Forums > Off-Topic Discussion > Sleep Paralysis

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Sanya Statebriga

Posts: 600

Bothell, Washington, US

sad I had one last night. Scared the sh*t out of me! I believe this is my third one within the last year... I knew I was awake but couldn't move. I saw myself getting out of bed but I heard myself still breathing in my real body. There was a buzzing noise in my ears... Alien like. As soon as I saw myself in front of me, looking at my back, I made it come back into my body... I tried staying calm as I knew it would go away eventually as I've experienced it before but it still took about a whole minute. Knowing that my husband's already gone to work freaked me out even more... I hope these stop.

Anyone else experienced this? Am I crazy?

Oct 11 12 11:07 am Link

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Jacob Davis

Posts: 858

Boulder, Colorado, US

I've had it a lot. It usually doesn't bother me these days because I can quickly recognize it for what it is.  The first couple of experiences were very strange and nightmarish, though. I found that, if it bothers me, it's usually because I'm still in a hallucinatory dream-like state, like what you described.

The key to getting out of it, for me, has been the induction of lucid dreaming techniques. I've got a mental flag that goes off any time I experience abnormal difficulty with movement. When that happens, I question whether or not I'm dreaming. Usually, that's enough to give me a choice as to whether or not to end the dream. Unfortunately, it does not end the paralysis immediately; motor control still takes some short time to return. It does allow me to get past the potentially disturbing hallucinations that can accompany sleep paralysis, if that's what I want to do. Once that part is over, I can just relax and wait, and either fall asleep again or regain motor control.

If you're interested, the internet is full of tips and tricks to gain lucidity in a dream and what you can do with it. Just know that it takes practice and patience.

Oct 11 12 11:29 am Link

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Jacob Davis

Posts: 858

Boulder, Colorado, US

... and, no, you're not crazy in the least. You are simply becoming semi-conscious during a time in which your brain has engaged its "safety mechanism" so that you can dream without, say, kicking the shit out of your hubby.

Oct 11 12 11:31 am Link

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Andialu

Posts: 14029

San Pedro, California, US

I used to get this occasionally. Very http://assets.modelmayhem.com/images/smilies/scary.png.

Oct 11 12 11:34 am Link

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Sanya Statebriga

Posts: 600

Bothell, Washington, US

Jacob Davis wrote:
I've had it a lot. It usually doesn't bother me these days because I can quickly recognize it for what it is.  The first couple of experiences were very strange and nightmarish, though. I found that, if it bothers me, it's usually because I'm still in a hallucinatory dream-like state, like what you described.

The key to getting out of it, for me, has been the induction of lucid dreaming techniques. I've got a mental flag that goes off any time I experience abnormal difficulty with movement. When that happens, I question whether or not I'm dreaming. Usually, that's enough to give me a choice as to whether or not to end the dream. Unfortunately, it does not end the paralysis immediately; motor control still takes some short time to return. It does allow me to get past the potentially disturbing hallucinations that can accompany sleep paralysis, if that's what I want to do. Once that part is over, I can just relax and wait, and either fall asleep again or regain motor control.

If you're interested, the internet is full of tips and tricks to gain lucidity in a dream and what you can do with it. Just know that it takes practice and patience.

I have been reading a lot about lucid dreaming lately and practiced in on several occasions. It's a lot of fun and I find it fascinating. However, whenever I get these episodes, I cannot control them at all, other than try to relax and let it pass.

I've been successful at "spinning" within dreams to change them or get out of them, but whenever I try doing that with these episodes, I feel like I'm going to get out of body experience and the ringing in my ears gets louder.

I've started a dream journal not long ago... Maybe this has something to do with it, as I'm always expecting dreams. Maybe, preoccupying  my mind instead of trying to get good night's sleep. Just a thought...

Oct 11 12 11:37 am Link

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Eridu

Posts: 623

Boston, Massachusetts, US

I would approach your Primary Care Physician and request prior authorization for a full sleep study. Insurance companies are gradually-but-rapidly phasing out this benefit for less expensive, "at home" diagnostics. Get it while you can.

