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How To Exit Your Body During Sleep Paralysis

Reading Time: 11 minutes

I’m an avid dreamer. I’m fascinated by the sleeping mind and as such, I keep a dream journal to catalog every thought that passes through my brain at night. I set at least one alarm every day so that I’m able to wake up during REM sleep and recall my grandest dreams. Sometimes I just go back to sleep, but for the most part, I keep up with it. It’s been an enlightening experience, and so far I’ve filled a couple dozen notebooks.

In addition to cataloging my dreams, I also study the phenomenon. I’ve read almost every book on the subject and watched countless documentaries. I even took an elective back in high school called “The Dreaming Mind” (I was one of seven kids in the class). In other words, most of my waking life is consumed by sleep, in one form or another.

One day, I visited the local authors section of the town library, in the hopes of finding a book on dreams that I hadn’t read yet (this was the one section I’d never been in). I expected to find a bunch of self-published romance novels… and for the most part, I did, but there was one non-fiction title that caught my eye. It was called “Sleep Tactics: Exercises for a Mind at Rest” by Jack Grovewood. The blurb on the back was vague and made it seem like a self-help book with quotes like “Learn the secrets to a good night’s rest.” and “Feed your mind’s insatiable appetite for better understanding.” Not a book on dreams per se, but it did pique my interest.

Delving into the book more at home, I found it to be more up my alley than I previously expected. It was filled with chapters pertaining to lucid dreaming, meditation, and even sleepwalking. I was already familiar with most of the content, but it turned out to be an enjoyable read. It wasn’t until the last chapter, though, that I was taken completely off guard. I will outline most of it below:


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Chapter 16: “How To Exit Your Body”

DISCLAIMER: This is not an OBE, or “Out of Body Experience”.

As stated in Chapter 8: “Out of Body, Out of Bed”, I do believe in OBEs, but I find that they’re just another form of dreaming. What I’m about to divulge to you is something completely different. It’s neither an OBE nor a dream state. This is a way to truly exit your body using sleep paralysis as the catalyst.

Before I discuss specifics, I’d like to go over a few prerequisites.

In order to pull this off, you have to be proficient at lucid dreaming. What I mean by this is that you need to have lucid dreams on a regular basis and retain lucidity for long periods of time in these dreams. It also helps if you’re able to manipulate your dream environment while lucid. If you only lucid dream on occasion, you’ll have to practice and train your mind to do so more often (see Chapter 6: “Becoming a Lucid Lucy”). If you, however, are unable to lucid dream and/or have never experienced one before, then this isn’t for you. You will not be able to do it, I’m afraid.

Another requirement is sleep paralysis. Most of us have experienced this at one time or another, but it will help immensely if you experience it regularly. Coupled with lucidity and a focused mind, sleep paralysis is your only way out of your own skin, so to speak.

That’s all you need in the way of mental capabilities, more or less. It’s an added bonus if you’ve had an OBE or have even had a wake-initiated lucid dream (see Chapter 7: “Wake Unto Sleep”).

Now, onto the fun part. I’m going to lay this out in a step by step fashion followed by a more detailed explanation of what to expect upon achieving your first “departure”. Keep in mind that results may vary.

-Step One-

Fall asleep, on your back, in a slanted position. It could be on a recliner or a car seat, but your body has to be diagonal relative to ground-level. That’s the only way I’ve ever been able to get this to work. For one reason or another, gravity plays a role.

-Step Two-

Attain sleep paralysis. This is more of a waiting game than a step as you can’t really execute this at will. You’ll just have to keep trying until it happens. When it does happen, lucidity is key. You have to be aware that you’re in a state of sleep paralysis and be unafraid of your lack of mobility. This is one of the ways being a lucid dreamer comes in handy.

-Step Three-

Once paralyzed, attempt to move your legs. If you’re in the proper position, at least one of them should be mobile. If you can’t move either of them, then you’ll have to start over and experiment by tilting your seat in different positions.

-Step Four-

Upon freeing one or more of your legs, attempt to free your arms. They should feel incredibly stiff and heavy and you shouldn’t be able to move them, try as you might. You should, however, feel a sharp sting in your head. Don’t be alarmed, you’re not having an aneurism. This is completely normal and is necessary to making your exit.

-Step Five-

As difficult and strenuous as it may be, keep trying to move your arms. As you do this, attempt to move the rest of your body as well. Put everything you have into fighting the paralysis. Just don’t fall back asleep.

-Step Six-

As you wrestle with your mind and body, the stinging sensation in your head is going to get exponentially worse. It won’t cause you pain, but it will create a great discomfort. Let it happen. As the sensation in your brain builds, you’ll start to feel yourself drift away from your body. Don’t fight it. Your mind is like a rubber band and it will want to bounce back from where it’s being stretched. Don’t let it. Follow the flow of departure.

