Every culture around the globe has its own folklore and supernatural explanations about SLEEP PARALYSIS. Xander & Stone share their own experiences before diving into scientific research and explanations. We take a sleepwalk around the world and explore how different cultures on different continents explain the phenomenon.
Email us and tell us about your SLEEP PARALYSIS story (or just drop us a Heeeeey) and we might just include you in one of our upcoming episodes:
XS Blog: https://www.xspodcast.com/blog/
XS Website: https://www.xspodcast.com
XS Podcast Merch: Merch Store Link
Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/xanderstone)
[DISCLAIMER - the transcription of this is verbatim done by AI and may have some errors]
Stone: I think first and foremost, let us just say that Vancouver Sleep Clinic is our artist of the day because we are talking about sleep paralysis.
Xander: We are and I just had a quick listen to The Vancouver Sleep Clinic and I really enjoyed it. I wish we could use little clips on the podcast. I wish we could be like, "These are the artists were promoting," but they will sue the crap out of us. So lets not do that.
Stone: We will just audibly give them a shout-out and then people can use Google because that is how we find everything too and locate them.
Xander: That is exactly what we are going to do. So an audible shout-out to the Vancouver Sleep Clinic for their song. What is the song called?
Stone: Someone to stay.
Xander: Someone to stay. Good. I had a quick listen and it really is lovely. It reminds me of another band, but I cannot remember who but I might have heard them in the past. Anyway, so you are Stone.
Stone: I am Stone and you are Xander.
Xander: I am. And we are --
Stone: The fabulous.
Xander: -- the unconquerable Stone on the fabulous Xander. And we are
Xander and Stone podcast and it took us a really fucking long that time to find our name.
Stone: It really did. Do you want to say the few that we went for?
Xander: Oh, good lord. It is such a long list. It took us questionably long to arrive at the final decision to name our podcasts after ourselves, which really should have been the top of the list.
Stone: Yeah, the easiest one. Yeah, I think the highlight was when I said that we should have our listeners name us and then you pointed out they cannot find this until we have a name.
Xander: They cannot find you until you have got a name like, who we looking for? But seriously, every good podcast name has been taken and I am telling you some of those bastards out there they are not even using them. They just named themselves that, like Apple podcast and Stitcher. And they have never recorded---oh, they recorded one episode in 2013 and then just forgot about it and now they are just hogging the names. So yeah, what are some of the names? Honestly. And we went through so many good ones.
Stone: Earth Sandwich was a top contender.
Xander: Earth On Rye, which is something we are going to do.
Stone: The really bad podcast.
Xander: Yes, we went through every adjectives to emphasize just how rinky-dink we are actually going to be. So for those folks out there who are listening, just set your expectation super low for this podcast. If you hear a dog bark in the background, that is normal. I live in possibly the noisiest place on the planet. I just somehow ended up at the noisiest intersection in the whole of Asia. So you are going to hear traffic. And that is fine because if I have to listen to it, so do you.
Stone: And that is something important to note. Not that you cannot tell by the accents right away, but you are recording from Tianjin.
Xander: I am.
Stone: And I am recording from Phoenix, Arizona in the US.
Xander: Yes, and I do not know if I sound terribly much like I am from Tianjin because I am not Tianjinese---and Tianjin is in China by the way. And do not get all up and our grills about the relationship between America and China right now because that is got nothing to do with us. Literally nothing to do with us.
Stone: I send the president text message with suggestions, but I have not heard back yet.
Xander: We should be like, "Hey, Trump, listen to this podcast. This is somebody in China and somebody in America getting along take a note brother. Take a note." Relax yourselves.
Stone: I called him Donald, maybe that is why nothing has happened.
Xander: That kind of makes me think of Donald Duck and I would not want to hurt Donald Duck's feelings like that. I like Donald Duck. And when he talks, Donald Duck makes a lot more sense than Donald Trump does.
Stone: Well, this is good. We got the political aspect.
Xander: We got the political at the way even though I think we resolved we were not going to be a political podcast. But how can you not in times like this? When the Ronald McDonald plastic statue from outside comes alive and becomes the president of America, then somebody has going to have to say something. Anyway. Yeah, so I am in China and you are in America and we are Xander and Stone. We are recording a motherfucking podcast because we are cool. We are cool like that.
Stone: We are cool like that. Just a little to no preparation at all.
Xander: Zero. We are winging it. We are making it. We are going to make up all sorts of facts about sleep paralysis today. None of them are going to be true. If it is on Wikipedia, it is the truth, okay? If it is on a Gospel according to Reddit, it is the truth. So believe everything you read on the internet.
Stone: It is the truth that day anyway.
Xander: Exactly. It is the truth until the bitter truth comes along in the thread.
Stone: I think that is the truth for all things.
Xander: Exactly, right? The Bible is probably just a really old version of a Reddit thread. Anyway, let us not get religious. Let us talk about all the things nobody should talk about in a public forum. Let us hit religion and politics.
Stone: Let us just point out that you brought them both up.
Xander: I did, so if you are going to be pissed off, be pissed off with me. You can come and find me in China, but you cannot get a Visa because the borders are closed. Anyway.
Stone: I am waiting till the second episode to behave badly.
Xander: I am just going to jump right in. So are you guys in America land? Are you all still in quarantine isolation lockdown type of thing there in the Arizona lands, in the badlands?
Stone: In fairness, I have experienced the quarantine in China, and the Philippines, and America, and Korea.
Xander: You just went chasing quarantine and isolation around the planet.
Stone: I was trying to flea it, it was following me here.
Xander: "There she goes quickly, shut it down." They are trying to contain you, Stone. They are trying to contain you.
Stone: It is suspicious. But what I will say, that while we supposedly are under quarantine in America, I would say it is a very loose space term and that is the reason our numbers are probably pretty high compared to the Philippines where I tried to leave the house twice and was walked back by
guards. That, to me, is legitimate.
Xander: That is proper isolation. Welcome to communist isolation.
Stone: Yeah, they asked me if I knew where my home was and when I said yes, they still me back.
Xander: It is going be a long walk, guys. I am from Arizona. Let us go.
Stone: Let us just make sure she gets back.
Xander: You are going to want to bring some snacks.
Stone: So I am sanitizing like mad and wearing my mask and hoping everyone does the same. But yeah, that is it. And in China has it loosened up a bit?
Xander: Ever since...it was the 28th of March, one of the most populated countries in the world essentially turned into one big fucking ghost town. It was eerie as fuck. I have lived here for eleven years. And what in Chinese terms is considered to be a medium-sized city of fifteen million people. To the rest of the world, that is fucking huge. It was because it was bizarre because it was a proper ghost town. There were just know people outside. One of the things, though, is we discovered a new color blue. We call it corona blue because they were no cars on the streets. There was no industry running. So all the pollution cleared up, all the air pollution cleared up, and the sky was just this absolutely gorgeous blue. And so we named it corona blue. Got in touch with the folks of Crayola. They just do not want to listen they are like, "We are not naming a crayon corona blue," and I was like, "That is super short sighted of you, guys." Since the 28th of March, we were on lockdown. It was like that for quite a while. It was pretty intense. Very isolated. I do not think you ever feel more isolated than when you are in a city with fifteen million people and you cannot see any other people. It is super isolating. For months, we went through a range of emotions because that is basically what you are left with, is yourself. And you have to learn to get along with yourself again. So I had lots of time to explore. I think what eventually happened for me is, you know Stockholm Syndrome? Where the captive person forms a relationship with their captor and they start caring about them and they want to kind of go back. I have got a similar thing with isolation and quarantine. I call it the Stockholm syndrome because I actually do not want to go outside anymore. I am okay to stay at home now. I am like, leave me alone. Go away. Shoo. Go away. Go away. I am happy to be stuck at home. So I have got what we call the Stockholm syndrome, which I am sure in ten years from now, I am going to have to go to therapy for because I have not left my house.
Stone: In ten years.
Xander: In ten years from now, looking very bearded and hairy, still not wearing any pants. I do not think I put pants on in about eight months. But anyway, that aside--
Stone: Oh good, you covered nudity.
Xander: Yes, I did cover nudity as well. This is definitely an R-rated podcast.
Stone: We should have lead with that.
Xander: We should have said, "Do not let your children listen to this podcast." Responsible parenting.
Stone: We did not want to have that spoiler alert. So, now you know.
Xander: Responsible parenting. Cover the little ears. If you are easily offended then fuck off.
Stone: Oh and the F-bomb, good.
Xander: The F-bomb. I am going to drop a C-bomb later, but I am saving it
Stone: Trying to work it in.
Xander: By see C-bomb, I mean California. But no. The C-word! Actually the C-word these days is Coronavirus or COVID.
Stone: And you already dropped.
Xander: We dropped it several times. I might have to pick it up again later. I am have to get a broom and sweep that up. It is everywhere. It is going to get on the bottom of my shoe. But now the situation in China has eased up and life has gone back to pretty much what can be determined as normal for life in China. We were never quite as isolated as places like the Philippines. We are all, my family who is back in South Africa, spot the accent. My family who is back in South Africa where they could not even buy booze and cigarettes, which I think made the isolating situation a lot worse for a lot of people especially the alcoholics who then had to deal with isolation, self-reflection, and no booze. Anyway, moving along. Yeah, so we touched on addictions as well. Alright good. We are covering all the topics. We might just do one episode, cover everything in existence and then be like, "And we are out." Anyway.
