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Sleep Paralysis: Awake But Still Asleep

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Biology 202
2000 First Web Report
On Serendip

Sleep Paralysis: Awake But Still Asleep

Hiro Takahashi

A person may wake up and find himself unable to move or speak as if he is frozen. He also may hear footsteps, see a ghost-like creature, or feel someone sitting on his chest. Throughout the history, people considered this phenomenon as work done by evil spirits. However, the modern science can explain the terrifying event as a Sleep Paralysis.

A Sleep Paralysis is possibly a hereditary disorder in which one experiences very frightening seconds or minutes of total body paralysis with little respiration and eye movements (1). A victim in this state feels awake, but he cannot move or speak (2). In addition to the immobility, the common symptoms include feeling choked or suffocated, hearing strange noises like footsteps and voices, seeing beings or dark shadows, and feeling an existance of someone in the room (1). Although these symptoms often direct the victims to believe in ghosts, mistransmission of neural signals in the brain causes Sleep Paralysis. When a person sleeps, his brain sends signals to inhibit any muscle contraction (3). If he comes into consciousness before the brain sends signals to activate muscle contraction, he cannot move his body, and consequently, become "paralyzed"(2).

In order to understand how a body becomes paralyzed while the person is awake, it is necessary to understand sleep cycles. In a mammalian sleep, the brain activity undergoes two different states called non-REM (NREM) sleep and REM sleep, which differ very much from wakefulness (3). NREM and REM sleep alternate cyclically through the night; in human, about 80 minutes of NREM sleep starts a night of sleep, about 10 minutes of REM sleep follows, and this 90 minute cycle is repeated about 3 to 6 times during the night (3). During NREM sleep, a body produces few movement, but the body has capability of tossing about in bed and producing some other motor events, such as sleepwalking and sleeptalking (3). The cardiac-muscle contraction and breathing occur at a uniform rate, and the eyes move slowly (2). During REM sleep, on the other hand, heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure vary (3). The eyes move rapidly because most dreaming takes place in this period, and the sleeper probably "look" at the moving objects in a dream (2).

The brain's control over muscles during REM sleep points out that in this period, a body is normally in the state of total paralysis, called a "nonreciprocal flaccid paralysis" (3). Probably to prevent a person from "acting out" a dream, the brain sends signals to inhibit any muscle contractions (2). Although some peripheral muscles, such as the muscles of the fingers and face, still twitch, the large skeletal muscles become relaxed, or "paralyzed" as a result (3). Some evidence supports that the motor paralysis of REM sleep protect against the acting out of one's dreams. A patient who suffers from rare syndrome called REM Sleep Behavior Disorder lacks the normal nonreciprocal flaccid paralysis, and he acts out violent dreams during REM sleep, often with injurious consequences (4). For example, a 60-year-old surgeon dreamt that he was attacked "by criminals, terrorists, and monsters who always tried to kill [him]" and fighting against them in the nightmare, he was actually punching and kicking his wife who slept in the same bed (4).

A nonreciprocal flaccid paralysis during REM sleep is accomplished actively by postsynaptic inhibition of motorneurons (3). Although the exact process of motor inhibition is not clear, some neurotransmitters and hormones are known to generate the many components of REM sleep. Aministering physostigmine, an inhibitor of the catabolic enzyme, increases the concentration of acetylcholine within the neurons in the pons, making it possible to artificially generate and start REM sleep in the middle of NREM sleep (3). Carbachol, the cholinergic agonist, produces a period of REM sleep in cat when directly injected into the pontine tegmentum (3). The hormone melatonin, a "master hormone" (5) that mainly controls circadian rhythms, also seems to play an important role in enhancing the REM state; the level of melatonin secretion by the pineal gland reaches its lowest during REM sleep (5). Such neurotransmitters and hormones probably activate or inhibit the activity of second messengers, which then activate or inhibit the third messengers, and so on till the last messenger inhibit the synaptic transmission or cause hyperpolarization of the motorneurons. And if, for some reason, the nervous or endocrine system continues to release the neural inhibitors, a person may experience Sleep Paralysis as he enters awakefully into or awakens directly from REM period (2).

While the modern neuroscience can describe the state of Sleep Paralysis as some errors of the neural transmission in the brain during REM sleep, a person who has seen or heard ghost-like figures/voices may easily believe that eveil spirits fully controlled his entire body. However, the images or noises, which the victim believes that he has seen or heard, are most likely hallucinations; and hallucinations, too, can result from the brain activity. In the 1960's, the Canadian neurologist W. Penfield introduced that electrical stimulation of the temporal lobe can cause the auditory hallucinations in the wake state (5). The buzzing or ringing sounds in the ears and other auditory hallucinations are closely associated with the activity of the auditory cortex and involves the temporal lobe (5). During the early period of sleep paralysis, the activity of the temporal lobe increases significantly, sometimes inducing hallucinatory sense (5). Similarly, the visual cortex generates internal visual stimuli, causing the victim to "see" terrifying figures during the paralysis (5).

