Sleep Paralysis Stories – Intruder, Demon Or Delusion?

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 have 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 demon


Imagine, if you will, the following scenario: you’ve fallen asleep as usual after a long day. You hoped to 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 amongst people who have narcolepsy (around 40%).

You may well then 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.

And accepting the cause is where I now know that many readers encounter a problem: although sleep paralysis has a solid scientific explanation (as you’ll see in a minute), the feeling of those weird events 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 they 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?

Poll 1 – open for votes

What is your experience of sleep paralysis?

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 Poll 2 results

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not scared and 10 being terrified, how does sleep paralysis make you feel?

  • 10 (absolutely terrified) (53%, 2,806 Votes)
  • 8 (13%, 710 Votes)
  • 9 (11%, 559 Votes)
  • 7 (8%, 438 Votes)
  • 5 (4%, 211 Votes)
  • 6 (4%, 197 Votes)
  • 1 (not scared at all) (2%, 113 Votes)
  • 4 (2%, 98 Votes)
  • 3 (1%, 76 Votes)
  • 2 (1%, 69 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,277

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Poll 3 results

How often do you experience sleep paralysis?

  • 2-10 times in my life (24%, 1,229 Votes)
  • A small number of times in a short period, then a long gap before it happens again (16%, 833 Votes)
  • Once in my life (15%, 756 Votes)
  • A few times a year (11%, 563 Votes)
  • A few times a month on a regular basis for years (11%, 552 Votes)
  • Never (6%, 282 Votes)
  • Never before until recently when I've experienced it a few times (5%, 267 Votes)
  • A few times a week on a regular basis for years (5%, 251 Votes)
  • I'm not sure how often it happens (5%, 237 Votes)
  • Every night on a regular basis (2%, 114 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,084

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Poll 4 – open for votes

How old were you when you first experienced sleep paralysis?

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Poll 5 – open for votes

What helps you stop an episode of sleep paralysis?

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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 you experience it:

  • Some people experience sleep paralysis at the start of the night. While falling asleep, the body naturally relaxes and you would normally lose consciousness. But if you remain aware that you are falling asleep, your mind can remain alert while the body shuts down.
  • Alternatively, it can happen after you have already been asleep. 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 the brain ‘switches off’ your muscles to prevent you from acting out your dreams, which could of course be dangerous. Sometimes you might wake up mentally in the middle of this stage, but the body may take a while to catch up and remain ‘frozen’, leading to the awake experience of sleep paralysis.


How does science explain the weird things you see, hear or feel?

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 is an intruder or other ‘presence’ in the room.
  2. That there is 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 REM stage of sleep, and the muscle paralysis that comes with it, your breathing is affected. It becomes shallower, you might feel a blockage in the airway, and when you try to breathe deeply you may feel that you can’t. This can then lead to either the feeling of being strangled, or a presence pushing down on the chest. This then feeds into your ‘threat vigilance system':
  • 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 when waking up but feeling paralyzed, and 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 a 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 are not alone as being that the additional presence is something bad – thus creating a hallucination which is demonic or malevolent in some way.

The third kind of happening – 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. When you’re not actually moving, there is a confusion in understanding where your body is, with the result that you feel like you are floating.


Dreams and nightmares overlapping with reality

In addition to the above, there is 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 over-map into your physical senses.

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-scape 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 stories


If 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 a human intruder 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 are 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 believe in supernatural entities, then there’s probably not a great deal of science that could convince you otherwise. It’s a personal choice to believe in such things, and I respect your choice even if I don’t personally 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 for you to stop believing 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 come 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 the 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.

Amongst all of the comments from people who do believe these things there is 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 bother 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 is a separate part of you that is 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 spirit, dream or astral realm.

There is 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 am 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 downright 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 this is possible – even though I’m not convinced. But choosing to believe you are 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 is 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 am simply going to list the ideas which might help; for many of these there is 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.

  • Stay calm and try not to panic. Panic and fighting it often makes it worse.
  • Tell yourself that you are actually in control. You can ‘order’ the experience to stop, or whatever you are seeing to go away.
  • If it is 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 not to think about what it ‘could’ be that you are 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.
  • 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 are not in silent darkness.
  • 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.
  • 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 let yourself become sleep deprived or too tired as it often happens more then.
  • Try to deal with stress in your life, as periods of stress and change can make it worse.
  • 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 are 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, change sleeping position before trying to sleep again. Perhaps also keep a light or music on.
  • 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 be able 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 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 physcially held me down, I decided not to turn a light on to reassure myself.

I spend so much of my time reading and replying to comments on this article, that I believe the scientific explanation is so firmly engrained in my mind, that I didn’t feel the need to ‘double-check’ that were wasn’t somebody 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 exciting project exploring sleep paralysis. They produced an interesting, if 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.


Poll 6  – open to votes

What do you think about the scientific explanation for sleep paralysis?

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Your views

It’s always fascinating to hear reader’s 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 add them to the growing list of practical solutions.

Please scroll down to the bottom to leave your comment though, unless you find a particular comment which you would like to discuss with the original poster. Some readers do come back to respond to new comments left on their own.


728 Responses to “Sleep Paralysis Stories – Intruder, Demon Or Delusion?”

  1. M Wood says:

    I think this is an intriguing subject, especially since I am narcoleptic and a regular Sleep Paralysis sufferer. Though I am a Christian, I’ve never attributed any part of any occurrence of sleep paralysis to demons or otherwise. I fully understand what is going when it happens and am very much aware of my environment and that it is not spiritual influence. Mine usually happens in either the sinking in or waking stage and always involve some type of hallucination. I have the feeling of suffocation, the total body paralysis, the inability to speak or even to whisper, the agitation and fear. In fact, when it happened a couple of days ago, as I felt my body losing its strength I actually whispered “no”, trying to make it stop. My command failed of course. Recently, I’ve started experiencing the Exploding Head Syndrome. Though what I’ve read on it states that it’s harmless and painless, I have to disagree with the painless part. My EHS is like a deafening electrical arcing and I do actually feel pain in my ears, though it does stop when the noise stops. It scared me the first time I had it. I had a hallucination of being at an old drive-in theatre that had been abandoned and sat completely empty. The electrical arcing sound was actually coming from the wooden structure that the movie screen was built on and there were bright blue flashes of electricity coming out of it. I was relieved to find out that I wasn’t the only one suffering from SP and that the terrible noise happens to others also.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi there M Wood

      Thanks so much for leaving this detailed personal story about sleep paralysis. You are right in that it is a very intriguing subject! I have experienced a similar sensation to you, though luckily for me, rarely. And certainly nothing as intense as you describe. It’s interesting how even when we know what is causing it, we can still feel fear when it occurs. The power of the body and mind to defy logical sense is sometimes staggering!

      I’d be interested to know if you have found anything that helps with sleep paralysis at all. Or if there is anything that you feel triggers it, such as tiredness or stress?

      I also wrote an article about exploding head syndrome not so long ago. If you haven’t read it, then I would very much appreciate your thoughts about that topic as well. It is a rare sleep disorder, so I would be interested to hear more about your experiences, and I think it would be helpful for other readers also since I was not able to give a personal story on that one.

      Thanks again

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi I had a SP event happen recently all I remember was falling asleep after a lack of sleep and boom I can’t move, I even found it hard to keep my eyes open at first, but I have found a way to make it last shorter here’s my methods which I’ve used previously: when the event begins don’t panic as it only gets worse, keep your eyes shut and try to clear your mind, I also kept my eyes closed while counting to thirty sometimes higher, but whatever you do don’t fight it as it tends to be a lot harder to get out of it!

        • Ethan Green says:


          Thanks so much for sharing these techniques for dealing with sleep paralysis. It makes a lot of sense what you suggest about not panicking and keeping your eyes shut. And I especially like the idea of counting. I know that distraction techniques like that can help in other situations also, so it sounds like a good trick to try.

          It’s great that you have a few practical ideas that people could try out, so it’s good of you to share them:-)

          • felipe says:

            Last time I had sleep paralysis was last night , how to forget is my 4th time and something that everybody should know .This is normal and let me explain why, and why you should go to sleep again feeling safe .it’s a horrible feeling yeah scary, almost impossible to forget, that weird sensation on your body , can’t scream , can’t even whisper , cant move trying to reach for something to get rid of that bad energy holding you down or that black shadow,or even that sensation of having ur eyes open knowing you are awake but can’t do nothing about it! FYI the more you try to fight it the more you are going to freak out ! Why do I say it’s normal? Everytime it happened to me , stress, crazy day at the gym , surf , lack of sleep! I was always extremely tired, although I can’t explain exactly the reason because im not a doctor or a science dude ! One thing I know for sure , when your body says enough it is enough ! Your mind and soul control your body but at the end it’s your body who makes the last call!
            Drink water! It will help

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi Felipe

            Thanks for the comment, and I think you are right about not fighting it being good advice, at least for many people. And I also think that you’re right about stress and tiredness potentially contributing to it. And of course, listening to your body is always a good idea!


        • Anonymous says:

          Just last night, I was laying down then I started feeling soo much pressure on me. I couldn’t move at all, I was screaming for my sister but I couldn’t talk. I felt a hand sliding on the left side of my ribs, then I kept screaming and trying to move. That’s when I felt these two hands pick me up and take me to my room door. It was so scary I woke up crying! I’ve had this before but never to the point where I can feel my soul going away from my body. Was it because I fought it?

          • Ethan Green says:


            Thanks for sharing your story with us, and it sounds pretty scary! It’s hard to tell from what you describe whether it was actually sleep paralysis or something else – like a nightmare. At first it sounds like it could be sleep paralysis, but then you said you woke up which suggests you were dreaming. Unless you meant that you just snapped out of the sleep paralysis.

            If it was sleep paralysis, it’s impossible to say whether fighting or trying to relax would help. For some people it seems to help to remind themselves to relax and that it will pass. But not everyone has that control, and the fear of the moment is too strong. If it happens again, and you’re able to have the thought of remaining calm, it may help. But let’s hope it doesn’t happen again at all:-)

          • aj says:

            I had an sp event about 2 years ago. I was trying to go to sleep when all of a sudden I can’t move or talk at all I was really scared then on the bunk bed over me (no one was sleeping there) I hear a noise I can’t explain it best I can describe it is 2 spoons hitting each other repeatedly but to this day I haven’t heard anything that can imitate the sound. After about 2 minutes of hearing this sound only able to move my eyes I finally manage to get up and leave to my living room. I stay there for 15 min and then to scared to go back to sleep I start playing Xbox till the morning

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi aj

            Thank you for your comment. I’m not surprised you ended up playing the xbox – I imagine many people have found comfort in their video games following experiences like that!

          • Anonymous says:

            I didn’t know I have had sleep paralysis before until I read these. I had just had a dream that I was being dragged across the floor with a blanket over my head but I just thought I was to scared to move. Then I woke up and I was laying completely straight on my back with the covers over my whole body including my head. I was really relaxed though and I was really comfy my whole body was tingly and numb and there was pressure coming from all sides. I did hear a lot of things and I did think there was something in the room with me but it wasn’t scary it was actually, in a weird way, kind of comforting. But I still did think that the thing in the room was gonna hurt me or possibly kill me but I was still really relaxed and calm I don’t really know how to explain it but I laid there for what seemed like half an hour and I finally turned over on my side. Like nothing happened. Then I thought….. That was weird.

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi there,

            Thank for sharing your experience. When you woke up and lay there for half an hour, was it because you couldn’t physically move, or were you just lying there in a relaxed state? The first would probably make it sleep paralysis; the second wouldn’t be. Whichever though, it’s always good to hear from people who have what would often be considered scary experiences but not being completely overwhelmed by fear. It’s encouraging for other people who struggle with these kind of experiences.
            And I think your final thought is quite accurate – these experiences are generally weird!

          • lynn says:

            I’ve heard that melatonin can do this to some people, but not all. I think it could be a combination of stress, sleep deprivation, and then melatonin taken too late, like after 11. Melatonin should be taken around 9 or 10.

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi Lynn

            Do you mean give you sleep paralysis? Or was is it something specific in someone’s comment which you replied to that you mean?

          • dee says:

            I had the strangest experience of my life, i was 16, i would like to believe my Sleep paralysis was caused by lack of sleep but i still have a huge part of me that thinks i experienced something out of this world. It happened more than once, but the first time it happened, i was lay on the sofa at my friends house and she was on the opposite sofa. I could hear a strange noise like it was right next to my ear, but it was so loud i remember thinking “you need to wake up” but it was like something was sat on top of me sucking the air out of my body, i couldn’t open my eyes! i couldn’t catch my breath nor could i shout my friend but throughout the whole time it actually happened, i seriously thought i was shouting her but it was like it wouldn’t come out!I have never been so terrified in my life. I was trying so so hard to get up but there was no possible way, finally when i jumped up! I screamed my friends name and she woke up and i told her what happened and i just tried to forget about it. Until it started happening regularly but i partly think this was my fault as i didn’t really get much sleep on the weekends. My brother also experienced it, but he said he saw his own body asleep from the opposite side of his room! This is why i think its more than just lack of sleep.

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi Dee,

            Thank your for your comment. What you describe does sound very much like sleep paralysis to me. And your brother’s experience could have been an out-of-body type of experience, which also happens to some people during sleep paralysis. So I wouldn’t worry too much about whether it was other-worldly or not. The symptoms you describe are almost text-book typical sleep paralysis!
            Have a look through the tips section and pick a couple which you can try and do if it happens again. At least you then might have some tools for dealing with it mentally.
            All the best

          • Anonymous says:

            Okay so last night was the 3rd time I had this experience – I feel as if someone touched my lower back or had their hand on my waist or something. And then I scream. High pitched constant screaming. Like I actually scream in real life and am aware that I am screaming – I can’t ever stop myself, it’s like the screaming just automatically happens without me even trying to do anything. I’m not sure whether this is counted as SP coz I do end up making noise – the scream. My mum hears and rushes into my room and that’s when I am able to stop screaming. Yeah that’s it – a feeling of being touched by someone and then screaming until it stops. Weird and creepy. I’m not usually afraid to sleep but tonight I have a weird feeling in my stomach and am scared to.

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi there,

            Thanks for your comment. And I’m sorry to hear you’ve had an experience which has scared you to the point of not wanting to go to sleep. To be honest, I’m not sure if it is sleep paralysis you describe. It could be a tactile hypnagogic hallucination. It’s possible to have those kind of sensations without it being sleep paralysis. If you were never actually paralyses, then it’s not sleep paralysis.
            But whatever it may be, I think it’s important to find a way to stay calm and do to sleep. Perhaps try doing some relaxation techniques whilst you are in bed. That might help you to fall asleep and not worry about it happening again.
            All the best

        • lenette says:

          Thank you for the tip… I’m actually getting worried now that it happened to me more often than before… I get panic and fight coz I’m afraid I might not be able to wake anymore….

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi Lenette

            Sorry for the delayed reply – I’ve been studying and had no time.
            I can understand the panic you describe, and it can be hard to tackle it. Hopefully over time you’ll be able to reduce the sense of panic if you keep telling yourself that you can and always do wake up. Hopefully some of the advice here will help put you at ease and give you ideas of new ways to deal with sleep paralysis.

      • Robert says:

        I’ve had these experiences off and on for a very long time now. About a year ago I read something that made some sense to me. It stems from reduced blood flow to the brain. If you sleep with more than two pillows..which I did, reduce it to two pillows.

        It went away. Until last night. Last nights was a little different though. Someone spoke to me. Just before I came out of it I heard someone say very clearly and right in my ear.. “Look motherfxxxxx”

        I also have heard the electricity and felt the electrical current going thru my body.

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi Robert

          Thanks for the comment – did you have just the one pillow that time? It’s an interesting theory, I wonder if anyone else has anything to say about it.

        • vanessa says:

          I also had this experience with the presence in my room speaking to me. I was 13 or 14 years old when this experience happened to me. The voice was angry and was saying “I hate you, I hate you.” I believed every word, still do. My grandma and I were close,she is the only one I told. She instructed me to say the lords prayer or just think it if I couldnt speak, I did. It worked everytime. I said, you are not welcome here, I rebuke you.” Its been almost 30 years since the last visit.

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi Vanessa,

            Thanks for your comment. Many readers have also reported that turning to their faith helped them. If it works, then great!

          • Anonymous says:

            Hi, Vanessa. I too have heard angry voices, at times from one entity or from several simultaneously. I’ve also heard growling. I’ve felt arms come up from under my mattress and hold me down That particular episode left me sleepless for two weeks because it scared me to death. I’ve also rolled over on my side and came face-to-face with some thing that disguised it’s face with a wooden mask so it would seem harmless. My most recent episode was in this past June. It was a hot out, so my bedroom window was left a bit open. As I was getting into bed, I felt something in the air and sensed something. I brushed it off and laid down to sleep. Within ten minutes, I could hear several voices – one main one in my left ear and three minor ones in my right ear – each one rambling something different. The only thing that has ever worked for me is saying prayers in my head because, of course, I am unable to speak, and rebuking whatever is there in the name of the Lord. I’ve had these “visits” since I was a child. It’s something that one never gets used to.

          • Eliza says:

            I too experienced around 13 and heard those voices but instead it said I love you I love you over again it was creepy but kind of calming haha. But the sp happened so many times for about a month. Now I’m 23 and its happening again without the voices tho now waking then trying to fall asleep then my head feels like I’m spinning and cant move so I try to force myself out of it before the unknown happens scared if I don’t try to stop it I’ll die. One time it happened I think I didn’t stop it and room was spinning I was over my body still spinning it was so evil but I was awake and it was so real orI think. I was 14 then too. But after I got saved they stopped. I found Jesus one day when my dad left and ever since I’ve been saved and Jesus has been with me. Now its back

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi Eliza,

            Thank you for your comment and sorry to hear you’ve had a return of the sleep paralysis which had disappeared before. Hopefully if it went away once, it’ll go away again. It could be that you are one of those people who experiences it in cycles, even if it’s a long time between episodes.
            Try not to worry about it too much – and you definitely won’t die from sleep paralysis, assuming that’s what you’ve had. Maybe you can try one or two of the techniques described by other readers to snap out of it, if there’s something there you haven’t thought of before.
            All the best

        • Anonymous says:

          Robert, I have had a similar experience. I awake in SP to a black shrouded figure bending over me to my left, it speaks my name directly into my ear…..I am not really afraid but I can feel my heart racing, and the racing effect both starts and stops instantly. The 3rd time this happened I got ticked off and I made a mean laugh, and stuck my tongue out and blew (like a child would do to another child) to the entity. Immediately after, a very deep male voice laughed in my ear like, Ha HA HA HA HA HA. It has not happened again since….really weird….glad it hasn’t happened again!

      • Makayla says:

        I’m 15 and for the past month I’ve been suffering from sp. Ever since I was little I’ve had night terrors that got so bad I would try not to go to sleep. Last night I fell asleep as usual and I woke up having extreme breathing troubles, there was so much weight on my chest and I couldn’t move or Talk. I see my door open and close, a massive dark figure moved around and I panicked. I heard terrible screaming and crying noses coming from outside my window and laughing from the end of my bed. I could feel someone crawling from the bottom of my bed and I felt massive amounts of pressure on my face. I am religious so I prayed but things only get worse, I felt like I was being dragged across my room and it felt like my bones were cracking. Right when I was near the door I passed out. I have never actually woken up from my sp but it just all kinda ended like I fell back asleep. But this morning when I woke up I had a black eye… I’m really scared that I’m hurting myself during these experiences and whenever I pray everything gets more aggressive.. all of my other experiences weren’t this bad but I will wake up with bruises and scratches.

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi Makayla,

          Thanks for the comment, and sorry you’ve been having such a horrible time sleeping. I think it’s probably a good idea to ask your parents to see if you can get a referral to a sleep specialist if you’re waking up with injuries like that. It’s worth seeing if you have a sleep disorder called REM behavior disorder where you’re brain is not paralyzing your body properly during your sleep as it normally does, which is then resulting in you acting out your dreams. People are known to hurt themselves if they have this, so it’s definitely a good idea to get checked out for it.

          I hope you find a way to bring it under control as it can’t be nice waking up in pain, especially with the confusion you must have from the sleep paralysis style events you describe.

          All the best

          • Nicole L says:

            Hi. I’m 14. I’m so sorry you’ve been going through that horrible sleeping experience. Fortunately mine haven’t gotten that bad. I think it has started this past month or maybe the end of September. Before I begin it may have begun because I started a new school year that’s been really stressful and I already am scared of the dark/have trouble sleeping. Anyway so its happened maybe around 4 or 5 times now and most times I’m sleeping and my mind becomes alert while I’m paralyzed then I feel a presence come towards me but I regain control of my body and run before they reach me. But literally an hour ago (this experience prompted me to research it) I was dreaming about my friends and I taking a selfie and one of my friends walked away and turned and looked like a very scary figure. Then I I become alert yet the same figure has been transferred into my bedroom in the same position. I am paralyzed and eventually regain control. Every instance I have either seen or felt a bad demon/presence. I am moderately religious so the first few times I automatically assumed it was a demon and began calling on Jesus to help me. I believe it was helping regain control faster but now it seems to have no effect. I now avoid sleeping in any position or any room in the house because of it. My mother assumes I’m just scared because I recently saw Oujia but it has no relation to my sleep paralysis. Also a tidbit that may or may not be relevant as a child of 6 (this experience caused my fear of darkness and bathrooms) I was a family party and had to use the bathroom so I ran in without turning on the lights and as I was finished I saw something behind the shower curtain and I pulls it aside. I saw a hybrid of my younger cousin and Stitch from Lilo & Stitch. Surprisingly I was more fascinated then afraid. I reached out to touch it as we were both silent. It bit my finger and I ran out to my mother. Everyone thought I was lying but my finger was bleeding when I returned to the party.

            Any advice is helpful, thanks

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi Nicole

            Thanks for your comment, and I’m sorry to hear you’ve had some scary experiences. It does sound like your dreams are being ‘mapped’ onto reality when you wake up. This is something which lots of people have, so it’s not unusual.
            I think with the bathroom incident, it’s possible that you were dreaming that whole time, and bit your own finger. Then when you woke up you remembered the dream, but not your own actions.
            But the main thing is helping you with the current sleep paralysis. I would recommend not watching scary films to start with. Even I sometimes get bad dreams or see things in the dark if I’ve been watching horror films. Even if you don’t see the exact thing that was in the film, I think scary films can trigger your imagination to think up scary stuff in the dark.
            Maybe you could ask your mum for a soft nightlight to put in the bedroom. That way if you did wake up paralysed, at least your brain would be able to see the familiar things in your bedroom. If it’s very dark though, your brain tries to imagine what might be in the darkness.
            I’d also talk to your mum about it again. It’s better to talk about things like this, so maybe you can ask her to read this website as well so she has an idea about what you might be experiencing. Then even if you are ‘just scared’ it’s still a real feeling which you can try and make better. And talking about it is a good way to help that happen.
            Hope that helps a bit!

        • Ri says:

          I just had sp for the first time last night and I haven’t been able to stop crying. My experience was not nearly as bad as yours and I feel so deeply for you. This would cause me to never be able to sleep again. What happened to me was that I was dreaming I was on a raft on a lake trying not to fall in because there were creatures in the water. I woke up and was just simply thinking about my dream like it was no big deal. Then out of nowhere this slimy black snake-like hand came out from under my bed and grabbed my leg – it hurt – and tried to pull me down. I didn’t realize it was sp until I realized I was completely unable to kick it off or scream or even move at all. It eventually went away a few minutes later and I was able to get out of bed. My best friend has severe sp like yours and he tells me terrifying stories all the time. I have been crying all day out of fear that this is going to keep happening to me and getting worse. :'(

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi Ri

            Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear you’ve been so shaken by your experience. I think the first time it happens can be pretty terrifying, so I’m not surprised you’ve been tearful.
            The main thing is to remind yourself that nothing bad will actually happen, even if it does happen again. And the majority of people don’t find they have it night after night. You may even find it never happen again.
            You can always try doing some things to create a more comfortable setting if you remain scared, such as having a soft nightlight, or some music playing quietly.
            And have a good read of all the advice in the article. If it does happen again, try to pick one or two things to try and snap out of it.
            All the best and hopefully it will be a one off!

        • lynn says:

          Definitely film yourself, it will take a huge burden off you when you realize what you are doing to yourself, and maybe put some safety measure around you.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have actually only had SP twice. The first time I had SP was about 7 months ago. I was laying down in bed asleep when I thought I had woke-up but I wasn’t truly awake. I heard what sounded like and seemed to be my aunt Jo laughing and carrying on in the kitchen but in my heart I knew it wasn’t here because I was staying with my in laws and haven’t seen my aunt Jo in years. So I got up and tried to see but I was paralysed and couldn’t move like something was forcing me to stay laying down. I truer screaming my fiancé’s name but I couldn’t call for help nothing was coming out. Two seconds later I woke and realized I was just dreaming but something about it felt so real. The second time was this morning I had just fallin back to sleep after my fiancé left for work when I reached for the covers but there was something pulling the covers down under the bed. I tried pulling the covers back towards be but something pulled me up in the air and I became paralysed. I tried screaming for help but just like the time before nothing came out. That’s when I decided research these horrible night mares and found this article on SP. It really explains a lot but I still have some questions like how am I being pulled up in to the air when I’m paralysed what’s the explain action for that?

      • Kerrie says:

        I have actually only had SP twice. The first time I had SP was about 7 months ago. I was laying down in bed asleep when I thought I had woke-up but I wasn’t truly awake. I heard what sounded like and seemed to be my aunt Jo laughing and carrying on in the kitchen but in my heart I knew it wasn’t here because I was staying with my in laws and haven’t seen my aunt Jo in years. So I got up and tried to see but I was paralysed and couldn’t move like something was forcing me to stay laying down. I truer screaming my fiancé’s name but I couldn’t call for help nothing was coming out. Two seconds later I woke and realized I was just dreaming but something about it felt so real. The second time was this morning I had just fallin back to sleep after my fiancé left for work when I reached for the covers but there was something pulling the covers down under the bed. I tried pulling the covers back towards be but something pulled me up in the air and I became paralysed. I tried screaming for help but just like the time before nothing came out. That’s when I decided research these horrible night mares and found this article on SP. It really explains a lot but I still have some questions like how am I being pulled up in to the air when I’m paralysed what’s the explain action for that?

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi there,

          Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear you’ve been having these unpleasant experiences. It sounds like it could be a combination of sleep paralysis and still being half-asleep / dreaming / having a nightmare. This would explain why you feel that you are awake but being lifted in the air. It could be though that actually you’re still asleep, but when you wake up it feels like your dream was real because the dream took place in your bedroom.
          If this continues to happen and starts worrying you, you could film yourself while sleeping to provide some reassurance that you’re not actually being lifted into the air.
          But hopefully like many people, you won’t have more than just the on or two episodes.
          All the best

      • C says:

        Last night I had my fourth experience, in my hallucination I imagined I was screaming at the intruder who was sitting next to my bed to leave and why was they there, but in actuality I couldn’t make a sound and eventually woke up When I was able to half shout for my mum. In other experiences I have imagined that I have fallen off my bed due to being paralysed, now I know what it is It isn’t as bad as the first time but I still get extremely frightened. Before I have had a demon-like creature at the end of my bed, an old women in the corner of my room and a shadowman

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi C,

          Thanks for your comment and sharing your sleep paralysis story. I can imagine that it would still be frightening if you have those kind of experiences. Hopefully it will get easier in time, and perhaps you can try one or two of the tricks in the article to help stop it in the future.
          All the best

          • C says:

            Hi thought I would get In contact again as I had another experience last night I was up all night feeling ill with a cold and by 6am when I tried to go back to sleep I started hearing voices and panicked thinking my tv was on and then realised it was SP as I was paralysed. I was able to control It a lot more and was not as frightened. A voldemort looking creature came to attack me but I was repeatedly saying prayers throughout and it really helped, I also tried to move my fingers and toes which was also helpful. When I tell people about my stories it’s as if I’m coming across crazy and have problems lol!

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi C,

            Nice to hear from you again, though I’m sorry it’s because you’ve had more experiences of sleep paralysis. It’s good that you’ve found something else to help you though. I imagine that if it continues to happen, each time you should get better at focusing on breaking out of it.
            If people haven’t had sleep paralysis themselves and don’t know about it, I can imagine they would think it’s very strange. Many people associate hallucinations with mental illness. So it’s not a surprised that you might come across as crazy depending on how you tell it!
            All the best

          • Anonymous says:

            I don’t know if i have sleep paralysis or not when I fall asleep I usually feel like I’ve fallen. I don’t really remember when I was awake before then but after hearing what everybody has been going though I don’t wan’t to take a chance not knowing. xD

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi there

            It could be that you’ve experienced what’s called hypnic jerks instead. Have a look at that article and see if it seems familiar.

      • Shannon says:

        Hello, my name is Shannon, I just woke up from this, and I do have to say reading everything helped, it happened before when I was smaller and again when I was 16 and now again at 19.

        My experience;

        I was having a nightmare at first, I was a father (not understanding why considering I am a woman) and I had kids and a wife, we were in a house that made me feel highly uncomfortable. My wife and I in this nightmare had just lasted down in bed, that is when I guess I was half awake and half asleep because I knew I was in bed next to my sleeping boyfriend but also a man next to my wife. The AC was blowing air so it had gotten really cold, and my sheet went up in the air as the wind blew beneath it, and as it slowly came down a terrifying voice said “what the *&%! did you do with… (and the rest was mumbled) I could not move, I was trying to rock back and forth, and literally scream my heart out for my boyfriend. After what seemed like forever I felt myself pass out and my body just slid to an angle and my head touched my boyfriends back although I was still half asleep so also my wife’s back, and it took a minute until I could finally move. I literally wanted to cry in fear, and am still awake, afraid of going to sleep for as my body had tried to go back to sleep, the ruling nightmares kept playing. It is terrifying, and it sucks that sleep paralysis even exists. But I thank everyone for their input, because without reading this, I would not be as calm as I am at this very moment. I shall try to go back to sleep.

        Ps. I do have to say the only time this happens is when I am on my back and in my REM sleep. I know neurologically my REM sleep is bad because I can’t wake up at all during it, and was supposed to stay overnight at a hospital for a sleep study but moved a day before my appointment… hoping this does not happen again for a while. Thanks everyone (:

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi Shannon,

          Thank your for your comment, and it’s understandable that this kind of incident freaks you out. I am glad though that you found the article and comments helpful. Sometimes knowing you’re not alone, that there is an explanation and having a space to express yourself can be a big help.

          I think your story is a good example of what happens to many people, in that they are half-awake and half-dreaming, and with some paralysis thrown into the mix, it can be very confusing and disturbing.

          Hopefully you found some useful tips in the article, so if it happens again you’ll have an idea or two of things you can try to wake yourself up fully instead of being stuck between the two worlds, so to speak!

          All the best

          • Karen says:

            So about a year or two ago, I had this experience where I was awake, I knew I was awake, and at the foot of my bed I could see this dark shadow, except it wasn’t a shadow. It looked like solid flesh. And suddenly a pair of red eyes appeared, and I knew it was the demon. The second I realized what it was, the demon grabbed my legs and started yanking me out of bed. I was terrified and tried screaming and flailing my arms to hold onto something. That’s when I realized that I couldn’t move. And the demon began screaming loudly(I still remember the voice) “Scream all you want! No one can save you!!” And that terrified me so much more and suddenly I was sitting up on my bed and looking around blinking. Confused I couldn’t go back to sleep.
            The next day I told my mother about it and she asked me if it was a dream. I had no idea what to tell her because it felt way too real to be a dream. But I told her it was, maybe because it was a consolation to me too.

            A couple of days ago one of my friends was telling me of his SP experience and I realized it sounded so much similar to mine. And he suggested to me that what I had sounded a lot like SP. I did extensive research on it the next day and sure enough, what I had was SP. Settled the fear my parents had too! I’m glad I know now, so if it does happen again I’ll know :)

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi Karen

            Thank you for your comment, and yes it does sound like you have experienced sleep paralysis. I don’t know if you read many other comments, but buried in amongst them are several accounts from people who felt like they were being pulled off their beds. And many more who describe seeing ‘demonic’ figures, either hazy or very realistic as you describe. And of course, many also hear things along with the experience.
            Hopefully knowing what it is will help you next time, as you say. But also remember to think about one or two of the tips in the article. Particularly wiggling your finger or toe, something which seems to have been very effective for many people, myself included.
            All the best

    • Anonymous says:

      Just woke up from SP after a hungover nap. I had a dream that my room just had a pipe break and had nearly two feet of water and the room was empty with wooden floors, the door in the back (wasn’t actually my room) just had closed , for some reason was open to the outside. The door in front of me then closed , a shadow silouhette appeared on the wall and I started seizing on my bed while It was forming words that sounded like a different language except I picked up the word soul , in my dream I couldn’t move or yell and I tried to say @*$! you and flick it off , I woke up still kinda shaking and crying just now . Not fun

      • Ethan Green says:


        Thanks for your comment. This does seem to be another case though where you call it sleep paralysis, but talk about dreaming. If you’re following this comment thread, would be great if you can clarify whether you were asleep and dreaming the silhouette, or awake and paralyzed but still sensing/seeing these images.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ive had a few doozies to..I want to just say something to you, that in all honesty worked for me..DON’T GIVE INTO THE FEAR..these things cannot hurt you..only scare you..I’m not a religious person or nor do I read the bible..I stay away from religions but I do have a good lifeline to the other side..STRENGTHEN your connection with the Light..ask God for help..tell these things you are not afraid (out loud or in your head if u have to) BUT DON’T BE AFRAID..Tell them you walk with the light and God protects you..AND U HAVE TO FEEL IT!! After I started doing Sleep Paralysis diminished greatly…yeah I feel the odd cat jump on me but that’s harmless and fun..sometimes the odd one will try and crawl into bed with me and spoon me, but I haven’t been yanked outta my body and thrown against a wall in sometime..they want to make u afraid, so fearful that u wont ask God for help,

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi there,

          You’re absolutely right in that the fear is one of the key things to overcome. It’s easier said than done for many people, but it is important. Thanks for the comment.

    • Jay says:

      The intruder thing has happened to me several times in my life . I can hear them breathing and walking around me and I can’t wake up and then I feel my feet being lifted and I am getting dragged by my feet . I feel my arms dragging over my head and can feel friction on my back. I can never see who is dragging me . One day at work , I did cable tv I was a lineman and had to splice a run on a street out of my town and I got an eerie feeling like I knew that place and my dream came to mind for some reason . My hair stood up on end I was panicking and don’t know what made me connect that place with my reoccurring dream but to me in my mind that place is where I would be murdered . I told my boss to get someone else to finish that run or I was going to quit . He saw the fear in my eyes and said no problem . It even gave him the chills . I never went back to that town again . I had that dream over 50 times easily .

    • Rojae' says:

      Whether you choose to believe it or not is your opinion. Its funny how the writer passes his judgement on those that are fully convinced that there is a supernatural force or entity at work during sleep paralysis. He was very much telling them they are in fact silly. I am a Christian who gives great credit to that which science is able to explain. I love science greatly; however, there are some things that science will never be able to fully explain, in fact, I believe that scientific deductions are simply the best tangible explanation of spiritual events.

      • Ethan Green says:

        Rojae, if you could provide some specific examples of me passing judgment, I will gladly take a look at what I have said.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hi, Ethan. I don’t believe Rojae meant any offense. It may be that on certain replies your tone may seem dismissive or condescending to your reader. Whereas, your view and explanation of sleep paralysis episodes is based on science, the views of some of your readers are faith based. Regardless of the different views, I thank you for providing a forum for those of us who deal with these episodes on a regular basis. Your insight is much appreciated.

          Warm regards.

          • Ethan Green says:

            Fair enough, I can understand why some people may not appreciate me not siding with some of their views. Believe me, it’s not easy to reply to the comments on this thread, especially as someone who is not religious! Almost every day I consider closing the comments, with a big reason being to make life easier for myself in terms of the time and thought that goes into maintaining them. The reason I don’t is because, for now, the value I know it provides outweighs the effort it takes me. Unfortunately though I have to be quite careful with some of the religious-bases comments. There are many I just haven’t been able to publish because they are extremely offensive and disturbing. I do believe in putting as little moderation into the comments as possible, but sometimes my dismissive tone, if it is such a thing, might be because I have just finished reading a 5000 word comment which has shocked me to the core!
            I’m glad you do appreciate the forum though, so thank you for saying that:-)

    • Jeff bryson says:

      My experience happened when I was twelve. I fell asleep one night in the house we were renting and woke up at 2:30 in the morning. I could not move and there was a three foot demon sitting on my chest. My mouth was open and it was sucking the air out of my mouth. All I could do was close my eyes so I did, while praying to God of course. When I opened them it was gone. I only had my eyes closed like three seconds. I ran to my parents room crying like a baby. And slept in there for the rest of the night. Refusing to sleep in there again I slept in the living room for a few weeks and had no problems. I finally went back in the room and slept in the bed and at 2:30 in the morning I woke up to the bottom left corner of bed being pulled on three times. For the next three days it happened again at the same time of the morning. After that I stopped sleeping in that room or that bed. I never had it happen to me again. I’m 32 now. So does that sound like sleep paralysis to you?

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Jeff

        Thanks for the comment and sharing your story. If you ask me, it does sound very much like sleep paralysis. You are not the first person to comment about it only happening in one room, and I don’t know whether that to you means it is more likely to be something other than sleep paralysis, which is the conclusion which I think some come to.
        My theory would be that you perhaps associated that room with the first experience, and so when you went back there, it happened again. Or it could also just be the physical sleeping conditions which weren’t the same anywhere else you slept, for example the bed, the position you slept in, the lighting or any number of other things.
        Whatever the case, the main thing is that it hasn’t happened again, and hopefully won’t either.

    • Courtney Geer says:

      I just experienced some sort of this and am scared out of my mind. My mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia before I was born. What I experienced was out of this world. I heard voices , a million voices at once all laughing, all talking. I couldn’t move at that point in time. I saw two people (sounded both male) and tried to call out for help and I couldn’t move my mouth. When I did finally get to scream it wasn’t loud at all. I yelled be quiet to all of the voices in my head repeatedly. Then , I awoke. Went and got myself a drink. Fell back asleep, and started hearing pounding on my door along with screams to let them in, the dope was here. I tried my hardest to get up but couldn’t. I was almost glued to the bed. Finally, I am awake and checked my door, no one is here. I am terrified. What does this mean.

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Courtney

        I can understand your distress, especially considering your family history. I think there is a higher chance that it is just sleep paralysis / nightmares or a combination rather than you developing a mental illness. If you start hearing voices or experiencing other unusual occurrences during the waking hours, not just when falling asleep or waking up, then you can always talk to your family doctor to get yourself checked out.
        Try not to worry about it, which I know is easier said than done. Hopefully it’s just a passing bad experience, as happens to many people and doesn’t mean anything more serious is behind it.


    • A girl who just saw something and is curious what it is says:

      Yes, i am a christian as well, and i am 12 years old as a matter of fact, and what in the world am i doing on a site like this? I dont know and im not here to help anyone or give advice because im the one seeking for it. So look, mine did NOT happen in the night, and mine is really strange…

      I woke up from a thing we call “siesta” and i went back to sleep because there wasnt anything productive to do. So here it started. I went back to sleep and then i saw a black iphone 5s (and its really weird) and then i was using it… After a while everything went black and someTHING asked me a question. The voice said “two black things… What does it remind you?” I didnt even have the chance to answer the question, and suddenly i was back in our room, and I KNOW that im awake. I cant move my limbs or anything, and i cant shout for help (although the door was wide open which would be a good loophole for shouting) and then my eyes were blinking wildly and i saw a black kind of thing beside me. I didnt see it because like i said, i cant move. And then i dont have a choice anymore. I prayed for forgiveness and said “in Jesus’ name” again and again, because i believe in the power of His name. (And mind you, i cant breathe and it feels like my mouth is slowly being closed by the black thing because its where i can only breathe, because i cant through my nose) and then i woke up. Mind and soul, fresh from what just happened. I quickly came to my mother and told her everything, and she said that the black figure MIGHT actually be me, aka my old, sinful nature trying to get back at me.

      End of story, was just really curious about what happened, although i dont believe that science can explain all these. Okay please reply if you have anymore advice and precautions.

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi there,

        Thanks for the comment and sharing your story. And don’t worry, there is no expectation for you to give advice or help. I am also sure many people ask themselves what they are doing here. But looking for answers is the main reason I think.
        So your experience is strange, but I don’t think there is a sleep paralysis experience which is ‘normal’. They are all strange, and most of them very scary or unpleasant. So you are not alone.
        I think you have experienced something which seems to happen a lot. You have a weird dream or a nightmare, and then when you wake up you enter into sleep paralysis. Then parts of the dream continue in the sleep paralyis, along with some new experiences.
        Personally I think science explains it, but if you do not believe that, then I guess you have to continue to use whatever you can to deal with it. If prayer helps you, then that is a good thing.
        But I think your mum’s possible explanation is a bit negative. I am sure at the age of 12 you don’t have such a sinful old nature!
        My advice would be to try not to worry about it, and stay calm if it happens again. If you think prayer can help, then try to remind yourself that nothing bad happened last time, and that you can make it stop. And if you need to, you can always sleep with some light in the room next time you have a siesta, or allow some sunlight into the room, assuming your siesta is in the middle of the day.
        Hope that helps

        • Nick says:

          That might make more sense for my recent experience too.

          First day visiting a city in a foreign country, Moldova, new hotel room and the prior day fairly tired from being on a train.

          Well the next morning I wake to hear a dog growling and the sound of loud footsteps in the hallway. The footsteps stop, the growling stops. I am awake on the bed and can’t move. Then a dark grey silhouette of a man leans over from my left side of the bed and grabs my feet to pull me away? He quickly moves out of the room through another door, and my feet jerk backwards bending at the knee and twisting towards that side. Then the dog starts barking loudly and I can move, and my knees really bent.

          It sure would be simpler to explain if that shadow was part of an earlier dream.
          The dog lives next door, and the other door the shadow moved out of goes to a boiler room with an open window.
          Been spending the morning looking for any similar accounts online.

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi Nick,

            Thanks for your comment, and it sounds like a pretty scary experience there! I recently added a tip to the article about filming yourself if you have the kind of experience where you feel you’re being moved about by another force. If this happens to you again, I recommend doing that to give you some peace of mind. And as you say, the previous explanation might well explain your events to.
            Try not to get too stressed about it, and if you do research that kind of thing online, you’re going to turn up a lot of pretty wacky paranormal explanations which tend to have a way of making people even more freaked out!
            Hopefully it’s a one off though and you won’t need to worry about it again.

    • bijoy says:

      i experience sleep paralysis , mostly in afternoon nap

    • Anonymous says:

      Thankyou. You’re the first person I’ve heard who has experienced the head thing. Never been able to find info on it. I’ve always tried to explain it as a very loud screeching/screaming sound that fills my head to the point of almost unbearableness. But sometimes it feels kind of pleasurable too. It is often accompanied by a sense of falling backwards into the bed. I bet you’ve also had the heightened awareness thing where everything seems magnified and loud. I had one once where I thought I could hear every sound from out in the street. People talking as they walked by as loud as if they were in my bedroom. Strange.

    • SouthsideMom says:

      I’ve experienced SP several times in my life, but never discussed them with anyone because I had never heard of anyone else I knew having such an experience so I assumed people would dismiss it as a dream, not believe me, and/or think I was crazy. I am so glad to have found this site and see that others have experienced this.

      For context, I think it’s relevant to state that I have had 9 years of higher education and hold 3 degrees including a law degree, so I am not a simple-minded person who just accepts things as true. Critical thinking is one of my areas of expertise.

      I believe the first time I experienced SP was during my last year of law school (the easiest year – so I cannot attribute it to stress). I experienced it a few times while living in my apartment in San Francisco. I would be woken up in the middle of the night by spirits hovering above me touching me and wanting to do me harm, and always took place in the middle of the night.

      I then had no episodes in the next 2 places I lived. Then I purchased a place in the Northeast, and experienced several episodes there. These always occurred in the early morning – within a couple hours of my scheduled time to wake up. It would happen while sleeping on my side, back, or stomach, and always involved the overwhelming feeling that something was pushing down on my body with such force that I could not move. It would wake me up but I was paralyzed and so surprised/terrified that I would just pray for it to end. I never saw anything during these episodes, but I “knew” immediately that “something” was there and doing it to me. Quite different from times I have woken up with physical issues – headaches, muscle cramps, etc. – without any feeling that there was a presence and the presence had caused the physical sensation.

      I also experienced a couple other odd things while living there – for example one of which involved a little girl that I did not know standing at my bedside tugging on my arm and telling me over and over that I must wake up. It woke me up and was so vivid that I truly believed she was in my home and turned to respond to her, my heart racing, only to be shocked that she was not really there. I have had thousands of dreams. This was not a dream. (No SP there, and no terror or malevolence) (And no, there was no alarm going off or tv on to generate this)

      I moved out of that home several years ago, and did not experience any SP for 7 years. Last night, my husband and kids and I visited my parents at the home my mother grew up in. I shared a room with my 18-month old and fell asleep easily. I was suddenly awoken during the night by a noise and a presence. I looked down and saw “something” sit down on the bed next to the lower part of my legs. I thought “I must still be dreaming” and went to kick at the depressed spot of the bed to prove to myself I was imagining it. Suddenly something grabbed my lower legs and pushed down on them with amazing force. Realizing I couldn’t move my legs and this was all really happening, I started to yell out for my mother, who was asleep in the bedroom across the hall with my daughter. Some noise came out of my mouth, but it was muffled and felt like something had its hand over my mouth such that although I was screaming as loudly as I could, my voice sounded weak and muffled. It was loud enough to wake my baby sleeping next to me, causing him to start crying loudly. At that moment the pressure and paralysis of my legs stopped and the presence immediately receded. My arms had not been paralyzed during this episode, but I did not have control over them, much like my speech. I continued to feel a general presence throughout the night, so I could not sleep. Some old church camp songs from my youth spontaneously sprang into my head and continued throughout the night. This was the first time I was unable to go back to sleep after an episode. I believed it would be dangerous to do so.

      First, a question: do people notice that their SP experiences are location specific? I note that I only experienced SP episodes in 2 of the 25-odd places I have lived in my life, and one place I visited. I had multiple experiences at those residences, and none at any other residences (even ones I lived at immediately before or after one of these “hot spots”).

      Second, an observation/opinion: while I believe science/biology explain most things in life, I firmly believe that my experiences cannot be explained by science. I never have nightmares or night terrors so these are not some variation of that. I cannot speak for others, nor would I say that one broad explanation applies to everyone’s experiences. I didn’t read EVERYONE’s comments here, but did read enough to conclude that while there are a couple of common threads, there are also wide variations in personal background, state of mind, level of lucidity, etc.

      For me, in spite of my practical view of the world, these experiences were paranormal. And no unprovable scientific guess/hypothesis of what might be happening in the brain – regardless of how logical it may sound – can convince me otherwise. If I never had these experiences, and someone else was saying these things to me, I would never believe it to be true.

      (Sorry for the long comment!)

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi SouthsideMum,

        Thanks for the comment and sharing your interesting stories and analysis of what you’ve been through. And don’t worry about the long comment – I gave up long ago trying to keep them down and I enjoy taking the time to read and respond to everyone. And with all the interactions between readers, I kind of see this as some kind of forum and comment thread hybrid now anyway, so it’s all good. Besides, you’re about to get a long reply!

        To answer your question, if my memory serves me correctly, a few readers have mentioned that they had location specific sleep paralysis. And a couple stopped sleeping in the place where they experienced it altogether, saying that they didn’t have it in other places.

        My own opinion is that it’s not surprising that people find it happens in some places but not others. The reason being that I have pretty much controlled my life-long insomnia, but there are a couple of places where I just can’t sleep still – one being my parents’ place, even though I’ve visited and slept in the same bed there many times. So I think if that happens with insomnia, then why not with parasomnias also?

        I think we can be very sensitive to certain conditions, so it could be something as simple as a slight temperature difference, or the bedding which is triggering the same sleep disruption. And if you’re prone to a certain type of sleep disorder, then if the particular conditions are met in one place for that disorder to manifest, then it probably will do.

        If you believe your experiences were paranormal, then I guess it’s up to you to make conclusions about whether they are location specific. I’m no paranormal expert, even though I find it very interesting so I can’t comment much on that angle other than what I’ve read, or seen in films or TV series for example, which isn’t very useful.

        You’re of course right about there being some common themes, but also a lot of variety in people’s experiences. And also a natural variety in people’s ability to express themselves lucidly. I think this topic naturally attracts a wide range of views and experiences, and I unfortunately have to withhold quite a lot of comments from being published. I’m aware that many children and teenagers read this article, so although I try to allow as many views to be expressed as possible, some are just too violently or sexually graphic to publish. Many of which I believe are descriptions of dreams and nightmares anyway rather than sleep paralysis.

        However, those comments – and some that have been published – do highlight what I feel is a key point: that there is a very confusing possible overlap and range of possible combinations of people’s current state of mind, views and beliefs, medication or substances they may be taking, along with various sleep events and disorders such as sleep paralysis, dreams, nightmares, night terrors, hypnic jerks, sleep walking, sleep talking, hypnagogic and hynpopompic hallucinations, consciousness and unconsciousness and a range of other possible sleep disorders (of which there are officially more than 80) or illnesses which I haven’t mentioned in the article.

        My point is that even for people who would consider themselves totally well, both physically and mentally, and lead a clean and healthy lifestyle, the range of things which can happen in your sleep is staggering. So when you add differences within the individual as well you can see many possible combinations of experiences. Hence the impossible task of tying together all of the experiences people have into ways which can be explained easily.

        I’ve gone off on a tangent here, but your comment raised some interesting concepts. Hopefully nobody will accuse me now of accusing them of being unwell or under the influence! That’s not my intention at all. But having worked in the mental health field for so many years, I both recognize and accept the wonderful differences that exist between people, and also take a pragmatic view that it makes understanding human behavior and experiences very tricky!

        Going back to your comment finally, I do hope that you find a way to come to terms with your experiences, whether that involves more critical thinking and assessment of the scientific approach, or opening Pandora’s box and seeing what the paranormal world has to say.

        Feel free to come back at any time to add more thoughts!


    • Caleb says:

      I had a very interesting experience a couple weeks ago and I wanted to know if anybody else experienced this. I was falling asleep one night when I started dreaming my bed was going up like a roller-coaster, however I projected it as riding in the truck while at work. In simple terms, I was caught in-between consciousness and the dream state. I knew I was dreaming and I couldn’t get out. Suddenly, I started falling off the edge of my bed, in my dream, which I thought I had just woken up from. I had an immense feeling of terror because I couldn’t breathe and started hearing demonic voices laughing at me. I thought it was time for my death and I was panicking. Finally I woke up. I know this was confusing but it was a total mind @#&!.

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Caleb,

        Thanks for your comment – your experience is a good example of how you can be in-between states, so to speak. It’s not uncommon to be falling asleep, or waking up, and aware of both your dream and your actual environment. It can be very confusing indeed. The demonic voices and breathing problem may have been sleep paralysis, but again it’s hard to tell.
        Hopefully it was an unsettling experience which won’t happen again.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m a 16 year old girl, and not very religious. My mother was raised Christian and my dad Jehovah’s witness, we have belief in god but we tend to look at things in a logical or scientific manner, as my family and I love scientific explanation. We also are not bible bearing nor attend church unless on special occasion.

      Last night I fell asleep at 9, and woke up at 1 for a drink. I didn’t fall back asleep until 3 almost 4 in the morning. I don’t remember if it was in the dream or before hand that I was wondering about sin. I was having a pleasant dream about being with my friends. I was lucid dreaming, controlling everything, aware I was dreaming. (Ties into the scientific explanation)

      All of a sudden I couldn’t control my dream anymore. I don’t know where this peculiar thought came from, but I thought to myself ‘I can’t control it anymore because someone is watching me. Someone is staring at me.’ I became very tense, this being my first encounter with SP. I was laying on my right side facing the open part of my room, quickly aware I couldn’t move or breathe right. I opened my eyes to a dark figure in front of my face, almost like it was peaking out from under my bed. It looked like a lump of clothing left out. I even thought that then, but I quickly thought something worse. As my eyes adjusted, I saw what looked like an after image from staring for too long at something. It looked like a typical depiction of a demons face. Almost generic.
      Nevertheless, it scared the *&%! out of me. I tried to scream, but of course, I couldn’t open my mouth. I then tried to call out for my mom (what was I thinking? That my mouth should magically open after trying a second time?)

      It sounded like the image was speaking in tongues. A deep gross voice, speaking every language at once. I thought in my head ‘God save me!’. The ‘demon’ was still speaking, and my brain picked out from the other languages him saying in English ‘God can’t save you now. ‘ or ‘You can’t be saved’. I was able to reach out for my tablet (left it on the bed next to me), and as soon as I turned on the screen, I could move. I guess the light relaxed me. Anyways, I was out of my room in a leap, skip, and a bound. My feet barely touched that floor, for fear a hand should grab me. I’ve always had that childhood fear. I ran through the darkness to my living room where we pulled the mattress out in between the couches for our movie night. I woke my mom with the light by accident, and laid next to her in the bed whispering thank god, thank god. I was very shaken up. She put her arm around me and I was comforted to sleep.