Stone: I think this is the one.
Xander: This is the one. Just that one episode where we just piss off and alienate every person on the planet. Okay, so I am going to go on to the shout-out. So there is a couple of shout-outs that I want to do to people out there in the real world beyond isolation in China. The folks I want to say a shout-out to and I am going to invite you to give you a shout out as well, but the folks that I want to start off my shout-out to our the lovely ladies from the my favorite murder podcast, Karen and Georgia because they were a big inspiration in getting this podcast up and running in the kind of format. And I am going to use the letter F in format because of all the F-bombs that get dropped, for how we are going to do a podcast. And then I also want to shout out to Kurt and Krista from Wisconsin. Can you do a Wisconsinite accent?
Stone: Can I do one?
Xander: No, the other person that is doing the podcast with me. Yes, you. Can you do one?
Stone: Never, not me.
Xander: Okay. It is a pretty difficult one to do. I am not terribly good at accents and that one is particularly tricky. But anyway, the Wisconsinites, Kurt and Krista, from the strange sessions who I have binge-listened to for eight months. They do not even have enough episodes for me to just listen to each one. Once I have had to like binge-cycle listen to their episodes. They are kind of constantly playing in the background at my place. So Kurt and Krista, shout out to you. Any shout outs from your side, Miss Stone?
Stone: Yes, to my family who supported me in this idea of doing the podcast. Big shout out to Rachel who, my sister Rachel Mann, has her own podcast.
Stone: And it was very encouraging on getting started. And to my son who also has a podcast.
Xander: Awesome. Give them a quick tag. What are their podcast names? Tell us, tell the listeners.
Stone: See, these are the kind of things you need to give me heads up on.
Xander: You cannot remember the names of the podcasts of your family.
Stone: My son, Chase, has his "Three guys and six balls", it is about sports.
Xander: Oh, yes. Brilliant name. But it is a sports podcast, right? Three guys in six balls. Brilliant.
Stone: And my sister's, you know, I will come back to you on that because I cannot tell you off the top of my head the name of it.
Xander: We are going to say that for the next episode because we will--
Stone: Next episode. She has two books out and she is big into Mars and what is happening with the space and how we are preparing our students for that. So that is her big cook.
Xander: Awesome. And I suppose we have to talk a little bit about what we are about. So, who are we? We are That awkward podcast, that rinky-dink podcast, that low-budget podcast that is trying to keep the lights on. And we are going to talk about general things that interest us, I think. But it is usually with kind of a bit of a paranormal twist. You know, things like today's sleep paralysis and hauntings and exorcisms and cryptid creatures. And whatever kind of tickles our fancy. And our fancy gets tickled by a lot of things.
Stone: It does. We are sort of all over the board and I think that would have been a good name for the podcast.
Xander: All over the board! I will Google that. We might be changing the name of the podcast. Xander and Stone, all over the board.
Stone: Now we are sticking with---well because we are also XS and we are a bit much.
Xander: We are XS, a little bit much or extra small depending on how cold it is outside. Okay. So sleep paralysis. That is why we are actually here. We have to talk about sleep paralysis. And I mean, I think we have both agreed that we have experienced sleep paralysis within our lifetimes, have we not?
Stone: We have, actually. When I was younger and not having sleep paralysis yet, my mom would make these really strange noises and we would know to run in and wake her up because she was trying to get her attention to wake her up. And then when we became adults, me and one of my sisters, started experiencing sleep paralysis as well. It is interesting because I researched this several years ago if there was a hereditary link and I could not find anything yet. And I started researching for this podcast, I found evidence. So I am excited about that. So there is some evidence that heredity has something to do with it.
Xander: Their ways. I should get in touch with my family and ask them if they have ever experienced this as well because I have definitely experienced what I assume to be is sleep paralysis. I also had a Google as well and I looked up the symptoms, the things that I experienced when I have what I assumed to be sleep paralysis. And it seems like the things that I experienced are pretty common. So I can remember in fact, let us go into the personal experiences about it now. I remember the first time I had it. I very distinctly remembered, I was camping with my family and we were out in the bush in Southern Africa somewhere because that is kind of the things that we did, we went camping in the bush. I was sleeping in the tent. I remember it was late afternoon as well because was really hot. I was having a nap and I started getting this ringing tone in my ears almost like tinnitus. This is the the same symptom that has occurred every single time that I have had to be on that as well, and I have not had it for many years. This was kind of very much a teenaged type of thing. It is not just the ringing in the ears, but the volume of the ringing is actually increasing and it is getting louder and louder. In my mind, I know or I fear that I have to wake up or get up or sit up or open my eyes before the ringing gets too loud because I do not know, I think maybe something is going to happen to my ears or I am going to burst an eardrum. But there is a sense of panic that you have to get up because this ringing in your ears is getting a lot louder and you have gotta wake up before it gets too loud. Otherwise, my head just might explode and that is messy. Nobody wants to clean that up. And it is weird but in that time of wanting to sit up and I know that sitting up and waking up and opening my eyes is going to be the thing that stops the ringing, I actually cannot move. It is almost as though I can feel my soul is pushing my body like, "Sit up!" But I physically cannot lift myself. I cannot lift my head up off the pillar, I cannot open my eyes. And then all of a sudden, it is like, I will just shoot up. It is as if like I spring up like something has been restraining me which is where when we start looking at the folklore stuff where you feel like you are being pushed down and that is what folklore kind of explains it. Like a ghost pushing you down. We will get into that.
Xander: And it is almost like that entity kind of releases you and I just shoot straight up. And that is when the ringing stops. Every experience I had past that is exactly the same thing. It is kind of a sense of panic as well, that you are experiencing while this ringing in your ears. It is a very kind of sensory experience, right?
Xander: At the time, I assumed it was because maybe the tent that I was sleeping in was facing on a slight incline and I was maybe sleeping with my head on the incline and the blood was possibly draining, because there is a limited supply inside me and if it all drains into my head---but the rest of me is not going to be able to function.
Xander: I kind of attributed to that. And then because I have always been kind of fascinated with UFOs and extraterrestrials, I was like, "Oh my God, it was aliens." I was like, "I have been abducted!" Please bear in mind, I was about fourteen at the time, but I started looking for evidence of alien abduction because I would like nothing more than to be---if any of the aliens are listening to this, I am open to the idea of abduction. In fact, it is not even abduction if you are going willingly, just come and fetch me. Just pick me up. Give me like a 10-minute heads up heads up and I will be ready. I will wait for you.
Stone: Willing to be probed.
Xander: Totes willing to be probed. In fact, I would really like to be. Sometimes I probe myself. I would really like it if somebody else would probe me.
Stone: You can check that one off.
Xander: Prefer to being probed, check. But I said, looking for evidence of have I been abducted, and I found---and this is no joke---I found three red dots on my neck, in a triangle formation. And it is either and being out in the wilderness. It is totally possible. Either a mosquito had a buffet off my neck or I was possibly abducted by aliens and they pricked me in my neck, three-bit probed in my neck. Obviously in hindsight, I no longer think that I was abducted by aliens because how would they--
Stone: We would not be so sure.
Xander: No, and how would they know to look for me in the bush in the middle of the wilderness in Southern Africa. It makes no sense. It was also the middle of the day and everybody else was outside the tent just going about their camping. And I think they would have noticed if there was a big fucking UFO pulling me out of a tent. Unless I was transported or maybe they teleported me.
Stone: Or maybe they had a cloaking device.
Xander: Maybe there was a cloaking device. Yes. But anyway, my belief about it since then is that I was not abducted by aliens much to my disappointment. And I personally think it has got more of a physiological, biological science-y type of explanation. But anyway, now you tell us about your sleep paralysis. Is it as awkward as mine?
Stone: Well, I do not want to be probed by aliens. I am open to being--
Xander: Well now, you just alienated our alien listeners. So thank you very much for that, Stone.
Stone: I am fine with alien abduction, I just do not want to be probed. I want to know what is happening.
Xander: So you want to just be invited over for brunch type of thing, like an intergalactic brunch.
Stone: Let us just have a chat. I am fine with the chat.
Xander: We are just going to talk. I will tell you everything you need to know. I will show it to you, you are just not allowed to probe it, okay?
Stone: Well, now you are just inviting on my behalf.
Xander: You can look but you cannot touch.
Stone: So I have not had the ringing in the ears, thankfully, because that sounds horrific. And I do not remember the first time it happened. I know I was in my 20s---late 20s.
Stone: And when it happened, and I did recognize it because I knew I was making the same noises, my mom had made, that sort of tryin so hard to make a noise to wake somebody up. So that happened and as far as the outside noise, that only happened a few years ago. It happened several times in this specific house. And the first time, it was a really loud slamming door in the middle of the night and I thought my son, he was a teenager, had gotten mad about something and just slammed the door. So I go bursting into his bedroom and I am like, "What was that about?" And he is in a deep sleep and he is like, "What are you talking about?" And apparently that is part of sleep paralysis, is to have these loud noises that come through.
Xander: I have read about that too. It literally is like a banging sound like somebody slammed a door, or dropped something heavy right next to your head and you have heard this like BA! Crazy.