Oct 11 12 11:41 am Link

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AllisonLael

Posts: 704

Los Angeles, California, US

I had this happen for the first time ever a few weeks ago!! Very http://assets.modelmayhem.com/images/smilies/scary.pngbut I knew what it was so I just made myself go back to sleep.

Oct 11 12 11:42 am Link

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Jacob Davis

Posts: 858

Boulder, Colorado, US

Sanya Statebriga wrote:
I have been reading a lot about lucid dreaming lately and practiced in on several occasions. It's a lot of fun and I find it fascinating. However, whenever I get these episodes, I cannot control them at all, other than try to relax and let it pass.

I've been successful at "spinning" within dreams to change them or get out of them, but whenever I try doing that with these episodes, I feel like I'm going to get out of body experience and the ringing in my ears gets louder.

I've started a dream journal not long ago... Maybe this has something to do with it, as I'm always expecting dreams. Maybe, preoccupying  my mind instead of trying to get good night's sleep. Just a thought...

That makes sense. One of the difficulties with lucid dreaming is maintaining the dream state once you become lucid, rather than waking up. If you continue with lucid dreaming, consider this to be an occasional side effect. If/when you've been doing it a while, it will probably not bother you much when it happens, or you'll be better at exerting lucid control to deal with the disorientation.

Oct 11 12 11:49 am Link

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Van Burnham

Posts: 90

Portland, Oregon, US

Your experience sounds just like the ones I get!  Especially the part where you look back at your body and then you wake up paralyzed again.  I went through this cycle 3 times once before I woke up.  I also use to wake up paralyzed and see people walking around my house and talking, usually family members or friends, but I was never able to get up and communicate with them.

I started getting this when I was 15 years old, and the last one I got was when I was 25 (I'm 27 now)... but I've always noticed that they come in spurts.  For example, I'll get it a lot for like 6-12 months and then I won't get it at all for 1-3 years.  I've also noticed that when it does happen that I have usually gone to sleep on my back, or it was while I was taking a nap.

It's terrifying, even if you are aware of what's going on sad  You aren't crazy though... I use to think I was crazy too until I took some psychology classes and found out that it's just a very uncommon sleep disorder... before then I thought I was the only person that this happened to smile

Oct 11 12 12:02 pm Link

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Sanya Statebriga

Posts: 600

Bothell, Washington, US

Jacob Davis wrote:

That makes sense. One of the difficulties with lucid dreaming is maintaining the dream state once you become lucid, rather than waking up. If you continue with lucid dreaming, consider this to be an occasional side effect. If/when you've been doing it a while, it will probably not bother you much when it happens, or you'll be better at exerting lucid control to deal with the disorientation.

Yep, that makes sense too. Lucid dreaming - too good to be side effect free. LOL sad

Oct 11 12 12:35 pm Link

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Sanya Statebriga

Posts: 600

Bothell, Washington, US

Van Burnham wrote:
Your experience sounds just like the ones I get!  Especially the part where you look back at your body and then you wake up paralyzed again.  I went through this cycle 3 times once before I woke up.  I also use to wake up paralyzed and see people walking around my house and talking, usually family members or friends, but I was never able to get up and communicate with them.

I started getting this when I was 15 years old, and the last one I got was when I was 25 (I'm 27 now)... but I've always noticed that they come in spurts.  For example, I'll get it a lot for like 6-12 months and then I won't get it at all for 1-3 years.  I've also noticed that when it does happen that I have usually gone to sleep on my back, or it was while I was taking a nap.

It's terrifying, even if you are aware of what's going on sad  You aren't crazy though... I use to think I was crazy too until I took some psychology classes and found out that it's just a very uncommon sleep disorder... before then I thought I was the only person that this happened to smile

I do recall in one episode seeing my husband asleep next to me, and I was desperate, trying to call to him - to wake him up, to wake me up... Couldn't say a word though.