      Still feeling watched I looked over to the hall to see what looked like a shadow man silhouette standing out. My mind tried to rationalize to me that- a: I was not wearing my glasses and I’m nearsighted. And b: the water heater metal slide door thing always stayed open, which was what I was most likely seeing. Just the water heater and the way light was being cast.

      I told my dad everything when I woke up, and he let me read this whole article to him. The scientific explanation is what we are leaning to. I then reminded myself I’ve been binge watching American Horror Story and am currently on season 2: Asylum, the last episode I saw was a boy having an exorcism while speaking in tongues. It very likely played into my dream. I have always loved everything scary, scary stories, horror, (even through I’m a haemophobe and can’t stand the sight of blood.) I’ve always had a caution about the dark and am quick to believe I’m being watched. So I can understand these things very much took part in what happened. I just don’t understand why I heard the voice. It sounded nothing like the exorcism episode I watched, or anything heard before. I’m skeptical it’s the work of demons or entities, but I’m not entirely throwing it off as a possibility. I really hope this is my only encounter with SP, but the scare fanatic in me almost wants to experience it again, to think deeper this time and find out what I’m feeling and seeing.

      I cried the first time I recanted this to my dad, but I almost find my experience/reaction humorous in how silly I must sound. I’m fully aware this may be a serious topic to many, but I was terrified at the time. Now that the terror has subsided I am feeling better. Especially after reading this.

      A big thank you for those that took the time to read my messy rambling!

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi there,

        Thanks for your comment – it’s not a messy rambling at all, but well written, insightful and interesting!

        You’re the second person today I’ve replied to who both talks about religious beliefs and the scientific explanation being able to co-exist which is interesting as well. And your description of the logical trying to work out what is happening is quite useful I think. It made me remember when I was a kid and used to have a dressing gown hanging on the corner of my bedroom door which would sometimes swing open in the draft, then in the semi-darkness it would look like a tall dark figure which used to scare the daylight out of me, no matter how many times it happened!

        I think that the sound is probably very much part of the kind of hallucinations which can occur either at the brain tries too fill the silence and darkness with something, or as a dream overlaps with reality. I wouldn’t worry about that too much, as it’s well known that the brain can conjure up very realistic noises.

        You’re probably right in that the horror series marathon has influenced your dreams. I did the same with breaking bad recently, and ended up with characters from the series in my dreams from time to time! But the influence doesn’t necessarily always follow a logical progression, in that just watching scary programs can trigger your brain to create its own version of ‘scary’.

        If it does happen again, then being able to lucid dream may work in your favor, as in you may be able to relax and control what is happening and either explore it or change it to something more pleasant. Some people have done that quite successfully.
        And you could always try sleeping with a night light on if you find that comforting.

        All the best

    • DM says:

      Hi M Wood, i feel you, i had experienced that awhile ago when i was asleep, or i was awake, well, the thing is i felt like my ears were going to explode , literally. i haven’t heard any noise but i just feel like there were liquids flowing down my ears. and it felt like my tongue was strangled . i cannot speak nor move and the fact that i could hear my friend’s and sister’s voices and i cannot see anyone but feels someone’s presence creeps me out ! . please help me.

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi DM

        Sounds like you might have had some kind of sleep paralysis experience, or perhaps a bad dream which was still half there when you woke up. If you look at the tips in the article you’ll hopefully find something which helps you stay calm if you experience anything like this again.


    • Anonymous says:

      I stumbled across this article last night doing a search on “waking up from demonic presences” while reverting my experiences when I was 13 and 14.

      The first time happened when I stayed at a friend’s house. The upstairs was split and shared two bedrooms. I woke up to the sound of a loud constant door slamming and could make out some details from the street lights shining in the window. The door slamming was cause by my friends little brother opening and slamming his bedroom door. In between door slams I could see a small figure with a bald head and long fingers in from of him during across the room and then back to his door to open and slam it again. This happened about 5 or 6 times before my friend in the twin bed next to me said “What are you doing?! Go back to bed!!” This led to one final slam and it was quiet. I laid there trying to get my friends attention for about 5 minutes, since now I was wide awake. I then wrapped a pillow around my head and feel back asleep.

      The second time, I was at another friends house and woke up wide awake to the sound of two barking and screaming loud voices having what seemed like an argument in a different language in the other room. Again, I was awake for about 5 minutes after that trying to wrap my head around it.

      This happened several other times and even 20 years later, I have been trying to figure it out…

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi there,

        Thanks for your comment, and I can understand that like many people you are trying to work out experiences you had when younger. It may be though that you never quite work it out! I think many times there is a lot of confusion between sleep paralysis, bad dreams, normal dreams, hallucinations which can occur with or without any of the above and who knows what other things the human brain can conjure up in the night! You may have had one of those, or a combination of more than one.
        You may just have to accept the fact that weird things can happen in the night, and especially with children who’s minds tend to be more active and likely to create weird things to fill the darkness.
        But if you do come to any other conclusion, feel free to come back and share it:-)

    • tony says:

      well when i was a child i had sleep paralysis and the pillow was over my head i was suffocating i dont know how the pillow got on my head its was the scariest experience of my life

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Tony,

        I can only imagine how scary that must have been! I imagine that the explanation is quite simple in that you put it there yourself in your sleep! I’ve woken up many times with the pillow on top of my head, and don’t think anything of it. But of course if I woke up with sleep paralysis and the pillow on my face, I can imagine how my brain would create a terrifying explanation. Hopefully it will never happen to you again though.

    • Torri says:

      I had terrifying episode this morning approx 6am as I drifted off to sleep. I couldn’t move my head, arms, or legs. The harder I fought the harder it was for me to move. When I finally could there was an intruder in my house who is actually a coworker of mine, who had an accomplice with a gun. As more panic started to set in I suddenly woke up. It took a bit to realize I was dreaming because the surroundings were so real, it was actually my bedroom the way I left it before dozing off. Please help.

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Torri

        Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear you had such a scary experience. I’m not sure whether you had just sleep paralysis, or sleep paralysis followed by a nightmare. But in either case, it sounds very unpleasant.
        I think the main thing is to try not to panic or worry about it too much. Hopefully like most people, it won’t be a regular thing. If you read through the article there are lots of tips that you can try to put into action if it does happen again. You can tell yourself before you go to bed what you will do if it happens, to help yourself remember, and then try to relax and sleep.

    • Deja says:

      Hello I’m Deja and my wife has been doing this for years! The part that people don’t understand is maybe there’s a place they go?? Because my wife tells me things about where she goes and I don’t mean when she wakes up nether. So maybe someone should take the time out to figure that out.just my thoughts on it…

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Deja,

        Thanks for your comment. Do you mean she has out-of-body experiences, or where she goes when dreaming? I think there are people who have thought on this, but you would find those on websites about lucid dreaming and astral projection, if it’s something which interests you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I experience this four days ago, in my dream I was sleeping on my stomach, and I could feel a 12″ sq of steel crushing me, and a hand on the back of my neck; even though I was sleeping on my right side. I started yelling and cursing, and then I said the word, “God…”, and the weight just disappeared. But the voice that was yelling that I could hear, that woke me up was that of a man, which I believe to be my my grandfather. But, I will say this, my pillows were higher than usual, I had eaten a small meal before going to bed, I was sleeping on my right side instead of my left (no one should asleep on their right after eating/drinking), and I had flu like symptoms that I had been fighting for 2 days. Was I frightened? No, but I took the experience as a warning for my sister, because in the dream I did see her, and I was blessing every corner of her new home with blessed oil. I did call her that day and I asked her if she had blessed her new home, because she is in a wheelchair, and she said that she hadn’t done so, but will.
      The other time, there was a black figure, with no face, and a long black robe, with a hood over guys head, standing over my hospital bed in the recovery room. I had just come out of a colectomy, and I had intense pain, and I could see the black figure, like the grim reaper, and I remember saying, “Oh hell no, you’ve got the wrong person, so move along.” and he did. Then I heard the nurse complaining about my extra pain meds, that I acted as if I had been in a car crash. At that time, I did wake up and scream at her in a moan so loud that she had no choice, but to administer the meds, then I went back to sleep, on my back.

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi there,

        Thanks for your comment, and as with many people it’s difficult to tell whether this was really sleep paralysis because you don’t specifically state that you were unable to move at any point, but definitely awake. So it could be that you were dreaming both of these episodes, or that you woke up and had a hallucination which contained content similar to your dream. If you’re following this comment, it would be great if you could give some more details, i.e. were you paralyzes upon waking?

    • Anonymous says:

      I have had this for 45 years. It started in college every once in a while and then progressed over the years to happening nearly every time I slept. I experience the paralysis along with one or more threatening figures in the room. I often hear a multitude of voices and/or a cacophonous music. In the past I tried rolling side to side or getting a foot or hand moving that ultimately leads to getting a whole limb then my entire body moving up and out of the experience.

      More recently I call out to my wife to wake me. She tells me my voice is deep and distorted but understandable. Initially she would gently shake my arm which did no good at all. In this state I would tell her to shake me harder, harder, HARDER. This always works.

      While falling asleep I can actually feel the hypnagogic state state begin to overtake me and I force myself to move and fully wake. This can happen repeatedly until I actually fall into it completely. I eventually learned to sit up in bed or get out of bed to shake the feeling off.

      This has all been worsened by waking up one time with an actual home invader in my bedroom. Ten years later I awoke at 4 am with a burglar downstairs in my house.

      I have also suffered from a sleep disorder for about the same period of time and will sometimes go for 2 or 3 nights without sleep. I’m now going to have a sleep study done as I’m sick of the whole thing. I can say, now in my 60s I’ve been having few paralysis events. Maybe it will all just disappear.

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi there,

        Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experiences, which sound extremely scary indeed! I’m not surprised you’ve had worse sleep problems after those actual experiences of burglars. I can’t even begin to imagine how that must have felt.

        Hopefully the sleep study will provide some answers for you. Perhaps as well you could try doing some relaxation techniques once you go to bed? It might help distract and clear your mind, and hopefully stop you from worrying about having hallucinations.

        All the best

    • Lyn says:


      I have been experiencing sleep paralysis since I was about 14 myself. The experiences have been classic “demon attack” experiences. However as I have got older more things have accompanied these experiences. My oldest would wake up in the middle of my paralysis from the other room. After she got to be about 3 she stopped waking in the night. Now my younger child will wake when this happens. Last night I had one of these experiences but I was in a very deep sleep. I remember in my dream trying to listen for my husbands breathing to move toward that sound out of the dream. I was trying to wake myself up. It wasn’t until I heard my son yelling as he walked to my room that I was finally able to wake up. It is uncommon for my child to wake at night and it does only seem to happen when I myself “sense” a presence in the house. Last night after I laid him down with me he opened his eyes all of a sudden and pointed above him and said “someone else”. I largely believe that our brains try to rationalize our experiences in our sleep and similar situations of unconsciousness. However I started experiencing other actual phenomenon especially during the same hour I or we experience this sleep paralysis/wakefulness. The garage door opening in the middle of the night and toys suddenly coming on in the children’s play room. Even the living room light fluttering until out of irritation I said Quit and it stopped. I’m not sure if anyone else has any other unexplained experiences that accompany their sleep paralysis or not but it sure does seem strange. I have thought about leaving a camera on in our bedroom at night but since we have moved 3 times and our garage door has opened on its own in each of these houses as well as other explained events, Im half afraid to.

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Lyn,

        Thanks for your comment. I can understand why you are worried and frightened if you are experiencing such a range of things you can’t explain. I think leaving a camera on is an excellent idea, as it would, in my opinion and best guess, show you that you don’t have anything to be worried about:-) but of course, that’s a step you need to be willing to take yourself.
        I hope you find the strength to face the reality of whatever might be behind these mysterious events.
        All the best

    • Steve says:

      This happens to me alot. I am 46 now. Started in the military barracks on fire watch. Felt like I was sinking in bed with a “wah wah sound and six figures watching me as I could not move. Other times I would be lying next to my wife and screaming for help. I could make out detailed items on the dresser so I thought for sure I was awake. After waking she never heard a peep out of me. I am pretty sure my eyes opened and I just incorporated that into the stage of sleep. Other times I would twitch with an electrical ping inside my head that seems loud enough to pierce ear drums. But since there was never any actual sound it would just wake me up quickly. Quick enough that there was that sleep drug the brain produces and makes you feel paralized. I have never had this happen while being alone so its safe to assume no demons ghost just an over tired body IMO. I used to think it was aliens. and the time in the barracks with the 6 people…someone said that tehy were my pawbearers that freaked me out a bit.

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Steve

        Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience of sleep paralysis. It’s interesting that it never happens to you when you’re alone. I wonder if there’s some element of a partner partially waking you up through movement or noise. Does your partner snore or move about in bed a lot?
        I think you’re right about it being an over-tired body. Many people report that they have more episodes when they’re tired.
        Anyway, I hope you found something useful in the article which you can take away and use the next time it happens.
        All the best

    • Siddharth says:

      Hi, I have the same experience since last 1 month…. In my opinion to avoid such situations…

      1. To use more comfortable Bed
      2. Try to avoid watch Horror Movies
      3. Avoid Direct Fan Flows …. (Fan cooling) it helps to sleep more comfortably …

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Sddharth
        Thanks for your comment and your suggestions. I agree with the horror films idea, though I’m not sure about the comfortable bed and fan flow ideas. But I would say that of course it’s always good to sleep in the most comfortable bed possible.

  2. M Wood says:

    Hi Ethan,

    Thanks for posting and responding to my comment. Unfortunately, I have extreme difficulty in controlling the onset of Sleep Paralysis. Rarely, I can avoid it if I really fight it, but most times I cannot. It’s hard to say if it’s just tiredness that causes it or stress because I’ve experienced Sleep Paralysis so often. The only time that it really happens is on weekends when I nap during the day. Most of the time it occurs while in supine position; however, a couple of weeks ago it happened while I was sleeping upright (yes, sitting bolt UPRIGHT and sleeping). That was also the first time I experienced Exploding Head Syndrome. In that case, after the electrical noise stopped I had a hallucination of my husband and a hyena. My husband was more like a shadow and he was feeding dirty rags to it. He came into the house while I was still looking out of an upstairs window (I live in a one-story house) and the hyena was looking up at me with all of his teeth showing. Doesn’t sound like much, but the atmosphere of the “waking dream” (for lack of a better term) was terrifying. I knew my husband was coming to get me next to feed to the hyena. It’s so strange knowing that it isn’t real but at the same time feeling the terror. That starts the suffocating feeling again (the initial suffocating feeling is when the SP begins) and I try to scream for my husband to do something to wake me. It always comes out as a hoarse sound, never loud enough for him to hear which just makes it even scarier.

    Anyway, when I get a few minutes I’ll head over to your Exploding Head Syndrome article and tell about my experience with that also. Hopefully it helps someone else to know they haven’t cracked. :^)


    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi M

      Thanks once again for the detailed insight into your experiences of Sleep paralysis. It really does sound very intense, and I hope that some day you manage to find a way to manage the condition. Have you spoken to a medical professional about it yet? It might be a good idea if you have easy access to healthcare where you are – they might be able to suggest something that helps:-)


    • nianne says:

      It’s a very frightful feeling (Sleep Paralysis). I am too a sufferer ever since I was young. I was always so scared. In our country (Philippines), we would always assume meanings of it. Dreams of falling teeth would mean you grieving over someone soon, etc. As for the SP dreams, the scariest I ever dreamed was when I was laying down. I couldn’t move and I had dark faceless souls carry me all the way down an alley. I couldn’t talk, move, even as much as I did. I am a religious catholic. I was told if ever you have dreams like these, always say, “In the name of the LORD” or “In the name of Jesus Christ!”.

      I haven’t had a scary SP in a while, but just this morning. It was a short nap. I was about to sleep, then all of a sudden a woman’s voice was saying to me. “I need you, (my name)”. The voice was right next to me. It was a loud voice, take note I was home alone with 2 babies that can’t talk and they were sleeping. I tried to move and wake my self up when she said that. I just couldn’t. I could however talk in my dreams. Saw my sleeping body that couldn’t budge and I shouted as loud as I could, “In the name of the Lord”. It was so awkward, when I shouted that phrase…. I could wake myself up again. I do believe, there are souls that are trying to replace our body. Just like in the insidious movie (lol). I’m just saying, believe in faith and fight it. Everything will be fine.


      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Nianne

        Thanks for your comment, and it’s very interesting to hear some different cultural thoughts about sleep paralysis and dreaming. I think that if you are a person of faith, then it’s great if you find that drawing on that faith helps in your moment of fear and need. It’s interesting that you make a comparison to the film Insidious – I hope you’re wrong though, as that is one very unpleasant film!


      • 32yearoldmomma says:

        I have had numerous SP experiences where I was awake but couldn’t move and felt something dark and awful beside me. Each time I used the Lord’s name and commanded it to depart because that was what I was taught coming from a very religious background. Each time it worked. This last time was different. I felt it happening and didn’t panic because I told myself that spirits don’t have bodies and therefore don’t have control over you. When I started to say the Lord’s name my teeth clamped down. I didn’t do it and it scared me! I heard a loud flapping noise by my ears and the room started to shake. What was crazy was I was aware of everything, even hearing my 2 year old daughter sleeping next to me. Then I felt like something was trying to make my hand and leg move but I just laid still and didn’t worry because I knew that I was safe if I called on the Lord’s name. So I did. Right after the feeling left and I felt fine…safe??? I could move and it was over. Of all the SP experiences I have had this one was different in that my teeth clamping shut and the noise and shaking. Before it was just not being able to talk or move. Crazy stuff! It is really interesting to see some science behind it as well as read other people’s stories.

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi there,

          Thanks for sharing your story, and another scary one it is at that! I can imagine that it was disturbing feeling that there were those additional physical things going on. The main thing is that you have a way to deal with it, and that you seem to be able to stay relatively calm during an episode. So well done to you for that, and I hope you don’t have any more!

  3. This is a fascinating read! I have experienced sleep paralysis many, many times in my life, especially as a kid. It freaked me out big time, until I found out what it was. It’s still very unsettling, but at least I know why it happens, and that it will pass.
    Thank you for sharing this with us, and have a wonderful day.
    ~ Kathryn

    • Ethan Green says:

      Thanks for your comments Kathryn. It does seem to be quite common for people to experience sleep paralysis as children, but to keep it to themselves. I can only imagine the kind of sleep paralysis stories we would hear if kids started being more open about it! Knowledge does seem to be the best way of dealing with it; accepting it and trying not to panic even though it is unsettling. I hope one day it stops being disturbing altogether for you:-)

  4. A says:

    I believe it is not scientific. I could have believed otherwise but years ago this phenomenon happened to a group of us at one time. I also know others whom it happened to at the same time.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Thanks for the comment ‘A’. It’s good to have someone speak up for the other side. And you mention a concept I’ve never heard of before – a group sleep paralysis story. I will have to do some digging around and see if that is something anyone else has ever experienced.

      • Stef says:

        This happened to me a good while ago,
        Although I felt more like my thoughts and mind were what was actually with me. Anyways after it happened to me the second ( final time ) I figured out that if I focus really hard on trying to cough that the motion actually moves your upper body slightly which shot my muscles and body alive once more, it is a scary experience nonetheless although I did find this a solution as I used to panic and try to scream which never worked.

        I don’t really believe in the demon theory as I never felt anything strange in the room, unless the thing gets their laughs seeing you unable to move I couldn’t see how this could be interpreted as evil as I am yet to see a story where physical marks or pain have been reported.


        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi Stefan

          Thanks for your comment, and also for suggesting a practical way to deal with sleep paralysis. Ideas like that are Gold dust as I know other readers do look through these comments and will appreciate techniques to try that have worked for other people. And it does make sense trying to focus on one small action in the hope it can then trigger re-gaining control of your body.

          I do agree with you about the demon theory. But if they did exist, they would presumably be getting their kicks not just from seeing you unable to move, but also from knowing you were terrified in many people’s cases. But yes, the fact that nobody ever reports any physical effects is a fairly good indicator that other than being scared, no harm can come to you.

          Thanks again for the practical tip

        • Olivia says:

          I’ve had two main hallucinations, with one small variance, since I was at least 15. They used to come almost nightly, unless I was sleeping at a friend or family members house. I feel, beforehand, it is important to say I am not a religious person.

          The first one is the original one, I started having this episode when I was around 15-16 and it continued on alternating with the second afterwards. I would wake at the same time in the early morning every time. I would be held spread eagle (I slept nude, so this was even more so alarming) by a small, grey demon at each wrist and ankle. I would then feel something I couldn’t see start pressing down on my chest making my breathing shallow, but not cutting off all air. I would eventually feel my eyes roll back and everything would black out. I would wake up with my alarm normally not sure of what had happened. I knew it was real because there was nothing dream-like about it, but I knew it couldn’t be because of what happened. The paranormal didn’t exist. This continued happening…

          The second SP episode started occurring at around 17. I was still waking up at the same time every morning, but I was starting to wake up on my stomach, with both hands behind my back and my legs spread with the same little demons at my ankles. The same thing would happen with my breathing too, and my eyes would eventually roll back and everything would black out. This hallucination became the predominant one at this point, very occasionally alternating with first.

          The first variance of this second EP, I would see my bedroom door open, and though I couldn’t see anything come in. I could feel something come in, it brought a heaviness to the room, then my door would close. This is when I would start blacking out. The second started happening about a month after that, the thing would now get on my bed (without moving me or the mattress) and I would feel it penetrate, then I would black. These three variances would alternate regularly, and the first EP would still come occasionally. My thighs were almost constantly bruised, the doctors thought it was anemia, but blood tests ruled it out. He told my mom I was probably self-harming (I wasn’t) and referred me to a psychologist, who, after evaluating me, told my mom there was no problems.

          These, of course prevented me from getting good rest, so I would end up sleeping through many classes and my grades were falling. I find it hard to fully believe either the paranormal or the scientific side. I feel like it has to be real, but I want to rationalize it at the same time. I can’t prove anything regarding the bruises, but if you start looking at different blogging websites (ex: tumbler, xanga, livejournal) you will see more people talking about physical effects.

          Sorry it’s so long winded, lol.

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi Olivia

            Thank you for sharing such personal and clearly quite disturbing experiences. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had to endure such unpleasant events, and at such a young age too.

            I know you suggest that stories of physical effects are common, and indeed they are. However, in my view they exist mainly on websites which attract true, and sometimes fanatical, believers in the paranormal. And these are not sites which I personally spend much time on.

            Did you ever get a sleep study done to rule out other sleep disorders? There are one or two, such as REM behavior disorder, where people are known to cause injury to themselves because they literally act out their dreams or nightmares because the brain fails to properly lock down the body. It’s not impossible for someone to have a nightmare about demons, thrash about in their bed and injure themselves, then wake up very confused about what actually happened.
            Whatever the case, your experiences sound very unpleasant, and I do hope for your sake that you can go on in life without having to endure any more.
            Best wishes

          • Hailey says:

            hello Oliva, I was looking through many stories and i would love to use your story in a project for my High school English class. Of course i would need your permission before i could post this in my paper. Do you mind if i site this and show your article.

  5. Raj says:

    I’ve had many episodes of SP as well though they have never been accompanied by any hallucinations. Its always an inability to move – as though you’ve lost your connection with your body and you feel compelled to try very hard to restore that connection by force of will. All this is very frightening when it happens and the terror doesn’t lessen even when you are somewhat aware (sort of in the periphery of consciousness) of what is happening. I’ve noticed that this occurs almost always only when I fall asleep in a state of deep sadness or depression. There appears to be some kind of inverse relationship between how upbeat you’re feeling at the time of falling asleep and the probability of an incidence of SP that night. Usually, I manage to slip out of the paralysis after a few moments of intense struggle. Another key characteristic appears to be this overwhelming seemingly unnatural sleepiness that appears to accompany SP along with a sense of foreboding that succumbing to the sleepiness will somehow be extremely detrimental.

    On the whole its a very unsettling experience and falling back asleep after you’ve had an episode is something you approach with dread.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Thanks for taking the time to share your sleep paralysis story Raj. That’s an interesting concept about SP being connected somehow to your mood. In general terms I could imagine that being in a low mood could somehow contribute to the negative manifestations that the mind comes up with. But I’ve yet to hear of any research connecting mood with likelihood of a sleep paralysis occurrence. However, if that’s what you’ve found happens in your circumstances then I hope you find a way to reduce how often you feel that level of sadness at night.

      You’re also right in it being very unsettling and difficult to sleep again afterwards. But it’s interesting that you feel you are able to shake it off, even if it does mean an intense struggle.

      Thanks again for adding this interesting insight into your personal sleep paralysis experiences.

    • Olivia says:

      @ Hailey Sorry for the late response, but if you still need it, you may use the story and article. :)

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Olivia
        I think you responded to the wrong person! You might have to search for them and write on their comment directly, if you want to of course. I am not able to move it internally for some annoying reason or other.

  6. Marshall says:

    I’m 19 and when I was 12 I would have these episodes happen randomly until I was 15. I haven’t had an episode of sleep paralysis since then until the other night. First off I will say there is no middle ground on this “argument” on what really is going on. From a scientific standpoint, for the most part religion and faith is kind of a silly thing. Not saying you can believe in the science view of it all and not be religious, just that the science world needs facts, it needs proof. Then the religious side is totally different. It all starts with the definition of faith, which is complete confidence and trust in something or someone. Meaning you don’t need proof to believe in what it is you believe in. In every sort of culture there are different religions and all the people in those religions have faith in their specific religion. That is where something like sleep paralysis gets very interesting because it is kinda hard to find a middle ground in this debate. I honestly don’t know which side I am on. Every episode I have had, has been a horrifying experience and I have found myself saying the Our Father, the Hail Mary and asking God for help and protection during each episode. I understand the scientific explanation of it all but for some odd reason I think it is more than that. Why? I honestly can’t give you an exact answer. Something about the experience just makes it feel as if it is more than just being awake consciously while your body is still in sleep mode. I have never seen any object or person during the episodes, I only hear voices in my head and some times even screaming. When I start to pray, usually these voices intensify more and more and then all of a sudden it stops. I actually did have one positive experience from this, which I don’t think is ever often. I was 14 and instead of hearing the usual scary voices and the feeling of an evil presence, I heard a woman. I couldn’t really understand what she was saying but her voice calmed me, her voice was beautiful and I didn’t want it to stop and I felt an overwhelming feeling of joy. I don’t tell anyone about that because I am sure they’d think I am nuts but I honestly thought it was the Blessed Mother. Do I know for fact it was? No. Would I like to think it was her, yes, but honestly I don’t know what that really was.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Marshall

      Thank you for sharing your sleep paralysis stories. I think you raise 2 interesting points. Firstly of there being no middle ground, which I agree with. My personal view is that sleep paralysis can be ‘adequately’ explained by science. Though I can understand why some people will find that hard to accept considering how vivid and real the experiences can feel.

      Secondly that you had what you describe as a positive sleep paralysis experience. This to my knowledge is indeed quite rare, so I’m grateful that you shared it here. It did make me wonder how many people many have had positive experiences but don’t do the same kind of research into it because it doesn’t upset them. Who knows – maybe many more people have had positive sleep paralysis episodes and just don’t feel the need to look into it for a comforting explanation!

      As for not talking about your sleep paralysis stories for fear of being branded ‘nuts’. I think that would probably depend on whether you are hearing voices outside of sleep paralysis episodes. During the normal waking hours of the day for example. But if you discuss your sleep paralysis experience with friends or family, you might be surprised to discover many people will know what you are talking about. At least on a experiential level anyway.

      Once again, thanks for sharing your interesting and thought-provoking ideas.

  7. Violeta Vega says:


    Thank you very much for posting about such an interesting topic about sleep paralysis. I have never experienced this, but I have heard many stories related to the “non scientific explanations” to this sleep disorder.

    Thank you again


  8. SP says:

    I knew it was of the demonic from the first time I had it. Also I had the same ‘symptoms’ when I was wide awake so I knew what I was dealing with. I have been helping people with SP for several years now. I never force my belief on people but I share my story and the majority of people I help no longer have SP. I just want to help people. Unfortunately there are people trying to make money for SP cures. All my advice and prayers are free and out of love. Christ was my cure. I’m SP free!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Thanks for your thoughts SP. It’s interesting that you appear to believe in the existence of sleep paralysis demons. I would be even more interested to know how you help people to the point that they no longer experience SP…

  9. SP says:

    Well most people that contact me recognise this as a spiritual demonic attack so this makes it easier to help people. We identify what demon is attacking the person then if the person chooses to stop whatever opened the door for this demon(s) we then can perform deliverance through prayer.
    Not always as simple as that but its always that process. But obviously most people reject the belief of demons and Christ etc. I have had people tell me to take my site down before!
    I dont push my belief on people. People contact me not me contact them. I always tell people to tell others the truth about SP after they have been delivered from it.

    • Ethan Green says:

      So you basically you perform some kind of religious ritual for people who believe that they are actually attacked by demons during episodes of sleep paralysis? That sounds straight out of a horror film to me!

  10. SP says:

    haha! No I wouldn’t say I perform any rituals! I just help them to pray. They pray for themselves for the deliverance.

    Sleep paralysis IS like something out of a horror movie!

    • Ethan Green says:

      I understand. It wouldn’t be my preferred way of dealing with sleep paralysis. But I can imagine it would provide comfort for some religiously minded people. Though I’m still not entirely convinced prayer can stop it altogether…

  11. Jodie says:

    Sleep paralysis has been a topic of intense interest for me since my first experience with it. I was 16 years old and visiting a friend in Canada after enduring a traumatic break-up of the dramatized teenage variety. My friend, who is a few years older than me, left her apartment to go to work. I fell asleep on her sofa to the sound of a strange French cartoon on TV, lying on my right side and facing the back of the couch. I am unsure whether I went into the SP state AS I was falling asleep or during REM sleep, but when I awoke the French cartoon was still playing. The characters’ voices took on a strange, dark quality and suddenly seemed menacing and malevolent. I realized that I couldn’t move and subsequently began to panic, violently trying to move my arms and legs. Had I not been paralyzed, I would have been madly flailing. My eyes were the only mobile part of my body. I tried to look behind me, towards the TV, by cutting my eyes to the left. I could see hints of shadowy figures moving about behind me, which instantly translated as the cartoon characters having broken free from the TV. I finally regained my body sometime later, after continuing to struggle, and basically threw myself off of the couch with a shriek. I immediately used her computer to search for my symptoms and became acquainted with the concept of SP for the first time.

    It’s happened several times since then, usually involving shadowy figures, strange voices and a sense of impending doom. Although I was sleeping on my side during my first experience, every event since then has occurred while sleeping on my back. I absolutely believe that there is a connection there. In fact, if I fall asleep on my back I am guaranteed to have sleep paralysis.

    I am not a religious person, although I do believe in a spiritual realm. As far as SP goes, the REM interruption theory makes perfect sense to me. I think the hallucinations and eerie atmosphere surrounding SP simply comes from having one foot in the waking world and one in reality. These two opposite states of consciousness, which are not meant to mesh, converge, creating an otherworldly feel.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jodie

      Thank you so much for so eloquently sharing your sleep paralysis stories. I have never heard of an experience quite like yours, so it makes an interesting addition to the on-going discussion.

      It makes sense that experiencing sleep paralysis in an unfamiliar setting could then ‘borrow’ from the surrounding, such as the cartoon characters coming to life. And it sounds like a Japanese horror film with characters emerging from the television! Except that in your case they were French…

      Your theory of it happening when on your back struck a chord with me. This is because I’ve personally noticed that when I sleep on my back I more often experience hypnic jerks. I’m not aware of any research into the connection between sleeping positions and experiences like yours, but will have to do some digging around.

      And your description of sleep paralysis coming from having one foot in each world is a great description – couldn’t have put it better myself:-)

      Thanks again.

  12. Vick says:

    I’m barely 18 and I’m already having this problem. I sleep in the supine position. I first experienced this attack several years ago. I felt like I was being suffocated. I couldn’t breath or move. I tried to scream but I couldn’t.

    I didn’t have any hallucinations. I was just really scared since one moment I had been sleeping then the next I felt that terrible great weight on me. I started praying and in moments I felt it lifted off me. I had forgotten about that till now. The attacks returned. I was alone in my house sitting up against my beds headboard I was sleeping but then something told me to wake up I felt that weight on and suddenly I began to pray and it was gone before I prayed.

    After the attacks became more frequent but when I was laying down. I tried sleeping on my side but I still felt the weight near my chest. It’s a truly horrible feeling. I haven’t had any hallucinations but still being awake and feeling totally paralyzed is horrible.

    I have this great insomnia now since every time I try to fall asleep I feel it. I’m tired of not sleeping and I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried praying and I prayed and I slept like a baby but now I’m just uneasy and can’t sleep at all.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Vick

      It sounds like you are being hit quite hard by sleep paralysis, sorry to hear that. You kind of hint that you experience it every time you try to sleep. That’s quite unusual, so I’m not surprised it’s causing you insomnia now.

      It seems like you may have gotten yourself into a vicious cycle now as well. You started experiencing sleep paralysis more regularly, which then understandably led to you not sleeping well. But now the fear of experiencing sleep paralysis is in itself the reason you can’t sleep.

      I can only offer two suggestions really. One is to visit your doctor if you are able to. If you do have it every night and it’s causing you to lose a lot of sleep, they may offer a way to look into your sleep more closely. Maybe even offer to send you to a sleep clinic if they exist where you are.

      Otherwise I can only suggest finding some ways to relax before going to sleep. Doing relaxation exercises can help take your mind off the worry about it happening. If you’re lucky it may even help ease the frequency of sleep paralysis.

  13. Jodie says:

    Thanks for your reply. :) I forgot to mention that, in addition to sleep position, Sleep paralysis seems to happen to me exclusively during naps (never during regular sleeping times). It doesn’t matter if it is during the day or night, if I am only lying down to sleep for a few hours my nap will likely end in either SP or what I call “false awakenings”. For the last several years, in fact, I have only experienced the false awakenings. This actually happened to me just now, hence my return to your article. I still feel uneasy, unsure whether I am truly awake.

    The false awakenings seem to be related to sleep paralysis, sometimes even leading to it. It always begins with a dream that becomes very disturbing.

    (EDIT – sorry Jodie I had to cut out the dream example as it was a little too long to include in a comment)

    Now that I know what’s happening, I get a little frantic. I repeatedly push the covers off of me. For brief moments, they appear to have moved and I think I’ve broken free only to, seconds later, find the quilt untouched once more. I don’t really go back into a full dream state and don’t really go into sleep paralysis. It feels like being perpetually caught in the exact moment of waking. It’s not that I can’t move, it’s that I think I’m moving but am not. I don’t want to allow myself to fall back to sleep because I know I’ll end up having a continuation of the same creepy dream (and I’ll probably truly think I’ve woken up and am doing normal, everyday tasks for half of it).

    Eventually, by making sudden, exaggerated arm movements, I snap myself out of it and really wake up. In the past, I’ve had dreams that I have falsely awoken from several times before actually waking up. It can be pretty terrifying! It bears a lot of similarities to sleep paralysis. Has this ever happened to you?

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hello again Jodie

      First of all I apologize for editing out the dream example. It was very interesting, and definitely a creepy dream! But it made the comment a little too long. And now you’ve have single-handedly made me wonder if I should start a forum section of this website for sleep paralysis!

      Anyway the main point you are making is about the confusion between semi-awakenings and sleep paralysis. I have had that happen to me once or twice. Thinking I am awake when in fact I’m still within the dream. Sounds a little like the film ‘Inception’ doesn’t it?!

      But I have never had the experience of several false awakenings within the one dream. That sounds quite disturbing indeed. I don’t really have an answer for you on that one. Some people just have more vivid and non-linear dreams than others, and it may be something you just have to deal with as best you can.

      I’m sure people who are really into dreams would have some thoughts on the matter. You may even find it helpful to head over to a dream forum, of which there are many, and see what people think about your Groundhog day awakenings…

      Once again thanks for sharing your story, and sorry for the cruel edit;-)

    • David says:

      Your ‘false awakenings’ resonate SO strongly with me. During certain naps where I am repeatedly trying to nod back off to sleep and I keep having SP episodes, I am often anticipating another one and I want to wake myself up. Because I am thinking in this way, my mind creates ‘false awakenings’ where I think I am awake and it is only when I actually DO wake up that I realise that I was dreaming. Is this anticipation of an oncoming SP episode ever a trigger for your false awakenings?

  14. Jodie says:

    Haha, sorry, I have always had a habit of being a bit too descriptive. Thanks for letting me take part in this discussion. :)

  15. Vick says:

    Thank you for your advice. I’ve decided to accept the scientific explanation for this but I still can’t sleep. Every time I wake up or try to fall asleep I start experiencing this paralysis. Thanks for the advice I guess I’ll do some yoga or something.

  16. Nick says:

    I’m a sufferer of this since I was a kid and just had the latest episode yesterday. It has always almost been accompanied with terror, normally the presence of shadow somewhere in the room, sometime on top of me or behind my back. Sometime the terror was more intense than usual.

    For me, it so far happened when my body was too tired but I had a lot of stress / a lot of things in my mind. So my own theory is, that it happens when my body comes to the states when it shuts down, but my mind has not. And for me, the only way to get rid of the episodes is by forcing myself to wake up from the episode then changing my sleeping position. Simply breaking the episode and going back to sleep in the exact same position will almost always to make the SP reoccurs straight away.

    Hope this can add a good insight on your study on SP! :)

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Nick

      Thanks for sharing your sleep paralysis story, and you do raise a couple of interesting points. I agree that changing position might help to reduce the possibility of a back-to-back episode. I have that with hypnic jerks for example as well for some reason; if I change position, they tend to stop.

      And yes, I think you’re right that if the body has shut down but the mind is still active, SP is more likely to happen, especially as you mention if you are feeling stressed at the time.

      It’s good that you have the ability to force yourself to break out of it, so to speak. Perhaps just knowing that changing position will help adds to your ability to fight it. You’re maybe not left as helpless and confused as some people are who have no idea what can help them!

      Thanks again for sharing:-)

    • Scared says:

      Hello, I was just wondering what this SP was. My friend had it a couple of days ago at our sleepover, she woke me up shaking me and saying: there is a robber! There is a robber! That scared my to death, I am crying right now while I’m typing this. I am really scared now, I may not go to sleep at all tonight!

      • Ethan Green says:


        I can imagine that that must have been very scary for you. Assuming there wasn’t a robber, it could have been sleep paralysis, or even just waking up from a dream and being very confused and still thinking the dream is real. My advice is not to worry about it too much if you can, talk to your friend about it openly, try to see the funny side of it (if that’s possible!), and if it happens again perhaps ask your friend to talk to a doctor about it.
        But you should probably try and forget about it for now and get some sleep yourself. There’s no point losing sleep over it, especially if it was only a one-off. And now at least you know that probably if it happens again, there isn’t a robber!
        All the best

  17. Jennie says:

    I have struggled with this since I can remember. It is nice to know I’m not alone or childish. My question is have you experienced any of these same feelings while not at all in a dream state. I sometimes find myself in this same predicament just being in the dark. I have also found that sleeping with a light on reduces, though not stops, the episodes (though sadly not conducive to good sleep.)

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jennie

      You’re definitely neither alone nor childish. Sometimes knowing that others experience something similar is comforting, even if it doesn’t stop the problem.

      I can’t say I’ve experienced anything like SP whilst awake and in the dark. Do you mean whilst in bed awake, or just being in a dark place but not lying down?

      And your idea of the light is really interesting. I’ve never thought of that before, but it does make sense that it might help if you do experience an episode. It also reminds me of another article I wrote a while back based on some research that found a large number of adult insomniacs actually suffer from fear of the dark.

      It would be very interesting to know if there is any connection between that and sleep paralysis also. Maybe look into getting one of those dimly glowing kid’s nightlights if you like to have a light on but find it keeps you awake.

      Thanks for leaving your comment and suggesting an interesting way to deal with sleep paralysis. I hope someone else reads your suggestion and gives it a go to see if it helps.

  18. Jake2726 says:

    I have never had a lucid dream or sleep paralysis can you help tell me what it’s like?

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jake

      If you read through all the other comments here, you should get a pretty good idea of what sleep paralysis is like! And lucid dreaming is not really something I can talk about with much authority. If you do a search online you can find lots of interesting websites which deal specifically with lucid dreaming.

  19. Jennie says:

    Thank you for your reply. You are correct that just knowing there are others, many others, does help. I feel bad for those who suffer, but I no longer feel as if I’m abnormal.
    That article about fear of the dark phobia was interesting and true to life almost as if they had a camera in my house. I’ve found in my case that the worst and best times of phobia and the number of sleep paralysis episodes coincide.
    I’ve found the light helps in that being able to see clearly and no shadows prevents the fear from becoming intense and leaves a slightly panicky extreme alertness but no terror. Really intense times I turn on the main light, but other times a night light or fish tank light work great.
    Again, I thank you for posting this. I thank everyone who has replied. I sincerely hope that as time goes on we all will experience this less and less!!!!!

  20. Jennie says:

    Hi again,

    I just reread and realized I didn’t answer your question. In any dark place I feel slight paranoia. But, if I am confined in a dark place at night, whether in bed or not, it is like experiencing my own private horror movie. The phobia and sleep paralysis seem to feed each other. Being already panicky lends to more episodes. An episode increases the phobia.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Yes I can well imagine your phobia and sleep paralysis being interconnected. If the phobia is that strong, perhaps at some point you might find it helpful to talk to someone about it to see if anything can be done to reduce it:-)

  21. George says:

    Hi, I came here looking for an explanation about what happened to me last night, and it seems like it fits. Anyways, I couldn’t fall asleep cuz I was having this really weird anxiety, which I almost never have, the kind of anxiety where you actually feel some kind of pressure on your chest. After hours of rolling around on the bed, I ended up face up, and I closed my eyes. After a few seconds I had that feeling people sometimes get when you feel like you’re falling out of bed, but this felt stranger somehow, like I was being dragged out of bed by no one, so I opened my eyes and stared at the ceiling for a moment. After a few seconds I started hearing some children laughing and at first I thought nothing of it, but then I realized the sound was coming from my headboard, and I turned to see what was making that sound and it was really dark so I couldn’t make out the figure very well but it looked like a gargoyle, and it was moving its mouth. I tried to scream but all I could manage was some sort of slurred speech and I couldn’t move my arms and legs, so I started struggling with the paralysis while turning my head to look from the thing to look at my arms to concentrate and try to move them. After a few seconds I managed to do this. And then I was just lying on my bed thinking about what happened, and I had read something about this experiences so I thought that that was what it was.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi George

      That sound like a very unpleasantly intense experience indeed! Whether it was sleep paralysis or not isn’t exactly clear, but it certainly has some of the key features. What is strange is that you were able to turn your head but not move your arms or legs.

      I can’t help but wonder whether there’s an element of anxiety, panic and general tiredness involved in your particular circumstances. Whatever the case I think you might benefit from finding a way to relax if it happens again instead of torturing yourself by lying in bed awake for hours!

      It’s always a good idea to get out of bed and do something relaxing and calming for a while if you can’t fall asleep after 20-30 minutes. If you find yourself in that situation of tossing and turning for hours, give that a go:-)

      Thanks taking the time to share your story and I hope it was a one off!

      • Ri says:

        I’ve read a lot that the figures people see were about 3 ft tall gargoyle looking things. So I looked more into it and in ancient times they believed that this was a sleep demon and there are hundreds of old paintings of this demon and surprise, every single figure in the painting looks exactly like how people on this discussion page describe it to look like. I don’t think this has anything to do with science. I’m not saying I believe in ancient gods, goddesses, or demons. But if I did, this would be my window into believing that.

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi again Ri,

          Try not to get too caught up in the demon side of things would be my advice. Having read every comment here in detail, and many more across the internet, I’m pretty convinced that people describe very different things, even if there are sometimes some similarities. Of course it’s your choice what to believe, but my advice would be that the scientific explanation will help you sleep easier at night:-)

  22. George says:

    Thank you, yea I thought that was weird too (the being able to turn my head part) but I don’t know, perhaps it was part of the “dream” or whatever or maybe I wasn’t fully paralyzed since I remember struggling to move my arms and legs and kind of being able to shake em a little bit at first, but when I finally did it it didn’t seem like I was waking up, it all seemed so vivid somehow. Anyways, thank you for your time, and I will follow your advice about doing something relaxing next time I can’t sleep right away! Good thing this is the first time it happens to me and I hope it’s my last.

  23. porsha says:

    I have been experiencing this since I was 11. It gets worse every year and now I’m 23. when it first happened it was something slight like I just couldn’t move my body and then I start hearing noises like kids playing, loud buzzing noises,and also demonic noises. now I also feel pressure and also hear it walking around my room getting in my face laughing. It’s very scary to me. I want to believe the scientific way, but the things that are happening to me while I’m sleeping just can’t be fine to say it’s scientific. Something is trying to get me while I’m sleep. this morning around 4 AM I fell asleep on my stomach and I feel something open the door with fast force and pressure come to my face and make weird demon noise, and demonic laughing. then I felt the force leave. I started to pray and tried to move, eventually I woke up… Some tips that have helped eliminate this a little is to sleep with a blanket over your face and on sleep your stomach.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Porsha

      Thanks for sharing your experience of sleep paralysis. The demonic aspect to your experiences sounds scary indeed, and I hope you manage to reduce it even further. I’m not sure about sleeping with a blanket on your face as being advice I would want to give everyone though!


  24. Linda says:

    I had SP three times around 2 years ago. I wanted to let you guys know what I did the last time I experienced SP. I woke up in bed with the bed covers moving as if someone was crawling up to me inside my bed, then I felt a presence next to me like someone was breathing on my face on the left side (all 3 times the presence was on the left side of me, don’t know if this happens to everyone) anyway I said in my head i’m in control and i’m not frightened of you so —- off, and it did, never had it again after that time. Everyone has their own opinions of what this is, I was going through a bad time with depression, and a lot of people who have this say the same, their also anxious and stressed. They say Meditation and diet, have also been very helpful. good luck

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Linda

      Thanks for adding your version of sleep paralysis. That sounds straight out of a horror film and very frightening. But it also sounds like you took it in your stride and had some impressive mental strength to deal with it that way. Good on you!

      Yes, the stress factor does crop up time and time again. That’s why something like meditation could be helpful, for some people, as you rightly point out.


  25. Gina says:


    My sleep paralysis episodes just seem to grow increasingly worse the older I get. Here is my story:

    I am a life long suffer of SP but have never sought treatment for it because for one, I thought nobody would understand what was going on and I didn’t even know how to begin explaining what was happening. I found it difficult to describe and didn’t want it to be misinterpreted as being all “in my head”…

    …I know people wouldn’t share my same views and I don’t expect them to. But those of us who go to bed at night and experience this type of thing are desperate for help. Not something that might help, or could possibly help, but something that DOES help.

    I certainly appreciate you advice. I am hoping to find something a little more reliable or at least consistent. I have PTSD as a result of some of the more severe episodes and I am prescribed ativan for that, but it’s for my PTSD symptoms and has no affect on the the severity of my SP episodes or the number of occurrences.

    There are no triggers that I can pinpoint directly to when I have SP. I don’t drink alcohol or do any drugs, so that’s not a contributing factor. It just comes and goes. The only thing consistent about it, is that it seems to come in age cycles (17-20, mid-to-late 20’s, 31-35, late 30’s to early 40’s) there are huge gaps spanning between the age cycles where they are virtually absent. I feel that either my body/brain lacks this certain chemical or not. Why would it arbitrarily stop producing it at certain times, and then just arbitrarily start again? If I lack the chemical that “un-paralyzes” my body out of REM sleep, then shouldn’t I be lacking it all the time? If not, can’t doctors find out what is causing my body to stop producing it and pinpoint when this occurs, and then find something that can produce the same chemical or a substitute of some kind that I can take during the cycles that my body lacks it?

    I don’t even know how or where to start, but when have many scientists and doctors in this country to where I feel they should at least figure this out. It does merit at least some kind of solution.

    I hope you don’t think I am being unreasonable or harsh in any way. If I seem upset at all, it is not directed at you or anybody else, other than those who are qualified individuals in this area who possess the credentials to look into it further, but have not. I don’t even know how to go about contacting a place who could do clinical trials. I know a ton of sleep studies have been conducted, but that’s as far as it goes. What good is a study if they provide no solutions.

    I wish I would have started this crusade a long time ago!

    Any tips or suggestions you may have for me are greatly appreciate your time, I know it’s valuable, and I apologize

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Gina

      I’m very sorry but I had to do a massive edit on your comment. I feel terrible after you obviously spent a long, long time writing it. But that comment, along with your next comment comes to 6700 words in total (I was so amazed, I had to do a word count). This is nearly 3 times longer than the original article so there is just no way I can keep it in.

      I did, however, read both of your comments in full and they were very interesting. I deleted the story and kept 2 main points to reply to.

      Firstly I personally think you could probably try talking to a professional about it. If it has troubled you your whole life, then you could always talk to your doctor. You could maybe tell them you know it’s sleep paralysis, but just want some support from them. Hopefully they won’t judge you or make you feel silly for bringing it up.

      Secondly you are not the only one who wishes that someone, somewhere, would try to find a solution for it. So I wanted to let you know that there is nothing particularly wrong with wishing that researchers had put more time or energy into finding a solution for people. Whether they do or not one day obviously remains to be seen. But in the meantime, I think many people who experience this regularly would wish more was done to investigate it.

      I will now go and edit your next comment as well.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this story, and I’m sorry for the edit, and that I also don’t have any great answers for you…


  26. Gina says:


    And last but not least, hypnic jerks (or however it’s spelled) have joined in which feel like epileptic seizures! And i don’t even have to be falling asleep, it seems that they appear at the slightest onset of mere resting with my eyes closed! It’s ridiculous!
    The jerking turns into violent shakes, it feels just like i’m having a seizure. I am not sure what all this stuff is but it is VERY disheartening and causes major panic and fear. It is SO disturbing, it ALL is. I don’t know what triggers it and the inconsistent sporadic cycle patterns are so arbitrary I can’t even prepare myself.

    Since nobody seems to have any answers or cures, I am looking into getting a trained service dog that is trained to sense when i’m having an episode and either alert me to one coming on or to gently nudge me to bring me out of one. I figure if they can train dogs to do this kind of thing for seizures, why not SP? Its the only thing i can think of that would be affective in nipping them in the bud. It may not be a cure or a preventative measure, but it’s better than the alternative, which is battling the thing several times a night to the point of exhaustion. At least i would feel safe knowing i have a “body guard” while i sleep and that is very reassuring to me. Now i just need to find out how to go about getting one. If you happen to know, please share that information with me, if you will. Thank you

    • Ethan Green says:


      As I said before, I had to edit this second comment also. Sorry about that.

      I left this part in because it’s an interesting idea. I have not heard of a dog being trained for this particular purpose, so maybe someone else who reads these comments, if anyone does, might have an idea.

      But you would need to explain why you require such a dog as service dogs are not given to people lightly, and that would mean explaining your story in full. Which, to be honest, is something I think might be a good idea for you to do anyway. Hypnic jerks are not really violent seizures which happen when you just rest your eyes. So it might be a good idea to get yourself checked out by a medical professional.

      Thanks again for the time and effort you put into writing these comments. Despite editing them ruthlessly, I can assure you that they were read in full.

      One suggestions is that you are welcome to write another comment which is maybe two or three hundred words maximum summarizing everything you personally feel is important. I would then delete these two and put that one in instead. At least then you would have a permanent comment of what you thought was most important rather than me.


  27. Lydia says:

    Hi, I’m a 15 year old girl, I’m not a Christian, and I don’t believe in ghosts or demons, ect. I first experienced sleep paralysis when I was 14 nearly 15, I had this sudden sensation all over my body when I was trying to go to sleep. The next thing that happened was that I felt that I couldn’t move and I also couldn’t speak, then the silhoutte of a man came into my room, and I had the sensation I was being dragged out of bed. When this experienced stopped I was still in bed, yet the whole thing seemed to real. That was the first episode I had. At this point I did not know what sleep paralysis was, and I presumed it was a bad dream. The same thing happened to me again every couple of months, however sometimes the episode would end before he started to drag me across my floor. Although every time there was an intruder. However at this point I still thought it was a reaccuring nightmare. Recently I have had these episodes every single night for 5 nights in a row. I can feel when they’re going to happen as I regonise the feeling before I am asleep, yet there is nothing I can do about it. It really terrifies me and makes me unable to sleep as I am so scared. Not only till today did I find out what sleep paralysis was, and all of my symptoms seem to match up. I was just wondering if anyone had any help or advice as it is making me really tired the next day due to lack of sleep.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Lydia

      Wow, yet another very scary sounding sleep paralysis story. I’m sure they are sounding more and more frightening as people share their experiences in these comments!

      I’m not surprised you are feeling tired. Presumably you’re not sleeping much because of worrying that you’ll have another ‘episode’. There is no evidence for what I’m about to suggest helping, but you could always try it.

      If you’ve developed a worry that the same thing will happen, perhaps make some external changes to the environment. Make a few small changes to your sleeping environment and see if that helps break the cycle of everything being the same. You might also find it helpful to do some relaxation exercises just before you go to bed, or even once you are in bed.

      If they continue and you can’t stop it, perhaps talk to someone about it – even if it’s just friends or family, or your doctor. They may be able to give you some reassurance and help stop the feeling of dread that you might have before going to bed.

