Sleep Paralysis Stories – The Scariest Sleep Disorder Of All

Sleep paralysis stories typically involve unusual and often extremely frightening or disturbing experiences. Perhaps you have one or two of these tales to tell of your own.

If not, I’ll first share one of mine to give you an understanding of what it can be like. Then we’ll take a closer look at whether sleep paralysis demons really exist, or if science can provide a logical and comforting explanation.

sleeping man seeing a sleep paralysis demonImagine, if you will, the following scenario: you’ve fallen asleep as usual after a long day. You hope you’ll have pleasant dreams and wake up the next morning feeling refreshed.

But instead of waking up peacefully in the morning ready to groggily hit the snooze button, you awaken at an unknown time in the middle of the night.

Two things immediately spring to mind: you can’t move – at all; and you’re not alone.

You feel a weight on your chest, pressing you down and preventing you from sitting up. But it’s worse than that – you can’t move your arms or legs. You can’t even move your lips to call out for help.

You’re not sure who or what is pushing on your chest. It’s too dark to see. But you just know there’s a presence there. Something strange. Something uninvited. Something frightening.

This happened to me last year, and was a very unsettling experience. Fortunately there was no demon, ghost or lost burglar. After a brief period of panic the feeling passed and I was able to stumble to the bathroom to make sure my face wasn’t decorated with demonic symbols.

It was a classic case of sleep paralysis.

Sleep paralysis stories like this one are in fact surprisingly common – A study in 2011 found that 7.6% of people will experience sleep paralysis in their lifetime. And the figure is even higher among people who have narcolepsy (around 40%).

You may well have experienced this phenomenon yourself, but until now not known what it was you were going through. So now we have a name for it we need to know what causes it, and what can be done about it.

Accepting the cause is something which I now know many readers struggle with. Although sleep paralysis has a solid scientific explanation (as you’ll see in a minute), the feeling can be so real that you may find it difficult to accept the scientific explanation.

Cultural, religious, esoteric and personal beliefs all play a key role in how you end up viewing sleep paralysis. And with that, how you go about dealing with it in the future.

So in a moment we’ll take a look at the scientific explanation, and also consider some of the alternative viewpoints.

Polls – what’s your experience of sleep paralysis?

For the last 2 years I’ve run several polls to find out more about readers’ experience of sleep paralysis. With thousands of votes collected, they provide a fascinating insight into the reality of sleep paralysis.

Poll 1

Poll 1 shows how many readers have episodes where they feel that there is a demon or other being in the room with them.

graph showing the results of a poll about reader's experience of sleep paralysis

Poll 2

Poll 2 shows that many readers rate their level of fear during sleep paralysis as 10 out of 10.
graph showing the results of a poll about how scary people find sleep paralysis

Poll 3

Poll 3 shows that many people first experience sleep paralysis before the age of 20.
graph showing the results of a poll about the age readers first get sleep paralysis

Poll 4

Poll 44 shows that most readers don’t experience sleep paralysis on a regular basis.
graph showing the results of a poll about how often readers experience an episode of sleep paralysis

Poll 5

Poll 5 shows some of the ways people manage to stop sleep paralysis.
graph showing the results of a poll about what helps readers stop sleep paralysis

What causes sleep paralysis? – The scientific explanation

The causes of the physical aspect of sleep paralysis are slightly different depending on the stage of sleep in which you experience it:

When falling asleep

Some people experience sleep paralysis at the start of the night. While falling asleep, the body naturally relaxes and you would normally lose consciousness.

However, if you remain aware that you’re falling asleep, your mind can remain alert while the body shuts down.

When waking up

Alternatively, it can happen after you’ve already been asleep. And looking at all the readers’ comments it seems that this is the most common experience.

During the night you cycle through several different stages of sleep. During what’s called the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage you tend to dream more vividly. And so the brain ‘switches off’ your muscles to prevent you from acting out your dreams, which could of course be dangerous.

When you wake up consciously, but take a little longer to regain physical control of your body, it can result in you recognizing that you’re paralyzed. So you could look at sleep paralysis as your body and brain being a little out of sync.

Why do you see, hear or feel strange things?

The explanation for why you feel physically paralyzed but awake is one thing, but how does science explain 3 of the main sleep paralysis stories that people report?

  1. That there’s an intruder or other presence in the room.
  2. That there’s some kind of sleep paralysis demon pushing down on your chest, strangling or doing other unpleasant things to you.
  3. Having an out-of-body experience.

The first two are usually explained by a combination of three occurrences:

  • During the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep, and the muscle paralysis that comes with it, your breathing is affected. It becomes shallower and when you try to breathe deeply you may feel that you can’t. Your brain might then misinterpret this as a feeling of being strangled or a presence pushing down on your chest.
  • When you’re in a vulnerable and threatened state, the body naturally reacts with its fight or flight defense mechanism. For example, when you suddenly feel that someone wants to attack you and you get that surge of Adrenalin that makes your heart beat much faster. So if you wake up and are unable to move, and are in a hyper-vigilant state where everything you sense seems much more than it is, you may react to the sensation of paralysis and breathing difficulty by thinking that something bad is happening, or about to happen to you.
  • In addition to the above two processes, several brain structures might interact to create a hypnagogic hallucination. For example, the common sleep paralysis stories of an intruder or demonic entity. The hallucination may not initially take on any particular form. But when the threat system comes into play, you might misinterpret the feeling that you’re not alone as being that the additional presence is something bad – thus creating a hallucination which is demonic or malevolent in some way.