Oct 11 12 12:39 pm Link

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K I S S P H O T O

Posts: 594

Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom

Had them for about 10 years
Worst one i had was when i was so tired i was falling alseep on the sofa..
I had the blanket over my face, as soon as i was about to recognise myself going into one, i was just about to take the blanket off my face as i was getting a bit suffocatey
but i slipped into one,
i couldn't breathe at all and in the end i literally had to count and try to calm myself in my sleep (because i know when im in them as i've had them so long) and can't move,
and i have to try to jump myself out, like literally "jump", .. in this one i had to count even though all oxygen was going, i counted to 40 when i came out and had to take all the breaths i could.
definitely believe you can die in your sleep from this after that one. tongue

Oct 11 12 12:49 pm Link

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Sophia Be

Posts: 6354

Portland, Oregon, US

I got them for years when I was younger. Sometimes nightly, usually when I was really tired. I could hear and see, but not move or scream. They where always accompanied by a feeling of sinking, terror like I was going to die.

I had a couple boyfriends tell me that when they where happening my eyes would be open, but I was unrousable. One even said I convulsed during an episode.

I didn't know what they where back then, I tried to explain them to people and they would look at me like I was crazy. I had no idea that other people experienced this as well.

I think I've mostly grown out of them now. I only get them them once in a blue moon (thank god!). Now that I know what they are, when it happens, I try to relax into it. It seems to help.

But yeah, they suck!

Oct 11 12 01:06 pm Link

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Sanya Statebriga

Posts: 600

Bothell, Washington, US

K I S S P H O T O wrote:
Had them for about 10 years
Worst one i had was when i was so tired i was falling alseep on the sofa..
I had the blanket over my face, as soon as i was about to recognise myself going into one, i was just about to take the blanket off my face as i was getting a bit suffocatey
but i slipped into one,
i couldn't breathe at all and in the end i literally had to count and try to calm myself in my sleep (because i know when im in them as i've had them so long) and can't move,
and i have to try to jump myself out, like literally "jump", .. in this one i had to count even though all oxygen was going, i counted to 40 when i came out and had to take all the breaths i could.
definitely believe you can die in your sleep from this after that one. tongue

sad Yeah, definitely does feel like you could die. That's so scary!

Oct 11 12 02:11 pm Link

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Photographic Memory

Posts: 108

Kalamazoo, Michigan, US

I've had problems with sleep paralysis as well. Auditory hallucinations are quite common, sometimes with visual hallucinations (which I've sometimes noticed in the rare instances I could get my eyes open.) There is also a tendency to feel an" evil presence." In fact, misunderstandings of what sleep paralysis is has lead to quite a bit of superstitious folklore. The part I can't stand is when I'm not able to breathe for what feels like forever.

Oct 11 12 03:28 pm Link

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Jacob Davis

Posts: 858

Boulder, Colorado, US

Calatelpe wrote:
In fact, misunderstandings of what sleep paralysis is has lead to quite a bit of superstitious folklore.

The first time I ever heard of sleep paralysis, it was in this vein. Someone at my then-church (Pentecostal Church of God) said they woke up in the middle of the night, and there was a red mist swirling through the room, and it was pushing her down. After a couple of minutes of prayer, it was gone. She then called for a big prayer meeting in her bedroom to exorcise the demon.

Oct 11 12 03:33 pm Link

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Music N Pics

Posts: 352

San Diego, California, US

Calatelpe wrote:
I've had problems with sleep paralysis as well. Auditory hallucinations are quite common, sometimes with visual hallucinations (which I've sometimes noticed in the rare instances I could get my eyes open.) There is also a tendency to feel an" evil presence." In fact, misunderstandings of what sleep paralysis is has lead to quite a bit of superstitious folklore. The part I can't stand is when I'm not able to breathe for what feels like forever.

I can relate to this. I'm not able to confirm what I seen exactly but in my room which is very well lit I saw a shadow standing over me as I laid face down. I am known for sleeping with my eyes open but I'm just not sure if what I saw was really there with me or if it was a dream. What I do remember was trying really hard to breathe, after I couldn't I tried to move, scream, and it was all impossible. This was the first of many experiences I've had like this, I used to think it had to do with me laying face down but to my surprise it happened also as I sat down in my living room.

