Sleep Paralysis is actually quite a common sleep disorder affecting a vast amount of people worldwide, in every country and culture. It was once an occurrence that was not spoken about and was a taboo per se, all back in our more closed minded past.
Since the ‘beginning of time’, Sleep Paralysis has been associated with evil, the occult and demonic presences, and you never know it could be, but in modern times we like to assume it’s a treatable condition.
An infamous entity sitting on your chest or a hag-like woman normally seen during the paralysis, has it’s connections in many cultures worldwide, were it can be known by the name ‘mara’ in Swedish, ‘mare’ in Norwegian, ‘morrigain’ in Irish, ‘mara’ in Polish, and so on. It can bee seen where the word ‘nightmare’ is derived from.
Some people think that Sleep paralysis could also be associated with Alien / UFO abductions.
Sleep paralysis occurs as we are either entering or exiting a deep sleep or REM cycle, a little mishap occurs were out bodies remain in the paralysed, non-moving state, BUT our mind is fully conscious. Sleep paralysis may last for a few seconds to a couple of minutes, but will seem like forever.
- During Sleep Paralysis, other than not being able to move, is can be difficult to breath and this difficulty has been thought to be caused by a demonic spirit sitting on your chest, purposely trying to cause you that difficulty. This physical paralysis is a necessary precaution our bodies take during REM sleep, to ensure we don’t actually act out our dreams during sleep. Imagine having a dream where we were running, but during this we began to actually run, that could be very dangerous indeed! So this paralysis is essential during sleep, but is just unfortunate that it is carried on to an actual sleep paralysis episode.
- Also, other hallucinations can be commonplace during an episode of the paralysis, with a ‘witch-like’, hag or demonic presence or woman being close by, hence, the associations with the occult and supernatural.
- Lack of a proper regular sleeping pattern
- Laying on your back facing the ceiling
- Uncomfortable sleeping conditions and environment such as sleeping in a hot room
- Exercising your mind excessively right before bedtime
- Having bad negative thoughts and being apprehensive before sleeping
- Drinking Caffeinated drinks or energy drinks before bed.
- Any life altering changes made
These are common suggested causes for sleep paralysis, but a definite cause is not known. The above are regarded as possible causes, and in my case I firmly believe that a lack of proper sleep, laying on your back and uncomfortable sleeping conditions cause it!
- Learn what causes you to have an episode and avoid your causes
- Have a regular sleeping pattern and enough sleep
- Do not drink caffeinated, alcohol or energy drinks before bed
- Tell you partner to wake you up properly if they notice anything strange about you, and irregular breathing or any strange movements.
- Concentrate on a method of waking yourself up such as trying to produce vocal noises or moving any part of your body that you can possibly move repeatedly.
Some medication can be taken but is only for severe cases, ask your doctor.
Sleep Paralysis Stories - Personal Experiences with Sleep Paralysis
I am personally a sufferer of sleep paralysis and I have to say it’s certainly not something I’d wish to bestow upon another individual. I feel myself waking up, just to realise that I cannot move at all but can hear everything that’s going on around me, exact conversations between people, noises on the street, the sound of the TV downstairs and so on. The most awful thing about it, besides knowing exactly what it feels like to be paralysed, is that your breathing is restricted and therefore you being to panic, thereby putting you into a state of panic were you just intensify the breathing difficulty.
From experience, one thing I swear by is, DO NOT OPEN YOUR EYES! As I have mentioned, you are paralysed during sleep paralysis, but sometimes you can be lucky and have the ability to open your eyes for a brief moment, or even possibly move appendages such as you head.
I remember the first time I opened my eyes I saw something I sincerely didn’t like to see - A dark hooded figure standing tall and ominous at the foot of my bed staring at me. During this ‘encounter’ I had a lot of trouble breathing and had the strangest feeling of blood rushing in my head which sounded like wind in my ears. I for a second was lucky enough to be able to talk, barely, so I tried my best to put the following two words together, ‘F*** Off’. I began to repeat this whenever I could and I eventually felt myself becoming free from the paralysis.
Another episode, which has never left my mind, was one I had just before Christmas of 09.
Again it began the same, I woke up paralysed but fully conscious, I tried to calm myself down but unfortunately couldn’t and began to let my mind wander and possibly play tricks on me.
Next I started hearing a shuffle of fast moving feet upstairs on the floorboards. The ‘entity’ began running very quickly up and down the upstairs of the house, while rummaging around and hitting of stuff.
I kept on telling myself not to worry and that it could be just somebody upstairs, but again this didn’t help as I knew I was home alone.
The next occurrence was the once of the worst, when the ‘entity’ ran quickly down the stairs (in a clumsy sounding run), and then ran into the kitchen while running and rummaging around like before.