The out-of-body experience isn’t explained by the activation of the threat system. It’s explained by the parts of the brain involved in coordinating movement and also working out where the body physically is in space. Researchers generally agree that an out-of-body experience is another form of hallucination caused by a neurological mechanism.

Dreams and nightmares overlapping with reality

In addition to the above, there’s also the confusion which can occur as your dreams or nightmares overlap with reality. If you wake up from a dream, but remain paralyzed, sometimes your dream imagery can appear to map onto the real world.

So you may have your eyes open, but still see, hear or feel some of the weird or frightening things which you were just dreaming about, even if you aren’t aware that you were just dreaming about those things.

So for example, you could be dreaming about some strange creature, then wake up paralyzed and continue to feel that the the same creature is close to you, though it’s now in your bedroom instead of the dream you were just experiencing.

Then you add the physiological elements that come with finding yourself paralyzed, and you have all the ingredients for being very scared.

Sleep paralysis causes – the not so scientific explanation

astral projection - one of the rarer sleep paralysis storiesIf you don’t believe that the scientific explanation is sufficient, then what else remains? Let’s look at each of the 3 main types of sleep paralysis stories in turn:

1. The Intruder

If you wake up in the middle of the night and you have a sudden feeling that there’s a human intruder in the room, then the possible explanation is simple. There really is someone else in the room.

If you weren’t paralyzed, then there would be an obvious way to find way out if this were the case: turn on the light and have a look, or prod your partner and tell them to do something about it. But you’re paralyzed though, so that doesn’t work.

In all seriousness, this does actually happen to some unfortunate people. But rarely, thankfully. And it’s unlikely a common burglar would have been able to paralyze you and somehow choke you whilst helping himself to your jewelry.

So if you wake up paralyzed and struggling to breathe, and then notice a presence on the other side of the room, it’s probably safe to assume there’s no intruder.

Unless you’re incredibly unlucky and experiencing both an episode of sleep paralysis and a burglary at exactly the same time. That does seem particularly unlikely though.

2. The Demon

If you firmly believe in supernatural entities, then there many not be a great deal of science that could convince you otherwise. It’s a personal choice to believe in such things.

What I would like to suggest though is this thought: if you experience sleep paralysis, wouldn’t it be more comforting not to believe that you’re being tormented by demons?

The scientific explanation would make sleep paralysis demon encounters so much easier to shrug off and go back to sleep. And shrug off the experience is what many people do manage to successfully do.

Interestingly though, around the world there are many cultural interpretations of the forces at work in this particular kind of sleep paralysis event.

For example, in Fiji the demon is often seen as a deceased relative coming back for some unfinished business or to tell the person something important. In Chinese folklore it’s also seen as a ghost rather than a demon or intruder.

Some countries such as Iran and Pakistan interpret it as being demons or spirits who have taken over a person’s body, often due to black magic performed by an enemy. In Turkish culture the entity is literally seen as sitting on your chest and stealing away your breath.

Most countries and cultures appear to have their own explanations for the sleep paralysis demon – some very similar, and others quite different.

The common theme being though that the entity is up to no good and something to be feared. I’m yet to find a culture which believes it’s an angel or fairy spending some quality time with you in the night.

I know from readers’ comments that some people do fully believe that demons or other evil entities exist. A few people talk about them in a religious framework, others just in terms that there are some weird and bad things out there which science can’t explain.

Among all of the comments from people who do believe these things there’s one common theme: nothing bad actually happened to them. This then raises another question: if there are evil beings, why is it that they simply pester you in the night, and don’t do anything beyond scaring you?

3. The out-of-body experience

When I was a teenager I once picked up a book in a library which claimed to be a training manual for Astral Projection. The idea being that there’s a separate part of you that’s able to leave the body and venture into other planes of existence.

The manual mostly involved visualization practice which I played around with for a couple of days before deciding it wasn’t for me.

There seems to be some overlap between the concepts of out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, lucid dreaming and astral projection.

Many people report having experienced one or more of these, and the internet and bookstores abound with writers who claim to have techniques to consciously leave the body and have an amazing adventure in the astral realm.

There’s no dispute that people do experience the sensation of an out-of-body experience during sleep paralysis. The point is whether it’s best explained in biological terms, or whether there really are other realms which a part of you is capable of accessing.

Again it’s a question of belief and I’m not here to tell you either way what you should think. You may even feel that both explanations can co-exist.

There are many websites claiming that Sleep Paralysis has a biological cause, but can then be used as a springboard to try to attempt astral projection. An online search will turn up many, though I won’t reference any in particular.

I also recently came across what’s actually quite a sensible book explaining how to do this. It’s called ‘Sleep Paralysis: A Guide to Hypnagogic Visions and Visitors of the Night’.

It provides a detailed background to sleep paralysis, but also aims to help you find a way to convert sleep paralysis into a lucid dream. The point being that you can then take control of the experience and turn it into something positive.

And if you think that’s a ridiculous and impossible idea (especially if your personal experience has been terrifying!), you’ll find several detailed comments below from readers who report trying to do exactly that.

