Sleep Paralysis

Discussion in 'Dreams & Interpretations' started by Ken Anderson, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which someone awakens from sleep and finds himself unable to move, speak or react in any way. It may also occur while falling asleep. Sometimes it is accompanied by hallucinations that can be terrifying, such as that there is an intruder in the room. Sleep paralysis has often been associated with experiences described as shadow people, who have been associated with djinn.

    I have experienced sleep paralysis often, although less often now than when I was younger. When I was a child, it was often associated with sensation that I can only describe as being something of a taste and a color, combined.

    Usually it would occur as I was falling asleep, most often when I was very tired. Before I reached the point of paralysis, I would get a sensation as if I were being sucked into a whirlpool of sorts, only without the water. All around me were people whose faces I could recognize but not identify. They would all be speaking as if attempting to tell me something important but, since I was going around and around, I wasn't in proximity with anyone person long enough to understand what any of them were trying to say to me.

    I would get the strong feeling that something potentially dangerous was about the occur, but nevertheless tempting. I would be very afraid but tempted to go with it to see what it was all about. At this point, I could sometimes avoid it by tensing myself up, as if fighting against some unseen force, and make a sudden move, such as pressing my arms against the bed, or sitting up. But it was hard to do, and I couldn't always accomplish it.

    If I was able to wake myself up, I was in for a long night because every time I began to fall asleep, the whirlpool would be back, and I would sometimes be up all night, afraid to sleep.

    If I wasn't able to wake myself up, I would lose something in my awareness. There would be the whirlpool and the fear that was associated with it, but there was no conclusion. However, I would later find myself awake but unable to move. I did not see the shadow people that some people describe in similar situations but I would be aware that someone or something was in the room with me, and have the feeling that it was watching me. But it would seem as if this was separated by the whirlpool effect by a length of time, yet somehow connected.

    Other times, I would wake up very early in the morning with the feeling that someone was in the room with me. At first, I wouldn't realize that I was unable to move until I tried to look around the room to see who or what it was that was in the room with me, only to find that I couldn't move. I might try to talk, but be aware that my lips weren't even moving. Otherwise, if there was a radio on in the house, cars going by, or anything else, I would hear these things as if I were awake.

    Strangely, one morning while I was living in Long Beach, my son was spending the weekend at a friend's house in Anaheim, so I was home alone in the house. I didn't generally lock my doors.

    My bedroom was at the end of a long hall that led to the kitchen. I awoke very early in the morning, before daylight, to see someone standing in the kitchen looking down the hall toward my bedroom. At first I thought it was my son, then realized that he was in Anaheim.

    Of course, then I was scared. I tried to speak but was unable to. I tried to move but was unable to. There was someone in my house, and I couldn't move. A more helpless feeling I have never had.

    Then I woke up. It was several hours later, and the sun was up. Of course, I remembered the episode of sleep paralysis earlier, but this was the first time that I had ever seen any of the people (or things) that I frequently thought were in the room with me.

    After getting up, I went into the kitchen and found that someone had gone through my wallet, which I had left on the table. I probably didn't have more than twenty dollars in it, but it was gone. The front door was wide open.

    In the past fifteen years, I have experienced only a few episodes of anything like this. One morning, I woke up early and found that I was unable to move, but I didn't feel as if anyone were in the room with me. I was lying there in bed for quite a while before I was able to slide myself off the bed onto the floor, also with a great deal of effort. I don't know if this was even related to my other experiences though, because it was considerably different.

    There were a couple of other times that I have had to stay up because of the whirlpool thing. When this occurs while falling asleep, I get the taste-color sensation, but that is not associated with the sleep paralysis that occurs when I awake after having been asleep.
     
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  2. Adam Fields

    Adam Fields Member
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    I used to get this when I was a child. When I would wake up I was unable to move. It didn't hurt and I didn't have any auditory or visual hallucinations I was just unable to move. To get myself to move I had to focus pretty hard and just jerk myself to one side very fast. It always happened when I was on my back. As I got older it happened less and less and now it doesn't seem to happen at all anymore.
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Yes, it always happens when I am on my back, too.
     
