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Sleep Paralysis

Have you ever felt like you were awake but unable to move? You might have even felt afraid but could not call for help? This condition is called sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis may leave you feeling frightened, especially if you also see or hear things that aren't really there. Sleep paralysis may happen only once, or you may have it frequently -- even several times a night.

The good news: sleep paralysis is not considered a dangerous health problem. Read on to find out more about sleep paralysis, its possible causes, and its treatment.

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Since I have woken up to

Since I have woken up to liberty I often feel like I am in a state of sleep paralysis. When I attempt to move and live in my woken state I find myself paralyzed and unable to dispel from my view what my mind clearly knows to be only an illusion.

wow that's a freakin' great metaphor.

And here I thought I just had a.d.d.

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

I've never experienced sleep

I've never experienced sleep paralysis, but I have had hypnopompic hallucinations, or waking hallucinations for a few fleeting seconds upon waking up. Usually, they were large shadowy insects scurrying around that would terrify me. After jumping out of bed and turning on a light, I would realize that they weren't real. After a few repeats of this, they would still startle me but I knew that they weren't real. After getting into a normal sleep schedule and getting rid of some stress, the problem went away. I've experienced it once or twice since then, but nothing major.

hypnogogic hallucinations..

are pretty much the same as hypnopompic hallucinations, the basic difference, or maybe even the only difference, is that hypnogogic is when you are going to sleep and hypnopomic is when you are waking up.

It really amazes me how many people have come foreward with experiences in one form of this or the other. I had this for a long time before I knew what it was, I even pondered the out-of-body experience part of it until I was able to locate it on the internet and had a huge ah-haa moment.

Daughter of 1776 American Revolutionists

Yeah. I'm glad the internet

Yeah. I'm glad the internet exists. I seriously thought I was losing it or something. After doing some searching around online though, I realized it's pretty common and just a stress-induced phenomenon. There's some interesting observation in there somewhere about the fringes of consciousness and the ability of our brains to produce something that is seemingly real to us but it's all inside of our heads.

As long as it's something fully identified and understood...

you know, like pts(d).

(no, we don't know shit about the human brain)

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

I experienced this once. In

I experienced this once.

In college, my apartment backed up to a forested area owned by the city (several hundred acres) that served as a floodplain for a river. One night, a coyote got within a stones throw of my window and let out his loudest howl. I woke up from deep REM sleep and I was scared shitless that the coyote was looking through my window watching me. Honestly couldn't move, heart pounding, etc. It is a surreal feeling.

I eventually calmed down and went back to sleep.

Southern Agrarian

I have woken up in sleep

I have woken up in sleep paralysis before(though I always refer to it my head as lassitude). I have however always been able to force my body to move...its just far more difficult, similar to what I amagine coming out of a coma would feel like. I seem to have control over my dreams as least once I am aware they are dreams, I can force things to happen...but just like lassitude its difficult to derail the script. Another odd thing I can do is wake up on time every time with no alarm, which is a handy trick since it means I dont have to wake my wife when working early hours. From what I understand most people are unable to for whatever reason.

Thanks so much to everyone for sharing your SP/lucid dream


It's one thing to read about it on webmd or wiki. Quite another to hear stories from actual real-life people.

Assuming you are real people.

Assuming I am actually awake right now.

Assuming there is such a thing as real life.

Again, thanks people/bots/hallucinations!

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

i loled at WebMD.. Sleep

i loled at WebMD..

Sleep paralysis is just a glitch in the cycle, just enjoy it.

eat fresh fruits vegetables and starches. carry along

Some interesting ideas here.

I have experienced that feeling of temporarily being unable to make my body move and associate it with being part in and part out of my body during OBE.



Um... everyone gets sleep

Um... everyone gets sleep paralysis every night. Its a chemical your body releases into your blood stream every night to keep you from flailing around dangerously in your sleep.

What you're describing is called "Lucid Dreaming" where part of your brain "wakes up" while the rest (esspecially the rational centers) remain asleep. Some people (like me) are able to keep this part of their mind awake as the rest fall asleep, the rest wake into it accidently and concoct crazy religeous conclusions about what they've experianced.