Stone: And it feels like it is outside of yourself. I was so convinced. I was yelling at my son. And then another time, I guess I was making the same noises. Of course, you cannot hear the noise you are making but again, I am in America. So this will make more sense because I am in America. So I am trying to wake up and then I can hear my son knocking on the door. And I am thinking, "You have to wake up." So I finally, like you said, shot up and I go and open the door and my son standing there with this big knife. It was like a machete. He thought I was being attacked and so he was ready to do war.
Xander: Oh, and he came to your rescue. He came with a machete. That is awesome. How old was he?
Stone: He came to my rescue. He was like, "What is happening in here?" He was so upset.
Xander: Oh my goodness.
Stone: It is like I was trying to pick up.
Xander: And this is because he is obviously hearing these weird noises that you are making, trying to alert somebody to come and help you kind of thing?
Stone: Exactly. And my door was locked and so he was trying to back down the door. So there you go. And my sister has had several experiences as well. And I only had one where I saw---sometimes people talk about shadow people or whatever. Yeah, I only had that happen one time and it was the most terrifying thing because it points it at me and then made a run for me and I could not move. Of course again, there is that panic. My boyfriend at the time was like, "What is happening?" I was like, "I was being attacked." But normally, it just feels like being in a mini-coma.
Stone: What I would assume a mini-coma would feel like. Like you are trapped in your body.
Stone: Which is terrifying.
Xander: You got to wonder if people who are in comas mentally, cognitively, consciously wake up and be like, "This is the longest sleep paralysis ever."
Can somebody just come wake me up, please. That is bizarre.
Stone: It is interesting because most episodes of sleep paralysis evidently only lasts thirty to sixty seconds, but it feels like ten minutes.
Xander: It feels like such a long time, right?
Stone: It really does. So the time thing is off to because you are like, there is no way that was only thirty seconds
Xander: That kind of lends to the idea that it is like a psychological phenomenon because even when we dream, as well, our dreams feel a whole lot longer but they are actually---it is like in REM sleep and it is lasting thirty seconds. You feel like you have had this epic tale of The Odyssey of Homer played out in your mind. It has all happened in thirty seconds. It is actually not very long at all. I want to cycle back to the shadow person that you saw, do you remember what that person looked like, the shadow being, the entity? Do you remember the form?
Stone: It was almost like a like in Harry Potter, the Death Eaters. It was like that. There was a form but it was also wispy with clouds.
Xander: Smokey, elusive. Crazy.
Stone: Yeah. It was not like there was a face, it is just dark eyes and then this cloud of smoke. But when it pointed at me, I saw the finger. It was like, "You."
Xander: The message was clear, it was pointing at you. They were not that many other people involved in your sleep paralysis at the time.
Stone: Me? No, definitely not me.
Xander: That is crazy. Through researching and like reading up about the folklore things, in almost every culture around the world, there are records of sleep paralysis and esoteric paranormal explanations or folklore explanations for what see paralysis is. A lot of the times it is attributed to this shadow figure and they all kind of have that same thread to like what you just explained now. It is definitely like humanoid form. There is like a head and a body and a finger and whatnot. But it lacks any distinguishable facial features and it is got that kind of wispy feel. And it is that is interesting that you know. To me, it is obviously a psychological phenomenon. There is no way about this. I do not think it is paranormal whatsoever. I do not think we are being visited by entities in our sleep and that we are experiencing this paranormal sleep demon thing or the night hag, as they call it.
Stone: From Romeo and Juliet, by the way.
Xander: Really? What also I think adds to the fact that it is a psychological phenomenon is that it lacks facial features and it is one of those things about our dream states in the certain way that we process things during a dream state or during our sleep state. There are a few things that we cannot do. You would not be able to read things or you would not see clear text in words in your dreams.
Xander: Because that part of our cognitive brain, that processes reading and words, is actually shut down and I wonder if the same thing goes for being able to recognize faces because obviously recognizing faces---there are certain parts of our brain that process recognizing faces.
Xander: And I wonder if that is also because that part of the brain is suppressed at the time. Anyway, so you did all the research about the science-y stuff. So why do you not tell us about the science bit about sleep paralysis?
Stone: Sure, I would like to lead with, 'I am not a doctor.' I just play one on TV. Just kidding.
Xander: Really good at Google. This is from Doctor Google.
Stone: Right. Actually, I will give a shout-out to WebMD for most of this initial research.
Xander: And for constantly diagnosing me with the most awful terminal illnesses when I have got like a runny nose. Tthat is what Google searches do about when you have got symptoms, they convince you either, "You are fine. You will be fine tomorrow," or "You are dying, start putting your will together." You know what I mean? There is no middle ground with WebMD. You are either completely fine. It is just a sniffle, stop being such a hypochondriac or you need to start contacting your family and putting your affairs in order because you are going to die.
Xander: Everything is cancer. Everything. Actually, no, in WebMD is defense, I did have an abdominal in 2011. I was in China at the time and was eventually repatriated to my own country for surgery and WebMD did tell me you need to get to a doctor and you need to fuckin go now. Which I did. So shout out to WebMD for saving my life. But I also sniffle, ache, and pain, I have ever had since then I am like, "Oh my God, it is a tumor." Anyway, let us go back to what we are actually talking about. Let us talk about sleep paralysis. Take it away, Stone.
Stone: So as we discussed, it is the feeling of being conscious but your body is unable to move. Sometimes, it is linked with narcolepsy but usually it is not linked to any underlying psychiatric problems, anything deep and dark so you do not have to worry about that. It is sort of a cursory thing that is happening.
Xander: So it is not like your alter personalities are taking over type of thing and you are just not aware of it.
Stone: Exactly. Historically, and you will go more into the folklore, but it was attributed to night demons, alien abductions, the old hag, those kind of things. So what you had reference to before with the REM, there is---I hope I am pronouncing this right but do not hold me to it---hypnagogic, it when you are falling asleep and that happens.
Xander: The what now?
Xander: Sounds a lot like hypnagogic to me. That is what we are going to call it from now on.
Stone: And if it is not, just blame my American education and we can move on.
Xander: Well, we will contact Collins and we will have it included in the dictionary. It is fine.
Stone: Close enough. But anyway, that happens when you are falling asleep and it is because it is usually when you are stressed out, so your awareness is still heightened.
Stone: So your body is relaxing but your awareness is still there. So that is hypnagogic.
Xander: That is crazy. It is like you are physically exhausted but your brain is like, "I got shit to do, we cannot just be sleeping now, get the fuck up."
Stone: Exactly, that is precisely it. We can pronunciate all the words in your description. If it happens during REM, and that is mostly when it happens, it is called hypnopompic. Again, hoping that is right.
Xander: And by REM, we are not referring to the 90's band. It is not like you are having weird demonic attacks whilst listening to REM. Though, there have been times when I am being assaulted by demons. Demons are coming out of my stereo. So shout out to REM. I am going to correct myself, shout out to REM because it is one of the best live concerts I have ever been to in my life. Anyway, back to science.
Stone: Oh, that is good to know. So REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. There are two stages of sleep that we go through which is REM sleep and NREM. NREM is the first seventy-five percent and that is just where your body relaxes, your muscles are still active, and it is when it restores itself, but you are not having any dreams. When REM sleep happens, it is the only twenty-five percent of a ninety-minute cycle, generally. That is when you are having the active dreams. So your body shuts down its muscles because that way---because if you are running or stabbing or whatever--
Xander: Running, stabbing, beating, threshing, wanking, whatever it is you are doing, your body is going to shut down.
Stone: Exactly. So the body protects us and the people around us by shutting the muscles down. And so what happens is, basically, your brain wakes up before your body does. And because of that your muscles still are not awake because you are an REM sleep. And so that is why you feel trapped in your body.
Xander: Why are all the stages of sleep reminiscent of bands? So there is REM, which I am sure that REM psychological sleep state came before the band, but you never know, I was not there so I am not sure. And then you said the other one is called NREM. I am thinking of Enya, is that like an Irish version of REM like---Okay, sorry moving on.
Stone: NREM. So the people it affects are generally people who have a lack of sleep, which I have noticed. If I am exhausted-exhausted, it seems to happen more if I am super stressed. If you have changed your sleep schedule, if you have bipolar disorder, it affects a lot interestingly. If you are sleeping on your back, it happens more often. So if you are afflicted with it, you should try to sleep on your side. And then if you have any other disorders like narcolepsy or leg cramps, apparently that is a big indicator. Which makes me wonder if there is a potassium deficiency there because leg cramps can be cured with bananas so maybe we could eat more of it---I am just spit balling here.
Xander: No, we should offer that as legitimate medical advice on our podcast. If you are experiencing sleep paralysis, go have a banana. It will fix fucking everything. You will be fine, have a banana.
Stone: I am really glad I let off that I am not a doctor. ADHD meds can lend itself to this and substance abuse. Basically, doctors do not need to be involved unless it is debilitating to your work or you are tired during the day. You are so stressed about it that you go back to sleep and then they do a sleep study, make you do a sleep diary, they may put you on antidepressants.
Stone: If you need the medication, then that is what they would do. But what WebMD did not say and I had to go to live science.com, another shout out, is that there are hallucinations, shadow people, terrifying figures preventing people from moving. And that scientists recently studied eight hundred and sixty-two twins and I am not sure about that. This is a grammar questions, does that mean it was one thousand, seven hundred and twenty-four people?
