Describe the last nightmare you remember having. What do you think it meant?
The most terrifying sleep experience I’ve ever had is not a nightmare, but sleep paralysis. It’s an error in neural signals as you shift in or out of REM sleep. It’s most likely to occur when you fall asleep on your back. I try to avoid that.
When it happens it feels as though I’m awake, but I can’t move and I’m terrified. I’m trying like hell, on the inside, to wake my husband but I can’t make a sound or move a muscle. I can’t breathe, I’m afraid I’m going to die.
During one episode I hallucinated a demon. Hallucination is common with sleep paralysis, people report seeing ghosts or demons or a dark presence. I don’t believe in demons, but still,it was frightening.
One time I awoke from a deep sleep, screaming as my butt hit the floor. I didn’t know why I was screaming and I didn’t know why I’d fallen out of bed on my ass. I couldn’t remember anything I’d been dreaming. Freaked me out. Scared the heck out of my poor husband too.
Sleep paralysis may be hereditary. I think I got it from my mother. She used to wake up screaming bloody murder. That was very scary for the little me.
It hasn’t happened to me in a few years. I hope it never happens again.