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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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I've had episodes of this since I was around 18. I didn't have the internet to help me figure out what was going on and no one I asked knew what I was talking about.

It seems very real and it can be actually terrifying. The best way I can describe the actual initial feeling for me is to imagine your soul coming up through your spine, very slippery and out through the top of your head as you are falling backwards.. ack... I can almost make the feeling while I'm awake and it's unpleasant.

Try as you might you can't really move or cry out and people in my households knew to wake me up if I seemed to be struggling in my sleep. I've had a couple of episodes that were so odd and disturbing they've stuck with me. Fortunately they seem to have phased out as I've gotten older unless I'm overly tired.

Interesting to see it mentioned here

Daughter of 1776 American Revolutionists

That's a great description

I've had these experiences for years and have always felt weirdness in the back of my neck and spine area at the same time swearing there's a presence in the room while not being able to move. Such joy.

lol yeah..

I've had several experiences with the impression of other people in the room, none of them very good. Do you ever get bright flashes of light? almost like someone is shining a really bright flash light in your eyes for a instant? That's related too along with hearing a loud bang noise in your head as you are falling asleep amusingly called the "exploding head syndrome" o.O

someone here mentioned waking up suddenly in a state of stress.. that could have been from exploding head syndrome because I don't think you are always aware of the noise- you just wake up suddenly in a panic.

yippee eh?

Daughter of 1776 American Revolutionists

never had flashes of light

or loud bangs. now i feel i'm missing out. ha ha


well they both can be duplicated pretty easily ;) I remember the first time, I thought someone was messing with me.. every time I felt like I was drifting off to sleep I got what seemed like a very bright light flashed in my eyes.. I thought maybe it was coming from outside so I got up and looked around... thank goodness for the internet.

Daughter of 1776 American Revolutionists

Michael Nystrom's picture

I experienced this two or three times

But it was about 15 years ago. Definitely unpleasant..

I had that experience frequently

in my late teens, early twenties. I usually did hear and see things that weren't there, sometimes sounds from a dream would continue on after I awakened in that state. It was terrifying and it was a great relief when the experiences stopped. It's called a hypnogogic state --a type of sleeping disorder. I think what happens is your eyes open before you actually awaken -- meaning you're still in the paralysis mode of sleep, like being half awake and half asleep.

Same here

a few times in my teens. It wasn't pleasant. None since.

I did, however, have a really freaky experience not too long ago. On 2/22/11 at 2:22 a.m. I woke up with a start, stick-straight up out of bed in a cold sweat. I'd love to know what that was all about.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

maybe your body realized you were pregnant?

maybe your body realized you were pregnant?

I've had this a couple times

The first time it happened, it freaked me out completely. I was awake but I couldn't move. It felt like "something" was holding me down.

I later learned some interesting things about it from a consciousness perspective. What it seems to be is the partial return of your consciousness to your brain first slowly followed by the rest of your body. Similar to what one might call an 'out of body' experience, this is more like an 'in body' experience.

The second time it happened I remembered to relax and just take in the experience. It was actually quite blissful. Very interesting perspective to be awake only in the mind. I consider anyone who has these experiences quite fortunate.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I'm curious as to why you posted this?

This happened to me once a few months ago. My body was tingling so much I couldn't move and I swear I thought I was attacked by an other worldly force. Never happened before or since but still very strange.

When this happens

And you feel a negative presence about, it is most likely anxiety from the fact that parts of your brain are awake but the motor controls are asleep. During this time, I find that saying a prayer actually helps, and I'm not that religious. I usually fall asleep and wake up the next day fine as usual. The whole sleep paralysis thing is super weird, but there is a good scientific explanation for it. If it happens every night, you need to see a neurologist - for real. It could even be caused by sleep apnea (inability to breathe while sleeping) waking up parts of your brain at night but not others.