      Good luck with it and I hope it calms down for you soon.

  28. Emily says:

    I’m 19 and my first experience of SP occurred when I was 18. It was after a night out drinking and I thought that maybe my drink had been spiked. It was a terrifying ordeal. I went to bed after sobering up and I felt myself lose control of my body. It went all fuzzy and my chest got heavy. I saw a hooded figure in the corner of my room and this caused me to panic. I heard loud footsteps and then a car revving over and over. I then blinked but the figure seemed to get closer and closer. I’m unsure of how long it lasted because at the time it felt like a lifetime. I was so scared I made my sister sleep in my bed for a week.
    I researched and discovered its a common thing so this eased my worries a little. It happened again a few weeks later and this time it was when I was falling back asleep for a sleep in one morning. This time I saw a figure on my chest and could not breathe properly. I heard it breathing it then screamed and left. It’s happened a few times since then but not as severe. If I feel myself going into SP I sometimes can force myself to wake up properly.
    I am sceptical about paranormal stuff but it’s hard not to believe it when there’s something sitting on your chest.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Emily

      Thanks for sharing your sleep paralysis stories, and like so many other people you’ve commented here, it sounds very frightening. It’s good that you can sometimes snap yourself out of it if you feel SP coming on, if only it was possible all the time!

      And I think you’re not alone in struggling with the conflict of not really believing in the supernatural, but then having what feels like solid evidence for something inexplicable existing. That’s where I think it comes down to personal choice in what to believe, and then the mental strength to keep remininding yourself that you don’t believe anything terrible is, or is going, to happen.

      Take care and I hope you manage to develop an ability to break out of any sleep paralysis every time:-)

  29. lucas burroughs says:

    Wow a guy at work mentioned SP to me the other day when I described my episodes from 2004 to 2006. I won’t get into it other than for about 2 or 3 years can describe an uncanny resemblance to what other people who left a comment on the site describe as a dark hooded figure and terrifying noises. It scared me so bad I did not like to sleep in the dark. Hell I even slept with my gun after the first couple episodes but soon realized it would do me no good. I lived in my condo and anywhere I fell asleep inside it could happen. When I met a girl I would fall asleep at her place and have no problems at all. I loved sleeping over there with my guard down. We both decided to move into my condo together. I actually was nervous as hell to go back. I would have nightmares (real ones not SP versions) at her place regarding the thing I thought resided in mine. I am not a religious person either. When we moved back in the condo nothing ever happened again and believe me I was nervous. I just kept waiting for stuff to hit the fan but it never did. I did feel more at ease when I moved back. Maybe one reason is we had gotten a Labrador pup and he was already big by the time we moved back. During the first week of moving back the dog alerted to something where the wall and ceiling meet. He barked and growled as he followed what seemed like an invisible insect down the wall. He followed something to a point as if he pushed it to the edge of the building and that was that.

    Well I do not live there anymore but when I sleep that dog is still close by. I obviously felt like a crackpot telling anyone about it. I was just glad it stopped. I wish I could tell your readers what to do to stop this but cannot. I was 28 to 30 years old at the time and not afraid of a whole lot. But the stories shared on this website are all too familiar to me. It makes me nervous thinking about it. I have a strong bond with my dog. I always kind of thought he took care of it. I would not discount prayer though but I never participated in it.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Lucas

      Thanks for taking the time to share your sleep paralysis stories with us. It’s interesting that you mention your dog as a previous commentator was wondering if there were trained dogs to help with sleep paralysis. Even though I’m pretty sure there aren’t and that such a thing would not be possible, it’s funny that your story involves feeling like your dog was somehow helping.

      Perhaps it’s just the extra feeling of security and comfort that a loyal guardian like a dog can bring to people when they sleep. I know when I was a kid I always slept better when our family dog decided to sneak into my room.

      It would certainly work well with the common theory that being relaxed and less stressed can help with sleep paralysis.

      Anyway I’m pleased to hear that your sleep paralysis is in the past now, and I hope it stays that way for you:-)


  30. Nathan says:

    Where to start…

    I have had SP happen since a small child. i am now 32. i smoked pot since i was 14 regularly, and now that i have quit smoking, my Sp is back.

    additionally, it happened to me every night around age 8 when I was instructed by a doctor to take antibiotics 3 times a day, one of the times at night (due to returning strep throat)

    in these particular situations, i would have no body, only consciousness, and be in a void seeing flashing lasers, flaming skulls flying , spirits and such, accompanied by screaming and a slew of other freaky sounds. i told my mother about it and she told me to stop taking the antibiotics before sleeping. those particular experiences stopped after that, but I still had normal episodes of sleep SP as the years went on.

    at age 16, i had one terrible night where SP returned after a long break. this was the first time i had ever had the convulsing, electrical shakes that can come with SP. this occasion, it felt like an ice cold hand gripped around my heart. it shook me so badly that that night is forever burned into my mind. i kept shaking it away and having the exact same sensation return (the hand on my heart, squeezing). sometime later it stopped happening for a while (a few years).

    i used to write lyrics a lot and at age 21 i began incorporating many dark, macabre topics, some of which inspired by my SP as a child. soon after, i began having SP again and even out of body experiences (next level stuff). they tended to be dark experiences. the convulsing returned, the tingling electrical feelings and the hand as well (all at the same time of course). at times, these led to lucid dreams where i could ride out the SP for a while and then use it to walk around my room in an altered reality.

    once in that time period, i was snapped back from my lucidity to being trapped on the bed, floating in a void, with the sensation of a young child running circles around my bed repeating “don’t play with needles’. i had a 3 year old nephew at the time and interpreted it as a warning to relay to my sister and parents in regards to my nephew. thankfully, nothing even occurred with my nephew and needles. ( i can’t say or not if i feel it was really a warning or not, but i had to be sure)

    i began experimenting with SP in those days. I have had experiences that i will not delve too deep into, but i have even been spoken to by voices that seemed god-like, telling me that i was ‘chosen’. weird huh? (possibly I’m just seriously delusional). for instance, i have been bodiless in a void witnessing an immense shade in the form of a horned and tailed shadow with its arms shackled to a wheel looked to be made of yellow and red stained glass, with a non-malevolent, non-benevolent but intense voice tell me that i will be responsible for releasing the shade on existence, releasing it from its cage. (seriously, I’m not making this up)
    the experience occurred as a SP, led to a strange lucid dream, then the void with the shackled shadow, then back to SP in my bed with the voice still speaking to me. (well, i guess i DID delve deep into that one)

    i have had light from different windows in the room shape shift until they become bulbous bright eyes staring at me.

    at age 22 , while sleeping over at my girlfriend’s house (at the time a new relationship, now 10 years and counting) I had a very odd experience with SP. while she was cuddling next to me the SP triggered. while she was being sweet and kind in reality, on the ‘astral’ side of things i had a shadow in my face shaking me and cackling like a witch inside my head (very loud and maniacal). it was very scary as the witch’s projection of torment coincided with perfect polarity to how my girlfriend was cuddling with me (such opposite occurrences at the same time. odd stuff)

    i started taking massive amounts of sleeping pills in those days, and they triggered many lucid dreams, some that were more like music videos than SP experiences.

    (like seeing a film crew in the desert make a fake news cast of occurrences detailed in revelations in an attempt to fool mankind, while heavy metal music is playing all around me. like literally making stop go clay motion with red dragons and such. seriously? )

    i have seen demon fairy looking bugs float into my room during SP, go inside my ear and trigger the actual shaking convulsing sensations. one in particular felt like my head was an empty space with the bug bouncing around like a ping-pong ball, and my head shaking in reaction)

    I’ve seen shadows and vivid people stand over me, heard screaming and even babies crying (yikes!). the latest freaky sounds were a malicious swarm of chirping incests in my right ear.

    during one occasion (age 22), i was staying with my parents and sleeping in my old room that at the time was my my dad’s computer room. he was on the computer while i napped and went into SP, then an OBE. while in the SP, i heard about 5 different family members talking about their problems all at the same time. my mom was talking to my cousin’s wife about drama my cousin was presently facing, my sister was crying and so on. i was later (same episode) floating around my room in an OBE and looking at my dad at different angles from the corner of the room. my dad’s voice spoke in my head “have you found the lost fool?” or something close to that, and i woke up after hearing it. my dad of course, was just on the computer like normal and when i got up he just apologized for waking me, with no idea of course about what i just experienced.

    OK. i will stop here with the detailed experiences and just say that i was never raised religious, but developed a deep interest in religious matters in my youth due to these experiences (among other dreams, not SP related), though i never considered myself part of any religion.

    despite everything i just wrote, as an adult, i prefer to believe that all of this is just chemical and psychological. as stated , I am now 32 and would rather believe that I am just severely imbalanced than think that these experiences are the result of paranormal forces (though i have many equally strange experiences not related to SP, that i choose not to speak of here as i feel it is out of context)

    that said. i am still looking for answers, but don’t expect to find any.

    i just snapped out of a SP before finding this website. i literally thought i would die of a heart attack or brain hemorrhage due to the feelings in my heart and brain.

    i would not have even bothered posting this, but i noticed that the dates are recent and I could not resist.
    i could literally write a book on this stuff, as I barely skimmed the iceberg of my experiences, though i DID detail above some of those that stuck with me the hardest.

    in closing, i would just like to state that i take this all very serious and would never make any of this up. many people that i used to randomly talk to about these things either thought i was crazy or a liar, and since my mid-twenties, i only tell the people that know me well enough to not look at me in that fashion.

    I thank anyone for taking the time to read through this madness. and I’ll be checking back here , as this is one of the better webpages i have found with SP discussions.

    ty again.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Nathan

      Wow, what a story! Thank you for taking the time to share such personal events. You’re now the third person to leave such a huge comment, and I think I’ve just cracked in terms of feeling bad about editing down people’s comments. If it carries on like this I’m going to have to pay for extra server space just to accommodate the comments on this one article;-)

      Back to your story though, and I do believe that you have experienced what you say you have. As you can see from other people’s sleep paralysis stories, the variety and intensity of the experiences that different people have is amazing.

      What you describe does seem to touch on other things as well, and I’m not sure if all of it can be put down purely to sleep paralysis. But I think you recognize and point that out yourself also. To be honest though I think it’s sometimes really hard to tell the difference, even between something like SP or a plain bad dream for example. Your story is certainly complex – for example the one with your girlfriend at 22, and then the OBE with your 5 family members.

      On the other hand it’s not the first comment that describes a complex case of SP. The 7000 word one which I had to edit out was also very different and went beyond the usual demon on the chest or spirit in the room story.

      I like that you managed to tap into the possibility of using lucid dreaming as a tool to deal with things like sleep paralysis. That’s great, and really interesting.

      You’re also not the first person to say you’re still looking for answers. I hope you find them, or at least settle on an answer which you can accept the most.

      Thanks again for the comment, and the compliment about the webpage.


  31. Nathan says:

    sorry for all the spelling/grammar errors above.

  32. Nathan says:

    Yes, I agree that at times it is hard to tell the difference between SP and vivid nightmares, but I have found that if I don’t snap myself out of SP,(which I learned how to do at a young age by simply jerking a shoulder/head or even twitching my finger)that the SP can develop into other ‘states of mind’ such as OBE’s, lucid dreaming, or even just bizarre nightmares. It is when my curiosity tries to ‘ride out the wave’ when things go utterly insane.

    what I find odd about all the one’s I mentioned above is that they begin with SP, go in some other direction, and lead back to SP before waking. also, worth mentioning is that my intense experiences are hypnagogic more than hypnopompic, though I am very familiar with both.

    again, thanks for reading and double thanks for inciting such an interesting subject without all the ‘mumbo jumbo’ popular in other articles of the same topics. no one wants to be told that they are ‘possessed’ no matter their spiritual views.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hello again Nathan:-)

      That’s really interesting that you essentially are in a position where you have a choice. You can either snap out of it or decide to go with it and see what happens. That’s a remarkable position to feel confident about being in, considering many people experience sleep paralysis and just want the terror they experience to end.

      It’s making me wonder how less frightening sleep paralysis would seem to me if I felt that I had a choice. But I think the feeling that you don’t have a choice is one of the key factors that makes it sleep paralysis.

      I’m glad you appreciated the article. I’m not a big fan of mumbo jumbo as you call it, though do like to cover all perspectives. And I enjoy reading stories comments like yours. I should really create a forum for this topic!


  33. Brittney says:

    I’m glad to have found this forum! I have been getting Sleep parlysis for a long time now (not 100% sure when they started exactly, I just know for a while). They happen every couple months or so. I always experience the same exact scenario. My husband and I’s bedroom is upstairs and he leaves at 4:30 in the morning, so I have another 2.5 hours before having to get up myself. Since we are upstairs, one of my biggest fears is a break in. So naturally, I experience the “intruder”. The dream is so vivid that I can hear the “intruder” pounding up the stairs, the squeaks of the steps, the footsteps across the other room (our upstairs is just a very large room divided into two, so there is a loft first, then bedroom), the squeak of the old doorknob into my room, and right before the “intruder” enters, I wake up. That was my last event. Other times are less intense and I can simply sense the “intruder” on the other side of the door. Some do not seem to be terrifying at all, and are just my two cats playing in my room, which always confuses me more then anything because kitties are not allowed in the bedroom, and then I wake up, alone of course.

    I’ve been suffering from anxiety and depression since I was a kid, but do not take any type of medication. I learned to self medicate with hobbies and exercise. I took meds while in middle school/highschool and made the decision I was not going to take meds anymore! I take 3mg of melatonin (Vitafusion sleep gummies actually) to sleep and have not experienced SPs since I’ve started taking these. Before, I was taking Midnight (meltaway sleep tabs), and not only did these eventually cause an onset of frequent migraines but more frequent SPs.

    I thought I was the only one for a long time, turns out everyone in my family experiences them occasionally. They are more common then I thought! Thanks for reading.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Brittney

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your own stories of sleep paralysis. I think it’s a great example of the classic sleep paralysis intruder theme, though obviously not so great for you and sometimes quite frightening.

      It’s interesting that you’ve noticed how different medication can affect the occurrence of SP or not, if it was indeed that and not something else that you didn’t realise. It can be tricky to isolate things sometimes.

      And you’re definitely not alone, as you’ll also now know if you’ve seen other comments here as well as talking to your family.

      I hope you’ve seen the last of it now anyway, and can enjoy peaceful sleep.

      Thanks again

  34. Brittney says:

    I also wanted to point out that I am always laying on my back also.

  35. Angela says:

    My first sleep paralysis took place nearly 26 years ago and for nearly 20 years it remained just that, with no demons or Out of body experiences. Then a number of years ago while suffering SP I suddenly found myself hovering above my back garden and house on a freezing winter night. All I can say is that it was the most profound experience I have ever felt. I remember wondering how on this earth I was looking down at my house and garden when only a second ago I had been falling into SP in my bed. Although I wasn’t exactly aware of my body within the OBE I could actually feel the cold from the thick snow lying below me. I remember the whole event with great clarity and it has had a huge impact on me mentally to this day. From the day I had my first OBE I have been plagued by demonic voices, violent bed shaking, voices of laughing children and visits from a demon who regularly molests me. While falling into SP I can sometimes go straight into an OBE and avoid any visitors but at other times I have to endure being violated up to five time a night. I never really believed in near death experience until I had my first OBE, but now I’m a convert. I am terrified every single night that I go to bed and I have to sleep with the bedroom and landing lights on, as well as other lights in the house. I feel absolutely tormented at times. It’s very much a lottery when I go to bed, I really don’t know what I’m going to get from one night to the next.
    Finally, I’d just like to mention that at the point of the onset of the SP I get a sort of buzzing electrical sound in my ears along with vibrations throughout my body. For many years I have not been able to use a bedside fan even on the warmest of nights, due to the fact that it always sets off my SP and then inevitably results in a nasty visit. It seems to make it easier for these entities to manifest themselves.
    I am of the opinion that what I am experiencing is very real and not simply in my mind like I am continually being told. I believe science has a long way to go before it is ready to accept what is the true nature of our reality. People don’t like to think demons are real, it’s not really a nice thought. Most people would rather label them as complainant mad than face the the fact that over thousands of years people have forgotten what their true reality is along with the demons that come with it. Sadly nothing is what we have been told it really is, and to be honest I believe that is how the masses will always want it to be. They seem completely blissful in their ignorance.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Angela

      Thank you for sharing this very personal, and I imagine painful, story of sleep paralysis. I can understand your description of it being a lottery at night-time, either going into a less disturbing OBE, or having to endure something quite horrible. I’m sorry to hear you have to face this every night, and I can only hope for your sake it calms down at some point.

      I’m glad you mention your strong belief that demons etc do exist. It’s good for the on-going debate to have one or two people argue the other side of the possible explanation. Even though I personally think the scientific explanation is enough, I don’t doubt that the experiences people like yourself go through make it very difficult to do the same.

      I’m also glad you mention sleeping with the lights on helps, as this is something I’ve suggested to people previously.

      Thanks again for sharing this, and I do hope you get some relief from sleep paralysis in the near future.


  36. Jason says:

    I just experienced this for the first time in my life (north side of 50) last night, and as a result went looking about for information. Happy to have discovered this site.

    Upon waking, I had the distinct impression of the presence of an entity prone atop my chest, pinning both arms to the bed. I would describe it as a coalescence of fluttering shadows without a distinct physical shape. I was unable to turn my head far enough to check the time. I was able to struggle/move my arms somewhat, but not nearly enough to free myself. It was speaking, after a fashion; more like unintelligible whispers. This went on for what seemed like 5-10 minutes, at which point I began directing it to leave. Not sure if I actually spoke aloud or merely focused mental energy; this is the last thing that I recall. By the time I had awoken again some hours later, everything seemed normal. I did not sense terror or even danger, but was somewhat alarmed at the occurrence.

    First thoughts ranged from crazy/bad dream, which is entirely possible and perhaps most likely, to something more sinister. I suppose it’s also possible that my partner merely flung some portion of her body across mine at some point during the night, or that the bedspread was the one doing the “pinning”. I normally sleep alone. I also normally wake several times during the night. I had been drinking, but not heavily. Lately, I have been aware of more dreams than is normal for me, but the impression I had upon waking fully was that something had indeed “happened”. Of course, there was no physical evidence present to support such a notion.

    Full disclosure; I do believe in paranormal occurrences and a spiritual realm, but have no personal experience with them. Not willing yet to classify this as such. Maybe if it happens again. Most of what is portrayed in various media seems highly dubious to me, however, and can be rather easily de-mystified. I’m willing to accept the rational, scientific explanation, but at the same time know that science does not fully comprehend every matter, and many times simply raises more questions. Then too is the lingering feeling that something weird may have just happened.

    Anyway, thanks for providing a forum.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jason

      Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience of sleep paralysis, if indeed it was since you question it yourself.

      As a side note, I really appreciate it when someone leaves a comment which is so nicely written; “coalescence of fluttering shadows” is possibly the best combination of 3 words on this website now!

      Anyway, back to the point. It does sound to me like quite a classic case of sleep paralysis, even though you rightly question other possibilities. But the fact that you were pinned to the bed and unable to move, and then somehow able to direct it to finish is something other people have also mentioned.

      I doubt anyone has read every single comment on this page now as it would take several hours I think, but I know a common theme is some people being able to end the episode through willpower. Others sadly don’t seem to be able to do that.

      To me this seems to be developing as a core part of sleep paralysis. Knowing something is happening, as you mention, and then either being able or not to stop it happening.

      I think you also very rationally point out that the scientific explanation seems reasonable, but the Universe is a mysterious place with so much still unexplained. I still stand by my original line that in this case it’s probably easier to believe there aren’t demons…

      Thanks again for your thoughts

  37. Stefania says:

    This is my third time in my whole life experiencing SP. My 1st time was when I was 17, the 2nd when I was 25 and my last one a few days ago, I’m 27 now. Well my last one was kind of different because involves my husband. Everything started in the middle of the night, when I was sleeping and out of nothing I woke up. I was awake, thinking and randomly out of nothing came this voice screaming in my ear, it sounded like a witch. I closed my eyes because I freaked out and when I closed them I saw a really old wooden box and inside was a paper with my name, my husband’s, my mother’s and my father’s name. While I was reading that paper I kept hearing the witch screaming things in my ear in a different language. I opened my eyes and I tried to wake my husband up but I couldn’t move or speak and felt like someone was holding me. I was so scared because the witch’s voice was still in my ear. Then since I couldn’t move I remember that my passed experiences of SP I used to pray to get out from that paralysis. So that’s what I did. I prayed and prayed until the witch’s voice went away and also the paralysis. So I sat up right away and I felt my ear like wet, like when someone talks to you on your ear for too long. After that I started to wake my husband up. He woke up and I told him about it, he said that maybe I was dreaming. So since he saw me freaking out he told me he will stay awake until I will fall asleep again. So that’s what we did. He stayed playing x-box until I fell asleep. And out of nothing I woke up again and I heard my husband mumbling. So I freaked out again and I started to scream “Baby, baby!!!” and he kept mumbling. He had his eyes open so that meant he was awake but he wouldn’t move. He would just mumble and stared at me without even opening his mouth. So I kept yelling until he finally came out of it. I asked him what happened and he told me that what happened to me a few hrs ago had just happened to him. He was mumbling because he couldn’t move anything. He felt like someone was holding him and not letting him move. So we were so scared that we went to my mom’s room and she made us pray. Because she says that since I played the Ouija board when I was little maybe that’s why they bothered me. And since she believes on spirits and stuff like that and me too so I decided to pray. Since then I haven’t been able to sleep because I don’t know what to believe. If I believe the scientific side of SP then I don’t understand why it happened to my husband the same thing on the same day as me. Because of that I’m leaning more towards the paranormal side because I don’t see other way.

  38. Amanda says:

    I have read countless books, articles, blogs etc… on the subject of Sleep Paralysis. The scientific explanation is the one I tend to lean most towards, however in experiencing SP myself numerous times…It’s hard not to dig deeper into the spiritual or paranormal reasoning. It first started when I was very young, 8 or 9 years old. I would always have the same dream… that I was riding my bike down a small hill in front of my house and when I reached the bottom I would feel this horrible presence. And I knew it wanted to hurt me. I would look to the right and there would be this dark, dense , shadowy mass moving towards me at a steady slow pace. That is when I would wake up and I would be screaming. My parents would come in and try to comfort me but their voices were slow and deep and I couldn’t understand what they were saying however their lips were moving incredibly fast. This would last for about 5 minutes and then I would snap out of it.

    As I got older it changed into your normal sleep paralysis. I would wake up and be instantly afraid. And not just sort of scared…it felt as though I was going to die in that moment. I couldn’t move and there would be a very tall (8 ft) male presence in the room. He would begin to walk towards me along the side of my bed until he was right next to me looking down directly at me. I would try to scream out or speak and it felt like a hand was shoving my jaw upward closing my mouth. This lasted about 3 minutes usually. The second I could move my fingers, the figure would disappear and I could speak and move. I was usually sweating horribly and cant really go back to sleep at that point.

    The last time I experienced SP it was a bit different. I fell asleep on my couch at mid day. I woke up and it was completely bright in the room as I have large windows. I felt the familiar inability to move but knew I was awake. I heard my bathroom door creak and looked over and It was opening. I couldn’t see a presence but I felt that fear. Then I heard laughing… It was mechanical cackling. And I didn’t realize until after I could move my fingers that I was the one laughing.

    I cant explain that last one….very strange indeed.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Amanda

      Thank you for leaving this comment and sharing your story. Yes, that last incident does sound very odd. I can imagine it was very strange to realize it was you doing the laughing! Did the bathroom door actually open though, or did you imagine that part? You also mention that you looked over, so presumably your body was paralyzed, but your head still able to turn?

  39. Stefania says:

    Sorry but forgot to include that my 1st experience i was sleeping on my stomach and felt like an entity was trying to get into my body. My 2nd one I remember I woke up randomly on the middle of the night, I was laying on my right side and I saw an old lady floating on the room going back and forward staring at me like she was really upset. The 3rd one me and my husband were sleeping on our left sides when this happened.

  40. Stefania says:

    also my husband was able to come out from it through willpower because he doesn’t believe in prayers. He also told me he was able to heard me the whole time I was yelling out and that he was looking at me the whole time but not being able to move only make mumbling sound because he was trying to talk.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Stefania

      First of all thank you for describing your sleep paralysis in such detail. I’ve read some pretty scary sounding stories in these comments over the months, but yours sounds particularly frightening.

      The wooden box with names in it? A wet ear when you woke up after feeling like a witch was talking to you? Your husband also experiencing it on the same night?

      That all sounds like something straight out of a horror film, and must have been very disturbing for you. I’m not surprised you’ve been a little worried about sleeping again.

      I do understand what you’re saying about how the fact that you both experienced it at the same time makes it hard to accept the scientific side. But what I’d also like to suggest is that it doesn’t absolutely negate it. Just that if you did indeed both experience SP at the same time, it’s a horrible coincidence. Whether you choose to believe that or not is up to you both of course. It’s also possible that one of you wasn’t experiencing SP, but a bad dream as a result of the other, or at the same time.

      Our brains are able to create what seems like a long dream in a split second, which can then be very confusing. For example have you ever had a long dream of a fire and fire engines, then woke up to hear an alarm somewhere and thought it was strange? Actually it is sometimes the alarm which then triggers you to have a dream just before the alarm wakes you up. So when you wake up you feel that you had a very long dream, then were amazed to wake and hear an alarm which sounded just like the one you were dreaming of.

      Just a suggestion for you to mull over, not that it’s a definite explanation, more just a thought that our strange night-time experiences are more complex and can have more possible explanations than you might think:-)

      I do hope that both of you find some peace and go back to sleeping properly again.

      Thanks again for sharing your story

  41. Lori says:

    I have had 3 SP experiences in the last 25 years. The most recent one being last night. Thus, the reason I found this page. My perspective on this is that they are spiritual attacks. I firmly believe that. I am a Christian and I do believe that spiritual battles between good and evil happen. My episodes are not as frightening as those I have read here though and they have been very few. I awake and cannot move anything at all, including my mouth. Each time I have tried to speak and nothing moves. The only difference in my episode last night was that there was noise that accompanied it and that is what woke me up. You know how when a clock radio goes off, but the radio station is not coming in clearly, and you hear music and static at the same time? That is what the noise was last night. I could also feel vibrations. I honestly thought my husband was messing with the radio or something. Of course, I was the only one that heard it. Each time I had an episode though, I would call out in my mind, “Jesus, help me!” That is just a natural thing for me though because I am a believer, and every single time, it immediately stops and I can move. Not a few minutes or even seconds later, but immediately. From the experiences I have read about here, it sounds an awful lot like torment and that is what demons do. In my opinion, my episodes never progress too far and have been so few because I know what is causing them and I know Who to call on before they escalate. Just felt like I needed to share my perspective on this topic. I pray you all find peace and some good sleep. :)

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Lori

      Thanks for sharing your perspective and personal understanding of sleep paralysis. I’m personally very grateful, and interested, that so many people have offered so many different opinions and thoughts on the topic. There haven’t been too many people who believe the spiritual explanation so strongly though, so for the sake of open discussion it’s helpful to hear different views.

      What is becoming apparent from the many people who’ve joined the discussion is that some people feel they have the ability to ‘snap out’ of SP through willpower.

      My opinion is that it doesn’t really matter what drives that will power. Whether it is religious strength helping or just strength of will, I think the outcome can be the same.

      Perhaps you see it differently and that calling on your religious belief is what helps? Would you think that calling for it to stop but without the religious aspect would be as effective?

      I’d be interested to know what you think.

      Thanks again for stopping by, and thanks also for inadvertently letting me know that at least someone reads through the other comments. I was wondering the other day how many people other than me take the time to read them, as it’s a lot to get through!


  42. strange says:

    I have been fascinated with the overlapping subjects of sleep paralysis, the pineal gland, closed-eye hallucinations, lucid dreaming and Old Hag syndrome for the last five years, and have been experimenting with it on and off since my first sleep paralysis experience at age 20.

    I encountered my first closed-eye hallucination around eight years ago, a vision of a sharp-boned, intensely green-eyed man residing in a backdrop that is best described as the same green/black colour of radar screens. I had absolutely no clue what it was, and subsequently ignored it.

    I didn’t pay much attention to any minor occurrences until one night I had a dream about being chased by the local heroin addicts, who then injected me with heroin. This was during a period of a lengthy abstinence from alcohol or drugs, and no depression, so none could be attributed to this experience. At that point, I woke up in a state I have come to recognise as sleep paralysis; my full body was obviously paralysed, I was riddled with fear, and I felt the ‘heroin’ coursing through my veins (I now attribute this feeling to it being a novel sensation, and the muscular resistance to the paralysis gave off a strange ‘pleasure’ sensation, one that I can now half-control and manipulate). I did not have the feeling someone was in the room, or have any hallucinations at all.

    Again, I had no idea what this was, and thought about it for a few days, then shrugged it off as a strange nightmare occurrence. I had no idea what sleep paralysis was at this time. Keep in mind I am a rational man who’s immensely interested in science, who holds an atheistic outlook and is undoubtedly more likely to deduce a vastly studied, scientific explanation for an occurrence than a religious or paranormal one.

    I then, around 18 months later, travelled to America, and lived with Native Americans in Tennessee. One night there, I had the most profound and bizarre experience I have ever encountered.

    I was sharing an attic space with my friend, in an ‘open-plan’ house where the attic overlooked the kitchen and the living room. We were both sleeping on separate air-beds several feet apart, and I feel asleep after talking to my friend for a short while.

    I woke up perhaps an hour later (I can’t be absolutely sure of the time) and heard something subtle moving in the kitchen, and with it, a rising feeling of dread that it was going to travel up the spiral staircase and come for me. It did not ‘feel’ like a human presence. I gauge this as when a human is travelling upstairs towards my room, I do not get an overwhelming feeling that they can sense, almost ‘hear’, my fear. It felt as if I could feel it just as much as it could feel me, as if I knew where its ultimate destination was: me.

    I could not see it. Only feel it. Yet it appeared as an invisible spherical mass of immense weight floating through the air towards me. I was absolutely awake at this time.(I’ve since had 100s of sleep paralysis experiences and have studied and experimented with lucid dreams to the point of being able to instantly induce them upon sleep – this was unequivocally different)

    It moved towards my feet and I watched this invisible sphere travel onto my sleeping bag, with its shape impress on the covers in between my legs. As the pressure was placed on my feet, the air bed rose so my head was elevated by about 20 degrees, and now looking downwards. I watched it travel up my legs and its absolutely immeasurable density was felt on my chest. The pressure – which I know is a common report of sleep paralysis – was unbelievable.

    This thing communicated telepathically with me that it was going to seize me throat, strangle me and enter my body. At that point, panic set in and I turned my head towards my friend (my head I could still move) and repeatedly screamed his name. No words could escape.

    I succumbed to this assault and stopped panicking, and just let it happen, and the ‘thing’ disappeared down my throat and I fell back to sleep after about an hour of lying in silence, questioning what had just happened.

    The next morning, I woke up and immediately told my friend about it, but framed it as a ‘dream’ that I had had, as I was embarrassed and confused about it and that he would think I had gone insane.

    Hours later, at around 8pm, he was washing the dishes with the woman who owned the house and casually dropped my dream into the conversation. She immediately summoned me to the kitchen, had me explain the experience, and screamed at me to immediately leave the house; to stand in the garden barefoot.

    After five minutes, she came out with one half of a sea shell with a ball of sage inside it, and lit it while speaking some incantation. She blew the smoke from the ball of sage down my throat three times, with no response, not even the faintest of coughs. Upon the fourth time, my stomach stabbed, my throat welled and thick black smoke poured out of my throat with the most awful bellowing, jarring groan. The colour was a deep black, quite unlike the wispy white colour that was blown in. And with that, she said one final incantation, and allowed me back in.

    Her explanation – that a demon had entered my body the previous night – was not taken seriously, as it did not (and still does not) fit in with my scientific grasp of physics and the universe.

    Over the next few years, I encountered a lot of strange, paranormal activity… Waking up with deep scratches despite biting my nails down to their absolute bluntness. Friends encountering sleep paralysis in the beds I slept in. Friends reciting Latin in their sleep (when they couldn’t speak it awake). Things clearly moving on their own. Light, ripped cloth-like black masses floating around the room. Psychics saying to me some creature lies on me at night (without me informing them of absolutely anything).

    You need to keep in mind that I am in no way religious.
    The idea that a deity has selected (or even communicates with) a single ‘special’ species is preposterous, especially one who resides on a minuscule dust speck in a vast solar system, that itself is located galaxy of immense proportions which is only a tiny organism in an almost immeasurable web of gigantic structures. So these occurrences have, if anything, directly conflicted with my beliefs and understanding, and I discredited much of them as me being hyper-sensitive or perhaps trying to sub-consciously find things that aren’t there (I’m aware an element of that does occur, but I’ve been able to separate the aforementioned things from the tenuous links with retrospection)

    I’ve also went through periods of both abstinence and drug experimentation, and have noticed the obvious spike in some of these occurrences after psilocybin, morphine-based drugs or LSD. That said, there have been lengthy periods where I have consumed drugs and nothing has happened, but there is unquestionably a correlation, of which up until recently a scientific explanation has been ‘satisfactory’ (for want of a better word)

    I began reading about lucid dreams and quickly realised – for whatever reason – that I could induce them rapidly. Inducing them happened through inadvertently self-taught meditative techniques that can only be described as the following; first, a clearing of the mind, then the relaxation of the two eyes and their muscles, then finally the activation of the ‘third eye’, so as to give it a name. This feels like placing a mirror across the bridge of your nose and staring into the reflection of the mind. This initially induces closed-eye hallucinations of a level 4 magnitude almost all of the time, and precedes a lucid dream, in a speed that defies my understanding of how REM sleep works.

    It wasn’t until I had experienced a large batch of both strong, vivid lucid dreams (where I was not only conscious while dreaming but entirely manipulating my surroundings, as to control the dream, its narrative and its content) and sleep paralysis that I started to understand what happened to me on the air bed in Tennessee happened when I was UNQUESTIONABLY awake. I can acutely differentiate between that experience and the countless miscellany of other experiences, and this both worries and perplexes me.

    I began reading into Old Hag Syndrome, and found that lot of similar experiences as to mines on the air bed had been banded in with sleep paralysis with the Western way of thinking, but there is – in my mind – no doubt that they are in fact different.

    I’m not claiming to have an answer; I can only speculate as to what this experience actually is, and don’t think it can be a ‘demon’ of the religious kind, because of the reasons I previously mentioned. to suggest demons of a religious kind is to affirm that Mohammed, Jesus or whatever other human being is a direct link to the universe’s creator, something I find implausible given the size of our universe and the insignificance of us within it. 

    However, it is interesting to ponder dark energy, neutrinos, and multi-dimensional beings when approaching this. It seems more rational and plausible than a sentient, malevolent creature silently acting out the will of one of the fallen angels of the universe’s supreme creator anyway. 

    It does seem there’s a strong correlation between negativity and the intensity and regularity of such experiences, and perhaps negative or dark energy resides on vibrations that we are yet unable to fully detect, but ones that still overlap into our four-dimensional understanding of things.

    The only conclusion I could possibly deduce from my own personal experience is that what happened to me while I was on the air bed (and what has happened to many others) can not yet be explained scientifically, and is not the same as sleep paralysis.

    That ‘bad spirits’ don’t have to be in any way human form, or descend from our dead, or even from our dimension, but could be complex collections of energy that use negativity (fear, depression etc) as some sort of fuel. It’s as if you can deliberately attract this type of creature (I use the term creature loosely) with a specific outlook or perspective.

    Like I said, even with all my experiences, this hypothesis seems laughable in my own head because it goes against what I’d like to believe in, but there is definitely some form of energy out there that is more intelligent, more advanced and incomprehensibly more powerful than we are, and one I have no desire to ever encounter again.


    • Ethan Green says:


      Thank you so much for this amazing story, and really interesting analysis of what you think happened. To be perfectly honest I don’t know where to begin in responding to your final questions of ‘thoughts?’ – A few lines wouldn’t really do it justice…

      Your struggle with accepting the simple scientific explanation when faced with such an intense and powerful experience is one of the themes which is developing in the comments people leave here. You very eloquently describe that difficulty and I’m grateful that you took the time to do so.

      But I do think you’re the first person here to talk about multi-dimensional beings and other possible explanations which go even beyond the non-scientific explanations I mentioned in the original article.

      Interestingly I was watching a documentary on the discovery channel recently about what aliens might be like once you look beyond carbon-based lifeforms. It reminded me of the possibility of one day discovering things that expand or shatter our current understanding of the Universe.

      I’m not saying I believe that everything we can imagine actually might exist, but your sleep paralysis story and analysis did make me think beyond the explanations I’d originally discussed. I’m a bit of a closet Sci-Fi fan, so I enjoy pondering over things like this from time to time.

      But at the end of the day it does still come down to personal belief for now. If you choose to believe in beings which feed of negative energy etc as you say, could you end up experiencing sleep paralysis, or other strange and unpleasant events which are not SP, every time you recognize that you’re not in the best frame of mind?

      I could write at length in response to the questions you raise, and would enjoy it, but I don’t want to flood the comments with my thoughts, as this is really a space for readers to share their views. Perhaps someone else will read your story and have something to say about it.

      Thanks once again for the time you must have taken to write this comment, and I hope that you manage to reconcile your scientific mind with the disconcerting experiences you’ve had.

      And please know that I’ll be mulling over your ideas for the rest of the day now, even if I don’t respond to them in detail!


  43. Nathan says:

    Sorry to come back just to chime in on someone else’s theory, but there is something that I feel compelled to mention.

    String-field theory suggests that there are multiple dimensions that are intertwined with our own 3rd dimension.

    the 4th dimension is the dimension of time, in which our individual lives can be described as elongated embryonic snake-type shapes/beings that encompass our entire existence, from birth to death.

    i believe that beings exist in this dimension (maybe us?) who cannot experience emotions as singular experiences, and i think our 3rd dimensional existences compels these beings to live vicariously through us, be them our 4th dimensional selves or something else.

    i think that many paranormal episodes can be attributed to these beings, as their interaction in our dimension is anomalous in nature, and when we are aware of them, we only interpret their presence through cross-section type wave-lengths.

    because SP is of a subconscious nature (being conscious while our subconscious is at the wheel) these beings have ‘portals’ into our own experiences though altered states of mind, such as dreams, sp, etc..

    they are most likely with us all the time, yet we only are aware of them through altered states of mind, be them natural states or those induced by chemicals.

    there was no room for that in my original comment, but strange’s comment made me decide to mention it. (I’ve been returning to read new comments as they come in. there has been some interesting reads to say the least. keep them coming! I’m fascinated by this stuff, to the point of obsession)

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Nathan

      No need to apologize. As I keep saying, it’s interesting to hear different perspectives on topics like this. And in the absence of a forum, I’m happy for people to bounce ideas off of one another in these comments.

      Personally though I’m not going to comment any further on the theories that yourself and ‘Strange’ have put forwards. You are both definitely pushing the boundaries of the theories that exist for sleep paralysis, which is interesting, but I’ll leave that to you to explore as it’s now pretty far from what I personally believe, or have any knowledge about. I never could finish those books on quantum physics.

      I think that within these comments just about every possible explanation has been covered now. I only hope anyone reading through doesn’t end up even more mystified about Sleep paralysis than they were before…

      You’re right that there have been some interesting reads. I’ve thought various times about creating a forum here as I don’t think I’ve ever seen such long comments on any article on the internet. People are clearly fascinated by the topic and feel compelled to share their sleep paralysis stories and theories. If I ever find the time to undertake such a task I’ll let you know:-)


  44. ROSEMARIE says:



    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Rosemarie

      Thank you for sharing this personal story, and I’m sorry for the loss of your nephew as you mention. I also can’t explain what happened I’m afraid. I’m not surprised you describe it as the worst experience of your life. It’s the first time I’ve heard of someone experiencing something which sounds like it could have been sleep paralysis, and then coming face to face with what you saw during the experience. There could be various explanations, but it’s not really for me to speculate.

      I hope you don’t experience this again!


  45. ROSEMARIE says:


  46. Michael says:

    I am 33 and have dealt with sleep paralysis since I was a child. More often than not, my episodes eventually morph into an “out-of-body-like experience.”

    I’m not saying that it is without question an out of body experience. But … it sure feels like one.

    I am usually overcome by a feeling of weightless. Next, I almost always remember looking down and seeing my sleeping body in my bed as I float out of my bedroom, through the wall. Finally, as I accelerate through the air, I feel what is akin to wind blowing in my face.

    I operate under the assumption that this is some form of hallucination… however, the experiences are hard to ignore sometimes.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Michael

      Thanks for adding your story to the growing collection here. What you describe definitely sounds like the classic description of an out-of-body experience. I know what you mean about thinking it’s a hallucination but feeling something a bit more than that. I think as many other people have said here, it can be hard to marry a scientific belief with the strange experiences that can happen during sleep paralysis.

      Thanks again for commenting

  47. TO says:

    Although I’m not actively dabbling at the moment, I have in the past tended to describe my SP experiences into a recording device as soon as I wake up, and then I’ve transcribed it into Word. I’ll post one of my most powerful experiences for now. There does seem to be a lot of misery associated with SP, but for me it has become a source of excitement and adventure, even though much of the time I have to deal with the usual obstructions from ‘beings’. Still, even the ‘negative’ experiences aren’t all that bad. Here goes. I have edited some of this but it is essentially an exact rendition of my recording. You can tell where I got excited (I hope I’m not breaking a word count limit): Sunday 14th March 2004
    “I read for about 2 hours (“The Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene). It was the case that towards the end of my reading time, I began to detect the very faint sign of the hissing sensation and once or maybe twice, the sudden dizziness which is often associated with sleep paralysis. I was reading about string theory and super symmetry. At the end of the two hours, although I wasn’t really tired (it was now 6am), I was squirming restlessly as my body did want to sleep. Perhaps I could have gone on reading because mentally I was up for it. I put the book down, and leaving the lamp on, I lay on my back and let the sleep process begin. I allowed the hissing sensations to take their course. I’d been playing or toying with this for the last 15 or 20 minutes. It was quite amazing. It was not what I was expecting, and didn’t lead to any of the usual out of body type experience phenomena. However, it was extremely persistent and wouldn’t let up. Of course, this suited me quite well this morning. I wanted to probe this state to the best of my ability. I could compare it to a swarm of midges in some damp country lane. No matter how much or determinedly you brush them aside, after a decent retreat, they return to swarm around your head, and this goes on and on. Succumbing to this sensation is like descending into a small, restrictive room of strange whirring and bleepy sounds, whose walls and furniture were made of these sounds. Restricting in the sense that I felt somewhat pressurised and there was a hint of pressure centred around my nose (as usual). This wasn’t painful, but slightly uncomfortable. At some stage I tried to move one of my phantom hands, but this only seemed to increase (slightly, but more completely) the overall pressure and restrictiveness of the sensation. This also confused me, and I wondered in fact whether this was the same state in which I am usually able to experiment with the phantom. Maybe this was some different, if related state. Maybe this hissing sensation is something different from what I used to term ‘electrical interference’. There was a point during the proceedings when I seemed to be almost dreaming and in which two girls who wanted B. or wanted us to remove the fence between 12 G. Close (my childhood home) and 10 G. Close, i.e. the house in which the E’s used to live. And I was saying something like, “Well, no, because the fence certainly up to the inner garden has always been there. The rest of the fence may have been built more recently and, yes, we will take that away.” [This is surely some form of symbolism pertinent to the experimentation].Yes, okay, but that is a very crude rendition of what was a pretty abstract dream scenario. And as I kept going into this funny hissing sensation or whatever it is, I get the impression that these two girls in some very, very abstract form insisting that I…I don’t know, I don’t know…I just feel that I…I also had this paranoid feeling that they were trying to get me into this state, but when I was in this state it was nothing but mechanical sounding noise. Nothing there! It was quite awful in fact, desolate. But you are dragged in there and it is quite forcing, it’s not paralysis, not in the usual sense that is, and there was the pressure (gentle) on my nose. Trying to do the phantom movement of my arm was hard and it seemed to ‘fix’ me in some way. The hissing was there, in the periphery, waiting to claim me as I closed my eyes. It was frustrating, because I was willing to really go with it and not run scared, but all I was being offered was this dead-end experience. Interestingly, some of the ‘mechanical noise’ seemed to be voices spoken at high speed, like a tape going fast. But this may have just been my mind or imagination reading something into one of the many whirring, oscillatory noises I seemed to be immersed in. Probably that in fact.
    Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Now then, I tried again to get back into….well I succeeded this time to get back into that hissing sound, and … what did I do? I can’t remember the transition but…I found this girl called Melba. We were on this bed. The light, the light was not like this (i.e. the lamp is on as I tape this), the light was different, but I could see myself on the bed…It was strange, I was looking at this girl, I was talking to her. There were all these written details about her. I could read. I could read the writing and the writing didn’t change as I looked at it again. What was it, what was it now? I was looking below her or behind her and there was this screen, this computer-like screen and I thought to myself “Wow, this is odd. It’s amazing,” I thought to myself. The thing is, while I was in that state…Initially, it was uncomfortable…initially it was uncomfortable. But then…it was like going under water…you seemed to just adapt, it still remained uncomfortable, but it was fine. It was that feeling of swimming into the middle of the water, knowing that the floor is too far down to put your feet down onto, but it’s okay because you are a reasonable swimmer and because of that, you don’t need the floor for support. You nevertheless need to keep working to prevent yourself from sinking. And there was this girl! I left my body and…just on the bed though, and…this girl, she was only about three, she had long, straggly black hair, and I thought she was Nigerian, but…and her name was something like Melba or Elba or something and I looked down at this information about her and it had…and at some point she said something like, “If you look down below you will see something about my sympathetic nervous system (?) Right!? And it said something like 18.6 or something, which is a bit odd.. But there was a word, “lbe…” something something…which I saw written down twice and I looked away and I looked …I was talking to her about something…and I looked back again and there it was again, this word, nothing had changed, and the details were there, all this writing, I don’t know where it came from or where it was attached to her. And then…and I was there for a while, I mean, and I didn’t time myself, so I can’t say when this happened, but I would say a good five minutes I was there with her. And I was talking with her and I can’t remember what we were talking about now but…I mean, I was talking to her! I was sitting on the bed and I hadn’t looked at myself at this point, but…Melba was her name…and she said something about her father, but I can’t remember what she said. I don’t know …The thing is, I started…I tried to leave my body, didn’t I because the thing is I got into that state…previously it was hard, I don’t know what happened earlier in the night, I just couldn’t get into it. But now, in the morning, what time is it now? 7.51am…that’s quite late for a start and I just spoke to her about herself…and, she’s only a little girl, Melba, or Elba, or something like that. I thought she was Nigerian but she wasn’t…well, I don’t think she was, she had long, straggly hair, she was certainly dark, she was certainly from Africa or Asia, possibly even a Berber child, I don’t know, a Tuareg child possibly, who knows. She was female as far as I could see. I spoke to her a lot. And then I said to her, eventually, I said “I think I had better get back into my body now.” She seemed disappointed at first and then she said, “Okay.” I said “I’d better get back in because, you know…” Then I think that she tried to warn me about something but I don’t know what she tried to warn me about. But anyway, I thought, “Okay…” First of all, when she asked me to look for the detail about her sympathetic nervous system, I said “Can I look at my body before I do this?” I did so, and I looked pretty dead, actually, a little bit scary. I looked very handsome and serene, and completely still (thank God my eyes weren’t open because that would have given me a heart attack!). But I SAW MYSELF LAYING DOWN! For the first time ever. And then I continued speaking to her and then I decided that I had better go back to my body now and she looked disappointed. Melba? Are you still there?…I mean, I’m quite convinced this happened. And the, okay, I tried to, then I lay back on my body, I didn’t know how to do it. I lay on my face first, and it just seemed to not go in and I thought, “Chuff! What’s happened? Am I dead?” And I lay on my face and it felt like, just chuffing hell. Then I moved down a little bit, to the lower part of my body to between my legs, it was between my legs anyway and then pushed further in and that didn’t work either and then I just…I could feel this sort of squashy, melting sort of feeling as if I was trying to get into plastic or a plastic balloon or something, squashy, trying to get in, I couldn’t get in. And then I just sort of opened my eyes, pulled myself out of it, in the way that I pull myself out of paralysis, and there I am. Amazing! First time to have been astral, intelligently interactive, TO HAVE SEEN MYSELF IN BED, and to have had reasonable detail to have memory of – although see the Mark experience). Because yesterday, I did say quite explicitly that I didn’t want to do any fighting or wrestling or any of that nonsense, and that I wanted to have some form of intelligent discourse, to speak to whoever I was fighting with during these episodes. And there she was, this girl! Melba…Melba…wow!

    I feel, considering that I lay on my head for quite a while, banging my head into my face, I don’t feel any ill effects. The only ill effect, I mean, the only thing which doesn’t feel quite right is that my throat feels a bit tickly. But that is only very slight and most likely just incidental. I know that before the Melba episode, I had a dream because…I don’t know…I mean, did this start off from a dream…I don’t know…I remember laying down and having that hissing feeling and going into it and then I don’t know how it transferred itself into myself speaking to this Melba girl. I don’t know.

    Re. The interference/noise: the high-pitched speeded up voice effect is probably the same noise that I have often identified with lots of voices in the distance and there was that time where I heard what seemed to be Japanese/Chinese voices; there was that other time when I thought I heard the words “Somalia! Somalia!” – see appropriate dream notes. Whatever it is, it does seem to be a consistent element in the auditory effects. Sometimes the auditory effect is prominent and at other times it is far away in the background (see the OBE when everything was black and I was poised on the bed listening for the presence of ‘entities’).

    With the Melba situation I heard no background noise or interference. The initial hissing had either faded away, or it had just become like all-pervading bird-song.

    Melba or Elba or Elva. Long untidy hair, unkempt hair, thick hair. She seemed disappointed when I said I had to get back to my body, but I had to get back because when I looked at it, it actually looked dead. It’s funny, because the previous day I had idly wondered what I would look like if I had died at the age I am now, what I would look like in the coffin. Well, I answered that question! Quite attractive, actually, quite stern-faced, though. I thought that I had better make sure that that body was still alive. And when I eventually pulled myself out of that state…The lighting was sort of like twilight, it was dark, but I could still see my body…semi-daylight. On waking up, the lamp was on, and this contradicted strongly with the coolness, the shrouded light of the Melba scene. There was no sign that the lamp was on in the Melba scene. In fact waking up with the lamp on was almost shock (“Oh, I forgot that I had left that on!”). The twilight quality of light in these OBE/FA type scenes is quite common and I’ve seen it before – see appropriate accounts. It was perfectly quiet, apart from me and her. There was no radio on either, so it is no surprise.”

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi TO

      What an interesting, and detailed, description of what you describe as an out of body experience. Thank you for sharing this, and it adds an interesting perspective of someone really trying to enjoy and use that aspect of sleep paralysis rather than purely being at the mercy of it.

      You definitely broke the word count by the way, but I’ve kind of given up editing comments due to length – I’ve been beaten into submission by the extraordinarily long sleep paralysis stories people feel compelled to share! And even when I’m not entirely convinced they are all really sleep paralysis, I’m happy to see people interacting and adding to the discussion.

      I can also track basic stats like how long on average people spend reading this page, and it’s increasing as the comments increase, so I take that to mean that enough people are also enjoying reading the long comments.

      You’re a true explorer of the unknown and of the subconscious mind it seems. I imagine you to have great reeems of notes and recordings of your experiences. And I think recording all of these kind of experiences is a good way to gain some control over them. It seems like a good example of what some describe as a way to use sleep paralysis positively – as a stepping stone to out of body experiences or lucid dreaming.

      Did you always manage to have this level of control or ability to influence what is happening? Or did you practice some technique or other to be able to have an OBE? I’d be interested to know some background. I’d also be interested to know if you ever saw the same girl in a later experience, or if it was just the once.

      Thanks again

  48. TO says:

    Hi Ethan,
    In the cold light of day I would say that I’m agnostic as to whether the experience I have described was an out of body experience. I try to be coolly objective, althoug when I make a recording I’m generally quite excited and taken in quite a bit by the experience. However, neither do I reject the experience and those like it as just delusion. It certainly felt real, as do many of the other experiences I’ve had. Visually, there are always discrepancies with the physically real environment, but I’m not sure that how things appear visually necessarily correlates with what is true, meaning because things appear visually at odds with physical reality doesn’t necessarily invalidate it as existing somehow in spacetime, somehow being the important word.

    As to background, like a lot of people attracted to this site, my acquaintance with sleep paralysis began in overwhelming terror, in childhood, in nightmares in which i found myself running in painfully slow motion away from one monster or another and then finding myself in bed unable to move while a black shadow stands over me beside the bed, or some other crazy scene takes place in the bedroom while i screamed silently and to no avail. Terrible experiences! However, while growing up I became fascinated by the hallucinatory elements associated with this state, still frightened by them, but intrigued too, like the proverbial moth to the flame. The experiences were rare, but frequent enough for me to remain interested. From youth into adulthood I was also interested in the idea of astral travel, the nature of dreaming, parapsychology and the like and at some point I made the connection between sleep paralysis and phenomena such as out of body experiences and lucid dreaming.