It then ran back upstairs, did the same as before, but not to my relief it decided to again run downstairs, but, this time it stopped outside the bedroom door!
In the meantime I was trying to wake myself up but failed to do so. I then heard the bedroom door slowly open and something walk through it very slowly.
The whole situation was overly ominous, and got a lot worse when the ‘entity’ began to run right towards me, and eventually jumped right upon my chest, triggering me to wake.
I remember being so in shock that I didn’t move from the bed for about a half an hour.
I’m so glad I never open my eyes this time, but I certainly learned the lesson to NOT LET YOUR MIND WANDER.
Methods of Waking Myself Up
Generally our episodes of sleep paralysis will differ, some people being completely paralysed, some being able to move certain appendages, some people being able to make noises and so on, but for me, the only thing I have the ability to do is, sometimes move my head from side to side repeatedly, until somebody sees me doing this and wakes me up or until I eventually wake myself up.
One thing I tried before was to repeat to myself, ‘This is my body and I demand to be woken up!’, yes yes I know, how cheesy does that sound, but It sometimes worked for me! Good Luck…
Jon Greer from Paris on September 02, 2017:
Yikes - what a terrifying phenomenon. Thanks for sharing more information about this.
Yasir chohan from Reisterstown on September 30, 2014:
Ayat ul Kursi is a couplet from the holy Quran. we believe that it wards off satan and other demonic presences.
Schandee Decker from Granville, New York on September 30, 2014:
ayat ul kuris what does this mean?
Yasir chohan from Reisterstown on September 26, 2014:
I have suffered from sleep paralysis only once, I have been struggling to get over it since two weeks. I was dreaming though I think, My paralysis wore off and I went to sleep again I think. I saw stuff too, but it was weird stuff.
I recited ayat ul kursi and it freed me from paralysis but then things appeared.
Rushdifa Khan on May 03, 2014:
It happened to me day after yesterday at 5 am or 6 am, it was like happenig 2 or 3 mins. First, I used to hear from few people who had continuely this things, even my mom had few times. So that day I woke up at 5 am, I looked at the phone and went to wash room, I woke up because my nose was blocked and it was hard to breathe, cause I am having allergy problem. So when I came out and passed by my parents door, my mom called out, " Are you alright, dear? Its hard to breathe right?" I told her, " No mom, everything's fine," and went to bed. I sleep in 4 stairs bed and its close to the ceiling and I can touch it even. So I again looked at time it was 5:38 am or maybe a little more, when I lyed on my bed straightly looking at the ceiling, I closed my eyes. I felt noise and whispers, it was very scary sounds coming from my left ear and suddenly I felt really big pressure on my chest, I couldn't move, even didn't open my eyes and it was hell dark. I can feel all my body is shaking like when two people play hand restling and 1rst player pull and the 2nd player also and their hands shake. And it was happening to me also cause I was trying to push it out with strength and it was pressing. It was horrible. I tried to call out for mom, but i couldn't even open m mouth, but the most scary thing is i coudn' t breathe, my nose was blocked beause of allergy and I had to breathe with mouth, but my mouth wasn't even opening. I was like hell shaking and was angry and told in mind, "Get off from my body, you have no place, go away! " I felt like it became its pressure became low, but then it pressed again but harder, again I shouted in my mind that only I could hear, " You don't even dare to be on me and I told word "Bismillah hi rahman ir rahim!" And its gone .. I quickly opened my eyes and sat by looking around, I looked at dolls which were sitting on shelves and seems to look at me , I looked at window and it was already light. I sat for 1 hour, the phone showed 7 am, and I could see the sun rise, it was beautiful, then I again went to bed and fell asleep. I woke up at 2 pm, morning and told everything to my parents. My dad was quiet, but my mom warned, "Yea, see you didn't pray at night, your grandma used to tell me, Shaitan (Satan) has caught you. It happens to me a lot." I told her, " Mom you see saying Satan, I wasn't even scared, but it was horrible and I really didn't like it, I was angry.
I think this happened to me once , but i remember in childhoods once something happened to me similar to it , but that time it was like someone pulling me to the window,I shouted mom but no voice came out, but my mom was resting near me and when she opened her eyes, I got back to bed as i felt.
I know more stuffs, not like this but another, so if you want to know something mysterious ask me, if possible i will answer :)
Iontach (author) on July 09, 2013:
Hi David, nice to hear from you.
15-20 times eh? I hate those ones. Normally if you go straight back to sleep after an sp 'episode' you'll get it again and you'll keep getting it if you don't break the cycle.
