Over the last ten years there has been a great deal of discussion about the relevance of the topic of sleep paralysis to alien abductions.
What is sleep paralysis? During the night, when you are asleep, you go through various stages of sleep. One of these stages is rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, where most dreaming occurs. The healthy adult spends about 20% of their total sleep time in REM sleep. During REM sleep, your muscle tone is almost zero, otherwise if you dreamed that you were being chased you would get out of bed and run. The only thing that moves are your eyes.
J A Cheyne at the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada has written a lot about sleep paralysis. Click for further details here. He notes that everyone reporting sleep paralysis has the subjective impression of wakefulness and immobility. Elements of the experience which frequently occurs are: a "fear of a presence"; "fear of death" or "fear of harm."
Other elements which occur are "a sense of presence" -usually evil; a pressure on your chest; auditory hallucinations -e.g. footsteps, breathing; visual hallucinations perhaps of a humanoid form or of a face present; feelings of floating or lifting.
Rarer features are that the whole experience has the continuity of conscious experience and totally unlike a dream. Also you might experience a tingling or vibrating sensation.
Statistically, two thirds of SP experiences have associated hallucinations; and about 5 % report all the associated elements described above.
Let's take a look at a few reported abduction accounts:
1. Woke paralysed, lying on her back. Sense of a presence in the room. Bed clothes seemed to be vibrating. Feeling of being out of her body.
2. Numbness, tingling and churning sensation crawled up his body. Paralysed except for the eyes. Became aware of 3-4 figures wearing dark robes with hoods, in the room. Next thing he "came to" in his bed.
3. Man overcome by fear and tingling sensations. Sense of a presence watching him. He became convinced there was someone in the room as he could hear their footsteps.
One of the lesser known things is that during REM sleep, males experience penile erection and females vaginal wetness. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that male abductees recall genital manipulation, sometime to climax, by their alien abductions and women recall genital examinations. So, even these unusual aspects of abductions can relate back to the physiology of sleep paralysis.
So, you can see why some people suggest that sleep paralysis might explain some abduction accounts. Paralysis with associated visual and auditory hallucinations. Many abductions start off with a person in bed and end with the person back in the same bed. Who is to say that they ever left the bed?
What of abductions from motor vehicles or multiple abductions? Surely, these can't be explained by sleep paralysis? For every vehicular and multiple abduction there are perhaps 100 bedroom based abductions. If one agrees that perhaps these bedroom based abductions were SP caused, then the "real" alien abductions would be the vehicular and multiple. But, wait a minute! Exactly the same abduction elements are reported by bedroom, vehicular and multiple abduction experiencers.
What of reported daytime, awake abductees. It can't be SP caused, can it? Another little known fact is that people in professions such as nursing and air traffic controllers have reported waking SP episodes-they are awake, but paralysed for short time during their shifts.
I am not saying here, that all abductions can be explained away as sleep paralysis. Just that many abduction components seem to fit extremely well with known sleep paralysis experiences.
Dear readers, what do you think about sleep paralysis as a possible explanation for some abduction accounts? Please feel free to comment.