    My explorations began in earnest when I discovered that while the body was paralysed, it was nevertheless possible to move ‘phantom arms’ and ‘phantom legs’, to touch my ‘pillow’ with my ‘phantom hand’, to even ‘lick’ my ‘phantom fingers’ and taste them. Then I pushed it a bit further by just ‘rolling’ and ‘falling’ out of bed with my ‘phantom body’, and so on, often just ‘crawling’ around on the ‘floor’ before just learning to use suggestion to lift myself up and away.

    I am perhaps lucky in that sleep paralysis doesn’t generally happen spontaneously for me, although of course it did in the beginning. I generally have to want it to happen and over time I have learnt the various conditions that allow me to experience it. I actually have to work quite hard to render myself susceptible. Stress doesn’t help. A lot going on at work or at home doesn’t help. Talking about having out of body experiences does help. Reading about other peoples experiences does help as does reading about advanced ideas in physics, for example, and I know some of the readership will appreciate that last trigger. Each night that I attempt to enter what I euphemistically call the ‘state’ presents a small window of opportunity (usually between 3 and 6 in the morning); it’s really like stalking some rare exotic predator; I often just fall asleep waiting for it to make an appearance, and at other times, when it does emerge, I succumb to the easy panic that is so difficult to avoid. And even when I have successfully engaged sleep paralysis (and when I’m on a roll, it does just keep coming), many of the experiences are marred by blocking ‘entities’. However, I have had enough fascinating explorations in which my critical faculties are engaged and in which my consciousness is free to play and investigate, to make every attempt worthwhile.

    I do find that suggestion (whether in the previous day or during the experience itself) does have a lot to do with what happens during the experience. In waking life, I am not a great hypnotic subject. However, during sleep paralysis I become as suggestible as the best of them and often give myself playful suggestions – go up, go to a specific person, go to some time in my past, grow large, get out of the building, fly…and observe my consciousness respond accordingly and take me to unexpected lucid dream situations. However, suggestion on its own rarely works on what I call the ‘blockers’ and this is something which does really interest me.

    Anyway, I’ll wind up at this point. I never did see the Melba character again, certainly not in a form that I recognised. I read through my description again before I posted it and noticed that one of the names I associated with the character was Elva. Elva is actually quite pertinent in an eery sort of way. In Norse/Old Germanic, it means ‘elf’.In German, the word for nightmare, “Albtraum” still translates to “elf dream” (I googled that) while “an alp (elf) attack is called an Alpdruck, or often Alpdrücke, which means “elf pressure” “(and I googled that). It’s just interesting that one of the names I spontaneously ascribed to the girl in the experience, completely unconsciously, was Elva. The mind is a wonderful thing!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Thanks very much for coming back with answers to my questions TO. What’s even more interesting now is the understanding that you actively try to enter states of sleep paralysis sometimes.

      Where most other people are terrified of sleep paralysis and hope they never have it again, you’ve turned it on its head, so to speak, and try to encourage it so you can have these other experiences.

      What an interesting perspective. Thank you for sharing that, and good luck with your future explorations:-)

  49. Dupree says:

    I have had SP a few times, out of body, a terrifying one and most recently the most lovely although sad one. The day after my dog of 16 years died he arrived over my shoulder and I was paralysed and just cried and cried and he panted above my head, telling me he was ok I think. It was pretty cathartic to see him again and tell him I loved him. God I miss him even now and it was 2 months ago. Point being, all my episodes have been in relation to serious stress in waking life, I lucid dreamed a lot as a child and even sleep walked so I was told, I am generally strong but susceptible to anxiety. I find the best “exit” to any SP is to ackowledge that what it is during it. To try to remember your brain is awake but body asleep and reassure yourself so not to be frightened, just wait for it to “pass” Since I did that after my last scary one it ended quite quickly, just wanted my dog one to last longer so I could be near him. I had tears running down my face even when i did wake from it. Very odd. Defo think it happens when your so exhausted as the body sleeps and the mind worries and stays alert. Its really nothing to fear if you can remind yourself of that during an episode. I am sorry to hear some of the stories on here. I wish you all some positive , releasing thoughts in your next episode and see if it helps.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Dupree

      Thank you for your comment, and the positive wishes for other readers. There have been some very distressing stories of sleep paralysis and probably many other things along with it, so it’s kind of you to think of the people who experienced them.

      Sorry about your dog – I can well believe you still miss him. And I think you are probably right about some sleep paralysis being related to everyday stress and anxiety. Your idea of dealing with sleep paralysis by both reassuring yourself that it will be ok, and that it will pass, is very sensible.

      Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience and bringing some positivity:-)


  50. Summer says:

    Hi there, I am relieved that I am not the only person experiencing Sleep Paralysis but I am also frightened by it as well. It started when I was 19 years old the morning that my best friend died, I woke up at 4am and I couldn’t move or speak all I could do was move my eyes and I felt someone there. 10 min later I got a call that my friend had passed. Ever since that morning I have experienced it about 6 to 8 times. I am 26 years old now. My husband is aware of it because there has been times im yelling for him and hes right next to me but nothing comes out until I come to and cry out. every time it happens to me I am on my back EVERY SINGLE TIME and I ALWAYS hear foot steps coming down my hallway. It usually lasts about a min then its like I re-awake and that is why ive never thought to look it up or ask people or doctors about it, I thought I was just dreaming it…. Today is Thursday nov. 14 and it happened to me 3 times this morning after my husband left for work, I was fighting the urge to pass out but at the same time I wanted to wake out of it, only this time besides the foot steps I felt like something was pulling on my leg. I decided to google “falling asleep and cant move” and I am intrigued by all the information. I had no idea it is something quite a few people experience. My husband and a few other family memebers know about it but now I have proof that I am not crazy!!!!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Summer

      Thanks so much for sharing your story – it’s great when people take the time to describe their own experience of sleep paralysis, and I appreciate it:-)

      I think you can probably rest assured that you’re not crazy – at least not in terms of what you’ve described, and my definition of crazy!

      I’m sorry to hear you had such a distressing introduction to sleep paralysis though. That must have been very difficult for you, having that on top of your friend passing on.

      The one you described with feeling like someone was pulling your leg sounds quite frightening. It’s bad enough dealing with the paralysis, and perhaps sensing something else in the room or walking as you describe. But having a sensation of your leg being pulled really doesn’t sound pleasant.

      You’re also not the first person to say it always happens when sleeping on your back. Maybe try your side and see if that helps if it carries on, which I hope for your sake it doesn’t.

      Thanks again for your comment.

  51. NaTodd Lee says:

    I’ve been having SP since I was about 8 years old. When I was younger I used to have hallucinations of Grim Reaper like figures (5) 2 on each side of the bed and 1 at the foot. They never hurt me in any way, but the fear that came from their presence was INTENSE!! One time, one of the “reapers” leaned over and put his face right in my face and my heart beat SO FAST! That was the most fear I have ever felt in my entire life. After about 16, the figures went away, although SP is almost daily with me. The thing is… I have full control over my SP. I can wake up paralyzed and in second break out of it like it second nature. I posted here because i wanted to know.. have you ever known anyone else with the power to control SP?

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi NaTodd Lee

      Thanks for coming along and adding to the discussion. That does sound pretty intense, and I’m not surprised it’s remained number 1 in your life’s scary events.

      A couple of other readers have also said they can snap out of sleep paralysis at will I believe. And I think one or two more try to control it in a way that they can then use it as a kind of springboard to try to have lucid dreams or out-of-body experiences. So it would appear that you’re not alone in being able, or trying, to control SP.

      If only everyone else was able to – some people really seem to suffer badly because of the trauma they experience with sleep paralysis. So even though you have to deal with it almost daily as you mention, at the very least you’re not totally powerless. And a good thing too if you experience it so often!

      Thanks again

  52. vanesa says:

    I have to admit that at first I was afraid I was being possessed or “something” like that when my episodes would happen ….I’m glad that I’m not alone and there is “somewhat” an explanation. Sometimes it happens over and over again in one night if i dont keep myself awake. The scariest part is feeling like I cant breathe. Next of course is being completely paralyzed and can’t talk, “scream” or move at all. I’ve even gone to the hospital explaining I thought I was having seizures of some sort and they told me I was fine and they had no answers for me :( …. it is particularly scary because EVERY time it happens I know its coming on. I start to feel like I’m sinking fast and deep and the heaviness sets in ALL OVER ME. I’m 23 and have been experiencing this for about 2 years now. I have to say it is terrifying and I wish this upon nobody. Thank you for this forum – truly it has helped me feel “not so alone”.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Vanesa

      Thanks so much for sharing your story of sleep paralysis. I’m glad this article, and all the other people presumably, have helped you not feel alone. If only not feeling alone worked as a complete cure!

      You’re not the only one who has multiple episodes in one night, and I think that must be particularly difficult to cope with and be able to trust yourself to go to sleep and have a peaceful night. And knowing it’s going to happen is something other people have described too, and is understandably quite scary.

      I don’t know if you read through everyone’s stories, but there are I think some useful bits of advice scattered throughout which you could pick up and see if they help. Depending on whether you’re the type to learn to control it and ‘snap out of it’, or to just try to stay calm and wait for it to pass, or even to try and control it as a way of having a lucid dream. There are all kinds of ideas to explore.


  53. Richard says:

    The first time I ever had sleep paralysis was when I was in college (probably around 7 years ago) and it completely freaked me out. I didn’t know what to think and I was afraid I needed to go to the doctor to get a brain scan. However, when I started getting them on a ‘regular’ basis (once or twice every couple of months or so), I started to research this on the internet.

    The episodes were frightening and the way i would describe it is that I couldn’t move my head, fingers or arms. I was completely paralyzed – and breathing was difficult. Also, the feeling on your chest/abdomen is so weird! I would describe it as someone tightening a belt (really hard) just below my chest cavity.

    I’ve never hallucinated until a recent episode a few weeks ago. It was bizarre because it was visual and auditory. I woke up in the middle of the night and could feel the sleep paralysis onset. However, I could “see” my comforter over my face (which wasn’t the case) and all of a sudden, my comforter was lifted off me. However, right when this happened, I heard a loud sound that is comparable to a symphony – except that it was the music you hear in scary movies during a suspenseful scene. I had this feeling of fear – and once I was able to move, I just noticed a small light that was the smoke detector in my room. The light seemed brighter during the sleep paralysis episode. Very strange – I’d rather never experience this and like I said, they started when I was 21 years old. Thankfully, they aren’t that frequent, but it is a frightening experience. When I feel them coming on, I usually try to mentally relax and I tell myself that this will pass…and obviously it always does. Cheers.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Richard

      Thank you for taking the time to describe your episodes of sleep paralysis. Interestingly the last person to comment also talked about it being so scary she went to hospital to get checked out. I imagine there are many more who have thought about doing the same.

      Hearing scary movie style music must have been truly bizarre for you! It’s a good literal example of just how intense sleep paralysis can be.

      It’s great that you’ve managed to develop a coping mechanism in trying to relax and allow it to pass. A few people have described the same, and it is growing to be a trend in people’s explanations of how they deal with sleep paralysis. And I dare say probably one of the best ways of coping with it, given that you don’t have a lot of choice when in that situation.

      Thanks again for your comment and I hope they grow less frequent over time for you.


      • Richard says:

        Thank you for your feedback. I forgot to mention one thing. In most of my sleep paralysis episodes that I have experienced, I feel my eyes moving very quickly. They always seem to be moving up and down (as opposed to a side-to-side movement) and this happens very quickly. It feels weird, but almost relaxing in a sense. Since sleep paralysis occurs during a conscious awareness during the REM cycle, I guess this makes sense. Cheers.

        • Ethan Green says:

          No problem at all Richard. I enjoy discussing this topic with people, so it’s always a pleasure.

          I think you’re the first to mention the eye-moving phenomenon during sleep paralysis in these comments, if my memory serves me correctly. But yes, it does make sense what you’re saying if you experience it while waking up from REM sleep rather than while falling asleep. Very interesting!


  54. Hannah says:

    I’ve had sleep paralysis a few times in the last 6 years, the first time really scared me, I was 15 and I woke up my whole body felt fuzzy like pins and needles without pain and I couldn’t move; then I heard car horns outside my window which moved inside on top of me along with the car, I felt like I was under a car with it’s fog lights shining in my face. I tried to shout my dad but I couldn’t talk. I always get the weird fuzzy feeling, especially if I try to move my head I can hear it too like my brain is vibrating. I’ve had bright lights come through my window, I’ve heard chanting and recently I had a sleep paralysis episode and felt someone come into my room and drop a puppy on my bed.I felt the puppy walk up towards my face, I couldn’t move but I wanted to pet it so I opened my eyes but nothing was there I just felt the puppy move to the bottom of my bed, a few moments later I snapped out of it….no puppies :(


    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Hannah

      Thanks for sharing your sleep paralysis stories. Just when I thought they were all about demons, monsters, witches and other dark forces, you come along with a story about puppies! It makes an interesting change from the horror-film style stories many people have had. Though I’m not belittling your experiences – I’m sure they still seemed very bizarre and probably a little unsettling at the time.

      Thanks again

  55. monica H says:

    I was asleep with my newborn right next to me, when out of no where around 2:00am i woke up unable to move. I was able to talk like a whisper but not scream for help I tried to grab my daughter but something was holding me down. I soon felt like i was being drained trying to fight my way up. my fingers started to move but… I wasn’t controlling them. I wanted to cry for help, but no single noise came out. As soon as my body returned to me I saw a dark not so human figure leave my room. Now I feel like I’m not alone and I fear for my daughter.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Monica

      Thank you for sharing your story of sleep paralysis, and I’m sorry to hear that it has frightened you so much. I can understand why you would be worried. Anyone who experiences something like that finds it unsettling. And of course then you have a mother’s natural instinct to not put your child in harm’s way. Hopefully this will be a one-off, assuming it is the first time, and you’ll be able to put it behind you soon enough. Many people do only experience it once or twice in their lives; let’s hope that is the case for you. You might find it helpful to sleep with a kid’s night light on for a few days just for some reassurance.

      All the best

  56. Anonymous says:

    I have had a few experiences with sleep paralysis. They were, luckily, minor yet still quite scary. The first one was in my first apartment when I was 18. I was sleeping when all of a sudden I felt like someone was near me so I quickly opened my eyes and right there in front of my face was an old ugly woman’s face. I stared at her for a moment and shut my eyes again as soon as I felt I could.
    The next was back in early October of this year. I was staying in a friend’s house on post of Fort Carson. It all happened the same only this time it was a fat creepy man, but just the top half of him. The next time was just last night in my barracks room. This time it was a full bodied male soldier. This one lasted the longest but still quite short. Each time, I abruptly open my eyes from sleeping and have enough breath to gasp at what I am seeing. I am frozen in place and cannot move until the being completely disappears. The last two experiences, the beings floated above me and once I saw them they slowly floated up in to the ceiling and then they were gone. I also heard someone singing a strange song right before seeing the soldier. I dislike these experiences very much. They seem to disturb me a little more each time. My mom suffers from the same thing but hers are much worse. Hers are violent. I hope I can prevent them from happening now that I have more knowledge on them.

    • Ethan Green says:


      Thanks for taking the time to share your sleep paralysis stories. And they do sound quite disturbing, as so many people’s do in these comments. I also hope for your sake that a little extra knowledge will go a long way to dealing with them. There are many great suggestions from people in these comments, so hopefully you’ll have some new ideas on ways to handle it.


  57. Jacqueline says:

    Hi my name is jacqueline and I feel like I am possesed .

    • Ethan Green says:

      Jacqueline, I’m sorry to hear you’re going through whatever it is that’s making you feel that way. I do hope that you manage to find some comfort from the other explanations in this article.
      On a lighter note I can’t help but say that if there was a prize for expressing the torment of sleep paralysis in the shortest way possible, you would definitely win with your comment.
      Feel free to come back and talk a bit more about what’s making you feel that way.
      Best wishes

  58. Nik says:

    Hi Ethan,
    I have literally in the last hour had a very intense case of sleep paralysis. Hence, here I am investigating my ‘situation’ on the internet and then I came across your blog.
    I am no longer afraid of when the paralysis kicks in (normally once a month approx) however I am becoming more interested in what I think, I feel, hear and see.
    I consider myself a relatively logical person and wouldn’t necessarily assume that I am having a spiritual experience and at the same time I understand some of the biological reasons for the SP happening.
    However, I can’t help but be surprised from today’s occurrence. Earlier on today my sister told me that she went to see a psychic at the weekend, she discussed with me a few points which I found interesting – One of which was knowing that my Dad who passed away from bowel cancer 3 years ago was at my wedding last year looking over me. Even if it’s not true… It’s nice to hear!
    Anyway, for the first time I mentioned to my sister about these strange and almost embarrassing dreamy experiences that I have encountered over the years. I hear voices, whispers, I’ve held someone’s hand, and I’ve seen things – however I’ve always had a very good imagination! My sister said to me that I have a gift and things like portals / 4th dimensions!!! Which I laughed and replied – it’s more like a curse than a gift! She said to me next time it happens, why not try exploring it and push what you can see and then write it down.
    After a long day at work I got home and had tea, followed by a snooze on the couch… the next thing I know I have SP. But this time, rather than wriggling to get out of SP, I embraced it for longer – it might have been a few minutes. I could hear lots of voices all talking at once, it sounded like a playground from when I was at school, it was also incredibly windy. I also had an overwhelming feeling that my dad was stood behind me in the hallway. I tried to get up to turn around but couldn’t. Only when I finally became fully conscious to sit up and turn around to find the hallway empty.

    I’m still no more spiritual than I was yesterday (I don’t think so anyway) however, the coincidence of what happened to me today following the discussion with my sister was quite interesting and I thought I would share it with you.

    Like I said earlier… Even if it’s not true, it’s nice to think my Dad was there.


    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Nik

      Thank you so much for sharing your fascinating story. There have been a few other readers going through a similar experience of trying to balance their natural scientific belief system with what they’re met with during sleep paralysis. I always find these stories interesting to read because I think it’s one of the most logical reactions to sleep paralysis: knowing that what you saw probably didn’t really happen, but being challenged by quite how real it seemed at the time.

      It’s also a nice explanation of what happens when you don’t fight sleep paralysis but try to just ‘go with the flow’ and come out the other end, hopefully not so terrified in the process. Perhaps not everyone has the ability to let go, and lose control essentially, but those who do might just find a constructive way of dealing with SP.

      How much further you try to explore it will be up to you of course. I tend to duck out when people talk about other dimensions, even though I find the topic interesting. But I do know one or two previous readers are very much interested in that side of things. Perhaps any who are still following these comments will pop back to give you some ideas on that.

      I agree that sometimes something can feel nice even if we know it’s not true, as long as it’s kept in perspective. So I can imagine how it would have felt good to sense that your dad was somewhere nearby.

      Most importantly for anyone else reading this is the fact that you say you are no longer afraid of sleep paralysis. This will hopefully be a heartening thing to hear for anyone who is still struggling with it. So thank you for providing some hope that the fear can be overcome.

      All the best

  59. David says:

    I am 23 and have had sleep paralysis for about 2 years now. It mainly started quite mildly with no hallucinations when I had a disrupted sleeping pattern during shift work in early 2012. Then in the summer of this year when I went to a festival and had a pretty wild 4 days of virtually no sleep and some recreational ecstasy use, I had the worst SP imaginable. Full on hallucinations with demonic entities and bizarre semi realistic dreams in which my mind created an almost perfect replica of my bedroom in which I tried to walk around and get to my phone to ring my parents; only to awake in an SP state moments later with the knowledge that I was dreaming all along. It took me a week of persevering and numerous SP episodes to get over that bout and I would say to people from my experience ecstasy use DEFINITELY exacerbates SP when you are prone to it. Despite how unsettling it can make you feel, sleep paralysis certainly makes you realise the power of the subconscious/dream state mindset. I would say to anyone who is going through a period of really bad SP that it is a sleep disorder and not a mental disorder and for most people who aren’t narcoleptic trying to get a stable 8 hour sleep over a period of a week usually stops the episodes. Also I would say those prone to SP please note that many drugs (even, I believe, alcohol) will make the episodes worse and last longer! Great to see a strong thread of comments and make for an interesting read – cheers Ethan

    • David says:

      I’ve actually just realised that my comment didn’t really address what the main topic is about. I personally believe wholeheartedly in the scientific explanation BUT I can completely understand how a person would be tricked into believing that there were supernatural elements at work. I am an atheist and quite a cynic at heart but during the episodes even I questioned if there was not something other worldly at play during these SP episodes. I am sure there are those who will believe that the hallucinations are related to some fourth dimensional or astral projected world, however I would argue that what we are in fact witnessing are the awesome power of our minds during R.E.M sleep coupled with the other biological ‘fight or flight’ response which causes our minds to create these strange visions, worlds and OBE experiences. The sheer intensity of SP and other parasomnias could lead even the most cynical (me!) into questioning the religious/other worldly aspects of SP, but I would urge anyone who is uncertain about what they’re seeing that the episodes are a biological quirk with dramatic and at times mind bending results. I would just like to supplement that with the knowledge that this is my opinion and there are those who will call me a classic cynical narrow minded atheist but I believe that the scientific explanation of SP and the accompanying hallucinations is far more rational than the supernatural explanations. That said though, I wonder how many ‘ghost visitations’ could be attributed to sleep paralysis?! I know if I had been born in a pre internet era I probably would have been too scared to go to the doctors for fear of being called mad and would have probably thought a demon was in my room!!

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi David

        Thank you for adding your very eloquent comments and analysis of sleep paralysis. And I’m glad you appreciate the comment thread – I’m still in awe at how much people have gotten involved with this discussion, and I hope it continues!

        Anyway, back to your comments, and I think you make a couple of very interesting points.

        Firstly about drug-taking. This isn’t something I explored in the original article, and not something that many other people have mentioned either. But it wouldn’t surprise me if many people have experienced parasomnia ‘moments’ when taking recreational drugs; And I can imagine that some drugs could have an impact on experiences like sleep paralysis – either making them more vivid, worse, or increasing their likelihood in the susceptible – as you suggest. I think it would be very hard for anyone to predict what effect they would have though, with so many factors involved, so it’s interesting to hear your views on it.

        Secondly, like so many people, you explain really well the issue of being a skeptic but also having some very strong experiences to deal with. I like the concept of the internet changing how people are able to find answers to things like this, and how that may have influenced the way we do find explanations. I think you may well be right about not wanting to go to a doctor about this kind of thing. And looking back, how easy would it have been to find information on sleep paralysis in a library before the internet?

        Interestingly I can see the phrases that people put into Google which brings them to this article. Although many people do enter ‘sleep paralysis’ there are also many more who enter phrases like ‘can’t move in the night demon on chest’ or ‘frozen in bed with ghost in room’ etc. It’s the fact that you can enter a search like that and arrive at an explanation like this that makes it easier for people. I have no idea how easy it would have been to find a library book when all you have in your head to start with it ‘demon on chest in the night’! Maybe I’ll have a go one day and see how easy it is to find an answer in my local library.

        Thanks again for raising some interesting points

  60. Jeff says:

    I have had 2 very distinct and disturbing experiences of sleep paralysis in which my mind has become completely detached from my body and time and space both dissolved around me. In both cases it occurred in the middle of the night (middle of my sleep) and my mind “awakens” to the realization of detachment from my body. I am aware my body is paralysed yet I am above my body. I no longer have the sense of sight, sound or touch and my mind seems to exist in a separate plane of existence – a non physical one. I am acutely aware of everything around me without physical confirmation. I am also extremely frightened that my body is in danger and I am in desperate search for help. I can’t move, speak, hear or see yet I am “floating” outside my body. The first time I “screamed” out for God as I felt my body was being scanned by some foreign entity that was inside of me. This entity scanned by body from toe to head going through all my organs before exiting through my left eye. Once the entity left my body my paralysis was over and my mind and body instantly reconnected, I gasped for breath and regained all my physical abilities. The second time this happened I perceived my body as being restrained by forces trying to hold me down and I tried to call for help or run for my bedroom door even though my body and mind were detached. Finally at the last second I re-entered my body and found myself calling for help in a weak, frightened voice. The most terrifying part of these experiences is that I remember them in absolute clarity and detail and can describe them definitively years later. Out of body experiences, alien abductions, sleep paralysis or near death experiences are all possibilities to me as these experiences are terrifying but not physically harmful.
    Jeff L

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jeff

      Thanks so much for sharing your sleep paralysis stories. Not many people have described the out-of-body experience ‘type’ of sleep paralysis, so it’s great that you can remember them in such detail. They do sound very frightening though!

      I think it’s experiences like these which can very easily lead to questioning whether some alien or other entity was involved; it sounds very intense, and the fact that you can recall it so well only adds to the difficulty in explaining them in a scientific way, I imagine.

      I hope for your sake that it stays at just the two occurrences, and you don’t have to deal with this kind of experience again.

      Best wishes

  61. f says:

    I do not believe the science behind this as if hallucinations will occur people will experience differences from their own mind not the same things. The first time I experienced sleep paralysis I was not able to move anything apart from my eyes and I could feel a presence over me and could only see a shadowy figure in the corner of my eye I tried to fight out of it but I couldn’t and ended up falling back asleep and waking up remembering what happened but feeling perfectly fine …last night it happened again and I was able to force out of it but I could see a shadowy figure to the left of me getting closer, I fought till I could move again. the thing is I was not deeply sleeping or tired I had just laid down and closed my eyes for a while. I HATE THIS STUFF. crazy

    I beleive I’ve experienced more but I cant remember them specifically.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi F

      Thanks for sharing your story with us, and sorry to hear that it has been a struggle for you to deal with – as it has for so many others. Perhaps reading this article and the other comments will give you some ideas of things you can do to cope with it.

      What you say about people experiencing different hallucinations might appear to make sense, considering the fact that we are all different. The thing is though, our brains are filled with a lifetime of the same kinds of ideas. For example, as children we tell scary stories, we see and read things about witches, monsters, vampires, demons or whatever it might be. As adults we hear stories of people being burgled, grow to learn that strange men in the shadows in the dark might be something to be scared of, watch and hear about even scarier entities in films or television. Many people also have religious influences on their idea of good and evil.

      My point being that even though we are individuals, we share the same stories, images and ideas about what is bad, scary or dangerous in the dark. So I think it makes sense that if you have many different people lying in their beds frozen, and their brains need to decide what it is happening to them with a minimal amount of information, it is unlikely to be a completely alien monster that nobody has ever thought of before. It is likely to be something we fear, and have possibly seen in a film, read in a book or the news, or heard someone tell us about etc.

      This is my personal view on that topic, though it’s certainly not my own theory as it does have a basis in Psychology. I hope the idea makes sense to you as I described it.

      All the best and I hope you get some peace soon

  62. Different says:

    I would like to start this post by saying I read every comment above and feel grateful I’m not alone and for Mr Green your desire to share your information. I believe my SP started in my teens but I always thought it was a recurring bad dream. The dream started about when I was 15 or 16 it was always the same dream this force or dark entity is the best way I can describe it. It only happened at night when I went to bed, the force that I felt was of an evil nature. This force (shadowy black figure) would always approach me and without touching me forcefully shove me to the other side of the room or down a stairway then I woke up but was still in my bed I was in a paralyzed state while it was happening. Same dream for the next 3-4 years off and on. I finally after many dreams decided to tell my parents the dream. I came from a very loving and stable family life, my mother told me to confront this entity/being the next time it happened and let it know I believed in the good in the world and would go towards the good light not the dark and in my state of feeling I couldn’t move or talk i muttered the words I want the light. That was the last time that entity visited me. Now fast forward 25 years I have my own family I often have very lucid dreams that I often feel as if I travel to distant places while I sleep. On August 18 2010 I had my worst nightmare come true I received a call that my youngest son had been in a horrible car accident he was hit head on by a drunk driver and was being transported to the Trauma center for his injuries. The 2 weeks we spent in ICU and the year long recovery was nothing short of a miracle that he survived and I thank God everyday for that! But that is when my SP started again and this time one of my episodes was of the most peaceful nature I have ever experienced. I was asleep and started to go into that state of waking up so I thought! I was met by this man with long blonde hair and a blue & white robe, this did not seem odd to me in my mind it was his eyes they were as blue as the bluest blue you could ever imagine and that’s how he spoke to me through his eyes I could read his thoughts through his eyes. It will be the episode that will be permanently engraved in my mind it was nothing but pure peace that I came away with. I guess that was my miracle that saved my son that night according to the state police the crash should not have been survivable. Still to this day I have on and off sleep paralysis episodes and yes the shadowy figures still visit and are still scarey but I also feel that people who have these have a gift in a way, there is a common connection between all these post they are real to us and if we can find a way to understand why this is happening to all of us. I still think we are in the minority of the population as far as having these episodes but as more and more people have them and discuss them others can come away from this feeling you’re not crazy or losing your mind and you’re not alone. I did purchase the book SP a guide to Hypnagogic visions and visitors of the night – as I was told it was a great book. I believe everyone has their own religion & beliefs and so does science but there are some things you just can’t explain. I wish those of you that have scary SP episodes peace and those of you in the scientific belief keep searching for your proof. I’m truly grateful to have read and shared my story with you all!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Different

      Thank you so much for sharing your fascinating story. I’m so glad your son survived that crash – it must have been a unimaginably terrifying time for your whole family.

      As you’ll know from reading the other comments (how long did that take you?!), other people have also felt that their SP is tied with family members and events in their lives. It makes perfect sense to me that in the strange world of sleep paralysis, dreams and other nightly occurrences, that not everyone experiences it in isolation from the rest of their life.

      It’s great that in the past you were able to confront whatever was happening and deal with it with positive thinking. It’s a shame that so many years later though the scarier elements seem to have reappeared. But once again it does show that it is possible to tackle the frightening ‘entities’ in sleep paralysis with your own positive mind. I’m especially grateful when people share these kind of experiences because it will give hope to those who are still trying to deal with the terror of SP. I hope you manage to once again get rid of the scarier experiences.

      Thanks for the feedback on the book by the way. I’d be interested to hear if you found it just a good read, or of practical use as well?
      And thanks on behalf of everyone else for your positive wishes – I’m sure anyone else who reads this will also wish you peace:-)

  63. Paul notley says:

    Ok just wanted to share my recent experience, i’ve had many but this one was the worst. Its making my eyes water and giving me shivers just thinking about it. So i was in bed asleep next to my wife, and i slipped into sleep paralysis, i later found it was about 3.45am. There was the most evil looking figure stood beside my bed, glaring at me, i am convinced this figure wasn’t just a demon, it was the devil. Straight away i panic and try with every ounce of energy i had to get out of it and move or open my eyes, but i was frozen. The devil moved towards me, crouched down next to me and put his face an inch away from mine, and was slowy but heavily breathing in my face, so much so i could feel my hair and eyelashes moving, never has anything in my life terrified me so much. I was convinced if i didnt snap out of it, i was going to die. After another failed attempt to move i paused to save energy for one final push and managed to wake, sitting bolt upright in my bed, covered in sweat and shaking, i had to turn my bedroom light on and tv and sit up in bed for half an hour to make sure i didnt fall back asleep and slip back into the paralysis (which has happened many times before). I didnt sleep again that night. I know sp is fairly common, but why the demons? Surely every person who gets it would see different scary things like snakes or aliens for example? I had never heard of sp or seeing the demons until it happened to me so it wasnt stored in my brain already. It creeps me out!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Paul

      Thanks for taking the time to share your sleep paralysis story…and a scary one it is at that!

      You raise an interesting question about people seeing the same thing, i.e demons. However, my view is that people often describe quite different kinds of demon or dark entity. If you look back through these comments you’ll see all sorts of descriptions of dark forces.

      I think if the whole planet described exactly the same looking demonic entity, then we could perhaps start wondering what is going on. But even though you say you hadn’t heard of demons before, you will still have been exposed to images and ideas of demons/ghosts/monsters etc through media like television. Even if you never watch horror films, it’s hard these days to never catch glimpses of scary images.

      So assuming the scientific explanation is correct, it makes sense that your mind conjures up some kind if demon with inspiration from a film or picture you’ve seen…even if it was a long time ago. So naturally, people see scary figures which might share some similarity, but are not all the same.

      That’s what I choose to believe personally. It’s up to you though to decide where the line is between coincidence and something else.

      I hope you don’t have such a scary experience again, and thanks again for your thoughts.

  64. Lacos says:

    Thank you for starting this forum I feel a lot better knowing that I’m not the only person going through this. I’ve been having SP for about 6 months now, but as a child I had dreams of someone chasing me but never knowing who or what was chasing me. I also frequently had dreams that I was a very small and inferior being lying in bed while the presence of a dominant, powerful being was above me. I hate having SP, and before writing this I just had one where my arms and legs are stiff and I can only move my eyes, I usually feel the pressure of someone sitting/pushing down on my chest. During my SP I also feel a strong desire to give in, to close my eyes. I try and fight this feeling then I try and scream out for help but nothing comes out. I then begin to pray and say ‘return to sender’ and I then come out of the SP. On this night when I had the SP I seem to come out of myself and it was as though the being that was in the room with me held a mirror up to the right side of my face and I could see my reflection in a warm dream like slightly romantically dead red, yellow and orange colours. I have also noticed that when I wake from SP I’m lying on my back. In the past I’ve heard and seen women chanting like witches with a picture of myself tied around her neck. I hope SP is scientific but my experiences have told me/ lead me to believe that there is more to it than what science can call normal. I hope this STOPS for good!!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Lacos

      Thank you for sharing your sleep paralysis stories. It sounds like you’ve had quite a range of unpleasant experiences, so I’m not surprised you’re hoping it stops for good. But I’m glad you feel a little better knowing that you’re not alone.

      It’s great when people find a way to snap out of the sleep paralysis, not matter what technique they use or what they say. And saying “return to sender” is certainly a new one, and made me smile when I read it. Does it still work, or was that a one off moment?

      You’re also not alone in being torn between the scientific explanation and thinking there is more to it. But whatever you choose to believe, I hope you find peace with it and manage to deal with SP swiftly if it happens again.


  65. amanda says:

    some people seem to be having out of body experiences, painful experiences, even just not being able to move. when ever i have sleep paralysis i am always tormented by either a small or large black misted creature. when i first had this experience, i recognized the sensation, so i must’ve had the problem as a younger child. sometimes i cant remember the dreams, and sometimes they’re clearer than daylight. it always starts out when i get these bright colors flashing behind my eyeballs. and then i realize that i cant move or speak. the whole time i’m laying there in this condition i’m screaming in my head. and then something grabs me. my worst experience yet was when i was dreaming that my legs were dangling off of the side of my bed. in one foul swoop my feet and body were seized and something large and menacing and it moved me across the bed. i’ve never felt a more powerful night terror. this one had me by my neck, choking me as i called out for jesus, to no avail could i speak. in all of my SP experiences the being is close to my face, speaking in a low demonic tone, too quiet for me to understand, but loud enough to hear the mumbling. in this one it was translucent, but i could see the air shaping around the curviature of the being. in other SP accounts they are always humanoid, and almost all are misty black colored. some jump up and down on me, taunting me while i can’t move, some just whisper in my ear. as im just about to give up the fight, i wake up coated in a blistering sweat, breathing hard and exhausted. sometimes i get one dream, sometimes it feels like i had SP all night long. for me, i think it’s because of my stress. but i have to say, i fully hate the experiences i’ve had. its been a while since i’ve had one, but it seems that it always comes back.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Amanda

      Thank you for sharing your stories of sleep paralysis, and like so many other readers they seem truly terrifying! It seems from reading, though I may just be misinterpreting what you’re saying, that you have a combination of sleep paralysis and nightmares/night terrors? But whatever the case, I can fully understand why you hate the experience so much.
      Hopefully you’ll find something in the article or other readers’ comments which helps you to deal with it. There have been lots of good suggestions from people which could help you.

  66. steppingonurtoes says:

    I’ve had a couple of sp experiences very similar to everyone else’s. I started sleeping in a different room 4 years ago bc of the “sp” and it all went away. I never really spoke about it to a lot of ppl. 3 years ago there was some guy renting my old room and after a year of getting to know him, we’re drinking having a few beers. He starts telling me about what had happened to him a couple of times at night in the same room I use to sleep in. I looked at with wide opened eyes and I didn’t want to tell him I had the same thing happened to me. I didn’t want to scare him, so I told him it happened to me 10 years ago in a different house. I don’t know what it is. I’ve read both sides and all I can say is that, it’s a wierd creepy experience like no other.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi ‘steppingonurtoes’

      Thanks for your interesting comment. I’m assuming from your choice of name, and the content of your story, that you’re hinting that our recent discussion about people not experiencing the same thing isn’t 100% accurate? :-)

      I’m always happy to hear different perspectives on this site, so your story is very welcome even if it contradicts what I and a previous reader were talking about. I’d be interested to know exactly what the experience was? Did you both describe exactly the same SP experience, or was it just the fact that you both had SP in that room? Hopefully you’re following this thread and can tell us a little more.

      Best wishes

  67. Shane Turner says:

    I believe I have sleep paralysis but it is not real common or to the extent of what others with SP might have. I have dreams of seeing a small demon running at me and I yell out in my dream I rebuke you in the name of Jesus. It was something was told to do if I ever had an experience with a demon. After I wake I feel stiff as a board, can’t move for a couple minutes, and feel like something is in the room with me. I was brought up in Fundamentalist Christianity but I would consider myself to be agnostic more than anything else. It is hard to say whether it is psychological or supernatural. I don’t know if it is anything because I am uncertain anything supernatural exists or doesn’t exist for that matter.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Shane

      Thanks for your comment, and I think you hit on something that I suspect many people have – a bad dream which then changes and lingers on into sleep paralysis. Though I think it’s possible to get confused sometimes with whether or not it’s still a bad dream or sleep paralysis. People seem to have such varied experiences.
      I’m glad to hear that you don’t get it very often though.

  68. Luneice says:

    ok so i just found out about sleep paralysis and it’s only cause it happened to me about a couple times now but i remember a dream i had when i was a kid and well now i know what that was ,anyway describing it in one word terrifying ,you lose movement/control including your voice and you can’t do anything at all ,it’s like you’re being haunted and you’re left un armed and motionless with no power at all it’s worse than torture i couldn’t see who was in the room but the closest thing i could relate to was a ghost/spirit a vengeful one ,that can harm you unlike normal ghosts that aren’t suppose to be able to. but i could feel there was a presence there an evil malevolent one ,i felt like all the evil in the world was gathered there and i could’nt do a thing except stay still and watch in horror waiting for my doom,i tried forcing myself into moving so i could run away ,shouting but i lost control over my entire body and voice it’s like at one point i didn’t even have a body then the spirit or ghost starts pulling me off the bed onto the floor from my legs or blankets and i wake up terrified turning the lights on but last night’s episode was worse cause i started slowly tilting my head in extreme horror to see what was in the room i did it more than once but i saw nothing the presence was still strong and as real as can be just invisible i think this thing is somewhere in between science and the paranormal i mean nobody knows there’s no proof that the paranormal doesn’t exist and there’s also no proof that it’s solely based on scientific facts another thing that happened to me in the dream/sleep paralysis episode is that my grandfather had just finished taking a shower when i was dreaming i was aware of it in fact i even tried calling out to him but to no avail and it was real cause when i woke up he was still in the corridor i also heard that astral projection/soul travelling just like insidious is connected to this and that makes it even worse i mean what if people with this condition or disorder or whatever it is really do leave their physical bodies and by doing so doors to the astral world open up and spirits or demons try to steal your body while you’re outside of it cause they crave life or something.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Luneice

      Thanks for sharing your sleep paralysis experience, and like so many others it sounds like you’ve had to cope with some very unsettling events.
      It’s interesting that you mention people being open to having their body taken over by evil forces. This is something which throughout history (not to mention horror films) has been a human fear I think. For example, one explanation for the origin of saying ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes is that people used to fear the soul was shot out with the sneeze, leaving the body vulnerable.
      Hopefully we can assume that people are not taken over by demons during sleep paralysis. It is such a common occurrence, there would be an awful lot of possessed people wondering around if this was the case!
      But still, I know you’re not alone in thinking that the explanation for the horribly scary things that happens lies somewhere between the scientific and paranormal explanations. And of course there is always room to question either explanation.
      Once again it comes to personal choice what to believe, and how much comfort that belief will give you.

  69. C says:

    I had extremely vivid, frightening dreams when I was 3. Sometimes I would experience lucidity during these nightmares, which eventually progressed to lucid dreaming all the time. This is when I started experiencing SP.

    I still remember the first time clearly. I woke up unable to move anything but my eyes. There was something big, heavy, and ice cold sitting on my chest. The creature was a strange amalgamation of insect and mammal parts. I could feel its enormous beetle legs digging into my flesh as it sat on me, but the worst part was the smell. It was a mixture of rat urine and cockroach odor so strong I could taste it in my mouth. In the periphery of my vision I could see a shadowy black figure standing in the corner of my room. The words, “This isn’t real”, flashed through my mind. I closed my eyes and went back to sleep.

    I kept having the same hallucinations of the shadow man and the malodorous bug, sometimes together, sometimes separately for many years. I thought they were just extra vivid nightmares, that frequently preceded some really insane lucid dreams. Then I read about SP and realized that’s what I was experiencing.

    I haven’t seen the shadow man in about a decade now, and the malodorous bug hasn’t returned in the last 8 years. My usual SP hallucination these days is someone I know in real life. When I “wake up” he’s sitting on my chest reading. He’ll tell me that I should go back to sleep. Sometimes I die in my dreams and “wake up” in SP. Then my hallucination laughs and says, “F*****d that up, didn’t you?”

    It was interesting reading others’ experiences. I’m glad that I’ve never felt so afraid in SP that it started affecting my waking life. For me, SP is bizarre and not the most pleasant experience, but it’s not deeply terrifying. I always know the hallucinations aren’t real.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi C

      Thank you for your very eloquently described story of SP. You’re a good story teller I think! And I don’t mean that as in making it up, but as in the way you wrote it:-)

      Your description is also interesting as it connects with a previous couple of comments about the significance of people seeing roughly the same dark shadow figure. Even though you also do, there is the rather unique ‘malodorous bug’!

      And yes, you’re probably one of the ‘lucky’ ones then who experiences SP but doesn’t find it truly terrifying. I hope it stays that way!


  70. Edrick says:

    Hi Ethan, i had the very same experience you had. But my experience is much clearer than yours. . . I always sleep with a zero watt bulb in my bedroom. So my room is always dimly lit and that makes everything in the room very visible. It was around 12:30 in the night when i opened my eyes. And i saw what looked like a black wisp of air a little behind my head,it resembled BLACK SMOKE. And i could see it easily, as clearly as i see my computer screen right now. Before i stretched my neck to see what it was, it quickly moved around my bed and sat upon my chest, and after that i could do nothing, i felt like it was rolling my tongue and i couldnt scream….I am a Christian. So i had the faith that if i said the name ‘Jesus’ it would leave me(childish faith, i know). I tried to say the name, but obviously could not. But after many vain full attempts, with the balck spirit still hovering over me, i said ‘Jesus’, and it left me that very instant. . . I have never had that experience again. I have strong faith in God, and hence i believe that the ”DARK SMOKE” was an evil spirit . . . . i thought i was the only person in the world with this terrifying experience, but im glad i bumped into your site.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Edrick

      Thanks for the comment, and you’re definitely not the only person to experience this, as you now know from the sheer quantity of readers who have shared their sleep paralysis story.

      As time goes by, there’s a clear pattern developing of the kinds of things which help. And for those who have firm religious beliefs, focusing on calling on a religious power definitely seems to one of those things.

      It’s great when people find something which helps stop the SP, so I appreciate you sharing this. It will no doubt be very helpful for other readers who also share the same belief.


  71. Vanessa M says:


    I just wanted to comment on what my experience was. I just woke up to not knowing if I was sleeping, awake, hearing things, or just going crazy. I have two dogs and a cat who usually go nuts if they hear things themselves so this is why it’s even more freaky. I sleep with my husband and rotate from front, to side, to back. Last night I kept hearing things which sounded like they were coming from the other room, almost like an empty water cooler jug being pushed around ( we have several empty ones in basement as we have a cooler). I though maybe it was the cat as none if the dogs seemed fine. I then woke up at 3am and couldn’t fall back asleep which is weird but whatever. I then went on my phone for an hour looking at Facebook till i felt tired and fell asleep again, I then dreamt ( or though I was dreaming) of hearing noises again like things in the kitchen, they kept getting louder and louder, I felt like I was awake and was trying to move but couldn’t. I then heard what sounded to be like our swifter vacuum go off and get louder and almost like someone was coming in our room with it. I couldn’t even grab my husbands hand even though his hand was touching mine. I opened my eyes so confused he didn’t hear it, but never woke him as I realized the dogs were still fast asleep and so was my 6 month old. I also forgot to mention while experiencing all this while I was hearing noises I felt like my bed was bubbling up someone was pushing up on the bed. So scary. Still trying to figure why no one else heard anything. :{

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Vanessa

      It sounds like you had an awful lot going on that night, so I’m not surprised you’ve been left feeling a little confused!

      From reading all the comments on this article and various others, a feeling I often get is that people sometimes have experiences which cover various different areas and end up in a big confusing mess. For example you can have some complex and bizarre nightmares which then turn into sleep paralysis. And perhaps float between the two several times over the night.

      Because of this I think it’s probably impossible sometimes to say definitely that an experience was one thing or the other. Perhaps you may need to just put it down to a very bad night’s sleep, which involved possible nightmares, sleep paralysis and who knows what other unexplained sleep parasomnia.

      I don’t know if that is helpful in any way, but my overall sense is that sometimes it’s too hard to unpick something completely, so maybe try to file it away in the brain in the ‘uncategorized’ section if at all possible!

      Hopefully this was a one-off experience and you won’t have to go through it again.

      Thanks for sharing your story

  72. Linda says:

    I am so interested in this subject. I have had several episodes of SP. It started when I was in college. My roommate and I had twin beds with a dresser inbetween. I can remember falling asleep on my stomach, then being awake, I could see my roommate sleeping on the other side of the room, I could see a black cloaked figure at the foot of my bed pulling me by my left ankle. I would try to scream to my roommate, but nothing would come out, I would feel myself being pulled from the bed scared to death. When I would wake up, I would be in the same position, but would not have moved. I always attributed this to nightmares, this happened several times when I was in college. Years later, during my first marriage, my husband, who was an emt would work 24 hour shifts. On the nights he was gone, I would experience these episodes. Different from the ones in college. Many times I would fall asleep while reading with the bedside lamp on. I would wake up to all kinds of noise and people in the living room, as if there was a party. I wouldn’t be able to move or speak. When I would finally wake up, of course I was alone. I would be afraid to fall back to sleep because these “dreams” would happen more than once in a night. It’s been several years since I have had an episode, but they do pop up occasionally. It’s very unnerving and maybe the reason that I don’t always like to sleep in bed and always have the tv on.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Linda

      Thank you for taking the time to share your story. The ankle being pulled nightmare really doesn’t sound nice at all! And what you describe as possibly sleep paralysis whereby you hear people in the living room is quite an unusual one. I wonder if it is sleep paralysis, or you are dreaming of being paralyzed and hearing the party? As I was saying to a previous reader, I think it can be very hard to tell the difference sometimes.
      At least you’re not having them so often now, whatever the episodes may be. If you’ve found keeping a TV on reduces it, then it’s good you’ve found something which helps.

  73. Meg says:

    I’m 20. I’ve had more than a few experiences of SP before, all during the past year… my very first one however was when I took a nap on my mother’s bed downstairs and started dreaming. The dream wasn’t bad at first, but near the end I was sitting high up near a ceiling alone where a lot of fake clouds were or were floating or something very light hearted and calming… and I start seeing small half a foot tall at most, imp-like black things with sharp teeth … I wake up and realize I’m on my mother’s bed but I can’t move at all except for my eyes. I look to my left and one of the imp things is near me and it’s growling or something. With great effort I manage to free one of my hands and I grab the thing (the one near me, there were two others) and squish it in my fist. I manage to fully wake up my limbs and start moving freely and snap out of it.

    The other times SP has happened to me I haven’t seen any creatures I’ve just been unable to move and one time I saw spidery black shapes on the ceiling of my room. The most recent experience I’ve had involved me waking up in my own bed and I hadn’t opened my eyes yet, but I felt like something or someone was stroking my hair and at first I didn’t mind it because it felt nice. Soon I got a bit creeped out by it after a few seconds and I opened my eyes. The stroking stopped just before I opened my eyes. Nothing was there and I don’t remember not being able to move but the stroking felt so real and I was calm almost the whole time.

    I haven’t had any more for a half a year now and I don’t necessarily fear my experiences all that much because I haven’t seen a demon like entity or experienced any pressure on my chest or anything like that. But I am very interested in the topics of SP and lucid dreams and supernatural entities. I have read almost all the comments and just now noticed that it is almost 6 am hahah.

    I am a Christian and I do believe that a spiritual realm exists and so do demons and spirits (I don’t call them ghosts because I feel like that’s the term people use when they say they don’t believe in them). But I haven’t had any supernatural experiences or seen any truly terrifying demon before. I believe the scientific explanations for SP but reading some of the other comments on here one in particular where an entity entered a man’s body and was forced back out in billowing black smoke, I believe that some of them could be truly supernatural in nature.

    By the way most of my experiences I was laying on my back. Seems to be a recurring thing with people.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Meg

      Thank you for sharing your sleep paralysis experiences, and also your interesting comments on the previous readers’ stories. I’d love to know what time you started reading the comments if you finished at 6am! I can only imagine it took a very long time. I also imagine that your mind would have been so full of the countless horror-like stories, you could easily have had bad dreams! Some of the stories send a shiver down my spine when they arrive in my inbox to publish…

      I really likes the way you describe being able to ‘squish’ the imp in that one experience. I think it’s very rare to actually get your hands on something because whatever you are seeing tends to disappear shortly before or as you regain movement. So you’re very unique there!

      And it’s interesting again to hear from someone who experiences SP but doesn’t always find it scary. It’s curious how there is such a wide range of reactions to similar experiences.

      And if you do believe in supernatural things, then I imagine it’s helpful to not be so scared by what happens to you. To believe and be scared must be a difficult combination for some people to cope with.

      Thanks again for the comment

  74. Random Cool Name says:

    After reading all about SP on the internet i just wanted to share my experience with all of you to feel a little more comfortable sleeping tonight. I know this sounds like a big lie but both of my two SP experiences kind of merged with a lucid dreaming state and were quite a scary adventure. On my first experience i was tired. I mean really tired i have been attending a math course for the big university exam.(not the finals a different one to enter a university). On that night i woke up and saw a kind of muscular black figure in the room standing far away. It moved like a human and looked like he would be in his thirties if it had a face or other organs or skin or i dont know. Just as it started to walk towards me i noticed i had a set of syringes tied to my belt and started to inject the figure with them. With each injection the figure got smaller and shortly there was nothing but a little black puddle on the ground. I knew if i did one more injection it would be gone but there wasn’t any syringes left.Then the puddle started to reform and grow in to a more muscular frightening figure… Then I woke up. I know this doesn’t fit the sleep paralysis but the whole time my body was on my bed and i felt the whole can’t move, what the *&%*? sensation as i battled that guy.

    The other one was much more interesting but damn, its hard to recollect the memories to write it down as a storyish thingie. Sorry mainly i fought against a book character named Abdi ağa ( From İnce Memed) with a rifle then an mp40. Again i cant move, OMG, why is my body over there, have i done this before?, and other thoughts came to my mind.

    And there was another i forgot to mention at the beginning. The most pleasant one (actually the only nice one of them). When i woke up i saw my girlfriend sitting on my chest and dangling her feet from the bed, but not in a scary way. She had a warm smile on her face. If I could move I would just think it was a nice dream.
    So … Yeah

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi acceptably cool name:-)

      Thanks first of all for taking the time to describe your experience. I think, as you point out yourself, that it’s hard to tell whether what you experienced was really sleep paralysis or not. I think when people describe waking up but being frozen, it’s easier to attribute it to SP. But when people start doing things, as in your syringes ‘attack’ it’s harder to work out whether you’re just dreaming, or lucid dreaming, or a combination of different sleep states where a dream merges with a lucid dream as you suggest. And you may never really know!
      Nonetheless, they are interesting experiences there, especially the variety between the 3.
      Thanks again for sharing

  75. Kay says:

    I have experienced these scary sleep experiences, throughout my adult life. I actually had one last night, and for the first time ever, do not feel scared today, as I usually become petrified for days later! It was the usual experience, I am waking up, or just falling asleep, I am aware I am lying in bed, and can hear noises like cutlery drawers opening and shutting in my kitchen, people knocking on my door, I am filled with sense of terror before I realise I am paralysed, I try to move and shout, bit I can’t, I manage to open my eyes, but it feels like I m drugged and am falling back into a sleep of horrors, I fight so hard to wake, I feel a tingling sensation starting at my feet, the pressure is intense, and I feel if it reaches any higher it’s the end! I also feel like I m being thrown up walls and being pulled under the bed, but very fast! Last night, although still scary, I managed to laugh in my head, and say, do whatever, I will not give my energy in fighting u, I still went under the bed, but I wasn’t afraid anymore, I tht, when else would I ever get to experience this feeling, I I removed the fear, and it somehow evolved into another dream! I for years thought I was being possessed by demons, I visited a doctor, petrified, he could see how terrified I was and sent me for therapy, they didn’t address the dreams, and just asked me questions about my life, I felt so utterly drained and terrified! I would talk to people about them, as I was desperate for help, and I would clear the room, lol, even my own family just tht I was nuts and didn’t take me seriously. As a child I was always terrified at night, I would sleep with the covers over my head, and wearing shoes, and putting lines of socks at the bottom of by bed as a barrier!! At times I have tht I m crazy too! I am now in my 40’s and have reached a new level of awareness, and I agree with your theory, I’d much rather turn my experiences into a positive experience, as I have no control over these episodes, than be consumed with fear of being possessed by demons every night! I have wasted so, so, so much energy and fear and made my self ill with worry, that if have made the decision to not be any more, and I was as easy as that! I look forward to my next one, and am curious to see how I can handle and control it again! Common sense is kinda shouting at me, telling me if it can happen to me so many times, nothing bad ever happens,it always ends, and it is what it is, I will never find out what is really happening, so ride the roller coaster of sleep terrors, and turn it into your own crazy ass theme park of rides, that no-one else but u will get to experience!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Kay

      Thank you so much for this comment, it’s a really interesting and positive story of how it is possible to change your mindset towards sleep paralysis, and therefore hope to deal with it better. I’m really impressed by how you managed to take the decision to change your perspective, especially considering the fact that you were so traumatized by it for so many years.

