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Sleep Paralysis

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
So I had a sleep paralysis episode last night. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking someone was in my room, and my eyelids just snapped open and my eyes fixed on this dark figure standing next to me. I could make out everything, his eyes, his face, his clothes, his hands. My heart was pounding, like it wanted to come out of my mouth, and I couldn't even wiggle a toe or even scream, just frozen.

And then the dark figure slowly, slowly morphed, and slowly I began to recognize it. Like mist clearing from my eyes. It was my jeans hanging on my clothes rack. I don't quite remember what happened after that, I think I must've passed out or something, but I woke up later in the night remembering what happened.

First one I had in a while, but that particular one had me shook up for a while today. People tell you that it looks real, and holy crap it looks REAL.
post #2 of 28
Oh no, that sounds awful.

I used to have so many bad nightmares and night terrors when I was a kid. I remember one where I was running from someone who had a huge syringe with a 8" needle, and when I tripped and fell I could actually feel the cold needle slide into my spine. <<<shudders>>>

I haven't had the paralysis like you describe; I hope you can shake it off and it doesn't happen again.
post #3 of 28
i have heard of that before,
sometimes they call that the Old Hag Syndrome.
post #4 of 28
Yeah, I've have that happen to me several times. It's freaky and can be terrifying because it's like a waking dream. Since I had a sleep study done and now use a CPAP machine at night when I sleep, I haven't had those episodes.
post #5 of 28
Oh my gosh that is awful!!! I think I've had something like that, where I'm awake but feel like I can't move. But it's never lasted too long or been so scary like that!
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Yeah, I've have that happen to me several times. It's freaky and can be terrifying because it's like a waking dream. Since I had a sleep study done and now use a CPAP machine at night when I sleep, I haven't had those episodes.
Really? hmm, There is a radio show i listen to all the time at night. Where they talk about strange stuff like that. The host of the show has had similar type things happen to him or so he says..... I think i will shoot him a email with that info.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Yeah, I've have that happen to me several times. It's freaky and can be terrifying because it's like a waking dream. Since I had a sleep study done and now use a CPAP machine at night when I sleep, I haven't had those episodes.
What's a CPAP machine?
post #8 of 28
There are many types of sleep disorders. Rather than reinventing the wheel I'll just link to a site that explains it.

http://www.neurologychannel.com/slee...rs/types.shtml

I have chronic obstructivesleep apnea. Basically it's a sleep disorder that causes my airway to collapse on me. Quite a severe case actually. I stop breathing for periods of up to 2 minutes at a time when I sleep.

Sleep apnea leads to rare or no dreaming, snoring, a chronic feeling of exhaustion even upon waking up, decreased mental accuity, high blood pressure, enlarged heart, and ultimately death if not treated.

A CPAP Machine is the treatment for many of the sleep disorders. It's a machine that provides Continuous Positive Air Pressure which forces the airway to stay open. Here is what some of the newer ones look like. Mine is similar to the first one shown

CPAP Machines

While I got my CPAP Machine because of my obstructive sleep apnea, a by-product has been that I have also not had any more episodes of sleep paralysis. Plus I fall asleep within minutes instead of hours. I'm lucky if I can read 5 pages of my book before falling sleep now.

A lot of people refuse to use a CPAP machine because the old styles required a mask that covered your whole nose area and strapped around your head in order to stay on. Now there are better ways than that bulky mask that covered 1/2 your face.

I have this one. It is called a "nasal pillow" and sits under the nose above your lips. There are too very soft "prongs" that fit into each nostril. It's really comfy and doesn't block my vision so I can still lay in bed and read before going to sleep:

http://www.advanscpap.com/cpap-masks/mirage-swift.html

Here are some images of it in use:

Image 1

http://www.sleeprestfully.com/prodim...ift_II_Man.JPG

http://www.cpapaustralia.com.au/prod...t_86_thumb.jpg

There are other types too, you can see them at this link:

http://www.advanscpap.com/cpap-masks/
post #9 of 28
I've had that happen before. Or where I'll wake up from a sleep feeling like I'm falling down, jerking awake which usually results in me kicking Ophelia which results in her attacking me.
post #10 of 28
It's odd, I've had a dozen or more episodes of sleep paralysis in my life, but never with that element of thinking someone is in the room with me -- don't know why I've been spared that, but I'm grateful!

It's plenty scary, though, just being awake and aware and completely unable to move or make a sound. For years, I wasn't sure it was real. I thought I might be dreaming it.