You're doing nothing more than dreaming while awake and aware. Its a bit scary at first, and its hard to control as your rational mind is mostly not functioning (how crazy stuff seems normal while dreaming). However once you understand and learn to control it, it is the most amazing of experiances. Imagine being able to go anywhere you want and see anything you wish. That's lucid dreaming.

If you're saying to yourself: "nonononono it was WAAAAY too real to be a dream." Then you sir, do not understand the nature of sight. When you're awake, your eyes take in light data, which is transformed by your brain into video output. 90% of what you see in familiar terrain is a construct of your brain and not even being formed off your light data, which is why you can walk right by someone holding still in your office or house and not see them.

When you are dreaming, the image your brain is constructing is in the exact same format as the one created by light data. Therefore, unless you are given reason to question the content, you have no way of knowing a dream from reality. They are identical in resolution and "realism." When people "accidently" lucid dream, they'll probably see weird stuff... most notably an invisable "presence" which they can't quite make out either sitting on them or in the corner of the room. Probably 95% of alien abduction and demon possession stories which form the backbone of belief structures come from this phenomina.

Me? I fly through outter space listening to music that shakes the heavens with astral devas and other angels. Ive seen the most amazing stuff while lucid dreaming, all of it every bit as real as if I was really there.

But alas... its just a dream.


I've heard this before, that scarey images are concocted by the brain during sleep paralysis to produce things like the night hag, or things sitting on people's chests which strangle them, because the brain is trying to make sense of the scarey situation of sleep paralysis which it feels helpless against. The problem I see with that is that in my own dream or experience of sleep paralysis, I saw an entity before I became scared. In fact, I thought it might have been a sleep walker at first, and I wasn't scared. I didn't realize that I was paralyzed until after I saw it up close, knew it wasn't a family member and tried to attack it. Knowing that I couldn't defend myself from what I already saw was what was scarey. The order of events doesn't seem to match the explanation.

The mind is a strange thing.

The mind is a strange thing. Take Dejavu. This is a glitch of the mind where your visual centers are moving slightly behind schedule and the light data reaches your short term memory "before" they appear on screen for you!

So when you "see" it, its already been chewed on by your short term memory and creates that momentary state of familiarity and confusion where you are SURE you've seen it before.

When in waking life and FAMILIAR terrain, your mind creates nearly everything you see from memory in order to conserve computing power. In otherwords, your tunnel vision is decoded light-data, but everything around is a fragment of memory. Thats why its so very easy to miss things in your perephrial vision that shouldn't be there. Knowing this I used to scare the crap out of people all the time by holding still while they walked right past me. I am invisable to their preferial vision because they didn't look directly at me and the perefrial was being constructed by the mind.

When you are in unfamiliar territory, your brain is working harder and translating everything around you from light data, even perefrial vision. Thats why you seem so much more "alert."

Consider dreams. You dream about strange places and settings. Your mind is in a perpetual state of creating imagry that is unfamiliar, yet "feels" familiar. Because the brain is working hard, but isn't completely turned on, I "theorize" that is because a lot of that info is hitting the short term memory before being projected up on screen for you since the brain is lagging a bit. That may be why everything seems to feel alien but "familiar" in a dream. You're in a perpetual state of dejavu.

SO the point of all that is... it is not at all unlikley your actually felt the fear first, but the visual representation and cognant recognision of fear was lagging behind the actual feeling so that it would "appear" you saw the entity first.

The mind is a strange and wonderful computer. But like all computers, its got its glitches. Some of those distort reality. Especially our perception of the flow of time. The world is filled with people who bleieve they can see the future because they experiance little blurbs like this, and wonder how they knew the phone was going to ring. Trouble is, lacking the ability to dig for the answer with thier human reason, many just break out the ol' supernatural stamp.


That thought has crossed my mind, but I'm not sure that I can be afraid without knowing it.

