Sleep paralysis 


Who is affected?

It is difficult to know exactly how many people are affected by sleep paralysis, but it is thought about 6% of the population will experience at least one episode during their lifetime.

Although sleep paralysis can affect people of all ages, it is more common in teenagers and young adults. Men and women are equally affected.

Sleep tips for teenagers

Follow these practical hints and tips if your teenager has sleep problems.

Sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move or speak that happens when you are waking up or, less commonly, falling asleep.

Although you are awake, your body is briefly paralysed, after which you can move and speak as normal. The paralysis can last from a few seconds to several minutes.

Sleep paralysis does not cause you any harm, but being unable to move can be very frightening.

Some people have sleep paralysis once or twice in their life, while others experience it a few times a month or more regularly.

Read about the symptoms of sleep paralysis.

What causes sleep paralysis?

It is normal for your muscles to be paralysed at certain times when you are asleep. Sleep paralysis occurs when the mechanism that causes your muscles to relax during sleep temporarily persists after you have woken up.

Sleep paralysis can sometimes be a symptom of narcolepsy. This is a relatively rare sleep disorder that causes a person to fall asleep suddenly and unexpectedly, disrupting their normal sleep pattern.

Other things that increase your risk of sleep paralysis include:

  • sleep deprivation
  • irregular sleeping patterns
  • age – it is more common in teenagers and young adults

Read more about the causes of sleep paralysis.

Getting help

If you have sleep paralysis, your GP may be able to suggest ways you can improve your sleep.

If your symptoms are linked to another sleep-related condition, such as narcolepsy, your GP may be refer you to a sleep disorder specialist (see below).

Treating sleep paralysis

The symptoms of sleep paralysis can often be improved by altering your sleep habits and sleeping environment.

Sleep paralysis often affects people who are sleep deprived, so ensuring you get enough sleep may reduce the number of episodes you have. Most adults need 6-8 hours of sleep each night.

Going to bed at roughly the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning may also help.

Read more about how to improve your sleep habits.

If your sleep paralysis is particularly severe, see your GP. They may refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist.

A short course of antidepressant medication, such as clomipramine, may be prescribed to treat severe sleep paralysis.

Read more about treatment for sleep paralysis.

Page last reviewed: 08/11/2012

Next review due: 08/11/2014


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The 79 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

HJ4456 said on 26 November 2014

I attempted again and again to speak, with no luck. My head tilted back to the centre and I could then feel arms and hands around me. They felt long and thin & squiggly (alien / gargoyle like again), I was trying to push my own hands together and move them up into view of my eyes (as I could no longer move my head), all the time my eyes only slightly opened. Every time I put my hands together, it was one of my hands and the other was the creatures hand. On one occasion I did try to bend the creatures hand all the way back to hurt it, however nothing happened, it just bent and then went back to my hand again. The creatures arms and hands were then wrapping around my body, I could feel more than one pair, possibly more than two pairs. I knew in my SP that I had to wake up, I kept thinking to myself this is lasting for ages and I need to wake up, why can’t I get out of this? I was trying my best to relax, to let the actions take place so that it would end, but every time I relaxed and “went with it”, I fell back into yet another. Nothing seemed to work, nothing. This is how I woke up... My phone received an email and woke me up - thank GOD!! I got straight out of bed, looked at the time (13:30) and then started researching sleep paralysis (SP). In my dream state, my dreams, they were always about me getting up, going downstairs, doing things in the house and then back into bed where I was trapped.

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HJ4456 said on 26 November 2014

It wasn’t the first time it had happened, but this by far was the worst episode of sleep paralysis I have ever had. It lasted for well over an hour. I kept falling in and out, between dreaming and SP. In my awake state, I was downstairs watching TV. I was nodding off so decided I would go upstairs to bed to have a nap. This was at 11am. I got comfy, laid on my back with 3 pillows (so I weren’t fully flat). I heard our builder pull up outside our house. I could not get out of bed. I could hear him chatting to somebody outside and then I fell back to sleep. I woke up again knowing I had to get up and go downstairs but I could not move. In and out of SP and dreaming (I cannot say how many times, but it was 10+). In my SP’s I could feel something gargoyle / alien like to my left, and after a few attempts I did mange to turn my hand in that direction, my eyes were not fully open so my vision was blurred and not very clear. I could tell something was there, it was small and grey and as I was trying to work out what this was, I got the feeling something was to my right. Again after a couple of attempts I managed to turn my head back and to my right. This thing was a bit bigger than the one on my left, it was stood by the side of the bed and I could not lift my head to see the top of it, see it’s face I presume. I was looking at it for ages, trying to workout what this thing looking at me was (I could tell it was just starring at me), my eyes blurred it was difficult. I tried to speak to it, however when I spoke nothing came out, I tried and tried and to my surprise after a while I manged to speak in a very quiet muffled voice, I asked the creature “what do you want?”. After I managed to say this my nose air way blocked up and I could no longer breath through my nose, I could still breath through my mouth (so this is what I did)... TBC

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R13AAH said on 13 November 2014

Hello, I am 43 years old and have suffered from SP since I was 16. Over the last year, I have had some of the most terrifying experiences of my life! Some example are:

- The Salem's Lot Vampire forming from a black cloak on my bedroom floor into the fully fledged vampire right in front of my eyes while I am awake (but paralysed).
- Being sound asleep while lying on my front to be woken by someone suddenly jumping on my back and feeling their hands going around and squeezing my throat.
- Being woken up by someone throwing my duvet off me, grabbing my ankles and dragging me off my bed and dragging me around my bedroom while I am screaming for my other half to help me.
- Only last night, I woke up with an almighty jolt as it felt like I was punched full force in the mouth, when my eyes opened, I could see a fist coming towards my face again and again!

It starts with a whirring noise in my head, my eyes open and then it starts.

On the bright side, I have had some lovely experiences though. I love it when I have my flying episodes when I levitate above my bed and rotate mid air. I also have a 'magic sponge' where, if I run in a circle fast enough, I slowly levitate off the ground and can fly!!!

The SP seems so real but I tell myself it's not real and I try and bring myself around. I can understand how people think they are being possessed by spirits or abducted by Aliens, until I knew what it was in my late 20's, I thought I was a right freak!!

I am a twin and she also suffers with SP but not as frequently as me.

Just remember that when it happens, try to stay calm and not to panic - tell yourself over and over that it's not real and that you are imagining it all and reassure yourself that you can't be hurt and you won't come to any harm and it will be over very soon.

I hope in some small way this has helped and to let you know that you are not alone with your suffering xx

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Dspinks94 said on 05 November 2014

Thebzax - I'm new to this so I don't know how to comment on your post or whether this is even possible...

Either way; after reading your post, I can tell you now you are experiencing exactly what I am myself. It almost always comes from a nightmare.

Before all of this started happening I tended to wake up when a nightmare got too scary, where as now I stay in it for a good few more seconds then I'd like.

Last night I was in a nightmare with my girlfriend and we were in a field (almost pitch black), stroking goats and feeding them grass, when suddenly they all started going crazy and trying to headbutt us.. At this point I was rather enjoying the dream.. But then there was a very loud scream and I turned round to see a devilish creature reaching for me.. Normally I'd of woken up but I was completely paralyzed, and she kept coming and coming.. It was just awful (ha ha !)... I thought I was screaming and shouting in real life, but it just wasn't happening.

I wake up from these nightmares in shock yet I can easily go back to sleep.. I just am too scared to go through another nightmare or to be paralyzed again!

Any advice other than changing sleep pattern/cutting down drinking? I'm 20 years old, start work at 05:30am, finish at 03:30pm and sleep around 09:30/10:30pm and sleeping any earlier than that is a struggle for me.. And I love a few pints.

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Thebzax said on 01 November 2014

I have this, it's developed over the last few years, after I started suffering with depression and anxiety. Sleep paralysis is terrifying for me; it usually occurs at the end of a nightmare for me. It used to be, during dreams, if I squeezed my eyes and then attempted to open them, I could wake myself up from nightmares. Now however, I "wake up" and am paralysed. This was bad enough, but over the last few months I'm having false awakenings, like the episode I had today where I "woke" from my nightmare, could clearly see my bedroom around me, but I was paralysed and the dream continued... I could still hear the "demon" speaking to me and then I was dragged through my bedroom wall and everything went static-y, like a TV set (obviously my dream continued!). This then stopped and I could see my room again, but trying to move my hands or speak was fruitless. Quite often my paralysed "dream" self will panic and scream for help (in the past i have experienced family members "walking into" my room but its been part of the dream) but obviously no sound comes out.

