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During REM sleep, as you will recall from chapter 2, all the voluntary muscles of your body are almost completely paralyzed, except for the muscles that move your eyes and those with which you breathe. REM sleep is a psychophysiological state involving the cooperative activity of a number of distinct special-purpose brain systems. For example, independent neural systems cause muscular paralysis, blockade of sensory input, and cortical
activation. When these three systems are working together, your brain will be in the state of REM sleep. and you will probably be dreaming.
Sometimes the REM systems don’t turn on or off at the same time. For example, you may awaken partially from REM sleep, before the paralysis system turns off, so that your body is still paralyzed even though you are otherwise awake. Sleep paralysis, as this condition is called, can occur while people are falling asleep (rarely) or waking up (more frequently). If you don’t know what’s happening, your first experience with sleep paralysis can terrifying. People typically struggle in a fruitless effort re or to fully wake up. In fact, such emotional panic reactions are completely counterproductive; they are likely to stimulate the limbic (emotional) areas of the brain and cause the REM state to persist.
The fact is, sleep paralysis is harmless. Sometimes when it happens to you, you feel as if you are suffocating or in the presence of a nameless evil. But this is just the way your half-dreaming brain interprets these abnormal conditions: something terrible must be happening! The medieval stories of incubus attacks (malevolent spirits believed to descend upon and have sex with sleeping women) probably derived from fantastically over-interpreted experiences of sleep paralysis. The next time you experience sleep paralysis, simply remember to relax. 11 yourself that you are in the same state now as you are several hours every night during REM sleep. It will ) you no harm and will pass in a few minutes. Sleep paralysis is not only nothing to be frightened of, it can be something to be sought after and cultivated. Whenever you experience sleep paralysis you are on the threshold REM sleep. You have, as it were, one foot in the dream state and one in the waking state. Just step over and you’re in the world of lucid dreams. In the following exercises we sent several techniques for taking that step.
Originally posted by Miishgoos
This is just my opinion and I'm not discounting anyone else's theories because I'm no authority on the subject but I think when you get scared when your in sleep paralysis mode your dream makes up monsters and other such things.
But who knows maybe thats what the monsters want you to think?