If you steel your mind’s focus and follow these instructions to a tee, you will have successfully exited your earthly meat sack and unlocked a marvel of the mind that has only just begun to be understood.


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And that’s the gist of it. The author went on to say that the world you find yourself in upon departure will harbor some differences to the one you started in. It will appear similar in almost every way, however, there will be no people there. None at all. On top of that, nothing will budge. Everything remains in its place, as still as can be. After explaining how to re-enter one’s body, the author ended the chapter with an eerie warning;

“Whatever you do, don’t go near the water.”

Needless to say, I was dumbfounded. The entire book up to that point was factual, but that last chapter seemed like something right out of a science fiction novel. It certainly made for an interesting read, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. Why have such an out-of-place, pseudo-science chapter in an otherwise reputable book? It didn’t make any sense.

About a week passed before I thought about the book again. It was just about time to return it to the library, so I decided to re-read it, namely the last chapter. As absurd as it seemed, I teetered between laughing it off once and for all and actually giving it a shot. I did meet all of the requirements, and it would amuse me to some small extent. I could, at the very least, say that I tried it out.

After much private deliberation, I decided “why the hell not?”. I knew it wasn’t going to work, but part of me thought that maybe something would happen. Plus, was there really anything better for me to do during an episode of sleep paralysis? The only minor nuisance was that I’d have to sleep on one of my recliner’s instead of the comfort of my king-sized Serta mattress. But, it would only be one night. I’d slept on worse things before.

Long story short, I had three episodes of sleep paralysis on the night in question. First one, I was too groggy. Completely forgot about the book and quickly fell back asleep. Second one lasted a bit longer and I remembered to try the method. I could just barely move one of my legs and upon trying the arms, I did feel a small, but noticeable discomfort in my head. I wondered for a split second if the method was really leading to something and then became a bit excited over it. Because of this, I woke up.

Reflecting on what had happened, I became intrigued. I still didn’t believe that I could “exit my body”, but I knew something was going on. I decided to tilt the recliner back a bit and try again. This time, I would have better control.

Next episode came pretty quick. I hadn’t fallen asleep yet, but my body was getting ready to. “This is it,” I thought. I allowed the paralysis to fully set in before attempting anything. It was difficult not to fall asleep, but I managed. This time around, I was able to gain full control over my left leg. I moved it back and forth a bit before trying to free my arms. True to the method, they wouldn’t budge and felt oddly stiff… more so than usual.

This is when the familiar sting set in. It jarred me, but I kept going. The more I tried to move my arms, the greater the sting grew. Believe it or not, as I continued, I did in fact feel myself drifting away from my body. I tried to keep it up, but my nerves got the best of me. I lost all control for just a moment and jolted right back into my body, immediately waking up in the process.


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This experience startled me. It was beginning to seem more and more likely that the last chapter of the book was somehow accurate. My curiosity became aroused to such an extent that I had to tell someone about it. Luckily, I knew just the person.

My buddy Josh is a character. He believes in a lot of what I don’t. Because of this, we butt heads on a lot of topics. In simple terms, I’m a skeptic and he’s a believer. One thing we both share a love for, however, is dreams. He’s the only person I can talk to at length about the subject. He also happens to meet the same requirements for “departure”. I was hoping he could join me in a sleep session and help me get to the bottom of what was happening.

I called Josh up and told him everything. He was ecstatic, as I knew he would be. He agreed to meet me the following night at my place for “departure”. In his mind, this was definitely going to work, but I was still weary. In any case, I was happy to have someone else to tag along for the ride.

Fast-forward to the following night. We hang out for a bit and I show Josh the book. His eyes grow wide upon reading the final chapter and he can’t wait to try it out himself. I told him not to get his hopes up, but it was clear to me that they already were. We laid down at opposite ends of my living room on my two recliners. Josh cracked a joke about how this was the first night we’d be sleeping together, I threw a pillow at him, and then we were off. Shut-eye was right around the corner.

This is when things get weird. I didn’t have an episode of sleep paralysis right away, but I did end up waking a few hours into my nap. I noticed that Josh was fast asleep in the recliner across the room. Having to empty my bladder, I walked past him to get to the bathroom, tripping over his legs in the process. I met the floor with a thud and turned around to see if Josh had woken. He hadn’t. I knew he was a heavy sleeper, but even he should have woken up, given the commotion.

Worried, I yelled his name. Nothing. I tried shaking him. Still nothing. I grabbed a wrist and checked his pulse. It was there, but it was weak. This is when I panicked.

I ran to my room, grabbed my phone, and scrambled to hit the call button. Just as I was about to dial “911”, I heard a loud gasp from the next room, like a diver coming up for air. I ran out to the living room, and to my delight, Josh was awake. He looked up at me with wide eyes and said, “Dude! It fucking worked!”