But then when I was living with Rush, my former significant other, it happened one afternoon when I woke from a nap. I lay there paralyzed for about 20 minutes, terrified, screaming inside my head... and then, because it was daylight, I was able to just barely see through my eyelashes when Rush came into the room to wake me! Thank goodness! I felt like I would come out of it if he would just shake me or something...

...But when I didn't respond to him calling my name, he decided to let me sleep! AUGH!

It was already the longest sleep paralysis episode I'd ever experienced, and I was scared to death. I was thinking, "Is this what it's like to be in a coma? Will I never come out of this one?"

I'd been trying desperately to call out to Rush, and finally I made a little humming sound -- very quiet, but I did it. And then I opened my eyes, and gradually I began to regain motor control. Whew.

I went straight out to Rush and confirmed that yes, he had come in a few minutes earlier to wake me, just as I'd seen. So I was finally sure it was real and I wasn't crazy!
post #11 of 28
Just be glad that what you saw was a result of sleep paralysis and not actually there... in broad daylight and with another person to witness it.

I've never had sleep paralysis but I have had something that I find even more frightening happen. I'll wake up at night or after a nap and not recognize anything. It's terrifying not to recognize the person next to you...
Luckily this passes after a few minutes.
post #12 of 28
That is so scary. I haven't had a sleep paralysis episode in years, but I recall them all too well. After I had done some reading and realized what they were, they got less scary for me. I just waited them out every time. Nasty feeling though, sorry you had to go through one as bad as that
post #13 of 28
I suffer from this too although I don't get the 'hag' thing thankfully! I haven't had an episode for ages until last week when I was taking a nap. I felt like I was screaming for my dog to jump on me so I could wake up but obviously I wasn't. It's always scary even when you know whats happening. My doctor says it's down to stress which sounds about right for me.

I'm sorry to hear you have this problem too.
post #14 of 28
You have my sympathy - I suffer from sleep paralysis fairly frequently and night terrors sporadically - absolutely awful
post #15 of 28
(not a Sylvia Brown fan) but what you experienced was out of body travel and your spirit was in the process of getting back in your body - which normally happens and you don't know it. For some reason if you are out and wake up your physical body is "paralyzed" for a few seconds.

I know its scary! I've done out of body travel before and its happened (the paralyzed part) a few times) I do remember once that just before I re-entered my body I was having fun doing somersaults near the ceiling - that was really cool
post #16 of 28
I use a CPAP too. Before that - I had nightmare A LOT - my brain's way of saving itself, e.g., awaking me b/c I had not been breathing for awhile.

I was v. glad when the nightmares stopped.

I get sleep paralysis occasionally - but it usually while napping only. I'll feel it coming on and try to wake up so I can avoid it, but I just can't get there.
post #17 of 28
WOW this is so strange, Last night I lay in bed and inally tell my husband I had been waking up paralised for every day the past week, after he had gone to work and it had been freaking me out, then I log on here, and what do I see, a whole topic about it!!!!

It always feels like someone is sitting on my chest, I and holding me down, I cant open my eyes or call out, I used to live in a very very old house and I was sure it was a spirit doing it to me, I now cover any mirror facing the bed before I go to sleep because mirrors are a gateway (no idea where I heard that, but I was so scared I tried everything and covering mirror seemed to work) I also wake up from one and turn on the lights because electricity scares off supernatural things....yeah I know how crazy this sounds, but it makes me feel better! But with doing those things, I had been getting more and more of them in the mornings, and I was feeling scared to go to sleep, it was happening more than once in the morning, I dont think DH really understood what i was telling him, he said it probably just seems like you are paralised for minutes but really it is seconds, I couldnt get him to really understand how I felt....

Funnily enough this morning was the first time I didnt actually suffer from this thing in a while, the only thing we did differently last night is I had a nice massage from hubby and well ya know so maybe its a cure LOL
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
(not a Sylvia Brown fan) but what you experienced was out of body travel and your spirit was in the process of getting back in your body - which normally happens and you don't know it. For some reason if you are out and wake up your physical body is "paralyzed" for a few seconds.

I know its scary! I've done out of body travel before and its happened (the paralyzed part) a few times) I do remember once that just before I re-entered my body I was having fun doing somersaults near the ceiling - that was really cool
I like this idea but dont know much about it...
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by My cat Mellow View Post
...
It always feels like someone is sitting on my chest, I and holding me down, I cant open my eyes or call out, I used to live in a very very old house and I was sure it was a spirit doing it to me, I now cover any mirror facing the bed before I go to sleep because mirrors are a gateway (no idea where I heard that, but I was so scared I tried everything and covering mirror seemed to work) I also wake up from one and turn on the lights because electricity scares off supernatural things....yeah I know how crazy this sounds, but it makes me feel better!...
Funnily enough this morning was the first time I didnt actually suffer from this thing in a while, the only thing we did differently last night is I had a nice massage from hubby and well ya know so maybe its a cure LOL
It is NOT a spirit holding you down. It is simply because your brain has not caught up with your body. Your body woke before your brain woke so your motor functions as still sleeping. The autotomic functions (heart beat, breathing) will work normal. Its the voluntary functions (moving, talking) that have to catch up.