      It’s a shame that you had to experience people, yourself included, thinking you were going crazy. I often wonder how many people out there have had the same problem, or not spoken or it because of the fear of being branded crazy.

      Good for you for dealing with it in the way you have, and I hope it only continues to grow easier to deal with as time goes by.

      Thanks again for sharing this as I’m sure it will help one or two others who read it.

  76. Maggie says:

    I have seen myself fighting back I even woke up with red scratches on my left arm

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Maggie

      That doesn’t sound nice at all. Do you think it’s possible the scratches were an unfortunate result of you moving around during a bad dream?

  77. Andromeda says:

    I’ve had an experience, but I’m not entirely sure if I was really awake or whether I had a false awakening. It was all exactly the same as when I definitely woke up, except I couldn’t move, speak or breathe properly.
    I didn’t have any demons or anything, but my housemate came into my room and walked up to my bed and tried to shove a drink of something at me. Since my housemate never actually did that, I’m pretty sure mine, at least, was a hallucination.
    The strange thing is that my housemate is actually the nicest guy ever, but I continually dream he’s like, messing with my head in my dreams. >.<

    The thing that makes me convinced some of these experiences are more than just dreams/hallucinations is the content of what some of the creatures say, if it is they say anything. From experiences I've read online, the creatures sometimes say stuff like 'We're finally in her head', 'You're not ready, I'll come back when you are' and 'She's waking up, we have to leave'. I mean, that stuff is truly concerning.

    Also I read several people experiencing sleep paralysis, and maybe seeing a creature, and their partner's who are asleep beside them wake up saying they felt something sitting on their chest, crushing their breathing. I mean, that's pretty spinny.

    Also, I've read that this phenomenon tends to happen to people when they sleep on their backs. For some reason, my whole life, I've never been able to sleep on my back because it makes me feel really, really vulnerable. Perhaps there is some subconscious reasoning behind my irrational fear?

    I also understand that many of these experiences come after somebody, willingly or unwillingly, had been lucid dreaming. I always felt that lucid dreaming/astral travelling was quite literally when somebody's soul leaves his/her body, but I'm pretty spiritual like that.

    Anyway, assuming that theory is correct, isn't it then possible that:

    a) people experience sleep paralysis because their soul is not entirely one with their body yet? And for some reason, part of their consciousness IS in the body, but not enough that they have full control of their body?


    b) That during these periods where our soul is outside our body, that we might encounter creatures usually outside of the 3rd dimension, outside of most people's usual field of vision? Certainly some of these creatures will be of ill-intent.

    And that really scares me. If the soul is outside our body, thus rendering us vulnerable and semi-conscious, and we're interacting with this dark creatures whilst so vulnerable… well, the possibilities terrify me.

    I wouldn't want them 'inside my head' or 'coming back when I'm ready'. What purpose would they have? What would they be coming back for?

    Scary, scary stuff.

    Hopefully, I'm not correct and the scientific explanation is truly what's going on, 'cause otherwise, there's some terrifying stuff that science and thus, most of us, will never, ever understand.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi andromeda,

      Thank you for your comment, and adding your thoughts and theories to the on-going discussion. I won’t go on too much in response to you, but it does seem that you’re worrying a lot about things you’ve read online, rather than your own experiences. For example what you’ve read that ‘creatures’ sometimes say. I think it’s good to take what you read online with a pinch of salt, and not think too much about what other people say. If you worry about everything everyone ever reports about what they see in their dreams, nightmares, hallucinations or sleep paralysis, then there will be awful lot to worry about! If you do believe in astral travelling, lucid dreaming etc, as many people do, then maybe you could try to think about the good things you’ll potentially see. Just a thought for you.
      Thanks again for taking the time to comment, and you may find one or two other readers respond at some point to your thoughts.

  78. Trenton says:

    Hi. I used to be a strongly religious Christian. This was before i realized that religion and faith are 2 different things. I know not every one will believe the same as me. But i will say that i believe What my Bible says is true. I DO. NOT however agree with all the religious things that society has put upon my faith. NOW THAT BEING SAID….HERE’S MY STORY. Before i tell of my experience i will say that i agree that there is something biological taking place. But it doesn’t answer enough. 2 years ago i had a failed suicide attempt. As a sophomore in high school i went through a lot of mental grief and problems. I had abandoned what i thought was my faith. Until one night i was asleep. I suddenly became aware. Not in my physical earthly body but i was in a dark nexus. The best i can describe it is the loading screen on assassins creed video games. But i was accompanied by a tall dark figure. He was pointing at me. He said “Trenton. You are mine. If you cant escape this dream you will die and i will own your soul.” It was more real to me than any lucid dream i have ever had. I was aware that what he said was true. I tried crawling away into this black and empty infinity to no avail. He laughed as i sat crying. I felt the devil himself in my presence. He said “now you’re mine” and without thinking i turned and said “no. I belong to God” he didn’t like that. Then i saw a figure appear that i can only describe as light. He looked even angrier than the dark figure. The Man clothed in light took the dark figure away to where i couldn’t hear what was being said. He pointed and scolded at the dark one and the dark one looked like the kid in class who doesn’t care what the teacher says but follows orders always (you know that guy) He pointed back at me. Then the dark one smiled in my direction and nodded his head at the light One and the light one opened the light where i crawled from the nexus back to my bed. It was more than lucid. I know no amount of explaining could be convincing but it was real enough that i am still convinced. Since then i became TRULY saved. But that hasn’t rid me of my worn in anxiety and depression.DON’T GIVE UP HERE COMES THE MORE RELATIVE STORY. Last fall i was lying in my bed.(asleep) this time it was just a dream.almost all of my dreams have about a1.5 second continuity span.not this one. It was all one solid flowing dream I saw a girl. Half of her face was the most beautiful thing i have ever laid eyes on. She needed no make up. But the other half was decayed. There was bone showing. It was the most frightening sight i could imagine. She kept sort of singing “im the angel ghost” over and over. I have a weak spot for beautiful girls. I went to ask her if there was something wrong.she looked at me and said “now YOU are the angel witch IMMEDIATELY i was attacked. I woke up as if i were having a night terror ONLY TO REALIZE THAT I COULDN’T move. Something was on my was patting me. At first it felt like a huge mouse had gotten on top of me and started jumping on me.i was screaming internally when all of a sudden my body came back to my mind and i had yelped and screamed like never before while throwing my blankets across the room. I had realized that my arms were tingly and asleep and nearly numb and still paralyzed. But i wasn’t sleeping on top of my arms. I was on my back with my arms to the side-ish. SOMETHING was holding my arms down while i was lying there. THE NEXT TIME was a week ago today. It was just a simple experience.(compared to the others) i was lying on my stomach this time and knew what was happening(afterwards). I was having SP. I panicked. I felt a dark presence but couldn’t see it. THE MOST recent episode was about 5 hours ago. It lasted for 1-2 hours. I felt like this presence was constantly waking me up.but i couldn’t move. It put me back to sleep. I ended up becoming aware within my sleep. Then i woke up. Still paralysed.this cycle continued for about an hour and a half. I told myself “its just sleep paralysis. The demon will go away if i ignore it” well apparently it heard me. It had found. a way to press down on my chest as if it was giving some violent form of cpr. My heart was more than racing and pounding at this point. It was fluttering as i panicked.then. i was relieved. Now here i am on the internet looking for answers. Not the wisest decision but also not a dumb one.thanks for reading. Again this is all my true account as truthful as i can tell and to the best of my memory. I am still interested in seeing what happens down the road. I am only 18 but i am always seeking to know more. GOD BLESS you all.

  79. Trenton says:

    I apologize if my last post was lengthy but i guess i had a lot of points to be made. I didnt realize how long it was.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Trenton,

      Thank you for your interesting and very descriptive comment. And don’t worry about the length – I gave up a long time ago trying to encourage people to leave shorter comments. It seems to be a topic people feel compelled to write at length about, so until my server crashes, it can carry on:-)

      I am going to start reducing my responses to long comments though due to the sheer amount of time it takes, much as I wish I could always spend time on each one individually.

      Hopefully your quite frightening experiences will not continue with such intensity. Assuming you’ve read all the comments here, maybe you’ll find something which will help you to deal with it when it happens.

      Thanks again for taking the time to describe your sleep paralysis experience.

  80. Jim says:

    I’ve experienced sleep paralysis since I was younger, and only recently overcame my fear. Over the years I’ve seen shadow figures, the Old Hag, lights that become figures, felt a presence in my room, and I’ve heard music and metallic screeching or buzzing. I’ve also experienced bodily vibrations and other weird sensations (like I’m spinning).

    I sometimes wake into these vibrations, as well (I’m unsure if this is sleep paralysis). They come in waves, stopping if I struggle against them, then restarting a second later. I usually eventually fall asleep after the third or fourth wave, but last month, after reading about lucid dreaming, I decided to “fall into” them. I experienced a falling sensation before images began appearing. One of them was the Old Hag, who was shouting at me throughout. She even followed me into the dream, though for some reason ignored me and attacked a group of guys. I lost lucidity a few seconds later.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jim

      Thanks for sharing your interesting sleep paralysis story. It’s often difficult to tell the difference between sleep paralysis, dreaming and other phenomenon as you rightly point out. But the main thing is that you managed to overcome your fear…well done!
      And if you do decide to ‘go with it’ and see what happens, then you may end up having some very interesting experiences!

  81. Alex says:

    Hi, I thought I’d add my list of varying SP episodes. I think I suffered this as a child,around 5-6 years, and now for about the last 5 years, I’m 29 now.

    I say I think I suffered this as a child as I’m pretty sure now that monsters don’t exist.

    I remember vividly as a child sitting up-right in bed and going into a state where I couldn’t move/talk and a demon opening the door coming through and talking to me, not kindly! When he left I simply snap’d out of it, got out of bed and saw my parents. I was told I must be dreaming, explained I hadn’t woke up from a dream and for a long time was convinced of demons….

    Later in life when it started happening again I found out it was SP, or different dream states.

    I get it a few times a week, and the experiences can be different. But I can guarantee 100% it will happen if I sleep on my back. Although it can happen if I lie on my front, something about lying on my back induces it. I always know I am asleep really while it is happening, and still panic anyway!

    Notable experiences, Standard experience, lying there can’t move and shadowy person opens the door and stands there talking while not moving/being able to talk. For some reason, probably the fear and anxiety, I will desperately try and block out/not listen to what they have to say.

    out of body experience, floating around my bedroom, I will lie in bed thinking I am awake, then suddenly float to the ceiling and push my self around.

    One time I got into bed, rolled over, and not a few seconds later the covers fly of my bed. Black figure walks in talks then leaves.

    Sometimes I’ll have a weight on my back, often its a dog….

    This often happens, I’ll find I can’t move/talk and try and fight it. i’ll struggle and shake and eventually snap and think I’m awake . I then close my eyes and it immediately happens again. Had this happen 6 times in a row before.

    My girlfriend is a very light sleeper and can often tell when I’m having an episode. It does not take her long to wake me up, but i can see her leaning over me and hear her words, but for a while I will not be able to move of talk back.

    I will note it never happens if I leave the TV on all night. Also herbal sleeping remedies seem to induce it.

    Sorry to ramble but this seemed a good place to document.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Alex

      Thank you for sharing your sleep paralysis experiences, and it sounds like you’ve had quite a range of them! It’s interesting that the TV helps – something that I wrote about in an article about people who can’t sleep due to a fear of the dark, and just don’t know that’s what they have. And it’s good that you have someone who can wake you up out of it. Maybe try sleeping with a soft night-light and see if that helps?

  82. Christopher says:

    I have had sleep paralysis episodes for about 4-5 years now. These episodes tend to occur after I stay up all night writing papers or studying for exams. I am not a religious person but it is hard for me to find comfort in the scientific understanding of these events.

    I’ll just jump into my very last experience which was actually one day ago. I went to bed at 4:30 a.m. (yes, another long night) while listening to a silly podcast called the “Ten Minute Podcast”, which I leave playing all night because I have so many downloaded. I woke up at about 5:50 a.m. and I was laying on my right side and I opened my left eyes and saw my computer in front of me. I then started listening to the podcast I mentioned earlier thinking I should get up. At this point I could not move because I was paralyzed. I experience these SP episodes relatively often so I usually wait them out, but this time I felt something step into my bed and sit behind me. I felt the pressure of whatever it was press into my back. At this time I tried to move my left arm which was free with all of my might. I moved it just slightly and then my left arm extended further from my body and started spinning in a circular motion which I was not in control of. I then felt an even greater pressure come over my whole body, as if a very heavy blanket was thrown over me. My whole body then slid towards the head of my bed by about 3 inches. Mind you, this whole time I had one eye open and I was also listening to a podcast, so with that being said I could gauge how long the experience lasted, which was about five minutes. When I experience these hallucinations I find it extremely hard to stay calm by explaining to myself that there are biological explanations for what is happening.

    Again, I am not religious, these experiences are just super creepy. I realize the mind is a very complicated thing that isn’t completely understood.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Christopher,

      Thanks for sharing your experience of sleep paralysis, and the one your describe does sound very creepy, as you put it. As with so many other readers, you rightly mention how difficult it can find comfort in the rational explanation when what you experience seems so real and not at all rational.
      But I think it’s important to hang on to that belief, no matter how difficult it can get. It sounds like you’re doing a good job under the circumstances, so just remember that trying to keep calm is probably the best thing you can do.
      All the best

  83. Leo Vieira says:

    Hi everyone :)
    well I am not alone in this thing, I suffered for a long time through my teenage phase of my life of horrifying nightmares where I couldn’t move any part of my body, I saw shadows, a old man dressed in a white suit and also a creature that had a human body but also had a type of pig face mixed with goat, I really mean it, I did sleep for a long time with my mother , I was 17 when I left home and I only had this episodes in my life while I was living in my mum’s house , funny or not I am 32 today and I live in New Zealand and the last time I had this type visions or “sleep Paralysis “was when I went to visit my mum in Brazil. And believe me I spent 8 months there and @ 30 years of age I asked to have my mum on my bed because I saw a lot of shadow people, hands ,arms and body moving in my bedroom, I was wake.. haven’t had it since I come back to New Zealand, it has been almost 4 years with out problems.the things I saw on my sleep paralysis I had no idea that actually was pictures or images online related to it, why our brain would show so many people the same thing? the same creatures? millions of coincidence or people or things from other dimensions? what is your opinion?

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Leo

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your sleep paralysis moments with us. I wrote a comment some time ago in response to someone else, explaining why so many people have similar images appear to them. Without going into at length again, the summary was that I think we are all heavily influenced by the images we do see. Even if you don’t watch horror films for example, you will still sometimes see images as a results of advertising etc.
      Personally I don’t believe in creatures from other dimensions, though I’m sure you will find one or two other readers who do.
      And as for only experiencing SP in Brazil, it doesn’t completely surprise me that it only happens in one place. Other people have mentioned a similar thing. I don’t think it is evidence though that a place itself is somehow ‘bad’. More that possibly your mind makes an association based on previous experience. Or that you just sleep differently when you are there.
      Anyway, all the best and hopefully you can continue sleeping without those unpleasant experiences.

  84. Chrisy says:

    I’ve been having sleep paralysis for about 15 years. The first ones were mostly sound hallucinations where I would wake up to extremely loud banging noises, as if someone were standing over my bed banging a pot with a large metal spoon. I actually felt as if my eardrums were going to explode because it was so loud. I also used to have these episodes where I would become paralyzed and have intense electricity running through my body. It was so bad that i felt as if i were in an electric chair and I was seriously worried that I would damage my brain because when I was finally able to snap out of it and move again, my whole body would feel like jello and I would only be able to crawl, not walk for a few minutes after. I’ve also seen the typical black shadow people and I even was one once. It happened while I was trying to fight off paralysis and i looked down to see small child like black legs thrashing around instead of my own legs.
    I don’t SP as often as I used to but its still very weird! I have had several interesting hallucinations and odd OBE moments but I don’t have enough space to write them all down.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Chrisy

      Thanks for sharing your experiences here. It sounds like you’ve definitely had a few unpleasant moments, and I’m glad for you that it happens less frequently. Did you ever get yourself checked by a doctor over the electricity feelings and feeling like jello when you wake up? It would be interesting to know what they said, and if it still happens to this day.

  85. Justin Salvaleon says:

    I’ve struggled with sleep paralysis for as long as I can remember. I’m 24 now and can remember having episodes of it when I was only a kid. I get it often and have become used to it. But there are some times where I know I’m in sleep paralysis and can’t help but become afraid. Most of the time I shake it off and just fall asleep. But when I have hallucinations I can’t tell if it’s real or not. Most of the time it feels extremely real. I even feel touching or voices. Mostly whispers but sometimes a low female voice calling my name in an eerie way. I even see shadows or even people with no faces and as of recently what seemed to be aliens to me. I have a lot more frightening stories too where I feel helpless. I love hearing and sharing these experiences. I’d also love to see a movie on this topic. Feel free to contact me about it.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Justin

      Thanks for sharing your story in the comments thread. Like so many others, it is surprising how real it can feel, and continue to scare you even when you become more used to it.
      Funnily enough I saw an advert for a film on sleep paralysis on a crowd funding website not long ago. I hope they don’t make their budget request though because the trailer looked terrible. All the film makers seemed interested in was using it as a basis for a demonic horror story, and it looked pretty gruesome. Not something which would help all the many people who struggle to accept the scientific explanation!

  86. Danielle says:

    I have experienced these episodes on and off since my early teens. Recently they”ve become increasingly stranger and on 2 occasions after i applied the Blood of Jesus i heard a harsh, raspy voice respond angrily in a language that was like nothing i’d heard before and I sensed something move or leave. It seemed like that awful voice came from my mouth while I was talking in my mind, and immediately the ‘presence’ left I was able to take control of my body again. What’s worst, this last time, after i got up i seemed to see through a cloudy glass two figures. One I sensed was me but dressed differently, and seemed to be injured or really exhausted and weary. She was pale, thin and her right eye was turned up and greyish white like she had been hit or stabbed in it. She was standing in what looked like a charred landscape looking grey and exhausted. I felt I was looking at myself in some other place and I got the impression we had been fighting a long, hard battle. The other figure looked like some type of animal, it was big, a kind of pinkish blue grey color and seemed gelations. Something about it reminded me of a pig. The entire scene, but especially the animal, made me think of something dark, unnatural, and dangerous. I could not sense if the animal was a friend or foe but it seemed somewhat repulsive.

    I’m not sure what to make of this but it’s darned scary

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Danielle

      Thank your for the comment, and sorry to hear you’ve been having some scary experiences. It does sound unpleasant indeed. As with a few other people there seems to be some blurring between dreaming and sleep paralysis, but it’s so hard to work out when one stops and the other starts.
      Hopefully you will have found some helpful advice in this article and the other comments people have left.
      All the best

  87. Jess says:

    I have recently been suffering with SP due to being stressed out and anxious. I suffer with anxiety as it is but I have never experienced episodes of SP like this before. It started a couple of weeks ago, I had the usual symptoms of waking up and not being able to move, the urge to scream but no sound coming out and great effort to get my breath. I’ve had previously had this before but what was different this time was a dark figure at the end of my bed. It was pulling me towards it, as if it was taking me somewhere but then a white shadow and formed and I was suddenly realised and my SP ended. I woke up with sweat rolling down me and my breathing had gone through the roof; I was having a full blown panic attack. Anyway I was wary of going to sleep after that incident for a bit, until the other night. The same scenario happened with the SP and dark figure, only this time it felt as if the white shadow was in me and I was able to fight it off. Either way it’s scared the s*** of me and I’m really struggling to sleep atm. I’ve been Googling up on it all and all that comes up is ‘demons’ and tbh, that isn’t helping. I believe in such things, but I don’t want to believe that there is one causing all of this. I just want a honest, plausible answer. I’m only 16.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jess

      Thank you for sharing your sleep paralysis story, and sorry to hear it’s upset you so much. Yes, you will find lots of theories of demons and other nasty things if you search online. But you will also find the same scientific explanation on the most respected websites. If you look through all the comments here, you’ll find some useful bits of advice from other readers. But for now, perhaps try sleeping with a nightlight on, or even the radio or television if you are able to. It might help provide some comfort if you do wake up and go through all that again.
      All the best

  88. Garth says:

    I’ve been getting SP for about 18 years. I found it frightening at first, but I soon figured out how to force myself awake. I would get mild auditory hallucinations, though eventually these became less prominent, to the point I didn’t take much notice of them.

    That was until about August last year, when I started getting intruder hallucinations. I recognised the familiar sensation of entering SP just before it hit, and then I would hear and feel a rat crawling around on my bed. Sometimes it would sniff around near my ear, and a few times it nestled into my armpit for warmth. Once it crawled on the side of my head. Naturally, I was freaked out, convinced it was real. I had some trouble fighting out of SP, and would make some loud noise in the direction of the rat as I woke up, but nothing was there. There was no sound of something skittering away, which is nigh impossible as my room is a mess.

    The rat didn’t show up for a while after I kept one of my cats in my room overnight for a week (normally they disturb my sleep too much). Then a few days after finishing the game Dishonored, which features swarms of plague rats, it started turning up again. Eventually I tried recording episodes with my smartphone, and the two times I got recordings during episodes, there was nothing recorded but my own breathing and movements.

    Following this, I’ve had limited success in controlling the hallucinations. Once I managed to “summon” other animals just by thinking about them, which I found quite amusing, as the rat then had less power. As of the last several episodes, the rat doesn’t show up until I will it to do so.

    The last few times I’ve been trying to replace the rat with a cat, as that would be much more pleasant. One of my cats had to be put to sleep last week, so I’d like something friendly to be there for a while, even if the episode is short lived.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Garth
      Thanks for sharing your story, and and interesting one it is at that! And I’m sorry to hear about your cat – the loss of a pet is always a difficult thing to deal with.
      I really like your constructive attitude in trying to change the things you see. It’s an inspiration for the other readers who struggle to cope with sleep paralysis. And it’s great that you’ve had some success. There is actually a form of therapy for dealing with nightmares which involves trying to visualize better endings for your dreams while you are awake and thinking about it regularly to try to change your dreams. Perhaps what you are doing is similar, so I wish you the best of luck with it.

  89. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I’ve decided to do some research about sleep paralysis and found this page. I read the comments so glad that I am not the only one experiening it. It happens randomly and the first episode I had when I was 17 (now I’m 29) it was so vivid. I heard eerie laughters. I was sort of half awake, tried to calm down

  90. Anonymous says:

    The first SP episode when was 17 (now I’m 29) I am not a religious nutcase or a superstitious. I believe in God respect all religions. And I chose to be muslim because Islam accepts all religions. But alas, I neither do 5 times praying nor follow other Islamic attributes.
    I experienced SP and it happens randomly. Each episode is different and so vivid. And every time my body is immovable and I am suffocated. In the first episode I heard errie laughters. And I started to pray and wanted to awake myself though I was conscious but I couldn’t understand what was going on. I just kept praying. ( I am muslim so I repeated the verse from Koranover and over)All of a sudden something tall in white appeared in front of me and then vaniashed. In second one I saw a lady with

    • Ethan Green says:


      I think your comment got cut off…if you want to come back and finish it, I can piece it together. Prayer is something which several readers have said they found helps them. I think just the focus that it gives you can be helpful in itself.

  91. Irish john says:

    I felt after reading down thru all the peoples stories here to add my own and after growing up in rural Ireland in a land of fairies and leprechauns and the Bean shia or banshee i guess my mind was set for the events which took place in 1994 been asleep with my girlfriend at the time and was lying face to the wall.. when i felt a presence move into the room from left hand side and move towards our bed in the corner and somehow i was awake i saw the wall pattern as it was evening time but i literally felt the black cloaked monk like shape reach for me and press me down with great force into the bed… now having been a rascal in my younger days my friends and i used to enter supposed haunted houses and graveyards searching for ghosts and anything else .even in one for sure old house that dates back to famine times we didn’t pick up any feelings..
    To return to my story all i can say is and anyone who’s had what i call SP if you could bottle and sell the fear the pure heart stopping hair raising fear of that demon monk on my chest that late evening well its what movie makers and game creators strive to give their audiences… pure unadulterated spine-chilling crying out but cant move a muscle fear…
    By tiny amounts i by willing it to release me felt its pressure lessen and i felt it move back across the room.. the strangest thing was as i felt it pass over my girlfriend she woke up screaming and that set me off also but i felt the presence slip into the other room and away from us…she after felt as though hands were pulling her out of bed …
    So 2 adults no drink or drugs scared by a combination of each others fears who knows..
    I thank you for reading my little tale and it might help others because for years it was my ghost story and i would tell it to people and some would look with that knowing cringing hair raised on back of neck feeling that only someone who had experienced fear like that knew..
    All i know is i’ve had once and that was enough hihi…
    Sleep well and safe folks.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi John

      Thanks for bringing a taste of good Irish story telling to the comments thread, and as much as I know your story has a serious and frightening side, it was well told:-)
      You are definitely right about the level of fear that sleep paralysis can induce in people. You only need to take a look through the other comments to see just how many people have been through horribly frightening experiences.
      I can’t remember how many exactly have spoken about having a shared experience. Not many, but definitely one or two I think. But again, I think there is probably something to be said for one person being able to sense the others fear. And of course, the fact that the mind can supposedly create a dream in a flash, which can make unusual coincidences occur.
      Thanks again for sharing your story in such a descriptive way.

    • Jack says:

      Hello Ethan.
      Just before I post my second, of three experiences I’ve had, I’d like to add a comment in relation to prayer, and more specifically, God.

      A question – do you take a scientific approach exclusively, or, are you open to a spirit realm aspect? It seems to me, that there are some very disturbing patterns which to me, seem to be coalescing to the point where I believe a strong case can be made that there are dark spiritual forces at work.

      I don’t believe we can take a demonic possibility off the table, even though the very idea goes against any true scientific paradigm.

      As I’m sure you know, there are specific dark entities, real or imagined, which keep popping up over and over again. The old hag, is a powerful example. I think we can cross the power of suggestion off, due to the fact that this specific entity has been reported for a couple of hundreds of years, and most probably even longer.

      Of course, what makes such possibilities very close to impossible to corroborate, is that for the most part, main-line scientific methods can not be utilized as a sort of, diagnostic tool right?

      So, I guess my question is this – it is obvious that a scientific approach cannot solve the mystery of S.P.
      We can use scientific methods as a documentation tool

      Also, people who are terrified night after night, month after month, and year after year have the option of medication, and, or, counseling. However, I wonder if that route may end up simply masking one serious issue, and replacing it with another. I’ve seen cases where people who are very dear to me, have had their personalities taken away, and replaced by an alter-personality, and that can be traumatic, and heartbreaking.

      Just some things to consider, because I know there are people being traumatized, and hounded in their own bedrooms. So, if some of these poor souls are willing to appeal to God, either as these attacks are actually happening, or when they are awake, I would be curious to know what the effect, if any, would be.

      Alright, now for my most bizarre, and terrifying encounter with what I call – my enemy.
      Coming Right Up

      With that realization

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Jack,

        Nice to hear from you again. In answer to your question, I do personally take a purely scientific approach. Whilst I fully understand why many people don’t accept it, and choose to believe in a spirit realm aspect as you say, I personally don’t believe in such things.

        I know science still doesn’t explain many things in the universe, and struggles at times to provide concrete or universally agreed upon explanations for things which we would imagine it would, but just because it doesn’t have explanations yet, doesn’t mean that they aren’t there waiting to be uncovered.

        But in the case of sleep paralysis and the other strange hallucinations we can have during the sleeping hours, I personally feel that the scientific explanation is good enough. That’s what I choose to believe though, and the main reason why I focus more on helping people find practical solutions to sleep paralysis rather than exploring in depth the alternatives.

        That said, I do think it’s interesting to hear what people have to say about their experiences, and what they think about them. I also think it’s helpful for people to have a space to voice their opinion on the topic, even if I don’t agree with it. But I generally try to maintain the line that it will be more helpful to focus on practical steps that can be taken to deal with sleep paralysis. I’ll leave musing on other ideas to the various readers who want to do so.

        Your second idea about appealing to God, I think is a valid way of dealing with the problem. Even if I’m agnostic, I fully appreciate that if using your religious faith is what helps you get through a moment of terror, uncertainty and helplessness, then it can be a useful tool. The difference though is probably that some people believe that the evil forces may be ‘defeated’ by the religious faith. My personal view would be that having something to focus on that helps give you strength when you most need it is what is helping.

        But in either case, the end result is the same. The sleep paralysis is overcome, and you get through the night in as peaceway way as possible.

        Anyway, I’ll leave it at that and read your next story!

  92. Fabian Martinez says:

    I am only 16 years old & I had a very unusual experience. At first I thought I was just having a nightmare, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a nightmare where I was laying in my bed and a demon/creature visited me and I couldn’t move. So I did some research and I found out I experienced sleep paralysis. I just want to know if it’s unusual because of my age. Everyone’s feedback would be extremely helpful.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Fabian

      Thanks for your comment, and sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I’ve been snowed under recently.
      I don’t think it’s that unusual, no. There have been other young people saying they have experienced it, and older people saying they remember having it when they were very young. If you’re concerned, then I recommend talking to your family, a close friend, or a doctor about it. You may well find they have also experienced the same. If they call you crazy, you can always show them this website and this comment:-)

  93. brittany says:

    So just now its Friday may 30th. I’m pretty sure I experienced sleep paralysis. I share a room with my little brother he fell asleep way before me. I started to fall asleep at about 220 and all of a sudden I heard the door open and from my bedroom door its right in front of it. I feel the need to get up and look but I couldn’t. My heart started beating really fast and it felt heavy like I couldn’t breath and I felt like I was yelling for my brother and mom but none of them could hear me or answer me. And then I felt like my mom was coming to help me then all of a sudden I was able to move again and she was gone and the door is shut. I do believe in ghosts and I always say my house is haunted I was wondering if this cud have anything to do with it.. Now it’s 319 am and I’m still scared and my heart still feels a bit fast. ? Details if this really was sleep paralysis or not..

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Brittany,

      Thanks for sharing your sleep paralysis story, and it does sound like a familiar one which is very similar to many other readers’ descriptions. Personally, I don’t think you need to worry about ghosts, though what you choose to believe is of course up to you. But as I said in the article, if you experience things like this, it’s probably going to be easier to deal with if you accept the scientific explanation and don’t start worrying about ghosts!
      Hopefully it won’t happen again and if it does, try to stay calm if possible.

  94. S.H. says:

    It’s sad to see how much people are struggling with sleep paralysis. I’ve had a couple experiences myself, and although they’re terrifying in the moment, I also find them so fascinating I wouldn’t want to be without. I’ve even been wondering if there is a way to induce them, but then I’ve always had an interest in both dreams, the occult and “supernatural” experiences. All the while being a non-believer in the two latter, despite my very vivid experiences. I think if you are a strict non-believer, it’s probably more in the front of your mind that what is happening isn’t real, and therefore it’s not as traumatizing. Also, my “episodes” don’t last more than a couple minutes, I imagine the ones that drag on for longer must be pretty awful.

    My experiences have been “by the book” so to speak, except they always start with a nightmare, and when I wake up from it I see her. A demon/witch standing by my door, unable to move as she glides towards me and suddenly jumps up on my chest. I can feel her sucking the soul out of my body while she’s strangling me and holding me down, I can’t move or speak, and eventually I pass out (feels more like I’m dying than falling asleep). She looks into my eyes, and makes a loud, strange sound that sounds like a cross between a high pitched scream, static noise and nails on a chalkboard (so pretty much the worst sound you can imagine). Her skin is wrinkly and dried up, she has long black hair, and looking into her eyes is straining and painful, like sitting right in front of the tv and staring at the static.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi S.H.

      Thank you for your comment and for sending a shiver down my spine!! I’m one of those people that can’t handle chalk board noises, so your description put my hairs on end…

      It’s nice of you to acknowledge that suffering that many people experience. And you’re not alone in finding the experiences interesting. I think I should come up with a name like ‘sleep paralysis explorers’ for the readers who actually enjoy the experience. If only there was a way to transfer that attitude to all the people who can’t bear it.

      But importantly every time someone like you does explain that it’s possible to experience something horrible and take it on, it’s hopefully another little positive that anyone reading this comment chain can find solace in.

      All the best and thanks again

  95. Anonymous says:

    I am plagued by nightmares on a daily basis. Most of the time I come to accept them for what they are, dreams. However there are certain times where something more is at hand; recently, I had a nightmare of being on an operating table and having my body from a previous life across from me on another operating table with my second personality inside it. I was tortured and tested on so much that my old body had been destroyed in turn returning my other personality which made me stronger since losing my other personality made me weaker. The whole dream went on for five years till I was able to break out and attempt an escape ultimately failing and dying. I can specifically remember this encounter from a previous life for unknown reasons. The next day I had sleep paralysis. However, this wasn’t like the sleep paralysis that you described. I was unable to open my eyes, heard a maniacal laugh, felt pressure on my crotch and a blade slowly trying to pierce my chest while I was cut in an x formation up and down my arms entirely. I woke up to such cuts after I made every attempt to open my eyes and move (I managed to open them and break free of the paralysis by moving my toes. Im unsure as to why since twitching my fingers and other parts of my body wouldnt work.) This isnt the first time this has happened. This has happened over a thousand times. Call it what you will, however, in my experiences and prior knowledge science is unable to explain certain things for we dont have the brain capacity to understand such things on the level and degree of intensity they are brought unto us.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi there

      Thanks for sharing your story, and it sound really horrible to have experienced! I don’t think I’ve ever had a dream which I woke from with the feeling that it had lasted for years. That must have been strange in itself.
      You are right in that science doesn’t satisfactorily explain everything, and of course we know that scientists are constantly finding out new information and information which replaces what we previously thought all the time.
      However, in the case of sleep paralysis, to me the explanation seems reasonable. But accepting it in the face of the intensity that you and many others experience is of course quite difficult at times.
      Hopefully you will find a way to deal with this as some others have and be able to sleep peacefully.

  96. Tanya says:

    I had my very first sleep paralysis at about 16yrs old. I think this is a common age when this begins to occur as I have spoke to others. Im wondering if there is a reason why this seem to start around puberty. I also want to share my experience in which I was able to reduce the occurrences. Its been about 3 years since I had one and before that it was 2 years but before that it occurred anywhere from once a week to about to once every month. I have gotten so used to it that I learned to instantly wake myself out of it when I needed to with effort. I went from being scared to being frustrated, angry and scared. So I began to fight back, even though I didnt have control over my body movement. I believe I fought with my mind therefore it felt as if I was moving my body. I would fight back while calling the demon every name in the book..cursing and screaming in my mind but I knew it was registering. The very last experience, he was on my chest and I scratched his face repeatedly for a few seconds, even though it felt like I was scratching air I knew he felt it, and when I stopped and to my surprise he started scratching me back in my face repeatedly just as I did to him. My face started burning pretty bad and he stopped within a few seconds. Then I yelled at him again and woke myself up. I havent had an episode since then (about 3 years ago) I like to believe it got tired of me cursing it out, fighting back and then waking myself up having the last word and sometimes telling him “I control this” or “I can end this” or “your history”. I wanted it to stop and it did, or at least it doesnt occur nearly as often. Im not sure if this would mostly likely suggest that I fought away a demonic spirit or if I just simply cured or controlled a psychological hallucination. I would believe that it more likely suggest fighting away a demonic demon because thats basically all I did and it stopped. For I am still fearful of this and dread it happening again.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Tanya,

      Thanks for sharing your sleep paralysis story, and sorry to hear you’ve had some unpleasant experiences, and still living with the worry that they will occur again. It’s great that you managed to use your strength of mind and will to confront and deal with the sleep paralysis. As for your question about what you actually managed to do, well my personally take would be that it doesn’t really matter if it’s been 3 years since you last experienced it. If you can, I would try to put it out of your mind and try to start believing that you will continue to sleep peacefully without a re-occurrence. I’m sure if it does happen again in the future, you’ll find the same strength to manage the situation.

      All the best

  97. ralph t suarez says:

    hey guys i’m always wondering why is always happen to me
    during the sunlight i’m always fall asleep paralyze and i know some kind or something wants to my body i feel something hugging me hard and i cant breathe and all of my body is paralyzed and imagine terror i cant explain it how, i’m always praying and please i’m asking this question sorry for my grammar or anything please help me. How i can fight this?

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Ralph,

      Sorry to hear you are experiencing what sounds like sleep paralysis. There is lots of advice here, both in the article and in the many comments other readers have left. If you read through, hopefully you will find something which helps depending on your particular belief.
      My personal advice is to try to stay calm, and to remember the scientific explanation. Though I know not everyone agrees with that! But I think it is one of the best ways to deal with the fear – by remembering to tell yourself that nothing bad will actually happen.

  98. DH says:

    Hi! Iv experienced SP many times, the first time I honestly thought I seen either a ghost/spirit/demon, I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t talk or roar, I couldn’t move or open my eyes. Eventually I was able to open my eyes and when I did it was like a hand was in front of my face, I was then able to jump up and I seen a kind of black floaty figure at the end of my bed, I opened my blind and it vanished as soon as the light brightened up my room. I stayed in my bed for an hour as I was too afraid to do anything! Noting happened 2 me again for about a year or so, until one night I taught I could hear people running up my stairs, they barged into my room and I felt my blanket being ripped of me then it felt like they grabbed me by my legs and it felt like I was being ripped out of bed! I was able to roar this time and by god did I roar, I woke the whole house! The same thing happened over and over until I realised it always happened when I tried to go to sleep on my left side, I now always sleep on my right side and it never happens me (fingers crossed it doesn’t) hope people can relate to my story, and find that sleeping on their right hand side stops SP to a certain extent!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi DH

      Thanks for sharing your experience of sleep paralysis with us, and it does sound frightening! I think it’s interesting that you found a position which stops them from happening. I’m not sure everyone will have the same from sleeping on the right, but I do think there is a common theme with many people saying it happens on their back for example.
      So I do think it’s a good idea for people to experiment with sleeping in different positions.

  99. Adam says:

    just had my first sp attack last night it didn’t last long. to be honest i feel excited that it happened to me even though i felt as though i was having an anxiety attack at first i feel happy to have had the experience. i woke up and next to me is my large bull-mastiff dog as she always sleeps with me (lol) and i remember thinking poltergeist straight away for some reason i couldn’t move my body what so ever i tried shouting out in fear but was unable to do so, first i tried moving my arms and nothing happened that’s when i panicked then i tried moving my legs nothing happened then i tried dramatically kicking out my legs and still nothing i also remember looking into the corner of my room and seeing a black cloud. i fell asleep straight after i regained control of my body. it must have all happened in about 5 minutes. i fell straight back to sleep afterwards and woke up forgetting what had happened. something clicked in my head a few hours after i woke and i instantly recalled the experience. my mother also has had this experience on 2 occasions on one occasion lasted for roughly just over 1 hour.
    i have actually been going through depression for some time now and haven’t had the balls to seek help. maybe this has something to do with it. there is too many explanations as to why it happened i am just grateful i had the experience and cant wait for the next time so i can $%&# those demons up! A MEN

    adam 21 liverpool

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for your comment, and it’s always good to hear from people who have managed to find a way to enjoy the experience of sleep paralysis, even if the content sounds quite scary still. I think some readers will find it helpful to know that it is possible to take control of the situation and not feel so helpless.
      I would strongly recommend seeking some help if you have been feeling depressed. Even if it’s just to reach out to a close family or friend. Social support is one of the best ways to tackle those kind of issues.

  100. medico says:

    It’s most probably a sleeping position (often on your back) which puts extra pressure on the heart to pump oxygenated blood, especially importantly, to the brain. Sleeping flat on your back also puts extra load on you lungs to breathe. If you drink or smoke these factors will only increase the problem.
    1.Sleep on your side.

    2.Use only one pillow.

    3.Use a large book under a single pillow.

    4,Leave a small light on in the room.

    5.Leave the radio or TV on quietly in the background.

    6.Do not read in bed before you sleep, as this encourages sleeping on your back.

    7.if you find yourself in a S.P. start a rocking motion in your mind, from left to right, and count each one. Attempt to wake yourself up by increasing the roll of each rocking motion. Count to 20 and then reset back to 1 and continue until you wake.

    8. As you rock, you may become away of a leg, arm or eyes having more motion. Concentrate your efforts on moving this area more to bring you to full wakefulness more quickly. As you come back from unconciousness to wakefullness (the semi-conscious stage) you may experience a ‘sea swell’ sensation, at this point you need to focus all your efforts in increasing this unpleasant sensation until you wake.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Medico,

      Thank you very much for your comment and the range of practical suggestions. I think they are all very good suggestions, though I’m a bit confused another the large book under a single pillow idea, especially if you first recommend only using one pillow. But all the rest seem very useful tips. I especially like the idea of focusing on a rocking motion and seeing if it then triggers movement in the body.
      I am planning on building either a new practical tips section to this article, or a separate one altogether at some point. And I will definitely include that one to see what people think.
      Many thanks

  101. Rebecca says:

    I am 48 and have suffered SP since I was a kid. Didn’t know the name for it until a few years ago when I heard my sons discussing it. My now 21 year old has had episodes since about the age of 14, usually seeing a figure coming toward him. My now 20 year old had one episode I know of. I usually have one when I am exhausted and fall asleep on my back. I try to avoid sleeping on my back but sometimes end up rolling from my side in the middle of the night. I do know how to wake myself but it is still an experience I would prefer not to have. As a Christian, my mother always insisted it was demonic, I never agreed.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Rebecca,

      Thanks for the comment, and it’s interesting that all three of you experience it. At least you can discuss it, share you experiences and find ways to deal with it together if it is particularly upsetting for any of you. Out of interest, how do you go about waking yourself up?

  102. Harmony says:

    I have just recently started experiencing Sleep Paralysis, and I am beyond freaked out from my last experience.

    I was laying down at night, when I awoke, I found myself completely immobilized. Not only that, but I could feel two hands pinning me down, touching my colllar bone/inner shoulders.
    It didn’t talk, but it snarled, and breathed heavily ontop of me. I could feel its breath on my face, and the snarling was first in my right ear, then it moved around and started growling in my left ear. I got the impression it was inspecting me.

    I was able to start moving my arms, and I lifted them infront of me to try and stop this beast from breathing in my face. Once my arms were in front of me, the beast vanished. I then woke up, and heard my front door slam.

    I peered out my window and found my mom and stepdad getting into their car. I looked down at my phone and noticed it was a little passed 3:00AM, and it was very unusual for my parents to be up– let alone leaving the house at that hour.
    I called my mom’s cell, and she picked up. I asked where she was going, and she said that our family friend, Smitty, had just died of a heart attack.

    I always had bad vibes from Smitty, so I always felt that this occurance somehow related to his death.
    Whether it was him, or demons that were inside of him, or demons rejoicing his death and seeking to mess with people he knew.

    Who knows…?

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Harmony,

      Thank you for sharing you story with us, and I can see why it freaked you out. My own take, as always, would be that it is just an unfortunate coincidence. But I can definitely understand why you would question that simple explanation considering the timing. Hopefully you’ll be able to relax about it and that it won’t happen again.

  103. Will S says:

    I actually had my first encounter the other night. I found myself in the back of my car at night. I was like what is going on and then all at once I was struck with the paralysis part as this loud thundery demonic voice started yelling at me that I didn’t know anything about love or something. Which was weird.
    But This morning it happened to me. And I got the feeling that someone was here but I learned that instead of straining, trying to break through the paralysis you can just calm yourself down and it seemed to work. After it happened I would try going back to sleep and almost immediately when I put my head back down( 3 or 4 times in a row) I would get hit with paralysis and couldn’t move. But calming myself seemed to work to wake myself up

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Will

      Thank you for sharing your story. Can I ask how you found yourself in the back of your car?! Had you been sleeping walking?
      I think you are absolutely right about trying to keep calm being a good technique to deal with sleep paralysis, and many other readers have said the same thing.
      Hopefully this will just be a passing phase for you.

  104. Letusia says:

    I had experienced a bit of sp when I was stressed out. I felt like my leg was flying and felt something trying to drag me out of bed. I stayed calm because I’ve heard of this kind of thing before. I thought of it as something positive. “Demons” do not like positive things so they would go away once you think of something positive. I just slept like nothing happened.
    I do know that there are ghosts because I’ve seen one showing up many times when I was a little kid. Also, my twin sister was my proof that ghosts exist because she saw the same ghost as me. For example, me and my sister went to look out a window to see our backyard at night. We both saw the same ghost. I said,”Did you see that white lady ghost?” My sister said,”What is that? Why is it appearing and disappearing?” Its face was covered by its long black hair. It’s a good thing that we were at the second level of our house when we saw it.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Letusia,

      Thanks for the comment, and it’s good that you have a way of staying calm when sleep paralysis happens. I think that is probably one of the best ways to deal with it.


  105. Daniel Williams says:

    Mine is not a long one but it scared me to death this morning about 7 when I normally wake up. I live by myself. I opened my eyes and there was a figure next to me dressed in fully black, stocky , about 5″6 but I couldn’t move or speak. I leave my light on so I could see perfect then the figure got up it was like an old funeral laced dress thing it looked to me then all I could do was follow it with my eyes it went round behind my cupboard and keeps poking its head round but the face was really hard to see, it was really scary but I couldn’t move or scream for help. I had very little movement, I tried to bite my tongue, then suddenly I could move so I grabbed my army knife and ran towards it in case it was someone messing about, but my bedroom door was still locked and my key was still on my bed there is no way out apart from that door. It’s really freaked me out.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for your comment, and sharing your story of what sounds very much like sleep paralysis. It’s understandable that you were freaked out by this, but hopefully you will be able to find some comfort having read this article and the other comments people have read.
      And also hopefully this will just be a one-off and not happen again.

  106. Jen says:

    I woke up from either a dream or sleep paralysis 2 hours ago and have spent that time reading all of the comments. I’d really like to believe the scientific explanation but I’m still trying to catch my breath and keep watch of my surroundings while typing this. I was laying on my back when a noise coming from the living room woke me up. However, I was unable to move or open my eyes. I felt a presence walk into my room, walk up to my left side and slide it’s hands under my arms to raise me up. I tried to scream and move but was paralyzed. Finally after concentrating really hard I was able to raise my right hand to swing at it and then I could move and open my eyes. After checking the house and calming myself down, I rolled onto my right side to go back to sleep. I suddenly felt “someone” grab my hair and yank my head back. So, as I said for the last two hours I’ve been looking for an explanation to calm myself down. I even checked my home alarm system to see if the motion detectors had picked up any movement. There was nothing. I’m trying to remind myself that I’m under a lot of stress and anxiety which I’m sure caused this. I appreciate you putting this page together and allowing people to “vent” their scary experiences. Saying it out loud helps to calm me. That and watching reruns of ‘Three’s Company’! :)

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jen,

      Thanks for the comment, and I’m glad you found it a useful place to vent. I think that’s probably one of the most useful things about the page. Sometimes I think about closing the comments because of the work that goes into editing spelling mistakes and replying, but then I remind myself that it serves a useful purpose beyond just providing information. So it’s nice of you to acknowledge that:-)

      So, I can fully appreciate and understand feeling so shook up after your experience, especially if it was a first (and hopefully last) time. I know it’s hard to accept the scientific explanation, but as I always say, it’s a good way to deal with the fear!

      Anyway, hopefully by now you will have watched enough episodes to calm down and start to forget about the experience. And make sure you try to do something about the stress and anxiety if possible.


  107. Rena W says:

    Recently a friend correlated my experiences to sleep paralysis. I never knew what it was, but it has happened 3 times in my life. The first when I was 18, taking a nap in the afternoon. I felt a body trying to slide out from under my bed. It was as if I could feel the mattress being pressed against my back in waves as if the “body” was stuck and was struggling to get out. Next the “body” seemed more child-like as it felt like it was jumping up & down on my bed by my feet. I felt like my own feet were depressing into the mattress with each jump. I struggled to reach out & grab the “child”. I could not move. I was not really asleep as I was completely aware of where I was. I wasn’t dreaming & I could hear what was going on around me. Again, this was a nap in the afternoon and I could hear my friends in the dorm room across the hall. The jumping on the bed stopped only to move to the other side of the room. I was frightened but the “being” wasn’t threatening.
    The next time it happened while taking a nap around 7:00pm. I was in my early 20s, living at home & could hear my parents & a few relatives having a get together. I was aware of where I was. I knew I was in my bed, laying on my side when all of the sudden a horrid disgusting presence felt like it was an inch from my face. It felt like it’s face was bright bloody red, like it’s skin had been stripped off. It was angry, vile, incredibly evil and I couldn’t move. Couldn’t call out…nothing. It was a shorter experience than the first, but was absolutely terrifying!
    The third time I was in my early 30’s. It was in the morning after a full night’s sleep. Same situation in that I was aware of where I my bed, with my husband sleeping right next to me. An overwhelming presence hovered over me. It was female and older, more of a guardian. I felt like I couldn’t breathe as the presence seemed to be guiding me to “let go”. I fought hard but could not move. I tried to call out my husband’s name…I tried to move my legs in an effort to kick him to wake me. I felt as if my life was being sucked out of my body & thought I was transitioning to heaven. If I hadn’t fought it off, I felt as though I was surely going to die in my sleep and I wasn’t ready to leave. The presence was positive & in some way trying to let me know that I shouldn’t be afraid, but I didn’t want to leave my husband. I am now 45 ad have not had an episode since.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Rena

      Thank you for sharing your 3 sleep paralysis episodes, and as with many people, they sound quite frightening. I’m not quite sure I understood how you felt that the third was positive though! I guess the feeling was that it was OK to transition according to the presence that you felt. I think I would have still found it a bit scary…

      Hopefully those 3 will be the only ones you experience though, and there will be no repeats.


  108. Chad says:

    I don’t know if this has any relation to this but;
    I literally just woke up out of a dead sleep, chest beating and the feeling the I needed to release an energy, maybe even a power of some kind before I felt like I was about to leave my body. WIDE AWAKE, and typing this now 4 minutes previous to google searching “feeling of transferring self-being to another source”… This £$%! happens once, maybe twice a month! Scares the £$%* out of me, and I feel it may be related to something to body vs. mind.

  109. Chris F. says:

    Is it heard of or possible for the experience to begin as sleep paralysis and then become an OBE?
    Last night, I had the more exciting, frightening experience, that I can remember. I was told it was SP, but after reading a few of your replies to others and you wondering if it was a nightmare, I’m not sure what it was.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Chris,

      It is quite widely reported that sleep paralysis can lead to an out of body experience, yes. I sometimes reply to people that it could be a nightmare, or dream, because of the way they describe the experience themselves, and because I think it can be hard to work out one sleep experience from another. But some of the other readers have been very clear about what they feel happened, and it seems more like an out of body experience. So in your case, if you’re not sure, you may have to see if it happens again. And maybe with more knowledge now about the possible explanations, you’ll be more aware of what is happening to you if it is an OBE.
      Hope that helps!