This is really traumatising me, particularly cause I can't find any other SP sufferers who seem to experience anything similar? If anyone can reassure me I'm not going mad or actually being hunted by demons I'd appreciate it :p

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Goleap said on 30 October 2014

I am 50 and have suffered with this all my life. The frequency of episodes vary greatly, sometimes daily and sometimes weekly with occasional gaps for weeks at a time. Despite having hundreds of these episodes I still wake from them feeling frightened with my heart beating very fast. I often feel the presence of someone being in the room with me and even pushing down on my mattress. Being overly tired is a trigger for me or going to bed with my mind very active can lead to an episode. Sleeping on my side is helpful and I avoid sleeping on my tummy at all costs as having an episode in this position leads to an overwhelming feeling of being suffocated by my pillow and is terrifying. I have realised that I have been able to control my breathing whilst paralysed and have used this to alert my partner... I can even use my breathing to make noises which whilst annoy my partner it does mean that I can raise the alarm and she can then wake me which is not always easy. I have suffered in silence for many years and wondered whether there were indeed any other sufferers. Knowing there are others is a great relief to me as I often wondered whether my condition was some kind of prelude to something like lock-in syndrome... I so feared that one day I would not be able to wake and I would be left in this state forever fighting against myself to wake up.

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Colourhergreen said on 16 October 2014

I am 30yrs old and I have had this sleep disorder since I was about 17. It's like I am awake after being asleep but I can't move, talk etc. usually I feel like someone is in the room or walking in- I struggle to wake but I can't! When I fianlly wake, I am so frightened! Initially I was embarrassed by it for many years and didn't really know how to explain it to people without freaking them out and so I didn't speak about! I was so worried about it happening when I got married and so when it did I really started proper research on it! Sometimes I can have 1-2 episodes a week and other times I can go for months without having one. I also had a few whilst pregnant :(. When I have an episode I relax my muscles and remain calm-I don't try to struggle and panic to wake up because I have found that makes matters worse. I relax and then I attempt to wake up and move as normal-if it doesn't work the first time, I relax and attempt again calmly! 9/10 of times it works

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burgs68 said on 10 October 2014

I am 46, just and over the last 6 months I have been suffering from what I know now as sleep paralysis. Looking at the symptoms, Mr issue is stress after my marriage breakdown, but it is a scary thing, the first time around March was so strange, I was by myself just gone to bed at my brothers house and was drifting off to sleep, when I felt this weird feeling come over my and then I was frozen, could not move or speak., since then it's happened once or twice a month until this week, it's happened every night, it's always at night when I'm going to sleep, never in the morning. Guess I will see how it goes before I have to see a doctor!

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cmros1 said on 01 October 2014

I'm a 33 year old man & have a very complex medical situation but I've experienced sleep paralysis multiple times& the first time was horrifying, the multiple times since were also horrifying but not as bad as the first time. One of my sisters has experienced it also & advised me to open my eyes or even just move my eyeballs around. The first time I tried it worked great but the second time I wasn't able to open my eyes or move them until I tried several times & it was terrible! So if you experience it again you can try opening or just moving your eyes. Not trying to get spiritual or anything, I'm not the most spiritual person but one time I prayed not really expecting it to work but it did. I hope it never happens again...

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Xlivcmx said on 28 August 2014

I'm 18 and have experienced sleep paralysis for about three years. I almost get it every night and have experienced a man screaming in my face twice and a women lying next to me staring. I don't know if anyone else has had this but it's scary and I really get scared to the point were I don't want to sleep. Or if I have a episode I wake up and stay awake because I'm that scared to experience it again. Has anyone got any advice or who has been through the same thing?

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JSPC91 said on 21 August 2014

I am 22 and have suffered from this since I was about 18. Lately it has been occurring more frequently, this morning's episode is my third since January. I have experienced it whilst falling asleep and waking up. In this case I was going back to sleep to enjoy a lie in when I suddenly felt this tingly wave wash over me and just like that I couldn't move.

My eyes were shut so I couldn't see anything but I could feel my sheets and hear other people moving around my house. Now the scariest part for me is not being able to breathe, I don't know how common this is for people who get sleep paralysis but it's a part of it every time for me and it really makes me panic. I can feel myself trying but there is little to no air being inhaled as my lungs won't move properly. It lasted for about a minute and I tried rocking from side to side until I gradually gained movement and with that, respiration. Rest assured, my lie in was ruined.

It's a relief to see people talking about this openly, the first few times I had it I thought it was a waking nightmare but when it kept happening I needed to know what exactly was going on. If this becomes less frequent with age as this page suggests then that'd be a relief because it is a pretty horrible experience.

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Curious61 said on 16 August 2014

This morning I had what I think was my second episode of SP in my life, the first occuring when I was a teenager. I'm now 52. The first time, I woke up unable to move but felt a 'presence' moving in waves over my duvet. It was so freaky, 30 odd years later I've never forgotten it. This morning I woke up after/during a vivid dream in which there was an irritating buzzing noise (not my alarm clock in case you're wondering). I had no idea whether I was lying on my front, side or back although I tried to fathom it out. Everything was a grey fog around me, I couldn't feel myself breathing but there was no pain/gasping as I didn't feel I was in my body. After what felt like a long time, but was probably only a matter of 10 or 15 seconds, the fog lifted and I 'came back' to my body. I had been asleep for an unusually long time (about 9 hours) having gone to bed at around 1 a.m. (not unusual for a Friday), I'd only had a glass of wine with dinner & about a litre of beer spread out over the evening.

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xCasslulu said on 11 August 2014

In a way, I am so relieved I have been able to find out about this and see others are also going through it.

Since a young age, I have always quite often woken up but I can't move or anything. I constantly scream and scream because I feel trapped and like I try and force myself out of it for ages by trying my hardest to move. It is so scary, and I have been so scared since I was really young but I've only ever mentioned it to one person. I never wanted to tell anyone or even the doctors because I was just scared that it would sound silly or something.

Coming across this page, it has really made me feel better about it. I would really like to talk to others who this happens to - so if those willing to talk, please contact me.

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Diesel7773 said on 23 July 2014

Hi , im 36 and been having episodes since i was 20. Everything said rings true with me too. Sometimes you feel so scared you think your going mad!! Don't worry :) so many suffer this and its good to talk about it with those that have the same experiences.
To list a a few i get.. full body tingling or tremors just before drifting off including the sound of a high pitched frequency, dragged out of bed, the sense of a distant dread or evil force, entities, children (nice ones though and they usually are playing or smiling stood next to the bed) a weight bouncing on the bed, voices, footsteps, running footsteps, flying around your home or even outside (these are quite nice), OBE's, weight on the chest, gasping to breath.. Very terrifying. Sometimes if you feel you go off flying it feels like something pushes really hard you fly back into your body and you wake up.
I find it happens more when you sleep on your back. So try to sleep in the fetal position if you can. Even watch a short 15 minute meditation session off youtube which can help before bedtime. If you feel the onset.. the ringing or trembling through your body, sit up and distract yourself doing something nice for 15-20 mins and try to relax.
Hope this helps those who are seeking some comfort from hearing others like us having to go though this as well. (For those who are spiritual or open minded - look up OBE's, Lucid dreaming, astral projection you may also find some comfort ) Take care and your not mad!!

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lisab223 said on 17 July 2014

ive suffered a few times with sleep paralysis but this time it was different it felt like someone was bouncing the bed near my feet trying to wake me, up straight after i entered a sleep paralysis episode with ringing in my head, unable to move,breathe or speak.i looked into this and found a lot of people think this is a demon, however i do not believe this as the day before this happened it was my uncles birthday(who died over a yr ago at a young age and sudden) and that i was in the park just meters from the house he died in. i believe he followed me home that day and tried to wake me the nxt mornin and i believe the ringing was him trying to send me a message. the 1st time this happened i strongly felt like my nanna was with me ( who died when i was young).i do think this is a relative trying to get a message through to the living as youve got to understand it must be frustrating for them as they can see us but we cant see them its hard for them to get a message through as alot of people dont believe they exist. but they do! ive also seen a dark figure shadow at my mums, as a lot of people had seen him before me i didnt see him till i was 19yr old, i told my mum and she said he comes to deliver good news and she was right i got offered a house that mornin and as id just had a baby this was the best news ever. so please dont just assume its the work of demons as i really dont think this is true! i really do believe its our loved ones trying to communicate.

