A giant lion attacks a group of people, but a young boy jumps into action and fights the beast. He distracts and grapples the lion to give the others time to escape. Left behind, the sacrificial boy is mauled to death.
If you had a dream like that then clearly it means something. Right? Not necessarily. There has always been claim that dreams reveal what’s buried in our subconsciousness. But there are also scientific studies that disprove this claim.
So the real question is: do dreams carry any real significance. The answer is yes and no.
Ultimately, they carry whatever meaning you give them. Like any thought, it exists, but only in your head.
A Dream is Only An Extravagant Thought
If you instinctively think that a dream means "this", then chances are you're right. It can be as significant or insignificant as you'd like it to be - just like all of your thoughts. It doesn’t need to have an actual meaning.
A one-time dream carries little significance anyways. But it isn’t until a bad dream is reoccurring that it becomes a problem.
A common reoccurring dream, that I’ve also had myself. is one where my teeth fall out of my mouth. Naturally I googled its meaning, but the meanings are so broad that the dream can mean anything.
Eventually these reoccurring nightmares indicate that something must be solved. Because having problematic dreams is like having negative thoughts. Except instead of disturbing your waking hours, it feeds off your sleep.
Like negative thinking, you need to find out the issue and resolve it to make it go away.
Here are my examples:
- I stopped having dreams where my teeth fall out after I got braces
- I stopped having dreams of wandering a wasteland after I tried out new things
- And I eventually grew out of my heroic martyr dreams
Then I stopped having reoccurring nightmares. But I also stopped having dreams in general.
Instead I started experiencing something worse. For nearly a year I would experience sleep paralysis every other night.
What Is Sleep Paralysis
For those of you who don’t know, sleep paralysis can be a terrifying event. You feel awake and defenseless as you experience a variety and mix of the following:
- A force on your chest
- inability to move
- feeling a wicked presence
- voices in the room
- floating in midair sensation
- and more
Of course, none of it is real. But it’s an overwhelmingly creepy experience that takes away your ability to get proper deep sleep.
Before I give you my advice on how to cure sleep paralysis, I want to give you a very brief background of the year I experienced it:
- I was under constant academic stress
- My home life was falling apart
- I wouldn't recover from weightlifting (I was always at a deficit)
After waking up I never felt like I had enough sleep. I was burnt out from all the mental, emotional, and physical stress.
Again, I want to mention that I experienced this about every other night for nearly a year. Eventually I figured out how to resolve these terrifying episodes and now I can show you how.
How To Cure Sleep Paralysis
Over the course of time I would gradually apply each of the following big three tips. Now although maybe only one or two may be applicable to you, I personally found that it took all three.
If you find another factor that you find personally helps to prevent and cure sleep paralysis, I urge you to leave your tip in the comment section below.
Take on less. School, work, relationships, etc. You’re only one human being and you can only do so much. Cut your responsibilities and half and only worry about the things you truly care about. Just because someone else says it’s your responsibility doesn’t mean that it is. Pick your priorities. Fuck the rest.
Cut any negative relationships. Particularly toxic family relationships. In case you don’t know, you will always be happier being alone than you will being around someone who guilts and shames you. Remember that true loyalty is more important than family and friends.
Learn how to properly recover your body from physical exertion. Essentially make sure you eat enough overall, eat meats, and make time to get as much sleep as you can manage to get. Being at a caloric deficit and overworking yourself will intensify your inability to recover.
As I was gradually applying these bigger tips, I was also experimenting with smaller parts of the experience to see if any of it made a difference.
Some worked, some didn’t. Here are the smaller tips that did worked:
Turn off any fans in the room. Like a ceiling fan. Your body will interpret wind as touch, which will intensify the experience.
Try to capture video footage. If you try to record yourself, you're less likely to have an episode because your conscious mind knows it's being watched.
Learn to fight or embrace it. After enough episodes you will learn to "fight" your way out and wake up. However, I suggest you learn to embrace that nothing is actually happening. That way you'll feel more rested the following day since you didn't waste mental energy trying to wake yourself up.
After a long year of near daily episodes, I eventually applied my big tips and no longer experienced sleep paralysis anymore.
I wanted to share this because I remember how tired I was day after day, night after night. Feeling as if I had no control of what's happening to me. And if you're experiencing this I want you to know I've been in your shoes. It sucks and I know how you feel.
But if you follow my tips you will get better.
Reclaim Your Rightful Sleep