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.
  • Try to wiggle just one finger or a toe. Some say this is more achievable than trying to move your whole body. Then you can try to move the hand or foot and slowly wake up the whole body.
  • Tell yourself that you are actually in control. You can ‘order’ the experience to stop, or whatever you are seeing to go away.
  • If you feel a weight on your chest, try to imagine there is something friendly causing it, such as a big happy dog (or cat if you don’t like dogs).
  • 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.
  • 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.

If you look below you’ll see that there are a lot of comments, and it can take several hours to read through them. Feel free to read through, but to help you find the right place to leave your own comment rather than replying to others, you can click below:
Leave A Comment >>


1,065 Responses to “Sleep Paralysis Stories – Intruder, Demon Or Delusion?”

  1. Michelle says:

    First, I’d like to thank everyone for sharing their stories. SP happened to me before I knew there was a name for it. And I was not going to talk about it for fear of being labeled as crazy! As a child, I had many dreams where things appeared in the static-y image as you would see on an old TV set. In those dreams; the entities did not feel evil or terrifying. They were just ‘there.’ I never connected those dreams with SP until recently. I was in my early 20s when the first scary SP episode happened. Typical story of lying on back, about to fall asleep. I was at my grandparents house which to me was one of the safest places on earth. The tv and hall light was on. It was not late; maybe 6-7 pm. I was fully aware of everything going on around me, only I couldn’t move no matter how hard I tried. That’s when I started getting the feeling of terror. Like it was right on top of me but I couldn’t see it and there was nothing I could do. I’ll never forget that feeling. The next time it happened was a few years later when I was in bed by myself with my dog. Again, I was on my back just about to fall asleep. My dog is 5 ponds soaking wet and sleeps very close to my body. So just as I feel like I’m falling asleep, I started hearing what I can only describe as an old AM style radio station. Lots of static; almost like trying to find a clear station. And then I started hearing the voices. They were nothing scary; almost just like tuning into a radio show. But the kicker is, it was in another language that I didn’t understand. I tried to get up to look outside but I could not move. I looked to see if the dog heard it because he barks at the smallest of sounds. He was fast asleep. That’s when I knew SP was happening again. Only this time, it was not scary or terrifying. Almost like I was getting a glimpse of a different realm of existence. I’m now 34 and (thankfully) have not had any SP experiences since then, but if I had them before, I’ll have the, again. I’ll be more prepared next time. It might be worth it to note that I have had a couple of extra terrestrial experiences. Once coming to me in a dream and another actually seeing formations in the sky. Not sure if they’re related, but not surprised if they are.

  2. Brandon says:

    Hi, I’m 16 and had my first (and worst) SP episode when I was 15. It seems I almost always have an episode when I only sleep for about an hour and it’s closer to dawn. Anyway, the first time it happened, I woke up and was facing the doorway of my room. My body was numb and I tried to move my arms even though they felt more numb than the other parts of my body (if that makes sense). The common SP chest pressure wasn’t as harsh as it would be in later episodes but there was an obvious intruder coming in. The gray figure seemed like a tall man with no features besides his human shape. It came towards me and grabbed my arm. As he squeezed it, my arm seemed to fill itself with fuzzy warmth yet I couldn’t react at all. The man seemed to lean in closer forever until his image faded away along with the numbness. Whenever I think of him, I tear up a little bit and feel terrified. It was the scariest moment by far in my life. Before reading the science behind SP, I reasoned that my dad had come in. But that doesn’t explain why he would grab my arm. I just want to thank you for making an article that not only shows the science but also gives SP victims the opportunity to give their input in polls and comments. It truly has made me feel at ease and realize that what happened to me is not abnormal nor some sort of psychological problem.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Brandon
      Thank you for your comment, and for your thanks regarding the article. I think you’re the first person in hundreds of comments to say you appreciate the polls. So I’m very pleased that they are worthwhile from the reader’s perspective as well as mine:-)

      I can understand why you found your experience very unsettling. I also think many people are left feeling a bit unsure after some of the more vivid and frightening experiences they have, and just thinking about it can bring worry. Have you spoken to anyone in your family about it, or a close friend? I think that with experiences like this it can be helpful to vocalize them as well as write them down. You may even find someone else has also experienced that, or something else unusual during the night.