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Dwella said on 01 July 2014

Hello, I was 5 years old when I first had my experience with sleep paralysis of course at 5 years old I didn't know what it was I knew that it scared me. My first experience was very frightening, I can still remember being awake but not able to move there was a very large shadow figure standing in front of my bed, I screamed for my mother but nothing came out of my mouth. when I finally came out of it I told my mother and she said "that's the devil riding your back" so being a 5 year old, I thought the devil was trying to get me. I am now 48 years old and I am still having sleep paralysis, just on Sunday June 29th I had three episodes just when I shake one off another one kicks in. I know when my sleep paralysis is trying to kick in my ears will start ringing very loudly and that's like a warning for me to start moving my leg or my hand to snap out of it and it works for me. My sleep paralysis never went away they come at least twice a week. I don't really like to talk about it because know one understands what I am talking about and sometimes I feel as though people might think I am crazy. I can tell you that having this sleep paralysis for 43 years I am still scared to death of it. I feel like if I let it happen and not try to snap out of it I will never wake up. I did tell my healthcare provider and he gave me sleeping pills that I refuse to take. Its a battle for me at bedtime and if its the devil riding my back i will keep fighting because the devil cant have my soul.

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Debra dingles said on 29 June 2014

Mine began at 16 very frightening felt like i was being crushed in my bed and almost smothered felt paniced by something saw things that was not really their and had a horrid noise in my head like machines working loudly woke up with a dry mouth unable to move through out this whole episode awful ,,,happens very rarely these days comes on when i am over tired or sleep deprived.

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Robbie123 said on 28 June 2014

I've been experiencing sleep paralysis for nearly a year now. It happens every 2 weeks. Sometimes twice in one night. All of my experiences have been a little different to each other. Last month I woke in sleep paralysis and was completely paralysed but could only move my eyes. I saw a dark shadowy figure in the corner of my room. I tried to shout but I couldn't speak. I started to panic and breathe faster as this figure came towards me. Eventually after twiddling my finger tips and toes I broke free and jumped up. Obviously there was no one there. The other night I had been asleep for only 20 minutes and I awoke paralysed and I thought something was pushing down on my back and this made it very hard to move. Like I said this happens regularly and it's got to the point where I try to avoid sleep altogether. Like now I am writing this and it is 3am. I try my best to not sleep which I know I shouldn't do but it's the only way to not face them horrible things! Has anyone got any ideas or tips for me? How to try and prevent it? Good quick ways to break out of sleep paralysis instead of sitting there for a few minutes with fear that cannot be explained. If you haven't experienced this you don't understand. People say to just go to sleep earlier and it'll be fine. They've never experienced it so this is why I am asking for any help? I will appreciate it very much. God knows what will happen if I continue with more sleepless nights

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ellishama said on 19 June 2014

I've been suffering from this on and off for about 10 years. I found the information quite interesting - especially the fact that it could be triggered by irregular sleeping patters.
My experiences tend to involve me trying to wake up but I am able to move my eyes and monitor my surroundings but i feel completely paralysed. I also find that I struggle to breath and it almost feels as though someone is holding me down.
I am definitely going to go to the doctors as it is quite a scary sensation and due to the fear of having that same thing whilst waking up I find that I avoid sleep altogether.

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kieronkennedy1996 said on 15 May 2014

I've been suffering from sleep paralysis for about 12 months now, it's only occurred 3 times in that time but they were all scary, the first time it happened i woke up in a bit of a panic and tried moving but I couldn't quite move and their was a sort of fuzzy noise and it kept getting louder and when it finally stopped I heard noises downstairs it sounded like people talking/shouting I thought it was just my mum but it wasn't seen as no one was at home, I tried shouting asking if it was my mum then every thing went back to normal I was in shock and was still very shakey
Kieron Kennedy aged 17

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Bumbleandsir said on 07 May 2014

Hi, I have just come out of hospital and was on a combination of pain killers and sedatives. I woke up in a nightmare, where I couldn't move, I had a black humanoid creature sitting on my chest, I knew this as even though he had a duvet over my face, I was also watching from above. The room was filled with hundreds of beds all with one of these creatures sitting on the chests of each occupant, clawing at the faces of their victims. I knew I was dreaming and my brain was telling me to wake up and it would stop, but I couldn't move or speak, even though I tried screaming! I found I could move only my hands and slapped and scratched at my own face and neck to try and wake myself up, I even tried to reach for my bedside light to turn it on. All the time this creature was trying to suffocate me! I eventually came too and was cowering in the corner of my bedroom..........I was so terrified it took me an hour to properly calm down and realise this was just a nightmare. I googled night terrors and it led me to sleep paralysis and I was relieved to read, although weird it was nothing sinister, but the drugs I was taking and my experience was fairly typical. Although when I woke I actually had scratch marks at me throat. I have nightmares from time to time but this was without a doubt the most terrifying experience of my life, I hope to never experience another! But relieved when I read the causes behind it and why it can occur..

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nightdrop said on 06 April 2014

Only recently i started having sleep paralysis falling asleep. The first time it was scary as hell because I was making up scary songs, trying to fall asleep, and the moment before it happened, the lyrics in my head were "And he is here!", lol. And suddenly i felt cold air falling with force on my body and my ears started buzzing and i couldn't breath. It felt kinda good if may say. Like bunjee jumping sorta feeling. The first time it happened three times, and i always knew it was coming. Now whenever it happens, while i feel paralyzed, i always move my toes so i wont feel the air part. It may feel good, but it's still scary. Well, i guess that's what happens when you utterly destroy your sleeping patterns.

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adamjustin said on 03 April 2014

Don't be so fast to doubt your experiences and see them as normal because this doesn't happen to everyone. Nowadays we are so quick to say that odd occurrences are all in our heads. When we're falling asleep we can be vulnerable to the paranormal, science can help explain what our brains are doing but it isn't just in our brains, try and be more openminded. Every story here envolves a voice or sound, not the same as everyone else and the feeling of being held down and a presence, chances are something or someone is trying to get your attention. There's a reason you feel frightened because it's not a natural thing to hear disembodied voices or sounds. Try not to be scared and welcome these experiences because they make you unique. Very few people are sensitive to their surroundings like you and when your half asleep you're extra sensitive to what's around you, they're always around us we just choose to ignore them. Feel comfort in knowing that you might be a conduit to the physical world these spirits left behind, and most are just looking for help, or to connect with someone again. Good luck

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Nicktd1992 said on 29 March 2014

Hello this happened to me for the first time tonight, But I feel this was different most people say they were experiencing this trying to awake. My intentions were to sleep. I was dreaming normally about sitting on a couch around people I didn't know watching a movie then some noise started faint to loud immediately I was in my bed aware of my surroundings I could see everything but the noise was still there it felt like there was a presence in my room as it felt like cold air was rushing past my body but also pressure being pushed on my chest. I couldn't move my arms or legs I tried opening my mouth but couldn't. I tried so hard to wake myself up finally I moved my leg but soon after I was pushed back into it the sounds and pressure on the chest came back. I finally awoke myself from this and was very paranoid of everything in my room. I have never felt so scared in my life until now this is truly fear..

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Tween2014 said on 25 March 2014

I've been having what I think is this for nearly a year now. It's very hard to explain. It happens mainly as I'm going to sleep, I am very aware I'm asleep but reality and sleep become hard to tell between. My eyes feel like there glued shut and I can't speak. My words are slurred. I feel like one second I'm in my nightmare but I'm confused as to what is real, the next I'm lay back in my bed I can see the room but I'm fighting to open my eyes or shout for help. I happens now so often I'm afraid to fall asleep. This is my catch 22. Does anyone know if it could be dietary or something I'm having that could be making it worse as my doctor is useless and brushes it off as bad dreams. It's much much worse. Thank you!

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Montaova69 said on 15 March 2014

Hello I'm 17 years old. I thought i had nightmares but i realized that I'm having sleep paralysis. I just woke up from 5 sleep paralysis a row, It happens to me when i try sleep i close my eyes it as scaches me i cant move or talk for about 10 seconds then i try to wake up . Last time it happened i was sleeping in back but this time i was lain in my right arm. It hasn't happened in months but it happened now and it got serious. These days I'm sleeping a lot, and i'm having antibiotics i don't know witch is causing it .

