Sleep paralysis?

WhiteIphone5

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 27, 2011
1,182
2
Lima, Peru
So I've researched about the topic but nothing talks about what I'm experiencing. Wikipedia and other sistes says that sleep paralysis is when the person is unable to move and experience horror visions. I get none of those, last one I had was 3 months ago, anyway it started 3 years ago where when I was sleeping I could hear in the background and couldn't move, I also had trouble breathing.. In my dream ( I think) because when I wake up I'm fine. It used to happen a lot before but rarely does now. I looked up what it was and most people were suggesting to get a good sleep. I used to sleep at around 4am basically every weekend. Now I sleep at around 12 or 1am. Since I was already getting used to it happening and stuff (very annoying), I thought maybe I can control what happens? So 3 months ago it happened again, and this time I was able to control my breathing and even thought its very difficult, I can open my eyes while it happens. I can also move my toes, which I couldn't before. When I try really hard to open my eyes, I wake up and I'm back to normal. Also it happens when I sleep in the afternoon (rarely but happens). Anyone else experienced this before? Thanks
 

DollFaceDork

macrumors 6502
Jul 13, 2011
427
1
Narnia
I had an episode of this once, I was in an old boyfriends house and I had fallen asleep with the tv on, when I was asleep (lets see if I can make this make sense) I was woken up in my dream by an arm reaching across me which I assumed to be my then boyfriend, brushed it off and went back to sleep in my dream, the next time I awoke in my dream (but still asleep) I could not move a muscle, it felt as though I was pinned down in the bed by someone.

I remember trying to roll from the bed onto the floor to try and crawl over to turn on the light. When I woke up in real life I was on my knees by the light switch.

Certainly not an experience I would like to re live...
 

WhiteIphone5

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 27, 2011
1,182
2
Lima, Peru
I had an episode of this once, I was in an old boyfriends house and I had fallen asleep with the tv on, when I was asleep (lets see if I can make this make sense) I was woken up in my dream by an arm reaching across me which I assumed to be my then boyfriend, brushed it off and went back to sleep in my dream, the next time I awoke in my dream (but still asleep) I could not move a muscle, it felt as though I was pinned down in the bed by someone.

I remember trying to roll from the bed onto the floor to try and crawl over to turn on the light. When I woke up in real life I was on my knees by the light switch.

Certainly not an experience I would like to re live...
damn, that's tough. I've never had anything like this, and i hope i never do.
 

Renzatic

Suspended
I've had a couple three bouts with sleep paralysis in my day. I've never had a full on bout with terror during one. Nothing like the standard "being completely paralyzed while it feels like something is sitting on my chest" attack. But they always are strange and surreal.

My last one stands out the most in my mind. It was easily the weirdest of the bunch.

For some reason, I was having one of those nights where I have this subconscious need to wake up for some reason. Like I have to be somewhere at a certain time, and I'm scared of oversleeping. I'll have dreams where I'm getting out of bed, and going about my day over and over again. The longer this goes on, the weirder my dreams get. Eventually I get to the point where I'm snapping myself into a half awake, half asleep state, which of course leads to a sleep paralysis experience.

I remember it perfectly. I snap semi-conscious in the early morning. Everything in my bedroom seems off kilter and somehow threatening. There's this weird, almost glassy haze everywhere I look, and I can hear a hollow wind sound roaring all around me. Like what you hear when you put your ear up to a seashell, but magnified to the point you can hear nothing else but. There's only one thought in my head...

...I have to get to my bedroom door.

I don't know why, but it feels like it's of the utmost importance. A life or death situation. That door has to be reached.

I lift my arm. It feels like it weighs a thousand pounds. I pull myself up, and slowly....sllooooooowwww...get out of bed. The effort it takes for me to do even that feels massive. Like I'm struggling through thick syrup.

If anyone were there watching me, I probably looked like a sloth moving in slow motion.

I take my first step. It's as slow as getting out of bed. Hard to move. But I have to get to the door. I absolutely have to. For some reason, I'm flat out scared. Nothing looks quite right, and the sound of hollowed out wind is still filling my ears. My second step is just as slow and languid as the first, despite my urgency. I manage to make it halfway across my bedroom like this, when suddenly...

:snap:

I'm awake. Fully. There's no transition. No slowly coming up to the surface of true consciousness. It was literally one second I've somehow woke up in a slow moving world of mortal terror and screaming winds, where everything seemed a shade off real, and the next I'm standing around, feeling 100% perfectly normal. I realized what I was going through, and was able to on with my usual morning routine without missing a beat. I didn't even have any coming side effects you usually get while coming down from an adrenaline rush, despite the fact I felt scared out of my wits during the entire experience.