      In terms of not knowing about the arm grabbing you describe, sometimes I think the reality is that it’s impossible for us to know exactly why we hallucinate one thing or another. Tactical hallucinations can be particularly unpleasant for people as they bring an extra-realistic element into the experience. Personally though, I think it’s better to accept it as just a part of the mysterious way your brain works rather than try to attribute real meaning to it.


  3. Shirley says:

    Hi, I first experienced sleep paralysis when I was 17 years old. It was whilst I was at recruits for the Air Force and during the middle of the day surrounded by lots of other people. I was sitting on a friends bed & must have nodded off. I remember being terrified. I could still see everyone around me and none of them seemed to know that anything was happening but as far as I was concerned I was screaming at the top of my lungs. I thought I was going to die. When I came out of it I asked the other girls if they’d noticed anything happening and none of them had.
    Since then it’s been a common thing. I’m now 48. I don’t see demons (Thank God!) but I’m comletely paralysed and can’t breath & sometimes I see family members walking around…ignoring me. Shutting the door to leave me to deal with it by myself. They’re not actually there of course.
    The whole experience is petrifying. I feel like I’m going to die. I scream and scream. Luckily my husband has learnt the signs and when he hears me whimpering (what my screams actually sound like to him) he wakes me up. I’m always exhausted & terrified.
    I wish it would just stop. I hate it so much.
    My mother & my aunty also suffer with sleep paralysis.
    I’ve read that migraine sufferers are more prone too. I’m not sure how they came up with that but I am definitely a chronic migraine sufferer. I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy!

  4. Sarita says:

    Hi, I’m 53 and have been experiencing SP for almost 40 years. When I was younger, around 16 it happened all the time. Now I can go months without an episode. I think there is both a physiological and spiritual nature to SP. Mine happen in the middle of the night. I usually wake up, can’t move and I’m frightened beyond anything else I’ve ever experienced. Then I hear the voices really loudly in my head. I can’t make out what they are saying though. I can see my room and I feel other “beings” in my room with me. I try to scream and move but I can’t. This even happens when I was married or was sleeping with one of my kids. I have woken up screaming before. I had a physically abusive childhood and I never had a “good” dream until after I went to therapy in my 30’s. Ever since I can remember my dreams were always of demons chasing me, or the devil tricking me or slicing me up. I also dreamed a lot about death, decaying bodies, dead people or people trying to kill me. Pretty messed up huh? My uncle was a preacher and he told me that there was a battle for my soul going on…Not sure if I wholeheartedly believe that.

  5. powessy says:

    I have had sleep paralysis more then two thousand times over the last 30 years. I would some times get it for weeks in a row and during these episodes I would be visited by shadows as I call them. My first experiences started when I was very young under thirteen and have lasted till this day. In just the last month I have experienced sleep paralysis 5 or 6 times.


  6. Yoselin Moroyoqui says:

    It first started when i Was 14 yrs now I’m 15 and still get them. The fist time i had sleep paralysis started with a lucid dream of me and My best going to school but then My friend suddenly left so in My dream i went to the bathroom and when i went in their their Was a girl with a white dress and long black hair she turned and as long as i remember she had no face and started to chase as she chased me i tried to wake up but could not move or scream and suddenly it went black and felt someone next to me and started to talk in at least 10 different sort of tongues so i started to pray and woke up breathing hard.

  7. Sarva Gataya says:

    I have experienced SP several times but the last one was very different and stronger than the other.

    I had fever so I went back to sleep 2-3 hours after I woke up from my night sleep (every time I do this (almost) I get SP.

    I had a weird vivid dream and thought I woke up from it but then I was dragged with a wind down in the mattress (as always) and felt like a pressure was pulling my body down but not trough the matress. I recognized what was happening and tried to snap out of it. Move my feet or something , but this time it was impossible . I was very confused and someone walked in to the room but I had my eyes closed so I didn’t see what . Also every time I have SP I can’t open my eyes . They are so heavy.
    I thought I had woken up multiple times and again it felt like I left my body and got pulled back in to my body.

