Have you ever had one of those nightmares that you wake up and you can’t move and you feel like something is there in the room watching you? This has happened to me and I’m always interested in meeting other people who have experienced it. The only problem is nobody seems to want to talk about it. Why is that? It’s because it’s scary as SHIT. And sometimes, when you talk about it…it makes it happen again!
Here are the seven stages a person goes through during sleep paralysis…
Stage I - Why can't I move?
You wake up sometime during the night. Everything is perfectly normal.
Except you can’t move a single limb of your body.
Yup, one hundred percent ideal conditions to have the most terrifying experience of your life. No matter what you do you just can’t seem to get up. First you try to move your arms. Then you try to move your legs. Nothing happens. You’re laid out on your back like Bernard Hopkins trying to bail himself out of a fight. Only difference is, you’re not exaggerating.
Stage II - Something is there!
You can’t see it, whatever it is, but you know it’s there. It’s like when you dig your panties out of your booty before looking around. Then you immediately feel that someone is behind you. AND THEY’RE WATCHING YOU.
Tonight you wonder to yourself if the real reason you are not moving is simply because you’re frozen in fear. You would’ve been better off not knowing that some hot guy saw you de-wedgie yourself, and maybe in your current predicament you’d be equally fine without turning your head and seeing the Devil in your closet trying on your Prada.
Regardless, you summon up the courage to attempt to move again. Still can’t move.
You think to yourself, “Maybe my mom will hear me if I scream for her” (For some reason that makes complete sense to you even though you live in Jersey City and your mom won’t let you move back home). So you try to scream for your mommy, you little bitch.
But no sound comes out. Even if your mommy WAS there, she wouldn’t have been able to hear that she raised you to be a big pussy.
Stage III - The monster lurks
Out of the corner of your eye you notice a shadowy figure facing in your direction. You can’t get a clear view of it because you still can’t move. But from what you can see of it you’re pretty damn sure, this mysterious being is the one who will be killing you in a few short moments.
You think you feel hands holding you down in place and you start to slip back into sleep as if you were drugged. You hope maybe it’s just a normal human roofie type situation, as opposed to an alien abduction type harvest your reproductive cells and probe your anus type situation.
Stage IV - Enough is enough
You can’t trust this creature that you see in the room. You will not let yourself be lulled back to sleep even if it drugs you or – even worse – puts a “sounds of nature” CD on repeat. Enough is enough.
You start thrashing around in your head, not moving at all in your bed. When this is over you will sell that line to Drake. Now it’s time to get out of this sleep paralysis prison.
You implement screaming, kicking and even crying into your escape plan until all of a sudden…your eyes are wide open.
Stage V - Panic followed by self-doubt
You bolt upright and jump out of bed. Sprinting to the light switch, you think about who you should call. Should you call the police or maybe you should text the FBI to see if they can open an X-file on your behalf?
But now that the lights are on and you see nothing is there, well that feels kind of foolish. Who’s going to believe you? It wasn’t real, was it? It sure felt real.
You think through the experience and feel embarrassed about calling out for your mommy. Oh right! You can call your mom!!! She loves you no matter what, you psychopath. And she will believe anything. Once upon a time, there was nothing you could do to convince her that her favorite televangelist wasn’t really putting gold teeth into those prepaid crackheads pre-cracked mouths.
Stage VI - Calling mom
“Mom, I’m sorry, I know it’s late, but I just dreamed something was in my room holding me down,” you whisper into the phone.
“Did you check the bathroom,” she advises matter-of-factly. Nice. Not only does your caring (gullible) mother believe you, but she has determined that the intruder is hiding in the bathroom and that you should perhaps go take a look see. She doesn’t say what you should do if you find a big nasty ass monster hiding behind the shower curtain, but you know in your heart she’s got the television on and if that monster knocks your teeth out she can give you the eight hundred number to request a golden upgrade.
You tell your mom yes, you promise, you’re definitely going to go back to sleep. It’s very important to moms that you have your rest. You tell her you love her, hang up, and then you sit there staring at the closet door. There’s no way in hell you’re going back to sleep!
You make sure all of the lights are on then you put your head down for two seconds and fall immediately back to sleep.
Stage VII - Quest for enlightenment or psychiatric help
The next morning you decide to research your incident online. Perhaps you can find something informative about how you’re going crazy, maybe some advice on how to slow the process down. It will probably say “Get more rest just like your mother told you.”
You do a Google search for dreams that match what you experienced. “Not being able to move, something sinister in the room, begging for your mommy to come get you.”
The extensive search results provide you with the terms “sleep paralysis” and “night terrors.” Holy shit it’s not just you. You feel a tremendous sense of relief. It’s like going to the food-stamp office and seeing your next door neighbor. You don’t have to suffer alone.
You read the scientific definition of Sleep Paralysis to yourself.
During REM sleep our body produces a chemical which induces a sort of physical paralysis. This is done because the mind does not realize it is sleeping. If we were not in a state of paralysis while dreaming, we would attempt to act out our dreams. In sleep paralysis, the mind exits the REM sleep stage before the chemical wears off, producing a momentary effect of paralysis.
Fuck. You add your shadow monster visitation to that equation and you may never sleep again.