Frozen nightmares

The Devil in the Room is a fantastic short film about the experience of hallucinatory sleep paralysis – a common experience that has been widely mythologised around the world.

Sleep paralysis is the experience of being unable to move during the process of waking – when you have regained consciousness but you’re brain has not re-engaged your ability to control your muscles.

The reason the experience has been widely associated with mythological creatures is because in some people it can lead to intense emotions and hallucinations.

The name ‘sleep paralysis’ is a bit confusing because this also refers to normal sleep paralysis – where your brain disengages control of your muscles during REM sleep to stop you ‘acting out’ your dreams.

The film is part of the Sleep Paralysis Project, which has much more about the experience on their website.
 

Link to ‘Devil in the Room’ on vimeo.

5 Comments

  1. Posted March 18, 2014 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    I have had sleep paralysis for many many years. It’s terrifying waking up and seeing people who aren’t there, or seeing phenomena that isn’t real.

  2. Chris
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    I have been having this happen to me since I was 15 I am now 52. No doctor I ever went to has known about sleep paralysis as in what we experience. To hear of other people experience this via the internet was incredible. They called it Exploding Head Syndrome. So to read about it on the Sleep Paralysis Project site was (I can’t actually think of a word to describe my feelings), it was just very emotional for me. To actually read that there has been case studies and there actually is people who are interested in finding out the reason why it happens is incredible. I have learned to live with it and I don’t let it bother me too much. It is definitely related to sleep disruption. I don’t get feelings of being crushed, weighed down, breathing problems or external demons as such. Mine is more of a hallucination in the form of a dream and sometimes nightmare and then a lot, I mean a lot of very loud white noise when I wake from the hallucination…but I am paralysed. The noise is unbearable. Trying to relax and go with it is impossible so therefore the only option for me is to try and make a noise to wake my husband so he can shake me. I can usually get out the words ” help me” (huge effort though, and very stressful at the time). That is one thing I have noticed is not mentioned on the Sleep Paralysis Project site, that is the noise that I and a lot of other people experience.

  3. Posted March 19, 2014 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    This is wonderful. The first time I experienced sleep paralysis I was absolutely terrified and convinced that I might very well be insane. I was so scared that I did not share my experiences with anyone for almost 20 years. Finally, whilst surfing the net one day, I read about the phenomenon. The relief in knowing that this was an actual “thing” and that I was not CRAZY was palpable. Knowledge truly is power.

  4. Posted April 6, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I wonder what the mechanism is that causes some people to experience the more hallucinatory and emotional effects from sleep paralysis. I’ve experienced sleep paralysis before but for me it was just about 10 seconds after waking that I couldn’t move, after which it wore off, I’d never heard of the hallucinatory version before. Interesting stuff :)

  5. sgroclkc
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    There are two main types of scary phenomenons in sleep(nightmare and sleep paralysis) that are caused by two main scary symptoms of cardiovascular disease {palpitation and fainting (syncope)}. Persons who palpitation is easy to occur are easy to have nightmare, drugs can cause nightmare because drugs can cause palpitation. Females are easier to have nightmare than males, because palpitation is easier occur to females than to males. Women have a huge amount of nightmares during pregnancy because women experience more palpitations in pregnancy. Physical factors that contribute to bad dreams include fever as also sleep because fever causes an increase in the heart rate, When palpitations occurs, people will have two most common feelings: one is tachycardia cause a feeling of seeming to be chasing ; the other is bradycardia or premature beat cause the feeling of heart suspension or heart sinking. Therefore, people in sleep accordingly will have the two most common nightmares : one is dream of being chased (occasionally hunting other people) ; the other is dream of flying in the air or dream of falling down. If transient cerebral ischemia or fainting occuring during the day may result in some very terrible dizziness, palpitations, feelings of chest pressure, dim vision, tinnitus and a variety of neurological symptoms. As a result, all the people who are prone to cerebral ischemia or fainting frail corporeity, excessive fear, taking the quinidine which may lead to low blood pressure, as well as a excessive high pillow ors, error in sleeping style which may lead to the aggrieved neck, pressed blood stream. when they sleep in deep night, they will have the extraordinary corresponding horrible dreams, in the dreams, they do some kind of terrible Belial pressuring them or being hunted down, but they can not cry out or escape, which are called nightmare in iatrology. Vague terrors in light sleep, which is known as sleep paralysis. Sometimes people was just woken up with the cerebral ischemia or fainting, be cause the vision continuing for a few minutes and dyskinesia have not yet concluded, which will cause psychological illusion that people struggle to wake up but fail to do it. For instance, a place in country, there is a “haunted” bed which makes people have sleep paralysis every night and it is this fact that the pillow in the bed is too high. Another example, sleeping pills are the treatment of nightmare of being chased of neurasthenia, due to the nightmare of being chased of such patients is caused by tachycardia, and sleeping pills can lead to slower heartbeat, moreover slower heartbeat sometimes leads to sleep paralysis or fainting for people of low blood pressure. Therefore, treating a nightmare with sleeping pills at times is not only invalid, but also it will instead increase the patient’s state of the disease.


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