It's not something I'd want to go through again, that's for sure.
 

j.dstasio

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2009
333
10
South Jersey
I've had sleep paralysis three times. Two of the three episodes included horrible hallucinations, loud noise & I was completely unable to move or speak. The last time, I didn't have the hallucinations, but I had a hard time breathing. It sounds like what you may have had. All three times, I was sleeping in an odd place after having a period of poor sleep patterns. My partner was in & out of the hospital for cancer treatments & my sleep schedule was way off. There were periods I went two days or more with no sleep & I fell asleep on the couch with the tv on or in our daughter’s room. It completely terrified me every time it happened & I make a pretty serious effort not to let my sleep patterns get out of whack now.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,425
17,379
The Misty Mountains
So I've researched about the topic but nothing talks about what I'm experiencing. Wikipedia and other sistes says that sleep paralysis is when the person is unable to move and experience horror visions.
Normally people's movements are restricted when they are sleeping. There are exceptions, like sleep walking. Is this referring to something that the dreamer experiences in the dream?

Just checked out wiki:
Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which people, either when falling asleep or wakening, temporarily experience an inability to move. More formally, it is a transition state between wakefulness and rest characterized by complete muscle atonia (muscle weakness). It can occur at sleep onset or upon awakening, and it is often associated with terrifying visions (e.g. an intruder in the room), to which one is unable to react due to paralysis. It is believed a result of disrupted REM sleep, which is normally characterized by complete muscle atonia that prevents individuals from acting out their dreams. Sleep paralysis has been linked to disorders such as narcolepsy, migraines, anxiety disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea; however, it can also occur in isolation.[1][2] When linked to another disorder, sleep paralysis commonly occurs in association with the neuromuscular disorder narcolepsy.[2]
It sounds like the muscle atonia associated with sleep temporarily carries over into an awake state. I don't recall ever experiencing it.
 

filmbuff

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2011
809
142
It sounds like the muscle atonia associated with sleep temporarily carries over into an awake state. I don't recall ever experiencing it.
That's exactly it. Since your brain is somewhere between sleeping and being awake you can also have hallucinations or feel like you did in the dream (irrational fear, etc.) It explains a lot of alien abduction stories ;)

Luckily I've only had the feeling for a second or two and not a 'full blown case' of sleep paralysis.
 

WhiteIphone5

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 27, 2011
1,182
2
Lima, Peru
I've had sleep paralysis three times. Two of the three episodes included horrible hallucinations, loud noise & I was completely unable to move or speak. The last time, I didn't have the hallucinations, but I had a hard time breathing. It sounds like what you may have had. All three times, I was sleeping in an odd place after having a period of poor sleep patterns. My partner was in & out of the hospital for cancer treatments & my sleep schedule was way off. There were periods I went two days or more with no sleep & I fell asleep on the couch with the tv on or in our daughter’s room. It completely terrified me every time it happened & I make a pretty serious effort not to let my sleep patterns get out of whack now.
I've been reading more and more about it, and sleep patterns does indeed increase the chances of getting sleep paralysis. I'm sorry about your partner with cancer.
 

zin

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2010
491
6,479
United Kingdom
I had this once. Perhaps one of the most frightening things that has ever happened (especially considering I'd never experienced it before).

All I can remember was a tall shadowy figure standing near the other side of the room at the end of my bed. "He" didn't move, just stood there and looked at me. I tried moving and rolling around but nothing. I tried shouting for help but only air came out. I never remembered how I awoke, but I don't recall doing so immediately; I think I actually fell back into proper sleep. The whole time "awake" during the dream was probably no more than 20 seconds, at least from what I remember.
 

WhiteIphone5

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 27, 2011
1,182
2
Lima, Peru
I had this once. Perhaps one of the most frightening things that has ever happened (especially considering I'd never experienced it before).

All I can remember was a tall shadowy figure standing near the other side of the room at the end of my bed. "He" didn't move, just stood there and looked at me. I tried moving and rolling around but nothing. I tried shouting for help but only air came out. I never remembered how I awoke, but I don't recall doing so immediately; I think I actually fell back into proper sleep. The whole time "awake" during the dream was probably no more than 20 seconds, at least from what I remember.
I guess I'm lucky that my case is minor. That's scary as ****
 

marcial

macrumors newbie
May 18, 2013
10
0
Scary experience... especially if you've got a heart condition like me.

I once dreamt of my diseased father wit whom I am very close to. I remember in the dream watching him walk farther and farther away and me calling out to him but not able to move.

My wife shook me awake and I felt my heart beating so fast and being drenched with sweat. Not an experience I'd want to repeat!
 

APlotdevice

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2011
3,120
3,758
I don't recall ever experiencing full on paralysis, though I do often hallucinate when first woken up. This alone can be scary sometimes.

It's no wonder so many people try to rationalize such experiences with a paranormal explanation such as alien abduction.
 

WhiteIphone5

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 27, 2011
1,182
2
Lima, Peru
I don't recall ever experiencing full on paralysis, though I do often hallucinate when first woken up. This alone can be scary sometimes.

It's no wonder so many people try to rationalize such experiences with a paranormal explanation such as alien abduction.
I believe in aliens, but not sure on the abduction part. Who knows...

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I don't recall ever experiencing full on paralysis, though I do often hallucinate when first woken up. This alone can be scary sometimes.