    • Chrisy says:

      Hello! I just wanted to say that In my experiences, sleep paralysis does lead to OBEs if you can resist the urge to fight it off and if you can manage to remain conscious and not fall asleep. I’ve been able to do this a few times and its pretty weird but interesting. However, sometimes i’m not sure if they are actually obe’s or lucid dreams. I also should mention that I cannot travel to other countries or any interesting places during my obe’s but I can pretty much only walk around my neighborhood. I think this is because I’m afraid that I will get lost and not be able to find my body again. This happened to me once about 15 years ago where I could not get back inside my body and i ended up over sleeping by 2 hours because I could not get back. It was very scary and I thought I would die!
      Anyways, the reason why I think some of these experiences might be lucid dreams is because in one of my experiences, i walked to my friend Rita’s house just to be nosey, and I saw that she was cooking this huge fancy gourmet meal in the middle of the night. I knew that this could not be real so thats how i figured it was a lucid dream and not an obe. Another time when I think I had a real obe happened when i stayed at my boyfriends motel while he was working out of town. What happened was the phone rang in the middle of the night and somehow when i woke up, I found that I was laying on the floor below the phone instead of laying in bed. So I got up and tried to answer the phone but I realized that my hands kept going through it as if I was a ghost. I also looked over and saw that I was still laying in bed next to my boyfriend (who was being too lazy to roll over and grab the phone). after the ringing stopped, I suddenly snapped back into my body and my boyfriends co-worker called back and asked him who was the girl who answered the first time. they argued for a while about how I was there but that I didnt grab the phone because my bf would have known if I climbed over him and got it and he told the guy that this definetly did not happen. It was very weird because someone else had some kind of experience with me while I was out of body.
      Anyways, sorry for the long post. I just wanted to share my obe moments with you:)

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Chrisy,

        Thank you for your very interesting comment and sharing your experiences of sleep paralysis, if that’s what it was, and your out of body experiences and lucid dreaming. I think, like you say, it can be tricky to work out exactly what happened, which is something which has come up a few times during these comments. But your stories are definitely fascinating and it’s interesting the way you go about trying to logically determine what you experienced.
        And importantly it’s again another positive story which might help some people to come to terms with what they experience and see it as an interesting phenomenon rather than one to be controlled by and potentially very scared by.
        All the best

      • Chris F. says:

        Okay I wasn’t going to tell what happened because it was so weird, but your story was just as weird I think. :)
        As I lay with my back to the door, I suddenly felt as though something was there.. behind me.. hovering and watching me. I decided it was probably just someone else that lives in the house checking on me.
        Then suddenly I was being held at my shoulders (I’m laying on my side btw) paralyzed.. I try to speak but there is no sound, in fact there is no sound anywhere. No fan blowing, no tv in the background, no voices or even a low hum from the electric devices. All I had was the feeling of dread and wanting to turn to face the invader. I remember thinking I should wait til they say something before I swing. I waited a minute still being grasped at my shoulders, as I thought “okay I’m going to roll over to see it”.. I felt something cold and wet behind my shoulder blade. Like a dog sticking it’s nose to me or something licking me but the sensation changed and it was like pressure and the feeling became below the surface of my skin. Like something had just forced there tounge INTO my back. It wasn’t painful but it was uncomfortable. I felt helpless..
        After what seemed like a minute I felt it remove itself from my shoulders but I didn’t move for fear it may still be there. I waited a few seconds then I had somehow gained control of my body. I flung my. Feet to the floor and saw the closet. It was closed… I ran to it and ripped it open.There was no animal, person or creature there. Now worried it may be somewhere else in the house I proceeded to banging on the closet door and yelling to lure it back or scare it away entirely and still there is no sound. I looked out of my bedroom door and in the frame of my little brothers door was a shadow about four feet tall. I moved towards it thinking I was going to do to it what I did to the closet door. As I approached it I stretched my arm out toward the shadow.. and then felt it. My hand was on the top of the shadow… it was soft and like fur not hair. I felt it inch forward and like time just rewound my feet flew to the floor. And I saw the closet.. open. I got up walked out of my room and told my little brother what just happened to me.

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi again Chris,

          Was some of this happening as what you described as an out-of-body experience in your first comment? It’s not clear, but I am assuming it it?


  110. Deb says:

    I have experienced sleep paralysis since I was a kid, but they are reoccurring events and they always happen in the morning before waking. I experience these a few times or more each year. As a kid my bed always faced the closet and a creature-like person that I referred to as the “Beast” would come out of the closet and hold me down with an evil laugh. I would try to scream for my parents but couldn’t make any noise. I dismissed them as being anything but just nightmares.
    As an adult, I experience reoccurring events of a ghost-like presence in my room visiting right before I’m ready to get up for the day. I can’t see it but I hear it and feel it. I sometimes hear it knock at the door or just walk in. I hear the foot steps and brushing against the bed covers. It comes up behind me on the bed as if it just sits/lays there in a distance or does other things. I hear and feel the bed/covers move. I had a waterbed for many years prior and would hear and feel the water move in the bed and no one else was home. After several experiences over the years, I was finally able to touch it but never can turn my head to see it. I would feel a very cold, hard, slender arm and fingers. I always thought that it was a dead person spirit visiting maybe? There’s never anything/anyone in the room when I got up. After a while I didn’t feel scared of it anymore. It was never threatening. In the beginning of my adulthood I dismissed a lot of it as being my imagination or dreaming. It wasn’t until maybe within the last 10 years that I became more convinced of a presence actually being there due to the fact that what I heard and felt became so pronounced. Recently I just had another experience and for the first time I heard many voices like whispering/mumbling all at once at the foot of my bed and felt many fingers or hands over the covers touching my legs and a growling noise. I tried very hard to move my head to look and that’s when I felt a strong force holding me down keeping me from looking. That was beyond frightening! I know that I was wide awake because I had just snoozed my alarm clock few minutes prior. I feel very disturbed about this. First thing that came to mind was a demon-like presence and I’m not even a believer in demons. I know that I felt and heard something… I also noticed that some of the others that wrote their experiences see things, but I don’t. I also couldn’t believe how many others had similar experiences. Unfortunately, the scientific explanation does not make me feel any better. I strongly feel that something is there, maybe not these so-called demons or ghosts, but it’s a presence of some kind that apparently science can’t explain or prove. Dismissing it all together by calling it mind tricks or hallucinations is not convincing.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Deb

      Thank you for sharing your story with us, and I’m sorry to hear that you have been left feeling frightened and disturbed by your experiences. I can completely understand why it is so unpleasant for you. And I can appreciate that the scientific explanation is difficult to accept when you have such unpleasant experiences over so many years.
      Having read the other comments, as it seems you have done, was there anything you found which you might be able to try doing to help? Perhaps even just the simple trick of sleeping with a light, television, or radio on?
      I keep meaning to go through the comments and compile a ‘reader’s list’ of tips and tricks to help, but haven’t had the time. If you have read them, it would be interesting to know what you felt might be able to help in your situation.

      • Deb says:

        The reoccurring experiences that don’t feel threatening, I try to relax and just go with it and
        see what experiences I can have.
        As for any frightening experiences, I think anyone is going to panic no matter what they try & do. Natural instinct.
        The following tips that I found listed above may be the key to resolving some of this though.

        •Don’t let yourself become sleep deprived or too tired as it often happens more then.
        •Try to deal with stress in your life, as periods of stress and change can make it worse.

        The scientific explanations do make sense but only to a certain degree. From what I read on a variety of websites, so many people seem to experience the “same things”, hearing the footsteps/moving around, see or feel an evil presence standing/sitting nearby watching. It all seems too coincidental to imagine the same things from being scared or are our minds all programmed the same way? Still trying to make sense of this…

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi Deb,

          Good to hear back from you. And I’m glad you’ve found something in the new tips section which you think could be helpful. I also think you are right in that the natural instinct is panic, though some lucky few seem to not panic at all.

          A couple of previous readers also mentioned the idea that people often experience the same things. I personally think that this is quite normal – we are programed in the same way to a certain extent, especially in terms of what we think is frightening – right from when we are little and watching cartoons for example, or telling each other ghost stories. And growing up we are constantly exposed to media portrayals of what constitutes scary, horror or bad. And of course religion also has a part to play in forming our ideas of what evil looks like.
          But at the same time, having carefully read all the comments left here, I’ve now come to see that actually there is a huge range of experiences that people have. Sure there are some common themes, but then even within those themes there is a lot of variety.
          My advice would be to filter carefully the websites you read! I’ve also done a lot of research and found that while there are some great websites, there are also many which are probably not going to do a lot to help a worried reader.
          All the best

  111. Chris F says:

    I had a number of bouts of sleep paralysis during my teens. They often occurred while trying to get to sleep. I would always try to shout for help but could only manage a stifled moaning. My mum in the next room heard one of these one night, and told me the next day that I sounded like I was in pain.
    One particular incident sticks in my mind above all others. While lying paralysed one night, I got the distinct feeling something bad was coming up the stairs headed for my room. Although I was paralysed, my eyes were open, and thanks to The landing light being on, I could dimly see the room around me because of the light beneath the door. Suddenly a shadow blocked out some of the light. The next thing a tall silhouette of a man was standing by the door to the left of my bed. It looked a lot like Norman Bates’ silhouette on the poster for the film Psycho, in which he is standing by the side of his house. Being paralysed and having such a menacing figure standing there watching me was terrifying, and I’ve never forgotten it.
    I eventually grew used to the weird things that used to happen while trying to get to sleep: the hallucinations, heightened awareness, very loud screeching sounds etc. I almost miss them now, and wouldn’t mind experiencing them again, but doubt I’d like to be plagued by them.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for the comment and sharing your story. I can imagine how Norman Bates’s silhouette would be slightly disturbing! You’re definitely not alone in finding these experiences interesting, though as I think you point out, there is often a trade-off between having interesting experiences and not being able to decide or control when they might happen and to what degree. I don’t think many people would like to be plagued by them!


  112. Anonymous says:

    I have only experienced this a few times. One time I recall I woke up and could not move at all. At some point I saw a terrifying figure and I tried to look away but my head was locked in place. I tried to close my eyes but it was as if I could see through my eyelids. Others I have had where I wake up to a loud ringing in my ears (these are the most common ones for me) and then I pass out shortly after voices are screaming throughout my head. The ringing ones are the worst though. Sometimes it was like a buzzing feeling all over my body and it felt like someone was touching my head and holding me down. And again I would try to close my eyes but I would always see.

    • Ethan Green says:


      Thank you for the comment and sharing these experiences. Have you looked into exploding head syndrome at all? This could possible help explain the loud noises you hear. Or it could just be a part of the overall experience of hallucinations experienced upon falling asleep or waking up.

  113. Randy says:

    Hi, I’m fairly certain I experienced SP last night. I had to do some research to figure out what had happened to me! Your article and the comments here have been very helpful. However, I feel my experience is a little different than a lot of the above stories.

    Last night I feel asleep with my right arm around my wife. I awoke and immediately noticed I couldn’t move. I couldn’t move my arms or open my eyes fully. I tried to call for my wife, but couldn’t muster any words. My entire body was convulsing almost like having a seizure. It didn’t feel as if anyone or thing was shaking me. During this time I didn’t feel any sense of fear or panic. Didn’t have any trouble breathing. And more or less just very confused as to why I couldn’t move or speak. A time passed, as if I fell back to sleep, only to be woken again with the same symptoms. I feel as if I was fully awake during this time and decided that if I could shake my convulsing arm more, maybe I could wake my wife. I recall being able to eventually say her name, but it was very soft like a whisper. I must have feel back to sleep after this because I have no more recollection after that until I woke up this morning. I’ve always thought it was strange, but I never wake in the morning and can recall my dreams..I know I dream, just can never recall them. It didn’t really seem to me as if I was having an OBE.

    This was my first ever sleep paralysis experience. I talked to my mom, who said she has also experienced this more than once. Her description sounded very similar to the previous experiences I read about. Mine just seemed very strange, but not in the least bit horrific. I didn’t feel as if there was anything supernatural or menacing going on. I didn’t feel as if anything bad was gonna happen, but very confused as to why this was happening. Has there been any research done on a possible heredity link between family members who have experienced this? Thanks for hosting this thread!


    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Randy

      Thank you for the comment and sharing your experience, which does sound quite different from previous readers’ experiences of sleep paralysis. Though to be honest, I can’t remember the details of every one any more!

      I believe that researchers do think there is a hereditary element to sleep paralysis. I also know several previous readers have said other family members experience it.

      When you say your whole body was convulsing, do you mean that it was actually physically doing so, or that it felt like it was while you were actually still paralyzed? If it’s the first, then I would suggest getting that checked out to rule out other possible conditions. But if it was a hallucinatory experience, then it is an odd one indeed!


      • Randy says:

        I do believe that it was a hallucinatory episode because when I later asked my wife if she remembered me trying to wake her, she didn’t. I also find it odd that I was laying on my side while it occurred. It seems much more common for people experiencing this to be laying on their back.

        Thanks again!

        • Ethan Green says:

          That makes sense now Randy, though as with so many people’s stories, it’s hard to tell the difference between awake hallucinations and dreams/nightmares. But as we know, even the hallucinations during sleep paralysis can be very extensive and involve all kinds of strange things happening. And of course, there is the fact that sometimes our dream imagery persists into the conscious awake state, so you may feel awake, but be ‘seeing’ or experiencing what you were just dreaming about over-mapping onto what you can actually see in the bedroom.
          You’re right in that most people do tend to experience sleep paralysis while sleeping on their back, but not everyone. From what I remember, a couple of other readers have also had them in different positions, including lying on their front.

  114. Anthony says:

    This is a great article! I just came across it now as I’ve been experiencing SP a fair bit lately. I experienced SP around two years fairly often and only recently I have been experiencing it again every night and a few times during the night with a recurring theme.

    These are a few of the more ‘memorable’ experiences –

    Woke up unable to move and saw what appeared to be alien-like figures at my window. When I looked up my ceiling had turned green and these figures where at the foot of my bed dragging me off. When I was finally able to move and wake up I found myself on the opposite site of the bed.

    Unable to move a demon-like creature was moving quickly around the room while I was trying to chase it around with my eyes. By chance my partner had opened the door and to her surprise I was speaking a language she couldn’t describe but quite fluently – if only I could speak other languages fluently when I’m awake. I’ve had similar experiences like this (the speaking) when I was a child, on very rare occasions my mother has said to have come into my room and I would be doing the same thing.

    Another time last year, once again woke up and couldn’t move. Started to hear doors opening and shutting and then a cat came into my room and jumped onto the bed next to me. I went into a dream where I was chasing an old man in an attempt to see his face. As I got close he turned around and threw a liquid on me that burnt. Funnily enough I woke up the next day extremely sick and ended up being off work for a week.

    Just recently (this past week) I have been the same experience about 3-5 times during the night for 3 nights in a row now as I’m falling asleep. I’ll wake up to a screaming sound and find myself not being able to move. A little girl then walks into my room and stares at me from the end of the bed. During this time I try to move and wake my partner up but off course I can’t. This happens over and over, only once it was different and it was as if the girl was trying to pull my ribs out or something where it became very painful.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Anthony,

      Thanks for the compliment about the article, and for sharing your experience. It sounds like you’ve had quite a variety of sleep paralysis and strange dreams/nightmares.

      If you are experiencing these on such a regular basis, it may be a good idea to get yourself checked out by a doctor or ask for a referral to a sleep specialist, just to make sure there isn’t an underlying cause which would need treatment, e.g. narcolepsy. And if your nighttime experiences are leading to you feeling ill, then I think that’s another sign to get yourself checked out. It could just be a passing phase, perhaps due to stress or some other trigger, but if it persists I would see someone about it.

      As for the sleep talking, it’s not unheard of for people to speak at such length that it sounds like a foreign language. If it seems like one you don’t know how to speak, then the chance is it’s not actually a real language. The best way to tell is to record it and then identify if it’s a real language the next day. You might also find this article about sleep talking helpful to read.


  115. Pat says:

    I have had these experiences in some way, a feeling of someone or something bring there, always a strange hissing noise, then a feeling of real pressure, usually around my back – really hard pressure last night. Frightening and difficult and I don’t sleep in a dark room anymore. My husband doesn’t believe me, so I just keep quiet, so it is a relief to know its a common experience. By the way, it happens when I am on my side……
    Please keep researching this, I like to convince myself it is just a sleep disturbance, but fear makes you think otherwise. The feelings seem to come in episodes, nothing for a few months, then they start again. A bit scared about going to bed tonight……

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Pat

      Thank you for the comment and sharing your experience. Sorry to hear it’s left you fearful of going to bed. That’s not a nice state of mind to be in.
      It’s a shame your husband doesn’t believe you. Have you just told him what happened, or have you tried explaining what sleep paralysis is, assuming that’s what you have? It might make it easier to talk about it if you present him with information you’ve researched rather than just telling him all this weird stuff happens.
      You’re not the only one to experience it sleeping on your side. I think it’s more common on the back, but not unheard of at all. Maybe try changing positions and see what happens.
      Hopefully in the tips above you might find something which helps you relax and get through it if it happens again.
      All the best

  116. Issa says:

    Early in the morning, while there was alittle light from the window, it seemed like I was half asleep. I was lying on my side facing the wall, and my eyes were still shut. I felt someone was slowly pull my blanket off my arm, and by the time it got to my elbow I felt someone pinch my arm and whisper “hello young one” in a whisper but it sounded like they were faking a weird voice. But the whole time I couldn’t move, like I wanted to move my arm but I couldn’t, and I wanted to tell my sister to bugger off because we share a room, (and it seems like something she would do) but I couldn’t open my mouth. When I could move I looked over and the bathroom door was closed and it looked like all her blankets were piled up, So maybe she piled them up to make it look like she was there while she was in the bathroom? But then she moved… She said she has no memory of doing such a thing and was in a deep in sleep. I have had the feeling of a presence in our room lately but never felt anything physically touch me before. I can’t even remember if i checked that the blanket was still on my arm. But i know i did. Please let know if it was SP or if some ghost was just deciding to be really awkward. I also never felt a loss of breath or weight on my chest

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Issa,

      Thanks for sharing your experience, and I can understand you being a bit concerned by it. It does sound like sleep paralysis, and maybe some blurring with dreaming as well. Not everyone gets the loss of breath or weight on the chest. The feeling of being awake but unable to move, combined with feeling a presence in the room, and the physical and auditory hallucination are very much symptoms of sleep paralysis. And with the blankets being piled up, your sister has probably done that in her sleep, and because you’ve had that scary experience, anything unusual in the room you see automatically taps into your mind trying to make sense of what happened.
      Personally I don’t think you need to worry about a ghost:-)

  117. Colin Kelly says:

    I just had one of these dreams for the first time in about a year. usually I am in my room that I know but this time I wasn’t. I always know that I’m not fully asleep and I have even managed to play around with the flying thing that people have mentioned. This time my girlfriend was in it and I asked her to close the window as the light-shade was blowing around and I thought it would break. when she had done this she disappeared and I could see someone with their back to me who had shaved hair blonde at the bottom and spiky black at the top. this is when I realised it wasn’t my room. I also worked out as it went on that it wasn’t a person but a reflection of moonlight onto a mirror and the edge of a wardrobe. But the person I thought I was awake by this time and tried to move again noticing it wasn’t my room I panicked and felt like I couldn’t breathe then felt strangled as I tried to take a breath. luckily my phone lit up in my own room which was right beside me and I woke up screaming. I had searched this before but I done it again tonight just to calm me down. kind of hoping it happens again now to mess around with it a bit. its still scary though :p

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Colin

      Thanks for sharing your experience of sleep paralysis. It’s good timing as well as I just finished writing a long reply to a previous comment where I talked about how it can be confusing to tell different sleep experiences apart, for example the merging of dreams with sleep paralysis, which is what you seem to be describing. So your’s is a good example to illustrate what I was saying earlier. It does seem thought that you had a dream in which you were paralyzed, rather than waking up from a dream and then finding yourself paralyzed? Have I got that right, or did I misunderstand? If so, you seem to have had the double whammy of dreaming about sleep paralysis!
      If it does happen again, then I hope you find a way to interact with it without waking up screaming! Feel free to come back and let us know how you got on. It’s always fascinating to hear from people who actively try to engage with sleep paralysis etc

  118. Jan says:

    I’ve had infrequent but odd episodes that don’t exactly fit the sleep paralysis definition. In the latest, I know I’m dreaming, there are fairly common things happening in my dream. Then I hear people mumbling in my living room. This enrages me and I emit this strong energy force in their direction. Then this wave of electric type energy pours across my body as if I’m going to be shoved off the bed and I wake up disturbed but not paralyzed. I’ve been looking for similar experiences by others but haven’t found any. Comments?

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jan,

      Thanks for the comment, though it does sound to me like it’s not sleep paralysis but a dream instead. I imagine if you joined one of the many forums which discuss dreams, you might find someone who has had similar experiences:-)


  119. Anonymous says:

    I had this experience where I ‘woke up’ and I had a presence pinning me down and in my mind I kept thinking to hit it back but of course I was paralyzed and couldn’t. I was attempting to scream out to my mum but I couldn’t make a sound. It then dragged me out the side of my bed to the floor and I could hear in the distance of the house my sister but again I couldn’t scream for help. I woke up as I managed to make a slight grunt sound. IT WAS SO SCARY! its happened to me once before where I had the same pinning down feeling but I was dragged out the end of my bed. I’ve found that I only ever get it when lying on my back.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi there,

      Thanks for your comment, and what a scary experience that sounds like. Do you think it’s possible you were dreaming and then woke up on the floor? Or are you certain you woke up paralyzed, and then feel that you were physically moved off the bed and onto the floor while you were mentally awake?

  120. Paul says:

    I’ve always encountered this “SP” since I was 8 and now I am 21 and still have it but rarely (Just have it a few days ago, will tell it soon).

    What I can tell from my experience, it’s just FEAR that is causing these “SP” or sometimes in very random times without feeling any FEAR, than you feel the FEAR circling around your body (starts from the back) causing the “SP”.

    The fear can start from the tingly feeling around your back for example when you hear very strange noises (interpret by the sound surroundings causing different sounds in your FEAR). It’s not just with sounds its also seeing with your eyes deceiving you in the dark to see weird entities or objects.

    I have so many, I mean so many of these “SP” daily, when I was 8. I will tell one of my experiences, when I was around 9 or 10.

    Alright, firstly I woke up in the middle of the night covering my house with sheets. I take a peak out and saw a black-brown figure on the end of my bed.

    I got so scared that I covered myself again and than I take a peak out again and it’s still there. Covered again, than look out and suddenly that figure jumped out of its position and the beast face was right on my face, with around 8 eyes with a very scary face that I cannot describe. I could not remember the hard details of the beast. Though I became “SP” I could not scream, move or anything at all until that figure went away from my face.

    Once the figure entity went away, I came out of “SP” so I looked at my end of the bed again and the brown-black figure was not there any more.

    I need to tell something first before I describe the next part, you know when you look at a bright light? Than once you blink you’ll see the purple effects or black\greyish of the light of the patterns.

    Well once the entity face has vanished, than I blinked I can see the pattern of the entity, which is very scary. That’s when I know that fear can actually cause these “entity” to appear by deceiving your eyes. How can you imagine this entity? I’m sure it’s caused by your own fear making them appear naturally out of your mind.

    Brothers and I experienced this but I have the most as I always can get fear easily to myself. We also tried to prove something out of this too, that’s when I got another one the past few days.

    FirstIy, I also want to tell you one other scary thing during these “SP”, that me and my brother came up with. The “SP” of FEAR will know when to strike your fear without others knowing you are “SP” (Everyone is sleeping or the FEAR knows it’s the right time to FEAR you without anyone knowing or seeing you).

    or they know when to stop the “SP” when others are about to come to the room. This “SP” fear also can happen during any time in the morning to night (I have once in the morning when I was a kid and than another one just a few days ago).

    This is the story that I can finally talk about that happened to me a few days ago when I was “SP”.

    Now, this happened around 6:30 AM where the room is still bland bright from the window of the early morning (I am on the top of the bunk bed and my little brother on the bottom). My little brother just woken up and head to the toilet, he also have woken me up and than in a few minutes tried to go back to sleep than I heard a thump on the room ground that’s when my fear start to kick in, than the entity (which I did not see yet) thump on top of my bed (I felt the bed went heavy).

    I felt the tingly feeling again from my back and I was NOT yet “SP” until I said to myself to look at my fear I have created by turning my head up and open my eyes and WOW I saw a skinless goat head (cannot see the rest of the body as I was covered with sheets as I only see from the head to the neck).

    That’s when I got “SP”, but I can move my lips and mouth but could not say anything, as again I have to look at that face until I feel calm but it vanished as my little brother was about to come to the room in 5 seconds.

    He went back in his bed, but I have not told him as I was still tired. Before I go on, sometimes you get “SP” and you can somehow talk very slowly or trying to talk and hear only few messed up words, that you are trying to yell out.

    Now, once my brother went back on his bed, I’ve felt the tingly fear around my back again, so I let my fear take over me purposely and suddenly was “SP” again and now saw the invisible goat head by moving its head around but now closer to my face. (The black outlines I saw from the goat head when it’s head moved).

    I was almost completely “SP” but I manage to get my brothers name out, and my brother replied my name out clearly. Than I tried to yell out to get out of your bed and check on me (I tried to yell these words as I can but no reply from my brother).

    Than the entity have vanished and finally out of “SP” and than I talked to my brother “Why haven’t you check on me, I just had the strange real life nightmare”.

    Than my brother said “What? I did heard you say my name but than you were talking very strangely softly or sound possessed, thought you were joking around”.

    I told him what happened and now finally solve some facts, that this FEAR is caused by yourself and this FEAR knows when to strike without anyone get involved to your “SP”.

    That’s when I found this thread, and wow finally I know that this had a name Sleep Paralysis but most people who have this is just created by your own fear that you need to control and not think ABOUT what gonna happen and stay calm. This also can happen when you are not sleeping or trying to sleep when your body is still active, than your mind have made these FEAR to happen and paralyse your body.

    To conclude:

    – People who have this “SP” are naturally from your own fear if you are one of the person who are trying to sleep or your body is still functional and your mind is creating fear and than the fear (tingly feeling) crawls up to your back, that’s when your mind is starting to paralyse your body and than your eyes will start to deceive you seeing these entities.

    Thanks for this subject Ethan Green, I feel very happy but as others have mentioned this subject is the most strangest and I know this is just our natural feeling of FEAR. Others also have mentioned that they do not see these entities as it depends what is fear naturally to the person or when they do not feel fear until they are “SP”.

    Thanks everyone, but my next step is hopefully find my last answer to be solved is:

    WHY “SP” started where NOBODY is around when this happens or see you into the “SP”? Like I said this only depends your natural FEAR.

    My FEAR I think it maybe is how about something happened to me and nobody is around to see or help me.


    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Paul

      Thank you for your comment and sharing your sleep paralysis stories, and for your interesting analysis of the role of fear. I think you are absolutely right about fear being a major factor in sleep paralysis.

      Where I think you need to be careful though is in giving fear a ‘personality’ which is what I’ve interpreted from your comment. I know sometimes it’s helpful for us to think of things as being somehow ‘alive’, but in your case I get the feeling that you believe fear has some control, choice or individuality. For example when you say: “Everyone is sleeping or the FEAR knows it’s the right time to FEAR you without anyone knowing or seeing you”.

      Fear is an emotion, and one which is mostly autonomous. You can’t choose to feel fear – it happens as a natural mechanism to protect you. When you feel fear, a part of your brain assesses what is causing the fear, and if you don’t have an obvious and clear answer, it will consider a range of possibilities. This I think is one of the problems with waking up in the dark and being paralyzed! Your brain also releases lots of hormones when you are afraid, which can account for the tingling feeling around your back.

      I think there is a relatively simple explanation for why you experience a higher degree of fear when nobody is around. When you are alone, you naturally feel more vulnerable and less secure. However, some readers have said they experience sleep paralysis when their partner is lying in bed next to them, so it’s not always the case that it happens when nobody is around.

      I think your final idea about your fear being that something will happen to you while nobody is around to see or help is very logical. I know it’s a common fear that people have, especially people who live alone.

      Hopefully you will have found some useful suggestions in the article of things you can do to help in the future. Even if it’s something as simple as reminding yourself that nothing bad will actually happen to you during sleep paralysis.


      • Paul says:

        Oh oops, very sorry. I will always need to proof my wording. As you said fear does not have a personality, its a natural feeling that comes from your mind.

        It’s also depends the fear naturally to the person and what the mind and eyes will do when “SP”.

        When I have this “SP” my fear is no one is around to see it, which my mind focus so much on it causing these “SP” to happen during no one is around. So its an interesting feeling that comes naturally to the person, that has different kind of “SP”.

        As always thanks Ethan, I just let my fear have the better of me. The natural feeling of fear is seriously the major part causing the “SP”.


        P.S: Oops! I have accidental copy and paste your words into my post and I’ve posted on “Valerie” post. Please delete them two, and thanks!

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi Paul,

          No problem, I spotted the double posting and removed it. Thanks for coming back and clarifying a bit more your thoughts. As I said before, fear is a major factor, and it sounds like you are very aware of that. Hopefully you’ll find a way to deal with it in the future – and hopefully near future!
          All the best

  121. Valerie says:

    i happen to have sleep paralysis on a sort of regular basis. when i first experienced this, it did scare me a lot and i would panic like crazy. but considering i have been dealing with it for quite a while the only thing that scares me is sometimes i have it at least three times in one same day. is that normal or should i worry?

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Valerie,

      Thanks for you comment, and sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with sleep paralysis for so long, and so frequently. I can understand how experiencing it so many times in a row would be scary. I’m not sure I’d say it’s normal necessarily, but you’re certainly not the only one. You could always talk to your doctor about it, if nothing else to rule out any other sleep disorder. Hopefully you’ll also have found some useful ideas in the article.

  122. Hoy says:

    I lost a cousin, He died while sleeping at night. Autopsy was done and nothing was found that killed him. Final result: it was a normal death, natural death. He wasn’t sick or anything.

    *He died while sleeping* this Science can never explain. I believe in the fact that if you are sleeping and are having these kind of dreams (It happens sometimes to me as well). You gotta fight to wake up because if you don’t then you might sleep for good.

    It always start like this:

    1. You’re in a dream and when you wake up you’re in a real life.

    2. 2nd stage, your dream is in a dream and when you wake up you are still in another dream until you really wake up and you realized that you were dreaming but the dream was in another dream? I hope that I’m making sense. so what’s that supposed to mean? aren’t the demons trying to take you far away before they can finish you?

    Some people say the death of my cousin means he was being attacked at night in his dream by someone.

    How do you explain his death?

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Hoy,

      I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your cousin. It’s not my place to explain his death though, so I’m sorry but I don’t think I can give you the answers you’re looking for. I personally don’t believe that demons exist, and don’t believe that you can be attacked in your dreams by people or other beings in a way that has a real effect on your existence. But beyond that, I have no way of offering you any alternative answer.

      I will say though that false awakenings, like when you think you wake up but you’re actually still dreaming, are not that uncommon. I’ve experienced them myself several times, though I’ve never felt that anything bad could have happened during them. They are just confusing and sometimes unsettling, and I personally don’t think they mean anything. They’re just another kind of dream that you can have.

      All the best

  123. Brianna says:

    Hello there, this morning when I ‘woke’ up I couldn’t move, it scared me so much I tried to move but I couldn’t well after I thought I had accomplished waking up, I left my room. Well I tried turning on a light and it wouldn’t turn on, it kind of scared me but then I was back in my body trying to move. It happened one more time before I became to scared to go back to sleep. Then I was talking to my mom and she said she also experienced sp. But the second time, I heard my dad talking and saw a white figure. When I asked him if he had returned home at anytime he said he hadn’t.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Brianna,

      Thanks for the comment, and it sounds like you’ve experienced some interesting, if scary, sleep paralysis events. It sounds like the first you describe was either a ‘false awakening’ from a dream, or even an out-of-body experience. Which do you think it might have been?
      It’s good that you can share the experiences with your mum. Talking about things like this is always helpful. Maybe you can help each other to find ways to deal with it if it happens again.

  124. Jacob says:

    Since about the time I was 6 or 7 to the time I was a teenager I can count about 4 instances where I woke up in the middle of the night and would hear and feel loud vibrations, I could not move and when i tried to yell I couldn’t, a voice then said it was no use trying to yell and eventually I was able to struggle free to get up and tell my parents. It ceased till I was about 24, I had no bed and slept with blankets on the floor of my room, I wasn’t quite asleep yet and I couldn’t move and was pulled by my feet with my blankets about 3 or 4 feet across my room. Nothing like that has happened to for years, but they are instances that always stick out in my mind.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jacob,

      Thanks for the comment and sharing your sleep paralysis experience. Luckily these instances haven’t happened many times, and hopefully won’t happen again! Do you feel that you actually physically moved in the last instance, or that it just felt like you were being moved?

  125. Arun says:

    today is the 3rd or 4th time it happened to me.. numbness , not able to speak, and leg lifting… yes i was afraid and finally decide to search in net abt this….After reading this article of yours am very much relaxed… now i wont be afraid if it comes next time.. Thanx to God as i was praying to him and that was my only weapon… Thanx God and Thank you… love you

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Arun,

      Thanks for the comment, and the love! I’m very glad that reading this article has helped you to relax about sleep paralysis – that’s one of the key ways to deal with it if it happens again. Keep calm and carry on, as they say.


  126. jessica rosgen says:

    hi I don’t know if u could help me with this but last night I had a was weird and I don’t understand it….I was in my kitchen and my mom and friend were in the living room. All of a sudden I see a flash of light like there was a camera in front of me…and all a sudden I feel a hand touch my face but there was nothing there and all of a sudden I blackout and wake up on my mom’s bed and my mom was in my room but this was in my dreams still I actually woke up in my bed in real life…but now I’m scared to use the flash on my phone or if I hear a noise I start shivering and I’m scared to death that this might actually happen and I feel like its happened before…do u have any idea what this means? I’m really confused plz help me.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear you’ve had an experience which has clearly unsettled you. It sounds from what you say that you may have had a false awakening. This is where you dream that you are sleeping and then wake up, or just have a confusing memory of a dream where you think you wake up. But of course you’re still in your dream. It’s very difficult to describe what happens sometimes, and even harder to make sense of it. The main thing though is that it’s not that unusual. Some people quite regularly have experiences where they think they’ve woken up, but actually haven’t. I’ve personally had this, and I know it can leave you feeling a bit weird.

      The second issue seems to be about you feeling anxious in normal life now after this dream. This also happens to people quite often, especially if they have a very vivid memory of a dream and wake up feeling emotions attached to the dream. Again, I’ve experienced dreams where I’ve then woken up feeling really happy, or really sad, based on the dream. And I know it can take some time to shake that feeling.

      The key is to remind yourself that it was just a dream. The feelings you’ve been left with should fade with time, as they generally do. Try not to think about it too much and worry if something serious happened. Give it a week, and if you still feel scared of the flash or noises, then you might find it helpful to talk to someone close about it – family or friend.

      But I think you’ll be ok:-)

  127. Karen says:

    I haven’t had an episode in about six years until last night. I’ve been really healthy and in a new place. I thought maybe I was done with it. Last night a guy friend came around my place drunk at three am. He knocked and stood outside my door and called my cellphone. I sent him to voice mail and lay in bed for a bit until I heard him go away. I never even answered the door. It took me a bit to fall back asleep. I “woke” at 5am feeling I couldn’t move. I thought he was back. I thought I heard the front door and felt a presence above my head. That would be at the door. I could not open my eyes. Everything was black, although I was finally able to move my lower jaw somewhat and eek out a help me, sorta. It was garbled like a seizure. I heard this loud roar like a movie explosion rushing towards my head and I thought, I am going to die. Then I could move again and my heart stuttered into fear mode and I lay there shaking for a few minutes. Its weird because my heart doesn’t even freak like my brain is when I’m having an episode. It doesn’t get adrenaline rush stuff until I can move. I’m laying in bed now after a sleeping pill wide awake. I have to work tomorrow and I cant sleep.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Karen

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your experience of what sounds like sleep paralysis. It really does sound like the friend coming round has influenced your sleep / dreams / sleep paralysis. It’s not uncommon to be woken up by something in the night, and then that to influence your dreams and potentially trigger other sleep disturbances. Hopefully it will be a one-off (once you remind your friend that 3am isn’t an appropriate time to visit people!).
      I guess work will be a bit of a struggle, but you’ll get through:-)

  128. April says:

    Mine was when I was a child. My dad was standing in my doorway, and I was able to speak and annoyed, ask what he wanted. He walked closer and I again asked, moving my mouth and making noise, what he was doing. He stood next to me by my bed silently, as I half-shouted “What!!”. I realized there was light coming through the window and there was no way he should just be a solid-black silhouette. I pulled my covers over my head and cried myself back to sleep. My dad had no idea what I was talking about. I wasn’t paralyzed, it wasn’t just a presence, and I wasn’t even scared at first. I am very interested in the psychology of dreams and would love a scientific explanation.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi April,

      Thanks for the comment and sharing your experience. It’s hard to say exactly what you did experience, as the time of night when you are going to sleep can be a confusing thing, with all kinds of possible strange occurrences happening. It could be that you were dreaming, or that you were having a hypnagogic hallucination, or a completely different explanation. The main thing is not to worry about it, as those kind of bizarre experiences happen to lots of people. Hopefully you won’t have that particular one again though!



  129. Elaine says:

    I was really happy to see this forum because it did give me some comfort from an experience that is still fresh in my mind. I was having a really great sleep when my sister came into my room to tell me something before she left for work. I fell back asleep after she left and had good dreams after as well… But then when i was about to wake up i felt a presence wrapped around me from behind ( i was laying on my side) so i knew there was something but it was not easy to see.. But i do remember it saying words that i could not understand into my ear. It sounded threatening but it was also mesmerizing. It was very difficult to wake up from it and it confused me because i knew i was in my own room, not a dream. I am very shook up and upset that this happened. I believe if it was just a feeling of a presence i could get over that, but because it whispered in my ear I guess you could say it left a lasting impression. I wish there was a simple explanation.. Anyways, thank you for letting me vent!

  130. Elaine says:

    Also, i forgot to say, as i was trying to get out of the experience i had, i also tried lifting the ” spirit” off of me and could feel fingers on me. THAT was possibly the most unsettling.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Elaine,

      Thank you for the comment, and you’re most welcome to vent:-)

      It does sound like it could have been sleep paralysis that you experienced. Even if it had that extra ‘real’ feeling from the whisperings and fingers touching you, it is still very much in the realms of sleep paralysis, or just the bizarre hallucinations that we often have when falling asleep or waking up. And many people do experienced them very vividly and beyond simply the feeling of a presence.
      Hopefully it will be the first and last time for you!

  131. Cory says:

    Wow, what a great abundance of information here, I would like to share some of my experiences in hopes of helping others. I have had SP happen probably 40+ times in my life, mostly from the time I turned 23, I am 27 now. However, before I was 23, it happened twice, but those two times were very vivid and make me wonder if it might have been something else entirely different.

    When I was younger, probably 10-12 (honestly can’t remember because I tired to block it out as much as possible until I had a better understanding of things.) I had two dreams 6 months apart with similar endings. In the first dream, I was romping through some woods with some friends chopping at trees and lush vegetation with dried palm branches as I had done many times in my youth. After awhile of exploring through the woods, (the setting was familiar woods in Ocala naitonal forest since I had lived there for a short time, two years back and forth from there and Orlando)(the dream happened in a house I grew up in most of my childhood in Orlando). But alas, after exploring for a bit in my dream, I come across clown tents (never had a fear of clowns, still don’t) and out of no where, the people I was exploring with (2 or 3 friends) start stick fighting clowns, and so do I as well, and then it is almost like I am watching myself in 3rd person, but this clown, it runs up behind me, grabs me like it is about to do the Heimlich maneuver, except points out its thumb and jams in into my bellybutton. Well, as you can imagine, this hurts like hell. I wake up to find myself in my bed, and as I notice the pain emanating from my navel through out my whole body( I was on my back), I turn my head and see my turn from 4:59 to 5:00 am as soon as I look at it. Next my bed shakes violently back and forth rheumatically, this happens for 5-10 seconds, and then everything stops, the room seems to have a darkness lifted from it and I hear a wooosh of air go past my ears (like the sound of a gust of wind normally heard outside.). Everything is back to normal, and I start crying and freaking out, and run to my parents begging for an explanation. While all that happened, I couldn’t move, and I couldn’t think about a presence or have time to call out for help or anything really except experience the pain emanating through out my body from my navel.

    About 6 months later something very similar happened. This time I was dreaming about waiting for the bus to come for school in ocala national forest at my old bus stop. (Again, having the dream in the house in Orlando though.) I remember seeing the clock in my dream, it was 5:21 A.M. I was in my mom’s car waiting on a cold day, the sun was not up yet, the steam from other cars could be seen, along with the fog low on the road riddled as far as the eyes could see with trees. Normal actual place where I waited for school in real life when I lived there, except I am dreaming about it. Finally the bus comes, and I tell my mom goodbye and start heading to the bus, I wait in the line of other kids entering and climbing the stairs to the bus. I get on and start walking down the hall of the bus noticing a few sleeping kids in the seats. (The bus was for middle school students.) I get about 1/3-1/2 way down the hall of the bus, and next thing I know, someone is grabbing me from behind all of a sudden, and again, jamming their thumb into my navel from behind me. I snap out of the dream and feel the same pain, I am on my back again, and again, I turn my head and see the clock change from 4:59 to 5:00 A.M. …and yes again my bed shakes violently. 5-10 seconds, then calms down, room seems to light up a bit, not as in there is a light, but as in, this previously unknown darkness is now becoming clear and thus gone, and so you can see clear again, if that makes sense. I again go crying to my parents very distressed. I slept with them on and off at this age after those events, I think I recall sleeping with them for a week or two, then eventually went back to sleeping alone in my room as I am an only child. Fear and not understanding what was happening played a huge role in the generation of more fear overall. However, obviously what ever happened happened, and there was little I could do about it, so being afraid of such a situation, only leaves you with less power than having minimal or no fear would grant you.

    As for the real text book sleep paralysis, that started happening when I was 23, and oddly enough, never happened (unless you count the above two situations) until I was incarcerated in OCJ (Orange County Jail) It must have happened about 10 or 15 times while I was in jail. The first time is much like a lot of stories I have read and researched. I wake up, or at least I think I wake up, and I am in my cell, on my bunk. What blows my mind, is everything in the room is the same, the placement of random objects, colors, textures, patterns, everything…its all the same, so naturally, I feel like I am awake since I can observe the room around me in its entirety. However, I can not move. I feel no pressure on my chest, but I am frozen. I want to get up, but try as I may, nothing happens, and I freak out. I try to call for help, but even though I am trying to yell at the top of my lungs, barely a mutter of a whisper comes out saying “help.” I ask God for help, and I notice my cell mate on his bed, and he says in a very odd voice, “God can’t help you here.” I said that I rebuked it in the name of Jesus and told it that it wasn’t welcome here and to go away. Moments later, I hear a woosh and the room gets a tad brighter, and bam, I am back to reality. However, my cell mate is asleep.

    Note, that was the only time I saw or communicated with anything, all the other times it happens, I feel this, very very unsettling “presence” that leads to a sense of impending doom, if I look in a certain direction. It’s a feeling that you just don’t even want to know what is there, and finding out would only make it worse for what ever reason. It has happened to me while going to sleep and while waking up. After I got out of jail, it happened to me in my parent’s place, (not the place I grew up in the previous stories). I stayed with my parent for 3 months when I got out of jail and I was 25 years old. On top of sleep paralysis, when I was staying with my parents, once I woke up and it had felt like someone had slapped my foot, I even heard the slap, and the feeling sent a jolt of energy through my body that made me feel instantly awake when I woke up.

    where I currently reside, I still experience sleep paralysis, but I have had it happen so many times, that I started to experiment when it happens to try to get a better understanding of it. I would ultimately like to explore my surroundings and looks around, but I am much too afraid to view too much while it happens, and most of the times I find myself focusing on getting the sensation to just stop and be done because of how unsettling of an experience it is. I have noticed, that if you take command, which does not even have to be in the name of God, but rather, YOU command IT to leave at once with full confidence and mean it absolutely when you say it, with the intent of whatever it is leaving….that always works 100% and quickly. It has reached the point where it doesn’t happen unless I focus on the topic immensely, which I do from time to time because of the mystery and wonder behind it all.

    Two other experiences of sleep paralysis I would like to share simply because it may offer other perspectives as to what might be happening:

    I tell myself now knowing that it could happen, to always try and observe as much as possible and take notice as to what I see, and if I try to shut it out or close my eyes, than at least to what I listen to. I have read people seeing, shadow people, or ghosts, or kids, or something sitting on them, ect, but thankfully never have experienced anything crazy like that. I feel that I would probably have a heart attack if I did. But, one time, I thought I started hearing some growling noises. So I took note to listen closely. It was a low growl, almost like a dog sleeping. Kind of sounded odd and really freaked me out at first. I noticed my curtains, all the clutter on my table by my bed, my bookshelf with books, ect ect, I was in my room. The noise was steady, almost like breathing. And then it hit me, and I made sense of it while it was happening. The noise I was hearing, 100% was me snoring. I am very convinced that this happens now, while one is still asleep. I have tile flooring, so the echo of me snoring almost sounded like it was next to me, but it probably was just really me. Which leads my to my next thought process, if I am sleeping and hearing myself, and I sound like I am next to myself, where am I really when this is happening? Am I just outside of my body, still in it or stuck in between? These are just some questions that strike my curiosity.

    Another time when it happened, I remember being paralyzed on my side, waking up and not able to move. However, I could move my head (most of the time I usually can). I remember moving my head and rolling over as I did so, But even though I some how managed to roll over, I still could not move, I could see the covers to my bed perfectly and the pattern on the comforter, the wrinkles in the sheets, the groves in my curtains, everything was there as normal, but I soon was able to snap out of it, except, this is the only time, where when I woke up, I woke up on the side I was initially paralyzed to begin with. So when I was rolling over, I was seeing the complete other side of my bed behind me (I don’t have eyes in the back of my head). All the details were the same as they were when I had fully awoke.
    I feel like I might have rolled out of my body somewhat if that makes sense, and perhaps was able to perceive my surroundings.

    I know this has been a long winded post, but I will conclude with this, when I feel it coming on when I am going to sleep, it often feels like someone is throwing a net of energy suddenly onto you that zapps or shocks you into place, and if I focus on mentally “throwing” that energy back or repelling it away from me, I can counter an onset within 2-3 seconds most of the time if I think to do so in time. When I wake up and it happens, that is much harder to deal with, most of the time it will happen after it hasn’t in awhile (usually a month or two a part, and it happens 2-3 times then stops for a bit). I have found that if you move just a toe back and forth, it will eventually help give you ability to wake up, that and reassuring yourself that everything is fine and that you have the power to rule your domain that you inhabit.

    Also, I wanted to mention, that many times when I have experienced SP, it will seem like I moved my hands up by my head, or toward the covers, only to find my hands right by my side half a second later. Its like even though I thought my hands just moved, they didn’t and usually I try to move them like 5 times, and even though I think I see them move, they are right back at my side like it didn’t happen a moment later, which I can only describe as some sort of time warp paradox effect (at least that’s the impression or feeling I get). I hope this information allows others to feel they are not alone and hope some of the sensations I have shared help shed some light on similar experiences.

    I personally believe that no matter how crazy that sensation of fear is, the key is remembering that you are in control. It may even be a test to overcome fear itself, because honestly, there is nothing on this earth that produces a more terrifying experience in my opinion. Stay strong and remember love conquers all. You are always in control, until you let it be lost. Don’t be afraid of the unknown, and don’t try to think of anything, the moment you start thinking of things, is the moment things start to become more intense. (Especially thinking about what it COULD be). Accept it for what we can all agree on, it is a feeling, and we can control how we choose to feel next if we put our mind to it. I am open to questions, similar stories, different perspectives, and hope this helps your research Ethan, thank you for the abundance of information!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Cory,

      Thanks for your fascinating comment and for describing your experiences in such detail. I think you make a lot of sense in your analysis of what happened to you, and how you deal with it. I think that you are absolutely right in that reminding yourself that you can control it is a helpful step, and that hard as it is to not be afraid, you can remind yourself not to start thinking too much about what it could be. I think I will add that particular point to the tips list in the article as it’s a good one, so thank you.

      I’ll leave it at that and see if anyone else gets involved with your ideas since you said you’re open to questions.

      Thanks again.
      All the best

  132. Joyce says:


    about a couple of weeks ago I had this SP (seemed so real), my little sister had these SPs several times the last years. she told me about it and i just couldn’t understand her, but now i had a couple SPs myself. i woke up at night about 3. opened my eyes but couldn’t move, i looked above me and there was a black figure, it was staring at me while just hanging above me, i tried to scream but when i opened my mouth there wasn’t any sound coming out of me. than the next thing happened. suddenly something was lifting me up how closer i ‘float’ to the creature (looked like a black sheet covered over a human silhouette), the more i got the feeling it was sucking out my soul. i closed my eyes, and i was ‘floating’ back down. than i opened my eyes again, the silhouette was fading away. soon as i could i got up and ran over to a close friend of mine who lives 2 doors next to me, we talked for like 30 minutes. then i walked back home. since i ‘experienced’ this SP i always got the feeling there is someone or some others out there watching me. and it’s more then that, some times before i go to sleep or falling asleep, can’t explain it exactly. But it feels like something stroke my cheek, neck or arms. and sometimes i feel this little breeze past my arms or neck. it freaks me out for like a minute, and than all of the sudden i act like it never happened because there’s this ‘goodvibe’ coming around me, like a circle. but since I’ve had this SP, i sometimes see ‘shadows’ against the wall and floor but no one standing there. and it moves with me sometimes. and when i have a better look its vanished. my SPs are getting worse and more terrifying than before. i do believe in ghost or guardian angels, but i dont even want to believe in demons. but why is this still happenings to me even when i’m blissful.

    P.s: my English isn’t that good, (sorry) still hope u understand what I’m trying to say.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Joyce

      Thanks for your comment – and don’t worry, your English is fine!
      Your experiences do sound like they could well be sleep paralysis, and I can understand why it has made you feel like someone is watching you. I can also understand why you want to know why it happens even when you are feeling ‘blissful’ as you describe it. Perhaps it might help if you continue to focus on the good feelings you have. Try not to worry so much about demons and ghosts, but focus more on positive thoughts – even the guardian angels. Maybe if you spend more time thinking about the ‘good’ things you might see if sleep paralysis keeps happening, then you might be able to influence what you see.
      And of course, there are all those tips you can try which other readers have come up with.
      All the best

  133. Jack says:

    I woke one morning, at about 11am – I saw two people standing to my left, in front of my window which opened to my back yard.
    I live in a small town very close to a large lake, and the neighborhood is just hidden in thousands of huge trees. So my backyard is very private.

    One was a man, and beside him a woman. They were dressed in 16th century clothing. The woman wore a black dress, and had a white blouse underneath. Her skin looked as though she had been coated in coal dust, and had a coal-greyish color.
    The man was looking at her, and she was looking up to my ceiling, and she had a green glass bottle, which was similar in shape and color to the early, small coke bottles. She seemed to be placing a curse on me, or my house…for reasons I can’t explain, I totally know she was a witch.

    I could not move. I could not speak. I could move my eyes, and if I tried with all my strength, I was able to move my head side to side, but could not lift it up. At the foot of my bed, and obstructed by my duvet, I knew there was a demon…powerful evil emotion enveloped my entire room. Again, I cannot explain how I knew, but I knew there was a demon there, and the demon was in control of the two people beside me. I experienced fear, but not out and out terror…powerful fear. All at once, I found myself able to move, but my muscles were stiff. They were all gone. I have tried to figure out what the green glass bottle meant, but I cannot. If anyone here can help, I am leaving an e-mail address.

    This was my second experience with beings coming into my bedroom. The first one was even more bizarre, and was at night, with two beings appearing to come through my wall. I’ll post that story another time perhaps.

    Thank you

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jack

      Thanks for your comment and describing your sleep paralysis experience. Like many people, you seem to have the combination of both seeing things and ‘feeling’ that something demonic or malevolent is in the room. It does sound like quite a classic case of sleep paralysis, and it may be that the green bottle has no meaning, and is simply a part of the ‘scene’ which your brain has created. Perhaps another reader will have some thoughts – though your email won’t be published, so they would have to reply here to your comment.
      Feel free to come back and describe the other experience any time you like.

  134. Miranda says:

    I recently experienced SP.
    I was having a dream in which I spoke to another person, and behind this person there was a mirror, the conversation did not matter much, because it was quick. I saw a black shadow reflecting through the mirror, I call it a balloon because it was sort of in that shape, but I’m not really sure. Soon after this happened I felt tingly all over my body and I could not move. I was laying on my back and my arms were on the side of my body and I could not move a finger or open my mouth. It felt short, I don’t think it lasted more that 10 seconds, its hard to tell. I woke up, and about 10 minutes later I pictured the same dark balloon shaped shadow in my head, and paralyzed again. This time I heard my mom speaking in the hallway, but that did not really happen. I don’t know if i was asleep through it all and i thought I woke up, or maybe I really did wake up. Im not sure at all what I experienced or what I saw in the dream, but I do believe in everything, I just don’t know how to interpret what I experienced.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Miranda

      Thank you for your comment and sharing your experience. I think you highlight something which is very common for people: it can be very confusing and difficult to interpret exactly what you experienced. Was is just sleep paralysis? Were you dreaming or having a nightmare? Were you having a hypnagogic hallucination? Were you awake but still seeing your dream imagery? Were you dreaming you had woken up, but were actually still asleep? Or was it a combination of two or more of the above?
      Any of those explanations is possible, and the more I read reader comments, the more I get the overall impression that many people experience combinations of the above rather than just ‘pure’ sleep paralysis for example.
      The main thing is not to stress about it if possible. Hopefully it will be a one-off, and if not, try to remember that nothing bad will happen to you, and see if you can try out some of the tips in the article if it continues to happen.

  135. James says:

    I find it very scary when that happens. I feel such intense pressure on my chest–like something is pressing me down so hard and almost trying to kill me! My breathing also becomes difficult when this “demonic” experience happens. It is hard to breathe.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi James

      Many people experience the breathing difficulty. Perhaps if it happens again, don’t focus on your breathing. Instead focus on a different body part like a finger or toe. You may find that by not putting all your attention on your breathing, it doesn’t feel so terrifying.