I was flabbergasted. Though Josh was an over-enthusiastic believer, and downright stubborn at times, he was no liar. I asked him over and over again if he was sure it wasn’t just a dream, and he said he was 100% certain. I believed him. Why else would I not have been able to wake him? Why else would his pulse have been so weak?

We spent the next couple of hours talking about the experience. Josh told me the author was right. Upon leaving his body, he found himself in the world around him, only everything was perfectly still. He tried opening the door to my house, but the knob wouldn’t turn and the door wouldn’t budge. It took him a while to realize this, but he ended up discovering that he could phase through walls. This is one of the reasons that caused me to think it might have been a dream.

Josh went on to tell me that world looked different as well. He said it was like having the contrast dialed up on a picture. Combined with the eerie stillness, he said it was truly like being stuck in a photograph. I tried to imagine it, but I knew I needed to see it for myself.

We made plans to go back to sleep and enter the world together. Though I was anxious, I felt confident that I could pull it off this time… and I did. I made my first successful departure that night and found Josh waiting in the room for me, next to his sleeping body. While seeing ourselves sleeping was fascinating in itself, I wanted more than anything to see the world outside.


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For a few weeks, Josh slept over my house and we explored the new world. It was fun and downright addicting. Curiosity was what kept us going; we wanted to know more about the odd realm we’d found ourselves in. Here are just a few of the things we learned:

– The lighting is fixed. It always looks to be about noon-time, though there’s no sun in the sky

– We can’t phase through older buildings. Not sure why

– There’s no people like the book said, but also no animals, or even insects.

– Sound is reverbed. There’s always a slight echo when Josh and I talk

– It’s possible to fall asleep in the world, but you won’t dream

– If you travel too far from your body, you’ll hit an ‘invisible wall’ and be unable to go any further

– Time doesn’t pass in the real world while we’re departed

After about a month of exploring, things changed. The more and more we explored, the more uncomfortable I felt. It always seemed like something had its eye on us, even though there was no one around. Josh was the opposite. Our late night adventures were becoming so routine for him, that he was becoming bored. He kept talking about the water and how he wanted to get a closer look at the pond near the main road. I kept reminding him about the author’s warning, but Josh didn’t seem to care. Water was the one thing we hadn’t toyed around with yet. Eventually, Josh’s curiosity got the best of him.

One night, upon leaving my body, Josh was nowhere to be found. I thought that maybe he hadn’t departed yet, but he always beat me to the punch. This could only mean one thing.

I phased through the walls of my home and raced to the nearby pond. Josh was there. He was standing at the end of the dock that the locals would fish off of. I yelled out to him.

“Josh! What are you doing?!”

“It’s fine! See? There’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s just water.”

I watched as Josh reached down and touched the surface of the pond. It rippled. This struck me as incredibly bizarre. It shouldn’t have reacted to his touch. We’d been there for weeks and hadn’t seen a single thing move. Even the air was still.

Perplexed, I started walking out towards Josh. He lifted his hand up, just as awestruck as I was. As he pulled his arm back, the ripple expanded. With it, a small portion of the water turned black. After a few moments, I watched as something reached out from the blackness.

It was a hand. A fucking hand. It reached up over the dock and grabbed Josh’s leg, yanking him downward. He went feet first into the water, holding onto the dock for dear life. As he screamed, I ran toward him as fast as I could. Before I could even get halfway to his position, I watched him disappear into the water. I ran the rest of the way, but the blackness had faded and returned to normal. My best friend was gone.

Breathless and in shock, I ran away. I wanted to save Josh, but I didn’t know how. I also felt that if I re-entered my body, perhaps I’d find Josh, awake in the real world. It was wishful thinking, but it was all I had.

That wishful thinking fell flat when I awoke. Josh was still unconscious. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t get him to wake up. Eventually I called 911 and he was taken away on a stretcher. The doctors say he’s in a coma, but can’t discern what caused it.

And that’s everything. I’m a fucking wreck over what happened. I’ve tried visiting Josh in the hospital, but I can’t face his parents and they’re always there. Instead, I go out to the pond, in the real world, hoping that somehow I’ll find answers. All I do end up finding are more questions. I haven’t even departed since Josh was taken. I’ve tried, but something’s holding me back. It might be fear.

Josh’s analogy was right: That world is like a photograph; a still frame of the world we were never meant to see. A moment frozen in time with a layer of reality stripped away… and there’s something living there. Despite this, I need to save my friend. He didn’t heed the author’s warning, but I’m the reason he entered that world in the first place.

I have to go back.


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Credit: Christopher Maxim

The post How To Exit Your Body During Sleep Paralysis appeared first on Creepypasta.

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