22-year-old Nicholas Bruno knows what it’s like to live through hell… he spends many nights there. Bruno has been suffering from a condition known as sleep paralysis for 7 years. This condition, which impacts less than 8% of the general population, causes people to experience more vivid nightmares than normal sleepers.
According to a study published in Sleep Medicine Reviews, sleep paralysis is defined as "a discrete period of time during which voluntary muscle movement is inhibited, yet ocular and respiratory movements are intact."
Sleep paralysis strikes when you enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, your deepest state of sleep. The body naturally becomes paralyzed during REM sleep so that you don’t become injured acting out dreams. Bruno’s body enters a paralyzed state, but instead of wafting around in lala-dream-land, Bruno enters a world in which he is mentally wide-awake, unable to move and faced with horrific hallucinations.
Over the years, Bruno has found coping techniques, such as transforming his nightmares into photographic art. But it wasn’t easy to get to this point. There was a time when “I thought I was possessed by demons,” Bruno admits. Adding that his sleep disorder caused him to live through periods of insomnia and depression.
One of Bruno’s high school teachers helped reshape his darkening world by suggesting he begin documenting his night terrors. Since that helpful suggestion, Bruno has been bringing his epically terrifying nightmares to life for the world to see.
Last chance to acquire my limited edition prints that are available through @havengallery of Northport, New York until 02/14/2016. 22 x 22 Inkjet prints on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Satin paper with signature, stamp, and numbered at 2/7. Inquiries may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 631.757.0500.
“This project has gifted me a sense of who I am. 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.”
This week, I wrapped up my teacher's assistant scholarship program at @haystack_school and returned home with bountiful inspiration and time for introspection. A main priority of the program was to disconnect from our electronics and truly live in the moment. Although I enjoyed this experiment, I am unintentionally continuing this electronic disconnection after yesterday's photoshoot. My camera took a plunge into the ocean after the tide swept away the sandbar underneath my tripod. I was able to recover my photos from the memory card by soaking it in fresh water and alcohol, but for my camera, no such luck. I cannot help but think of my carelessness in taking my most important tool for granted. I am hoping that the hard work that I put back into replacing the camera will reinstill a standard of cautiousness and sensory awareness for the changing environments that I shoot in. I will work tirelessly just as I had done to reach this point in the first place. Model: My unbelievable talented girlfriend @alyssariggi Music: "Mermaid", @richardorofino https://youtu.be/4leTY-wWmzg