  136. Anonymous says:

    My friend had told me about this once I thought he was just playing around and making stuff up until it happened to me last night.I was dreaming I was outside of a mansion working when I saw a big scary van and it reminded me of a movie I watched a couple of years ago so I got a sniper and shot him when he got out. Then I thought that the worse part was over. Then I went inside when the owner invited me to sleep over I said yes he had three boys one was somewhere else and the the dad went to pick him up. I sat on a couch then the two others asked me if I wanted to play a game called oculus (same name as the horror movie). I asked what is it they said its when they summon demons out of a mirror. I ignored them and told them if they wanted to read they said no and played the game oculus all over the house. So I realized it was working so I went to sleep and my dogs were sleeping on my feet then i felt a supernatural presence coming and my dogs were barking at it. I was going to get up with my eye closed and start punching it but I found I couldn’t move at all. I was scared and since the room I was had light and my eyes were closed I saw a shadow just pass by really fast that’s when I woke up scared with my dogs at my feet still having goosebumps all over my body just like in the dream and now im scared to be in a dark room.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi there,

      Thanks for the comment and describing what sounds like a very scary dream! It’s not clear whether you had actual sleep paralysis, or were dreaming that you were paralyzed. And I think that’s something which is quite common for people to experience – confusion as to whether they were really awake or still asleep.
      I can understand being afraid to sleep in a dark room – you could try and use a soft nightlight for a while to see if that helps you feel a little more secure.
      Take care

  137. Lane says:

    This has maybe happened to me a few times in the last 6 months … most recently just the other day I wasn’t sure if it was a dream and I was just in my room in my dream but after reading this it makes more sense that I’ve been awake and seen something in my asleep state. I was feeling quite tired at the weekend and decided to go for an afternoon nap I then had my experience where I saw a small angry man/troll peering over my bed saying things (can’t remember what they were) I remember being really scared as I couldn’t tell if it was actually happening or not then I don’t know if I woke up straight after or what happened as it seemed as though once I was up I was struggling to convince myself that it happened at all? I am under quite a lot of stress at the moment which may explain it but because I am under stress this isn’t really another thing I need stressing me out :(


    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Lane

      Thanks for your comment, and it seems to be a theme of the most recent comments I’ve been replying to today that the distinction between sleep paralysis and dreaming is hard to pinpoint sometimes. It could well be that you woke up and simply remembered a weird/bad dream. Or it could be that you woke up and still had some dream imagery projected onto your external surroundings.
      Hopefully though it’ll be a one-off as it is for many people. I guess if it’s highlighted to you that stress is a major factor in your life, then it’s another reason to see if anything can be done to improve your stress levels. Obviously it depends on what’s causing the stress in the first place, and what kind of things you find relaxing, but I’d recommend seeing if you can actively do something to alleviate it.
      All the best

  138. Jack says:

    Very quickly – I have had four major events happen to me over my life. The very first thing I recall is when I was approximately 4 years old, back in 66.

    It was close to Christmas, and I had received a present from Mr. Claus, from a Christmas party through the Royal Canadian Legion. My dad was a WWII veteran, and he was an officer aboard the H.M.S. Illustrious,an aircraft carrier.

    OK, I got that one in for my late Dad.
    So, I got a large dump truck, and I was playing with it on the top floor of our two story house in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    I started to wear down, and so I got up on my parents bed and fell asleep.
    All at once, I was looking at myself laying on mum’s bed! My back was against the ceiling, and I saw everything from that position! I saw things on my Mum and Dad’s dressers, which I could not even reach at that age! It was the most peaceful, relaxed feeling I’ve ever experienced before or afterward.

    Then, as soon as it began, it was over, and I was back in my mortal shell again. I wasn’t in the slightest way afraid, or concerned. It wasn’t until I reached my mid to late teens, that I realized that I had an O.B.E. I also remember having very disturbing, war time dreams after that experience. I had the exact dream for many years, and sometime the dream, well, the nightmare, would occur several times a month.

    I never experienced O.B.E. again, and my recurring dream stopped.


    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jack (or John – not sure which name to call you now!)

      Thanks for this description of an out of body experience. I think this is one of the more interesting phenomenon which can occur during or in connection with sleep paralysis. It’s not something which I’ve personally experienced very often, though I believe I have a couple of times experienced what I would say seems to be an OBE. It’s an odd feeling to say the least!

      It’s interesting that even though you would imagine that it would also be quite a scary experience, people who have described it often seem to enjoy the experience and don’t find it disturbs them at all. I guess the lack of evil presences helps with that!

      Thanks again

      • Anonymous says:

        Hello Ethan.

        First, let me clear up the name issue. LOL!
        It’s both – I was born Jack, but my grandfather always called me John after the Robin Hood character “Little John” and that just screwed things up terribly, because some call me Jack and others call me John…sigh It got to the point where I am now finding myself trying to remember which group I’m dealing with – the Jack group and the John group!

        OK, so – Thank you for your honest reply.
        I am always somewhat confused whenever I discuss such “religious” things with people of science.

        The confusion comes when I ask exactly what “science” is.
        Some people believe “science” is synonymous with evolution. So, to those people, any explanation outside of the evolutionary paradigm is simply not based on “science” I know this is not a evolution/creation debate, so please bare with me…

        People who hold to the evolutionary paradigm do not recognize that “science” is not a belief, science is a method of study. There are in fact, very highly educated creation scientists, who work in the exact same fields, and labs as do evolution scientists. They examine the exact same specimens, and each side has their own presuppositions, and biases, which leads to opposing conclusions.

        OK, so when you explain to me that you hold to a purely scientific explanation, what you are in effect saying is that you are refusing to even allow the possibility that a spiritual explanation, or reality may in fact be reality.

        What ends up happening when we attempt to put parameters around reality, or, when we limit ourselves to a specific belief system which does not allow for the discovery of a new idea, or a reality which may even be diametrically opposed to our own paradigm, then we are actually handicapping ourselves to never be able to discover, or learn anything new.

        Can I ask you a question Ethan? Just for a moment, if you could suspend your own ideas of what science can do and cannot do, Now let’s say, for example, that the spirit world is real. How can science discover it?
        Is there any scientific method that could even recognize it?

        If there is not, then shouldn’t we in the very least, be open to the possibility that what so many people are seeing, and experiencing around the world, across all religions, and belief systems be real?

        Science is not as fool proof as we may like it to be. As a matter of fact, science has never been able to understand what we believe are very basic everyday elements in all of us – love – hate – indifference, etc. What about information? Information is extremely perplexing. Information comes exclusively from an intelligent mind. So, when we use science to understand our DNA is a system which is exclusively driven by information, why can’t scientists even allow themselves to say it out loud – intelligent design.

        It seems very obvious that people of science have come across a fence too high, or a bridge too far. Any child can look at any one of his/her toys and they know it was designed and made by intelligent human beings.

        What science is doing today, in my humble opinion, is they are like a child sitting cross legged on his bedroom floor, and plugging his ears while singing as loud as he can, in a useless attempt to get out of admitting he broke his bedroom window. Believing if he can just plug his ears and sing loud enough to not be able to hear mom and dad asking if he broke the window, then the reality that he in fact did brake the window, will somehow not be reality and he won’t get into trouble.

        I hope I’m not coming across as arrogant, or rude Ethan. I’m trying to help you understand my point the best way I can.

        I’m saying, the idea that science can disprove the reality of a real spirit world is an invalid one.
        Science has been crippled right from the start, as far as attempting to explain such things, because right from the start it states emphatically that such things do not exist.

        I’m not willing to pretend what I saw, what I experienced was an illusion – a trick of the mind.
        As well intentioned as people with a strictly scientific explanation are, in the end, those of us who are targets of evil spirits don’t have to feel like there’s something wrong with our brain chemistry.

        How can science explain the experience both my wife and I had, at the exact same time? We were both forced wide awake out of a deep sleep – we both bolted up into a sitting position at the exact same time – we were both terrified and we both watched a smoky, misty dark grey cloud go from right in our faces, to a wall six feet away, up the nine foot wall and disappear into the ceiling at amazing speed?
        I suppose science would simply tell us we had a shared hallucination. OK, but if I ask a scientists how he/she came to such a conclusion, the answer will be “because we know better” because science refuses to allow for such things right?

        I know this message comes across as somewhat angry, but please, trust me when I say that is the furthest from the truth. I’m doing my best to explain how I feel, as a person who has experienced these attacks.

        I truly do appreciate Ethan – at least he is making an effort to allow us to explain what we saw, and how we felt, as well as what we believe is happening. Thank you so much Ethan. But it is my great hope that scientifically minded people like yourself, will try and understand the stifling limitations that are built into “science”

        Is science looking for THE truth, no matter where it leads? or, is science looking for MAN’S truth?


        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi Jack,

          I’ll call you Jack from now on I think, rather than address you by two names. Let me know if you prefer John:-)

          Thank you again for such an interesting and eloquently written comment. I certainly don’t take it as angry or arrogant, so don’t worry about that.

          As I’ve said before, I think it’s useful to have this comment thread as a relatively open ‘forum’ where people can voice their opinion. There is, however, a fine line between voicing opinions about specific events and phenomenon, and taking a step back and engaging in a complex debate such as your latest comment is stimulating.

          On a personal level, I’m not keen to get involved in a protracted religion vs science debate, as I see happen so often across the internet in forums and other spaces where people can communicate. I’d prefer, for now at least, to keep focused on the ultimate goal of this article, which is to help people cope with sleep paralysis.

          That said, I’m very happy to continue to publish comments from others who may find it interesting to debate this with you. In the meantime, I will give your comment some thought rather than logging into the website and replying immediately to comments over a cup of coffee, and perhaps get back to you when I’ve had a chance to think about what you’re saying.

          Kind regards

  139. KT says:

    So i just had this happen to me again and I googled it to get more info and came across this page. I have researched this before and thought I learned to control it and i thought it had helped until I figured out I was still in SP. I fell asleep sitting in a recliner position and when I was trying to wake up there i went. First my kids were both here (but ones actually not he’s in school) and they were running around me. I tried to ask him for help but he just kept running around me playing. Then I thought I finally got his attention and he was talking to me and from there I went straight into another place. I thought I woke up and my husband was here for lunch. I apologized for napping so long and I hadn’t had lunch ready but I was so tired like I couldn’t wake up but I thought I was awake. I wasn’t…so then I started to yell no no no. Didn’t help, tried raising my hand fingers anything. Couldn’t do it. So finally I said ok show me something. I then went to the truck with my husband where I literally said it was deja vu. It was crazy cause everything i’d seen was what i’d seen the last time in sp. I said ok enough. I thought I woke again and I said i’m done. Then I got what I thought was a text that said “you can’t get out of it now…lol”. I then started to freak out..I started to lift my head with as much force as I could and I finally woke up. Really woke up that time. Craziness

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi KT

      Thanks for your comment, and it sounds like a crazy experience for sure! It sounds like false awakenings, where you think you have woken up but are still dreaming. I’ve had this once or twice so I know how unsettling it can be. I also remember a previous readers commenting about this, probably some months ago now, and how they experienced it to a greater extent like you as well. Maybe if they are still following these comments they’ll come back and offer their thoughts on your story.

      It’s not clear though whether you were also dreaming of being paralyzed or had woken up with sleep paralysis, or a combination of the two. What do you think happened?


  140. steven says:

    First time i experienced sleep paralysis I felt the presence of a demonic dark force holding me against my will in a crushing force a top of me.I do believe in some way the dark demonic force plays a very big part in sleep paralysis.The four times in my 30 years i have experienced sleep paralysis, there’s no doubt i was visited by a demon,and a very dark and disturbing one.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Stephen,

      Thank you for your comment and describing your experience of sleep paralysis. Can I ask you if you have found anything which helps you to deal with it when it happens? I’d be interested to know what your response is to the phenomenon.


  141. Archer says:

    Sleep paralysis… I’ve had so many experiences/run-ins with different “visitors” and it always leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Some are stronger than others and some hunt in packs which is never fun. Fight or flight is possible you just need to dig deep.
    Hooded figures generally just strangle and hold down but you can always sense these ones coming a mile away as your pleasant dream fades and you are replaced with the feeling of being stuck before the inevitable. Fight is possible so you can prepare yourself.
    Screamers yell abuse and generally appear right next to your head or hide at the end of the bed for dramatic effect. I have only used the flight response as it was very unpredictable with my consciousness leaving my body far behind!
    The above two are manageable and more frequent but there are worse but I don’t want to freak you out as you’re not helpless.
    My advice is to stay away from anything that leaves you feeling vulnerable like drinking or medication etc. Maybe martial arts and meditation will give you more confidence or ability to deal with them. Religious material works in the movies…
    I had a particular bad “visitor” last night and can’t really say that I’m looking forward to a potential round II tonight but tomorrow is looking pretty bright. Don’t know why it happens to me but maybe they’re just trying to put me off my “A” game when I’m awake and kicking ass in real life.
    If a scientist invents a magic wand to make my life more easier and stop “sleep paralysis” please let me and all of us know thanks.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Archer,

      Thanks for your comment, and interesting way of categorizing the different kind of sleep paralysis experiences people have. Whilst I don’t personally think there are actual visitors, the way you describe them does summarize quite well some of the main kinds of experiences that many people have.

      Perhaps you’re right as well about doing things in life which can give you confidence or help you stay relaxed and in control, such as martial arts. I imagine the main point is that it’s good to feel that you have some power and control in the situation of sleep paralysis.

      Hopefully you’ll be able to bring your ‘A’ game to the sleep world as well!


  142. Cory Stiles says:


    I full heartedly believe I have found the solution to what everyone is going through. Please Please Please Please Please share this information with the group. This makes so much sense and totally explains why people see different things yet have a common theme of fear. Also explains why everything looks the same and the information I am about to share, IS the solution absolutely. Please refer to my August 19th comment and understand that I have undergone this experience many many times and I know what I must do the next time I face it. I will definitely post my results once I have accomplished facing it. Please make everyone aware of this information, because I can assure you, this is the key we all have been looking for.

    The key:

    I know for a fact that if this is applied, it will help anyone going through this experience. I sincerely with all my heart and soul hope this helps everyone.

    Love, with no exceptions

    -Cory Stiles

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Cory,

      Thanks for your comment, and the very interesting video link. I quite regularly watch Ted talks, where this one comes from originally, and very much enjoyed the idea presented. The concept of having a shadow side is something I do know a bit about, and I think for some people it could be a helpful way of approaching the problem of bad dreams and/or sleep paralysis. So I’ll definitely publish your suggestion.


  143. Solessia says:

    I’m not sure if it was a demonic presence or what exactly was going on I know my story is a little different. I was staying overnight in a hotel alone somewhere during the course of me falling asleep I began having sleep paralysis where I felt like someone was laying on my back and rubbing my face. I felt myself being turned over several times . I struggled to wake up once I became alert enough to move I realize that I was now wrapped up in the blanket once I got out of the blanket I realized I was now laying on the floor by the hotel room door I immediately looked up to see if the door was unlocked the chain and deadlock was still on and no I do not do drugs nor do I drink I have never had anything like this happen to me I have had sleep paralysis many times but not to this degree where I have been physically moved . I can’t explain it and I don’t know exactly what happened whatever was going on I didn’t feel as though it was evil I just felt uncomfortable not having control of my body.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Solessia,

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your sleep paralysis story. It’s not uncommon at all for people to move about in their sleep, sometimes dramatically to the point where they can end up far from their bed. So it’s possible that you’ve had a sleep walking experience, or been acting out your dream, all the while merging with the experience of sleep paralysis. These kind of sleep phenomenon can all blur into one, and be confusing to work out what exactly was going on.

      Hopefully it will be a one-off and you’ll sleep peacefully in future.

  144. Samantha says:

    I am so thankful to have found this site. I truly thought I was developing some severe psychological problems. I’ve had this problem for over 3 years, but it seems to be getting worse. I’ve had the feeling of a strong buzzing/vibration, and being “flung” around the room. I’ve also experienced the feeling that I can’t breathe – something sitting on my chest. I have felt my bed move as “something” climbs up on my bed. It’s just so damn real! After reading on this site, and trying to educate myself more, I’ve learned to “relax into the experience”, and I was feeling somewhat of an element of control. I could actually imagine myself releasing from being flung around and allowing myself to fly (although it would always end up in feeling I was falling.) However, it seems that “I” have come up with new ways to terrify myself. (I don’t believe in demons or spirits, so I know it’s in my mind.) I have now started hearing noises in other rooms – plates rattling, an audible voice calling out my name. Last night was the worst ever – I apparently had the SP cross over with a dream, because I was in another location – but I didn’t know where I was, or who I was. I know that doesn’t sound so bad, but in the dream I was terrified. I kept trying to imagine my home, but I couldn’t remember anything. People kept trying to hurt me. Even though I was “somewhere else”, I still knew I was lying in bed and my husband was beside me. As I always do, I kept trying to scream out to him to save me. When I finally literally fought my way out of this nightmare, and managed to “squeeze my eyes shut tightly” (I read this in this forum), I was able to awaken. My heart was pounding, and I felt the typical “fight or flight” symptoms. I made myself get up (it was not easy – I kept being “pulled back in”) and read for over an hour. As I’ve learned in this forum, the experience rarely returns after I’ve awakened and made myself stay awake for awhile. I feel awful this morning, almost like a “nightmare hangover”. I absolutely dread bedtime now. I spoke with my doctor about this (it was difficult because it sounds so freaking crazy!!) but she had never heard of it. She is going to research this (because she’s a great doc and doesn’t think I’ve lost my mind, yet.)
    I sympathize/empathize with people who experience this – I wonder how many suffer in silence because it’s so hard to explain. My husband is my best friend, and I’m having a hard time sharing this with him. He’s worried about me, and I got to sleep touching him thinking that even if I ‘twitch” maybe he will awaken – but he never does.
    I rarely drink alcohol, and I don’t do any kind of drugs. I’m in my 50’s, a mom and grandmother, and the epitome of “normal” (relatively speaking.) I’m reading up on the sleep hygiene part of this site, and I’m going to try to increase my exercise throughout the day. I just returned from a vacation where I was very active and exhausted when I went to bed – and I didn’t experience any SP/nightmares during this 2 weeks. First night back at home – boom! – back the experiences came.
    Thank you for this forum. I’m still not sure I’m not losing my mind – but at least I’m in good company!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Samantha,

      Thank you for your comment and sharing your sleep paralysis stories with us. Sorry to hear it’s been getting worse and clearly distressing you. It’s great that you have a doctor who is willing to go away and research what they don’t know. I don’t think it’s possible for all doctors to know every single strangle thing that can happen to people, so I’m glad they’re willing to look into it.

      It’s also great that you’ve tried out some techniques to deal with it. I think trying to relax into it is one of the best ways, especially considering how many of the people who’ve managed to control the sleep paralysis (or at least not be afraid any more) say that that’s what they do. We should all learn from their positive experiences!

      I would say stick with trying the techniques to deal with it, and stay positive that you’ll manage to cope with it and reduce the frequency and intensity again. I’m sure it will pass in time, so all the work you’re doing to improve your sleep through sleep hygiene and staying focused on the fact that it’s your own mind creating it should definitely help.

      Hopefully your doctor will get back to you that you’re not losing your mind, and you’ll get through this rough patch.

      All the best

  145. Kristy says:

    I started this experience when I was younger and it was more simple and at that time it only happened to me when I fell asleep on my back. As I have gotten older the experience has gotten scarier…from feeling like something was around the corner, to at night time seeing a dark figure walking towards me, to some sort of creature (preastoric) bird type going in fast circles in my room above me to my most scariest that just happened…is something shaken my bed. I always freak out and try to scream, move or anything to get up. Oddly it never happens when someone is sleeping in my bed or in the room, only when I’m alone. Could this be more than sleep paralysis?

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Kristy,

      Thanks for your comment. Just to clarify, when you say seeing a dark figure walk towards you, are you talking about on the street outside, or while you are in bed? That’s an important distinction to make when trying to work out whether you’re having sleep paralysis or other night-time hallucinations for example.


  146. brian says:

    I just awoke from my nightmare. A demon appearing by my flashlight then disappearing when the light casts off of it on a rooftop. And a horrible persons blood curdling screams “Oh my god!” This happens a lot. What’s disturbing is I decided to google it and this was my first click. I didn’t realize others exp this too. I have another story of a dream. I awoke thinking it was day walked to my door it became night. No more furniture left in my room but a carpet of maggots. And a woman crying in the corner naked knelt down facing the corner. I walked over to console her. I placed my hand on her shoulder and slowly spun her. I never seen this woman before. Tears pouring down her face. She looks at me then looks over my shoulder. This terror on her face scared me. Then I thought what could be behind me that her scared like that. I awoke hearing 3 slams right behind me. I could not go to sleep and was petrified to look behind me I waited till daybreak to move.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for your comment, though it’s not too clear whether you experienced sleep paralysis each time, or whether you had a nightmare which left you feeling scared when you woke up. I think the two are quite different, though can of course both leave you lying in bed in a state of fear, and of course searching online for something which might explain or help. It sounds to me like the second explanation is more accurate, at least from what you describe. What do you think?


  147. Chelsea Anderson says:

    I’ve had these experiences as a kid but it was extremely vivid last night and I woke up petrified with an awful headache.
    I remember every detail. I thought I was just waking up in my bed like normal only to find I was unable to move. Also I could only see the sides of my room not the doorway but I felt a strong presence of something standing in the doorway, something meant to do me harm. I could hear the intruder breathing and then I started to panic and tried every way possible to move. I was finally able to move my hands and when I got a strong grip on the side of the bed I prepared myself to pull up and run. I counted to 3 and I was able to pull myself up but then it was like time slowed down and that’s when the awful “seizure” like episode started. It’s very hard to explain this but having a seizure or being electrocuted is the best way I knew how. The feeling was a mix of pure terror and extreme relaxation, like being on drugs with an awful side effect. I felt like trying to escape made the intruder extremely angry because in my “seizure” state I could hear my intruder screaming and banging against the door. I woke up then with an awful headache and my dog was not really shaking but twitching he was so scared. It was certainly an odd experience that was hard to shake off. I remembered that my bf used to have experiences were he would yell and scream for help in his sleep and when he woke he said the feeling was like being “haunted” but unable to move. So i looked up the symptoms and it brought me here.
    I must say knowing that I’m not the only one to experience this make me feel a lot better. Its easy to see how anyone who lacked knowledge of SP could think that demons were responsible or actually believed they had an intruder because the experience isn’t like dreaming at all, it feels very real. I myself stayed shook up till I went to work this morning, I honestly still have the headache and still feel a bit off. After reading this I now know I probably made it 10 times worse by trying to fight it. If it happens again I will try some of these tips to wake up.
    It also helps to be able to write and share with others who have had the same experience. It would be nearly impossible to make someone who’s never experienced this to understand how it feels.
    If this happens again I want to try and see if I can make myself realize whats happening so I can turn off the panic and maybe still keep the “good” sensation I had before.
    All in all this phenomenon definitely won’t be something I forget.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Chelsea,

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your experience of sleep paralysis. I’m sorry to hear it had you so shook up, and I’m not at all surprised it lingered in your system for so long. I’m also not surprised you don’t think you’ll forget it!

      It does sound like quite a classic case of sleep paralysis, and I think you’re probably right about it being worse through both fighting it, and of course a lack on knowledge at the time about what was going on. It’s interesting what you say about your dog – they say they’re well tuned to their owners emotions and energy, so it’s interesting that your poor dog has felt the effects of your fear by the sounds of it. I wonder what Caesar Millan (the dog whisperer) would say!

      I’m glad you’ve found the tips here worth taking into consideration. If it does happen again, then hopefully you’ll be able to put them into action, and as you say, try to keep the good and get rid of the bad.

      All the best

  148. abinaya says:

    hi..i have had sleep paralysis three times earlier.but today i experienced the worst sp a person could and should ever experience. I was working hard the whole week and u can say i was sleep deprived too! so i was thinking of having a pleasant nap in the afternoon and feel refreshed. On the contrary i experienced the worst 2 hours of my life, the worst two freaking hours where i was begging and screaming for help to my roomie. I was lying on my bed when i saw my roomie come to my shelf and open my stuff, i opened my eyes and saw this. later after few minutes, i started hearing voices of guys inside the room. Its a girls hostel and no way guys could enter. My brain knows that no way i could hear guys voices but i still am hearing it. The scariest thing is it came and talked inside my ears with a loud voice and the voice getting faded. I was screaming for my roomie to wake me up…I literally did scream…please someone help me. help me out of this torture but i couldnt even budge a little couldn’t utter a whisper even…not even a murmur…then i see her come near me and comfort me…after a long battle of 3 freaking must forget hours, i finally woke up and asked her if i did something unusual. she said i was absolutely fine and asked her if she came and opened my stuffs in the shelf…she said she never came to my side…seriously am scared and disheartened…should i consult a doctor…this is the scariest of all the 3 times that have happened to me :'(

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Abinaya,

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your experience. Sorry to hear you’ve been upset by such an experience. It’s hard to tell whether what you experienced was a dream/nightmare, sleep paralysis, or maybe a combination of the two as seems to happen to many people. You may never really know as it can be confusing to know exactly what was happening in terms of whether you were really asleep, half asleep or awake.
      You can certainly talk to your doctor if you continue to feel disturbed by it and want some reassurance. And if you continue having experiences like this, then they might be able to help. But hopefully if you’ve only had this 3 or 4 times, then you won’t start having more.
      Have a read of the tips in the article, as you might find something which does help if it does happen again.
      Try not to worry about it too much though:-)

  149. Ved says:

    I had it several times. Even multiple times in few hours. Last time it happened to me in flight, 15 mins before landing. I was aware that we are going to land, but was unable to control my body, i was afraid that i might get hurt if i will not be able to control my body during landing. I was trying hard to move my hands and legs, i was wishing girl sitting next to me help by shaking me. but after trying very hard i was able to move my hand and was happy to see my body is in sync with mind. Every time it happens to me i think of moving my finger or legs, it is very hard but i get out of paralyzed stage soon. i dont feel any demon, dark or someone is pushing my chest etc. I just feel my mind didn’t turn on its part which controls body movements :-)

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Ved

      Thanks for your comment, and wow…I think that’s the first time I’ve heard of someone having it on a plane! Luckily for you it wasn’t one of the worst types which can leave people a nervous wreck when they wake up.

      I think your analysis is probably exactly right about the mind taking time to turn on. It’s great that you know what you can do to get out of the paralysis, so thanks for sharing the fact that it’s possible to control and break out of it.


      • abinaya says:

        even i have had once in a train…i was travelling alone it was a serious deal of scary incident!!

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi again

          I think if you’re experiencing any kind of hallucinations during the normal daytime hours while not asleep it’s a good idea to speak to a doctor to get some advice. It may be nothing to worry about, especially if you were snoozing on the train, but it’s always good to rule out anything else and get help if you need it.

          All the best

  150. Christina Morales says:

    my name is christina morales and I just right now woke up from this …I guess they call it “sleep paralysis”. It happened at exactly 4 00am in the morning from a dream a nice dream actually. Then a loud banging noise like something fell. After that i was immediately woken up from my sleep. I said in the name of Jesus I didn’t even have time to think when I said it. When I was younger and very heavy in church It would happen to me almost every single night for two weeks but way more intense they were very vivid almost threatening. One time I’ve actually experienced something touching me all over. I have many many experiences with this “sleep paralysis”. And now that I am 23 years old I still and scared every single time. I just thought I should share my experiences.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Christina

      Thank you for sharing your sleep paralysis experience, and sorry to hear it’s scaring you, as it does so many people. Hopefully you will have found something useful to try to deal with it the next time it happens in the article…there are some great tips which you can have a go at to see if you can find something which helps. Try to stay strong and know that you’ll be fine:-)

  151. Diane S says:

    I’ve had sleep paralysis quite a few times ( about 5 ), each episode about the same. My most recent one started with a strong, loud ring, kind of like the sound of an earthquake coming, or maybe rocks tumbling. I heard this alerting, rumbling sound, and got this sensation that my head was shaking, maybe out of shock. My heart was racing and I felt as if this evil presence came over me. I then looked around, but for some odd reason, I could see the whole room. I knew I was asleep, but anywhere my head ( supposedly ) turned, I saw what I was supposed to see. I remember this random figure showing up, and as I looked at it, its face would morph into something almost demonic. Since I was be in such distress, I tried calling my mom or sister, screaming their name, screaming ” help, ” but it was as if I had no voice. I tried so hard to get their attention, but my voice couldn’t go high enough. Finally, I gained control and woke up. Everything felt so real that I even asked my family if they heard my yelling for them, but they all said no. Each time this happened, the same sequence of events would occur.

    I did some research, and I came upon this site. I never knew why I had such horrible episodes like that, but this made it very clear. It helped reading the science behind the paralysis, the tips, and other people’s stories. So I thank you, and I just wanted to share my experience with you, and whomever else :)

  152. Jaclyn Evans says:

    I suffer from sleep paralysis at least once a week. I am a 23 year old bartender and work crazy hours, but I have suffered this since middle school. Sometimes nothing happens and I don’t mind it, other times I feel evil is around me so I heavily breathe fast and my boyfriend know exactly what’s going on and wakes me up. I have it a lot but only have hallucinated maybe 10 times. The last time I had it ( last week) I felt hands over my throat and wrists. I woke up in tears. Sometimes I will see my mom come in to talk to me and later on she will say no I haven’t been in your room. Sometimes I see my cat come to lay with me. But the most terrifying experiences I’ve had with sleep paralysis were the feeling of evil or hallucinations. I’ve seen an evil black hand come out of the wall to choke me, an apparition of a huge man by my bed, a ghostly see-through old lady laying on top of me, but mostly I feel evil around me and hands around my throat. I do believe in God and the devil and I do believe evil walks on earth to ruin souls. However I do not believe I am being attacked. My house is not haunted and I get it because I am overly tired. They feel like evil and it’s such a terrifying experience but sometimes it doesn’t feel like evil. I’m less scared when my boyfriend is next to me. What helps me is I pray. I call for Jesus and ask him to help me wake up. I also tell the evil presence that I am not afraid of you leave now. Sometimes I say the st Michael the arch angel prayer. All of this helps but I believe it’s all in my head and it’s a strange disorder. I believe it could be evil but most of the time it’s not.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jacyln,

      Thanks for your comment, and it’s interesting to hear from someone who has religious beliefs, but still entertains the idea that the sleep paralysis experiences you have are in your head. It’s good that you have your boyfriend there who is clearly attentive and will wake you up if he sees you are distressed. Hopefully you’ll have found something useful in the article which can help you as well as the techniques you already have.
      All the best

  153. Hemant Kumar says:

    Hi all,

    First sorry for my bad English.
    I have experienced it about 9-10 times in my last 10 years. First 4-5 times in first 3 years and after a gap of 5 years, they are happening again to me. All your explanation helped me a lot to understand this except one thing. Every time i had under the dream of sleep paralysis, i always be able to watch the time inside the dream, and when i woke up, i again check and both the time the watch shows exact same time. Just yesterday night about 8am when i am about to wake up, i had it again. My alarm rang at 7:30am, i woke up switched it off and gone to sleep again. Then in dream i woke up and gone to bathroom and saw the time. It was 8:03am. After that i went to drink water from fridge and suddenly some strong blow of air comes from behind and i stuck on the wall and i was unable to move my body. then i heard a sound and the room in which i was sleeping suddenly opened by a chair on which my brother tied shouting for help and the chair is moving in front of me. I was unable to even cry for my bro. After that the chair with my bro gone to another room and his shouting stops and just after 1 second i was in my bed. After some second i woke up and check the time, the watch was showing 8:03am.
    what is with the time in my dreams, still i am unable to find the reason behind this…
    Can you tell me about this???

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Hemant

      Thanks for your comment, and you English is pretty good!
      I’m not sure if you have had sleep paralysis or not. It sounds to me like just dreams or nightmares that you have.
      As for the time, well to be honest I don’t know! But I know some people don’t need an alarm clock because they can just say ‘I want to wake up at 8:00am’ and then they do. So maybe in the same way, your brain is counting the time and for some reason it is a part of your dream. There may be no clear explanation, but I imagine it’s nothing to worry about. Maybe you can try and use it for good and do some experiments to see if you can make it work as an alarm clock!


    • Jaclyn Evans says:

      Thank you! This blog has helped me and makes me feel comfort that many others experience this disorder, I’m not alone, and to have a website who all understands one another. I had another experience. Sometimes when I have sleep paralysis its not scary, but most of the time it’s of couse disturbing. I had woken up and saw a lady (creepy evil lady) coming after me. It was terrifing but I stayed strong and told it to go away (in my head) and I tell it I’m not afraid of you. And I also tell myself it’s just a hallucination. I’ve seen so many different scary things but I’m coping a lot better. It happens when I’m over tired. As a bartender my sleep schedule is limited, so I just need more sleep

      • Ethan Green says:

        Hi Jaclyn

        Thanks for your comment, and I’m pleased that you’ve found the website helpful. I think the fact that people can share their experiences and not feel alone is the best thing about it, so it’s nice to hear that people think the same.
        Well done for having the mental strength to fight off the sleep paralysis. If you do decide to fight it and try to break out of it, then it seems to be a helpful thing to do to say in your head what you would say out aloud if you could. So telling whatever you are seeing, and at the same time of course telling yourself, that you are not afraid is a good thing to do.
        Hopefully you’ll get better and better at dealing with it if it continues to happen.
        All the best

  154. Hannah Rodriguez says:

    Its been happening to me recently, it was during rem I was able to take a good look at this thing was all white type of body figure with very long thin limbs and a face of a white cat. It crawled on me and kept getting close to my face, I felt it purr and smell me as if to check something about me. I kept struggling to sit up and at many attempt I finally DID sit up pushing the thing off of me.
    But it grabbed me by my neck and pushed me back. But I kept twitching from my right side of my neck to my arm and I sat up full and it was gone, but I stupidly fell back asleep and it happened again, but I leaned to sleep on my stomach and it didn’t bother me for that night.

    Right now it is 6:20pm it happened twenty minutes ago I was laying on my side and I was seeing jewelry and I kept feeling my heart beat quickly and I was trying to change my dream pattern (dream of something else) but I got heavier and my body felt the numb sensation of not moving. I was able to see a full black arm, it was as if it was trying to come out from underneath my bed.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Hannah

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. As with many people, it’s hard to tell whether it was sleep paralysis, a bad dream, a hallucination or a combination. If you find that it doesn’t happen when sleeping on your stomach, which is the same also for many people, then perhaps keep doing that if you experience these things again in the future.

  155. cristina says:

    I had these SP episodes when I was little, and being from a religious family of course I believed there was something evil about them. I realized only later in life that this is a disorder of some sort. I can’t remember the age I first had it, nor the time I stopped them. I was so terrified when I was having them that I started to try to do something to stop them. The usual everyone describes: a feeling of uneasiness when it starts, the not being able to move, speak or scream. Never felt another presence or anything like this. During time I was able to identify, while I was falling asleep, the feeling before it happened and tried to move right at the beginning of it, and then it disappeared. With exercise I was able to stop them forever. It’s been years since I had them. Sometimes, very rarely, I feel that feeling again, but I start moving before it happens and it goes away. I’m not scared about it anymore. Except that what I read here freaked me out a little. How I came across this site? I started to read some time ago some books about spirituality and the nature of reality, how we make our own reality, the beliefs that we have and that actually make our own experiences. One of these books is The Nature of Personal Reality by Jane Roberts. Now I’m reading something about out of body experiences and I read and also thought that this sleep paralysis episodes can get you in an out of body experience if you learn to relax and let it go. That’s how I came across this discussion here. After what I read here I will think about using SP to have OBEs, as it is still scary to me. Of course if you truly believe there is something evil doing this to you then you will actually have terrifying experiences while SP, but you have to remember it’s all a part of your imagination and your fears are fueling these episodes. You should try reading that book about personal reality, maybe it will help you.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi cristina

      Thanks for your comment, and yes sleep paralysis is sometimes said to be a good way of getting into out-of-body experiences, though I can’t claim to be anything of an expert on how to go about doing it exactly! I know over time a few readers have said they find it works, and of course there was the book written about that specifically.
      I’d be extremely interested in hearing more about your experiences if you do decide to see if it works for you. So in the future, if you have the time and inclination to come back and let us know how you got on, it would be fascinating to hear about.

      • cristina says:

        I will definitely come back to read other people’s experiences on this. From what I read, people have different experiences when in sleep paralysis and this only attests to what I read about making our own reality. If you believe strongly that this is an evil force, this is what you will get, if you don’t then you won’t see anything evil in these experiences. Of course, the scary feeling that comes with it is very hard to control, and usually feelings have a big impact on making our own reality. My advice, is that you have to be very stubborn about stopping these experiences, as I was: when you feel it’s coming, start moving! At first it will be very hard, but keep trying to move your fingers first, then your hands and feet, and with practice, you won’t have any more sleep paralysis. As I said Ethan, after what I read here, I feel that I’m not ready to use the state of sleep paralysis for out-of-body-experiences, but if ever I do succeed to overcome this, I’ll let you know! :)
        (About time, in Hemant’s experiences, it is said that time during an out of body experiences, is relative and it doesn’t flow as time in our physical reality.Actually time exists only in our physical reality as a chain of events because our mind can only perceive it like this. As I read other people’s stories I think strongly that some of them have out-of-body experiences without knowing they do.)

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi Cristina,

          Nice to hear from you again. I can understand about not particularly wanting to ‘experiment’ with sleep paralysis. I have to admit my instinct is also to snap out of it rather than see what else can happen. But then again I’ve spent an enormous amount of my time reading through people’s comments over the years, and my subconscious is probably full to the brim with potentially horrible ideas of things that it could manifest!
          I think you may be right about some people having out of body experiences. It’s just so hard to tell though – either from them, or anyone else reading their descriptions. But I think it’s quite likely some people have had something like that, whatever ‘that’ is exactly!
          I like your idea of being stubborn. I think that’s also called being mentally strong, or resilient. If you focus on moving just a small body part at first, then it gives you a small and achievable goal rather than trying to make everything go away at once.

          Anyway, thanks again for coming back and hope to hear from you again in the future.

          • cristina says:

            Hi again! I had last night another SP episode, but this time was different. I fell asleep after midnight with thoughts in my head to try and remember my dreams in the morning and maybe have an out-of-body experience. I woke up during the night, on my back, with sensations of being paralyzed. I was crammed in my husband who slept on my right side, and also was feeling crammed by something on my left side (maybe it was our dog or just a feeling). I felt those sensations of being paralyzed and succeeded to snap out of it a few times, but they kept coming back. I couldn’t move, or scream to my husband to tell him what’s going on, and though I was paralyzed I could turn my head toward my husband to see if he’s asleep or if he’s reacting in any way to my state. This is what I think could be an out-of-body experience, or almost something like that. I read in Robert Monroe’s book – Journeys out of the body, that when he tried to experience this state, in the beginning, he could only move parts of his “astral body”.
            The difference in this SP episode is that I didn’t feel scared as I used to, when I was little. I just wanted to snap out of it for some reason.
            I guess this could be called a progress, and maybe at some point I’ll be able to see what happens if I control myself and let the experience go further.

          • Ethan Green says:

            Hi Cristina

            Nice to hear from you again! Thanks for coming back and sharing once again. It does sound like progress if you’re not feeling scared. Though I guess if your goal is to experiment with the concept of out-of-body experiences, you just had a potential ‘taste’ of what it might feel like. It will be interesting to hear back from you if you do have any further progress, and what your thoughts are about whether out-of-body experiences are ‘real’ or just another hallucination. That can’t be an easy one to work out!
            Thanks again and keep in touch!

      • Debbie says:

        Hi I’ve been having sleep paralysis for a number of years now. I get it whether I lay on my side or my back. Sometime I know when it’s going to happen as I feel like my head is being held down and I try to shake my head which is very hard as I struggle to move but I manage to stop it happening until I eventually fall asleep. the latest episode I had of it was last night, usually I just get a sense of something evil and can’t move so I tried relaxing which made it worse, but last night for the first time I got a feeling of something dark was heavy on my chest, I’ve never been so terrified in my life.

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi Debbie,

          Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear you’ve had such a scary experience. Hopefully reading this article will have given you some ideas about how you can cope with it if it happens again. Remember to tell yourself that nothing bad will happen. Pick one or two of the tips for stopping it, and try to remember to put them into action should it occur again. Fingers crossed it won’t though!
          All the best

  156. rishi says:

    i am 19 and i don’t really believe in god.
    well I experience it a lot.
    at least 4-5 times a month.
    i too feel pressure on my chest and paralysed.
    voices around me go loud and i see some black creature standing beside me. i am unable to see his face.
    he never talks or does anything.
    but last night it was totally different.
    even though i sleep alone i have a habit of sleeping at the right side of bed .
    so last night i woke up in my dream paralysed but strangely i was able to move my head.
    i looked at left there was nothing there then i looked at right i saw myself standing right next to myself very close to my face and staring right at me in the eyes.
    i was looking like a total demon my eyes were all black and my face had some scars.
    i was totally frightened. the staring went on for around 5 seconds and then i woke up.
    it was all very quiet and the time was exactly 3:31.
    is this an indication ?

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Rishi

      Thanks for you comment. I’m not sure what you mean by indication. If you mean does this sound like sleep paralysis, then the answer to me would be yes. It does sound like sleep paralysis. But it could also have been some blur of a dream and waking up. It’s very hard to tell the difference sometimes. Hopefully it won’t happen again, and if it does many something in this article will help you to deal with it.
      All the best

  157. Benyamin says:

    I am benyamin from Iran. This things happened for me since i was 9 and i always close my eyes and it gets better. After a while was better but when i was 17 (i think so), once i didn’t close my eyes and i see something else, something strange was laughing at me. i so scared. It stood in front of my bed, i Couldn’t trust my eyes. and sometimes else happened but doesn’t strong like that until now.i want to wake up, (in 3:10 pm 9/18/2014). I see the sun burning like hell, my eyes was open, i see clock rotating ,and i pick up my hands, but my fingers did strange things,(rotate 180 degree) and my hand felt in my abdomen. and my jaw was moving strange like smash down. and i miss 10 minute of my life! i wake up 3:20. for me just was 1 minute.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Benyamin,

      Thank you for your comment and sharing your experiences. Like with many people, I think it is hard to tell if you had sleep paralysis, or a bad dream. The second thing you describe sounds more like a bad dream than sleep paralysis. Maybe it felt real because you were half awake, and your dream was still happening while you were waking up.
      Hopefully it will be the last time!

  158. Elizabeth says:

    I have had sleep paralysis on and off since I was 4. now that I’m an adult (21) it happens more frequently. The first one I can remember was when my sister and I were little. We shared a room with a bunk bed. I woke up unable to move, there was light illuminating from my bunk, and the bed began shaking. I lay there until I could move again. Really confused and unsure about what was going on, I woke my sister up and asked if she had been shaking the bed. She angrily shooed me away for waking her. MANY years later learned what it was. More recently I’ve been having them regularly. Usually the same one. I’ll wake up realizing there has been a white noise in the background getting louder and louder. It almost sounds like someone is exhaling constantly directly into my ear. Once someone whispered “peace”. as good as that sounds, It still freaked me out quite a bit. If I’m in my room, I’ll hear someone open the door and climb into bed with me. That’s usually when I jolt up. If not, I’ll just feel them laying next to me. Breathing, or reaching for me. It’s extremely unnerving and incredibly easy to fall back into. I really wish I could get a handle on them and see what I could do with it. But every time it happens I get scared and feel the need to try my hardest to move and snap out of it.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Elizabeth

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your experience of what sounds like sleep paralysis. I can well imagine why it leaves you feeling scared…especially the feeling that someone or something is climbing into bed with you. That must be horrible.

      I guess when you say get a handle on them, you’re talking about the possibility of using it like some people do as a stepping stone into some kind of exploration of lucid dreaming, out of body experience or whatever may be possible. But I can understand why the natural reaction is to try and snap out if it.

      Perhaps you could set yourself two ‘goals’. If it’s a particularly frightening experience, you could try to snap out of it. But if it is a more ‘easy-going’ experience, then you could see what happens if you relax and go with it.

      Just a thought for you!
      All the best

      • Elizabeth says:

        I recently discovered that my mom, brother, and sister all have SP fairly frequently. we came to realize that when we had them in the same places, they were always eerily similar experiences if not the exact same. Same feeling of someone getting into the bed, same voices, and in my mom and sisters case, same “dark figure”. Do you think SP could be a genetic trait?
        Also, when discussing it, my mom brought up that she felt it was a sort of in between state of our living world and another dimension (the other side). I’m curious as to what your thoughts on that would be.

        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi Elizabeth

          Thanks for the comment, and you’re not the first to suggest a common experience had by different people during sleep paralysis. Though usually people explicitly state that they feel it must mean that some ‘dark beings’ or whatever it might be exist, because how else would people have the same experience?
          Personally I don’t feel that’s the case, and that it’s either a coincidence, or people who share lives have been influenced by the same films, TV adverts or other things which put suggestions into their subconscious of what ‘dark beings’ might look like or behave like, so that when they do then have bad dreams or sleep paralysis, their subconscious minds have similar ideas to draw on and then conjure up in the darkness of the bedroom.
          As for the in-between states, there are also other readers who very much believe in that. Personally, I don’t because I think the mind is amazingly complex and mysterious enough to provide sufficient space to investigate what on earth is going on when it creates dreams, nightmares or night-time hallucinations, and that there is no need to look beyond our own mind for explanations.
          But I imagine at some point someone else might come along and agree with you:-)
          And with the genetic element, once again there have a few others who’ve said that there family members also experience it. But then again, so many people do experience dreams, nightmares, sleep paralysis or hallucinations in the night, that statistically if you asked enough family members, some of them will most likely have experienced it too!
          All the best

  159. Stefanie says:

    Thank you so much for this forum Ethan, I can’t describe the relief I’m feeling that I am not the only one and that I am obviously not going mad! I had episodes of SP all my life sometimes frequently, sometimes not for a few years. I always feared there is something wrong with me. I always wake up lying on my belly and have the feeling something is sitting on my back, pressing the air out of me. I recall a few experiences where I felt like being dragged off my bed. I also had episodes where my head was filled with noise, metallic and very loud. Last night was the first time where a nightmare mixed with the sleep paralysis and it was absolutely terrifying. I heard a voice close to my right ear whispering to me in an unknown language and I saw something like black fumes before my eyes. Even though I am not a particular religious person my catholic upbringing kicks in every time and so I prayed to be helped. I actually think that my catholic upbringing is causing me to experience sleep paralysis as the intrusion of a demon. Where else would I get the idea from if not from all these terrifying stories and images that got thrown at me as a child. I am sure that deep down in my consciousness I have stored all of it and it comes out when I can’t control it. Like most people on here I am terrified when it occurs but I will try to count next time, sounds like it could work for me :-)
    So again thank you Ethan and to everyone on this forum!
    Sleep well

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Stefanie,

      Thanks for sharing your sleep paralysis story, and sorry to hear that like so many people, you’re having to deal with such terrifying experiences. I’m glad you’ve found the article and comments useful. I hope the counting works for you! And if it doesn’t, there are lots of other ideas for you to try out. Sooner or later (hopefully sooner!) you should find something which helps you to reclaim your sleep, or at least to cope with sleep paralysis if it does happen again.
      I can understand your theory about the religious upbringing influencing what you experience. I personally think though that you could blame television and film as much, if not more, for the sheer quantity of scary images and ideas we get to see during our lives. Even if you’re not a horror fan for example, how many times have you found yourself watching a trailer for one of the many paranormal activity films? If may be just once in a while, but I think it’s enough to put suggestions and thoughts in our subconscious, ready to come out at a later date!
      Anyway, hopefully you’ll be able to start coping better from now having read some useful and practical advice, mostly thanks to other readers.

  160. Mariah says:

    I had this just an hour ago. In Utah where I am at right now there is (not anymore) thunder and lightning. It woke me up and I’m not sure why I was afraid of it. I’m a good age to know what that is by now. (16) So I put my head phones in and played music. I felt like something was in my room ready to open my door. I just kept thinking about the music until I fell asleep. I woke up again, not looking at the time but I just went to my closet. I said to myself that why should I open this with the lights turned off?? I looked at my light switch and then looked back at my closet door. Then it was open.. I feel to the ground to make a loud bang because I knew I had experienced something like this dream before. I felt horrified and I wasn’t able to move my legs, arms, practically my body and mouth. I tried to scream for my mom or brother and sister. Because that’s natural for me to do when I’m afraid. I wasn’t able to do nothing and I felt growing weak. I stopped only for 3 seconds and gave it all mighty to break out of what was holding me down. I did wake up and my mom was getting ready for work and lights were on and it made me feel more comfortable. Eventually I was curious about why this happens. Because I thought it was a ‘spirit’ just wanting to take over my body. But that’s because I watch to much paranormal videos and movies. I believe that this is called sleep paralysis now! I feel so relived, I feel like I can fall asleep and not have to worry. And I saw how to prevent it from happening. Don’t sleep on my back(I was doing this) don’t have a high pillow(also doing this). Thank you so much.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Maria

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your sleep paralysis story. As with many people, what you describe at times sounds like sleep paralysis, and other times like a bad dream. And perhaps a dream of being paralyzed. Though to be honest, from your description I can’t quite tell which it sounds more like.
      But either way, the important thing is that you feel better after reading the article, and if you do have this experience again and can use the tips you found here, then great. And if not sleeping on your back or having a high pillow are all that’s needed to prevent it happening, then even better!
      All the best

  161. kait says:

    I am 27 years old, I had my first experience early this morning with SP. A friend of mine had told me for years that she would wake up in the middle of the night not able to move, speak, or yell for help but she saw a face above her bed hovering her. She went to a specialist to find out she had sleep apnea and this was something that was often associated. Anyway, my boyfriend left for work early this morning and was making a lot of noise getting ready, which i assume woke me enough to ask him to be quiet. I heard him leave the house a few minutes later and shut the door. I then thought i heard the door open again and was able to yell ” Michael?, mike?” assuming he had come back into the house. Couldn’t have been 20 seconds later after no answer, I tried to get up because i heard noises coming from my living room. I couldn’t move at all and started to panic. I then saw someone or something all black (which i assumed was a man) slowly walk into the hallway outside my bedroom and then make its way into my room towards the side of my bed. I was so panicked I just remember trying to yell and thinking how badly i wanted to get up and punch this person to defend myself. I was terrified to go back to sleep and when i did start to dose off again i had an immediate SP attack couldn’t move and my eyes couldn’t focus they just kept flying what felt like in circles and criss-crossing. Needless to say I was up for the rest of the night, and i’m hoping this never happens to me again!!! I do struggle with depression and anxiety and take medicine daily for it, but have never had something like this happen.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Kait,

      Thank you for the comment. It does sound like sleep paralysis you’ve had there, and I can understand why you couldn’t sleep again afterwards. I think the first time can be extremely disturbing, especially if you don’t know what it is that’s happening.

      Hopefully you’ll be like many people and not experience it more than a couple of times in your life. But now you know what it is, try to remember to stay calm if it happens again. Have a think about one or two of the tips that are in the article and see if you can put them into action should you go through it again.

      But fingers crossed it was a day you can store in the memory bank under ‘weird one-offs!’.

      All the best

  162. Laura says:

    I just woke up after what I think was SP. It was weird though, I thought I heard my door open and close, so I woke up (kinda). Then I thought I heard someone moving in my room and got a bad feeling, like the person/thing was evil, so I tried to roll over to see who it was but I couldn’t. Here’s where my story differs from classic SP, I felt panic coming on and instead of freaking out, I just decided to go back to sleep. I had some nice dreams about apes fighting for a bridge (not sure where that came from) and then fully woke up later. It was all very surreal, and I’m not sure it was SP because I didn’t do any of the things you’re supposed to do to stop it, but I managed to get out.

    My question is how? Can anyone tell me if I actually experience SP, or maybe something else?

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Laura

      Thanks for your comment, and your question is a very sensible one, as I think lots of people have experiences which may seem like sleep paralysis, but could actually be just dreams, or a combination of dreams with the weird hallucinations we can have when falling asleep or waking up, or a mapping of the dream world onto reality. It’s often quite hard to tell, and I think in some ways up to you to decide which explanation fits best.
      The fact that you managed to go back to sleep is slightly different from what most people experience, but not completely out of the ordinary. It may just be that you’re particularly good at dealing with uncertainty, fear or panic. And so even though you had the normal reaction to the feeling that something was wrong, instead of having a full-blown panic about it, you somehow managed to shrug it off and fall asleep.
      And of course it could just be that you had a blurring of dreams, paralysis and hallucinations mapping onto one another, but in a way which didn’t give you the time nor fully awake feeling to panic about it.
      I’m just guessing really, and you’ll probably never really know. The main thing is to remind yourself that if you did it once, you can do it again. So if it ever happens again remember to tell yourself that:-)

  163. Layton says:

    Wow its crazy to hear about yalls experiences! Usually my sp experiences are not that intense. Usually its right when I lay down I start seeing things move out of the corner of me eye and when I close them to go to sleep sometimes I feel something right next to me and I can feel something touch me and I usually jump up and scream in fear… I am 18 a senior in highschool:/ kinda embarrassing I gotta sleep with a light on.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Layton,

      Thanks for the comment. It may be that it’s not really sleep paralysis. It sounds like it could be just hypnagogic hallucinations, which are essentially seeing, hearing or feeling things which aren’t there while falling asleep. It’s very common.
      I wouldn’t be embarrassed about the light. Perhaps you have a fear of the dark, in which case there’s nothing wrong with having a light on. Some research done last year found that a very large number of adults have a fear of the dark and just don’t know it. It’s responsible for a lot of insomnia and other sleep problems. So you’re not alone. If you find it helps, then keep doing it is my advice.