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rach69 said on 03 March 2014

Hi everyone i just was reading some of the posts and i can deffinitly relate too meny of you. When i was in my mid teans i was having these episodes of sleeping but being awake. sitting up starring into the darkness seing orbs and feeling a weird ,scary feelig. I would eventually be able to move my body but wile this happend i was completly still and wasnt able to move. I had this happend a few times. Sometimes i would just be laying flat and only could open my eyes. I was only able to think of how scared i was and that was it. It was hard to remember exactly when all happemd during these episodes but i new deep down they were signs of trouble. They stopped after a year and i only had it happen a hanf full of time through this year. Last night for the first time in 10 years i had this exsperiance. Im 26 now and havent had any of these episodes in a long time. I woke up hearing a buzzing ,zip like noise. It was deffintly not of anything i ever heard. I actually could sence it before it. happend and it was the oddest thing ever. After the ringing bzzing noise i felt something on my chest ttying to scare me. It wasnt nice at all and it was a horrible exsperiance .way worse then when i was a teen. I couldnt move my body and this happend for almost an hour it felt. i cant believe this is coming back and so powerful why is did this happend.

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Mer123 said on 26 February 2014

I experienced what i think was sleep paralysis for the first time waking up from a nap today and it was very frightening. I dont know if my eyes were open but i could see and look around my room in my mind as if my eyes were open. I tried to move my arms but couldnt and felt like i was thrashing my arms about and trying desperately to get out of bed. I felt a weird pressure and almost tingly sensation in my upper arms. I started screaming at the top of my lungs for help. I slowly felt like i was waking up but it felt like i was jolting in and out of two worlds (sounds odd but only way to explain it) and then i woke up and ran into my flatmates room and asked if she could hear me screaming, to which she said she had heard nothing. I had a weird achy/heavy sensation in my upper arms for about 30 minutes afterwards.
I work night shifts 3 times a week and am a student in my final year of uni so have a very irregular sleeping pattern maybe this is the cause? About to go to bed now and im very scared it will happen again as it was one of the most terrifying things ive experienced.

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Ash ayah said on 22 February 2014

Idk if this would be it.... But sometimes I fall asleep and ik what sorta causes them is my nightmares but mine are very physical sorta. I will wake up half asleep and see whatever is scaring me in like real life or the world and at that moment I get soo scared I usally have physical recations I usally kick and scream and run out my room. Know depending on what it is tonight I woke up to a half dead person trying to kill me. I screamed and kick and ran out my room.... Thing is I get soooo scared that I go into shock intill someone takes me but tonight no one up and these ppl sleep heavy I spent 1 hour in the living scared, crying rocking and singing to myself for an hour..... I do not Rember very much just rembered being very very very scared...... Looking back ik it not real but at the moment I get sooo scared I go into a panic attack to the point I go into shock..... N idk if that normal or of it this.....

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Rigera said on 13 February 2014

I am experiencing this 'Sleep paralyse' since i was a young boy. what i noticed trough the years is that when it actually happens and you are really trying to wake up, you actually wake up. also.. you are only hallucinating about the things you think of.. so when you think about a nice sunny day with other nice things you will see that.
I know its hard to do that because its really frightening to be unable to move. A good way to prevent the sleep paralyse from my experience is taking the medicine "Melatonine" it will encourage your ability to fall asleep naturally.

Sorry for my bad english as it is not my native language :-)

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Yaseen1989 said on 13 February 2014

I had this few days ago.I was about to ask my friend to move my body but couldn't speak and then I forced alot to move my body.
When i was a child, my mother told me about this as it happened to her and she adviced me not sleep full straight, even if you sleep your hands and legs shoudn't be staright like a dead body, as one of the reason is when you sleep straight, your blood stops in your whole body,when blood stop in any part of the body that cause the body part to sleep. so if you want to be careful, donot sleep fully straight.


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msmeme said on 06 February 2014

I'm 27 and only had this happen a handful of times but every time has been a memorable experience actually. First it starts with a non painful and strange pounding sensation at the top of my head and my vision starts to fade to black - yet I experience flashing sensations - and my body feels heavy to the point where i can't seem to sit up. This has happened as I've been waking up or awake in the morning and falling back to sleep. It has been scary and since I didn't know what was happening to me (I thought I could have been dying) I've been successful in forcing my body awake again by using all my might to open my eyes and move my body (trying to turn over or sit up). Yet a few times when I've relaxed, the experience resulted in me beginning to dream very realistically...almost convinced as if i were physically a part of the dream (yet my eyes were closed and my dreams don't involve what's in the room). Perhaps this is a "vision". Some of these comments here tell of scary hallucinations. If possible, try closing your eyes and thinking about something nice. Sorry to hear of your experiences. Minus one time where I dreamt I was trapped (with the feeling i wan't alone) in a bed (not my bed) on my back, the 2 other ones I can remember were beautiful and exciting.

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Nikki_92 said on 20 January 2014

I'm 21 and I suffered this for the first time last night. It felt like someone was in my room and I could hear loads people screaming at me to get up, but I couldn't. My fist were clenched and my face was buried in my pillow so I couldn't breathe or couldn't move. I was trying to scream but nothing was coming out ! Im So scared to go to sleep again just incase it happens again ! But glad to hear its not just me

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medicalman said on 19 January 2014

I am suffer from sleep paralysis a lot and most of the time its just hypnagogic hallucinations. These hallucinations cause a vibration sensation or the sensation of someone hitting me with force. I've had the full on paralysis before and I can't deny its very scary. First of all you wake up, naturally you want to move but you can't its like you are stuck with a crippling feeling of inpending doom and panic. You try to scream but you can't and then come the hallucinations. They are horrible as you feel that there is a presence in the room, you hear voices and see things, the last thing I saw during the episode was a page in a book with writing on it. It goes in its own time but the best way I felt to making the process quicker is to first of all control your breathing get it to a calm pace, then start to try and move one part of your body like your toes or a leg (leg works the best for me). After trying to move your leg this sends a message to the part of the brain which is still asleep waking it up allowing you to fully move.

So yes it is very scary but you should never panic as this makes the situation worse.

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medicalman said on 19 January 2014

I am suffer from sleep paralysis a lot and most of the time its just hypnagogic hallucinations. These hallucinations cause a vibration sensation or the sensation of someone hitting me with force. I've had the full on paralysis before and I can't deny its very scary. First of all you wake up, naturally you want to move but you can't its like you are stuck with a crippling feeling of inpending doom and panic. You try to scream but you can't and then come the hallucinations. They are horrible as you feel that there is a presence in the room, you hear voices and see things, the last thing I saw during the episode was a page in a book with writing on it. It goes in its own time but the best way I felt to making the process quicker is to first of all control your breathing get it to a calm pace, then start to try and move one part of your body like your toes or a leg (leg works the best for me). After trying to move your leg this sends a message to the part of the brain which is still asleep waking it up allowing you to fully move.

So yes it is very scary but you should never panic as this makes the situation worse.

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Mizzz said on 16 January 2014

This has happened to me numerous times already and I know it may not make any sense but personally, I find that what causes this for me is when I sleep with my arms, legs and whole body in a completely straight position, moreso when I have had a very stressful or exhausting day.

To me this somehow explains death in sleep. I think that the terror of what sufferers go through during a state of sleep paralysis could cause a sudden heart attack for those with weak hearts.

in my experience, it is important that if one is suffering from sleep paralysis, that he should persevere to move his body by starting with his toes or fingers. The last time I experienced this was in summer 2012. I have been making sure since that I make it a point to bend an arm or a leg or bend my body when going to sleep and I guess this has so far been working for me. And I always, always made sure I said a prayer of thanks after :-)

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Annabelle1990 said on 14 January 2014

Hey, I´m 23, just turn last August 2013

Both of mine felt like there was a presence in my room, flipping scary but it’s happened to me twice now, but tonight I woke up at 4am a little freaked, but I was so tired I needed to go back to sleep. So I got some water and went back to bed, as I was drifting of I got a muffling sensation over my ears and a ominous ringing noise, it felt like a hot flush, I tried to open my eyes but couldn’t and found myself fighting it,

Also I tried to make noise/scream but couldn’t make any noise, eventually towards the end I could make a noise. but nowhere like a scream or as loud as I wanted, when I tried to open my eyes this time I could see through the little gap, which ensured me I was awake, where as the first time this happened to me about 2 or 3 nights ago I couldn’t get them open at all.