    What happens next was really really Weird. I felt two hands under my arms lifting me out of my bed and down to the floor. I didn’t feel my legs but someone was still holding me in the underarms standing in the middle of the room.
    Then something tickled my belly . I thought of Demons and what I have read here so I started praying and try to move and force my self to wake up. But it didn’t work.
    Then I was back on the bed and got moved around. I never open my eyes, and always regret it :p

  8. Natalie says:

    Hello, I’m 18, and I’ve been having episodes of sleep paralysis since I was about 15. That was a pretty bad time in my life psychologically and emotionally, so it makes sense that this was when the episodes started. I usually don’t remember much about what happens, but I’m always laying on my side or stomach with my head facing the door. I always try and sit up, and I have the sensation of sitting up but my eyes are still seeing the same picture as when I was laying down. I always feel very uneasy, as if there’s something in my room that doesn’t belong there, but I never get the chance to see what it is exactly. All I know, is that sometimes I can move again in under a minute, but other times I’m stuck for 15+ minutes, just staring at the door with my heart pounding and feeling like someone something has their hands on my shoulders and is pushing me down into the bed. Luckily, I haven’t had an episode in a few months, and I hope that it passed along with my mental problems, but deep down inside I know it hasn’t, and that terrifies me. I once had paralysis occur three times in one night, as I had the stupid idea to try and go back to sleep not once, but twice after an episode. It was horrible, and it’s god to know that I’m not the only one with this problem.

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Natalie

      Thanks for your comment. You’re definitely not alone in having sleep paralysis. And it does make sense that you experienced sleep problems at the same time as having other difficulties in life. Hopefully you’ll have found some useful ideas in the article. Try to remember a couple of the techniques such as wiggling a finger next time it happens. And you shouldn’t be afraid to go to sleep because of this. I think it’s important to try not to allow it to interfere any more with the rest you need than it already does. Perhaps if it happens again, go into another room and do something relaxing or watch something funny online or on TV for a short while, then try to sleep again.

  9. Jacqui says:

    I was spending a night with my two sisters and my best friend. I fell asleep on the L-shaped couch with my best friend in a position where both of our feet were at the same end. I was dreaming i was having an out of body experience being i was in the same exact room that i was in, in reality, set up the same exact way with the same exact people. in my dream i walked through the kitchen and looked down the corridor to see a black orb floating by the front door. i became scared in my dream and ran back to my body by this time i woke upand instantly became stuck. i couldn’t move nor could i scream for help in addition the black floating orb was now beside me and i can actually see it floating over me. i closed my eyes and tried with everything in me to move my foot to wake my best friend. i began chanting i rebuke you in the name of jesus over and over while still trying to move my foot. My body released and because i was trying to move my foot so bad as soon as my body was release i kicked my best friend hard out her sleep and i was so scared to go back to sleep. i spoke to my sisters and my best friend about what happened and found my sister has been going through the same thing. this has happened numerous times but i do not see anything everytime that was actually the first time and was not that last. now when i experience it i rebuke it and call on jesus for help and to go back to sleep i try to clear my mind by watching cartoons. i am a 27 year old female.

  10. Anu says:

    Hi , i am 28 year old and i have experience last day, when i was sleeping that there is some pressure like air on me. it enters me & rotate 2 time like a cyclone, i was unable to move myself, i want to move but i can not. then i start to pray & relax my self than i awake properly & able to move my self.
    Before it i was seeing a dream all around black & some was carrying me toward darkness .