Have you ever dreamed about

Have you ever dreamed about turning your radio on, and THEN started hearing music which wakes you up? In reality, your alarm went off and woke you up... but yet, how did you dream about turning it on before the music actually started? Are you psycic? Nope. Brain lag. You heard the music before it came up on screen and thus recognised concsiously that it was playing, but the data was there and so you dreamed about turning on the radio and THEN heard the music.

Fear is a chemical response generated in your brain, and then sent to the center of your brain which processes the information. There is no reason this chemical signal cannot cannot experiance the same sort of lag that you get with dejavu.

You experiance this sort of thing in dreams all the time. All dejavu is, is brain lag which puts the "order" in which you experiance things out of normal. I imagine its applicable to nearly all brain functions, not just visual information.

This ability for the mind to lag visual awareness behind data reaching short-term memory is what helps sell the illusion that this dream state real waking vision.

There is a reason that most people, even on here, refuse to believe that that sleep paralysis state where you can't move is a dream. Its so damned realistic, people simply cannot compute that you can learn to manipulate it. You've been there, and so you can see how easily that without understanding what is actually occuring, people could be convinced that they have seen aliens, angels, demons and who knows what else in this state. Indeed I bet entire religeons have been born out of this experiance.

This is why learning to manipulate it and create your own visions is among the most amazing experiances a person can have in my opinion. Especially the first few times when you aren't quite convinced you're only dreaming. I think once you become more fully aware, it does cause the dreams to loose a bit of the realism. The longer you go, and the stranger things you create, the less convincing they seem to become until you finally wake up. Still even after 13 years of doing it, its still fun!


I understand what you are saying, and that is one of the things I've considered, and I tend to agree to an extent. It's similar to what I told myself when I had to deal with it. But I don't think the brain-to-mind connection is very clearly understood. The fact that there is a correlation between chemical activity in the brain and fear, doesn't mean that the fear is the chemical response. The same goes for love and other emotions. How you see it really boils down to a question of your philosophical presuppositions and views on identity, consciousness, the soul, naturalism, etc.

I knew someone who said she had some sort of sleep paralysis experience, and she saw the face of her brothers satanic master floating above her, This was before she ever knew what he looked like. And when she snapped out of it and woke up, all of her toe nails fell off. There were witnesses to the toe nails, and neither I nor her other friends had reason to believe she would concoct the story. I knew another person with a similar experience involving another satanist, seeing them in their dream hours before they met them for the first time(BTW, I don't have something against satanists personally, I'm just relaying information as it came to me). I also read an account of a lady who had sleep paralysis and in it was raped by some creature. Her husband had gotten involved with freemasonry and brought home a freemason book of some sort, and the creature that appeared in her dream which she couldn't forget, she later found to be the exact same image that appeared in that freemason book which she had never seen before. I've had a dream where I found a rare and specific type of old necklace which I wanted to give to someone. After I woke up, (which was on that persons birthday), I didn't know why I had the urge to go to a specific place at some random triftshop which I wasn't familiar with. I found the object almost immediately upon entering and going directly to it's location in the back of the large 3 story store probably about an hour or so after I woke up. I remembered my dream as I woke up, and then when I found the item an hour later, it was the same object from the dream. I don't see how brain lag fits those kinds of scenarios. It does seem like a plausible explanation some of the time, but I'm not totally convinced that it is the only explanation, or that it is the best explanation in every situation.

Um, you're wrong.

I experience lucid dreaming all the time. I've trained myself to enter that state.

Sleep paralysis is a completely different phenomenon. It's happened to me multiple times. When it happened, I was completely awake with full awareness of my surroundings. I just couldn't move my body or speak. Eventually, after several minutes of trying to fight through it, I was able to pull myself out of the paralytic state to sit up and move again. At no point did I go back "to sleep".

It is quite real. Not a dream.


Lucid dreaming is similar to but still different from sleep paralysis..I've heard that you can learn to go from one state to the other but not sure how it's done. I have a friend who lucid dreams and can control what she's dreaming about and also just wake herself up if it goes a direction she doesn't like.. always amazed me.