It felt like I was being over-powered, DONT like it, this was the worst out of the 2 times its happened recently. Until I goggled it and looked at the NHS site I was scared it could have been epilepsy or worse something paranormal.

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wilkopops said on 02 January 2014

I am 22 years old and I first suffered from sleep paralysis when I was 15 years old. It happened almost 3 nights on the trot and I remember asking my mum if the house was haunted because I felt like I was seeing/hearing spirits and it really scared me. Eventually the sleep paralysis turned into the feeling that I was floating outside of my body and floating around room, which was sort of like an 'out of body experience' which was happening most nights. I spoke with my step mum who is quite spiritual and she told me instead of fighting the experience off and being scared of it that I should tell myself to enjoy it when its happening, which at this point was almost every night. So when it happened again, as I'd experienced it many times before, I indeed just told myself not to be scared. Instead of the scared feeling this time, I had an overwhelming feeling of happiness and a high feeling, like I was on top of the world. I would dream that I was flying out of my bedroom window and around the sky and it felt amazing. I don't really get sleep paralysis anymore but when I do, it doesn't scare me. I'd advise anybody who gets this to do the same as me and ride out the experience instead of fighting it.
Good luck!

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Rachel2414 said on 01 January 2014

I'm 24 and have had sleep paralysis for the last year. There seems to be no pattern to my episodes and I can go for months without experiencing anything to weeks where I have a period of sleep paralysis every night - in cases several times in one night.
I was absolutely terrified the first time it happened to me and the episodes lasted for minutes. Since reading this page and others' comments I have felt reassured and I am now able to control my sleep paralysis and come out of it in seconds. I think this is because I am no longer fearful of what is happening to me.
My personal experience is similar to the symptoms detailed by others but it starts with a really loud ringing in both ears usually during a deep sleep. The ringing wakes my mind up but my body stays paralysed until the ringing stops. The paralysis itself does feel like I am being pinned down, which seems to be a common experience shared by others.
I hope that by sharing this others will realise that this condition is not something to be frightened of and has been experienced by many others. With this realisation I'm sure you, like me, will be able to control your sleep paralysis more effectively.
Good luck!

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Tbond03 said on 17 December 2013

I'm 26 and have had sleep paralysis happen to me on a rare occasion now for 10 years. I have found that there is a big link between my last activities before bed and what happens during an episode. I write this after waking from one this morning. Last night I suffered the same thing I would normally do, the feeling that someone is sat on you and my body was sinking into the mattress. However this time I also experienced whispering in my left ear, this was nothing sinister or scary, it was actually about the secret service. Crazy you may think right? But just before bed I was reading a current news story on my news app about how James Bond would be impotent due to the amount of alcohol he consumes. So the 2 were linked.

I also experienced a scarier version when I was younger where I had something growling in my ear, and a dog was running rampant in my room. This felt very real, I could feel every footstep the dog was taking. So what was I doing before bed? I was looking after my uncles 2 new jack russels at the time as they were away on holiday. Again, linked.

I hope this helps anyone understand that depending on what you do, or what think is happening to you can have affect, which is why I guess a lot of people tend to see dark figures or think they are seeing demons, as this is what they believe is happening to them.

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Applecake said on 02 December 2013

I am a 41 year old and have experienced sleep paralysis over a few years now, Im so glad i know what it is now because it so frightening at the time, it happened to me last night and i could feel the presence of someone restricting me and overpowerring me and what was even weirder I heard
like loud growling in my ear, I noticed this happens to me when ive awoke from a sleep and am graduaaly drifting back to sleep, at the time im full sure its the devil or something beside me because i feel the restriction coming at me from a distance, its awful !!!

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beauty36 said on 22 November 2013

i am so happy to get this helpful site. I experienced this yesternite and I was so scared but now I believe I am not dying I need to work on my sleep parterns cos I hardly have enough sleep

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Dayd said on 17 November 2013

Im 18,the sleep paralysis started when i was 15. At first i had two episodes of eye shaking , inability to talk ect in my first year, and i thought it was of ghost , possesed-like events so on my 4th and 5th episode 1 year later i would see scary figures like those associated in scary movies, because i personally thought it was to do with the paranormal.

I then researched into it and to my relief it explained the science behind it. My subconscious created these scary images because i thought it was relating to paranormal. And my first two episodes wasnt associated with these things cuz i didnt think it was 2 do with paramormal until after.

I hvant had one in 8 months cuz i can prevent myself. Heres wat u shuld do: wen u feel ur about to fall asleep dont try 2 open ur eyes or try to wake up again. It will prevent hallucinating and eye shaking and the other stuff. Try wearing a sleeping eye mask . Drink camomile tea before going 2 sleep itll make u sleepy.

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sarahjayne87 said on 16 November 2013

I am 26 and I have experienced sleep paralysis since my early teens. I thought it was just me until doing some research I found this happens to others also! I tend to experience this a few times a month and is always in the middle of the night when I randomly wake up. I cant shout or move and feel im struggling to breathe. It seems to only last for 15seconds or so as I have something to help me come out of it. Whenever I feel the paralysis happening (this may sound strange but works for me!) i get my partners attention by hyperventilating (as unable to shout!) my partner wakes up and gently taps my arm and talks to me until I can move again. It happened to me when my partner was away last night and it carried on for a while and i kept coming in and out of paralysis. I have also found when going through healthy eating and exercise stages I dont seem to experience sleep paralysis that much at all. Hope this helps and glad we are not alone!

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Key_89 said on 13 November 2013

Hi all I'm so glad that other people experience this too. I thought it was just me.. I first had an episode if this when I was a little girl say about 8 it was horrible I literally thought I was going to die! Now I'm older (24) I have an episode at least once a month, sometimes I can go moths without having one, then in some months ill have about 4 continually in the month.
It occurs just when I'm dropping off to sleep I can sense it's about to happen as I can already see myself in the 'dream' if you know what I mean. The episodes differ sometimes there terrifying like getting pulled out of bed by something or getting flung around the room it's really horrible, doors getting flung open etc. when I wake up I'm scared but over time I've just come to terms that nothing happens and it is all in mind.. I do not take anything for it, I've tried lying with my hand slightly pinching my arm to try and wake me up sometimes this works but often always I just wake up

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RM20 said on 02 November 2013

I'm 18 and I occasionally get it. However it's always when i'm trying to sleep instead of when I wake up or in the middle of my sleep.

I can tell it's going to happen when a quiet buzzing starts in my ears, then I literally can't move. The buzzing gets louder and the weight on your chest feels heavier. Everytime I try to move the feeling gets more intense and it's even harder to move. I'm always worried that if I don't fight it and try to 'break free' that i'll slip away to an early death (ridiculous as that sounds) haha.

To break it I normally throw my head in a certain direction and then try to sleep again in half an hour

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rolyne said on 18 October 2013

I am a 34 year old mother of two. I have had this condition since I was a kid, on and off. Although I have never told anyone. I experienced it more when my husband passed away last year, maybe because of the stress. I experienced it yesterday too, I had a bit of a stressful day and couldn't sleep well maybe that's why.

I've always felt it coming; the tingling feeling and noise in my ear, not being able to move or talk. Then I feel like my spirit is leaving me. At first I used to be petrified, but I have learned to relax, and go with the flow. I found that if I did I had wonderful dreams that meant something to me. We are spiritual beings and sometimes that's how you can experience what goes on in the spirit. It never sleeps.

Sometimes though I have had demonic attacks, something pulling me out of bed, or grabbing me and flying away with me at top speed, or being locked up in a space ship like structure, strangled or surrounded by horrific creatures, in these cases I have rebuked them in the name of Jesus and overcome them all the time. I am a christian so I understand the power in the name of Jesus.
One day I just found myself up floating in space. The view was like from an aeroplane. I just focused on getting back in my body. I saw myself back and I did come back. I have always done. I think if you are at peace with God and yourself it's not that terrifying find out how to do that.

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dazzyboy10 said on 12 October 2013

There is one thing I would like to add to my previous comment which I accidentally left out. For anybody who ends up the the situation of actually being paralysed, try to actually think that you are moving yourself from side to side and also try the physical movements too, I found this also helpful even though I understand everyone's situations are different. Just hope this may help a few sufferers.