Xander: Are they talking about pairs or like---what what did you say how many twins did they study?
Stone: They wrote it as eight hundred and sixty-two twins and I do not know if that is singular or plural.
Xander: I am so bad at math that I do not even know but is eight hundred and sixty-two even divided by two or do you end up with like half a twin somewhere?
Stone: It does divided by two to four hundred and thirty-one. If it was eight hundred and sixty two twin sets, then it would be one thousand, seven hundred and twenty-four, I did the math for you.
Xander: Yeah, good on you bust it out the calculator. I love it.
Stone: And so what they found---and this is interesting because actually part of what helped me with my sleep paralysis is, now because I researched it so heavily that when I am in that state, I talk myself down, unlike before I was in real panic. So I am able to calm myself.
Xander: That is interesting cause that shows you are fully conscious and awake and able to actually have a conversation, like an inner dialogue a monologue, if you will, with yourself about the experience that you are having. Interesting.
Stone: It is often a dialogue. But, yes.
Xander: It is a full-blown fucking conversation and I am trying to get a word in. Everybody shut up, I am trying to explain to sleep paralysis
Stone: I just tell myself, it is okay, your body is going to wake up in a minute, let us just be calm. So that has really helped me to not have this sort of panic attacks when you wake up.
Xander: Totes cray-cray.
Stone: But with the twins, they found out that if you have a gene that is a certain version of PER2 which is the gene that is linked to circadian rhythms. You are more likely to experience sleep paralyis.
Stone: So now they tied it to genetics which is really interesting. It is often a hereditary.
Xander: But are they saying that one twin may experience the sleep paralysis while the other does not or are they both going to have that gene? What is the story?
Stone: Yes. In identical twins, it was almost consistent that they both had it. With twins that were not identical, it was still a very super high percentage and they also studied siblings, not just twins, and it seemed like it did run in the family. The percentages are high. So the study said it is not conclusive, of course, there is always variables to the study but it is lending itself to the idea that there is a big hereditary basis.
Xander: That is very interesting. It is actually weird that I have never actually brought this up with my family. I have got am sister and I do not know why, but it is maybe I thought they are just going to think this is just another one of those weird things. My mother probably is going to be like, "You have been smoking too much weed." Or something like that.
Stone: Well, good. Drug reference.
Xander: "You have been smoking that dope. You have been smoking grass." She is like, "Oh, shut up, you pothead. Fucking stoner." But it something that I have never actually even had a discussion with my family about. It very likely that my---sorry, Mum---my mother is going to find out for the first time if and when she listens to this podcast.
Stone: Oh, good. We will have our first listener.
Xander: She is going to be pissed but I might just have a conversation with her about it today. But I have never thought to ask them if they have ever experienced anything like this because, I mean, it is not something you really bring up around the dinner table, is it? Like, "Hey, I was paralyzed in my sleep last night. How was your day?" People might get concerned.
Stone: I think, for us, my mom would have us wake her up. That is the reason a family conversation---because we were sort of trained to do that.
Xander: When you are experiencing the sleep paralysis and you are making your grunt-y, "please help me" noises, and somebody comes and physically touches you awake or tries to wake you, does that actually help? Do you snap out of it faster?
Stone: It always feels like it is ten minutes regardless, but I will say I have had a couple exes that did not like that element of me at all because it scares them. So I do not know if it gets me out of it faster, but it certainly makes for an uncomfortable conversation about what is my problem.
Xander: "What was happening? You were getting pretty grunt-y last night."
Stone: "What was that?"
Xander: And if they got all freaked out and they did not help you, then you kind of wake up from it being pissed with them. Like, "You did not even fucking help me." "This is never going to work, you selfish prick."
Stone: Well, one of my exes was like, "Well, you should have warned me." And I am like, "How does that conversation go?" Hi, I am away the chain may fall asleep, right? And if I do, just be aware.
Xander: I might go into a state of semi-paralysis.
Xander: It is not something you really want to put in your Tinder file because those weirdos out there, you have got to get a bit of like---
Stone: Actually, it would be hilarious to put on your Tinder file.
Xander: What do you call this people who want to have sex with dead bodies? What was that guy's name?
Xander: Necrophilia. He might just attract the wrong type of crowd. They might be like, "Are you going to do it tonight? Are you going to be unconscious tonight? Will you be paralyzed tonight?" Alright, weirdo, backup. Just waiting for the moment, refusing to have sex with him. "Are you going to be paralyzed tonight?"
Stone: This is this makes me really grateful that people were mad at me instead of taking advantage. I have never thought of it that way.
Xander: Exactly. Whatever you do, do not put it on your Tinder profile. Love long walks on the beach, romantic dinners, sometimes paralyzed while I am sleeping.
Stone: Night terrors.
Xander: Shadow people, night terrors, semi-paralysis. Will alert you by making grunting noises. It is not something you want to put on there. That is they are cue.
Stone: I am personally looking for a healthy relationship. I do not have a Tinder profile and I certainly would not put that on there.
Xander: What if somebody else who also has sleep paralysis sees your Tinder profile and they are like, "Okay, this is something we can share in common." You have a romantic dinner, you talk about sleep paralysis, one thing leads to another, and then you are both just lying in bed grunting for the other person to help you and neither of you can do a damn thing.
Stone: Your scenario started out almost romantic.
Xander: Almost romantic and just went straight into narcolepsy and sleep paralysis. And anyway, all right.
Stone: And you are in exactly the same ninety-minute cycles so, of course, that is a good point.
Xander: Your paralysis cycles have synchronized.
Stone: Looking forward to synchronize.
Xander: "Should we time it?" Like, "I am going to bed, set your watch ninety minutes from now, you can go to bed. And then one of us, either before or just after, is going to get help tonight. I hope it is me." "It is my turn to get help in sleep paralysis tonight. You are going to bed ninety minutes later. It is my turn." "We did you last night. It is my turn tonight." Got anything more from the science-y finds. Did we discover anything more science-y about sleep paralysis?
Stone: That is pretty much the rundown.
Xander: I think that pretty much sums it up as well. What do you think? Do you think it is a psychological, biological science-y explanation, or do you think it is paranormally, or do you think it is maybe a little bit of both? It could be but you know--
Stone: I am a big Occam's razor fan. So the simplest explanation is the right explanation which means that I think it is by aliens.
Xander: I was so hoping you were going to say that. Definitely aliens. Extraterrestrial, interdimensional beings, of course.
Stone: That is always the explanation, always aliens or demons. I don not even understand why we are even looking at science.
Xander: Why we even bother. Save your time, WebMD. It is aliens. Everyone knows that. Do you think beings and other dimensions think that it is us? Like, "It is those humans from Earth, they are coming in and they are holding us down in our sleep."
Stone: Oh, or pulling us in.
Xander: We might be the interdimensional beings causing sleep paralysis in other dimension. It is possible.
Stone: Well, I think that is maybe the simplest explanation. You may have nailed it.
Xander: I think I did.
Stone: Well done, Occam's razor.
Xander: Just broke the internet. Solved sleep paralysis. One of the things that you just said as well about science, about one of the things that you can do if you have sleep paralysis. You said people who sleep on their back might experience it and that people should sleep on their side. It is actually one of the things from the Middle Eastern belief about sleep paralysis. In general Islam, I remember being told, do not quote me on this on my just pissed off the whole Arab world right now---that always goes well---but one of the things that I believe it is in the Islamic tradition is that we are actually supposed to sleep on the left side of our body because the left side is where your heart is on in your body. And it actually helps your blood to circulate and your heart to pump easily while you are sleeping. Because if you are sleeping on your right side, your heart and gravity are kind of fighting and your heart has to pump a little bit harder to get the blood circulating. So, I believe it is one of the things that is possibly a very old belief from ancient Islamic solutions to things. Sleep paralysis is to sleep on the left side of your body. And because it makes it easier on your physiology---big word for the day. Today's podcast is sponsored by the word physiology.
Stone: Physiology. I had an friend who warned me when I was younger to rotate sleeping on the left and the right because your face is pressed against the pillow for so long--
Xander: And you end up with those pillowcases in your face and nobody wants that.
Stone: No it is more overall wrinkles, you do not want wrinkles on just one side. So that was her theory.
Xander: How hard are your pillows? You are really smooching into your pillow there. You are really going down into your pillow there.
Stone: Her theory was, if for seven or eight hours, you are on one side with your face all crunched up---although in fairness, I have never seen anyone with wrinkles on just one side.
Xander: I was just going to say, do you bump into your friend and she is like, "You have been sleeping on the right side a lot, have not you?" Giving you that look like, "Oh, you are going to want to switch sides tonight. At least try and even the wrinkles out."
Stone: She also recommended silk pillowcases. So there you go. I know we are off-topic.
Xander: Fancy, Beverly Hills solutions to modern problems.
Stone: A two to wrinkle issues. Anyway, so you are going to tell us about the folklore.
Xander: I am going to do my very best.
Xander: I am going to spend some stories. None of them are going to be true. I am making this shit up as I am going along. We are going to hope for the best.
Stone: Fully aware.