Once you awake from sp sit up or even better walk around your room for a minute or two. Try to focus on something, possibly a picture, maybe the last picture you took on your mobile/cell (that's what I do). Once you do that then go back to sleep and you should be fine. Also ensure that your room is not too hot and you're not sleeping on your back.
Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any weird episodes, always interesting to hear about those.
David on July 09, 2013:
Hi there. Interesting article. It happened last night to me , the only difference is that it happened about 15 - 20 times in the space of 3-4 hours. Thought I was going to die!!! Hoping it won't happen like that again!
shibin on April 28, 2013:
plz give the name of sleepingvills for sleep the whole night
Cameron on March 25, 2012:
Hi, I have experienced what you have written about. It is absolutely terrifying. It seems like a lot of the people commenting on this hub may misunderstand the symptoms though. It seems as though they are describing a bad dream, in my experience it is not a dream at all. In fact, it is so real that when I awake properly I almost believe the hallucinations are real. I'm sorry to hear that you are suffering from this. I don't wish it upon anyone. In fact I am currently avoiding sleep, because of the fear of it reoccuring.
Iontach (author) on March 09, 2012:
Hey Mbwalz, thanks for the comment.
Yes it indeed has a name! Unfortunately it does happen when it's too hot. I keep the window open all night even if I'm cold, just to make sure I don't get SP. Overtime you get used to SP and can probably figure a way out of it.
MaryBeth Walz from Maine on March 08, 2012:
Wow, this hub came up randomly the other day and I say, OMG, that's what I experience! Wow, I didn't realize it even had a name. I have never seen anything bad, I just experience an alternative reality. Like my kids come in and talk to me or I can hear the tv downstairs, my husband cooking in the kitchen. I get them when I nap in the afternoon. The only thing I have found that might induce them is that I'm too hot. They creep me out! But knowledge helps and now I'm ok with it. Thanks for writing this!
Iontach (author) on February 27, 2012:
Hi Jakebrap! Welcome to hubpages. Cheers for the compliment :D I'll check yours out later, would like to read your stories.
Jakebrap from Liverpool, UK on February 27, 2012:
I knew I'd regret searching for a subject that I've just written about :P Yours is much better written than mine.
Brilliant hub anyway :] such an interesting subject.
Iontach (author) on February 20, 2012:
Hi Mabel, thanks so much for your lovely comment.
I feel you and your husbands pain! Thankfully though once you know the triggers of your SP then you can manage it.:) It's very odd that he is able to shout during SP, are you sure it's SP? Make sure that when you wake him you get him to sit up and shake it off as its so easy to fall back into SP. Best of luck to you both and, even though I'm not a professional, if you would like to ask any questions feel free to contact me.
mabel on February 20, 2012:
great.. thank you so much! you're such a HELP to us. because,i'm struggling to find how to solve this kind of sleep syndrome of my husband. and i don't know what to do when nights comes and he's shouting for help,the sounds of his shout are scary to me. i panic to wake him up,and he is so hard to wake up. Thank you so so much,now i knew what to do. God bless YOU.
Julian on January 15, 2012:
A couple years back, I woke up from a nightmare and my body was paralyzed, like something was holding me down. I guess I was still in sleep paralysis. As I woke up, I heard this extremely loud lion/demon roar in both my ears. It sounded like a mix between a lion, a human and a demon all in one. It was terrifying! Like something was holding me down and screaming in my ears! I struggled to regain movement in my body and finally did, and the roar subsided. I got up, terrified, and looked up at my blinds and saw all these little white dots form into different shapes and then into a sailing ship on my blinds. It looked like a ship made out of stars. It was beautiful, but I was still scared. I shook my head and it vanished. Needless to say, I was completely terrified. I think I had this experience because I was doing a lot of drugs at the time and doing things I knew I shouldn't be doing. I had a guilty conscience. Perhaps some kind of demon visited me or something. I don't know.
l on September 19, 2011:
no i was dreaming that. then when i felt paralyzed i realized what was happening.
but yeah, im pretty sure it was sleep paralysis.
Iontach (author) on September 19, 2011:
Hello there Wow. Thanks for your comment!
So you were moving and eating in paralysed state? Sounds like a pretty weird encounter to me but are you sure it was SP?
You're certainly lucky it wasn't a scary one! They affect you for a long time tbh. Always afraid to go asleep, but thankfully I dont seem to get them that often and when I do they are nothing like they used to be.
wow on September 19, 2011:
thats an insane experience you had there, non of mine were ever that bad. mine were all more realistic...
like in my life.
the one i just had was just me eating pizza, and saw a white easter bunny chocolate hidden, and then i was paralyzed, and then the phone rang, but i couldn't move, and then my bf came in to help me..
that was all in my experience
what actually happened was.. i wasn't eating pizza, my phone isn't in service, and my bf went to work.., and its no where close to being easter.
so its kinda weird, but im glad im not getting any scary ones, out of all the times i've had SP never a scary encounter. but even still im scared as hec. everytime.