  164. S says:

    Oh dear,
    I too have a case of sleep paralysis. It is scary and I can’t even move a toe, can’t whisper – its just a paralysing feeling.
    But I do not know what fears can I have. I live a moderately happy Life and am quite a positive person.

    Any suggestions on how to get down to the core reason – fear – would be helpful!

    Thanks all!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi S

      Thanks for the comment, and the interesting question about fear! I imagine there are a couple of other readers who would enjoy chatting about the concept of fear in itself. Perhaps they’ll comment later.
      Personally I think in regards to sleep paralysis it’s probably a combination of your biological programming (fight or flight mechanism), your life experiences to date and how you’ve learned to cope with fear, and your attitude in general when things like sleep paralysis happens.
      How to reduce the sense of fear I guess is the key point. For me, reminding yourself that nothing bad can happen and that there is a logical explanation is helpful when weird things happen in the night.
      If all else fails, practical steps like using a night light may also be helpful.
      All the best

  165. Miranda says:

    I usually experience this a few times a month and it is terrifying! The worst part is when I actually wake up and roll over to go back to bed, most times it happens again. What I found that works for me is, I’ll have my boyfriend hold on to me after the first time. That way, when I “wake up” if I can’t feel his arm around me, I know I’m still sleeping and I can pull myself out of the dream quicker. It’s also A LOT less scary because I know it’s not real. I also have learned to scream rather than try to move because my hallucinations lead me to believe I have fallen out of bed and hurt myself. Thank you for this article. I’ve had this problem as long as I can remember but never knew what it was.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Miranda

      Thanks for your comment, and I’m glad you found the article helpful. It does sound like you’re possibly having bad dreams where you feel that you’re waking up, but aren’t. Sometimes called ‘false awakenings’ which can also be quite scary. Or when you experience it are you awake and in your bed, but hallucinating? I couldn’t quite work it out from your comment!

  166. B Clarke says:

    I’ve been having SP episodes all my life but only the last few years has it become more frequent. Ive noticed if I have a big weekend im almost certain to have a sp episode on the following monday night. Ive had everything from the classic weight on the chest to waking up paralyzed and seeing bombs going off outside my window or seeing a demon child enter my room. Recently I’ve been experiencing more just angry voices which I can never quite remember what they were saying. I completely understand the paralysis is caused by your muscles taking longer to kick in to gear and the hallucinations due to your dream state over lapping with your concious mind. I have a few times successfully turned a sp experience into a dream of my choosing but to do this I have to calm myself right down and concentrate hard. Which can be extreamly difficult with a demon like face on the pillow next to you. Usually I am too terrified and have to concentrate on getting my body moving. I do this by wriggling my toes and eventually snap myself out of the experience. When this happens the hallucinations instantly dissapear and I usually grab the water beside my bed have a sip then try and go back to sleep. Sometimes I feel myself being dragged back into a new sp experience and I have to try and quickly prevent it. I do not live in fear of these experiences, however they are absolutely terrifying at the time. I hope with more practice I can eventually consistently use these sp experiences as a gateway to a lucid dream as the few times I have managed to do this have been amazing. An understanding of what causes a sp experience and an acceptance that it may happen have greatly helped me to achive this. Although most of the time im still completely overcome with fear, im slowly learing to get control of my thoughts during the experience. I 100% believe that a sleep paralysis experience can be a gateway to lucid dreaming/out of body experiences it just takes a lot of practice.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi B Clark

      Thanks for sharing your sleep paralysis stories, and it’s been a while since I heard from someone who’s had success with using SP as a potential springboard for lucid dreaming etc. It’s interesting that you say you don’t live in fear, but find them scary when they happen. I think that’s probably the most reasonable state of mind that you could be expected to achieve considering the content of your episodes. And a useful concept for other readers to think about.

      I guess the idea of practice makes sense. When the overwhelming urge would be to make it stop however possible, learning to relax and go with it, when you are faced with something so disturbing must take some dedication and self-control. But people do manage to do it, yourself included of course, so it’s by no means impossible.

      If only there was a short-cut without having to go through scary episodes over and over! Now that would be a useful tip…

      Feel free to come back and let us know how you get on if you have success with it in the future. It’s always interesting to hear from people who are using SP for positive purposes. Not to mention an inspiration for those who are still in the early stages of being terrified by it.

      All the best

  167. Guest says:

    I had my second experience of sleep paralysis last night actually. I was sleeping solo when this event occurred. I was lying on my back and I heard a man talking. I felt something touching my right arm and when I opened my eyes I could see a figure beside my bed. The best way to explain his appearance is he resembled the clear figure on the movie Predator. I could see through him but he was a blur at the same time. He said to me, “you have to tell them.” I could not move and I closed my eyes and starting saying Jesus over and over. I also said god please help me. I felt him then climb on top of me and I opened one eye and peeked at him looming over me. I kept my head turned as I was afraid to look at his face. He leaned over me and I felt myself floating up but my body was still on the bed. I remember asking myself in my mind if I had died in my sleep. I said oh god please no and then I felt myself drifting back down into my body. I believe in God but I don’t consider myself a religious person. I know I was terrified and the only thing that gave me any comfort was to say Jesus over and over. This is the first out of body experience for me. I really think this is what it will feel like when my time comes.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi there,

      Thanks for sharing your sleep paralysis stories, and wow, I can only imagine how scary it would be to wake up and see predator in my bedroom! Whether it was an out-of-body experience, sleep paralysis, a dream, a hallucination or a combination is as always difficult to tell. But I can understand how it would leave you feeling that it’s a glimpse into what happens when our time comes. People report similar things during near-death experiences.
      It’s also quite common for people to find that calling on their religion can be helpful and comforting. You say it’s your second experience, so hopefully you won’t go on to have more. But if you do, use whatever tips you find helpful in the article with luck you’ll not be so scared if it happens again.

  168. Ver says:

    I had sleep paralysis regularly for a couple of years, and after I stumbled upon a scientific explanation, I tried some techniques similar to what you suggest (staying calm, trying to wiggle a finger, etc), and it pretty much went away after I figured out what to do when it happened. For a couple of years after that, I had lucid dreaming. I wonder if my episodes of sleep paralysis somehow transformed into the lucid dreaming? Anyway, then I had kids, and never slept much after that, so haven’t had either for a long time. :-)

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Ver,

      Thanks for the comment, and it’s great to hear from someone who’s managed to stop sleep paralysis! It’s an inspiration for other readers who are wondering if it will ever stop.

      It’s very possible that the sleep paralysis ‘morphed’ into lucid dreaming. But it might also have just been a coincidence. Who knows!

      Hopefully you’ll start to get some proper sleep again soon though, as sleep deprivation long term isn’t a lot of fun either.
      All the best

  169. Rachel says:

    I was maybe 5 or 6 when I had my first SP. There was a man standing in my doorway; he could stand for a few seconds or what felt like forever, but suddenly he would run towards me with his tongue out and sit upon my chest. I could feel his weight upon me and I struggled to breath. He would then start licking my face, slowly at first then faster whilst laughing or crying hysterically. I stopped seeing him when I was around 10. A few nights ago he came back, I’m now 18. I can always sense when he is in the room and before it is about to happen. Can I do anything to prevent this from becoming a regular occurrence again?
    Thank you,

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear that this unpleasant-sounding experience has returned. It doesn’t sound very nice at all. If you take a look at the original article, I’ve collated a large list of ideas from readers which they find help, most of which I agree with completely as having the potential to help stop sleep paralysis, or bad dreams, whichever it may be. Perhaps you’d find the idea of sleeping with a light on helpful due to the very visual nature of what you experience. If the room isn’t dark, maybe your brain will be less likely to conjure up this image, and relax when you wake up to see familiar surroundings.
      Other than that, have a read through, and think of one or two ideas which you think you could probably see yourself doing, and try to remember them in case it happens again. For example tell yourself “I’ll focus on wriggling my toes if it happens again” every night before you go to bed, just to put the idea solidly in your head:-)
      Hope that helps!

  170. Clara says:

    One evening (around 9 yrs ago) I was lying next to my baby while he napped. I had dark curtains in my room but I could still see the light and hear the children playing outside. It takes me a looong time to fall asleep. So I’m lying there and I start feeling this evil presence hovering above me. I did not try to move, I did not try to speak. I didn’t even open my eyes. I was terrified. I started praying and singing hymns in my mind until I felt it leave. It did not press down on me. Another time (4 yrs ago), I had just broken up with my boyfriend. I was going through deep grief cause I loved him very much. I had barely understood that he had a narcissistic personality disorder and was also trying to deal with that. A lot of people didn’t understand me when I tried to explain NPD to them so I felt very humanly alone. The thing is, while I cried on my bed (several weeks), fully awake, I felt a presence in my room and it was a good presence, like if it was there to comfort me (and it did). I know the difference between and evil presence (demon) and a good presence (angel).

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Clara

      Thanks for your comment. I get that people didn’t understand the NPD concept – it’s not a very common diagnosis even within the world of personality disorder, and none of them are very easy to understand!
      I also understand that you felt these presences, though as with so many people it’s hard to evaluate whether it was sleep paralysis, or some other occurrence which can happen in the night.
      Luckily you’ve only experienced the unpleasant sensation once. Let’s hope it stays that way!

  171. Clara says:

    I know the sensation of being paralyzed, but I wasn’t asleep, I was awake. I was hiking near the Hollywood sign and suddenly my body froze. I couldn’t move. I tried to focus in front of me. Finally I saw it, it was a snake going by. My body sensed it and it froze. Also, one morning while on vacation in Cancun, I got up early to see the sun rise, I’m walking along the beach and my body froze. I’d felt the feeling before, so I thought,”now what?” I focused and there was a sting ray in the water next to me. The weirdest paralyzing episode was while I was out doing inventory (that’s my job). I get to this county site. There’s lots of people standing around, my body became paralyzed again. I’m like what the hell can be so dangerous in the “civilization.” I went into the site, did my job, came out, got into the car. I looked to the right, and my ex husband was coming done the steps. I had divorced him a few years before because he was very emotionally abusive. My body sensed how dangerous he was to me and tried to keep me away. I now know that I am an empath and that I can feel other people’s and “thing’s” energy/presence whether visible or invisible. Logic is good when you’re doing math problems or planning inventories, but it doesn’t work with weird, irrational, illogical, unexplainable experiences. I do appreciate your article though, because I know the brain does secrete a chemical to hold us down while we’re asleep, but for me, to freeze while I’m awake??? – sorry, some things are just beyond our mind’s limited grasp.

  172. Chelsee says:

    This is fascinating to me! I’ve experienced these my entire life and never knew what was happening. I’m glad my random internet searches turned this up.
    I always feel pinned down and have difficulty breathing. Sometimes I feel like there is a demon in the room. While I do believe in God, I never believed that it was really a demon- just a different kind of nightmare.
    It is a relief to know that this happens to other people! I’m normally a lucid dreamer and thought it was strange because this is the only type of dream/sleep phenomenon that I can’t control.
    Thank you guys so much for the stories and suggested techniques.


    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Chelsee

      Thank you for your comment, and I’m glad that you found the article, comments and suggestions useful. Interestingly there is a whole thing about using sleep paralysis as a way of lucid dreaming. So perhaps with your already established ability to lucid dream, it could be a way of you learning to control it. You might find the book I mentioned in the article particularly useful as the author talks about that specifically.
      All the best

  173. Josh says:

    Mine is usually the same I am asleep. I know I am asleep but my body is forced to walk around the room and I usually stand in corners staring at the wall for hours and I can’t do anything about it.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Josh,

      I’m not sure I understand. Do you mean you are dreaming of just walking around the room, like a recurring dream of being stuck in your bedroom on your feet?

  174. B says:

    I have always been interested in sleep paralysis and astral projection as I believe I am an astral projector. There’s so much I can state but it’s quite complicated and not something I tend to even share because of its complexity. I don’t think most people will trully understand.. But I have been to many places and seem to be intouch with those who are no longer with us.. Individuals in which I do not know.. Just random people who whisper and hide. I can’t honestly say that I even understand why I’m there or what it all means but nonetheless, I am there.

    Also, although I don’t experience actual paralysis, I wake up abruptly from sleep sometimes feeling like there is something in my room. Things will take shape and I will feel like I am looking at something material. I will get up and in most cases walk towards it until I have that ‘snap out of it’ moment and then I realize I’m moving towards nothing. Most times I am not even afraid.. I’m startled and maybe a little nervous but not so much afraid. I’ve also slept walked several times in my life. I’ve woken up standing infront of things (mirrors, fridge) and am also not so much afraid as I am more so confused, tired and interested in getting back into my bed.

    Thanks for reading.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi B

      Thanks for your comment. If you ever do feel like sharing your thoughts in more detail, you would be more than welcome to here. Some people have left extremely long comments, so it wouldn’t be unusual! But I can understand if you don’t feel like doing so.

      I think waking up in a position other than horizontal in bed is always going to be slightly strange, to say the least! It’s good that you seem to have a calm way of dealing with your sleep experiences though.

  175. Jan says:

    I had two of these episodes last night! I’m 42 and have never experienced this. I’ve had nightmares, the sensation of falling, and waking up with an arm that fell asleep/tingly but never in my life faced something like this!

    We stayed in a historic rental property. Shortly after falling asleep, I felt a sensation of extreme pressure pushing down my arms, chest and legs, and had a feeling that something bad was tring to crush me. I opened my eyes and could tell that I still couldn’t move and the weight was so much pressure but didn’t see anything in the dark. I tried to scream but nothing came out and all I could do was breathe really rapidly until I could finally squeak out “help” which I tried to yell but it sounded like a whisper. I did this a few times until my fiancé woke up and started shaking me thinking I was having a nightmare. The crushing feeling stopped when he was awake and I was able to move in a few seconds. I insisted someone was pushing me down and holding me but he swore I had been snoring only minutes before. I was crying I was so upset.

    After settling down and trying to sleep again, I kept feeling like something was in the room and watching me. I was too scared to get up to go to the bathroom so I held it. I slept as close to my fiancé as I could. I woke up again a short time later feeling something pulling my underwear or scratching. I slapped at this invisible thing and it stopped. I also felt something pulling my hair gently and when I opened my eyes it stopped. At this point I was ready to leave but he convinced me I was just dreaming and overreacting.

    The next sleep paralysis started and I felt the crushing pressure. I tried to yell out but this time even my mouth was frozen-the only thing I could move was my eyes. I had felt my right foot being pulled down (like pointing toes) and felt like it was being pulled off the bed. I was able to move my left foot so I started kicking at the air where my other leg and the rest of my body was being restrained. My fiancé woke again and saw me kicking and tried to “wake me up” but I was already awake! As he shook me, I saw a dark hooded shadow move off of me and away until it evaporated. This time I was really crying! I am willing to believe that it’s sleep paralysis and I woke up and hallucinated something but it had happened too much in one night! I couldn’t go back to sleep and just wanted to leave

    Today my arms and chest feel bruised but there are no marks on me. Last night when I opened my eyes the first time, I could see my stomach sinking down like an invisible cat was walking on me. The second time it happened when I opened my eyes I could see my right foot bending down like someone was pulling it.

    I never want to experience that again. Will not be staying in any historic rentals ever again.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jan

      Thank you for sharing your sleep paralysis stories, and they sound very frightening indeed. The kind that makes the hair stand up on my neck slightly, even though I’ve read hundreds of stories like yours! I guess it’s the way some people write them so descriptively that gives you a real ‘chill factor’ when you read through.
      Anyway, enough of me and back to you and that horrible night! It all sounds to me very much in the realm of sleep paralysis and the incredibly powerful hallucinations which can accompany it. Even the bending foot and hair pulling sensations! It’s truly amazing what the human brain can do, and when it comes to creating horror-film style experiences, the brain is a true master of the craft.
      Hopefully this will be a one-off, no matter where you sleep, and you’ll never have to repeat that kind of scary night. But just in case, do think of one or two things you could try from the list of tips. Particularly for example having one thing to try to regain movement, such as focusing on wiggling a toe or finger.
      All the best

  176. Jan says:

    Can this happen for the first time later in life? Most of these stories seem to indicate it starts in young adult years but I was 42 before it happened, and it happened twice in one night in a bed and breakfast home I stayed in.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Jan

      Yes I think it can happen later in life. It’s an interesting question actually, and I might add that one to the on-going polls! I think other readers have asked about the age of experiencing them, so it might be an interesting one to do a survey on. So thanks for the idea, even though it wasn’t your intention!
      Hopefully you won’t have any more experiences yourself though.

  177. Dani says:

    I usually experience this a few times a year, it’s not fun. I can’t go back to sleep. It felt different this time, I heard kids laughing, I couldn’t breathe and everything was white and it felt like I was being lifted up. After I was able to talk. I said “please god, watch over me, please god I wanna wake up” then I woke up.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Dani,

      Thanks for the comment, and it sounds like an unpleasant experience you had for sure. Whilst it’s difficult to tell from your brief description, whenever anyone says they couldn’t breathe in their sleep, I always think to recommend they speak to a doctor about it. But if it was just the sensation of not being able to breathe because of sleep paralysis, then that can be quite common.
      Hopefully you’ll find something useful in the article which you can try out if it happens again.
      All the best

  178. Storm says:

    i have had sleep paralysis episodes many times during my life starting when i was 7 or 8, but didn’t realize what they were until recently.

    The first time this happened I remember waking up, being unable to move with this immense pressure on my chest. in the middle of the room was a pulsating, dotted sphere that continued to grow bigger and bigger. I was frantic and scared. I desperately tried to scramble out of my bed but found that I couldn’t move and finally, when I was able to, I found that I couldn’t exit my room even though the door was wide open. It was like there was an invisible barrier and I couldn’t yell or scream either. I dived back under my covers and squeezed my eyes shut until I fell asleep.

    Other times I’ve felt like my limbs were being cut off, I’ve seen demons biting and clawing at me, as well as the intruder in my room.

    Other times it isn’t so bad and i see “glowing” people. I like to think of these as angels or passing spirits. I don’t know what causes these episodes. More often than not I have hard time staying asleep and will repeatedly wake up during the middle of the night for no apparent reason. I’m able to fall back asleep quickly, but I usually never get a full night of sleep

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Storm,

      Thank for you for sharing your sleep paralysis stories, and I can imagine that must have been very frightening at such a young age. Even adults find sleep paralysis terrifying, so when you’re young, it must be very hard to cope with.
      I’m not sure what to say about the invisible barrier thing. Perhaps you hadn’t really still woken up and were half in a dream. That kind of thing happens quite commonly, though your experience is clearly quite dramatic in some ways.
      But from your other descriptions, it sounds like you do tend to have quite powerful hallucinations, so it’s not such a stretch to think that the barrier was just a particularly bad event, but not unusual for you considering what else you experience.
      Hopefully something here in the article will help if you continue having sleep paralysis. But fingers crossed it fades in time.

  179. CT says:

    I’ve had several experiences of sleep paralysis from the age of a young teen (maybe 11/12 years old), however initially I did not experience any hallucinations. I would still be slightly panicked and would usually try as hard as I could to lash out at something, but never ‘saw’ or felt anything.

    However recently I have had 2 or 3 hallucinations. Mine are a slight variation on the intruder theme, as on one occasion I could see my housemate sat at the end of my bed. Although I was convinced it was him I still felt terrified and try to scream/lash out at him, especially since I was actually at my parents house that night. Then this morning I had an occasion where I was convinced I could hear my little brother leave his room, walk upstairs to my room, open the door and could then see him standing over me. Again, despite thinking it was my harmless little brother (he’s only 6 years old), I once again felt the need to attempt lashing out to defend myself.

    It seems my natural threat system overrides my familiarity with the ‘intruders’ I hallucinate!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi CT
      Thanks for your comment, and sharing your story. It’s interesting that it only seems to have taken on these extra features recently. But it’s not unusual for people to have different kinds of sleep paralysis experiences over time. I imagine that even though you’re familiar with the intruder, your brain knows they’re not real, and so despite being responsible for creating the hallucinations, is also responding as if they were not to be trusted.
      Let’s just hope that one day it’s not really your brother and you lash out at him! If something like that ever happens, you’d probably want to talk to someone about it. But I suspect your brain will know when it’s real or not, if either your bother or housemate do pop in on you.

  180. Prabhat says:

    Oct 21 2014 Tuesday
    As usual I was in my room around 1230 am after getting done with dinner and everything I came into my room started surfing net I was on floor at around 2 I began to watch this movie I rolled a blunt began watching the movie it was good but the net would keep disconnecting for some reason and I kept refreshing n reloading the movie and I know by the time I got done with the movie I had smoked half of the second blunt so I wrapped everything I was sleepy n kinda high shut the lights off went to bed n then I felt something was there at the end of room where there is a closet n a restroom straight ahead . I had felt like there was something in the room before but this time it was sudden cuz I hadn’t been thinking or watching a horror or anything of sort as soon as I got in the bed to sleep I stared straight ahead into the darkness probably the darkest area in the room n felt like a presence I also felt sweaty n felt like a tingling sensation all over my body I ignored it tossed around n tried to sleep covered only half in a thin blanket my body trembled from head to toe in a snake movement but it was real slowly like in slow motion n then I woke up suddenly n I thought I saw a shadow like figure standing right in front of the bed I jumped off the bed n went turned the closet lights on and came back to bed tried to sleep . I must have dozed off I knew it was 530 am then it happened something grabbed me on my left arm and pulled me forcefully at the side corner of the room where lies my gohonzon on a table n the window right there on the side wall . With my right hand I hold my left arm while this force still had me grabbed started moving me up n down crazily I cannot explain it kept shaking me up and down it was dark but I knew it had grasped my arm and I could not pull it out it had me it was shaking me I was crying and yelling my brother in laws name it had me grabbed by my arms and I was flying up n down the room then I started hitting on the table n it crushed the table ruined the gohonzon broke the vase even my blanked on the floor when it pulled me by my arms that 5 mins felt like an hour I knew while shaking n my arms in some beyond explanation in my head I knew something had me something not natural n my arms was shaking hitting almost making a fist hitting the gohonzon breaking the table the curtains even the curtain rod was bent the glass window at the top broken too but not for one minute I was quiet or paralyzed I was in full conscious as soon as it grabbed me by my arms and pulled me luckily my brother in law banged open the door walked in turned on the lights I was still shaking up n down my hands I thought he saw he thought it must be a burglar or something cuz he heard me screaming I hold me arms with my right hand and limped out of that room into the sitting room my hands still shaking he walked in saying what happened what happened I was beyond panic beyond terror walked out and told him something attacked me I saw my arms it was like a bruise blue marks 3 long lines of cuts on my wrist my right knee aw swollen my left lower back was swollen the room a mess gohonE door fell out I can’t explain that force that had me completely in its grasp and just wasn’t letting go even I was fully awake and aware it kept going on what was that I’m here and my eyes can’t stop getting watery why did it do that what did it want this was completely out of a horror movie like stuff I’m still on shock it just unbelieval but it was all real and it happened and I can still feel the helplessness n terror I was in crying n yelling out my bro in laws name that feeling is just indescribable what was that I never believe in such things now this is something else what the &:@! was it what did it want

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Prabhat

      Thanks for your comment – which gets the record for the longest without any punctuation! I think it’s very unlikely you were actually moved about by a supernatural force. I personally don’t believe in such things at any rate. Also due to the fact that you were ‘high’ as you describe it, there’s a possibility that you were dreaming during this time, but thought you were awake. Or some other possible explanation for not being fully coherent. My advice would be to talk to a doctor about this. For one thing they can check you out for REM behaviour disorder, which is where you are not properly ‘shut down’ in your sleep, and you move about, potentially causing yourself injury. They could also give you some advice in general if you really believe that what happened was caused by another entity.
      And another option you have is to film yourself at night while you sleep. That way you would be able to confirm that actually no being was in the room with you. And it would also be useful to show to a doctor or sleep specialist.

  181. Random says:

    I’m 12 last night it happened, first. Time. I had a nightmare round 2 am and I got my mom. Then I fell back to sleep and woke up on my side tingling scared. Black flashed, like I saw the metal bar on my bunk bed and wall then black back and forward my dog went crazy and woke my brother but it stopped I woke up again frozen but the flashing again and no reactions I was able to close my left hand and I felt like I jumped like when you get scared and then I was fine I played my phone and went to sleep woke up at 6 and went to school I got home looking around about it and found this you think I might have it again? Happened around 3:30-3:35 my first dream was a man like a black shadow in a suit I ran to my mom and it was looking I got scared and woke up. Then the sleep thing happened, When the Sleep thing happened the same Dude was pictured in the back of my head so ye you think this might happen again this is like first time it happened I think.. There is my story that happened yesterday.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi there,

      Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear you had a scary experience. I am not sure if you had ‘sleep paralysis’ or if it is just bad dreams. Sometimes you can have bad dreams but when you wake up, you are half in the dream and half awake.
      It’s impossible to say if it will happen again. But if it does you can always ask your mum to put a nightlight in the room, which might make it better for you when you wake up. If the room is dark, it’s easy for your brain to imagine things. So if there is some light, it will give you comfort because you will see your room.
      It’s just an idea, and importantly remember that nothing bad will happen to you:-)
      Take care

  182. Nicole says:

    I have had Sleep Paralysis twice and it was absolutely terrifying. I had never heard of it before which made me think ghost/demon afterwards. The first time I was up early and fell back asleep on the couch a few hours later. I woke up on my side but couldn’t even open my eyes. i felt so exhausted, I thought maybe I was still asleep but I could hear the tv. After I focused I realized I couldn’t move and it felt as if someone was laying behind me, spooning. I could feel them from head to toe! I couldn’t speak or turn my head but eventually I got my eyes to look back and it was as if whoever was behind me sat up and looked around me. I see the creepiest face grinning a huge demonic smile and just staring at me. My mind went straight to help me God, get this thing away from me. I tried screaming and rolling away but couldn’t. After what seemed like forever I was able to roll off of the couch. I jumped up and was yelling for whatever was in my apartment to leave. Wow after typing this I remembered it happened to me again but in my bed about a month later, asleep on my side! I never experienced it again until 2 or 3 years later, different house but asleep on my side on the couch. Its been 5 years since it happened and I was 25 the first time. Finally I went to the library and that’s where I found the books about SP.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Nicole,

      Thanks for your comment, and the first thing to mention is that you went to the library to research it! Good on you for going there before turning to the internet!
      Anyway, that sounds very classic sleep paralysis, and not pleasant at all. Luckily it hasn’t happened to often to you!
      Hopefully between reading this article, and blowing dust off some books and seeing what they had to say, you’ll have found some comfort, and perhaps some tricks for breaking out of it sooner if it happens again.
      All the best

  183. charlee says:

    Please I can not write my story on here but I am terrified… I can no longer sleep I have experienced everything in all these posts and it is only getting worse and worse. I don’t know whats happening anymore and sometimes im not sure what happens. Migraines constantly and sometimes I’ll just drift off anywhere and it’ll start. Most of the time if my eyes are closed I see my dream, if they’re open I see where i’m sleeping. it feels like something is trying to keep me asleep. I can bring myself out of it but my eyes still feel so heavy that I fall right back asleep and it instantly continues. If there is any other way I can contact you besides this please let me know cause I cant type the rest or barely explain it. Iv been having nightmares/terrors since I could remember. I remember every dream and constantly have deja vu. I have dreams that actually happen and this is all so bizarre to me but I need it to just stop and I need the migraines to stop.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Charlee,

      Sorry to hear you’ve been having such a horrible time. It does sound to me that you need to speak to a doctor. They are the person to help you with this, especially the migraines.
      Importantly it might also be good to get yourself checked out for narcolepsy. You say you sometimes drift off anywhere. This could be a clue that you have that, and it’s worth getting yourself checked out.
      I can’t really help more as I’m not a doctor. But my advice is definitely to speak to one.
      All the best

  184. Melissa says:

    So, I just had another episode of sleep paralysis within the year. I have found it only happens when I am physically stressed, however this one really sucked.. I felt as though only my face was going to burst from pressure, I knew it was pressure in the environment, but it would come and go, but my face would clench up and it got to the point I couldn’t breathe. I definitely couldn’t open my mouth and it felt like my entire face was suffering from a Charlie Horse cramp. It really hurt, and felt like my entire head would burst. I woke up finally talking to God and was fine, but gosh, I hope that never happens again. My previous episodes were more normal sp, with the electricity, paralysis and can’t speak, scary enough, but not like this one! Also, you should definately create a forum for this subject, if not only for people like me to have someone to talk to when this occurs! Going to try and go back to sleep now…..

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for your comment and sorry to hear you had such a horrible experience. Do you think the breathing problem was part of the hallucination or a real physical thing? If it was real, then you might want to get yourself checked by a doctor just to make sure you don’t have a sleep breathing disorder.
      Otherwise I guess it’s good you’ve worked out that stress triggers it for you – so long as you are able to recognition when stress is increasing in your life and perhaps find a way to ease it. It would certainly be a good motivator to keep up some kind of relaxation exercise!
      Hopefully you had a better sleep after writing your comment. As for the forum thing, I have thought about the idea many times, but I just don’t have the time it would require to moderate! I can barely keep up with this website at times, so the introduction of a forum would be impossible without significant help. I also have concerns that it would end up becoming a massive religion vs science debate, and that’s not something which I’m willing to put all my attention into!

  185. Tre says:

    I have a dream that I am in my bed and it is pitch black all around me. I keep hearing someone talk at the foot of my bed, not to me but having a conversation with someone else. I sit up and tell them to shut up and they continue to talk until i stand up and scream at the top of my lungs to SHUT THE **** UP! After this part i am attacked by someone or something choking me until i physically wake up screaming and gasping for breath. Whatever is choking me “feels” more and more evil every time i have this dream and i am concerned this could be more that sleep paralysis. i have never felt a weight on my chest or woke up not able to move or anything lime that i just want to know what you think about my dream.

  186. Tre says:

    by the way this dream scares the *&$! out of me

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Tre

      Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear you’ve been having such a nasty dream to deal with. It doesn’t sound like sleep paralysis if you are asleep and waking up knowing that it was a nightmare. And a nightmare is what it sounds like to me. You might find it more useful to take a look at my article which talks about how to stop nightmares. There’s some useful advice there which might work.
      All the best


  187. Saeed says:

    When I was young I experienced many sleep paralysis. But now I never experience it. Someone told me that put some lemons near your head or foot before sleeping to avoid this. Because demons not come near lemons they fear from lemon. Although I have never tried it.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Saeed,

      Thanks for your comment, and I’m pleased to hear your episodes of sleep paralysis stopped with age. That’s the first time I’ve ever heard the lemons idea though!


  188. Happy Snoozer says:

    Last week I had my fourth experience of SP and it was a rather scary one. A demonic figure appeared and starting hurling abuse at me… I won’t go into much detail as thats not what I’m interested in right now..

    I’m not religious, and I don’t tend to believe in many things without good explanation but..

    I thought of SP in a very different way..
    Sleep Paralysis tends to happen when you are lacking sleep, having unusual sleeping patterns and when you are (in a sense) WEAK.

    And it many cases being ‘weak’ makes you vulnerable to certain things..

    (Struggling to word this)… I feel as if other forces, such as demons/worst fears attack us in our sleep when we are weak and when we can’t make any sense of whats going on. ????

    … Dreams/Nightmares just feel so real when having SP, it leads me to think they are more real than we all think.


    My second experience of Sleep Paralysis:

    Me and my Girlfriend were in a very dark field, surrounded by farmland, and we were petting goats. There were around 15 goats around us, all enjoying our attention, enjoying being stroked.

    There was a sudden scream from behind us and the goats started trying to ram into me. I was managing to hold one of the goats back and actually found it quite amusing.

    Then I heard the scream, much louder this time, only to turn round to a large black figure right infront of me. I don’t know why but in my mind it was a large woman, not well kept, with angry eyes, and a dirty apron on. I couldn’t make out what she was saying but I think it was basically her telling me and my girlfriend to get out… It definitely felt demonic/devil like.

    Such a weird nightmare and i was paralyzed for a good 10 seconds, it was awful!!!


    If anyone else has had a similar experience or feels that my ‘theory’ has crossed their mind then I’d love a response!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Happy snoozer,

      Thanks for your comment. I don’t think you’re alone in thinking what you think. Even though I personally don’t believe in demons, I know others do.

      One thing though is to be sure that you’re actually describing sleep paralysis. In the second description it seems that you’re talking about a nightmare. But when you say you were paralyzed for 10 seconds, do you mean within the dream, or when you woke up?

      It’s important to distinguish between the two. Sleep paralysis is not about being ‘stuck’ or unable to move in a dream, but when you are definitely back in your bedroom and aware of your physical surroundings. Even though there may be over-lapping of the dream onto reality and/or other strange things happening, it’s definitely not taking place within the dream.

      Let me know what you think based on that!

  189. Sean says:

    I experience sleep paralysis almost every single time I am woken early from any sleep, for as long as I can remember. It can also happen when waking naturally, though that is much more rare. It was at it’s worst when I was in high school. Being in so many programs would leave me tired and I would fall asleep in class. I would be woken up by something, and be paralyzed almost every time without fail. Even if I had fallen asleep for just a few seconds, I could be paralyzed for almost thirty seconds or so at most. This could happen multiple times in the same class. It used to be quite scary with a sense of dread attached, but lately I’ve gotten over that. I am no longer afraid. It actually does still trigger a feeling of dread but it is slight and easy to push aside now. I find the best thing to do is to simply sit there and not try to move. Sit there and relax, just allow the paralysis to be lazy for you. Alternatively, focus on whatever your eyes are focused on and try to describe it in the most possible detail.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Sean,

      Thanks for your comment. Have you ever spoken to a doctor or sleep specialist about this? The fact that you have a history of falling asleep repeatedly during the day at times when you would normally want to be awake makes me wonder whether there might be another sleep disorder at play, such as narcolepsy. It’s quite common for people who have narcolepsy to experience sleep paralysis. So it may be worth getting yourself checked out just to be on the safe side.

  190. chris A says:

    Hey! My story is short and MUCH different compare to many other stories. This happened a while back just a few times and all of the experiences were exactly the same! One night i woke up then it seemed like i was staring at the exact same wall in front of me when i slept then all of a sudden i had the feeling on a lightheaded that worsens, then i feel like i was being lifted up but right away for some reason i was able stop the lifting almost like snapping out of it. Also what i find odd is the number of times this had happened to me the effects happened equally. For example the first time i “floated” only once, the 2nd time i “floated” twice, the third time I “floated” 3 times. Then i feel like i took a quick nap and then woke up. I don’t know how long after the experience but to me felt like a quick nap then I wake up in the night just thinking about what happened. Overall these feelings are not terrifying and i never experience nightmare as well!

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi cris,

      Thanks for your comment, and sharing your sleep paralysis story. It sounds like you may have experienced what is often called an out-of-body experience. Though of course it could have been a dream, or a confusion between a dream and reality. People often half wake up and they are still experiencing some part of their dream world.
      The important thing though is that you don’t find it frightening. That’s definitely lucky, as many people are very scared by the strange things which happen to them in their sleep or when waking up or falling asleep.

  191. Raine says:

    Hi all. I’d had sleep paralysis for years. Last night was the scariest I’ve ever experienced! I was laying down and started to fall asleep. And the usual paralysis starts. Its like a blanket…. Starts with my arms then legs and so on. Then it gets to my head and its here’s heavy. Then the surges start, like my brain is going to explode!!! Then i get these big jolts!! My head send neck jolted ago heard that it felt like it could of easily snapped my neck. I would be screaming in my head for someone to help me. That i needed help with my brain, that my brain hurt. Finally after it seems like an hour i would be able to fight out of and i would sit up.
    Can anyone help me?????

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Raine,

      Thank you for your comment, and sorry to hear you’ve been having such horrible experiences. It’s hard to tell whether it is sleep paralysis or something else. For example the jolting sounds like perhaps it is a hypnic jerk, which is something else entirely.
      And have you been to a doctor to get yourself checked out? It might be worth describing your experiences just to make sure you don’t have any form of epilepsy.
      Otherwise, you could try some relaxation techniques while falling asleep, to see if that helps at all. And if it is a form of sleep paralysis, then perhaps one or two of the methods described by other readers and listed in the article above might help you.
      All the best

  192. core says:

    I just experienced a sleep paralysis , my legs where crossed over one another my neck was in an awkward position, i sleep in a room where people waltz in when they please, so no privacy.

    STAGE 1 – i remember waking and my neck hurt i tried to move it and i couldn’t just make the pain worse
    STAGE 2 – i tried to move my feet and felt like they where interlocked together
    stage 3 – tried shouting for help, but nothing but a silent whisper
    stage 4 – i dreamed* standing up
    stage 5 – my sister entered the room and i fell to the floor
    stage 6 – i remember whispering for help but she seemed terrified,
    stage 7- no one came, i must of dozed off again, and when i woke the same thing happened over again, only this time, when i couldn’t shout for help, i screamed, silently but felt air coming from my throat, it felt like something entered my body at this moment, and i could move, so terrified right now, i woke up with a headache sore throat cold body.

    i have experienced some traumatic moments in my life and have always been resilient to all the abuse, but this has really drained me and i feel empty and sick. + when i woke up, i woke in the exact position i fell asleep, so who knows if i was really struggling, or just dreamed it.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi core

      Thanks for your comment, and it sounds like you’ve had quite a scary experience, as many people do when they experience sleep paralysis. I think as you say, it’s difficult to know whether you were dreaming or not when you have experiences like this. Sometimes it seems like sleep paralysis provides the best explanation, when really it could be something else like dreaming, or a combination. The main thing is to remember not to panic about it, and try not to allow it to disrupt your future sleep by worrying over it. Hopefully you’ll find some comfort and useful techniques to try out in the article above.
      And I’m sure if you are a resilient person who has dealt with bad events in life before, once the shock of what happened to you this time subsides, you’ll deal with it with all your inner strength.

  193. Robert Lowther says:

    Hey Ethan, you are doing a great work I hope this info helps other people the way I have been helped while researching this topic years ago.

    First I classify my SP experiences in three categories.

    1: Post nightmare: Paralysis for a brief moment with the sense of being held down. In a sense a kind of punctuation mark to the bad nightmare which usually involes a demon or dark figure

    2: Totally alert mind after oversleeping and my mind wakes up and I can hear people in the house or the tv and just lay there and hope that someone touches me so I will instantly regain body control. However the first few times this occurred it was terrifying and I would try to scream for help until it was over. When I realized over time the struggle made it worse I put aside my fear knowing nothing bad happens to me. Later I would try going back to sleep and see if I could wake up.

    3: This is where it gets weird. After waking up consciously, realizing I am paralyzed, and deciding to go back to sleep to ride it out I have occasionally passed into a dream state between lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis. I can only describe it as out of body experiences. Many times I felt my conscious self being pulled through an outside wall of my home until I fought back. After researching sleep paralysis I became empowered to take control of this state although I never would seek to achieve it since it felt too strange. Many times when I try to accept and control the OBE it is over in a flash. On a few occasions I would travel great distances and speak to many people and see many places familiar and strange. All the while going back to check on my body and surroundings before going back out. This level of OBE has only happened once several years ago so I think I have outgrown it.

    Background; I am in my early forties and raised to be very, very religious up until I drifted away several years ago. I was taught OBEs like I described were astral projection which was very biblically evil and sinful. So when it first occurred I fought it based on religious reluctance. I had the recurring “Demon/Dark figure” nightmares all my young life until about 30. With onset of middle age and different hormone balances in my aging body I assume I won’t experience this phenomenon many more times in my life if at all. I think hormones have a lot to do with this experience.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Robert

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your sleep paralysis stories with us. It sounds like you have experienced quite a range of the ‘varieties’ of sleep paralysis that many people have previously described. I think you’re right in categorising them in a way. The experience of waking up post-nightmare and still having some inter-lacing with reality and the dream state can be quite vivid and often unpleasant.

      But it is very different from the kind of out-of-body experience you describe. I know many other readers have found the out-of-body experience side of sleep paralysis to be fascinating and something they actively hope to happen again so they can see where it takes them. I can understand though why you might want to avoid even that, no matter how interesting it might seen.

      I think this is the first time I’ve heard anyone mention that it might be hormonal. But it’s also interesting to see how many people first experienced it when young. I wonder if hormones might be an explanation for that!

      Let’s hope your idea is right though, and that you won’t experience that phenomenon much more.

  194. Robert Lowther says:

    Ethan, I just realized how long the last comment was and I want to apologize for that. But I want to help others if I can. This experience used to be very disturbing for me and I want others to know that many like me can take control of their situation with knowledge. This comment doesn’t have to be posted.

    • Ethan Green says:

      No problem Robert – I’m happy to post it so the response helps encourage other people to write about their experiences! You are welcome to write even more describing how you do go about controlling the situation. Any new ideas are always welcome!

  195. Amy says:

    This explains what I’ve been going through! I can’t remember if I suffered from it as a child but I remember my sister telling me some terrifying stories. It’s started happening to me recently. I fall asleep fine at night but then my partner will wake me early to say goodbye before he leaves for work, I almost always fall back to sleep, only to wake up a little later, except I’m not awake but my mind is, I try to move but I can’t, feels like I can’t even open my eyes, it feels like I’m being held down. The worst part is that It feels that there is someone in the room with me, standing at the end of the bed, I can feel the sheets moving around me like they are getting into the bed with me. It’s genuinely terrifying! I just try to think of something nice to calm me and eventually I fall back to sleep and wake normally.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Amy,

      Thank you for your comment. Your sleep paralysis story sounds like an absolutely classic case, and I do hope it stops soon. Did you find anything interesting in the tips section from other readers that you could try?

      It’s interesting that your sister also my have had sleep paralysis. There seems to be quite a few anecdotal stories from readers who have immediate family that also experience it.

      The main thing is to try not to get worried about it, remind yourself that it’s harmless. Well done for trying to think of something nice to calm yourself – that’s probably one of the best things you can do!

      All the best

  196. Alison says:

    This is so interesting to me, and I’m so relieved to hear that other people are having the same experiences. Now that I think back on it I probably had “sleep paralysis” my whole life and just did not understand what was happening. I began searching for answers yesterday after a terrifying night. The night before I was in my room by myself with door closed and had a space heater on. I was awoken by what felt like someone tugging on my ankles like they were pulling me off the bed. I then tried to wake up but was frozen in fear and felt like I was being held down, I then herd a loud growling in my right ear (this was absolutely terrifying). I cannot even explain the growl noise, it sounded evil! I felt like there was an evil prescience in my room. The space heater then begin to turn off and on really fast like it was breaking down. I was able to turn over and look at the clock, it was exactly 4:00 am. I got up after 5 min of laying there trying to rationalize what just happened, I had to turn on lights and calm myself down. This was the second time I had the fear/frozen sleep state with the “growling noise” experience, the first was at a hotel about a month ago but it was not this intense. Now that I’ve done some reading on it, it explains some unexplainable events in my life. I don’t like to talk about them with too many people because they did not make since to me. When I was about 5 i had some experiences where I would hear hundreds of voices screaming my name. When I was about 12 or 13 I would often hear foot steps in the house when I knew know one was home. When I was in college I woke up to see a woman sitting at the end of my bed and then she just faded away. These are just some of the examples of what I can remember, and this sleep paralysis explains most of them! Thanks so much for writing this article.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Alison,

      Thank your for your comment and for sharing your sleep paralysis stories. It’s impossible to say, but it does seem very possible that you have experienced sleep paralysis during your life. Though there is also the possibility of it being explained by others things, such as hypnagogic hallucinations without the sleep paralysis, nightmares or a blurring of the dream world with reality.
      But your most recent episodes of being frozen, feeling afraid, hearing noises and feeling pinned down all sound very much like sleep paralysis.
      Now you have a possible explanation, I guess the next step is to find a way that works for you to deal with it. You could try picking one or two of the techniques discussed in the article, remind yourself before going to bed to try them if you go through the experience again, and then hopefully put them into action.
      Like with many people though, it sounds like it probably happens in ‘waves’ or cycles, so perhaps you’ll pass through this cycle soon and can go back to sleeping normally again.
      All the best

  197. Angelo Marcos says:

    Firstly, thank you for writing this article. It’s been really interesting – not to mention reassuring – to read, and similarly I have found the comments helpful too. (For instance, I hadn’t heard of Exploding Head Syndrome before, but I recognise it as something that’s happened to me a number of times, so it’s nice that there’s an actual term for it and that I’m not the only one experiencing it..!)

    I have suffered from sleep paralysis on and off for a number of years now, and even though I’ve learnt a lot more about it and the scientific/medical theories around it, when it happens it is still quite terrifying.

    Strangely enough, I started writing a novel around sleep paralysis, and I was certain that at some stage it would come back while I was writing (in a similar way that if you dwell on something too much it tends to turn up in a dream/nightmare). Oddly, this never happened though, and it wasn’t until I wrote a very short blog post about sleep paralysis that it started happening to me again. This was after a period of a few months where I hadn’t experienced it and had been essentially writing about it every single day.

    The last time it happened was two nights ago, and I was able to ‘break’ out of it very quickly. As soon as I woke up and felt paralysed, I knew what was happening and squeezed my eyes shut, and – for lack of a better explanation – willed myself to burst out of the paralysis. Incredibly, it worked and I woke up completely and had no paralysis/suffocating feeling at all! I’m not sure how helpful that might be as a technique, but I thought I’d mention it in case anybody else here finds it helpful.

    Anyway, thank you again for writing this article, it’s been really helpful. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to leave links in these comments, but if you would like to read my post about my experience of sleep paralysis, you can find it at –

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Angelo,

      Thank your for your interesting comment and for sharing your ideas about sleep paralyis. I don’t allow links usually, but have left the details there for anyone to find your blog post, as I have just read it. It’s nicely written, if a little scary – as you say, probably best not to read it before going to sleep. But the same could definitely be said about the comments that many readers have left here as some of them make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up!

      It’s an interesting idea about squeezing your eyes shut, and I might add that to the list of tips to try. Many people report being able to move their eyes but not much more, so it’s one more thing they could try to focus on.

      I’m glad you found the article helpful, good luck with the rest of your writing and I hope the sleep paralysis doesn’t return!


      • Angelo Marcos says:

        Thanks Ethan – and I hope the sleep paralysis doesn’t return too…!

        The squeezing my eyes thing really surprised me, as I don’t think I actually thought it would work at the time. It was one of those things that I thought was worth a try. Hopefully it’ll help someone, and, like me, I’m sure at least someone will think its worth a try..!

        It looks like I only pasted half the link by the way, rendering it pretty useless (!), so the full link to the blog post I mentioned is –

        Thanks again Ethan, and keep up the posts, they’re really helpful.


        • Ethan Green says:

          Hi again Angelo,

          Nice to hear back from you. I removed the link part, but anyone who is interested can cut and paste what is left and the browser will fill the rest in automatically. Sorry, but I don’t often allow links to personal sites.

          I have added your eye squeezing idea to the list of reader tips, and hopefully someone will find it helpful.

          All the best

  198. Gemma says:

    Okay so this has happened to me about 5 times so far and never told anyone about it and had no idea what it was.

    – The first time happened when I was about 14. I heard voices of another language like a demon of some kind. I then got up and had an outer body experience. I was following the voices. They were in my little sisters room. 2 black shadows. Hovering over her bed talking in this weird language. Then I walked away and returned to bed.

    – The second time was when I was 15. I felt like I was being held down, I could not move or talk of scream for help although I was trying. There was a demon in my room which was screaming at me in another language. I was being dragged around the room. I woke up sweating and frightened.

    – The third time was I was also being held down and couldn’t move and there were elephants in my room.

    – The fourth time was an outer body experience again. Where I watched myself get shot but there was nothing I could do.

    – The fifth time was recently I’m 23. And I was being held down and I felt like someone was grabbing my arm and tickling my feet.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Gemma

      Thanks for sharing your sleep paralysis stories with us, and it sounds like you’ve had quite a range of bizarre experiences indeed.

      You’re the first reader I think though who has experienced something as large and animal like as elephants in the room! Though considering the huge variety of odd things that people do go through, it doesn’t surprise me in the least.

      Did you find the out of body experiences frightening? It sounds like they would be unpleasant of course, but I know some people find they don’t have much of an emotional reaction to those kind of events. I’d be interested to hear more about it.


  199. Chris says:

    Hey, Great read!

    I have had several experiences over the last couple of years.

    The first – This one was the scariest. I heard someone break into the house downstairs (or at least I thought I had). They came upstairs and I heard my dad get up out of bed, I heard a short blast of yelling with the hall light on. Then my bedroom door opened and my dad walked in fell on the bed onto me with a knife in his back and the intruder was at my bedroom door with the hall light shadowing his features. I then woke up and it all went back to black and I said to myself “What the ~@+* was that.”

    I then had several much less scary ones, voices whispering in my ear and floating around the room. None of the voices were violent or nasty. It was like being in a busy pub and picking up on other peoples conversations.

    Another I recently had was I felt it coming on so I tried desperately to fight it. I rolled over to lie on my front then turned my head to the side and saw some figure standing over me. I then woke up and I was in my original position on my side. I imagine the figure was actually just the pillowcase next to me.

    Finally a weird one I had recently I was lying in my bed and my girlfriends eyes just suddenly opened. Bolt open straight away. And she quiet sharply pushed me out of the bed and landed on the floor, banged my head on the bedside table. I then woke up back in the original position in the bed. It was especially strange was that she wasn’t even in the bed with me at all.

    Anyway keep up the good work! It would be cool to make a database of experiences.


    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed reading the article and comments presumably.

      I’m a little unsure as to what you are describing really falls into the realm of sleep paralysis or not. What it sounds like to me is that you are repeatedly dreaming of being in your bed/bedroom, having strange things happen there, and then waking up to find everything is normal in your bed and bedroom.

      Does that sound about right to you? Or is there an element of definitely being awake consciously in your bed, but physically paralyzed, which are the key ingredients for it to be called sleep paralysis?


  200. Anonymous says:

    I’m a 15 year old girl . And Last night I had a really weird experience , I have suffered from bad nightmares before but this was nothing at all like that. I fell asleep and I woke up but I was not really awake I could not open my eyes I couldn’t move my body I heard laughing and felt like I was being pulled out of my bed , still I couldn’t move or open my eyes I tried to scream but I couldn’t nothing was coming out . Then I heard something running around my room like it was throwing things around . After that i felt something there with me I wasn’t alone I felt it come closer and closer and it was like it was ripping up paper beside my ear I still couldn’t move or scream than after that there was something touching my neck It felt like a hand pressing down on my neck I then finally was able to open my eyes after and get up out of bed but nothing was there I started to scream and I couldn’t breathe properly. I finally calmed down and went downstairs to the couch and I haven’t slept since I am now terrified and I keep freaking out at every sudden movement I hear.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi there,

      Thank you for your comment, and I can understand why you are feeling so scared. It does sound very much like sleep paralysis from what you describe. And like most people, the first time you have it can be very very frightening.

      The main thing is to firstly believe that nothing bad can actually happen to you. It’s your own brain doing things which aren’t very helpful, but are natural and more common that you may think. As you can see from the comments here, many people have similar things happen.

      Secondly, you can try talking to someone about it. Family if you feel that you can, or a close friend. You can even show them this comment and article so they understand what you are talking about, and that you’re not going crazy!

      It can be helpful to talk about things like this and get some comfort from someone who loves you.

      Then in case it happens again, you could try sleeping with a soft light on in the bedroom, so if you wake up, your brain can see things and it might not create things which aren’t there.

      You can also try to remember some of the practical tips here. I think a good one is to start telling yourself now, that if it happens again you will focus on moving a finger. Then when it moves, your hand, then your arm and then the rest of your body.

      And if any of the other tips seem like something you could do, then think of them too.

      But again, try not to panic about it. I know it’s hard when you just had something horrible happen. But it’s important to remind yourself that eveything will be ok:-)

      Take care and feel free to come back and write about what’s on your mind if it helps.


  201. Ana says:

    hi there, so i have been reading your post, and let me say it is really informative, for that thank you. About sp i always had since i was a child, sometimes happening more that once or twice per night i even had to stand up and walk around the house just to make sure it wouldn’t happen again, nowadays doesn’t happen than often, maybe once in two months. One thing i notice is most of the people that experience the sp has hallucinations or hear things… There is the thing, i dont, i actually hear what really is happing around me, or see.. for example i use to have an alarm o’clock in my desk and i remember that each time that i had sp i use to see the minutes pass, without moving and then when i was able to move the minute was exactly the next that i saw when i was paralysed, i even had to take it off, was to scary at the time, or for example about 3 days ago i had another “session”: i was in the living room feel a sleep with my legs on the lap off my boyfriend, we was playing fifa with is uncle, and when the sp started i could see them playing and hear there conversation… i know for sure that it was what they were saying cause i repeated to them and they told me that it was true, i even could move my feets, thats how they realize what was happening and somehow they bumped on the sofa and manage to wake me up, my voice didnt got out for a minute, only tears … what do you thing about that?

    Thanks for your replay