Sleep Paralysis-ever experienced it?

Ever had an experience where you were awake in bed and could look around your room but could not move or speak? This is called Sleep Paralysis and is often accompanied by vivid and usually terrifying hallucinations.

I’m interested in collecting anecdotes on these experiences, as well as out-of-body experiences, so please share any that you have had. I’ve had numerous ones myself–probably several pages worth. It would be an even better thread if posters would read some of the other posts and respond with elements of similarity they have experienced.

My most recent: my dream turned unpleasant and I wanted to disconnect from what was going on, so I lay back and closed my eyes, pretending I wasn’t there. Everything was white (it was bright outside both in my dream and in the room) and I open my eyes in my bed., only to discover that I couldn’t move. I felt annoyed by this because I was eager to get out of bed and begin my day (I have experienced SP a lot, and it is rarely terrifying anymore). As I lay helplessly stuck, I studied the detail in my room to verify how real it all was. I noted the strands of hair below me on my pillow when I looked down. Then as I looked back up, I saw two things in my room.

First I noticed, on the heap of clothes and other items on the floor of my messy room, a strange toy. It was the figure of a clown face, as if made out of plastic. Then I saw that there was someone standing behind my dresser. It was a child: I could see a sliver of her arm poking out. I mustered all my energy and said “Who are you?” and as I said it, for a minute I felt as if my head were lifting (out of my body). The words rang out loud and clear, and I felt the vibration in my chest of speaking. Normally, during sleep paralysis, one is not able to speak, and this is one of the few times I have ever successfully heard/felt myself speaking during SP.

The girl stepped out from behind my dresser and didn’t say anything. She looked about 7 years old and was wearing a white nightgown. She just stood there. Shortly thereafter, I regained muscle movement (woke up fully) and of course she and the clown toy were gone. But the hairs were indeed in the same position I had observed them in.

: raises hand :

I don’t have time to go into it but just wanted to greet a fellow sufferer. If you feel like it you can look for some of my older threads. I’ve heard 30% of humans suffer from this - in my mind it explains ghosts, goblins, alien visitations, and even some religions. You literally see visions!

Greetings, “sufferer”… I try not to think of it as suffering, even though it most often is scary. Once had an intensely euphoric experience during it, after I thought to myself “could I enjoy this?” HOpe you find time to copy and past some of your experiences

They are called dreams. You weren’t fully awake. Everyone experiences sleep paralysis. It is why most people don’t physically act out their dreams.

Yes, I know. (sigh) This is why I posted the link to the wikipedia article… it explains all that. Reason I posted this is I want to hear peoples’ experiences…

But I must say that “sleep paralysis” is actually a distinct experience from a typical dream. It’s a different stage of consciousness. Yes, the body is in a stage of paralysis during REM sleep. The term “sleep paralysis” however is usually used to refer to these unique experience that are experienced as I have described above.

But once again, I was hoping this thread would focus on the subjective experience of it.

I’ve had it, but it’s never been as exciting as how it’s described online. More like I want to roll over but I can’t. I’m assuming I’m still partially asleep and that’s why I’m unable to move temporarily. I’ve never found it terrifying or anything like that.

There were a few mornings where I wanted to wake up but felt kind of glued to my bed in an uncomfortably immobile sort of way, though my eyes were closed and I didn’t have any vivid visions. I hope that never happens again.

It happens to me about once a year. It used to be awful, but now I recognize what’s going on and just ride it out. I’ve never felt like there was someone or something in the room. I just feel like the only thing I can move is my eyes and I can’t tell if I’m breathing, so I try to focus on just inhaling air. I used to try to yell or talk and would start to panic. It feels like it lasts 20-30 minutes, but it’s probably only seconds.

It happens to me a fair bit but only when I fall asleep on the sofa (semi-reclined). I’m asleep, I know I’m asleep, so am I really awake? But I can’t open my eyes or make myself wake up properly. It’s scary but not terrifying. No out of body experiences or bad dreams - just can’t make myself wake up Which is odd because, in bed (when I’m supposed to be sleeping) I tend to suffer from insomnia.

This is where you and me differ. I rarely have nightmares, and it’s even rarer that I have lucid dreams (though I do sometimes and they are usually very, very fun), but nightmares have a higher chance of me being lucid. The last one to come to mind was about this terrifying demon thing. A man sized marionette, moving all jerky like those puppets do, but it had my face - just made out of wood. And it cackled while it was coming up the stairs. Fucking hell, it was just a dream, but that cackle…

Anyway, even in the dream I was in my own bed. Actual real life bed. But I couldn’t move. I realized it was just a dream and knew I had to move, to wake up before the thing got me. I couldn’t.

