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Daily interviews with a local focus airing at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Northland Morning.

Community Connection: Sleep Paralysis

Painting of a woman in white sprawled on a bed, a small man/monster sits on her abdomen while a horsehead with white eyes appears from behind a red curtain
Henry Fuseli

Although there are plenty of scares this time of year, most of them are in good spirit and don't cause any real terror. It can be fun to feel that surge of surprise that thrills us with speculation of the supernatural. The same cannot be said of those who experience sleep paralysis.

"The scaredest I've ever been has been when I've had sleep paralysis," says Katelyn Brinza who has a lifelong relationship with the condition in which a person wakes up but is unable to move their body. Often these moments are coupled with disturbing imagery. This phenomenon occurs when the brain wakes up, but the body doesn't. "You are fully awake," says Brinza. "The sleep hormone that stops you from acting out your dream, that is what pulses through your body, but you're still awake. So, your body thinks it's asleep, but your mind is still fully conscious."

Suggestions of sleep paralysis can be seen in art through the ages, and stories of demons and witches associated with the condition have existed for thousands of years. Although the nature of this occurrence can be explained by science, Brinza is still open to there being a supernatural element. "Maybe there's some veil to some dimension that I'm unaware of. I'm still not fully convinced that I'm not seeing some scary spirits."

You can hear Community Connection every Tuesday and Thursday at 8am on Northland Morning. This edition of Community Connection is made possible in part by Lakewalk Surgery Center.

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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