They have some inspiring stories of viewing sleep paralysis as a positive thing which they enjoy because of the unique and fascinating experiences it brings them.

Choosing to believe in astral worlds that you can access and fly around in doing whatever you please sounds harmless and fun. If I’m honest I’d like to believe it’s possible – even though I’m not convinced.

But choosing to believe you’re having the life sucked out of you by a sleep paralysis demon doesn’t sound like such a healthy belief to hold.

How to stop sleep paralysis

What medical treatment is available?

Fortunately, sleep paralysis is something which most people experience just a few times and so no treatment is required.

However, if it persists and you find it highly disturbing and disruptive to your sleep and daily life, then you may find speaking to a doctor about it helpful. These are the main options they typically consider:

  • They may refer you to a sleep specialist to rule out the possibility of Narcolepsy.
  • They may prescribe an anti-depressant medication for a short period such as Clomipramine which is known to alter your REM sleep, and therefore help with reducing the paralysis and hallucinations.
  • They might consider whether there’s an underlying mental illness if you’re experiencing hallucinations outside of the sleeping environment.
  • They would explain the biological processes involved in sleep paralysis, as outlined above, in the hope that educating you about sleep will help you accept it as a normal occurrence.
  • They might talk to you about having healthy sleep habits, which is known to help reduce many sleep problems. You can find these practical techniques covered extensively in the section here on sleep hygiene.

How to stop sleep paralysis – tips and techniques provided by readers

In the comments below, many readers have explained how they either deal with or stop sleep paralysis. Firstly, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone for the ideas.

Secondly, you should know that I’m simply going to list the ideas which might help; for many of these there’s no evidence that they work beyond the fact that some people say they do. Remember that what works for one person may not for you.

  • Don’t let yourself become sleep deprived as it often happens more then.
  • Try to keep a regular routine of going to sleep and waking up.
  • Try to reduce stress and anxiety in your life. These are thought to be triggers for sleep paralysis.
  • Stay calm and try not to panic.
  • Try to wiggle just one finger or a toe. Some say this is more achievable than trying to move your whole body. Then you can try to move the hand or foot and slowly wake up the whole body.
  • Tell yourself that you’re actually in control. You can ‘order’ the experience to stop, or whatever you’re seeing to go away.
  • If you feel a weight on your chest, try to imagine there’s something friendly causing it, such as a big happy dog.
  • If it’s happening repeatedly, why not film yourself sleeping? This may be especially useful for people who have experiences where they feel that they have been physically ‘moved’ in their bed by some being, or their furniture has been moved. You would be able to reassure yourself that you weren’t actually dragged out of bed.
  • Try wearing a sleep tracker and see if it records you as being awake or asleep. This can help you work out if it was actually a nightmare or not. It can also help check your heart rate and breathing during the night.
  • Try not to think about what it ‘could’ be that you’re experiencing, seeing, hearing or feeling. Your imagination will probably just go and make up something scary in the darkness.
  • Try to relax and ‘go with it’. Some readers actually enjoy sleep paralysis, and they welcome the opportunity to have out-of-body experiences or see what strange experiences they can have.
  • Don’t sleep on your back. Many people say they only have it in this position.
  • Try to organize your bedroom in a way which makes you feel safe and secure. Look into Feng-Sui to make your bedroom feel peaceful.
  • Don’t hang dressing gowns, coats or hats in places which look like figures in the dark.
  • Don’t read in bed as this can encourage you to fall asleep on your back.
  • Sleep with a night-light on, or with music or the radio so that if you do wake up you aren’t in silent darkness.
  • Remind yourself that nothing bad will happen.
  • Imagine your body rolling from side to side in your mind and count each roll. Eventually you might notice you re-gain control of a body part. Focus on this part and try to grow the capacity for movement from there.
  • Count numbers to focus your mind on something other than the hallucinations.
  • Don’t sleep with a high pillow – some suggest that this effects the supply of blood to the brain.
  • Keep your eyes shut and try to clear your mind instead of focusing on the things you can see.
  • Try squeezing your eyes tightly shut if you’re able to control the muscles around your eyes.
  • Keep well hydrated – drink water before going to bed.
  • Talk about it to family or friends – they may have experienced it too.
  • Write about it here. Some people find it helpful to describe their experience in the comments below.
  • If you have it once, get out of bed for a while to reset the brain. Perhaps also keep a light or music on when you go back to bed.
  • Many people who have a faith say they find prayer can be helpful. Some also say that calling on their religious beliefs and ‘commanding’ what they see to leave helps them.
  • Don’t take recreational drugs.
  • Check if any sleeping pills or herbal remedies you’re taking are causing it – either by discussing it with your doctor, or stopping taking them for a while.
  • Once the episode has passed, it’s good to take a moment to remind yourself that you overcame it again. Tell yourself that you overcame it, are not afraid and will always overcome it.

 How I recently stopped an episode of sleep paralysis

Since writing this article, I hadn’t had a single episode of sleep paralysis, until recently in march 2015. And I’m happy to report that I used two of the techniques in the above list to successfully stop it.

I woke up in the middle of the night to find myself in a strange position with my arms crossed on top of my body, almost like you see with medieval carvings of knights on tombs. And I could literally feel strong hands pinning me down by my wrists.