As I understand it the main difference is that with lucid dreaming you are aware that you are dreaming while with sleep paralysis you are not. that's been my experience anyway. Interesting stuff =)

One other thing well two actually: I can fall asleep literally within 2 minutes of closing my eyes and well known for falling asleep in the middle of conversations, movies and etc. I also seem to go right into a dream state because when people yell at me to wake me up I've already had a dream or two lol

Daughter of 1776 American Revolutionists


When I realize I'm dreaming, I can control my dreams completely, go anywhere, do anything, fly by flapping my arms, make specific people appear, wake myself up, etc. But it's not really comparable to sleep paralysis at all. I've had regular dreams where I was paralyzed or weighted down, but that is nothing like sleep paralysis. With sleep paralysis there is a different level of detail, you can't tell that you are dreaming because it is soo realistic. Every detail in sight is as clearly present and detailed as when you are awake, sounds, smells, temperature, wrinkles in clothing, objects in your room, lighting, vehicles driving outside your house, etc. Its so real that when you really wake up, the only notable differences are the time of day, the fact you can move, and maybe the lack of the presence of a being that might have been in the sleep paralysis dream.

Nope, that's something else you're describing.

I've had many experiences with sleep paralysis and that's not it at all.

I was seeing a psychiatrist at the time and he explained, in a nutshell, what was happening. Your conscious part of your brain is awake; you can reason and think as if you're awake but the rest of your "functions" are still sleeping.

For example, I felt as if the room was shaking: that was my rapid eye movement (REM sleep) that caused that illusion. The noises you hear and the shadows you see is also partly due to REM. The reason why there's fear and panic is because you are conscious and don't understand why you can't move or why you hear noises and see shadows, it is possible to control that fear once you understand why you're experiencing what you're experiencing. After a few episodes and after my psychiatrist explained to me what was going on, it was possible for me to control the fear and just go through it, eventually you fall back asleep.

But there was no "dream" or "flying away", that is probably another phenomenon not sleep paralysis...

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, an

What you should say is:

What you should say is: "I've had many experiences with sleep paralysis and I have not experianced that yet."

Just because you don't know how to begin your lucid dreams from this state does not mean that others cannot. Not only can I do it, but ive "been" doing it for years, from the exact same state as you are describing. Ive been activly doing it for nearly 13 years now (albeit less these days). I know how to enter this state when I go to bed (its not easy, but there are instruction online). I know how to pass through the crazy stage as your body begins to paralyze (if you have only woke up in this state, you probably haven't experianced this), and I know how to start the hallucinations once I am in it.

Much in the way you can "will" yourself to pinch your leg or wiggle your toes in order to wake up from this state (with exceptional effort), you can also utterly detach from the illusion that you're in bed and can't move. This is your mind reacting to what it believes are physical limitations as you "believe" you are awake. It requires activly trying to leave your physical body (even though its only symbolism). Give it a try next time you wake up paralyzed. Calm yourself, and then start trying to move things with your mind. Thats what I tried to do the first time I "left" my body.

Haven't had it in years

but if I ever experience it again, I'll try to remember. I remember that at times I was able to slightly move my leg or wiggle my toes, as you mentioned, and it required some will power to absolutely want to wiggle your toes or move the leg.

Like I said before, after a few experiences and after learning how to remain calm in each episode, I was more passive and I just let things play out but I didn't really try to control things, more like a passenger until I eventually fell back asleep. I'll google for some instructions on how to lucid dream because frankly it sounds like fun...

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, an


Sleep paralysis occurs during the 5th (REM, dream) stage of sleep. Everyone who sleeps has sleep paralysis during this sleep stage.

"Another aspect of Stage 5 sleep is that the muscles in your arms and legs will go through periods of paralysis. Scientists speculate that this may be nature's way of protecting us from acting out our dreams.

The first period of REM sleep of the night usually begins about 90 minutes after you start drifting off, and lasts for about 10 minutes. As the night passes, the periods of REM sleep become longer, with the final episode lasting an hour or so."

