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Kardamom's avatar

Have you ever woken up to the sensation that someone is sitting on your bed?

Asked by Kardamom (29781points) 1 month ago from iPhone

This has happened to me at least 5 times in the last 10 years, most recently a few nights ago. I will wake up, for any number of reasons, such as needing to use the bathroom, hearing noise, getting too warm and needing to turn on the fan, or whatever.

I chalk it up to peri, and post menopausal hormonal changes. I never had this experience until all of that kicked in. But I’ll tell you, the experience is not pleasant. I am always awake, not in some sort of dream state. I often look at the clock if I am awakened.

But if my eyes are closed, it feels exactly like someone of substantial size, like an adult, has sat down on the side of the bed, but when I open my eyes, I can see that there is no one there, and the sensation ceases, but if I close my eyes again, after one of these episodes, the sensation is there again. I usually make the decision to get up, and go to the restroom, or go get a drink of water. Once I have gotten up and then gone back to bed, the sensation is over and done with.

I was wondering if any if you, especially women in peri or post menopause, have experienced this, and what you have done to alleviate it.

It’s not an every night occurrence, so I’m not sure how to prevent it when it’s completely random. I have suffered from insomnia for years, even before any of this started.

Thoughts?

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11 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve had other hypnagogic hallucinations, though not that. But my late aunt, who was probably near your age when her father died, afterward used to insist that he came and sat on her bed in the night and talked to her. She wouldn’t call it a ghost; she spoke as if he were really there, even though she knew he was gone.

Just wondering: do you happen to be in any particular position when this happens? Specifically, are you lying on your back when you wake up with this sensation?

I’m assuming you do know that there is a state of very light sleep in which we often think we’re awake, but we’re really not.

Zaku's avatar

Not exactly like that, that I remember, no. I’ve had:

* Actual cats sitting on the bedside, quite often.
* Actual people encroaching on the bed. One was an actual thief at a window.
* One malevolent spirit that I was so sure I was there that I physically attacked it, but it wasn’t physical.

But it sounds to me like a recurring dream element. (If it did happen to me, I’d probably call on some spiritual assistance for good measure.)

rojo's avatar

Wondering if this is something along the lines of, but a much milder form of, sleep paralysis, a parasomnia.

You know, I used to think that the “hot” flashes associated with menopause were some kind of mental floss until my wife went through it. I can tell you without a doubt that they are real and that they do actually generate heat. I cannot count how many times I would have to crawl out from under the covers, even if it was just a sheet, to escape the heat emanating from her body. I even had to sleep on the sofa some nights it was so bad.

I think I know where these cases of spontaneous combustion come from!

Kardamom's avatar

I dedinitely don’t see or talk to any actual people, living or dead Lol. I only experience a sensation of the mattress being indented, but because it’s dark, except for the dim light of the clock, I haven’t seen any indentations.

I always perceive myself to be awake when this has happened, because some other normal thing has woke me up.

I’m not sute what position I am in when this has happened. Since the menopause thing started, I have become a very restless sleeper, and I have insomnia.

Be nice if it was the spirit of Cary Grant sitting on my bed ; P

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Zissou's avatar

Two things come to mind. One is that something may be affecting your sense of balance. The other is that many people sometimes experience a sensation of falling as they drift off to sleep; your phenomenon may be related to that.

@rojo the expression mental floss might not mean what you think it means.

rojo's avatar

@Zissou perhaps I should have said mental fluff but, maybe not. I have recently learned from our more conservative jellies that words mean what you choose that they mean, not necessarily what the liberal dictionaries define them as. So if I choose to use the term “mental floss” to indicate imaginary events that occur in the solely brain then that is what it means.

Kardamom's avatar

I wouldn’t mind the imaginary events so much, if I could actually see Cary Grant, and while we’re talking about it, maybe the spirit of Alan Rickman could sit on my bed. Can you imagine the sound of that conversation between those two men? : ))))

trailsillustrated's avatar

YES. A couple times. I’ve always been convinced it’s real.

Zaku's avatar

I talked to someone else who has had this experience.

I think it’s probably something in your psyche, whether you relate that to your subconscious or to an external spirit is up to you. But if you’re open to it being an external spirit, and can find someone to do a good house blessing / spirit cleansing, I’d recommend that.

Kardamom's avatar

@ Zaku. I don’t believe in any of that. Like I said, I’m pretty sure it’s chemical (most likely hormonal) in nature.

I was just curious if anyone else had experienced this

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