my great grandfather died. I was laying in the dark, feeling a bit odd, and I heard a lot of evil-sounding laughter, then it felt like I was pressed into the bed, almost like being pulled down. I would fight it, unable to move or make a sound. It would go on repeatedly through the night.

When I told my mother about it, she was only mildly concerned, although I was terrified. Once when I was 9 or 10, she told me she had been walking by my room and heard a croaking whisper going "MOM..." She opened my door and said my fists were pressed on either side of my head, like I was being pinned down and struggling, and still trying to call out to her weakly. The last attack I had was while sleeping with my wife, it woke her up. She said it looked very much like a seizure, that I went rigid and jolted the bed.

When you mention something "fighting for you", that's exactly what it's like. I thought it was demonic possession, and I felt like a freak all the way into high school. It was in my teens that I decided to quit fighting that weird pushing/pulling. When I was younger, I thought it would probably kill me to let it win. I let it take its course, and it can only go so far before it lets go. Try that, it won't be fatal, just don't resist and get into panic mode. It gives you "power", for lack of a better word, over the unknown part of the episode.

Have you ever noticed that you can tell when it's going to happen, well before going to sleep? It's an odd feeling, like a weird "wave" going through the body, like a surge that I can almost hear. Not a chill, but what I used to call an "electric lick". It would always let me know I was going to have a difficult night. I was on the antidepressant Effexor at one time, and if I missed two doses I would get the same odd surges. It makes me wonder if there isn't some neuro-chemical cause.

When I was young, the sleep paralysis would often be mixed with imagining that my dad walks into my room, doesn't know I'm in bed, so sits on bed, which of course, results in him sitting on my chest, and suffocating me unknowingly, which is just brilliant!

Later he writes:
So, I thought that was all ok.. Until I had my girlfriend stay round for a few nights, apparently she woke me up in the middle of the night because I was having something seizure like (shaking arms and legs and head) and screaming "help me help me!! get the f*** away!!" and another time I was whispering "wake me up.. wake me up" into her ears.

I wrote the post titled the terror is getting worse last night late just before going to bed. Now last night I experienced a different problem I get and I suspect it may be related to having sleep problems on my mind having just written my post.I am aware that people who do not get problems will assume I'm a hypochondriac, I'm not. Now this is completely different to night terrors I experience but I'm not sure if they are linked. I have only been experiencing the following for a few months now.

Just as I'm settled and drifting to sleep I take a huge panic breath. It's almost as I've been falling asleep my body has forgotten to breath and then suddenly I've run out of enough oxygen for my body to wake up and realize automatically taking a huge breath of air. Now I find this worrying but there no trace of the same fear one gets with a night terror, I am also fully awake as I take the breath.

Some times this is coupled with a feeling like my brain is violently vibrating in my head for a slip second and I can hear a loud noise which isn’t there. When I experience the vibrations I feel temporally paralysis.

The vibrations start in my legs. At first I thought it was neurological but my Doc doesn't see any signs. This started a while ago; I really can't say when and was infrequent. Now it is almost every night. I do not recall hearing anything like the sounds you hear. I do hear other things though like last night I heard someone knocking on my bedroom door. I didn't care much for that. I keep the hall light on so I can see under the door but no-one was there. There are only two of us in the house and in the same locked room.

I am the kind of person that can fall asleep even before my head hits the pillow and sometimes I can hear a room full of people talking. I can hear this when I am just dozing off but not asleep yet. I can't tell what they are saying but I can tell it is many people talking.

Sometimes there is a monotone whirring sound, but mostly i get a whooshing sound in my right ear (like if being in a plane and changing altitude). My body becomes ridged and unable to open my eyes. Then on the right side of my face my skin appears to go elastic and is pulled outwards and upwards - with the rest of my body following. Other times my body will vibrate at speed (side to side) before the 'pulling' sensation. I have to struggle to pull myself back and take can a long time. Then I lie awake for hours terrified about going back to sleep. Last year I hardly slept for 6months which has affected my whole life.

