Patient Comments: Sleep Paralysis - Signs

Question:

Please share your signs or symptoms of sleep paralysis. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: justwillie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

I’ve had two experiences with sleep paralysis, with the last one coming last night. The first time I felt like I was in the presence of pure evil, and it was terrifying beyond belief! It happened at least 28 years ago. Last night I was having trouble sleeping and I keep a night light on in my bedroom all night. I tried to hit the wall with my hand and I tried to scream. I recognized what it was immediately. But it was still so terrifying. After it was over, I got up and went to the living room and stayed sitting in my recliner for three hours before I could even go back to bed. Does the night light have any effect on the sleep paralysis, I wonder. I hope I never have the experience again. I will use prayer to help me. But I am also open to taking sleep aids so I don't have to go through this ever again. It is truly frightening!

Comment from: donnak459, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 12

I had fallen asleep but at one point I was awake, and I could hear everything my daughter was saying. I could answer her but I could not move, and the sleep paralysis went on for 15 minutes. I was telling her to move my arms, move my legs, move me onto the floor, she did all those things (but I didn't think she did, I thought she was ignoring me) and when she went to get me up to get on the floor I woke up. She thought I was maybe having a stroke because I was speaking out of the side of my mouth. She was so glad I woke up. This happened about an hour ago.

Comment from: teddy bear, 65-74 (Patient) Published: August 17

I did not know what was happening. All I know is that when the sleep paralysis happens, the only way I can wake up is to try and reach my husband. After a period of fear, I can slowly walk my fingers to my husband and try to wake him. Other times I can whisper 'help me' and for some reason my husband always wakes up to help me. During a sleep paralysis episode, I feel like if I don't wake up, I will die. If I try to go back to sleep, it will happen again. Finally I will get up and read so I don't disturb his sleep. I try to nap every afternoon so I'm not so tired at bedtime. This seems to help.

Comment from: Nicky, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 08

Sleep paralysis more likely happens when I take nap in day time or early morning before waking up. I cannot move my body, sometimes I can see the surroundings; my room, the place I was at but cannot move my body and I have difficulty in breathing. I then try so hard to get off that situation and wake up. It’s like if I would not try by myself I will die or remain in that position forever.

Comment from: Jenny42, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

Although I have had sporadic experiences with sleep paralysis since my teens, it was only about 6 months ago that I began experiencing it on a more regular basis. Having increased in frequency, I am now having these spells a few times each week, sometimes more than once a night. They are especially bad if I nap. However, contrary to others, I do not experience any sense of a presence in the room. Rather, I simply cannot move, speak, or even open my eyes. It is most alarming for me as I have young children. Once my son was trying to wake me up and I could not force myself to. My paralysis typically lasts a few minutes. It is rather alarming to feel such a lack of control over my own body.

Comment from: s4rest, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I have been suffering with sleep paralysis since I was around 8 years old. It has never been a pleasant experience and I have never been able to cope with the episodes when they happen. I would say they happen 0 to 6 times a month. Sometimes I can go a month or two without having one and then like last night for instance, it happened to me 8 times in a row. I will fall asleep normal, then awaken around 3 am, stuck in paralysis feeling that someone or something is in the bed with me either floating above me or sitting on/beside me. I feel as if my body is twisting around in different directions and can often hear myself trying to scream but it is muttered and growl like noises instead. I’ll then snap out of it often out of breath, awake and scared. I’ll try and stay awake and then often I’ll doze off again and it will happen again. Sometimes I can see my room and my body. I must say it is nothing pleasant. I find if I exercise regularly they happen less often. Glad others share this same situation and I am not alone.

Comment from: jewely, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 16

I have had several experiences with sleep paralysis (thanks to this site now I know what it is). It happened mostly during a nap in the afternoons when laying on my back. I wake up, I can see my surroundings but I can’t move or scream, so I used to get scared and tried convincing my will on the ability to move again. After a minute and much efforts on being able to move and say something, I finally could! I became somehow scared of sleeping in this position as it usually happens then.

Comment from: Joanne M, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

I am suffering from sleep paralysis for about 2 years now. I do get the Old Hag syndrome. Last night was the worst one; it had to have lasted for about 30 minutes. I feel myself screaming for my husband and trying to wake myself up. It got so bad last night I actually woke my 86 year old mom up with my moaning. She has no clue I have this condition. Sometimes they play out with different scenarios; from extremely scary to almost sexual. But I can't move. Today my body is so sore from tensing up so bad. I take sleep aids but am now having breakthrough episodes. I don't want to be on medication like this. I am so tired I am scared to sleep, I sometimes stay awake until 2 or 3 in the morning. I just had cancer surgery so yes, I am a little stressed but these started well before this diagnosis. I feel like I am going out of my mind. I am scared this condition will lead to something more serious.

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Comment from: Dale, 45-54 (Patient) Published: July 23

I find that my ears would start ringing as I am going to the paralyzed state. And I can actually, but barely say my wife’s name, along with the air forced out of my mouth for my wife to wake me. Sometimes it takes 20 or 30 seconds to wake up and I can fall back in it immediately if I don’t get up for a few minutes.

Comment from: lynn, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

I have had sleep paralysis for over 30 years. I experience auditory, visual, hallucinations with it. I hear angry shouting, chaos, all of which imbibes a sense of evil. As well, I see people in the room, or feel animals jump on the bed, the bed covers lift as if something has crawled under the sheets. It is all quite terrifying. At times, I will seemingly wake up and for a few seconds everything is normal and quiet, but then I feel myself falling back into the paralysis and it all starts again. The time of wakefulness is often too short for me to recover enough to get out of bed and walk around which often helps. It gets much worse with stress.

Comment from: tgwsmw, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

I am under lots of emotional and financial stress with an aging parent who has Alzheimer's. I've been experiencing episodes of sleep paralysis whenever my husband is working out of town. Last night, I "woke" up and thought someone was in the house with me, but I couldn't move a muscle. In my dream, the intruder was watching me, but I couldn't see him. I was terrified. When I could finally move, I was up for the night – too scared to go back to sleep. I've noticed that it tends to happen when I am flat on my back. I have been prescribed Ambien, which helps greatly for me to sleep normally, but I'm afraid to take it when I'm home alone in case I sleepwalk or don't wake up in case of a fire.

Comment from: pinkheart, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 26

I want to share my experience with sleep paralysis. It has happened almost every night for 1 to 2 weeks now. During my sleep, I can't move: I want to speak or shout but can't even move my lips. I'm aware of my surroundings – I can see my curtains move, but can’t move my body. Sometimes I feel like something or someone is there with me in my room, but there is nobody. I force myself to open my eyes because I get scared. When I finally wake up, it’s difficult to go back to sleep because of the fear it will happen again.

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