Iontach (author) on September 16, 2011:
Hi Jamie Brock! Thanks for the long comment!
You're lucky you dont see anything when it happens, i make it a rule to not open my eyes now.
Do you have trouble breathing and do you go into a panicked state also?
Jamie Brock from Texas on September 15, 2011:
Great hub! I have had the same thing except I don't see anything scary. Its as if I'm asleep and have a dream that I'm awake and paralyzed in my bed. While this happens I see my room how it would be if I were awake at night with lights out. Almost as if I can see my dark room yet I'm asleep..The scary thing is I can not move or talk or anything no matter how hard I try. The fan that I keep on at night also seems extra loud when this happens. I usually wake up right afterwards kind of freaked out and think I'm glad that was a dream. It feels like my mind is awake but my body is asleep.
One night this happened several times..I would go to sleep feel paralyzed, wake up, go back to sleep, feel paralyzed and wake up again. It was scary.. I think it stopped after the third time.
RandomLife from Nashville TN on January 18, 2011:
Yes, I have actually experienced this myself. Fortunately not very many times because I found it disturbing to say the least.
Iontach (author) on January 18, 2011:
Thanks for your comment W.K. Hayes!
I'm glad I helped :) If I find any new ways of waking myself up I'll put it into this Hub.
I had an episode 2 nights ago and I tried to calm myself down but i was so angry so I shouted 'wake up right now!'in my mind of course, and thankfully I woke up straight away. I was so happy with myself, normally it takes longer.
W K Hayes from Bryson City, North Carolina on January 18, 2011:
As a fellow sufferer of Sleep Paralysis, I can hoestly say, this is not a pelasant experience, at all. Normally, I have these expereinces sometimes, two and three times a week. During those episodes, almost anything can happen.
The only time I do have a problem with this is when I'm trying to wake up from a nightmare. Even then, I always told myself, "What can I do?" Thanks to you, now I have a better idea of what that answer is.
Needless to say, I am glad I found your article about this subject.
For the longest time, I thought it was just me. Great Article!
Iontach (author) on January 17, 2011:
Cheers RandomLife, I'm glad you did. :) It's enjoyable to read but is not enjoyable when it happens! lol
RandomLife from Nashville TN on January 17, 2011:
I really enjoyed this! =)
Iontach (author) on January 16, 2011:
Awww Cheers Ikisoi! That's very nice of you. You're probably one of 3 people in my life who told me i can write. lol Not many people give me that compliment.
Isaac Kisoi from Nairobi on January 16, 2011:
Hey , you really can write, nice nice stuff! keep it up!!
Iontach (author) on January 13, 2011:
Hay Emily! Yes you really have to control what you think, as when it wanders so does the experience. If you imagine a demon there, then one might turn up :( *shivers...*
I'm not the religious type but I did try praying! It's good for calming you down and making you feel more secure. :)
Emily40 on January 13, 2011:
Hey this was interesting and I myself learn something too "never let you mind wander"! My pastor was telling us the same thing. When those demons start attacking,its good to say a prayer, it works for me!
Iontach (author) on January 11, 2011:
Ah thanks Akycrawler! Means a lot, seriously :)
Sure go ahead and write one on Sleep Paralysis, we can compete, lol.
akycrawler on January 11, 2011:
Great Hub.......I had thought about writing a hub using the same keywords until I noticed your article. You did a great job and look forward to reading more of your interesting work.
Nell Rose from England on January 03, 2011:
Hi, I take ages going to sleep now, I tend to read in bed and do a mantra, then lay on my side, touchwood, it seems to work!
Iontach (author) on January 03, 2011:
Ha ha, that's true Nell, great minds alright. ;) To be honest I can't remember where I got the idea to write this...It could possibly be from the questions..
I was just up really late at night and was slightly apprehensive about sleeping, so maybe that's were I got it from. I find it mad the way there are so many people with this problem! I'm gona go check out your hub now and read about your experiences. :)
Nell Rose from England on January 03, 2011:
Hi, great minds thing alike! I just wrote a hub about this! did you get the idea from the questions? I did and he still hasn't bothered reading it yet! ha ha seriously though, if it helps then it is great, cheers nell
Iontach (author) on December 29, 2010:
Cheers David! Well I hope it's good info. since I suffer from the awful thing every now and then :( Hopefully not tonight. Generally when I talk about it before I go to bed, I get it as well, I think that's psychological.
david stillwagon on December 29, 2010:
Good advice on sleep paralysis and the pictures were great!