Xander: Thank you to Wikipedia and Reddit. There is actually so much information out there about sleep paralysis and it comes from different cultures, different continents, it is everywhere. So it is obviously something that a lot of us experience in life. So what I found out that is actually very interesting, is what used to be the word to explain the sensation of sleep paralysis is what is the word that we use today, which is nightmare. Which is very interesting. Because if you break the word in half night and mare, the mare part comes from Old English and it is a Proto-Germanic, old Norse word.
Stone: Meaning horse.
Xander: No, if you look at the Scandinavian, those words are actually used to describe a woman. And so this is where the idea of this old hag comes from, is that it is the nightmare, the old woman who comes and visits you at night, holds you the fuck down, and does not let you move.
Stone: Oh, that is interesting.
Xander: From old folklore back in the day, science was not a huge thing, from almost every single continent and every single culture describes it as some sort of a demon or a ghost or one of my favorites, is the incubi and succubi, which are the male and female ghosts. They are my particular favorites because they are the ones you come and fiddle with you while you are sleeping. And by fiddle with you, I mean fiddle with you, like getting down in your business and having a fiddle. Which, again, I am open to abductions and I am open to being visited by incubi because if I can take a night off from fiddling with myself and have somebody else come and fiddle with my bits, I am down.
Stone: Which one is male and which one is female?
Xander: Incubi is the male one, succubi---just the name alone---the succubi is the female one. But different cultures kind of have different names for these. I think incubi and succubi are probably Latin, but they come from kind of like the Western cultures. Incubi and succubi are actual demons and they are also characters that are featuring in my up-and-coming novel which will be released when it is finished. It might be a long time from now.
Stone: Looking forward to reading that.
Xander: Awesome. So, different cultures will attribute it to one of the different genders. So it will either be an incubi, a male demon that holds you down, or female demon. And it seems like more dominant to be male or female in different cultures. Obviously, I did a little globe-trotting. I had a look around the world and I thought I would start out with Southeast Asia because that is where I am. In China, the experience of sleep paralysis or also known as "guiyashen", because my Chinese pronunciation is on point. It is a demon or ghost spirit that visits you in the night and presses you down. So the guiyashen, the actual translation of the experience means, "ghost pressing on body". Or they also sometimes say "ghost pressing on bed". It is a very kind of literal way. The same thing in the Korean culture as well, they also just very much explain it as the ghost that is coming to press you down. What I could not find is actually any explanation about who this ghost is. Is it an family member, is it great grandma, is it Lucius coming and shoving you down? What would grandma's ghost have the motivation for doing that? Some resentments? I do not know why grandma's ghost would come and do that. But it just seems to be this a spiritual entity that comes in holds you down in your sleep. Then in Southeast Asia in the Kashmiri mythology, this is where it starts to get dark and interesting because this is an invisible creature called a "pasikuda", or a "saya". Some people believe that this pasikuda lives in every single house. So you have got one living in your house. If you are from Kashmir, you have got a pasikuda.
Stone: Oh, wow.
Xander: It is living in your house, not paying rent, probably eating the food while you are sleeping. They attack you, and this is where it gets pretty poetic, if your house is not being cleaned or if a God is not being worshipped in your house. So if you are a dirty and religious person, you know you have got a pasikuda living in your house, and it is pissed. It is coming at night and it is holding you down and being like, "You need to fucking tidy up because I live here too. And this is unacceptable. So in the morning get the broom out. Otherwise, this is going to happen again tonight." And one might also experience this if one has been doing something evil or if you derive pleasure from the misfortune of others. I do not know if you know the German word for that, when you have pleasure in the misfortune of others. The German word is "schadenfreude", taking pleasure in the misery of others. So that is basically in Southeast Asia, they either attribute it to ghosts. Or if you are from Kashmir, the ghost that is pretty pissed off, or the demon that is pretty pissed that you have not done house work recently and it would like you to clean up. Just a gentle, spiritual reminder.
Stone: I did not know demons were such clean freaks.
Xander: You know what I mean? Is there a demon resentfully hanging out in the corner just being like, "When this fucker goes to sleep, man, I am going to be on his case. Has not done the laundry in days." "Take out the trash!"
Stone: It would just be faster for them to possess you and get the housework done.
Xander: I mean, if they have got the physical presence to be able to come and push you down in your sleep, why do not you lend a hand with the chores? Why do not you fucking sweep up? This is a bit reminiscent of the Elves and the Shoemaker. The elves that went in and made the shoes in the middle of the night. Would not it be lovely if you woke up in the morning and the house was spotless because your night demon has been doing a bit of tidying up while you are asleep. Then I would be all for the holding. I am holding my God everybody deserves to have a demon.
Stone: That is my number one fantasy, you know.
Xander: Exactly. Everybody deserves a housework demon. Everyone deserves one.
Stone: I need to move.
Xander: "Why are you moving to Kashmir?" "I would like to have a housework demon." Ancient solutions to modern problems. But then if you start moving a little bit further west from Southeast Asian, we start looking at the Middle East and the West End in Central Asia. In the Pashtun culture, it is known as "kapasa". It is believed that this one is a ghost that does not have any thumbs. Four fingers, no thumbs. It is trying to suffocate you by pressing down in your throat and by sitting on your chest. But flaw in its plan, it does not have any thumbs, so it cannot get a good grip, cannot actually suffocate you effectively. So it just seems to be doing using its index and middle fingers. Maybe it is concerned about your well-being. Maybe it is feeling for a pulse. Maybe it is like, "Shit, this one is dead. Quick!" And then it comes and presses on your throat. But again, they all seem to attribute it to something that is sitting on you, holding down, and suffocating you.
Xander: I do not know if you ever had the experience of being suffocated in your sleep, like a sleep paralysis suffocation type of thing?
Xander: You have?
Stone: I have.
Xander: Okay, so it is the Pashtun. It is demons from the Middle East that are coming in suffocating you.
Stone: Well, that makes sense because the one I saw, I only saw the index finger, I did not see thumbs.
Xander: So, they just have the one finger.
Xander: One boney, index finger reaching out for you. It is the claw! So that pretty much covers Asia. We have got the Kashmiri, the housework demon who wants you to clean up and tidy up. Otherwise, it is going to come and smother you in your sleep. And then we have got the Pashtun one. Again, there is just no explanation as to why, it is just a demon who gets its thrills by coming and pressing on your throat with its deformed hands, and sitting on your chest. Holding you down, suffocating you. Then on my continent, Mama Africa. In the Ethiopian culture, it is called a "dukak". It is believed to be this evil spirit that possesses people during their sleep. Some people believe that this experience is a symptom of withdrawal from a stimulant called Khat.
It is actually this plant, it is a natural stimulant that we should all probably try and grow in our gardens because it is natural, and it is the leaves of a shrub. They are chewed or you can drink them as an infusion or a stimulant. If you are going through withdrawal and you have not had your fix from the garden this week, you might experience sleep paralysis. The evil spirit, the dukak, is an anthropomorphic personification of depression. So it is like your depression personified. It often results if people stop quitting or they start they stopped using the stuff called Khat. I assume I am pronouncing that correctly. The dukak will often appear in your hallucinations if you are quitting your Khat. It meets out its punishments to its victims for offending him because you quit. So he wants to keep, he wants you to be a junkie.
Stone: So, pressure.
Xander: He wants you to keep chewing on the leaves and it pisses him off when you do not. And it says that the punishments are often in the form of implausible physical punishment. So he will put the victim inside of a bottle and he will shake the bottle around. So that is happening while you are sleeping.
Xander: Or he will make you perform very outrageous tasks. Again, this is an Ethiopian culture, the ones that they gave as an example of an outrageous task, is that you must swallow a bag of gravel. To which I had many questions. Are you like are you allowed to use the whole bag? Are you tipping the bag into your mouth and just swallowing gravel? Are you expected to ingest gravel inside bag? And how big is the bag? I could probably swallow many a bag of gravel. But they were not wrong when they said they make them perform outrageous tasks because swallowing a bag of gravel is pretty fucking outrageous and really specific as well. You can just imagine the Ethiopian elders sitting around and when somebody said like, "What outrageous task?" "A bag of gravel." "If you do not chew the plant, you are going to eat the gravel."
Stone: So this was perpetuated by the farmers for marketing purposes.
Xander: Possibly by a gravel salesman as well. Probably not. I do not know if a gravel salesman would want you to be eating bags of gravel. But possibly by the people who punt the Khat.
Stone: Because they want to keep pushing.
Xander: I kind of imagine shady characters hanging around outside schools with potted plants in their hands being like, "Here kid, chew on the leaf." So this the stimulant called Khat. It is a natural stimulant so comes from this plant and if you stop taking it, the anthropomorphic personification of your withdrawal, or the dukak, is going to come and put you in a bottle, shake you around vigorously and then feed you bags of gravel. Really specific punishments. Sounds like in a hallucination from a withdrawal to me. But you know, each to their own.
Stone: Maybe they are onto something. I have never had the gravel experience or the shaking bottle experience.
Xander: Maybe that would help the next time you have sleep paralysis, ask your son, "Do you have any bags of gravel?"
Stone: Good, see where this goes.
Xander: Imagine waking up and just spitting bits of stone. That sandy taste in your mouth and be like, "It was the damn dukak that has been here again."
Stone: You would not need breakfast.