I have to admit I was immediately scared. The whole event was very blurry, and I think I was having some dream-overlap, but can’t remember exactly what now.

Anyway, luckily two things sprung to mind after a brief moment of panic: ‘stay calm’, I said to myself, and ‘wiggle a finger’.

The calmness I only managed with moderate success, perhaps because this was the first episode in a long time so I was caught out by it. But I did manage to focus my efforts on wiggling a finger. For some reason, despite trying to wiggle just one finger, it seemed like my body wanted to try and wiggle all of them.

In the haze of the night and the moment it felt pretty odd, like my fingers were wiggling in different directions. But I guess that’s possibly due to the disconnect between by body and brain with the paralysis.

Eventually I felt my arms loosen as well, and then pretty soon afterwards I was able to shake the whole sensation away as I regained full control.

What I then did I still think is a little strange. Despite having the overwhelming feeling that something had physically held me down, I decided not to turn a light on to reassure myself.

I spend a lot of my time reading and replying to comments about this article, so I think the scientific explanation is now firmly etched in my mind. Maybe I didn’t feel the need to double-check that there was someone or something in the room with me.

Instead I spent a few minutes doing some breathing exercises to ground myself and calm down, and then fell asleep again.

The mere fact that I knew about the finger wiggling technique was enough for my brain to remember to do it when the sleep paralysis occurred.

So my recommendation, from personal experience, is to plant that thought in your mind too!

Further Reading

During 2013, a British team of film-makers, researchers and academics worked on an interesting project exploring sleep paralysis.

They produced a slightly scary documentary and also have an excellent website with detailed information about sleep paralysis. You can visit the sleep paralysis project website for more information.

You might find some useful ideas in my article discussing how to stop nightmares and night terrors. I think you can definitely put some of those tips into practice and see if they help at all.

For any readers wondering if there’s a genetic factor involved in sleep paralysis, it seems that there could be. A study by researchers at Sheffield University in England in 2015 showed this in their research into twins who experience sleep paralysis.

Finally, in 2016 another UK study looked into the fascinating connection between sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming. They all examined the relationship between sleep paralysis and well-being, poor sleep and stress.

Please read before leaving a comment

After 3 years of personally replying to comments, I’ve decided to leave this amazing and helpful discussion to readers. I will still read them all before publishing to make sure the content is suitable for younger readers, but time constraints mean I have to focus my attention on other parts of the site.

It’s always fascinating to hear your sleep paralysis stories, and I know that many people find it helpful to have a place to describe what happened to them.

Moreover, other readers find it helpful to know they’re not alone and perhaps find someone who’s had similar experiences.

So feel free to talk about your experience of sleep paralysis, and if you have any tips or techniques for dealing with it, I may still add them to the growing list of practical solutions.

Leave a comment >>

2,614 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Here I am at 3am and terrified to go back to sleep. I’ve had sleep paralysis as long as I can remember, sometimes it happens more frequently, while other times years may pass with no issue. I just had two episodes tonight. And one just two nights ago.
    This evening I truly believed there was a human intruder next to my bedside, I could even feel AND smell breath blowing in my face (I was alone in bed). It was ominous-the feeling it was someone purposefully out to do harm to me. I felt held down by them, as if their entire body was pressed against me-not just on my chest. I was so scared. I tried to call for help, but it was useless, as always. When I finally pulled out of it, there was nothing there. I was soaked in sweat. I brushed it off as yet another ‘episode’ and went back to sleep. Not long after, it happened again, this time, however, I felt my leg extend upward and it was as though I begin to be pulled upward of bed, upside down! When I was able to move again I saw a white flash come out of my closet. I jumped out of bed and dashed out of the room so fast I even forgot to grab my eyeglasses (I am VERY nearsighted). I was too scared to go back in the room. I tried lying in the living room for a moment, but I was too frightened. I turned on every light and eventually went back for my glasses. In the past I’ve also been dragged off the bed…and it was as if something was trying to pull me through the floor. I once decided to ‘roll’ with it when it happened and saw a dark presence move toward me, it even manipulated the sound of the fan as it passed it, and then I felt bony hands grab both of my ankles. I couldn’t sleep in my bed (or hardly at all) for weeks after that happened. I have to be up for work in three hours, but I’m afraid to go back to sleep. This sucks.

  • Crater face. I’ve had this sleep paralysis experience a few times before (im20) but tonight was scary as sh**. My sleep schedule has been off this week and I was super exhausted prior to falling asleep. Around 3-4 hours later in laying on my side and have this weird sensation, felt like something supernatural but not bad and I remember myself saying Jesus, as soon as I said that something happened I felt a stronger presence then before and it knowcked me into a dream where I was floating in nothingness. This lasted briefly until I realized what was happening, still on my side panting (it felt like but was just grasping for air) I tried to roll over and see what the pressure on my neck was coming from. I struggle to turn my neck not much that it popped without moving much of it but in doing so, when I turned my head I caught a glimpse of what I thought I saw as a figure with a head that was a dark moon like somewhat dark grey wearing a white robe. The white robe was very clear and freaked me out. I saw it’s arm extend as if it were doing some magic to hold me down then after I caught my glimpse the thing looked like it expressed to me “alright you caught me, the fun’s over.” Then it left and I was able to move again. Scary and I know the scientific reasoning it makes sense. This is just wild and I wanted to share my experience since I can’t sleep :)

  • I have experienced this twice, both times I have fallen back to sleep and been woken paralyzed 3 times in the same night both times. Every time I go back to sleep I always dream the same thing and wake the same way. The 2nd time was 3 nights ago. I was asleep and I dreamt something was pouring water down my throat, it felt so real I opened my eyes and tried to sit up (fast as like in the movies lol when they have a nightmare and jolt upright) but I couldnt, I could feel hands tightening around my throat. I was trying to call out to my cousin and MIL but ofcourse no sound come out. I had to force myself to my hand before it stopped. After waking the 3rd time that night I had to feel my clothes to make sure they werent wet from having water poured on me it felt that real.