I’m wondering if what I have been experiencing all along are these lucid NT’s. I have had NT’s since adolescence, starting out with big, leggy spiders and then cruised into adulthood with the "evil dark shadow man" and of late a hag-like old woman. In all cases I not only see my intruder, but I can hear them when they move, I can even feel the breeze on my skin coming through the window my "intruder" broke to come in. I sit up, my eyes wide open (hubby can attest to that) terrified, usually to the point of silence. In time I have been able to force myself to understand this "intruder" is not really there and to just wait for it to disappear, which usually happens in a matter of seconds (although it feels like forever). It just seems so real to me at that moment, all my senses are screaming and it’s everything I can do to keep it together.

The first time I tripped on DMT was amazing, and so were the others that followed. I would gladly describe some of these trips, but unfortunately the English language lacks the expression needed to truly do any justice. But what I was wondering, is that after my trips, I always have had these intense vibrations coursing throughout my body. It feels as if my whole being is vibrating with energy. It is the most profound in my hands and it always seems to be leaving throughout my fingertips. This feeling lasts about 45 minutes after i have "come back".

Strassman, R. (2001). DMT: Spirit Molecule. Rochester: Park Street Press.
The 0.1mg/kg The vibratory energizing effects predominated, but there never was a breakthrough into a full psychedelic experience.

Nearly everyone remarked on the "vibrations" brought on by DMT, the sense of powerful energy pulsing through them at a very rapid and high frequency. Typical comments were: "The colors and vibrations were so intense I thought I would pop, "I didn't think I would stay in my skin."

Rather, there were simply sounds, variously described as "high pitched," "whining and whirring," "chattering," "crinkling and crunching."

Butterfly Bomb
Every heartbeat pulsed outward in my vision like a dark sphere, and during the split second intervals, the light was far too bright -- a high-pitched sound like metal on glass. I promptly had a seizure, and then assumed the fetal position on the floor where I had fallen.

Needless to say, this was a hellish experience. It lasted another hour, after which no symptoms of the chemical remained. Thusly the entire experience lasted no more than 1:40.

Every sound I heard made me laugh more and more, and with each laugh came a flashing gray-white light and a high pitched whining sound, like when you turn on a TV. Whenever the light appeared, time seemed to freeze, and though I was only laughing for a few minutes, it seemed like ages went by. I wanted to laugh and cry, but my eyes felt so dry. I got scared then, and stopped laughing. I just froze. Nothing seemed real, the light had gone, but I was so far away, as if I was in a different reality. I could barely see the room around me, it was so very far from me.

Someone said something, and with the sound came a bright flash of that gray-white light again and the high pitched whine which horribly distorted what had just been said. I felt like I was an elastic band being pulled taught and twanged in slow motion. Every sound or movement seemed to resonate for hours, time was moving so slowly it had almost stopped.

Though hard to determine whats going on at this point, it seems to me that the auditory and visual effects along with the vibrations all seemed to be linked together. This could be explained again by the modulation of the brain during NREM phase into a type of REM state. In REM the sleep paralysis is full force which could be interpreted by anyone conscious as a feeling of electrical shock almost painful in some cases. This could also be experienced during waking and may times our arms and legs are asleep and feel painful and electric like when they are awoken. The activation of the PONS and the induction of POG waves during the NREM and REM phases of sleep could be the cause of the auditory loud sounds, and visual flashes of light during altered states of consciousness. POG waves could also be the reason for the sensation of the electrical vibrations as the brain switches over for internal stimuli in preparation for sleep and dreaming.

I am sure a lot of you are thinking, well that's great that you can explain a possible reason why I am experiencing this event, but how do I fix it? It seems that his process very well could be a normal process of your body switching over into a dream state, however; the conscious part of the experience may not. The best idea is to help your body transition without any pickups in the process, making it so that you are essentially unconscious while your brain switches over. Many different chemicals that you get in your foods (I believe) provide you brain with the needed materials to transition correctly. Due to lack of nutrition in our foods, we now have caused lack of these chimerical in many of our brains.  Supplements are a good way of providing your brain the help it may need. If you are interested in supplements you may want to read some of my previous blog posts as I have done a good deal of research into different ones that may help this process, that way you don't waist a lot of money on stuff you don't need.

Over all I hope that this helps someone understand that they are not alone in the world of SP and NT, and that there are alternative methods to possibly helping you sleep at night then prescription drugs. I also get the sense a great deal of research that is needed on this area of sleep is not being done, and should get a lot more attention as it seems to be a growing problem in society.

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