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gwillen comments on Dissolving the Question - Less Wrong

44 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 08 March 2008 03:17AM

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Comment author: gwillen 10 April 2012 07:14:42AM 1 point [-]

In related(?) news, often my brain wakes up before my body, and I can't move so much as my eyeballs! It's like the opposite of sleepwalking.

Just in case you aren't already aware (and haven't become aware since this was written) -- this is a common phenomenon (from which I suffer also), described here:


Comment author: hannahelisabeth 17 November 2012 10:52:31PM 0 points [-]

I'm not sure if I've experienced sleep paralysis before, but I've had experiences very similar to it. I will "wake up" from a dream without actually waking up. So I will know that I'm in bed, my mind will feel conscious, but my eyes will be closed and I'll be unable to move. Ususally I try to roll around to wake myself up, or to make noise so someone else will notice and wake me up. But it doesn't work, 'cause I can't move or make noise, even though it feels like I am doing those things (and yet I'm aware that I'm not, because I can feel the lack of physical sensation and auditory perceptions). But when I actually wake up and can move, it feels like waking up, rather than just not being paralyzed any more. And sometimes when I'm in that "think I'm awake and can't move" state, I imagine my environment being different than it actually is. Like, I might think I'm awake and in my own bed, and then when I wake up for real, I realize I'm at someone else's place. Which makes me think I wasn't actually awake when I felt like I was. But it feels awfully similar to sleep paralysis, so I'm not sure if it is sleep paralysis or just something very similar.

Comment author: gwillen 19 November 2012 06:18:47PM 0 points [-]

I would say that's very likely sleep paralysis; it it is very similar to my own experience.

As far as I can tell, without an outside observer to confirm this, my eyes are actually open during SP. After enough episodes I do occasionally get what seems to evidence of this (e.g. I will notice details of the world around me that I can clearly see when I wake up are actually there.)

Sleep paralysis is associated with hallucinations; particularly (for me and I think also in general) feelings of fear, or hallucinations of some entity 'coming for you', or people talking indistinctly, or people calling your name.

Generally you (or at least I) can't really think well in that state; as a state of consciousness, I guess I would describe it as "between dreaming and wakefulness." Sometimes I'm aware of what's occurring, and sometimes I'm not.