HomeNews & LifestyleThese Dark Drawings Reveal The Horror Of Sleep Paralysis

These Dark Drawings Reveal The Horror Of Sleep Paralysis

These Dark Drawings Help You Understand What Sleep Paralysis Feels Like

If you’ve never had sleep paralysis, these dark drawings will help you to understand how scary and terrible it is.

It’s really challenging to go through something that people don’t understand. That’s why, since the beginning of time, artists have articulated their feelings and opinions through visuals.

dark drawings
Image: @petrus.malus on Instagram

When you combine the frustration that comes with a misunderstood condition (like sleep paralysis) with the ability to express that comes with art, you’re in for a surprise.

In this case, these artists have used the terror and sleeplessness that they experience to create captivating visuals. These visuals are also perfect to help loved ones and people who care for someone who suffers from this condition to understand better.

dark drawings
Image: @dama.harijoto on Instagram

Using various mediums throughout time, sleep paralysis is now better understood. Artists who suffer from sleep paralysis are hence becoming a form of saviour to those to also suffer from sleep paralysis. Dark drawings are bringing people together, creating solidarity, and sharing information.

But still, that doesn’t mean they’re not creepy AF.

What Is Sleep Paralysis?

dark drawings
Image: Nicholas Bruno

Sleep paralysis is a state that hits you when you’re either just waking up, or just falling asleep. While you’re in sleep paralysis, you’re usually unaware but unable to move or speak.

An episode of sleep paralysis can include hallucinations, which can be incredibly terrifying. Someone going through an episode will see, hear, or feel things that aren’t really there. In other words, they’re reacting to visions. Because of this, they feel terrified, and they also don’t know what’s real.

dark drawings
Image: @alu718 on Instagram

The condition itself can occur in otherwise healthy people. Episodes can last for a few minutes, and can be one-off or recur frequently. It’s very hard to analyze the condition because it’s so subjective.

What Causes Sleep Paralysis?

dark drawings
Image: Still from Devil in the Room, Carla MacKinnon

An episode of sleep paralysis can be triggered by sleep deprivation. This is part of the reason why it’s so crucial to get a good night’s sleep when you’re stressed. Stress is also another huge factor, and when you combine the two of them, you’re much more likely to have an episode.

Further, if you have irregular sleep cycles, you are also a target for the demons of sleep paralysis.

Between 8% and 50% of people will experience sleep paralysis in their life. The condition is common, and generally not serious. It’s thought that around 5% of people who experienced the condition have regular episodes. Because of this, sleep paralysis has been recorded and described throughout history.

dark drawings
Image: Anja or Something About Sentience, Misappropriation and Self Destruction, Rebis Alobar

Males and females tend to be equally affected by sleep paralysis.

Is There A “Cure?”

Many people who suffer from sleep paralysis are frustrated with the lack of useful resources to deal with the condition. Those who suffer frequently are at the biggest loss because of the hugely disruptive nature of the condition.

dark drawings
Image: @lightatmyfeet on Instagram

Because of this, treatment options are poorly researched. Some recommendations include improving sleep hygiene, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication, and cognitive behavioural therapy.

People who suffer from sleep paralysis have also found that exploring the nature of the visions and hallucinations can be helpful. If you ‘lean in’ to what’s happening and become curious about it, that can tend to help with the recurrence of dreams.

It’s almost like the demons become less interested by the lack of fear… and move on.

dark drawings
Image: Still from The Nightmare, Rodney Ascher

The Connection Between Demons and Sleep Paralysis

Demons are a key figure in sleep paralysis memes. However,  they are not funny for those who experience the condition.

Sleep paralysis and sleep hallucinations are terrifying experiences. What makes them even more so is the demons that often accompany them. It can feel like there is some sort of evil presence by your bed, lurking over you, or even underneath you.

dark drawings
Image: @good_morning_moon_ on Instagram

Sleep paralysis and demons go hand in hand, especially in popular culture. Over time, different cultures included them in folklore. For example, in Italy, the demon of sleep paralysis often appears as a witch, a ghost, or even a horrid, ugly cat. Supposedly a broom placed by the door helps to ward off these beings.

Given how terrifying an experience it is, is it any wonder why our ancestors of the past may have attributed sleep paralysis with horrible demons?

If you suffer from sleep paralysis, try the suggestions in this article, and do some research online. And if you know anyone who suffers from demons visiting them at night, hopefully this art has helped you to understand the condition a bit better.

To a good night’s sleep for all!

dark drawings
Image: @alu718 on Instagram

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