Caption: Sleep, Credit: Salvador Dali
Image by: Salvador Dali 
Sleep 

The Thing At The Foot Of The Bed

From: Rachel Yoder
Length: 10:25

A chorus of voices shares stories and insights about the phenomenon of sleep paralysis and nighttime hallucinations.

Dali_small The boogie man, the monster in the closet, the thing that goes bump in the night—these, we tell ourselves, are mere fabrications of an overactive imagination, childish fears that easily dematerialize with the flip of a light switch.  But what happens when the boogie man starts talking, or the thing that goes bump pushes a pair of cool arms under our pillows?  What happens when we try to rise to turn on the light only to find ourselves literally paralyzed?  This radio essay explores what exactly happens in those moments just as we're falling asleep or waking, those half-conscious twilights in which our brains see and hear what shouldn't be there.  A chorus of voices shares stories about the phenomenon of sleep paralysis and nighttime hallucinations: a daughter and father discover they share the same nightmarish ghoul, a young man from Appalachia describes his extraterrestrial visits, and sleep scientists from the University of Iowa provide their perspectives on these phenomena, as well as on ghosts, alien abduction, and God.  Can science fully explain our seemingly real dreams, or is the thing at the foot of the bed trying to tell us something that science can not yet articulate?

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Piece Description

The boogie man, the monster in the closet, the thing that goes bump in the night—these, we tell ourselves, are mere fabrications of an overactive imagination, childish fears that easily dematerialize with the flip of a light switch.  But what happens when the boogie man starts talking, or the thing that goes bump pushes a pair of cool arms under our pillows?  What happens when we try to rise to turn on the light only to find ourselves literally paralyzed?  This radio essay explores what exactly happens in those moments just as we're falling asleep or waking, those half-conscious twilights in which our brains see and hear what shouldn't be there.  A chorus of voices shares stories about the phenomenon of sleep paralysis and nighttime hallucinations: a daughter and father discover they share the same nightmarish ghoul, a young man from Appalachia describes his extraterrestrial visits, and sleep scientists from the University of Iowa provide their perspectives on these phenomena, as well as on ghosts, alien abduction, and God.  Can science fully explain our seemingly real dreams, or is the thing at the foot of the bed trying to tell us something that science can not yet articulate?