But I fought the paralysis through an act of will. I was not about to sit back and close my eyes. I fought the paralysis, sat up in bed, realized it was just a dream, and fell back to sleep.

To be fair, my dream wasn’t at the level of a nightmare … that word I believe is sacred, used only for a situation of extreme terror (your cackling marionette qualifies) . I’m surprised you went back to sleep after that. I always need a comedy refresher after a nightmare, or I’ll fall right back into another one!

Search the forum. There has been many threads about sleep paralysis over the years. Typically started by people who didn’t know what sleep paralysis was and were frightened by the experience.

I am interested in sleep paralysis, and decided to start a new thread. Perhaps I have already read all the old forums, and am looking for more anecdotes.

Perhaps. I told you that trying to be helpful, since you were seeking anecdotes, but apparently you chose to be offended.

Yes , I’ve had it. It’s been years ago though.

I would seem to wake up but be paralyzed with something evil I could sense and feel on top of me, holding me down. It seemed like it lasted maybe a few minutes, but I never timed it, I was too freaked out to do anything but wish it would stop.

I’ve also felt beings in the room with me, sometime staring at me, or touching me and I couldn’t move.

What all this means or is, I have no idea.

I just hope to never have it again. I often wonder if stress doesn’t make it more likely , since I was often under some kind of stress . But I’ve also had stress since and no sleep paralysis, although other strange things I won’t get into since that isn’t what you are asking about.

It’s not just the experience of paralysis, but the accompanying hypnopompic and hypnogogic hallucinations that really make for the stress.

For me, I’ve had numerous ones involving intruders coming into my room and coming up to me while I’m sleeping in bed, and I have to wait until the last possible second when they are bearing down on me and then spring into action to fight back.

Then there was the one that involved a rattlesnake being wrapped around my head an sitting next to my neck, so if I moved it would bite me. I have snake issues, so that one was really freaky.

I never saw the “Hag” as some people do. I never see anything specific. Mine are characterized by a number of things:

  • an ominous feeling of dread, that slowly increases
  • complete inability to move my limbs
  • complete inability to make noise, but I FEEL like I am shouting
  • strange lights and colors in my vision.

This used to be a very terrifying situation. I’d jolt awake with a scream or a cry. Some years ago I discovered what it was, and that it was a fairly common, if little-researched phenomenon, and that helped. Now I can mostly control it with proper nutrition and exercise, but when it happens, I can at least some of the time relax and try to just experience it, but that ominous feeling of dread is always there.

A few years back I found out my aunt also suffers from this condition. I was over at her house for a week. On the last night of the week I awoke to an ululating - really, there is no word for the terrifying and loud noise she was making. We all jolted awake and ran to her side, and what she described was clearly sleep paralysis. I admit, I never made that kind of noise!

No, they don’t. Please check your facts before you post such erroneous and frankly ignorant and condescending assertions.

The prevalence is far lower than even my memory says.

Yes, I have sleep paralysis. I would say I have an episode roughly once per month. Compared to the other cases I’ve read about, I’d say mine is relatively mild.

My scenarios are always this:

I believe I am awake and looking around my room, but unable to move. (i.e. I can move only my eyes, but not my head or neck). I can see things such as the alarm clock, dresser, etc., plus specific details, such as a pair of pants folded over the back of a chair, or the closet door open, for examples. The details are mundane, but very realistic and it looks 100% like my real room. I am aware of my wife next to me, asleep.

I can never move or even utter a sound. I become desperate to move or make a noise. I try to moan or groan with the hopes that my wife will be awakened by my noise, see me, and deduce that I need to be shaken to full wakefulness. This has never once worked, but it is my hope and go-to position every single time.

Eventually I awake with a start and am able to move, talk, look around, etc. Invariably, the room is slightly different than when I was dreaming that I was able to look around. That pair of pants won’t be on the chair, the closet door will be closed, it will be cloudy outside the window, etc.

I then go back to sleep, though sometimes it takes me a while to calm down enough, because it is rather scary and intense.

Until I learned that it was sleep paralysis and had a name, it was a scarier experience. I’ve been more educated about it for perhaps 10 years.

I have always had sleep issues and as a child suffered from night terrors from which my parents couldn’t wake me. This continued until about age 12 or so. I’ll take the sleep paralysis over them any day.

I used to have it and have seen visions of what I decided were aliens doing despicable things to me while I could not move. This was in my late 20’s early 30’s. It was extremely scary.

Then I read about it and decided nothing was really happening except in my mind. When it happens now and again, I simply “think” myself awake and can move quite freely after that. I get up then or just roll over and go back to sleep. Amazing what awareness can do for one. Just part of the journey to being a skeptic.