Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Sleep Paralysis by ElusiveDreams07 Sleep Paralysis by ElusiveDreams07
Acrylic on wood

On Sleep Paralysis:
A person may wake up and find himself unable to move or speak as if he is frozen. He also may hear footsteps, see a ghost-like creature, or feel someone sitting on his chest. Throughout the history, people considered this phenomenon as work done by evil spirits. However, the modern science can explain the terrifying event as a Sleep Paralysis.
A Sleep Paralysis is possibly a hereditary disorder in which one experiences very frightening seconds or minutes of total body paralysis with little respiration and eye movements. A victim in this state feels awake, but he cannot move or speak. In addition to the immobility, the common symptoms include feeling choked or suffocated, hearing strange noises like footsteps and voices, seeing beings or dark shadows, and feeling an existence of someone in the room. Although these symptoms often direct the victims to believe in ghosts, mis-transmission of neural signals in the brain causes Sleep Paralysis. When a person sleeps, his brain sends signals to inhibit any muscle contraction. If he comes into consciousness before the brain sends signals to activate muscle contraction, he cannot move his body, and consequently, become "paralyzed".

In order to understand how a body becomes paralyzed while the person is awake, it is necessary to understand sleep cycles. In a mammalian sleep, the brain activity undergoes two different states called non-REM (NREM) sleep and REM sleep, which differ very much from wakefulness. NREM and REM sleep alternate cyclically through the night; in human, about 80 minutes of NREM sleep starts a night of sleep, about 10 minutes of REM sleep follows, and this 90 minute cycle is repeated about 3 to 6 times during the night. During NREM sleep, a body produces few movement, but the body has capability of tossing about in bed and producing some other motor events, such as sleepwalking and sleeptalking. The cardiac-muscle contraction and breathing occur at a uniform rate, and the eyes move slowly. During REM sleep, on the other hand, heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure vary. The eyes move rapidly because most dreaming takes place in this period, and the sleeper probably "look" at the moving objects in a dream.

The brain's control over muscles during REM sleep points out that in this period, a body is normally in the state of total paralysis, called a "nonreciprocal flaccid paralysis". Probably to prevent a person from "acting out" a dream, the brain sends signals to inhibit any muscle contractions. Although some peripheral muscles, such as the muscles of the fingers and face, still twitch, the large skeletal muscles become relaxed, or "paralyzed" as a result. Some evidence supports that the motor paralysis of REM sleep protect against the acting out of one's dreams. A patient who suffers from rare syndrome called REM Sleep Behavior Disorder lacks the normal nonreciprocal flaccid paralysis, and he acts out violent dreams during REM sleep, often with injurious consequences. For example, a 60-year-old surgeon dreamt that he was attacked "by criminals, terrorists, and monsters who always tried to kill [him]" and fighting against them in the nightmare, he was actually punching and kicking his wife who slept in the same bed.

A nonreciprocal flaccid paralysis during REM sleep is accomplished actively by postsynaptic inhibition of motorneurons. Although the exact process of motor inhibition is not clear, some neurotransmitters and hormones are known to generate the many components of REM sleep. Aministering physostigmine, an inhibitor of the catabolic enzyme, increases the concentration of acetylcholine within the neurons in the pons, making it possible to artificially generate and start REM sleep in the middle of NREM sleep. Carbachol, the cholinergic agonist, produces a period of REM sleep in cat when directly injected into the pontine tegmentum. The hormone melatonin, a "master hormone" that mainly controls circadian rhythms, also seems to play an important role in enhancing the REM state; the level of melatonin secretion by the pineal gland reaches its lowest during REM sleep. Such neurotransmitters and hormones probably activate or inhibit the activity of second messengers, which then activate or inhibit the third messengers, and so on till the last messenger inhibit the synaptic transmission or cause hyperpolarization of the motorneurons. And if, for some reason, the nervous or endocrine system continues to release the neural inhibitors, a person may experience Sleep Paralysis as he enters awakefully into or awakens directly from REM period.

While the modern neuroscience can describe the state of Sleep Paralysis as some errors of the neural transmission in the brain during REM sleep, a person who has seen or heard ghost-like figures/voices may easily believe that eveil spirits fully controlled his entire body. However, the images or noises, which the victim believes that he has seen or heard, are most likely hallucinations; and hallucinations, too, can result from the brain activity. In the 1960's, the Canadian neurologist W. Penfield introduced that electrical stimulation of the temporal lobe can cause the auditory hallucinations in the wake state. The buzzing or ringing sounds in the ears and other auditory hallucinations are closely associated with the activity of the auditory cortex and involves the temporal lobe. During the early period of sleep paralysis, the activity of the temporal lobe increases significantly, sometimes inducing hallucinatory sense. Similarly, the visual cortex generates internal visual stimuli, causing the victim to "see" terrifying figures during the paralysis.

