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cessy's avatar

Has anyone ever experience sleep paralysis ?

Asked by cessy (44points) August 23rd, 2010

It only has happened two times in my life how can I explained, what I remember that day is the awful sensations of being paralyzed, crushed or stuck to my bed unable to move. Then I can’t breathe this awful buzzing noise which gets louder and louder and I feel like a ghost hand touches my head for at least 10 minutes then it stops.

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23 Answers

DominicX's avatar

Yes, I’ve experienced it, and I believe that sleep paralysis is responsible for many so-called “paranormal” experiences. For me, it feels like a half-asleep half-awake state where the dream is still going on, but it’s tapering off and so I may still hear things, see things, or feel things from the dream and I can’t move. In the middle ages, people used to think the feeling of heaviness on the chest caused by paralysis was caused by a demon sitting on their chest.

10 minutes is a little strange, though. For me, it’s usually no more than a few seconds that I “wake up” and I can move and any sound or feeling that I just experienced is gone. It’s a very odd and creepy phenomenon.

zannajune's avatar

I have experienced it a few times before. It happens when I haven’t been on my medication for anxiety. I get the sensation that someone is in the room and that they aren’t good. I feel extremely frightened by them. I can’t move or do anything about it. The sensation seems to only last for about 10 seconds max, but it can feel pretty scary in such a short amount of time.

Berserker's avatar

I have, for a long time. A good way I learned to avoid it often enough is try not to fall asleep on your back. Easier said than done, maybe, but it does work.
And if you do get trapped by it, when the ’‘breathing’’ sessions come on, go with them and abide by the flow. This way, you might manage a small whimper or some noise from your mouth that can wake you of it. If it’s possible, try to strikes a wall or something with your foot or hand. If you have a significant other who sleeps with you, your freaking out will most likely wake them up, ask them, when they see it next, to gently wake you up.

I usually manage to get myself out of them when the first symptoms show up, which are the fuzzy feelings you describe and the on and off numbness. In that case, you have to mentally attempt to awake yourself before it gets worse. Takes some practice though. :/


Yes! I recall during my university days, when I was really tired, and taking a nap on the couch, I found myself “half-asleep” but “conscious” of where I was. I had a feeling of terror, as if there was some weird stranger in the room standing near me, or a ghost. I wanted to get up and leave, but I couldn’t. I tried moving my arms and legs, but they felt as if they were plastered to the sofa. I thought I could hear someone’s strange voice nearby, which made the experience more spooky. Looking back now, I attribute this “sleep paralysis” to being overly tired, exhausted. It always happened when I was really tired and trying to get some much needed rest.

cessy's avatar

Thanks everyone , but has anyone felt that your being pulled up by unknown forces,when your paralyzed

JLeslie's avatar

Huh, I never heard of this. I have moments I cannot move when I am resting or sleeping, can’t take a breath in or out, my whole body seems to stop. Feels like my heart stops. I went to the cardiologist and seems it does miss beats. I guess this is something else though if it last 10 minutes.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Yes, once for certain. Maybe a second time but that may have been some other sort of hypnogogic state (hallucinated a dwarf/midget/gnome in the entrance to my bedroom).

perspicacious's avatar

Yes, and your description is pretty good. The hand touching you is a hypnagogic hallucination and I’ve had some that were much more intense and frightening that that. The neurologist told me to just try to move a toe or finger and as soon as I could do that it would end; he was right.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Yes, it was awful. I was so relieved when I woke up.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

It happens to everyone every night, most of the time your sleeping while it happen.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

GQ. Apparently, I have and now have a name for what happened. Both times occurred shortly after my father passed away. Neither was as extreme as yours though. One time, I ‘woke up’ to see a pale hand resting above the covers on my hip. I kept trying to pick it up, and nothing was there.

shelley's avatar

There are many stages of falling asleep and waking up, and this is when it occurs. When you go to sleep your body releases a hormone to paralyse you which prevents you from physically moving around as you dream, sleep walkers dont get enough of this. Anyway sometimes this hormone is released either too early, or doesn’t go away when you’re waking up. This is the scientific explanation. The other side of this sleep disfunction is strange and also referred to as ‘old hag syndrome’ because the people who are able to open their eyes while they are paralysed, most of them see an old witch haggard like lady and quite often is sitting on thier chest holding them down. This is experienced by people all over the world, so why do they all see the same or similar thing is the freaky part. I had this for years and did a lot of research on it, and @perspicacious is right, the best thing to do is concentrate on moving one small part of your body and you can usually break out of it. It is awful, and so terrifying because you feel like there’s a real presence in the room with you. You’re also lucid at the time so you know you’re kind of awake, however you hallucinate and hear noises that you know are not normal, so it can be a very confusing experience. You will find it usually happens while sleeping on your back. I suggest searching on ‘old hag sydrome’ its quite interesting.. and @cessy if you search on this, you will find people hallucinate that they’re getting pulled up walls, twisted in their bed, pulled off the bed etc..

perspicacious's avatar

@shelley Some of the hallucinations I have had were just unbelievable like my cover hovering above me, me floating above the bed, a ball rolling under my mattress causing waves in my bed, movement on the bed like someone sat on the edge, then feeling a hand on my back and shoulder. All of this was connected to lack of sleep while I was working full time and going to law school. Many days I never put my head on a pillow. After I finished school, it disappeared. I hope I never have it again, but at least I know what it is.