  11. Terra says:

    I can’t remember my very first sleep paralysis moment, however I can my most recent ones. The first and second ones were at night at my old place, the third and fourth were at night at my current place (back-to-back), and the fourth was this morning at my cousin’s house.
    Twisted Limbs, Lady in Black, and the Black Hole: I was laying in bed falling asleep when I aware of something not right in my room (beings it was the smaller room in the trailer) I noticed my room was split in two shades of black the normal on my right, the darker on my left. After adjusting my eyes to see clearly I noticed that it was a black hole in the left corner of my room. It was a blank hole nothing coming in or out, no voices either. Then a few moments later she (lady with white skin, very tall, slender figure, with black hair, dress, and eyes) came out of the hole staring right at me, soon the hole began to grow causing my room to become engulfed in complete darkness. I tried to move my body and scream for my roommates, but fell on deaf ears. Suddenly I found myself gasping for air causing myself to awake from the ‘delusion’. I thought it was over until I noticed my arms and legs were twisted together and pressed against my torso (in a fetal position) I spent 10 to 15 minutes trying to get movement and circulation back into my limbs, so I could untangle them.
    A Demon Amongst My Demons: I had fallen asleep like a normal person no sp issues or erie feeling, and I awoke as if nothing was wrong. I was in my bed looking around the room trying to figure out what or why I had woken up, after not seeing, feeling, or hearing anything I assumed it was the cat and went to get into a comfortable sleeping position. That’s when I seen my mother’s second ex-husband at the foot of my bed, he looked like he’d been through hell. I froze in fear thinking how did he find me, more or less get into the house. I went to say something and he bolted onto the bed. Finally I had awoken springing up into a sitting posting on the bed and came to realization it was only a nightmare, until I see my arms were twisted up again.
    Restraints and Suffication: I was sleeping on the couch (belonged to Pop’s who is deceased) since I was having sleep issues with the bed (nothing relating to sp) I was in a reclined position and fell asleep. When I awoke my body was pressed against the couch (as if restrained with straps from a stretcher) and my oxygen level around me was low, so I could barely breath. I tried screaming for help, but my mouth felt like it had been sown shut. I tried moving my arms about to get was what pressed against me off, but nothing was there. On top of it my actual arms were still on the couch. Eventually I was able to move about and relaxed for a bit. After thinking about what had just happened I decided I would once again sleep in the reclined position to see if my ‘delusion’ was just another sp attack or maybe related to a dead relative trying to harm me.
    (The Sleep Experiment) Light and Wind: After getting comfortable in the reclined position I let sleep once again take over me. It didn’t take long for things to begin. I felt my body become restrained again and my oxygen level drop, but something was different. A bright light shined in my face and wind began to blow hard in my ears causing it to drown out any sounds around me. The light and wind charade lasted up to six or seven minutes before they stopped. Then three minutes later I was going over everything I had seen and heard as I began moving my body. I came to sp being the reason for the ‘delusionals’ instead of a dead relative out for blood.
    The Kitten and the Growl: I was laying on the bottom bunk sleeping and had awoke since the dream was finished (I guess you could say), not having the energy to get up I rolled over and began to doze off. That’s when I heard a kitten meow. I didn’t get up and look for the kitten since there are no pets in the house to begin with. So I assumed it was outside the window. I tried to get past the dozing and into actual slumber. When I heard the kitten meow again except this time it was on the bed infront of my face. I looked at it close enough to see it was black and only a month or two old. When it walked around my pillow away from my view, I went to raise my head, but it was quickly pressed down by a large object that I couldn’t see and it growled in my ear until I was able to move my arms. I knew it was another sp attack, but I could still feel the sharp pain on my head where it had pressed down.
    I know my sp moments may sound like just regular nightmares, but nightmares cause people be awake and alert I however feel drained of energy and want to go back to sleep. I know the twisted limbs may be much, but it’s just one of those things that happens to me during an sp moment.
    I want to make them stop however I fear of taking sleep meds and being stuck staying asleep if an sp moment were to happen. Are there any home remedies suggestions?

    • Ethan Green says:

      Hi Terra
      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your detailed sleep paralysis stories. To answer your questions, all of the solutions which I know of are already in the article above. I highly recommend reading again the readers’ suggestions section as many of those are quite helpful, and maybe there’s something you missed the first time round.