Xander: You would be pull on gravel. You would meet all your minerals for the day. Like, "Do you want a vitamin?" "No, bag of gravel last night. I am fine." And then in the southwest Nigeria, the "ogun oru", is a traditional explanation for the nocturnal disturbance of the people of the Yoruba. These are all very big words that I had have to go and Google as well. But you are welcome to Google them.
Stone: You are doing a great job.
Xander: Ogun oru means nocturnal warfare. You are actually involved in the in the act of War while you are sleeping. It involves an acute nighttime disturbance that is culturally attributed to demonic infiltration of the body and the psyche during dreaming. This starts leaning into demonic possession. If it is infiltration, it is possession. So this ogun oru is possessing you and your body and your psyche while you are sleeping. Tt is predominantly more of a female thing to happen. So they tend to say females experience it, males do not. I just thought it just sounds like some sort of sexist, egotistical there. "Oh, no, I do not have that sleeper. I am not eating any gravel. I am fine. That is a woman's thing." Apparently to them, it is an underlying feud between the sufferer, which is obviously the lady, her earthly spouse, and her spiritual spouse. They are saying that you have got your husband here on Earth. It sounds to me like they are just coming up with excuses and they are kind of putting things on ladies as like, "You do not love me, you are having sleep paralysis. You want your spiritual spouse." So somewhere out there, you are married to somebody in the spiritual realm, and they are your spouse. I assume that means your soulmate and it sounds a lot like a jealous husband to me. He does not feel like he is getting enough attention from his wife and he is saying that, "Well, now you are being possessed by demons who are causing this." And they believe that it is treatable through Christian prayer and elaborate traditional rituals designed to exercise the embedded demonic elements. And so you got to go to church, you got to get the elders involved. I suppose, you have got to either divorce your Earthly spouse or kind of have a conversation with your spiritual spouse and say, "Hey, look, husband is getting pretty pissed. Could you leave me alone?"
Stone: How interesting.
Xander: It is, right? They attribute it to an actual possession, a demonic infiltration of the body and psyche. Then if we go a little bit north, we are going to go to Europe and in Sardinia. This is actually quite lovely. In Sardinia, obviously one of these islands, there is an old belief that identifies the cause of sleep paralysis as being a demonic called Ammuttadori. I am going to say it with an obnoxious Italian accent. I used to I used to work in an Italian restaurant for many years in University---a proper Italian restaurant, not in Italy but owned by an actual Italian. The most obnoxious, white people thing to do is when they order Italian food, they do that thing with the hand, when you pinch your three fingers together any kind of shake your hand at somebody. A typical white, South African will walk into the restaurant and everything else has been perfectly normal up until now. And they will say something like, "I think I would like to order the 'penne.'" and I will follow it up, "I am a Christian." And they would say, "I want a cappuccino." And I am like, "Look, buddy. Seriously, put your hand down. Why are you pinching your fingers at me?" I do not know why they do it. It is the most obnoxious way I think to do in the world, but I am going to do it now. So in Sardinia, there was an old belief that identifies the cause of sleep paralysis as a demonic being called the Ammuttadori.
Stone: Did you do the hand gesture?
Xander: I did. In fact, I was so into that with both hands. I was double Italian. I was like, this is some mafioso shit. But Ammuttadori sounds like a lovely biscuit that you get with your cappuccino.
Stone: Does that sound lovely? Now, I am hungry.
Xander: But this ghoulish creature, it sits again on the chest area. So holding you down while you are sleeping, on the chest, suffocating you again. Sometimes, and this is fun, it is ripping your skin with his nails. So if any of you have ever woken up with ripped skin and nail claws, or maybe you are having an illicit affair and your husband or your significant other, your wife, is like, "What are those marks down your back?" And you can be like, "It was the Ammuttadori." I visited by a sleep demon and it made some scratches on my back. Do not worry about it.
Stone: There you go.
Xander: In some parts of the island, this demon even wears seven red caps on his head. I do not know if that implies that it has seven heads or it is just wearing an awful lot of hats at once. And why specifically seven? And if you are wearing seven hats on one head, does anybody even realize? Does it not just look like you are wearing one and you are like, "But look, there is another one and another one and another one." Like all right, calm the fuck down with your hats, please. One would have been fine. And if a victim resists the pain, and if you succeed in stealing one of his seven caps, you will soon find a hidden treasure. Which I think is lovely. That is why I like this one because there is actually a reward at the end of this one. So all the rest of them are like you are being possessed and infiltrated by demons, you are cheating on me with your spiritual spouse. You have not done the housework, but if you are from Italy you want to steal the red cap off his head because you are going to get a treasure. No specifics as to what that treasure might be and I hope it is not one of those like, "The reward for stealing the cap is the reward of having conquered your inner demons." Oh fuck off. I want money. I do not want of those types of rewards.
Stone: Or we have awarded your request. Now, you go on a quest.
Xander: Yes. You are on level seven, sleep paralysis Jedi. You stole the cat.
Stone: Yeah, we have leveled up.
Xander: Is there only one of these things are there multiple Ammuttadori demons because if it is only one, and he is only got seven caps, and seven people steal the caps, what happens? Then there is no reward, do you just get tormented by a demon? He is like, "Ha ha, I have no caps left. No treasure for you." Or is there a store of red demon caps somewhere that he goes and gets another one? Like, "Shit got to go get another one." Anyway, the last culture I looked at, was in the south pacific and this is in the beautiful islands, where I will go one day, of Fiji. If you ever Google Fiji, trust me, it is one of those places that you are going to go to and you just, I am never leaving. Like, I am just from Fiji now. If anybody needs me.
Stone: This is it for me.
Xander: I will be on the beach. Is it not what they call the ring of fire, which is that huge pacific ring of volcanoes. But if you are going to go down in a massive super volcano eruption, what better place to do it than from Fiji, and I am sure the view of the volcanic eruptions would be gorgeous. Anyway, in Fiji, it is interpreted--
Stone: It is a good way to go.
Xander: It is a good way to go. I am on the beach. There is a huge volcano but it is fine. I am just chilling on the beach. It is stunning. So in Fiji, it is interpreted as a "Kana Tevoro". Again, I do not know what language they speak in Fiji or how the even pronounce it. I can do it with the Italian, Kana Tevoro. But I doubt they are Italians. This one, you are actually being eaten by the demon. In most cases, the demon can be a spirit of the recently dead relative. The fresh dead relatives who have come back for some unfinished business or has come to communicate something important news or something important to the living. Your family, you make noises to like alert other people like, "Help, I am in sleep paralysis. Please come and wake me up." And in Fiji, remember they are described this as being eaten by this Kana Tevoro, if people sleeping near you or near the afflicted person notice that they are in a sleep paralysis state, what that person who is nearby has to shout is,"Kania, kania." That means, "Eat eat." So they are actually encouraging the demon. "Have a feast, eat him, eat him." Apparently, it is in an attempt--
Stone: That is terrifying.
Xander: But it is kind of sweet in its own demonic possession kind of a way because what they are trying to do is to prolong the possession so that they have a chance to converse with the dead relative. For whatever reason you and I were sleeping in close proximity to each other, and I noticed you were in a sleep paralysis state I would be like, "That is my grandma. Eat, eat." "Devour her, grandmother." Because I am hoping to get a chance to talk to Gran. So it is a chance for the person to prolong the possession, continue the feast, so that they have got a chance to converse with the dead relative or the spirit and to seek answers as to why they have come back. And then on waking up from the experience, the person is actually often asked to immediately curse or to chase the spirit of the dead relative. So as soon as you wake up from your sleep paralysis, you are going to be like, "Fuck off. Go away."
Stone: After you invited them to stay to eat.
Xander: No, if you are experiencing sleep paralysis, you are not the one inviting them. It is the person who is sleeping next to you. So again, this comes to--
Stone: No, I get that. But I am saying, what a mixed message like, "Come here, go away. Come here, go away."
Xander: It is pretty rude, right? On waking up, you are told to immediately curse them or to chase them out. And sometimes, it involves literally speaking to the spirit and telling him or her to go away. Or to use expletives. So you can actually wake up shouting, "Fuck off!" To chase the demon away. "Fuck off Grandma." I love the fact that they want to prolong the position because no other culture in the world is like, "I would like this position to last a little bit longer."
Stone: To continue. How much must you not like the person laying next to you to go go there. Like, it is okay for you to be sacrificed.
Xander: Again, this goes back to one of those things where you get the necrophilia occur through your sleep paralysis Tinder profile. And you wake up with them shouting "eat" while they are dry humping you.
Stone: I was not expecting a cannibal tale. That is pretty impressive.
Stone: Good research.
Xander: Apparently if you die, and you are in Fiji, you become a cannibal demon. My cannibal grandma, that is a great title for a podcast. "My grandma is a cannibal."
Stone: I am sure it is taken.
Xander: Of course, but it is lovely. You shout, "Kania, kania," because you want them to continue eating. I would be offended. I would be like, "For fuck's sake. Seriously, it is your turn. I was possessed last week, it is your turn." Exhausting. Anyway, so that sums it up.
Stone: I only have ten fingers and toes.
