22-year-old photographer Nicolas Bruno has been suffering from sleep paralysis for 7 years now. That means that he frequently experiences his nightmares vividly, and sometimes even confuses them with reality.
Sleep paralysis is a condition that happens when we are about to enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Our bodies paralyze themselves to stop us from acting out our dreams, but in Bruno’s case, his mind is awake and he is present in these horrific hallucinations. This led him into serious mental conditions like insomnia and depression: “I thought I was possessed by demons,” he said.
But now he has found a way to combat sleep paralysis thanks to one of his high school teachers who suggested Nicolas should use his camera to document these terrors. “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.”