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1.
Medically, little is know of the cause of sleep paralysis. Experienced worldwide and throught history, SP occurs to otherwise normal people at the onset, or the end of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Simply stated, SP seems to be an experience opposite sleep walking. Rather than your body unconscincely moving mimicing a dream, your conscince mind will be rendered unable to move your body. A subject will suddenly become completely aware of his/her surroundings, but will be unable to move their body or even wake up. Hallucinations and intense fear accompany the experience, as subjects may scence an evil presence that often sits on the subject's chest and interferes with the ability to breathe normally. The physical form of the presence varies from time period and culture, older instances involved witches, or "hags" and many new cases involve aliens. These subjects will experience many of the stereotypical events of an alien abduction, such as paralysis, floating sensation, and auditory hallucinations. The event can last from several seconds, to several minutes, with the subject either falling deeper into sleep, or snaping out and waking. The experience usually leaves the subject confused and disoriented and often, even after waking, the subject believes the event to have been an actual experience. SP is not known to be harmfull, and paralysis has never been know to adversly effect invoulentary muscles such as heart or lungs, although an elevated heart rate may occur from the scence of fear. If you have experienced sleep paralysis, it is important to keep in mind that it is largely a dream. Any experiences that take place are created by your mind. Having a bit of knowledge of what is actually going on, often helps subjects to deal with it.
When I was younger, I believed that I was being abducted by space aliens. Now that I understand more, I realize that I was really only experiencing sleep paralysis.
by Sholc January 24, 2007
 
2.
The most fucking terrifying thing you can ever experience.
Me: I had sleep paralysis last night.
Other guy: Whats that?
Me: Just fucking scary.
by Ryantheruler October 25, 2008
 
3.
One of the necessary stages every human (usually) experiences during the transition from being awake to being in a dream. If you don't have this fortunate occurrence happen to you, you are a sleepwalker. It is a simply and smart mechanism to ensure you do not actually act out what you're doing in your dreams. You do tend to believe your dreams are real while you're in them, right? This closes down the bridge of transmitting your apparent physical actions in your dreams to your physical body outside of the dream.

Most people who become aware of sleep paralysis while it's happening become terrified of it, try to escape it, and become irate when others bring it up. This is ridiculous when you think about it. If it didn't happen, you would sleepwalk. And whether you become aware of it or not, it happens every time you rest. The really good news is that if you become aware of it happening, you are given a unique opportunity. You can RELAX and let it happen, like a film trailer you don't care for, and stay aware until you are in the dream itself, making it... lucid! Lucid dreaming is the key. The other option is to senselessly struggle, and think it's some strange demonic thing. Kind of like taking the red pill or the blue pill.
"I had sleep paralysis again last night."
"Do you think you're opening your eyes and trapped in your bed?"
"Well, I used to think that, but this time was different... I was in my bed, but my room was completely mirrored, so I knew it couldn't have been real."
by Oneironauts March 07, 2014