Xander: So we have got, in China, it is the ghost that is pressing on your body. In Kashmir, it is people who do not clean their houses. In Pashtun, it is the the two-fingered ghost who does not have any thumbs. In Ethiopia, it is because you are jonesing, because you have not had your fix of the Khat. In Southwest Nigeria, it is your spiritual spouse and you need Christian prayer and elaborate rituals. In Sardinia, it is a the guy with seven red caps and you are going to get a treasure at the end. And then of course, it is your dead grandma who is coming to cannibalize you in your sleep, if you are from South Pacific. I think the sleep paralysis thing has been done to death in most podcasts and but I think we brought a new spin to it. Obviously, in North America or in the western culture, we attributed to this thing called the "night hag" and it is this old, crony lady who comes and just sits on you and strangles you while you are sleeping. So that is it. That is the cultural globetrotter around the world explanation for sleep paralysis. But what I took away from it is that it is most definitely part of the human condition because it seems every culture, no matter where you are in the world, no matter what little isolated island in the South Pacific you are actually from, has some experience and explanation of sleep paralysis. However questionable that explanation might be.
Stone: So what that really says is that alien abduction happens everywhere. Now we know.
Xander: All the time. Constantly. Everybody is being probed, except me. Maybe that is it. Maybe it is because I am putting the foot out there like, "Hey, I want to be probed." They are like, "God, do not be so needy." Do you not fucking hate the needy ones?
Stone: You have got to play hard to get.
Xander: You have got to be like, "Please, do not." Maybe they have got a slightly questionable motive. Maybe they have got a bit of a schadenfreude about it. The Germans are aliens. We take a lot of pleasure in the fact that you do not want to be probed. If you want to be probed, we are not that into it. "It is the Germans. They are aliens."
Stone: I do not know who our market is anymore because you really alienated these tabs.
Xander: We have pissed off the whole planet. It is fine. I am enjoying just us and a conversation.
Stone: For the other half, stay tuned.
Xander: We are both the hosts and the audience of our podcast. And my mom. And she is going to get as far as like, "You are stoned," and she will be like, "Fuck this, I am not listening to this anymore." "I knew it was him." So that is the cultural aspect of sleep paralysis. So what do you---are you in the science-y? Is it Grandma's dead spirit eating me? I am still going with science. It could be aliens. There is just so many. We will never know because we are sleeping while it happens. So we never really have the explanation.
Stone: Turn on the cameras. Well, first of all, I would like to say I am really grateful that you did the cultural one because I could not pronounce two of my words in the science one so I cannot imagine happening to know all the words.
Xander: I was winging it. I was doing it phonetically so if there was a "k", an "a", and "n", and an "a", I say Kana.
Stone: It sounded right to me.
Xander: For all I know, in Fiji, it has got a completely different---I did look at the other Southeast Asian cultures like Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand and those places and those words were pretty fucking weird. I was just like, "Yeah, I cannot say." But, obviously, having lived in Asia for eleven years, I have traveled to these places many times and the the word "phuk", appears in an awful lot of their vocabulary. So, I did not want to be like, "Sleep paralysis, all about the phuck." It is the demon called phuk.
Stone: And yet, you still went there.
Xander: I did. It is interesting. There are a lot of interesting explanations and I love the romanticized idea that these different cultures give to it. About the dead relatives coming to get you. I do not know if romantic or romanticized is right, but I love the esoteric explanation that they all give to sleep paralysis because you know somewhere, a group of them got together in 102 A.D. And they all were like, "What the fuck is going on with that?" And somebody offered up the explanation, it is your dead granny and she is eating you. And everybody was like, "Yes, that is it." I wonder how many other ideas were tossed around the table before they say, "We think it is that one."
Stone: The jaded husband.
Xander: The jaded husband, the lazy house worker.
Stone: Which one did you think was the most haunting?
Xander: I am going to say, I really love the idea of the one that it is---maybe not the most haunting, but the one that I really enjoy the most, is the one about the housework. The one from Kashmir.
Stone: That is the one I would have said.
Xander: I absolutely adore the fact that there is a demon sitting in the corner of your house going, "You dirty, fucking bastard. Can you just have a sweep for fuck's sake?" Demon in corner does not do windows. I love that idea. It is
resentful. And it is almost like it is a demon with some OCD like, "I am not touching that."
Xander: And it is in every household according to them. Every single household has one of these. So I do not know if it kind of comes with the property or if--
Stone: Does it travel with you when you move?
Xander: Do you get one assigned to you for life and it is moving around with you from place to place? Is it included in like the estate agents' tour of the home?
Stone: And do they name them?
Xander: It is a two-bedroom, one bathroom, got a garage, and a housework demon.
Stone: His name is Henry.
Xander: His name is Ahmed. Ahmed wants you to do the dishes.
Stone: Yeah, I did go with a very English name. Of course, it is Henry.
Xander: But I believe in Kashmir, you would pronounce it "Hch-enry." More glottal stoppy. So that is the one that I find the most charming. I will be having a word with my housework demon and doing some apologies today because, during isolation, I have not been terribly good at it. So I will be having an apology session with my housework demon today. So that is what I find the most charming. I think the one that I find the most haunting, that is a tough question. I am going to go with the one in Fiji, the South Pacific one, where it is eating you. You are being eaten by a dead relative or a demon.
Stone: And being cheered on by the people in the house.
Xander: I am being cheered on by the people in the house. You wake up and they are like, "Eat him, eat him, eat him." And everyone is disappointed.
Stone: I think that would be scarier for the demon. Just hearing people chant "Eat him."
Xander: Thanks, Mom.
Stone: I am not a buffet.
Xander: It is concerning but also the fact that it is a recently dead relative, so it is freshly dead. So if you have not had anyone who died recently, you will be fine.
Xander: But they do they do kind of buffer that with the explanation of it is either a demon or your dead granny.
Stone: If no one has died recently.
Xander: Demonic entity from the bowels of hell or your gran. It could be one of the other.
Stone: So how do they know if---oh, because they would know that somebody had just died. They probably would not cheer it on if it is a demon.
Xander: Maybe where the sensation of eating occurs. Grandma is not going to eat you out.
Stone: That is so gross.
Xander: That is awful.
Stone: I think I just immediately went to fingers and toes.
Xander: Just nibbling. You wake with your nails have been bitten on. So those are cultural---obviously, I went to have a look at the Gospel according to Reddit as well. I am not the biggest fan of Reddit because it is absolutely endless for a start. To me, Reddit is like the landscape of The Lord of the Rings because it is just fucking trolls and ogres wherever you look. Trolls everywhere.
Stone: It feels clunky and disorganized to me.
Xander: It does. But one of the stories, I have just got a little excerpt of it here. I am going to read this one very quickly. This is by a Reddit poster called Theta Sigmaaa because there is three A's because they have no sense of restraint. This frat boy or sorority sisters. Does Theta Sigma give you any indication of gender? Do you know things like that? I do not.
Stone: I do not. With that many A's, I am thinking it has to be a guy.
Xander: It sounds like a fucking frat boy who has no sense of moderation. Theta Sigma on Reddit actually posted six stories or six experiences of sleep paralysis. I always take these---we are talking about demons and sleep paralysis, a pinch of salt anyway. But there were six and some of most of it were crap. But this is one of the few and again, I think this might be completely made up. This one I like because it actually had a positive spin which when you talk about sleep paralysis, it is demons and grandmas eating you and the housework demon and this one has a positive spin. So here goes, this one happened last night and it was really short. I was spending the night with my girlfriend and she was sitting beside me drawing. And as I was about to fall asleep, sleep paralysis kicks in and I see an angelic woman standing in the corner of the room. Angelic, that is a nice spin. That is a new spin on it.
Stone: That is nice.
Xander: She had long blond hair, average height, the average for an angel. Seen many, average height for an angel. And had a very calming aura around her, and we are going to come to this in the pet peeve, that was literally glowing. Accurate use of the word "literally", we will get to that in a moment.
Xander: This person said, "Please climb up this ladder," and there was this ladder that was also glowing and leading into his or her girlfriend's ceiling. My eyes instantly closed, but for the first time ever, I was still in sleep paralysis and I felt this dark presence next to me. So I began grunting and I heard my girlfriend ask, "Are you awake? Are you okay?" And she kept shaking me until I woke up. This was the first time I have had sleep paralysis in a few months and it was a very short but very odd. I find sleep paralysis very fascinating and wish we knew more about it and these common figures that people see. Which is true. A shadow figure wearing a top hat or a hat is also quite a common one. I know this is not the case for everybody that has sleep paralysis because some people hate it and are terrified by. Ever since I was little, my dreams have been stranger than the average person. I do not know---did you take a poll? Did you do a survey? That is a pretty fucking weird dream. And this has made me fascinated by dreams and what brains do while we sleep. So I like that one because it was one of the very few who actually highlights it as like a positive, angelic, average-height being that is standing in the corner and is inviting them to climb up a ladder. I really wish they knew what was at the top of the ladder. Was that an invitation into heaven? Where were you going there? Where does it land?
Stone: It sounds like more work. I have to climb.
Xander: It does. That was the housework demon being, "You got to clean the gutters. Have you seen the cobwebs in the corner? Get up the fucking ladder. You lazy bastard, cobwebs in the corner."
Stone: They just had a very positive outlook about housework. To not alienate the Doctor Who people, I did look up Theta Sigma and that is a Doctor Who reference. Informally known as Theta.