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  4. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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    That has to be one of the most horrifying event that a person can live through. During my late twenties I explored Indian Cults such as "Radhi Swami Satsong" and others..They were for the most part smooth and did not invite us to do anything other than meditate, but I did open my mind to the occult with no qualified teacher or guru. A few years after I quit, I started getting the Sleep Paralysis and still do on occasion and although it is still scary, I pretty much get relief soon. For me, it is not only being paralyzed, but there is an evil entity trying to pull me with it. What I do is just stop fighting, try my best to relax and then call on the power of Jesus to chase this bad spirit away. Since I have been doing this, the visits are very rare, but once in awhile it tries anyway to catch me off guard.
     
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Although I have had these often, I can never be certain whether it is a purely natural phenomenon, or whether there is something demonic or otherwise supernatural involved. Although we may wake up periodically during the night, our body naturally paralyzes us while we're asleep

    However, the phenomenon has long been associated with the paranormal, such as demons or the old hag in Romeo and Juliet, the djinn, or alien abductions. As you say, it's not just the fact that I am unable to move or to speak, but there is a feeling of doom or danger related to it. When it occurs as I am falling asleep, I am convinced that something horrible (yet intriguing) will occur if I cannot get out of it, and when it occurs early in the morning, I have the sensation that someone is in the room with me.

    WebMD lists the following factors as being linked to sleep paralysis:
    • Lack of sleep
    • Sleep schedule that changes
    • Mental conditions such as stress or bipolar disorder
    • Sleeping on the back
    • Other sleep problems such as narcolepsy or nighttime leg cramps
    • Use of certain medication, such as those for ADHD
    • Substance abuse
    Of these, I can identify with all of them except for the last two. This does occur often when I am overly tired or have been sleeping irregularly, and for most of my life I have kept irregular schedules. Working for the paper company, I generally worked third-shift, but often had to do stints on first or second shift, including double shifts at time, as well as attending college during my off periods. I don't have bipolar disorder but there was often a lot of stress related to being a single parent, being a chief shop steward and VP of our labor union, and then as a paramedic. Every time I have experienced this, I have been lying on my back and, while I don't have narcolepsy, I do often get leg cramps during the night.
     
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  6. Michelle Keiser

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    I have had this happen to me. I am laying on my back and suddenly I feel that I cannot move. My lips are tightly closed and I try to speak but I only make noises, as if I am screaming but only I can hear it inside. I feel very frightened and want to push myself away from whatever it is but I can't, my arms won't move. I cry and just keep trying to move, struggling and finally my arms break free and I start punching outwards to whatever is there. I wake to find that the tears are real, I actually am crying. I can only remember not being able to move, or speak, I never remember if there is someone actually there with me in this dream. It is messed up!! I haven't had this happen in a long time. Or another thing that will happen to me is I feel like I am floating above the bed. I am sleeping, but not really sleeping because I feel this. Again, it is messed up. I have not done that in a long time either. As a child I remember having the same dream all the time that I was being chased by a bear, a black bear, and I would run and run. I would never actually get anywhere in the dream, I was just running away from the bear and I would eventually wake up and think, what was that about? I find the subject of dreams interesting and am looking forward to reading more about dreams, and what they mean.
     
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    As a child, had frequent dreams of being chased but it wasn't by anything that I could identify. In fact, it was hard to describe. It was a cross between a color (cream), a taste, and a substance, but it was without form. Still, in my dream, I was being pursued by it.
     
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  8. John Donovan

    John Donovan Active Member
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    Luckily, I have never encountered sleep paralysis. However, while trying to lucid dream, I read about it online and I heard that it's horrible. I've also heard that a way to wake up from this situation is to concentrate your whole energy on your big toe and to try to wiggle it. If you manage to do so, your whole body will slowly wake up and the hallucinations will disappear.
     
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  9. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    I had forgotten all about this experience of sleep paralysis, it has not happened to me in a very long time. I can barely remember having experienced something like this as a child, I remember the taste most of all. Not a good experience at all. It would make me afraid to go to sleep I would think I would not wake up.
     
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  10. Hannah Davis

    Hannah Davis Active Member
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    I have experienced a form of sleep paralysis over the years. I have found that I have had situations where I was half asleep and half awake where I would see something in my room. This would scare me so much that I would actually come to consciousness and start screaming. There are times when I would even go runnig out of my bedroom. Because of this reason I haven't slept in the dark in years, but has this stopped the hallucinations. Not completely there are sitll times when I would swear I was awake and I would hallucinate something in my room after being asleep, only to come consciousness and see that there is nothing actually there.
     
