1. Health

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

Financial Stress

Readers Respond: Discover How Others May Experience the Phenomenon of Sleep Paralysis

Responses: 400


Updated August 27, 2009

unknown to me to this day

I've had this experiences for the longest that I now know how to prevent it. Calm you're self not to much thou you could end up triggering it ...if you do end up triggering it try to move one part of you're body like you're fingers and from there work you're self up... trust me it works I used to use it every time I went to sleep it didn't matter how I was sleeping, now of you start having dreams or nightmares of the devil then consult a priest cause they get worst.
—Guest Israel

Crazy Stuff

The first time I had it I was laying in my bed and fell asleep for about 45 min. at least. I became aware of the fact that I had started dreaming and that I was asleep and tried to wake myself. When I did my eyes opened to the sight of ghostly shadows around me seemingly holding me down. I couldn't move anything and even stopped breathing while I struggled to stop it for what seemed like forever. When it finally released me I sat up faster than I have ever before and took the biggest gasp of air I ever have. It was the scariest thing I ever experienced in my life and I haven't experienced it since then.
—Guest QuintonRC23


Had it a little bit ago. I thought I was the only one who went through this. It's nice knowing im not. I always feel very scared. I have managed to controll it over the years. I usually just stay calm, remind myself it will be okay. I don't feel like im being watched. I feel like something is fighting to get inside me and im fighting to keep it out. Whwn I wake up I feel like I won over evil. I wish I know why this happens. It's scary.
—Guest Ronnie

thought i was possessed!

This has been happening to me for several years now. Until recently, it only happened every now and then. But in the last couple of months it has happened nearly every week....sometimes 2-3 times a day/night. I was convinced i was being pinned down by an evil spirit. And, of lately i have been sleeping alot in the daytime,and it's happened to me then as well. Even after all theses years ,every time is equally freaky for me. The most i can do when it happens is roll my eyes and after much effort i manage to eventually let out a groaninig noise. Occasionally, my partner has wittnessed it and pulls me up and instantly it goes away. What scares me is that it is getting more frequent...and why do i sleep so much in the day????
—Guest jodie


Ive had it on a few occassions now. I thought I was losing my mind. My experience was I was asleep but I wasnt awake. I was rigid in bed and couldnt move for the life in me I felt a breeze round my body and felt a presence at the side of me and a feeling of tugging on my sheets or my bed shaking really weird to explain really. Also a buzzing noise and feeling. I dont really know.how to explain it only terrifying.
—Guest shelly

Sleep paralysis is terrifying

I have had sleep paralysis about five or six times now and I'm turning 26 this year . Last night was one of the least frightening cases I have experienced but I still felt so scared . I heard footsteps in my flat walking to the bedroom and the sound of track suit bottoms rubbing together. Next thing I know I see my sister leaning over the bed and she crushes me, I tried to move and tell her to get off because it was hurting but she wouldn't and for what I think was about 30 seconds, she kept crushing me. Then I shouted get off me you b*tch and then I woke up. I felt absolutely terrified and of course I believe this happened because I was lying on my back. I have never known this to happen whilst lying on my side or front. The other experiences were much worse than this as its normally someone I don't recognise but at least it was my sister this time. However she seemed evil as opposed to the lovely girl she is in real life
—Guest Holly

Had that just last morning.

Scary! 2nd time in 2 weeks now. Strangely, it seems to only happen when i sleep over at my gf's house. I could tell my eyes were open (though i was in that sleepy and cloudy state of mind) and suddenly weird voices talking nonsense were all around me, in the room. I felt a strong grip around my arms and, somehow, i was sure it was the work of those "presences", even though i could not actually see anyone. It took a while before i could break free and fully awaken. When i was a kid, i remember having an even stranger moment, as i lifted from my own body and saw myself sleeping underneath me. It lasted a short while before i returned to "me". Somehow (don't know why) it wasn't as scary as this other sp experience. In fact, the out-of-body thing felt quite peacefull in comparisson.
—Guest Jimmy David


Alright, so I've been doing what I can to research SP a little further - something I've been trying to do for years now. I'm a 20 year old male, and have been experiencing SP fairly regularily since Kindergarten. Between once and twenty times a month, auditory and visual hallucinations. Most often it occurs BEFORE falling asleep, rather than during waking - about a 70/20 split. I've gone some months without any episodes, but then they return just as before. I've actually become so used to it that I can feel an episode coming on, and have actually begun to enjoy the rush of adrennaline accompanied by the shock. It just seems strange to me that I've experienced it so often, and so vividly, when it seems the general populus have so few occurences in their individual lives.
—Guest Z