  • Ive experienced sleep paralysis ive been dragged off the bed, saw a man in a cloak walking beside my bed, flickering lights. I didnt always see things at first i just felt like something was n top of me and i couldnt move, a few years later the hallucinations started. I dont know what to believe but i wonder if its hallucinations then why is it always evil, and ghostlike, why dont anyone ever see fairies and unicorns for example??? Im more convinced its demonic. I wonder if we slip into a different realm?? I dont know but its weird!

  • Whatever it is or you want to call it just say a prayer when it happens leave a book of prayer in the room at all times if it keeps on happening you can’t be scared fight back or it will keep happening I would tell my story but I was younger the only thing I remember that I got so sick of it happening that I knew when it was coming up the stairs and I just decided to plan to face it and not be scared eventually the devil or gin stopped bothering me. It happened yesterday so that’s why I’m leaving this comment haven’t happened since I was a teenager I’m now 39.

  • Sleep paralysis, an unique adventure?… Sleep paralysis is very frightening, distressing and causes the sufferer to worry that they might have some serious underlying illness such as a brain tumor, and regular occurrences of sleep paralysis can lead to chronic insomnia, with the person afflicted virtually becoming afraid of falling asleep. But what can’t be cured must be endured and the medication has not yet been formulated that can bring relief to the sufferer of this distressing condition. But there is another possibility that may enable those affected by this condition to somehow come to terms with it. My own experience with sleep paralysis began like most of the others documented here and my encounter with it began in my mid twenties. Briefly it began like this. I was expecting a friend to call for me at 4.30 a.m. one summers morning to go fishing. I was lying on the sofa but not asleep, when suddenly I heard a deafening roaring noise in my ears and then to my horror I found I could neither move a muscle or cry out for help. I also had the sensation of rising up towards the ceiling…I remember thinking ‘this is it, I’m dying. But after less than a minute I was lying on the sofa regaining my mobility and covered in sweat. The same thing happened for the next six nights until finally by now a complete wreck I went to the family doctor and told him my story. When I finished he surprised me by saying he had never heard of this before and a thorough examination showed that I was a healthy young man. But he could see how distressed I was and over the next month he tried several combinations of sleeping pills and relaxants but nothing worked. He was running out of ideas when he made a suggestion that was to change my opinion of sleep paralysis forever. One of his fellow doctors had suggested to him that I should try and relax when the paralysis struck by concentrating on some favorite place outside my home and he had been told that this had produced some surprising results in previous studies of the condition which had been undertaken some years before. To say I was skeptical is putting it lightly but I agreed to try and I am pretty sure my doctor was glad to get rid of me for a while. I love to walk my dogs at dawn on summer mornings and the entrance to our town park is through a stone arch which is over three hundred years old and even on the warmest summer mornings the moss covers stones of the arch are cool and damp to the touch. So as I nervously tried to fall asleep each night I tried to imagine placing my hands on the damp stones of the archway on fine summer mornings. For a week or two things were as usual, a roaring noise in my ears and complete paralysis but I tried to concentrate on the archway and the touch of the damp cool stones. Then one morning to my utter amazement, as the roaring subsided and I was able to move again, I found myself standing under the archway and almost immediately I realized I was dreaming. I knew I was at home in bed but here I was at the entrance to the park. I had sense enough to keep concentrating hard and make as much as I could from the experience. I pulled up some grass and it smelled like grass and the roses smelled like real roses. What struck me most was the clearness and sharpness of the images, the trees and flowers and grass were more vivid than I had ever seen them. Then my concentration weakened and I awoke in bed astonished at what had happened. Sleep paralysis was now something that might be explored rather than feared, but it was not to be so simple. While the paralysis still occurred regularly, trying to concentrate to the same degree which had resulted in that first ‘adventure’ proved extraordinarily difficult and tiring. But I persisted and some weeks I found myself once again standing near the archway and looking at the unnaturally bright colors of the flowers and trees and reminding myself to keep my concentration I walked through the familiar surroundings, fully aware that physically I was at home in bed. Then an extraordinary thing happened, I saw a person walking towards me. As the figure approached I could it was a youngish lady with short blond hair. She was very emaciated and looked extremely ill and her tee shirt revealed thin arms covered with goosebumps as you’d get on a cold morning. As she passed I commented ‘it’s a cold morning you should have worn something warm’..she just smiled and said’ it’s too late for that now’ and walked away. My concentration vanished and instantly I was back in bed. That was almost thirty years ago now, but I still wonder why this young lady appeared in my ‘dream’ and if she perhaps really existed somewhere. I have had many strange adventures over the years but unlike the fantasists who see secret messages in the most ordinary of dreams, I have come to the conclusion that my personal experiences have been trips around my subconscious mind, which we know is capable of creating countless different scenarios. But the crucial point of my story is that sleep paralysis can if approached in the right manner become the doorway which can give us conscious access to our subconscious minds which is a fascinating experience for anybody. Dreams in which we are fully awake and in a different location to our body asleep in bed is a fascinating but seemingly fairly common occurrence. So there you are, I’m sure there are many of you with far greater powers of concentration than my meager efforts and who knows what you might experience. regards