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dazzyboy10 said on 12 October 2013

Hi there,
I'm 32 and have been experiencing this condition since my early 20's but still to this day I am clueless to how this started. I used to have at least 9 hours sleep a night until I first experienced the paralysis. I was asleep on the sofa and my partner came in and started talking to me. I heard everything she was saying but just couldn't respond or move a muscle whatsoever. It was like I was in a snug fitting coffin and scared the life out of me. Naturally I was in a seriously panicky state when I came out of it and still to this day, I am terrified of sleeping in case it comes back. I literally only get about 4 hours sleep now and it's turning into a vicious cycle. I have found ways to overcome it in which if I lay down and feel the sensation of falling when I close my eyes, I wake myself up and play on my phone for about half an hour and try to go back to sleep. I have found this to be very helpful in overcoming it but I'm unwilling to try any preventative measures as I don't believe in taking antidepressants. My biggest problem is that my wife and children are very stressful as they all have severe learning difficulties and rub off each other way too easily so even the thought of trying to catch up on my sleep during the day is virtually impossible and when it comes to bedtime, I'm not even tired. just makes things even more awkward as then I'll become overtired and that's when the paralysis kicks in.
So basically I know I should start the clomipramine I was prescribed, but because it has a drowsy effect, I fear that because I have gotten used to fighting off tiredness during the day, my response will be the same to the effect from the tablets. For anyone who isn't on medication, then please try my theory of waking yourself up for about half hour when you feel that falling sensation and distract your mind.

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Stace_11 said on 02 October 2013

Im 23 and have been experiencing sleep paralysis since i was a young child about 7-8 year old. I havent experienced it constant since then however in the last year or so it has become more frequent and now it happens a few times a month. Mines happens both when im falling asleep and when wakening from sleep. I am terrified of it as it feels I can hardly breathe, ma eyes are open and I am totally aware of where I am however I cannot move any part of my body and cannot shout. I always try push myself up from my bed but the it never works, it feels like when i dont push that im going to slowly stop breathing all together and never be able to move, so this makes me push up harder. After a minute or so I usually snap out of it but with great fear and shortness of breathe. As i have experienced this on and off since I was a little girl, I never knew what it was or if it was even really happening until I started a nursing degree at Uni and attended and epilepsy workshop where the symptoms of sleep paralysis were discussed and asked if anyone had experienced this. I was stunned.

Some nights I am cautious of what way I lie when going to sleep because I feel certain positions bring my sleep paralysis on.

Glad im not the only one but think i will be seeking medical help as its happening far too often

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t_otoo said on 28 September 2013

Hi all,
I'm 19, this has been going on since I was 7.
I'm actually typing this after waking up from sleep paralysis.
Someone in the comments described it as "your spirit is leaving you" which is spot on, the feeling of you don't break free now, your a gonner.
Coupled with extreme fear and difficulty to breath.
When it first happened I was terrified, to scared to sleep again, but after a while and you research what it is, you learn to combat it and remain calm.(the hardest part)
Some people can shout, I cannot.
I can only move my head and hands, no legs, no fingers, to break free, and they feel like lead weights.
If I do not move it prolongs the paralysis, I done this to control my breathing, remain calm, then try break free.
I haven't had this all year until tonight, because I've had a really busy week and slept after work, then tried to sleep again at night, what I've noticed is if I go to bed, not tired enough and sleep it will occur, and of I go to sleep after a case, it is very likely to occur.
To Michael_83 it sounds like it to me, do you agree?
As if your a prisoner asleep, and your mind has woke up, before your body has a chance, not a pleasant experience

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Michael_83 said on 27 September 2013

This happened to me last night. I'm 30 year old male and it has never happened to me prior to this. I have been having trouble sleeping for the last couple of weeks (maybe getting 3 to 4 hours a night) so I imagine this is what brought it on.
At about 3am last night I had just dozed off when I suddenly heard a loud buzzing sound in my right ear. I was definately awake at this point as I knew I was in my bedroom. I tried to move my arms and legs but could not. I tried to yell out, but could not. Its hard to explain but I don't think I've ever felt this kind of fear before. It felt like impending doom; like something or someone was going to hurt me. After about a minute I concentrated solely on trying to move my index finger. After another minute or so I moved my finger and it seemed to trigger movement in the rest of my body. Needless to say, this was a very frightening experience and I didn't get much sleep thereafter. I only hope that it was a one off occurrence.

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Tillywhit2012 said on 25 September 2013

Hi, I'm 21, I have been getting this severely since I was 16 . I still get it now at least 3-4 times a months, and when I'm stressed can be any tag up to 10 times a night! It never gets less scary! I have been given clonazepam to take before sleep which helps, but I have also found the only way for me to wake up from an episode is that I have developed over the years a way of getting some sound out, so I normally scream for help and my partner family will physically have to shake me to get me out of it.
I wish there was more known about this condition, even the hospital new nothing about it. The only way was diagnosed is because one of the consultants had suffered with it himself, otherwise they would not have know what it is! More research needs to be done to help people suffering with this horrible condition!

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RyanRhysO said on 12 September 2013

Hi there my name is Ryan i am aged 22.
This has happened to me five time last year! And i woke up from a really bad nightmare but I couldn't move or open my eyes i try screaming but not sure if anyone can hear me!!! and the terrifying thing is that the nightmare was still going on. Now it has just happened to me again only this time was really bad I couldn't move or open my eyes for ages!! Once I finally got up I was struggling for my breath. It does bring a lot of comfort knowing that it isn't just me who has it. Is there any advice you can give?

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MancSoulja said on 04 September 2013

I too get this, it's fairly rare, it happens maybe once a year, twice at the most. It just happened to me now though, i was asleep on my side with my arms folded, i woke up to an overwelming feeling of terror, i was unable to move or unfold my arms, i couldnt even open my eyes, there was a loud buzzing noise in my ears, and i could hear my heart beating really fast and really loud. Even now 15-20 minutes after i woke, i still have a slight feeling of terror and i doubt i'll be going back to sleep tonigh. I've never seen visions or dark objects and really feel for the people who do. I didn't even know what was happening to me untill just now when i googled it. I feel relieved to know it's a common condition and nothing serious.

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Dnn25 said on 03 September 2013

Hi I have experienced sleep paralysis many times. In these episodes there is an overwhelming sense of evil and danger in the room. It usually occurs when I drop off, and I can immediately identify it if early enough. However, when I cannot I have had experiences of a strong force on my chest and that I was being strangled, and even dragged from my bed.

My advice is to lay on your stomach or side, avoid visual stimuli before bed and talk to someone about it. If you do find yourself in sleep paralysis it is important not to scream or move (which is difficult) however this will keep you relaxed so you don't struggle to breathe etc. Slowly move the joints in yours fingers and toes, moving slowly up your body until you can safely wake up.

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jonathan d said on 07 August 2013

hi, when i was 15 i started having really bad dreams about been thrown across the room by something i could not see it got to the stage that when i started to drop off i could here loud screeching and the louder it got the less i was able to move it was so terrifying and at that age i thought i was possessed or something, i told my mam and dad and they made me go to the doctors and he just said its a mild form of depression. it got so bad i was afraid to go to sleep this lasted until i was 17 then it stopped. when i was 24 it came back but this time it was so much worse it felt like as soon as i closed my eyes the screeching just was taking over my body im 39 now and still having problems with it but at least i kinda understand what it is . all the best to you people who have gone through this its nice to now im not alone and nice to share my experiences. all the best jonathan

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Mahirah said on 05 August 2013

Many years back, when I was about 16 , I had this wierd dream that I was roaming in a green field and there I saw a green pen lying down. I bent down to pick up the pen and the moment I touched it, I was lying on the bed unable to move at all. I was struggling to move and then after a few mins, I woke up.
Now I am 22 , and few weeks back, again while sleeping, I had this vision , that I was sleeping inside a quilt . But when I tried to remove that quilt so as to come out, I was unable to, I tried to remove the quilt thrice , but I was just stuck inside and then I woke up. I was sweating. It was damn scary.
Don't know What does this all mean.

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Dmarshall said on 02 August 2013

Hi everyone, I used to suffer from sleep paralysis quite frequently in the past, and when it stopped all together I genuinely got the impression that I was going to experience any further episodes. How ever up until more recently, I remember laying on my bed a few days ago I was on my laptop watching clips on you tube, then all of a sudden I remember falling into a deep sleep it was so sudden to the point that when I woke up I suffered intense auditory hallucinations and I kid you not I heard a massive scream it was though as if the women was screaming in pain, it frightened the hell out of me. More to the point I had this intense moment where I struggled to catch my breath as if I was going to pass out, and also saw figures in my pitch black room and it felt like someone was trying to drag me out of bed. Even though sleep paralysis isn't able to harm you, it is with out a sheer doubt the most terrifying experience I've ever come across in my life and I'm pretty certain other people can say the exact same! Sweet dreams everyone! :)

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ejm22 said on 17 July 2013

I used to suffer from sleep paralysis quite regularly when I was younger. In my experience, episodes can be avoided by not sleeping on your back. i.e. sleep on either your side or front. This is only anecdotal evidence, but it has worked for me and a few other people I know!

