Post # 16
softdrink77 : I’ve experienced it my whole life. I usually dream I’m in a situation where I can’t move, and then come out of it. I sometimes know I’m in paralysis, and wait for my body to wake up. I can see how terrifying it would be if you weren’t aware of what was going on.
Post # 17
I’ve never been paralyzed but I do have sleep hallucinations where I wake up but it’s like dreamland overlays the real world so I see things that aren’t really there.
Post # 18
Yes that is definitely sleep paralysis. It is very common to “feel” a presence or even hallucinate one. It’s your brain trying to make sense of what is happening because sleep paralysis isn’t normal– it means some wires got crossed. It basically happens when your body doesn’t wake up but your mind does. It’s so freaky!
Post # 19
I have never heard of this is and never had it happen . My heart goes out to all of you who have or still do , it sounds utterly awful.
I thought my problem, insomnia, was bad enough.
Post # 20
I used to get it badly when I was a kid and teenager, maybe once or twice in adulthood. I chalked it up to stress and my brain waking up faster than my body. My pediatrician back then told me to just relax when it happened so that my body would “catch up”. Seemed to work for me but yes those episodes are SCARY AF.
The last episode I remember was where I dreamt I was talking to my mom in our kitchen and then she turned around away from me. I seized up, couldn’t speak, then fell to the ground stiff as a board screaming inside my head.
Post # 21
- Wedding: February 2018 - UK
I’ve experienced this many times throughout my adult life, and it’s awful. I’ve had the hallucinations too. In my worst incident, I vividly remember seeing the bedroom door open, and thinking it was my husband coming to help me. Instead, an enormous shadowy figure came in, it had to duck to get through the door, and had no discernible features. It sat on the bed next to me, and I felt the bed move, and then it put two hands on my chest and just pushed down. I could feel the hands and the pressure, and I couldn’t move or make a sound.
I’d had sleep paralysis many times before this, so I was dimly aware that none of it was real, but it was still terrifying. I gradually woke up, and the shadowy figure wasn’t there any more. He didn’t disappear so much as just stopped being there.
Luckily, most of my episodes are hallucination-free, I just get the paralysis, but that one stuck with me. Like you, I’m an insomniac too.
Post # 22
softdrink77 : Yes. I honestly used to see my Mother-In-Law (at the time, just boyfriend’s mom) come into my house while experiencing it. She was a major boundary stepper, so it wasn’t unreasonable. But when I would finally completely wake up, I couldn’t convince myself whether or not I was dreaming. It was so awful. To this day, I doubt my memories during my epidsodes of sleep paralysis
Post # 23
I only have sleep paralysis when I sleep on my back. I usually sleep on my stomach or side. The scariest episode happened last week. My boyfriend and I just moved across the country by ourselves into a new apartment. My boyfriend was next to me when it happened. I saw a shadowy figure hovering over me. It said, “I’m going to possess you!” And then it grabbed my head and breasts. It had four hands. I could literally feel the hands on my chest. I screamed, “No, you aren’t!” I was trying to move but I couldn’t. I asked my boyfriend if he had heard me scream and he said that he didn’t hear me scream anything.
The first episode I can remember is when I was living at my parents house, around five years ago. Once again I had fallen asleep on my back, with the lights on this time. I felt something grab my ankles and pull me down the bed. I was trying to move while I was being pulled down the bed but I couldn’t.
And another episode that happened a few months ago, I was at the apartment that my boyfriend and I shared in our hometown city that we met. He went to work and I went into the living room to watch television. I fell asleep on my back on the couch. I saw a shadowy figure hovering over me. It was holding my wrists down above my head, I was trying to move but I couldn’t.
I try to sleep on my stomach or side now but the last time, I rolled over onto my back sometime during the night. The last episode was very scary since we are in a new apartment. I know that I have sleep paralysis but sometimes it feels so real that I find myself during the day questioning if I’m experiencing a malevolent spirit/demon or poltergeist. And, I always say a little prayer after it happens.
I forgot to mention that I do see a neurologist. I have right temporal lobe seizures. I don’t have convulsions or go unconscious. I just feel really bad when they happen (ie. Migraine, chills/sweats, nausea, etc.). I really haven’t spoken about the sleep paralysis with her because it’s never been the pressing issue. So, don’t know if it could be related. But I’ll probably talk about it with my new neurologist.
Post # 24
Not to freak you out unnecessarily, but if this becomes a recurrent thing it’s worth making an appointment with a neurologist. I’ve had similar episodes on and off throughout my life…waking up unable to move – heart pounding from terror for no reason – screaming inside my head but not making any noise, seeing dark shadowy figures walking into my bedroom or standing beside the bed at night, hallucinating noises of someone breaking into the house, and so on. Thinking back there were other signs, like the thing that I thought was just “spacing out,” and it wasn’t until I had two tonic clonic seizures (used to be called grand mal) that I was diagnosed with epilepsy. A lot of people have more epileptic brain activity right before or right after sleeping. Now that I’ve been on medication for almost a year I haven’t had a single episode like that again. Again, it’s probably just your brain playing tricks on you and not something worse, but if it happens more frequently it might be worth ruling out.
Post # 25
I have an episode one if not two times a week. They usually happen when I’m on my back, but have had a few when I’m not.
I can usually fall back asleep now and wake up fully but in the past I would fight it. My husband has seen it happen twice and he says I start twitching my fingers and feet, my eyes will try to open.
My first episode was when I was around 16 and I woke up to a weird whirling noise and my dog barking. I was kind of shaken for a few days and it happened again and I thought my niece’s walker was moving on its own. I was 100% convinced my parents house was haunted now not so much.
My last episode I thought our rabbit was hoping through the house…our rabbit passed away a year ago.
Post # 26
Thank you everyone for your replies and advice. I stayed with bf last night just in case there was a repeat – thankfully, I slept very well.
laureng1 : lwyrbee33 : Thank you for sharing your stories – this is really good to know. I will certainly keep this in mind if this happens again. We do have a lot going on and many things are changing in our lives, so I’m hoping it was just an episode in reaction to stress. I’ve been quelching some uncharacteristic anxiety lately that has come on I assume because of work stress, but I have been experiencing weird, anxious episodes (that I have never experienced before) in the last few weeks. It may be related.
Post # 27
nerk : This is so frequent! Have they become less awful with time?
Post # 28
This used to happen to me alllll the time. So scary! I was always a back sleeper and found out it is much more common to happen while sleeping on your back. I trained myself to be a side/stomach sleeper and it’s never happened since. Also, once I stopped trying to fight it and started acknowledging it and just trying to relax it got a little better too.
Post # 29
softdrink77 : I wouldn’t say they’re less awful but I can realize when it’s happening so I don’t panic as much. It does affect my sleep quality though.
I have had weeks here and there where I don’t have an episode but those are few and far between.
Post # 30
daisyqueen : you stole the words out of my mouth. When I was reading your comment, my heart just sank. It’s honestly so terrifying.