cessy's avatar

Did anyone thought it was aliens the first time sleep paralysis happen to you?

cessy's avatar

I thought I was going crazy!!!!!!!!! the first time and kept praying to god.

shelley's avatar

@perspicacious I also heard many noises such as bells ringing, keys in my bag moving, a lot of footsteps, voices. Likewise, it always got worse during stressful periods with work, or lack of sleep, particularly if I took valium. I think I have grown out of it, occasionally it comes on again, but I can sense when its going to happen and I sit up or roll over and its fine.

meesh's avatar

Yes, i actually just experienced it again this morning. I’ve had weird sleep schedules since early high school and often have trouble falling asleep alone. I’m also a senior in film school, which leaves very little opportunity for 6–8 hour nights of sleep and keeps my sleep schedule constantly changing. I think this is why I’ve been experiencing sleep paralysis so much in the past couple of years. For a while I didn’t realize it was a common condition and like everyone else, i would see and/or feel a presence. This morning there was a man leaning in practically pressing his face to the side of my face saying, “I want you to know I am here and I am haunting your family.” (i was at my parents’ house visiting.) then i heard terribly loud hissing and buzzing sounds and felt some weird charge that seemed to be going through my head and down through my arms. Even though I know what it is now, I always panic and want nothing more than to move or scream, but I can’t do a thing. Definitely scares me every time it happens. I just try to keep my eyes closed until it passes.

wise_owl's avatar

Yes, it has happened to me a couple of times too. The reason it happens is that when you are asleep the brain does a very clever thing. It detaches the motor connections of the brain. It does this so that you are unable to ‘act out’ your dreams, which could be very dangerous because you would not be consciously aware of your movements. So when you wake and you cannot move, what has happened is that you have become conscious shortly before the brain has reactivated it’s motor connections. It usually lasts for only a very short period of time, but it is alarming to experience!

Lorenita's avatar

I have experienced that many times.. sometimes it happens to me when I’m taking a nap, I open my eyes and can´t move, can´t talk, even breathing feels impossible, it’s a very disgusting sensation and to get out of that state I have to relax and slowly I can start moving my body again.. one time it happened at night, I woke up, and was very very awake but couldnt move at all, I panicked ! more that the other times it happened, because it was very sudden.. I think it’s related to very stressful periods of my life

emailacissej's avatar

Like they said, I’ll be half awake half asleep, I’ll then try to move a part of my body, usually i can manage a shake of my foot, I’m not positive it’s moving but in my head i think it is. I’ll feel like i’m staring at whatever place i fell asleep in as hard as possible trying to recollect every detail so I can wake myself up. Then I’ll feel my body being pushed down, voices, movments, a dark shadow, as if a demon is pushing me down into the bed to further suffocate and then take over my body. I’ll scream in my head, in total fear, usually i scream for my boyfriend, “kyle, wake me up” KYLE wake me it!” Please wake me up! wake me up! WAKE ME UP” when he doesn’t I scream for JESUS” it usually takes a few times calling for God, but so far it has proven to work, I also try blinking three times, on the third time my eyes usually feel super heavy, sometimes it works, mostly with nightmares, but not with sleep paralysis, anyway when I wake up(sleep paralysis) , it’s always in the hour of 3 a.m, which scares the shit out of me, because i was already feeling a demonic presence, and now i see the clock and it’s “the witching hour.” ( The hour where evil spirits are none to be most powerful). Anyways, All i want to say is, it scares the living shit out of me, and i usually stay awake until 4, when i feel like its safe, i also have the ringing noise, but that stays in my head even after i wake up, the longer i stay awake the more all the anxiety depletes. I’m going to take the advice of one of the persons above, and make sure to not sleep on my back. i’m calling it “safe’ with sleeping on my side. EVERYONE WHO HAS THIS< I am sorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyy!

boty1's avatar

it happens to me but i see a black shadow walking to me and the last time it happened i told my self i was going to see what the hell the shadow is….. so when it was about 4 feet away i tried looking up and i was unable to look at that direction and my hearth was beating like never before i was scared for my life and no matter if i sleep on my side nothing helps i normally have my 6–8 sleep… its scaring me really bad… also goes on for long periods of time one time it happened during the hole night i was able to see the sunrise until my wife’s alarm when off

Awesomeness1313's avatar

I’m only 14 and I’ve even experienced this. It is a truly horrifying experience. I can’t move or speak but want to scream. I feel like someone is their but I belive that it is because I feel weak and vulnerable so I am scared that someone could walk in at any time and I wouldn’t be able to defend myself. I would really like to know what this is called and how I could possibly fix this.

twilightmoon's avatar

I was told in a parapsychology class that when we feel paralyzed/loud bang sounds when we wake from sleep it is our souls returning into our bodies after astral projection. They say it’s just your mind waking up before your body. Sylvia Brown, the psychic, says its your spirit walking around and hasn’t come back to your body yet. Either way, just relax when its happening, your body will wake up, it just takes an extra minute.

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