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Sleep Paralysis: A Guide to Hypnagogic Visions and Visitors of the Night Paperback – September 17, 2010


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Sleep Paralysis: A Guide to Hypnagogic Visions and Visitors of the Night + The Terror That Comes in the Night: An Experience-Centered Study of Supernatural Assault Traditions (Publications of the American Folklore Society) + Dark Intrusions: An Investigation into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences
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Editorial Reviews

Review

People who suffer sleep paralysis inevitably focus on their fear and discomfort, but rarely do they recognize that this strange experience also holds a huge potential for mind/body growth and enlightenment. Ryan Hurd, a brilliant researcher and emerging leader in the field of dream studies, offers a brand new perspective on sleep paralysis that provides both practical help and inspirational guidance. Hurd's excellent new book gives clear and effective advice about how to diminish the painful symptoms of sleep paralysis, while leading readers to a deeper appreciation of the incredible power of the dreaming imagination--a power that can promote greater health and conscious awareness in all of us. --Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D., author of Dreaming in the World's Religion

If you suffer from sleep paralysis, buy this book. Inside it are powerful techniques, real knowledge and experienced advice from a former sleep paralysis sufferer. Using practical techniques, insightful advice and scientific research, Hurd takes the SP sufferer on a journey from intense fear to real hope and empowerment. Benefit from his insight, and learn how to resolve your sleep paralysis for good. --Robert Waggoner, author of Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self

In writing Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide, Ryan Hurd has compiled, in a clear and succinct style, a vast compendium of much needed practical information about Isolated Sleep Paralysis (SP). Ryan, an experiencer and researcher of the phenomenon, brings clarity to often contradictory information. Of particular importance, and something missing in the work of others (even my own), is his focus on the spiritual aspects of SP. For many experiencers, SP emerges as a spiritual question, which Ryan shows can be answered from a believer's own perspective. In keeping with the ideas of Joseph Campbell, this is a practical and honest guide for connecting the modern mind to the foundational mythologies of the world. --Jorge Conesa-Sevilla, Ph.D., author of Wrestling with Ghosts: a Personal and Scientific Account of Sleep Paralysis

Ryan Hurd ought to be congratulated for writing this book. It needed to be written. I admire his practical, open-minded approach to the subject. Since Hurd himself has experienced SP, his knowledge of the condition goes far beyond that of most experts. This book will be of great benefit to SP sufferers who are having difficulty coping with the condition. Hurd shows us that it's possible to transform this generally frightening and disturbing condition into something positive and beneficial, and he provides instructions as to how this can be achieved. --Louis Proud, author of Dark Intrusions: an Investigation into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences.

This book on sleep paralysis offers a tremendous contribution to understanding a realm of nocturnal experiences that have previously been dismissed as non-existent, irrelevant or pathological. Ryan Hurd offers extremely clear and valuable information on this neglected topic based upon his many years as an experiencer, and as a knowledgeable guide to the existing research literature. I highly recommend it! --Robert L. Van de Castle, Ph.D, Author of Our Dreaming Mind, Past President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams

About the Author

Ryan Hurd is a dream researcher and life-long lucid dreamer. He edits the website DreamStudies.org, lectures internationally about dreams and consciousness, and is a member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. Ryan has a MA in Consciousness Studies and Certificate in Dream Studies from John F. Kennedy University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Hyena Press (September 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984223916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984223916
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In this sleep-deprived world, we need more dreamers. Since I've always been good at taking naps, I became a dream researcher and educator.

My chief aim is to help bring about a new dreaming culture that integrates the best of 21st century thought with the intuitive ways of knowing prized by our ancestors: dreams, visions and imagination.

You can follow my work on DreamStudies.org, my blog about sleep, dreams, and consciousness. I've recently been invited on TEDMED, joining other sleep experts with tackling the problem of sleeplessness in society.

I also write occasionally for Business Insider and Reality Sandwich, and have been featured on Mashable, The Daily Beast, Gawker, and Psychology Today.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By dreambob on October 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you have ever experienced sleep paralysis, then you know how strange and frightening it can feel.

Finally (and I do mean finally), someone has written an intelligent, compassionate and insightful book for sleep paralysis sufferers. Ryan Hurd's new book seems poised to be a classic on sleep paralysis.