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Jameskra said on 30 May 2013

I've had this problem for about 6 years and have only just recently learned how to overcome it.


Take a sharp intake of breath, as if you've been swimming underwater and just came up for air


Hold your breath

This has snapped my body out of sleep paralysis every time i've done it (holding my breath is the best option).

The problem is, when you wake up in that terrifying state it's very hard to remember something you've read on an NHS message board, but for anyone suffering with this, please do your utmost to remember what I've said. It has helped me regain control of my body every time.

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Ellie Vaynn said on 27 May 2013

I am 19 years old and this condition has happened to me quite a lot of time. You feel your spirit is coming out of your body, it only lasts for few seconds and your body starts to overcome with problem quickly. I usually wake up by opening my eyes and my heart beat increases frequently. This is not a pleasure condition especially if it's your first time experience this disorder. It happens when I sleep on my back and not in other ways. I have a balanced diet, stress free and I always sleep at a regular time for at least 7 hours so I would say there is not a specific treatment for me and I have to suffer it.

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Elwynhughes said on 24 May 2013

I'd like to add a comment as there are some interesting stories on here. I have had sleep paralysis since I was a young teenager and the first time it happened u was absolutely terrified . I thought a ghost was holding me down as I obviously couldn't move.. Now I've had it well over a hundred times since then.. Sometimes I see things in my room, and less common I hear things. One time I saw my sister floating near the ceiling haha..
Anyway my point is that some of the people on here are suggesting that they're having some kind of outer body experience or the things they are seeing are spirits,ghosts or in some cases, demons. This is of course wrong.. The reason you are seeing these things is because you are half dreaming and half seeing your real bedroom.. So it would appear that there are things in your bedroom when it is simply you dreaming. It can be terrifying but I am so used to it now: there are two ways I wake myself up. The first is to remain absolutely calm and try to clear your mind. The other way I do it is close my eyes tight and try to force yourself awake. Both sound stupid but believe me they work. I have done it countless times :) :)
Hope that helps and sorry if it didnt )

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LDavidson29 said on 13 May 2013

I've been experiencing this for about a year now. I find it totally terrifying. The most recent one I had was last night and I've woke up this morning scared and exhausted. It felt as though someone was watching me.. I felt a sinister presence in the room, I also felt what I think was a child grabbing me and it sounded like the child was crying, I tried desperately to speak or move but couldn't, the child didnt scare me, I felt as though I wanted to help it, but I was aware of this "presence" watching both of us. I've been to a spirit medium who was able to tell me without me saying anything that I had been experiencing outer body experiences. I've also experienced grabbing and being dragged out the bed.
Can anyone give any advice of overcoming this? I want it to stop as I find it totally terrifying.

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Ashcrane1991 said on 13 April 2013

Hello, after having an episode a few years ago my sleep paralysis came back a few nights ago, upon researching it i came across everyones comments on their experiences.
Mostly i can see alot of you still suffer with "visions" or terrifying sounds and feelings.

When i first had my paralysis i experienced a shadow or something small and black i couldn't describe or even see properly coming towards me, it shook me up and i could honestly say i thought i was going to die.

I told my dad about it and his friend was there at the time listening. He turned to me and said i had myself a "demon". now i am the last person you could try and convince with demons and ghosts and all that rubbish lol :) but the advice he gave me was next time you have something during your sleep paralysis try to attack or let the "demon" know you are not scared, try and grab it, hit it, get up and jump towards it. welcome it and try and show you really dont care that it is there. and trust me it works!

Its been 2 years since i had the paralysis but it has came back a few nights ago, 3 times in one night. Its horrible feeling like im going to slip into an endless sleep with my mid active or even that im going to die if i let myself fall asleep but i can assure you it is so much easier to deal with without a "demon" making the whole experience 10x more terrifying.

Give it a go, if it works then learn to deal with the paralysis in a terror free mind set.

Best of luck to all of you :) and if anyone gets a breakthrough with being able to wake yourself up please share x

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Eve Ruby said on 21 February 2013

I've suffered this since I was 18, I used to get it very frequently, I'm 39 now and still experience it very occasionally. My grandma passed away recently and I experienced it again which then led to an out of body experience, something I've not had before and I'm convinced this was linked to the stress of her passing. I've had the feeling of icy fingers running down my back and coldness, footsteps behind me and a loud buzzing noise in my ears but by far the worst was when I was asleep on my sofa and was facing my TV which was switched off, I woke at dawn in this paralysis state and could see in the TV which was acting like a mirror what I can only describe as an imp dress in black dancing around and behind me. I tried so many times to turn and look at him but I couldn't, my breathing was shallow and I could hear the blood going through my veins although I was quite calm until the imp stood behind and raised his hands in the air and holding what I can only describe as a dagger he dropped it down as if to stab me in the head, which at this point I must of gone straight back to sleep and woke as normal however long later. Although when this happens it is very distressing and leaves me with a very heady feeling for the rest of the day, I would like to say to everyone to try not to fight it, stay calm and relaxed if you can and natural sleep will return. I used to fret and worry I wouldn't wake again and be late for work and try my utmost to move, shout and scream but to no avail. I do hope this helps some if not all of you as I know how terrifying an ordeal it can be for you.

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bizzy64 said on 02 February 2013

I have got this recently it really creeps me out and I keep thinking something is in my room, now I just leave my light on, I'm only 14 and I've had nights where I've laid in bed scared of closing my eyes I've also had ringing in my ear :/

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sgt101 said on 18 January 2013

I'd also like to add to my last comment, I was in hospital recently, where I was in a situation where I had to be rigged up to an ECG for three days (uncomfortable).
I started to experience a sleep paralysis state, when a nurse walked into my room, which woke me up. She was concerned because my heart rate had gone really low down to about 38-40, which my usual is around 60 (unfortunately). I like others have stated, felt breathless and as if I was going to die. I was kind of glad it happened there, because It gave me a little more understanding of why, when it happens I feel breathless. Prior to the hospital I was also deprived of sleep.....

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sgt101 said on 18 January 2013

It's odd how a lot of people are experiencing negative outcomes, my guess is that the negativity and fear of being in this unusual state, create the feeling that the situation is provoked by something more sinister I.e a malevolent force (as Dazzadooby said on 15 September 2012).
My experience also consists of this. About 3 years ago, I woke up around 6 AM, and could not move, I tried to raise my arm, but it just limped back down, I tried to shout for help, but I could barely say anything. My eyelids felt very heavy, I was terrified, what on earth is happening? I looked towards the end of my bed and a black shadow seemed to come from under my quilt and leave beneath my door. I could barely even process what had just happened, as fighting to stay awake was incredibly hard, I just let the sleep take over. The next day, I almost forgot about the whole occurrence. I find that if you get it, try your best not to panic and let yourself fall asleep, if you can.. unless you are getting the next problem that I have recently started getting.
I am currently visiting a relative, I have never stayed here before and I have not stayed in a single bed in a long time, I am a big guy, so I do not suit single bed's and quilts. This has caused me to wake up numerous times in the night, as stated above I have been deprived of sleep. I am the sort of person who panics when cannot fall asleep, causing me to stay awake, but this I believe causes me to get sleep paralysis, when falling to sleep and randomly in the night. I have rarely had this problem, since the above, but the third night being here, I found myself experiencing it repeatedly. Luckily, I have found a way to wake myself up during it. I manage to jolt my body, which wakes me up, but I get this massive surge of adrenaline, which oddly allows my body to fall back asleep and my mind to stay awake, which is quite awful. My suggestions if anybody else is suffering from a reoccuring type, get up and change your state of mind 1st

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Dazzadooby said on 15 September 2012

I've only just realised what my condition was called whilst reading "The Magic Of Reality". This started with me around twenty years ago. As someone else has mentioned, I know in advance that it will happen. Again, it always happens in the room I'm actually in and there is a sense of something malevolent in the room with me. I can't see this thing, it's invisible, and the episodes generally involve me being dragged out of bed and thrown around the room. There is also a sense of intense pressure on my body, around the stomach and kidneys. Typically I try to fight back against it and eventually wake myself up. This can happen up to 8 times a night. This usually follows a period where I've been partying too hard and irregular sleep patterns, but not always. Still, it's good to be able to put a name to my symptoms and share experiences.