Xander: I know Theta is also one of our brain waves. It is one of the states of our consciousness. We have Theta brain waves and I believe it has something to do with one of the meditative states or the higher consciousness states, I think.
Stone: That explains why Doctor Who is linked to that one.
Xander: I have never actually watched an episode of Doctor Who, not one of them. And as long as that shows been running, I have never seen an episode and I have a very good reason why. Because I am going to fucking love it. I think Jesus used to watch Doctor Who because it is been on forever.
Stone: I watched it as a kid.
Xander: I am from the backwaters of South Africa, so we did not have fancy things like television when I was growing up. And electricity, things like that. I know I would love it if I did watch it. So I got to be very careful because then just months of my life will disappear and people will be like, "Where have you been?" I will be like, "Watching Doctor Who with my housework demon. We have been busy." Places I have missed, demons pissed.
Stone: I lived out in the middle of nowhere. So we only had a channel and a half. It was a lack of options, but I enjoyed it. But it was a lack of options.
Xander: I know now the most recent episode because I see these things on the internet. And I think now, for the first time, they have got a female Doctor Who.
Xander: Girl power, female Doctor Who.
Stone: So this is good.
Xander: We have got the feminists back on our side. Female Doctor Who.
Stone: Finally, we will have a market. We will go after Doctor Who.
Xander: What we need is a black female homosexual Doctor Who. And then all our friends would be like, "That is the most empowered Doctor Who." Preferably with a physical challenge as well. A black deaf, blind, homosexual.
Stone: Now, you are back to alienating everyone.
Xander: But anyway, one of the things we also decided we were going to include in our podcast is our pet peeve corner. Things that just piss us off. We were talking about this and I said we needed to save this. We were having a chat a text back and forth and it was the use of the word "literally". The incorrect or overused "literally", is literally the most annoying thing in the world.
Xander: Literally, it pisses me off. And as opposed to metaphorically. People use this all the time and it really grinds my carrots. It really does. I had a girl the other day because I do a lot of home cooking and I post my food and things like that on social media because I need other people's approval of the things that I eat. Okay, so long story short, I have recently given up all refined sugar.
Stone: Well done.
Xander: I know, right? We will go into that in another episode because that was an experience. But I am fine now, everything is fine.
Stone: But I am fine.
Xander: I am fine. It is okay. I posted something about I would really love my---when I say I am giving up refined sugar, my brain immediately to chocolate. And I am like, "No, I said I am giving up refined sugar." Ice cream. I posted something along those lines because I am witty as fuck on social media, and one of the people who is on my social media replied with, "Oh, you should make your own homemade sorbet with fruit." This really pissed me off because three days earlier, I had actually made a post with a homemade sorbet that I used fruits. So, fuck off, okay?
Stone: How did they not know?
Xander: Keep up or keep out. And then proceeded to give me the recipe for how to freeze fruit, which is very straightforward. You literally freeze the fruits and I was like, really as opposed to like metaphorically? Just ignoring fruit making it feel frozen out?
Stone: They just give you the ice recipe.
Xander: Cold-shoulder to the bananas. My pet peeve of the day and the incorrect use of the word "literally". I can use this correctly. It literally pisses me off when you use the word literally incorrectly. I get angry. Friendships have ended over this. I literally cannot even talk to you anymore. You are literally no longer my friend anymore. Fuck off. Anyway, what is your pet peeve, Stone?
Stone: You want there to be a circle in Dante's Inferno for the literally.
Xander: A literal circle in hell for you people.
Stone: So mine is a LOL. And the reason being, if it is used correctly, no problem. But often, I will say something that is mildly amusing and somebody says LOL, I think, "Are you really laughing out loud?"
Xander: Is it really happening right now?
Stone: Is it really that funny people that you are actually laughing out loud?
Xander: Are people on the streets stopping and looking at you and be like, why the fuck is that crazy guy laughing. I agree.
Stone: I want evidence that it is really happening. Literally happening.
Xander: You are going to have to literally send me videos right now of you LOL-ing or I am never speaking to you again.
Stone: I have said that to people, "Are you really, genuinely?"
Xander: I am questioning you about this. This is an interrogation and I need fucking answers, okay? But I am so guilty of it though. I am so guilty of LOL almost being used as punctuation. I am actually going to be very careful because I can text pretty fast because I have got the thumbs often--
Stone: The demon does not have.
Xander: I have got more thumbs than a sleep paralysis demon from the Middle East. Which has no thumbs. Even if I had one thumb I would be in better. Anyway, I almost use it like punctuation. I will be like, "Hey, how you doing today LOL," like what is funny about that? But you got to be careful/ Because if you are like, "I am so sorry. Your gran died LOL." You have got to be very careful.
Stone: That is awesome, LOL.
Xander: To me, there is a big difference between capitalized LOL, a single capital L, and then a lowercase OL, because that is a general "Ha!" Capitalized LOL, you are sincerely breaking down with laughter right now. People are calling authorities. There is a crazy person on the loose. And then there is the all lowercase lol, which is like I am acknowledging that you have spoken, nothing funny about what you have said. I think I know you think it is funny, but it is not. Small case lol.
Stone: I think mine comes down to validation because I am a riot, truly. But I want to know that it is the appropriate LOL, like that really was not that good.
Xander: Maybe in our texts, we should start including levels of a LOL. So this is like an LOL level one. This is level one shit. I think you can do better. Let us push for the three today. Let us push for a three.
Stone: Are you doing a bit? Can you do work on a bit?
Xander: You do not want to go to back and just think that through little bit. So now that we have alienated every millennial from our podcast.
Stone: And you.
Xander: I can agree. I am also guilty of the "haha" as well. "Hey, what you doing? Haha."
Stone: Me too.
Xander: And it is such an automatic thing. My fingers just seem to want to type it by themselves.
Stone: It is not coming from you anymore.
Xander: Exactly. It is the LOL demon that hangs out with the housework demon. Infiltrates and possesses me while eating me. So LOL and the word literally. This pet peeve corner is sponsored by the letter L. Literally and LOL.
Stone: And number seven for our hats.
Xander: And number seven for the seven red hats from the Ammuttadori. The obnoxious, Italian, Sardinian demon.
Stone: I am just really sad I have never been offered a hat. I feel like I have been ripped off.
Xander: Maybe you can channel that in your next sleep paralysis session now that you know more.
Stone: Mine is the hat. Find Waldo.
Xander: You could be like, "You are not even wearing your hats today. Come back tomorrow. You are not prepared for the sleep paralysis. Where the fuck are your hats?"
Stone: Why is everything black and white? I want the red hats.
Xander: Oh, right. Do we dream in color? Yes, we do. I dream in color. Do you dream in color?
Stone: I do.
Xander: I know for a fact that I dream in color because I have a very clear memory of a dream that I had that was in grays. To this day, I remember the imagery of that dream because that was fucking weird. I am dreaming in gray scale.
Stone: Just one last note on the sleep paralysis, I am also interested, because when I have pulled other people about sleep paralysis, it is usually people that have vivid dreams anyway. So it makes me wonder if there is a combination there of people that remember their dreams, if they are more likely to have sleep paralysis.
Xander: You are conscious. Your brain is more active. It is so amazing your brain does not even switch off when you sleep. It just keeps going.
Stone: Yeah, I think it is only smart people that are having sleep paralysis.
Xander: Talented people, creative people are probably like, you know.
Stone: If you have sleep paralysis, you are a genius. That is the bottom line.
Xander: But you cannot get up and do anything about it like there are three seconds of sleep paralysis. That is your genius. That is when you are at your most intelligent. You cannot do a damn thing about it.
Stone: I did not say you were physically, just brain genius.
Xander: You are sleep genius. You are sleep time genius.
Stone: A sleep savant.
Xander: I did write down here lucid dreaming because you had also mentioned that. I take notes while people are talking to me and you had mentioned now that you have got a bit more knowledge about it, you feel a bit more in control during the experience. And I wondered if there was maybe some connection. It is almost like really lucid dreaming because lucid dreaming is being consciously aware of the fact that you are dreaming. And also being able to alter the storyline of the dream or whatever it might be that you can influence what is actually happening. Consciously, cognitively influence what is happening in your dream because of the lucidity of your dreaming. I have never had a lucid dream, but I think that is a topic that we will have to save for another time because we have been recording for fucking ever. Shame these people who may or may not be listening.
Stone: We are going to have to put this into part one, part two.
Xander: People have tuned out a long time ago. This is a bunch of rubbish. They have alienated every human on the planet.
Stone: We told them at the beginning not expecting.
Xander: Any person left listening is deaf and they are not even aware that they are still playing.
Stone: Somebody that cannot sleep because they have sleep paralysis. God.
Xander: Just lying there. Please, God, let me move. I need to turn this shit off. Okay Stone. It has been magical and I think we need to let our listeners go and I think we need to get along with our day. We are going to set up all sorts of social media accounts and email addresses and things like that for people to be able to get in contact with us. And obviously, we would like to hear about your scary and questionable experiences of sleep paralysis. So once you know where to email or where to shout out, we will let you know and tell us about your sleep paralysis. Possibly by the time this episode goes live. It will be in the bottom of our show notes, we will put our contact information. But as it is right now, fuck all.
Manage your expectations, please.
From Xander, it is goodbye!
Stone: And from Stone, thank you so much.
Xander: Later, bitches.