Three things make this book unique. First, Ryan Hurd has considerable personal experience with sleep paralysis. He understands what it feels like to sense a three ton weight on your chest in the middle of the night. He sympathizes with SP sufferers because he has been there many times. Better yet, he reveals the successful strategies that anyone can use to break the spell of those sleep paralysis moments.

Then he helps the reader get a sense of the scientific and historical reviews on sleep paralysis. Having this impersonal context for understanding sleep paralysis removes much of the personal angst of the event. You begin to step apart from it and see it as something humans have dealt with for centuries.

Lastly, the author does something special - he shows how sleep paralysis can actually be transformed into a more satisfying and fulfilling lucid dream (a dream in which you become consciously aware of dreaming). This final piece, based upon Hurd's numerous SP experiences, seems the crowning achievement of the book. The reader learns that he or she has more choices than "SP or no SP". Instead, they can transform the experience through their own initiative and insight into something lucidly magical.

If you suffer from sleep paralysis, I highly recommend this very readable and helpful book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Louis V. Proud on November 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
When it comes to the mysterious side of sleep and dreaming, Ryan Hurd is a true expert and pioneer. As well as being a "dream researcher and life-long lucid dreamer," he undergoes regular episodes of sleep paralysis (SP), and has since his teens. He explains: "Experienced by millions as supernatural assault, [SP] feels like being awake and aware in bed as someone - or something - holds you down." Many interpret these experiences as genuine encounters with demons and evil spirits.

Don't be surprised if this sounds familiar. Around 40% of the world's population report having SP at least once during their lives. A weird and frightening phenomenon, it remains a puzzle to medical science. My own experience of SP has led me to the irrefutable conclusion that it's far more than a dream-related hallucinatory state. (For more information, check out my book Dark Intrusions: An Investigation into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences (2009)).

While acknowledging that some SP episodes have a "'paranormal' air to them," Hurd is of the opinion that these experiences, rather than being caused by something external and unfathomable, have more to do with our own enigmatic minds - even on a collective level. During SP, he explains, we may feel completely awake, but are actually in an REM (dreaming) state, making it possible for our dreams to be "projected, like a 3D movie, into the space of our sleeping quarters." As for `spirits' and `demons', these he refers to as "archetypal entities."

Overall, however, this book is surprisingly nonbiased and open-minded. A practical, succinct, well-researched guide, its main purpose is to help SP sufferers who are having difficulty coping with the condition.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have sent a lot of my life learning about night terrors and what they are. I have come to understand that night terrors as well as sleep paralysis can be minimized without medication. Ryan's book is the only easy to understand and easy to follow guides to understanding and dealing with these experiences. Ryan not only talks about the disorders in the prospective of a sleep professional but also has first hand experiences of the events himself. He ties in his personal accounts as well as others experiences into his book, making it more meaningful and personal. I have recommended Ryan's book to many different clinical psychologist who deal with sleep disorders and have referenced the book in a number of papers. This book is a must read for those who experience sleep paralysis or night terrors or have children who do. It will give you a new level of understanding that you wont get from a doctor who has never experienced these events.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dielle Meyer on July 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Overall the book was entertaining and provided excellent descriptions of the different forms that sleep paralysis can take. The last half of the book was the most intriguing to me because the author described several ways to turn the terrifying experience of sleep paralysis into something enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that is suffering from sleep paralysis because he highlights some of the common triggers of sleep paralysis and ways that you can end episodes of sleep paralysis. While the information provided in the book was highly consistent with the research articles that I have read about sleep paralysis, more information about the science behind sleep paralysis would have made it even better. Many times he would give one sentence that referenced a study without really describing the information it found and then move on to less scientific themes. While I understand that the general audience of this book does not necessarily include people with a scientific background simple descriptions could still have been included to give more credibility to his suggestions. The scientific information that was presented was very interesting and helped me to understand some of the potential causes of sleep paralysis. The book was very easy to read and was in a casual writing style appropriate for the target audience of people with sleep paralysis. Because the book was a good read and was appropriate for the intended audience, but lacked strong scientific backing I gave the book 3 stars.
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