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SeanyDee said on 13 September 2012

I had similar to SazzyP, the growling in my ear and as if something was trying to pull my head into my pillow, I had my eyes wide open and couldn't move, I was panicking and trying to fight it in my mind and managed to shake my head and snap out of it, very scary stuff I have to say, the growling I've had twice so far and a couple worse than that and some a bit more mild but not being able to move is as scary enough...

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SazzyP said on 10 September 2012

I have had two experiences of this. Once was when I was lying still and I couldnt move and I heard a growling noise in my ear and I felt like I could feel the breathing next to me.

The worst was last night where my eyes were open I couldnt move and then I felt something grab my leg and try to pull me out of bed and that stopped but then my bed covers were being pulled off me. I suddenly woke up and was really scared. I couldnt even look at the end of my bed as I still felt like something was there so I just hid under my bed covers. I am still shakened up about it now and it felt so real especially as my eyes were open but the feeling of not moving or being able to react is terrifying.

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Emmaa91 said on 20 August 2012

This has happened to me since being a teenager. Sometimes they are not too bad. I will be falling a sleep and suddenly I cannot move, I try scream and nothing will happen. Once I went cold and felt rain all over me. Another time I could see and feel the warmth of a fire. I am writing now as I have just experiences the most frightening one yet. I couldn't move, scream or make any noice. I could see flashing blue lights and hear a chainsaw. Then my whole body began to vibrate. I tried to push myself off the bed to snap out of it. I didn't move but felt like I had rolled off and began falling for what seamed like ages! Iv just snapped out of it and I am quite shaken. This is becoming to regular. Sometimes 3 times in a month. I don't know what to do. X

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LL084 said on 02 August 2012

I feel for everyone on here! Feel for Lem!

I've had dreadful sleep paralysis, it has come and gone throughout my 20's. I have seen very frightening things, all what everyone on here is describing is what I have experienced. I've seen things that scare the hell out of me including... an old hag, gargoyle (which jumped on my bed and I felt it), a mangled hand, a nasty man and many other things which were so awful. Its never something heavenly:(

I suggest if your doctor or anyone else in a medical field can't help I recommend seeing a psychic healer. I know it might not be everyone's cup or tea or one may not agree with it but it helped someone I know.

A lot of people really don’t understand or experience what its like to have this happen to you but when it does happen it's truly, truly awful.

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WorstNightmare said on 28 June 2012

I feel like I have a fairly good understanding of this now.

I Suffer from this for around a week after a hectic weekend where I don't sleep a lot, it seems to mess up my head.

Everyday since the weekend when just nodding off I have been going straight into this sleep paralysis....... For my self I experience a major ringing in my ears, loud then quite in a sequence (like a high pitched siren), then I'm in the room exactly how I have fallen asleep, but with my eyes open unable to move but really trying to because the ringing is getting so intense and because its terrifying it seems really hard to breath.

The weird thing is I know this is going to happen to me and even when its happening, I sort of realize and try and do all I can to wake up. It happened around 8 times last night.

I have experienced it before where I am lying next to my girlfriend and there is a man beating her (Hallucination stage) I cant move but I am trying my hardest to be able to move but are just motionless, then suddenly you wake up sweating and breathless.

And once I was lying next to my girlfriend and I could not catch my breath.... I was facing her and trying to tap her to help me but she was sleeping and I just couldn't reach her..... then when it got to the point where I thought I was going to die I woke up...... never been so scared in my life.

Its crazy how life like it is. After reading this explanation and other comments I feel better and feel I understand it a lot more.

Hopefully it goes tonight!!

Anyone had it that bad??

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Kiwi88 said on 04 March 2012

I've had this too. Its really getting me down. I first started to have it 2 years ago and at first I just couldnt move my body, I didnt have any hallucinations but had shallow breathing. I thought it was perhaps related to alcohol. Then it seemed to stop.

Then when I was 22 I became a practicing Christian. I was staying at my aunty and uncles and and as I was liying there in bed I felt my quilt being tugged. I pulled my covers really tight and ther next thing I got yanked out of bed. I stood up and rebuked it in the name of Jesus and then woke up whispering 'Jesus'. I realised it had all been a dream/hallucination but everything in the room had looked the same. I just knew that I had experienced a spiritual attack.

A few months later it happened to me again where something evil/force was squeezing my chest so tight i couldnt breathe. In the dream I was stood in the kitchen and was grabbing for scissors to try and cut my top open so I could breathe. something was also physically lifting me up in the air so that I couldnt run away. I Woke up and couldnt move or breathe properly but could see everything around me, and eventually came round.

A few days later I'd been out for a few drinks with a friend on the friday and on saturday afternoon took a nap. I experienced it again but this time was fighting to wake up. I could hear what sounded like an internet modem screeching in my head and as I used all my effort to lift my head off the pillow realised my face was still in a sleeping position (as if it was still pressed against the pillow) I completely panicked and was too scared to go back into the dream and too scared to stay in the dream state I was in. Eventually I came out of it, cant remember how but with all my energy.

I decided to cut alcohol out my life full stop but today, taking a nap I helf woke up and realised my breathing was funny and suddenly heard a noise again and this time called on Jesus to wake me up before it got nasty.

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Lem said on 23 August 2011

I get this too and have done intermittently since I was a teenager. I wake up and know that there is something evil in the room. I can't move or speak and I try to pray but the words won't come out. Last night, the evil thing touched me on the shoulder and I had a sensation like electricity through my whole body. It is so horrible and so real. The previous time, I woke up and sat up in bed and the devil was there and he said that all I had to do was ask and he'd make it so I could have a baby (we've been trying without success for years). I get really frightened and tried to call my husband and in the end the words that came out were 'I'm dead. I'm already dead' which did wake him up but frightened him half to death! I just wish I knew how to make it stop.

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Pritzb87 said on 03 July 2011

I totally agree with what Magger says. I suffer similar episodes of sleep paralysis throughout my life. I am 23 years old and I have been suffering from sleep paralysis from a very young age. My episodes usually occur when my body is totally relaxed and I am ready to sleep, my eyes cannot stay open and then I get a tingly sensation all over my body followed by the loud ringing in my ear or laughing, at times a baby crying. The worst episode I ever faced was a few years ago where I entered a state of sleep paralysis and my eyes were open, I could not move and I saw four tall figures of death/ grim reaper in my room with black robes and heads down, and with them was a a white disfigured girl who was all wrinkled and totally white from top to bottom, she kind of looked like a cross between Samara from the ring and also the possessed girl from the film The Exorcist. Anyways, she came close to me and I felt her grab my arm, I could not move and in a sinister voice she re-assured me that "she could do it better!" and then I woke up and I myself was grabbing my arm! People think that I am crazy, have issues or am being haunted by an evil entity, it feels so real and it is the scariest experience ever! Other scary episodes include: being dragged across my own room, baby's crying, people laughing at me etc. However, at times I may have episodes which I actually enjoy or rather feel some sort of pleasure or a sense of elation, my body feels like it is rising and I somehow reach for the ceiling (sky) and I feel calm and happy as I have a smile on my face, I do not understand any of this but this is what I have been through. Hope people can relate to this....

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Magger said on 22 April 2011

I'd rather kept quiet about my episodes of sleep paralysis, it was just so strange. When I searched the web most articles told me that it was generally a condition of the young, well no, I was in my 50s.

These episodes usually start with a kind of 'ringing' in my right ear (I'm talking with hindsight and a little more knowledge of the condition), then a feeling of wakening, and my surroundings are familiar, but different. When I first experienced this my feeling was that I was totally awake, and in my bed, but something else was in the room, something evil. I tried to wake up, but the shape slithered along the bedroom wall, nearing me. I could not move or speak, no matter how much I tried, and it wasn't until the figure crept up and over me that I managed (or became) awake.
I have a little more knowledge now, and, when the ear ringng starts I turn on the bedside light and read for a while, and I leave the light on!

I've had a few of these experiences over the last few years, and can sometimes fight against the paralysis, but it's very spooky when you experience it for the first time.

The mind is a very complex organ, you are not going mad, just experiencing something others don't!

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