How an episode of Sleep Paralysis induces visual or auditory hallucinations is still not clear, but it seems to have a significant relationship with anxiety. For anxiety is a neurocognitive event closely related to both psychological and physical processes, the extreme anxiety or panic may cause the release of several different signal molecules that trigger all kinds of physical events. A person experiencing Sleep Paralysis feels mortal fear or extreme panic, and hence, the brain generates and releases internal visual or auditory stimuli, producing hallucinations.

Also, hallucinations during Sleep Paralysis may happen, for one keeps dreaming even after some parts of his brain wakes up directly from REM sleep. Since the nervous and endocrine systems continue to release the neural inhibitors which sustain the paralysis, it may be possible that those systems keep releasing the neural activators that stimulate dreaming. Thus, a person continues to "see" the images and "hear" the noises produced in the dream that he has just had in REM sleep from which he has awaken.

Understanding more neural concepts of Sleep Paralysis, some researchers now hypothesize that a very rare condition called Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS) may closely relate to Sleep Paralysis. Upon the death, a SUNDS victim produces no body movement even though he experiences a myocardial infarction and strong breathing difficulties and should straggle in agony. The death may be caused by the extreme muscle atonia during Sleep Paralysis, which is so severe that even the cardiac muscles and the diaghragm paralyze.

Until I started researching on this subject, I have believed that the total paralysis of a body is due to an evil taking absolute control over the body. However, the interactions between neurons in the brain can explain this seemingly mysterious phenomenon in a scientific way. Although the explanation is not complete yet, for there are many unclear processes about Sleep Paralysis, the current hypothesis appears to reject the possibility of ghosts on this matter. Of course, it is impossible to completely disprove the existence of "spirits", "minds", or "God" affecting one's behavior. Nevertheless, like Sleep Paralysis and SUNDS, many or the mysterious conditions and behaviors which are only explained in supernatural terms probably result from brain.

[link]
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2013-04-11
Sleep Paralysis by ~ElusiveDreams07 A thought provoking portrayal of what it is like to experience sleep paralysis. ( Suggested by Lyricanna and Featured by Astralseed )
:icondeanjohnsonartstudio:
Really beautiful -- I love the "double," which looks so menacing....
Reply
:iconatnates:
atnates Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love this image. It really is very powerful.
Reply
:iconsporediatrymisss:
SporeDiatrymisss Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
PFFF SLEEP IS OVERRATED ANYWAYS :iconomgpugplz:
Reply
:iconmidnightsgleam:
MidnightsGleam Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love it! I suffer from sleep paralysis and it really comforts me to know whats really going on c:
Reply
:iconsydghor:
Sydghor Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014   General Artist
AWESOME EXPLANATION!!! THANK YOU FOR NOT BELIEVING IN GHOSTS AND CRAP!!!! Finally someone who does a little research around here!! Amazing work too! (030)
Reply
:iconthe-new-mafia:
The-New-Mafia Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014
Love your work! We are producing a video entitled "A Time to Heal" and would love permission to include some of your pieces. We will have both an English version and a Spanish version. Full credit on the video of course and we have already completed a half dozen successful projects with amazing artists like yourself : )
Thank you so much for your consideration.
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Absolutely! And if you could send me a link to the video once it's available, please do! I can't wait to see it.
Reply
:iconthe-new-mafia:
The-New-Mafia Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Fantastic! I have just sent you a note! Thank you : )
Reply
:iconthe-new-mafia:
The-New-Mafia Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Fantastic! I have just sent you a note! Thank you : )
Reply
:iconthe-new-mafia:
The-New-Mafia Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Fantastic! I have just sent you a note! Thank you : )
Reply
:iconthe-new-mafia:
The-New-Mafia Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Fantastic! I have just sent you a note! Thank you : )
Reply
:iconmagda-lenaa:
MagDa-LeNaa Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013
Oh!!!!!!! I am probably terribly late but I didn't see this before! Congratulations on the Daily Deviation :clap: It's a really, really fascinating piece. I also read the description and my jaw dropped! I only recently talked to a close friend of mine about her experiences with this! She described exactly that and I had never heard about sleep paralysis before! I gave her a link to this, it's amazing. Good job, respect! Also, I hope you don't mind me looking through your gallery and leaving you 4065063859346 comments hahah I just feel the need to catch up. I've missed so much while I was gone!
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
No no, by all means comment away! And yeah I hadn't heard about it until it happened to a friend of mine and she mentioned that there was a term for it and I was like ALL THIS TIME I THOUGHT DEMONS WERE TRYING TO POSSESS MY POOR FRAIL BODY???
Reply
:icon3dennis:
3dennis Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013
Serene.
Reply
:iconluissalomon:
LuisSalomon Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
Interesante, muy original.
Reply
:iconhoshisamavalmor:
HoshisamaValmor Featured By Owner May 15, 2013
amazing portrayal, sleep paralysis sounds absolutely terrifying, thanks for all the info. congratulations for the DD
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
You're welcome! Happy to know you found it interesting, and thank you for the comment!
Reply
:iconwaltermorselli:
waltermorselli Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Professional Artist
I love it!
Reply
:iconticlo7:
ticlo7 Featured By Owner May 3, 2013  Student General Artist
The water effect helps portray it very nicely :D It looks fantastic!

