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Intelligent-Cable6662 karma

Thank you for this AMA. I have been intrigued by the concept of lucid dreaming for decades now.

I was about 12-14 when I was first able to use a reality check to determine I was dreaming. It was sometime after that, that I first learned of lucid dreaming and began to attempt to control my dream self. I have never been successful. Once I manage to realize I am dreaming, I relax and let the dream move on as if I am watching a movie. For now, I am happy enough with this level of lucidity.

However, since learning about reality checks and how to use them, I have begun to have sleep paralysis events. In these situations, I cannot tell I'm dreaming. I'm unable to move, and usually terrified by some external stimulus for which I can NOT convince myself is not actually happening.

My typical reality checks are touching my arm (I can SEE my hand move on my arm but can't FEEL the touch), reading a sign or clock (it's either gibberish or changes when I look a second time), check my breathing (I know for sure if I'm running away from something scary but am breathing easily, I'm definitely NOT actually running), and sometimes I can tell by recognizing I am light on my feet (either very graceful or simply don't feel my shoes or the pressure of standing on my feet).

However, in during sleep paralysis, I am unable to move and can't use many of my normal checks. And my brain feeds me stimuli that I believe I can actually feel. For example, I once believed I had 20 pound rats crawling on my bed with me which felt similar to how our 20 lb dog jumps on the bed when she has the zoomies, but multiplied by 6 rats. While in the dream, and for a while after I fully woke, I couldn't tell it was a dream. (Eventually I was able to convince myself it was a dream simply bc the physics of some of the movements weren't possible outside of a dream).

Do you have any advice/tips/tricks for using reality checks in a sleep paralysis event when the dreamer is literally paralyzed and the brain is feeding realistic stimuli to itself?

Intelligent-Cable6662 karma

Thank you for answering!

I will try this tip. Not being able to vocalize would likely convince me that I am dreaming.

That reminds me of a funny story. At a family gathering, my dad had laid down for a nap. Sometime later, he jumped up from the couch and loudly growled. Everyone in the room looked at him all shocked. He explained that he had dreamed an intruder came in through the side door and his arms were tangled up in the blanket so he just threw his whole body at the intruder and tried to yell at him to leave.

He was halfway to the door before he realized he had been dreaming.