  • Wayne

    I did not have a happy childhood and weird shit happened in our home. Nevertheless I am not superstitious and had my first experience of Sleep Paralysis around the age of 23 in the same house. It was the classical demon-on-chest, cannot move scenario. I found that talking about it to my wife helped and made it less, but it never completely went away. Nowadays I am almost 50 and the sleep paralysis scenario has changed. I am usually alone in a room with an invisible “presence” that I sense as demonic and evil. Problem is I am not scared of the bastard and want to attack it and kill it or rip it apart, just…I can’t. I am a former soldier and a martial artist since was 14. It is as if the harder I try and the closer I come to the bastard, the more paralysed I become. It used to be a room in my childhood house, but now it is always in a specific room at my work. My work is very enjoyable and NOT particularly stressful. Sometimes I also experience loved ones in the room with me that I want to protect against this evil entity, but the more I try to fight or get close the more paralysed I become. This is the worst part for me…This feeling of helplessness and not able to do something or destroy the presence. I wish I could find a way to just ONCE not be paralysed and then get hold of the bastard so I can rip it to shreds, take my revenge and enjoy myself for hours.

  • My most recent experience is the only experience where I actually saw something. When I suddenly opened my eyes, I saw two white feet floating right above my chest! I immediately closed my eyes and that’s when I realized I couldn’t move or breathe. I really tried hard to fight and regain movement but it made me weaker and tired. I never stopped trying to wiggle because I cannot with what I saw it was the scariest sht ever. I eventually was able to move and I immediately moved to my mom’s room that night.

  • I’ve been having sleep paralysis since i was as young as 5 years old today i’m 18 and still have at least twice a month.
    My episodes always start out with all over body paralysis also i can open my eyes but i never do. also i have to fight to take a breath, it almost feels like someone is choking me from the in side out. I also hear a very intense loud ringing noise not so much as a phone ringing but a buzz type of ring. it stats of loud but if i try to move or try to open my eyes it get so loud to the point i can feel the vibrations on my skin. at this point i’m scared shit less. (imagine this happening to a 5 year old) so i don’t try to move or open my eyes. at this point i cant breath at all. it feels like i’m under water from like 5 seconds then i burst out of it and take a huge breath. At one point when i was about 15 while i was having a episode i stared saying the lord prayer in my head the ringing got very loud but a keep saying it and i could breath and it stopped. but it didn’t stop it from happening every so often just not as frequent.

  • So I wondered if anyone experienced getting out of sleep paralysis and falling right back into it several times? I had sleep paralysis since I am a kid, about a few times a month for the last 25 years…same as everyone I am paralyzed, then I hear all those voices and sounds, really close to my ears. Like cutlery on a plate and weird voices. Then I see the shape on the corner of my eyes. And very quickly hands are pushing me down on the bed. I found some ways to get out of it, definitely moving toes and fingers get me to wake up, or saying help repeatedly got my boyfriend to actually woke me up once as I warned him it could happen. But the worst part of all, is if I manage to wake up, my eyes are super heavy and if I let myself fall back asleep I fall right back into sleep paralysis. So the hardest part is actually trying to move my body and fall asleep in another position, if I manage to do so, I fall back into a regular sleep. But if I fail I can fall back into sleep paralysis straight away, for as many time as it takes to actually wake up and move my body! Anyone experience the same thing? Sorry in advance for my english here I am french speaking

  • Hi, I’ve had several experiences in which I have felt a demonic presence. This usually happends when I have had a very exhausting or stressfull day at work. I do however remember having experiences as a teenager. The first time this happend I had fallen asleep in an elevated position with alot of pillows behind me. While sleeping i had awaken to find myself under my Grandmother’s house. This was a hallucination of course. She had an old peer and beam house with a crawl space underneath. I used to play and hide under there as a child. While trying to figure out how I had ended up there, I saw the silhouette of a small demon like creature coming out of the darkness. I was very frightend.
    It had demonic face and a human like torso with the lower body like that of a horse. As it approached me I immediatly closed my eyes in terror and it proceeded to crawl on me and I could feel the weight and pressure of it on my body. I could not move or scream. I could hear my voice attempting to scream but my mouth could’nt move. I eventually woke up due to fright. I had realized I was still in my bed and passed it off as a nightmare. Years later while researching sleep paralysis, I thought back to that event. The most recent time I was asleep next to my wife. I was sleeping on my chest and felt a large being jump on my back as if someone was laying on top of me. I immediatly woke up in terror and I could hear it breathing in my ear. It started to laugh in this deep evil sounding tone, then I felt this large tounge lick my neck. It felt so real. My eyes were open and I was looking across the bed at my wife and tried to yell out to her and could’nt. I attempted to push it off of me by extending my arms like doing a push up and could’nt. I then began to pray and had asked Jesus to help me get this demon off of me and it worked. I felt it lift off of me and it went away. I was then able to move my body but lay there for a bit as I was afraid to turn and see it still standing there next to my bed. Since then I can feel when its about to happen. I know it’s when my body is extreamly exhausted. I have since then been able to awaken from the event right before I allow the demon to enter. I do this by moving my body position over and over. I don’t get great sleep, but it helps.