As for electricity scaring away supernatural things...well, it depends on the thing. Ghosts/spirits actually use the electricity to strengthen themselves. They will use the charge in the air which is why they produce cold spots. One of my ghosts loves to blow bulbs. It is usually when he wants me to pay attention to something. I will turn on a light and it will blow with a POP.
Spirits do NOT want to harm us. They are usually someone who lived in the house and has something they believe they have to finish. Or it is a loved one come to check on us. My paternal grandmother is around me all the time.
post #20 of 28
Sleep paralysis used to happen to me a lot as a teenager and a few times I thought there was a headless body hovering over me! I used to shake my head when it happened and that woke me up as I used to hate it happening. it hasn't happened me in a long time thankfully.
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
Did some research and the thing that is amazing to me is the number of people and sources who report that people sense an "evil presence", or a "hag", and the artists depictions of this hag are very close to what I saw (though I thought it was a old man and not a hag). Big bulging protruding eyes, spindly arms/hands/body, black leathery/pruned/wrinkled skin, big long nose (like a witch's), crazy hair.

Wonder why so many people are reporting the same mental image...
post #22 of 28
I used to have that happen often, in my early twenties, It was terrifying, my doctor said it was stress related, looking back it was an extremely stressful time of my life, as I was reading your thread, feeling of terror came back, it is awful.
post #23 of 28
Well I KNOW I've done the out of body traveling cause one time I was "jumping" from roof to roof of some houses a few blocks away. I could see all what was in the backyards at the time even tho I have never been in the yards of those particular houses.

This was a section of houses walking to school. So one day after school I took a different path and went along the backs of the houses I saw in the OBE time. Sure enough I saw the things in the exact spot as I had seen it from that house's rooftop
post #24 of 28
I was diagnozed with sleep apnea several years ago and also sleep with a CPAP machine. I have never had that sleep paralysis several of you are talking about but prior to getting my machine, I was sleepwalking, putting my coat on and going clear out to the mailbox and coming back to bed. Two other times I fell down in the living room because I had sleep walked in there and then upon waking, fell because I didn't know I wasn't in bed. I was sleepy all the time before being diagnosed and never dreamed. Now, I absolutely love going to sleep because I dream, go into the deep restful kind of sleep we all need and I have never felt better. I love my machine, second to my kitties.
post #25 of 28
I've had one episode of sleep paralysis that i can recall a few years back and it was absolutely terrifying. It happened during the afternoon- i must have been taking a nap. I was the only one home that day and I had dreamed that i had been assaulted.....it was horrible because that's when the sleep paralysis happened- i thought i was being attacked, i remember trying to scream and trying to move and i couldn't- it was soo horribly frightening I am soo glad it was only a dream and only a sleep paralysis issue. I haven't had once since that i can recall and i am very glad- that one time scared me soo bad.

I am soo sorry you are having issues with this right now I hope things get better soon hon
post #26 of 28
Wow, that is very freaky! I can understand exactly how terrified you must have been, waking up to see someone in my bedroom at night is one of my biggest fears.
I have some crazy dreams, but you have me beat with that one!
I hope you don't have that one again!
post #27 of 28
Sleep paralysis is actually just a timing problem, as someone else mentioned. While you sleep, your voluntary nervous system shuts down so you won't act out your dreams. Normally, it kicks back in when you wake up... but if it's a little late in getting the "I'm awake now!" message, you get sleep paralysis.

On the other hand, if it fails to shut down (or kicks back in) while you're sleeping, you may thrash around in bed, talk in your sleep, or actually get up and sleepwalk. Some people even sleepcook, sleepclean, and apparently sleepdrive!

That's not to say that out-of-body experiences don't happen... they may. But sleep paralysis is a known medical phenomenon unrelated to OOBE.
post #28 of 28
How scary! I don't think I've ever had sleep paralysis, but every once in a while I'll be half awake and think that the curtains or something in my closet is a person in my room or I'll see things moving around the room. I'll sit up in bed and once I wake up I realize what's been going on. Sometimes I've been so frightened that I've jumped out of bed and flipped on the lights to see if anything's in the room. It freaks me out every time.
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