  12. Hailey says:

    I am 18 years old and have had sleep paralysis on a pretty consistent basis since roughly age 10, although I have learned to cope with it as the years progressed. When I feel the odd, telltale sensation of sleep paralysis creeping on, I know now to keep my eyes closed. However, since my paralysis is often accompanied by auditory hallucinations and frequent and various feelings of physical contact, restricting my vision doesn’t make the experience completely less terrifying.
    While many people see what they describe as a shadow man or occasionally an old woman or “hag” my typical sleep paralysis entity is what I describe as the corpse. When I was little and was brave (or ignorant) enough to keep my eyes open through the experience, the corpse would often be laying in bed besides me and facing me. Sometimes it would reach out and graze my face menacingly. After I learned to keep my eyes closed, the corpse would begin to reach out to me in other ways. One particular episode that sticks out to me was when I was asleep on my couch and succumbed to sleep paralysis upon waking up, I felt an intense heat on the side I was laying on. As if this wasn’t terrifying enough, I could hear a disgruntled, guttural, deep voice in my ear. The words were incoherent but yet also seemed deliberate. It was as though it was speaking in tongues or something. Yet I knew if I opened my eyes, I would be face to face with the corpse that so often plagued me. I’m not religious, but while this happened to me, I prayed like a priest at an exorcism.
    The corpse often likes to climb into bed with me, and since I refuse to acknowledge it, it frequently attempts to cuddle (for lack of a better word because “cuddle” definitely does not portray the correct connatative description) with me and sometimes kisses me… I know it’s the corpse because of the rough, cold feeling of its lips (or lack of). Other times while my eyes are shut tight, I feel what I can only describe as a dragging sensation. It feels as though someone is physically pulling me out of my bed. I know if my eyes were open, it would be the corpse clutching at my ankles.
    Someday I might be brave enough to open my eyes to come face-to-face with the corpse again, but for now I try to stay calm and wait for the experience to end. Though the hallucinations and/or sensations I feel/hear/see are creepy beyond words, truly the most terrifying thing about sleep paralysis is the feeling of vulnerability and dread it brings. The terror can sometimes be as pure as though there really is an intruder in your bedroom with nothing but the intent to kill you- except at least with a real intruder, you can move and scream.

  13. Paul Acero Espinosa says:

    It was 2002 i was 24 years old, As i remember it, i just woke from sleeping and my eyes just opened, suddenly i felt this extreme heat as if there is a fire ball at the back of my ear, and i cant do any thing, i just cant move or speak, and then i heard a voice i don’t know how to explain how the voice sounded but it really scared me, it just said 3 words, MAG SAYA KA, and the i remebered moving my finger on my toes, then i just jump out of my bed sreaming calling my mother, and she told me to pray, so i prayed and have a good sleeep after that.

  14. Clarissa says:

    I was asleep last Saturday night. I woke up and my nose was touching the ceiling of my bedroom. I knew I was out of my body then I felt my soul dropping to my body. It felt like I was really falling. I thought I would surely wake up after the fall but then I saw my body laying side ways with my hands between my thighs. I had my closet light on so I can see everything in my room. Suddenly I can see someone outside my door. I could see the shadow of something staying there and moving around. I then felt it was not good a good presence. Then whatever was outside my door started scratching the door and I closed my eyes and could hear the poster in the room being touched. Like someone was putting their hand on it slowly touching it up and down. I started praying asking Jesus to please protect me. As soon as I started praying I woke up and I was laying in the same position that I was in my paralysis. I ran to my door and locked it and turned my closet light off and went back to sleep. I’ve had these paralysis for ten years now.

  15. Ivan says:

    Hello! I am 19 years old and I have started experiencing sleep paralysis for the past 4 months. It happens like 2 to 3 times each month. Usually when I’m about to fall asleep it’s when it happens, I can’t move at all or even talk. I can only hear and move my eyes. It recently happened last night and I remember that I could see a black figure floating around me, I was following it with my eyes and when it got closer to me it’s when I felt the pressure on my chest. I get really scared but I don’t try fighting it or anything, I just let it go away by itself. One time it was an out of body experience and that time I did try to interact with whatever it was that made me feel paralyzed. It’s kinda fuzzy so I don’t exactly remember how it happened but I was able to get out of my body, I remember standing next to my bed and I could see my body laying there, I got scared and tried turning on the lights cuz I felt like I was in danger just seeing my body laying there. I wasn’t able to do anything and I don’t really remember what else happened. Is there a way to stop sleeping paralysis or how to overcome it..

  16. Sudha says:

    Hi,Im 22 and I have been experiencing this for the last 10 days.Initially I reassured myself that this is just a hallucination and I let it go.I generally stay calm till I am able to speak and then I scream just to assure myself that I am back into the world. But things got worsened when the nightmare itself shows a sleep paralysis of mine. I could not realize whether I am experiencing this in sleep or in reality. I see a strange black smoky like creature whispering something to me in dreams. I am unable to sleep peacefully.

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