Thanks for sharing all that information. I never knew such a thing existed until now. How often does SUNDS happen? It's such a strange thing for a body to shut down like that.
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I used to have sleep paralysis maybe once or twice a year since middle school, but by senior year of high school it was more like once or twice a month, so not that badly. And then it stopped altogether once I graduated. What I experience isn't SUNDS which is Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome, which I hadn't heard about. I knew of SIDS though. But according to what I just read, there's very little understanding of it and it happens most often when the young adults are asleep. I don't understand the human body at all. It's all very tricky.
Reply
:icondrawforever41:
drawforever41 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013
Your drawing is extraordinary!
I reproduced it in my way,
would it be possible to put it on deviant art?
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I sent you a message about this just now! I hadn't previously seen your comment, but yes that's completely fine. Just add a link to this page in your artist comments crediting me for the original!
Reply
:icondrawforever41:
drawforever41 Featured By Owner May 9, 2013
ok, thank you very much!
sure, I will add a link to your page, don't worry about this :)
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner May 10, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks! I hope yours gets a ton of views :boing:
Reply
:icondrawforever41:
drawforever41 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013
Thank you for your authorisation!
I love your work! You're a great artist!
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
No problem at all! Thank you so much for asking me first. :tighthug:
Reply
:iconmailee123:
Mailee123 Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013
This is amazing
Reply
:iconphaeobrien:
PhaeOBrien Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Your incredibly beautiful artwork has been featured here! :D [link]
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Wow, this thing is really getting around! Thank you for featuring it you wonderful person you. :hug:
Reply
:iconphaeobrien:
PhaeOBrien Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My pleasure! :D It is really one magnificent piece of work! :nod:
Reply
:iconndrn:
NdrN Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013
Beautiful!
Reply
:iconwytherwing:
wytherwing Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013
congrats on your well-deserved DD! :thumbsup: :+fav:
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I'm still so surprised by the amount of people congratulating me for the DD - it's ridiculously nice of you guys and I absolutely appreciate it! Thank you for taking the time to drop by my page. :wave:
Reply
:iconwytherwing:
wytherwing Featured By Owner May 9, 2013
you're absolutely welcome :D
Reply
:iconsearchingformypaint:
Searchingformypaint Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013
Beautiful
Reply
:iconkeletian-symphony:
Keletian-Symphony Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Student General Artist
Fantastic work.