  • I dream that I got up to tell my kids to go to bed and I went to get water but once I open the fridge something pull me to the bed and I was siting but I couldn’t scream or talk or move felt like something was holding me down and tryed to move and scream but nothing than I end up laying down and like I sleep with my husband I end up on his feet and I tried to move my feet on his face to wake him but nothing and I pulled on him but couldn’t move much and that it just let me go and I woke up my husband and told him

  • I have had sleep paralysis since I was 8. Each night I hear things and one time I seen a hand outside the closet. I also get touched on my back. And the scariest part is I seen something with red eyes staring at me. I couldn’t scream or nothing and when it touched my back my whole body woke up. It was like a tremble because my whole bed shaked. I still remember this one night that I was in bed and I had 6 people surrounding me. They all were demons because I could see all black figures. And when I got older the figures and shadows went away. Now it’s just little noises that scare me. But I got so used to it that I just go back to sleep.

  • I’ll take the science option of shrugging it off, but my experience left me scared as f**k. I was paralyzed on the bottom of my bunk bed looking at the bed on top of me and I literally saw a face trying to push its face out of the mattress but it couldn’t. It looked like a male adults face the size of my abdomen trying to push out of a belly using nothing else but the face. The stretched skin showing facial features eeew with the loud distorted screaming in my ear geeez never want 2 experience that in my life again gruesome shit.

  • I’m wondering if hypnotherapy can address any of these matters. I just found out that my grown daughter has been suffering from sleep paralysis, which apparently began in her youth. Years ago, I took her to see a neurologist to address her “headaches of an unknown origin” as well as her having trouble falling sleep. My daughter brought to my attn the fact that this doctor had advised us of the condition and which would likely surface at some point…I, however, do not recall hearing any of that, so this all came as quite a surprise. Jen has so many other crisies in her life already, both physically and emotionally. She told me that it had subsided after having a husband next to her at night, however, that has all changed, now that he has turned on her emotionally, mainly due his suspicion that she is abusing drugs. Jen did develop an addiction to pain meds at one point, esp after having 3 knee dislocations but has since curtailed it. Jen’s exp w sleep paralysis includes the demonic intruder, and so my recourse is lining up a blessing by church missionaries/leaders to give her. I believe there could be some truth to an evil presence, far-fetched as it may sound. Jen has some very unusual spiritual qualities that were brought to my attn years ago during what’s called a patriarchal blessing. The patriarch asked me after he gave the blessing if I realized what a special daughter I had…for, as was stated, she was “one of the choicest in the kingdom.” It may stand to reason that she would be pursued by some unknown being who seeks to hurt or even destroy her…our only protection is God, that being the case. This kind of exp sounds very much like the one Joseph Smith had as a boy when he followed the bible’s direction to call on God for knowledge and truth.

  • I have a trick that might work! I’ve experienced sleep paralysis since I was a child (I’m 23 now and still occasionally get it) but something I tried actually worked: holding my breath! Holding your breath kind of sends signals to your brain which, in turn, gets transferred to the rest of your body. So, your brain notices an extreme change in breathing patterns and “wakes up” the rest of your body. This method has helped me nearly every time. :) Hope this helps!

  • This might sound really weird and stupid but I just need to talk about it. So, I went to lie down for awhile, and when I starting to fall asleep, I could feel my body begin to shut down. I started to dream I was making my bed and for some reason my bed was pulled away from the wall. And my pillows were falling through the small space between the wall and bed, so I bent down to pick them up. Then my sheet slipped off, and I climbed up the bed to put it back on and I stood up. I thought I was falling but then I realized my body was floating and I looked to my left and there was something floating next to me I couldn’t see it’s face but I could feel it staring at me. I tried to call my mother but I couldn’t spit it out. So I tried to do it again and still couldn’t say it. It felt as though I was awake and really saying everything but then when I tried to jump and shake my body I couldn’t move anything. But then my eyes shot open and I could move my body again and I was in the same position as the one I first fell asleep in.

  • I am 58 and just started having this this year. But for many years while asleep or just falling asleep I will fill a pounce on the mattress… like my previous cat used to do at night wanting to snuggle with me. Nothing had ever happened just noticing that feeling on the mattress which scared me most of the time but then I turned it into Rocky my cat coming for a visit. Since I have done that this year – it has changed… First episode was when having the flu 3 different times in the 4 days of flu I would feel like I was waking up but I could not move or talk – it seemed like it lasted a long time but probably not ( my husband had the flu first and told me he couldn’t move but I just thought he was exaggerating until it happened to me a week later). A couple of months ago I guess I was waking to the same pouncing feeling on the mattress then i felt like something was touching me and i could not move or speak when I was able to , I turned on a light and the TV and eventually went back to sleep. LAST NIGHT was awful…. I was sleeping I believe and felt that pounce on the mattress and a few other movements then if felt like a great force pushing my whole back toward the center of the bed I felt like I was half way sitting up and not able to move or scream and trying to fight it, then I felt a tingling feeling around my waste and I was able to get up. Once again I turned a light on and the TV and eventually went back to sleep. This is awful. I will try trying to move a finger next time and getting a night light, for some reason you just really feel like there is a spirit in the room with you and its’ disturbing that each episode is getting worse, I will talk to my dr I have had a sleep study in past nothing showed up but this does not happen on a nightly basis thank goodness .

