Photographer Nicolas Bruno spends his days like the rest of us, but his nights are very different. And terrifying. 22 year-old Nicolas has been suffering from sleep paralysis for 7 years now, which means that he experiences his nightmares more vividly than regular sleepers.
Sleep paralysis is a condition that happens when we are about to enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. In it, our bodies paralyze themselves to stop us from acting out our dreams, but Bruno’s mind is awake and experiencing horrific hallucinations. This forced him into insomnia and depression: “I thought I was possessed by demons,” he said.
Everything changed when one high school teacher suggested he should document these terrors. He has been battling his fears with photography ever since. “This project has gifted me a sense of who I am,” he said. “It gave me the strength to persevere in life, to create art and speak to people. It gifted me art, and I don’t know where I would be without it.”
Watch the video below:
The characters depicted are often stuck within their scenes, unable to escape. The 20 year old New York native suggests ‘Sleep paralysis is an experience in which the individual becomes conscious and is left immobile in a state between being awake and asleep.’ Scroll down to see more of Nicolas’s dramatically imagined images.