I remember having sleep paralysis four years ago. I woke up very early in the morning and tried to see, but I felt like my eyelids had been glued shut. I tried to move but my limbs felt like concrete and no matter how much I struggled I couldn't move at all. I felt like I was slowly suffocating because I was breathing but it was so quiet I couldn't hear it. At first it was terrifying but then I think I fell back asleep after a few minutes.
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
It's so mortifying to wake up to that. I used to not be able to hear my breathing or hear my pulse so in all honestly it felt like I was dead and someone was trying to pull my soul out of my body. It had the potential to be a really interesting experience if I hadn't been so alarmed.
Reply
:iconsenza-amore:
senza-amore Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
Very interesting concept, I love the muted colors and your effect of the water. The nudity of the lady is tasteful. All around eerie!
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I wish I could post a better photograph but no matter what lighting I use for it, it still comes out grayer than it looks in person. I'm very happy everyone seems to like it as is, though. Thanks for your comment! I had a lot of fun working on this and the face came out pretty well considering I hadn't done a self portrait in a while. Cheers!
Reply
:iconzippuri:
Zippuri Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very good.
Reply
:iconangel-neviah:
Angel-Neviah Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Student General Artist
I've had False awakenings ,but I haven't had sleep paralysis yet. I'm a intermediate lucid dreamer and by becoming a lucid dreamer you increasing your chances of having a False awakening or sleep paralysis. So I've prepared for what to do if I have one. First when you wake up and find you can't move don't panic! Panicking is what causes you to hallucinate. Take deep breaths, try to wiggle your toes and fingers to send signals to brain to let it know you're awake. That should release you from your sleep paralysis. However you can take advantage of sleep paralysis, it can help lead to an out of body experience or a wake induced lucid dream. There are countless tutorials on how to do them, you can go here-> [link] They offer the best information in my opinion.
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Coincidentally, my brother has always been a lucid dreamer but has never had sleep paralysis or an out of body experience to my knowledge. Over the past couple of years, my sleeping troubles have gone away. I don't have nearly as many or as horrific nightmares as I used to and I haven't had sleep paralysis since I graduated high school 2 years ago. I'm going to start looking into lucid dreaming techniques and OOB experiences because all of that is really interesting to me. The brain is such a weird and powerful organ and we don't take advantage of it at all.
Reply
:iconangel-neviah:
Angel-Neviah Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Student General Artist
Right? I think people really do over look the power of the brain. But I know you're just going to love lucid dreaming.(you seem like the type) It gives you complete freedom with no consequences. Your imagination is your only limit. It can also help with creativity, you could legit just shout into your dream ," Show me something beautiful," or "Show me something creative paint!" And it will. You can also ask your lucid dream stuff like, "Who am I?" " Whats my dream job?" or "What will I look like ten years from now?" The answer may surprise you.
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
That would be the greatest thing ever for me. I wouldn't say I live in a fantasy world but I have a vast appreciation for stories, movies, and the like so I'm sure I'd enjoy putting myself in those situations through dreams. I'm super excited to learn more about it and see if I can induce it somehow.
Reply
:iconmarcobusoni:
marcobusoni Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
this panting really hit me and the words to it even more .. they remind me when , several years ago, I woke up in the night struggling with some soft and heavy that won't let me go.. soon I discovered with a shock that it was my right arm !! experience that over the whole body must be death frightening.
I appreciated much your panting that have also a sensual and romantic side. I made a similar one with a female figure in the same position with water beside made of sand dunes representing (she) earth and a male figure made of clouds hanging over her and caressing her representing (he) sky.
Unfortunately has not able to publish it on DA because it was based on a panting of a friend that didn't want, but here is something similar
[link]
Reply
:iconelusivedreams07:
ElusiveDreams07 Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
It's very intimidating but I'm happy to say it doesn't happen to me anymore but while it was still concurring, it made me cautious about watching supernatural things on TV. I'm still a little skeptical about watching horror movies because it makes me anxious and paranoid and on top of that I can't sleep. Your painting is beautiful and so is the rest of your gallery, by the way! Thank you so much for your comment.
Reply
:iconmarcobusoni:
marcobusoni Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
your experience is a clear demonstration of the huge power that our mind have over the body even if we know little about it and our culture don't help us.
Reply
:iconthink-like-a-verb:
think-like-a-verb Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's very interesting! This would actually explain what was happening to me not too long ago.

I would wake up, suddenly, from a bad dream of some sort. But I would never be sure if I was truly awake or just waking up into the next dream; which seemed to happen very often to me. I wouldn't be able to move my body and my eyes would be wide open as I tried to scream.
Then I would see shapes in the dark, but I was never able to focus on them. They would come; I would physically feel like someone had their hand on my chest and throat; holding me down. It felt like I was being dissolved, they would ask me questions, and tell me to give certain people to them. (I know I sound crazy lol) I'd always think "No." Then after it felt as though whatever was persuading would join with me, and I would eventually go back to sleep, wake up and look around.
Freaky..

I have had a lot of weird sleep disturbances that I cannot explain, Sleep Paralysis sounds very likely, but like you mentioned my experiences have a super natural tinge.

Sorry for the long-ass comment lol. Your insight opened my eyes.
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×
  • Art Print
  • Canvas
  • Photo
Download JPG 4073 × 2009




Details

Submitted on
March 22, 2013
Image Size
553 KB
Resolution
4073×2009
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
23,332 (4 today)
Favourites
2,243 (who?)
Comments
240
Downloads
427

Camera Data

Make
NIKON CORPORATION
Model
NIKON D5100
Shutter Speed
10/8000 second
Aperture
F/8.0
Focal Length
18 mm
ISO Speed
100
Date Taken
Mar 2, 2013, 2:03:20 PM
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows
×