Paralyzed by fear in the middle of the night, what is the culprit? Trauma, poor health, lousy self care, a malfunction of the amygdala (the part of your brain responsible for controlling anger and fear) or something much more ominous? Are these bumps in the night the product of Rapid Eye Movement, or a visit from a mare (the etymological root of the word “nightmare”), a hag, a creature of the night? Sleep paralysis, held down on your bed, unable to move, unable to cry for help, but wide awake. Every civilization has their own name for the visitor that suffocates you in a world somewhere between awake and asleep.
We comfort our loved ones, our children, ourselves, by believing that we cannot be physically harmed by these unwanted experiences. It is fact that one can be scared to death in waking life. Although there is no way to medically study or document this phenomenon, should the terror of your dream reach an astronomical level, your heart could, in reality, cease to beat. Not to mention the phenomenon known as Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS), the impact of nightmares, night terrors, and sleep paralysis are very real, and widely endured.
Having been plagued by night time terrors as children and into adulthood, Hampus Danielsson and Emily Rault credited different sources for the discomfort. Afflicted by sleep paralysis, Danielsson had to believe that this must be a scientific phenomenon, where as Rault believed to have been visited by lingering spirits throughout her childhood. Either way, the fear that is produced by nightmares is intensely real, to the point of leaving physical and mental imprints on the dreamer for hours, days, or even years after the occurrence.
Where do you go when you fall asleep?
AUTHOR: Hampus Danielsson SWEDEN
A self taught photographer, I started my own company, Mepic Photography, in 2016. I have subsequently published numerous books, worked with artists, designers, media personalities and private bookings as a freelance photographer in Sweden, North America and around Europe.