Friday, January 16, 2009
Have you ever suffered from sleep paralysis? It's a state where you think you're awake, and you're lucid to some degree, aware of being in bed and asleep, but you can't move. You can't move partly because you're mostly still asleep, and partly because your body produces chemicals during sleep to paralyze you (and prevent you from sleep walking or tossing and turning too much). In this state, people tend to get paranoid delusions, and it's quite possibly where many UFO abduction fantasies come from, as well as visions of, say, incubi in the olden days.
The first time I got it was in college, and I felt that I was in my bed in my dorm room, and two men in black suits were sitting very still in chairs to my right, silently watching me. I tried everything I could to move or to wake up, even trying to spit on myself, to no avail. Freaky as hell.
Anyway, sometimes when I drive long distances and get drowsy, I pull out at the next exit and take a brief rest to refresh myself before getting back on the road. Today I did that at a parking lot, rested my eyes a bit, and I guess I actually kinda fell asleep... and then suffered from sleep paralysis while trying to wake up.
I thought that I was home in bed, and that my bedside lamp was on my chest for some reason. I could only open my eyes half-way. I could sort of barely move my arm, but not enough to push the lamp off. Meanwhile, it seemed I was actually in some sort of college dorm room or apartment, because through an open window to my left, I could hear the faintest jazz playing.
When I finally woke up, there was no lamp on my chest, I was still in my car, and the jazz I thought I heard was actually the drone of nearby machinery.