Why do we have nightmares? Lately, I've been having very dark dreams. Dreams filled with blood, killing, people dying,jinns after me, trying to escape from dogs..... Nightmares are frightening for the reason that we don't realize we are dreaming when it's happening. I've also had instaces where I was awake but I couldn't move, it was like something was holding me on the bed. That was really scary. The first time it happened, I thought I was dead. I googled it and found out that I wasn't the only one it was happening too. It is called' Sleep paralysis' and it is:
The state you might find yourself in, if your mind awakens while your body is still asleep. While you are asleep your body is always paralyzed, to stop it from acting out your dreams and perhaps hurt you in the process. You are normally just not aware of it, since you are unconscious. When this malfunctions you get sleepwalkers.
Sleep paralysis may often be very scary indeed; to wake up and not being able to move at all could drive most people into panic. Often it is also accompanied with loud, roaring, screeching, hissing "sounds" and/or vibrations in your body. Feeling presences and hearing voices, often evil-sounding, is also common.
Apparently, different cultures give different interpretations to this phenomenon. Here are a few examples:
In Hmong culture, sleep paralysis describes an experience called "dab tsog" or "crushing demon" from the compound phrase "dab" (demon) and "tsog" (crush). Often times the sufferer claims to be able to see a tiny figure, no larger than a child, sitting on his or her chest. What is alarming is that a vast number of American Hmong, mainly males, have died in their sleep prompting the Centers for Disease Control to create the term "Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome" or "SUNDS" for short.
In Vietnamese, sleep paralysis is referred to as "ma de", meaning "held down by a ghost". Most people in this culture believe that a ghost has entered your body, causing the paralysis state.
In Japanese, sleep paralysis is referred to as kanashibari ( literally "bound or fastened in metal," from kane "metal" and shibaru "to bind, to tie, to fasten"). This term is occasionally used by English speaking authors to refer to the phenomenon both in academic papers and in pop psych literature.
In Turkey this is called "karabasan" ("The dark presser/assailer"). It is believed that it is a creature which attacks people in their sleep.
Parker Johnston, states after his encounter with sleep paralysis, "I can tell you right now, if I hadn't read about this type of thing earlier, mainly the part about the hallucinations, and known exactly what was going on, what was causing it and what to expect, this would've easily been one of the most nightmarish experiences of my life" and goes on to say that "knowing is half the battle".
Indeed, knowing is half the battle. I was myself very disturbed by this the first few times it happened to me. And because it never happened to my friends before, when I told them what happened, they were all laughing at me, thinking I had hallucinations or I was possessed. Anyways, have you had any nightmares that scared the hell out of you? or any sleep paralysis instances or out of body experiences? please share!