  • My first and only experience (for now) was when i was about 20 years old (now 27).

    I was sleeping in a small bed with my girlfriend and i woke up at night (unknown time)
    When i opened my eyes, i could see clearly and i was able to turn my head a little. I was looking to my left on the couch where i saw a entity, it looked like a person, but the form was more like a dark shadow. It was dark in the room but the shadow was maybe 40% or 50% more darker, still transparent. I opened my eyes wide open to see better what the hell is that and, then i see it looking me right back the same way i was looking
    at it. Oh god it was so terrible, i tried to yell but i could only make a small whining sound. I tried to move but i could only rock side by side just a little, maybe more like wiggling. Then my girlfriend pushed me awake and i was still petrified about it and had hard time to go sleep for next few weeks.

  • well yesterday i took a nap in the afternoon,when i tried to wake up i tried to move but i could not move i tried to open my eyes but they felt to heavy to keep open i could hear myself calling out my sisters name to wake me up and( i don’t remember allot)i felt like i was dead because i remember trying to knock on my wood be frame to make a noise to wake my sister up to help me and i could not hear the sound idk if this was before or after but i remember like if my soul was leaving my body wile that happened i was shaking ii did not see anything abnormal or anything for a sec i tought i was dying or some a soon as i woke up woke up my sister and told her wat happened she did seem like she did not care but only i know wast i felt .i went down stairs to tell my parents and started to cry because i never experience this before like i did experice something like this but it was just me facing up and could move but this time was different very scary now am scared to even got to sleep knowing that if will happened my fear is dying in my sleep can my life get any worse? also i been dealing with anxiety and stress for years and not sleeping enough all i can do is leave this in the hans of god and pray before sleep

  • Hi . If it is any help to anyone, I have had these experiences only about 6 – 10 times since my mid 20s (49 now!) and they have always been in the morning when very tired and having gone back to sleep or “slept in” late. I also was diagnosed with ME / CFS in early 20s, the various effects of which have lingered. Each experience has been similar but in different beds / locations including my own bed now. The person who I am living with or an unknown person cones back into / enters the house and I think it’s real. I start by freezing to hear who it is or what’s going on, then the person enters the room and moves about and I can’t turn or speak. Then they push me down in the bed and I feel claustrophobic or suffocated and I can’t scream though I’m screaming inside myself. It’s horrible. The pressure feels very very real on my back or leg or head. That’s it really. I try and try and try to wake and I do t know what helps me open my eyes and come to but eventually I do and I’m wringing with sweat and short of breath.

  • I’ve experienced my first sleep paralysis tonight, and IT WAS SO SCARY TF! I slowly began opening my eyes and when I could see clearly, I saw a demon figure glaring at me only like a centimeter away! My first instinct was to bounce up and scream and I did in my mind but then I realized I hadn’t actually moved! I closed my eyes and started panting as I felt a heavy feeling sink in my stomach, I felt someone was in my room so I tried to scream for my parents but I couldn’t do anything! I realized I was paralyzed and was too scared too even open my eyes!!!! I thought someone broke into my house and was sitting on my belly!!! I was so scared and freaking out inside my head but I did everything i could to keep a straight face so the intruder doesn’t sense anything. I could only feel heaviness on my chest then I felt a warm burning feeling slither down my legs and I thought the intruder had poured poison on me! I few seconds later My body woke up and the heavy sensation and extensive fear went away (and apparently because I lost bladder control, the “poison” was me peeing myself)

  • It’s just feel so real….like someone is trying to take away the soul… any in my case it happens quite often since 2013. ..the only way i get rid of it is when i try to recite Quran or remember about Allah. .. there were couple of times i tried to wait and see the end of it but it was so painful like something is being forced to go out of my body then i decided to recite and it go away.. . i hate it and am not that religious man in fact the only time that i remember about gof is when that thing happens…
    I truly hate it am still trying to convince my mind that it’s just a sleep paralysis because i do sleep late and have little time on bed… but the reason i was addicted to not sleeping was because of that same thing it was happening at 3 or 4 at night back then but currently it happens in the morning,afternoon , noon….
    for me it’s more than just a sleep disorder because the pain is real and all the stuffs i can’t describe….
    i might sound judgemental but i feel some genetic issues are involved… but the question is why? what the significany of it… combining this and de javu i think our brains are the real mysterious things until we figure out the complexity of brains this thing will remain a non scientific to me

  • I have experienced sleep paralysis for many years. I always get the feeling someone is pushing me in my back and it gets harder and harder, and I feel like I can hear breathing. I live alone! It frightens me so much. I always try to call out but can’t. Once when married, I was home ill. I remember my husband opening the bedroom door and looked in on me and then left. When he got home that evening from work, I asked him what he was doing home and why he didn’t come in and speak to me. He said he hadn’t come home!

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