A couple of days ago, I was going through my Facebook timeline and found this video about the science of lucid dreaming, an ability I’m not entirely sure I would like to have but that according to lucidity experts, offers whoever can master it the potential for wild adventures, fantasy fulfillment, enhanced creativity, problem solving, and healing. Sure, if you put it that way, maybe it would be a nice idea to try it out but, as the video below explains it, lucid dreaming comes with a minor risk: the possibility to experience sleep paralysis, a phenomenon that, although completely normal, is really fucking scary. I know because I experience it regularly.
Up until now, I didn’t know that a) it was called “sleep paralysis” and b) that it was a normal event. Actually, I always thought it was some mild anomaly and although I never talked about it with anyone, it worried me a bit, especially because it happened quite often. Some people experience sleep paralysis only once or twice in their lifetime but I can remember waking up in the middle of the night, unable to move or talk (while desperately trying to do so), at least five or six times. Last time I experienced it was 3 days ago and, as always, it was terribly frightening.
I don’t experience any hallucinations and my sleep paralysis episodes don’t last more than a minute, but I tell you, that’s long enough to really mess with your mind. I’d wake up all of a sudden, with my heart pounding, really scared and not knowing what the fuck just happened. And because I was unaware of it simply being a consequence of disrupted REM sleep, I’d spend the next half an hour wondering what the hell was wrong with me and feeling a bit uneasy about the idea of falling asleep again.
Researchers have conclude that “sleep paralysis is simply a sign that your body is not moving smoothly through the stages of sleep and is rarely linked to deep underlying psychiatric problems” but there seems to be a strong association with anxiety and depressive disorders, which might explain why I experience it on a regular basis. The last 3 years have been a ferocious emotional rollercoaster and although I have enjoyed this spiraling ride, there has been times in which the occasional drops and diving loops have really affected me. The uncertainty of my visa situation, having to start from scratch in a new city, getting my heart broken by somebody I trusted, being away from my friends and family… it all adds up.
However, despite the rough times, being able to go through all these experiences is something I will be forever grateful. The places I’ve visited, the people I’ve met, the things I’ve seen… I just can’t complain, man. If having the opportunity to discover world wonders and meet inspiring characters means I have to go through a minute of night terror every once in a while, then so be it.
* * * * *
Yesterday, I spent the whole day with Hannibal and Christopher shooting a little silly idea I came up with for Advance‘s Christmas card. They wanted it to be a video and it had to feature a Christmas song, so I suggested something out of the blue and surprisingly they bought into it. To be honest, I’m not sure it will work, or if anyone will find it funny, but it’s just one of those things that are worth doing, just for the sake of it. Sure, with a bit more time I would have probably come up with a better idea, something unusual maybe, but sometimes I feel like being less self-critical about my work, let go of all stupid pretensions and just have fun. I should do that more often.
It´s 3:30pm and I’m already home. I left the office earlier than usual because Copenhagen is about to be hit by Bodil (aka Xaver), a winter storm which is supposed to be even stronger than the last one we had a couple of months ago. I couldn’t be bothered to cycle home in this weather so I left my bike in the agency and took the bus instead, and this time around the driver didn’t detour and went all the way up the hill, leaving me just a few meters away from my house. Win.