I don't understand why so many doctors and other experts are treating sleep paralysis as the problem. As someone who had frequent hypnagogic states, I can tell you that my problem wasn't sleep paralysis, it was my eyes opening during REM (dream stage) sleep. People often told me that I slept with my eyes (partially) open. Since most people here who've had this experience are either young, or were young at the time and stopped having the experiences, I'd assume it's something you usually outgrow. Rather than prescribing drugs, I suspect the best cure would be simply wearing a blindfold or blackout mask when sleeping.

I've had a couple of intense lucid dreams and it's not at all the same thing. During lucid dreams, I was in complete control and I was "somewhere else." During hypnagogic states, I had no control and was very much aware of being in my bed, paralyzed.

wolfe's picture


I've done the lucid dreaming thing. It's easy enough to train yourself. This is much different. You are awake (but possibly hallucinating), not asleep. In lucid dreaming you are actually asleep.

This is where you body shuts down but your mind and senses remain aware of both reality and possibly a dream.

In addition, even someone like myself who is familiar with lucid dreaming techniques usually has zero control over the hallucinatory environment.

The reason is that you can't separate the two. For instance, one of my common "terrors" was hearing my daughter cry out for help. I would try to get up to go help her. Fail miserably usually, or sometimes I would get up and go check on her, just to discover that I hadn't moved an inch.

With lucid dreaming you are 100% aware the whole thing is a dream so you can have absolute control over it. When you can't tell the difference, you don't know what is controllable and what isn't and so you lose the power over the hallucination.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

You think its much differant.

You think its much differant. Its not. Its the same thing. The only thing which is differant is how much of your brain is awake. Those hallucinations "are" dreams. And you "can" control them. Ive done it hundreds of times. When I tell you that the dream is indistinguishable from reality, I mean it. I learned to do this by entering the same state of paralysis you believe you are awake during. It took me years to figure out I wasn't having "out of body" experiances. It took me years to come to terms with the fact that I was just dreaming.

You are not awake as you lay there, you just can't tell the differance. The veil of "dream" comes over your vision sometimes without you ever even noticing you've fallen asleep. You could call them waking dreams I guess, except the images aren't coming into your mind from light data. They are constructs of your mind.

You may "think" you were lucid dreaming, and you might have been to a lesser degree... but when you go from what you "think" is real into direct control of your self, you'll figure it out.

That "you" cannot tell what is controlable and what isn't is why you haven't had the break through. What you need to understand is that its "all" controllable... its simply not easy. You have to go into it understanding that its a dream. You still think you're awake and so you panic. One you understand whats actually happening, you'll be able to bend the spoon, so to speak.

What Causes Sleep Paralysis?

AUDIO - What Causes Sleep Paralysis?

By Roy Masters | Advice Line
Foundation of Human Understanding
May 14, 2012 | 10PM

You may want to skip to the beginning of the topic which begins at the 7 minute mark..



Ha! People will believe

Ha! People will believe anything.

I had sleep paralysis a few years ago (5-6 years ago)

I was suffering from clinical depression and was on Effexor. I don't know if that had anything to do with it.

I remember the first time I had that experience, it was really scary: you can't move your body but you hear weird sounds, see shadows moving and feel tremors and as if your room is shaking. It seems very real and you feel a sense of danger. In my mind I was trying to scream for help but I couldn't open my mouth to yell.

It lasted for 5-6 minutes per episode (my estimate only as I have no real way of knowing the duration of the paralysis) until you fall back asleep. Sometimes, it happened two times per night.

At one point, you get used to it though and every time another episode occurs you're just thinking "sight... Ok, it's this shit again... just enjoy the weirdness, nothing will actually happen."

It lasted for several months, on and off. I eventually stopped taking the medication but by that time the sleep paralysis episodes had stopped so I don't really think it had anything to do with the medication.

ADVISE FOR PEOPLE THAT NEVER HAD SLEEP PARALYSIS: If you get that for the first time don't panic, you'll hear sounds and see things that will scare you but you won't get harmed, try to remain calm. Eventually you'll fall back asleep.

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, an