I saw this question online when I was researching something and wanted to attempt to talk about what’s actually happening during sleep paralysis. Now I’m not a doctor, but I have had an interesting relationship with sleep my whole life. From a very early age I became a chronic sleep walker and would have complete conversations with my parents before they realized I was asleep. I often had reoccurring nightmares and lucid dreams. Once I was dreaming I was lost and began sleep walking. I walked down the stairs to our front hall and opened the door crying because I wanted to go home in my dream and was lost and sad, even though in reality I was home. What was so remarkable was that the whole time I was dreaming there was an awake me observing the whole thing. It was like I was sitting in the cab of one of those big diggers and the machine was digging but the controls in the cab were broken. Half my brain was dreaming lost, scared, and crying but in complete control of my body. I even opened the front door and was considering going out to look for my house. All the while, the other half of my brain was awake and could observe all that was happening. The awake me knew I was in the front hall of my home and that it was late at night and the lights weren’t on but had no control over my body or to alter events. The awake side was laughing at my dreaming side and kept saying “hey stupid your dreaming”. Around the age of sixteen I began seeing the Hat Man and it was like sleep paralysis but I always only saw Him at night. I have had sleep paralysis a couple times in the morning but that was different, it wasn’t scary. I was paralyzed but no malevolence just in and out of dreams and awake state, but never Him.
Ok so why do we hallucinate with sleep paralysis? Technically it’s not hallucinating but rather lucid dreaming. Most people take a while to reach REM or the dream state. I think an average time is around 20 minutes. I’m narcoleptic with sleep paralysis. I was tested on an EEG and was told I reach REM in 4 minutes. When the average person goes into REM there are This happens so the sleeper won’t get up, especially in a nightmare, and run around and get hurt (sleep walkers have issues with this process). The average person never knows this is happening because they’re sound asleep. In those with sleep paralysis, the chemicals are released before they’re actually asleep, and the person may actually begin to dream superimposed on the real world, which is called lucid dreaming.
For many years I experienced the Hat Man along with sleep paralysis. As I said in past entries that when I was around sixteen I thought I was losing my mind as He spoke to me and I swear I felt His breath on my cheek. I thought it might even be early onset of schizophrenia. In my thirties, I was diagnosed with narcolepsy and that’s when I found out about sleep paralysis and figured that, although it was terrifying, I was just having a very bad reoccurring lucid nightmare with my sleep paralysis. But, of course, now knowing that there are so many people all over the world seeing the same figure that I see, and with so many similarities, I unfortunately can no longer accept that He is a lucid dream. Lucid dreams do exist and are associated with sleep paralysis but He is real…in some way.