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  11. Avigail David

    Avigail David Well-Known Member
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    I was reading this thread starting with Ken's late last night I felt some goose bumps and spookie thoughts about the what-ifs around me. Thankfully, I haven't experienced any of this paranormal , strange phenomena in my life Oh, yes, when I was young; in my dream, I saw myself floating in the room and then suddenly outside my room trying to get in.
     
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  12. Clark Smith

    Clark Smith New Member
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    I am a feeling like that when I sleep over my arm and I can't move it nor feel anything if I touch it when I am awake but that's a different thing. By the way a complete paralysis like the one you described no, as far as I remember I never experienced something like this. Anyway it could be interesting if someone could do some research about this, I mean sounds like an interesting behavior of our body.
     
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  13. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    It has only happened a handful of times, but I occasionally have the opposite issue. I imagine I'm half awake or, well, I don't have any other decent theories. Here's an example: when I was in high school and just learning to drive I had this nightmare that I was driving, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't open my eyes. When I finally got them open I was waking up.
     
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  14. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    Sleep paralysis, commonly known herer as BANGUNGOT is a phenomenon that mostly experienced by Asians. Some studies point to the diet since the occurrence is confined to the people of a region but nothing conclusive.

    In our family, sleep paralysis is not rare and probably all of us in the house have experienced that one time or another. According to the elders, you become susceptible to sleep paralysis when you have eaten a big dinner and immediately goes to bed. And there is a theory that your nightmare causes sleep paralysis or vice versa. And when you die in your nightmare then you really die in reality.
     
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  15. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    I've heard of this, but never experienced it. I had no idea it happened to Asians more. Is there anything specific in the diets, or do they not know what it is specifically?
     
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  16. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    There are 2 kinds of sleep paralysis that I know. The first is the extreme nightmare where you are dreaming of danger like someone is chasing you and about to catch you or you are in a disaster and that you are about to die. That's the nightmare that your mind is concocting to give reason to an unusual something inside of you - pancreas is the primary suspect of doctors. Pancreatic attacks while asleep may be acute and can be fatal at times. But you normally wake up to this kind of nightmare.

    The second type of sleep paralysis is the lingering bangungot where you are wakened, with eyes opened and seeing reality, but you cannot move as if your nightmare is continuing. There was an incident like that to a seaman, husband of a distant relative of mine, who had an extreme nightmare. Fortunately, he was not alone In the cabin and his companion was wakened to his unintelligible sounds. He was wide awake but like a statue. And even if his companion was already touching him and shaking his shoulders, it took a while before he finally got out of that nightmare.
     
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  17. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    Neither one sounds appealing at all. I have woken up, frozen in fear. That is only for a second or two. Just long enough for me to realize where I really was. I think waking up, and being aware of the paralysis would be more terrifying than any dream.

    How is that pronounced? "bane-gun-got" "bang-un-got" "ban-gun-got"
     
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  18. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    @Jennifer Graves, it is pronounced Ba-ngoo-ngot. We usually experience that kind of nightmare when there is pain somewhere in the body. That is why the elders say that you should not sleep when you have a stomach ache or a painful knee or a throbbing toe because it will surely cause a nightmare.

    Most doctors say that those who die of bangungot were found to have had a severe and acute attack of pancreatitis - the swelling of pancreas that is related to blood sugar. It's not for diabetics though. Sorry but I have no complete information about that pancreas problem. All I know is the pain in the lower abdomen that comes with it.
     
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  19. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    @Corie Henson I have never known anyone to die from it. Thats scary! I don't know anything about pancreatitis, really. But it makes sense that the doctors would say that, even knowing nothing but pancreatitis but that it is caused by diet. I'm almost 40 years old, and have only known one person that went through pancreatitis. Am I right in guessing its a lot more common there, then?

    I've gone to sleep while in pain before, but the worst thats ever happened to me is I'll end up in another situation that causes the pain, while I'm dreaming. As for what could be considered dangerous, I have had several dreams about driving off a bridge, driving off a cliff, or a tidal wave flooding the road. It always ends with me drowning in a car. I'll wake up, and not be breathing. But that lasts less than 2 seconds once I wake up.
     
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