It's no wonder so many people try to rationalize such experiences with a paranormal explanation such as alien abduction.
Seems like a bad dream to me.
 

ShelleyAdler

macrumors newbie
May 27, 2013
1
0
It's amazing how something so common is still so "unheard of." At least 25% of healthy folks around the world will have at least one sleep paralysis experience in their lives, but--especially here in the U.S.--there's little awareness and lots of misinformation.
Shelley
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
33,746
23,150
Behind the Lens, UK
I used to get this quite a bit. Not had it for a few years though. Sometimes I would be in bed, more commonly though it would be when I'm watching TV and fall asleep. It's hard to describe, but I would put it somewhere between dreaming and reality. But the knowing you are awake but can't move is a horrible experience. Especially when combined with a nightmare.
 

question fear

macrumors 68020
Apr 10, 2003
2,273
77
The "Garden" state
Some of these stories are horrible. I've had sleep paralysis several times but nothing that scary. Mostly feeling like I am supposed to wake up, but I can't move or breathe well, and my whole body feels tingly and numb. Sometimes I feel like I need help, but I can't call out for help. Once or twice it's happened inside of dreams, but mostly I am in my bedroom or wherever I fell asleep, and it's just centered around me thinking I should get up but I can't move.

It happens most often if I wake up and then go back to sleep; so if the dog wakes me at 5am, and I go back to bed and then fall back to sleep, I'm very likely to experience it. I have also learned when I recognize it is happening to give in and go back to a deeper sleep. It's hard, because some part of me is absolutely terrified from being unable to move, but if I can calm myself down, remind myself it's likely a dream and just focus on trying to sleep, I can come out of it relatively quickly.
 

sdilley14

macrumors 65816
Feb 8, 2007
1,235
190
Mesa, AZ
I've definitely experienced this. Sometimes multiple times in the same night. I would lay down for bed, I would "fall asleep", but I would be able to recognize that I wasn't actually sleeping...I would feel completely paralyzed, I would try making noises but couldn't seem to breathe, I would try rolling around but couldn't move, I would hear loud/strange noises, and after a few minutes of being in this "aware"/paralyzed state, I would seemingly snap out of it. There would be nights where I would repeat this cycle 2-3 times. NOT FUN!

Fortunately this hasn't happened in a long time. I'm not really sure the cause of this. From the research I've done on it and analyzing my own personal situation, it was a mix of a few different things.

It always seemed to happen on Sunday nights. I always had this resistance to going to bed on Sunday nights because that meant the weekend was over and I had to get up for work the next day...so I would consciously and subconsciously "fight" going to bed on Sunday. For me, it was this "fighting" feeling + stress related to several other things (relationships, etc.) + dehydration + alcohol/being hung over + major disruption to my normal sleep pattern (staying up until 2-3AM drinking all weekend) + weird changes to my diet (eating relatively heathy and on a schedule all week as opposed to eating junk, randomly on the weekends).

I feel like it was some mix of all of these things that caused my night paralysis. Fortunately it hasn't happened in a long time...well over a year. Coincidently, I don't "fear" going to bed on Sunday nights anymore, and my life in general is much less stressful now...I have to think that these two things have something to do with not having these episodes anymore.

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You're not missing anything.
LOL, no kidding.

Sweet avatar BTW.
 

WhiteIphone5

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 27, 2011
1,182
2
Lima, Peru
Some of these stories are horrible. I've had sleep paralysis several times but nothing that scary. Mostly feeling like I am supposed to wake up, but I can't move or breathe well, and my whole body feels tingly and numb. Sometimes I feel like I need help, but I can't call out for help. Once or twice it's happened inside of dreams, but mostly I am in my bedroom or wherever I fell asleep, and it's just centered around me thinking I should get up but I can't move.

It happens most often if I wake up and then go back to sleep; so if the dog wakes me at 5am, and I go back to bed and then fall back to sleep, I'm very likely to experience it. I have also learned when I recognize it is happening to give in and go back to a deeper sleep. It's hard, because some part of me is absolutely terrified from being unable to move, but if I can calm myself down, remind myself it's likely a dream and just focus on trying to sleep, I can come out of it relatively quickly.
same with me, i just say to myself, ok its happening again. Breath slowly and calm down. I then open my eyes and boom im awake. hate this crap lol
 

question fear

macrumors 68020
Apr 10, 2003
2,273
77
The "Garden" state
same with me, i just say to myself, ok its happening again. Breath slowly and calm down. I then open my eyes and boom im awake. hate this crap lol
It totally sucks. Knowing how to pull yourself out of it helps, but it still isn't fun to experience.

Of course, now that I've read this whole thread I'm probably going to experience it tomorrow morning!
 

WhiteIphone5

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 27, 2011
1,182
2
Lima, Peru
It totally sucks. Knowing how to pull yourself out of it helps, but it still isn't fun to experience.

Of course, now that I've read this whole thread I'm probably going to experience it tomorrow morning!
That's exactly what goes through my mind when I research about it lol