I had my first real lucid dreaming experience last night. I napped from 12:00-3:00 last night and got back up to do some work. I decided that I would try to go lay down in bed from 5:30-6:30. After about 5 minutes I fell asleep and had that feeling of sleep paralysis come over me. When I've experienced this in the past, its been when I nap or sleep at weird times like this, so I was not surprised. But, as typically happens, I was terrified. That first moment you realize you are awake in your mind but your eyes are closed and you can't move your body. I, of course, tried to move to wake my wife to have her wake me up or tried to shout out for the same effect but to no avail. For me, the only thing I can do to relax my anxiety is concentrating on my breathing because I still feel like I can control that. Usually I'll snap out of it after a few minutes. And I did.
But then I kept going back to sleep and immediately hitting sleep paralysis. Must have been a dozen times. And I was like, "I just need to get up the next time I snap out of it." But I was so tired from working late all week that I kept going right back to sleep. Finally, I thought to myself that I remember reading that if you can push through SP, you may experience lucid dreaming. So, I just started telling myself, you are asleep, you can dream, you are asleep, you can dream. Wouldn't you know it, I started to dream. It was crazy. Fully conscious that I was dreaming, I floated down from the sky onto Garrison Place (alley in downtown Pittsburgh). I was walking towards the river. I remember marveling at the perfect detail of the scene, down to the cracks on the street and puddles in the alley.
To make a long story short (oops, already failed), I had some cool adventures. But, then I really freaked out because I had a dream within a dream. Most of time time I was dreaming, I was semi-controlling myself in the dream and I was like "I'm dreaming" every so often. Well, I got into a weird situation in one dream and was like "you're dreaming, wake up" and I woke up in my bed, said "I have to get out of bed now, this is weird," went into the bathroom, brushed my teeth, went down to grab the laptop to tell the dog about my strange dreams and search for the Strange Dreams Thread on LGP. When walking through the kitchen, I saw that the numbers are the digital clock of the microwave were goofy. I was like, "WHOA, WTF?!?!" because I remember from the moving Waking Life that this is a sign that you are dreaming. I ran into the living room to turn on the light and it didn't come on (the other big sign). So I was like, holy ****, I'm still dreaming. And I woke myself up for real then.....at least I hope this is real.