I didn't know there was a name to this effect or that anyone else felt anything like it.

Oct 12 12 12:56 am Link

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Paolo Diavolo

Posts: 8810

Martinez, California, US

Calatelpe wrote:
There is also a tendency to feel an" evil presence."

Thats what happened to me.
First time it happened I remember thinking i was waking up, but there was something else halfway in my body with me, trying to take it over, and i couldnt get back into myself to move.
Damn my imagination!! haha.
I faintly remember seeing myself and "it", over my body as if in a struggle.
It was terrifying.

Oct 12 12 02:20 am Link

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ChaiNoir

Posts: 345

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Sanya Statebriga wrote:
sad I had one last night. Scared the sh*t out of me! I believe this is my third one within the last year... I knew I was awake but couldn't move. I saw myself getting out of bed but I heard myself still breathing in my real body. There was a buzzing noise in my ears... Alien like. As soon as I saw myself in front of me, looking at my back, I made it come back into my body... I tried staying calm as I knew it would go away eventually as I've experienced it before but it still took about a whole minute. Knowing that my husband's already gone to work freaked me out even more... I hope these stop.

Anyone else experienced this? Am I crazy?

Its bloody awful!! And something hard to not remember. I hope your ok now smile

Oct 12 12 03:10 am Link

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Sanya Statebriga

Posts: 600

Bothell, Washington, US

Its bloody awful!! And something hard to not remember. I hope your ok now smile

I'm ok... thought about it all day though and had trouble going to bed lol... I told my husband to make sure I'm not sleeping on my back at least. And that my face's not covered...

Oct 12 12 09:58 am Link

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Roy Hubbard

Posts: 2888

New York, New York, US

Quoting my post from a previous thread. This almost never happens anymore since I stopped working the night shift and generally sleep a human schedule for the first time in ten years.

I made a thread about this a year or two ago. I have episodes pretty frequently, even moreso now than when I was younger. They used to be terrifying. I remember struggling with every ounce of my being to move, the screams inside my head that never made it out. But that was a long time ago. Now I'm conditioned to them like a charlie horse or muscle spasm. I can feel them coming on and reflexively relax and go into a state where I ride them out. They're so benign now that I might not even remember having them until days later, if I can convince myself it actually happened at all.

I do occasionally have odd dreams and visions along with them, some most people would probably consider horrific or ghoulish..but just like the episodes themselves, they don't affect my waking consciousness. I usually look in the mirror when I wake up from and remember them and try to figure out why they don't bother me.

Oct 12 12 10:37 am Link

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Brian Diaz

Posts: 63192

Danbury, Connecticut, US

That happened to me once, and I don't know that I have ever been more scared in my life.  In the associated dream, which was unbelievably realistic, someone had broken into my apartment and was holding me down.  I was newly single and living alone for the first time, and the fact that I was awake but couldn't move or scream freaked me the fuck out.  It took a long time to get back to sleep after that one...

Oct 12 12 12:08 pm Link

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Sanya Statebriga

Posts: 600

Bothell, Washington, US

Brian Diaz wrote:
That happened to me once, and I don't know that I have ever been more scared in my life.  In the associated dream, which was unbelievably realistic, someone had broken into my apartment and was holding me down.  I was newly single and living alone for the first time, and the fact that I was awake but couldn't move or scream freaked me the fuck out.  It took a long time to get back to sleep after that one...

Definitely haven't been more scared in my life. I recall having an even scarier episode... I was on top of the bed, standing. I felt like I could see myself asleep if I looked down, but was too freaked out to even attempt it. I did see my husband asleep though, and as much as I tried yelling for him, no words came out. I was banging against the bed post and the wall with my fists, trying to wake myself up, jumping up and down with no success. I tried walking out of the bedroom and would find myself on top of the bed again. Literally thought I was dying. This one was even longer, possibly over a minute, or at least that's what it felt like. When I finally woke up, I was sobbing and have never felt more alive.

Oct 12 12 03:08 pm Link