I think this is bad luck and a fault in the brain's sleep wake pattern. I have had it for years. It is much better now that I have very regular sleeping habits. It was much worse when I was a student, when I worked shifts and when I had young children and irregular sleeping hours. I love naps but avoid them because I either get SP during the nap or at night if I have napped. Oversleeping is a factor for me. I have my husband trained to wake me if I make funny breathing noises (sometimes I'm just asleep). He pushes me up to sitting so I can't go right back to sleep or it will happen again. If my throat is dry I dream that I can't breath and feel like I am dying. Having a big drink of water helps prevent it recurring. I think I am growing out of it with age. Luckily I've never believed this is some sort of religious punishment but I still find it terrifying. I was relieved but also sad to hear that others suffer from this as well.
—Guest LD


I was asleep a couple of weeks ago, and it was about 3am and my room was dark. My eyes darted around to check for any danger, there was none. I tried to sit up, and that's when i was most terrified. I could not move, my eyes were darting more violently, and i couldn't call out for help. I was absolutely panicking! Then I heard a slight crackling noise, and looked toward my door. I heard someone knock, and thought it was my dad. My door opened slowly, but there was nothing but darkness. My door opened wider, and as it opened, a huge purple and black cloud of smoke flew toward me! I was absolutely petrified. i had it again the Saturday before last. I had seen The Woman in Black the day before, and at about 00:50 I dosed off. I had a vivid nightmare, where i was in a labrynth. I opened a door and appeared in my bed. I opened my eyes, and couldnt move. I done this a few times, then i saw a face in a smokey cloud. i closed my eyes, pushed the face and turned my light on; flew to the switch.
—Guest Dillon

Don't like it

I had my first experience with sleep paralysis yesterday afternoon. I am 20 and I just had 3 midterms in one week for university. Yesterday was my first chance to catch up on sleep and so I had a nap around 12pm in the family room. At one point my sister woke me up, laughing + saying that I'm so predictable having a nap there. Later I woke up again...hearing my brother's voice behind me, poking fun about me being asleep. But I wasn't, and I wanted to prove it by saying "I'm not asleep!" and fling my arm back or something. But I couldn't. And I could see the TV was on and I could hear everything, but I could not move or talk. Eventually I realised that my brother was not even behind me at all, and I was hearing things. I became freaked out when I realized I might not be able to move ever again and what's wrong with me. I wanted to shout for my sister to help me but I couldn't. I was focusing on moving my leg and it wouldn't lift..scary thing.
—Guest Kelsey

When I was young

As a child I regularly has sleep paralysis. I would wake up and not be able to do anything, not open my eyes, not move or even breathe. So scary. I somehow worked out that I needed to breathe slowly and then I would suddenly be able to move a limb and then I'd be awake. Was very scary falling back to sleep as sometimes it would happen straight away, but since I left school I haven't had it, well... So far!
—Guest Chazza


I only researched this about half an hour ago but i'm glad i have now. Before this i was starting to believe in the paranormal. Unfortunatly i remember the first time it happened to me. I was 6 years old and i'd struggled to fall asleep. When i did i felt like i was being dragged under my bed (i was on the bottom of a bunk bed). When i did wake up i was actually under my bed fully. I'm 22 now, i have severe insomnia which prescription sleeping pills don't work. I have depression and seeing a councellor. I know that the first instance of sp won't be the cause of all that but it scarred me. it probably contributed though. I havn't had sp since then up until 4 months ago.
—Guest ant


I have had SP for many years, and have done some research recently. It seems that the auditory "hallucinations" I experience can not be scientifically explained. On two occassions two different people have heard the sounds during my SP experience. Ages ago when I was 17 I was on holiday and slept in the same room as my sister. I had a strange dream and as I started to wake a strong breeze blew over the top of me accompanied by the loud sound of an old school bell ringing. It passed and i wondered if my sister was awake..I said kim? And she said to me wow what was that loud ringing noise I just heard? she was freaked out. Another time I was staying at my friends house and the wind blew over me with the sound of a loud vaccum being turned on. After it finished I asked my friend if she heard anything and she did. She does not believe in supernatural so she said it was probably a crop plane, although she stated it was very unusual for that time of year! Anyone else had this happen?


12/02/2010 at 3:09 am Jeff,Gosh, that must have been creepy for the man and wife!! I've heard of people waking up with scratches and bruises, but that could have been self inflicted i suppose, but who knows.
—Guest fMgnoDKzTciKbbgfsIU

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.