How an episode of Sleep Paralysis induces visual or auditory hallucinations is still not clear, but it seems to have a significant relationship with anxiety (5). For anxiety is a neurocognitive event closely related to both psychological and physical processes, the extreme anxiety or panic may cause the release of several different signal molecules that trigger all kinds of physical events (5). A person experiencing Sleep Paralysis feels mortal fear or extreme panic, and hence, the brain generates and releases internal visual or auditory stimuli, producing hallucinations.

Also, hallucinations during Sleep Paralysis may happen, for one keeps dreaming even after some parts of his brain wakes up directly from REM sleep. Since the nervous and endocrine systems continue to release the neural inhibitors which sustain the paralysis, it may be possible that those systems keep releasing the neural activators that stimulate dreaming. Thus, a person continues to "see" the images and "hear" the noises produced in the dream that he has just had in REM sleep from which he has awaken.

Understanding more neural concepts of Sleep Paralysis, some researchers now hypothesize that a very rare condition called Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS) may closely relate to Sleep Paralysis (1). Upon the death, a SUNDS victim produces no body movement even though he experiences a myocardial infarction and strong breathing difficulties and should straggle in agony (5). The death may be caused by the extreme muscle atonia during Sleep Paralysis, which is so severe that even the cardiac muscles and the diaghragm paralyze (5).

Until I started researching on this subject, I have believed that the total paralysis of a body is due to an evil taking absolute control over the body. However, the interactions between neurons in the brain can explain this seemingly mysterious phenomenon in a scientific way. Although the explanation is not complete yet, for there are many unclear processes about Sleep Paralysis, the current hypothesis appears to reject the possibility of ghosts on this matter. Of course, it is impossible to completely disprove the existence of "spirits", "minds", or "God" affecting one's behavior. Nevertheless, like Sleep Paralysis and SUNDS, many or the mysterious conditions and behaviors which are only explained in supernatural terms probably result from brain.

WWW Sources

1)The Evil's of Sleep Paralysis

2)The Body During Sleep

3)Basics of Sleep Behavior

4)REM Sleep Behavior Disorder: A Neurologic Dissociative Sleep Disorder

5)Recurrent Isolated Sleep Paralysis



Comments made prior to 2007

I have been trying to figure out what was going on in my sleep untill i read this.Now i am happy to know what my body was expeiencing. It's quite scary your first couple experiences of sleep paralysis but now i'm gonna stay calm when it is happening to me and try to get my own understanding of the experience ... Jeremy, 21 March 2006


I have had sleep paralyisis at least once per month for the last 8 years. I am 29 as of this writing. I just had the experience about 1 hour ago and thus has caused me to do reasearch about it on the net. I noticed that many Dr.'s contribute this to anxiety, stress and other factors. My question is ... why is there always an evil presence in that concious yet body is still asleep phase? Today I heard a loud static sound, and opened my eyes to a spider crawling all over my arm. When I prayed to God, or said His name (Jehovah) the spider would start to disappear. I finally went thru my mental prayer when I awoke. This leads me to believe that it is more of a spiritual occurence, because I never have positive images while in this paralized state. I know there are many things in which our ancestors thought it was demonic rather than scientific, only to find there was a scientific explanation. However, I think this is different and cannot be simply written off as "scientific". There is not enough proof to show that it is scientific.

About a month ago I had another episode of sleep paralysis and I saw a small presence in the room with me. It was dark, and I could not see it's face (I am getting chills typing about it right now). My question is, why is there always an evil presence not only associated with my episodes, but so many others I have read about? ... Abel, 24 August 2006 


i was thinking it is evil who do that during night but now i find out why. I am suffering from sleep paralyze possibly every nigh spicily when i have dinar ... Salah Nasser, 28 January 2007


I used to have this sleeping disorder when I was a child.  It has come back once or twice with adulthood, but otherwise, it is in the past.  I used to, with great effort, move my hand to my face and pull an eye open, which would wake me up, but sometimes the struggle was too much and I would go on into a deeper sleep. 

Since the brain can do this to me, can it also cause me to get migraines just as I am about to wake up?

It seems, as I have discovered, if I get less than 4 hours sleep a night, I do not get migraines.  If I get 6 hours or more, it's about a 90% chance I will wake with a migraine.  Later in the day, I get an hour or two nap and that is the routine as it works.  Doctors just sort of treat the migraine and don't get into the sleep thing I have.  I take MaxAult for the migraines when they do get me.

I woke one time, and just as I woke, I felt this white-hot needle going into my head... bingo.  A migraine in 5 seconds.  That is how they can occur.  I wake with them otherwise.  I figure it my brain doing things it shouldn't.  I have a clean bill of health otherwise.

Thanks for your time.  Have a good day ... Jay, 11 February 2007


I have a question, and hope someone out there has an answer, it has been months and I have thus far failed to find one.  Has there ever been a record of anyone receiving the effects of sleep paralysis without having been asleep?  The reason I ask this, is a while ago, having not slept in a few hours, I was sitting at my computer, and it seemed to have happened to me. Within seconds I was too tired to hold up my own head, and my breathing got very difficult. Then I began to feel a sort of dizziness as my limbs lost feeling, and dropped to my side. after this, the dizziness turned to near blindness. I could see, but nothing would focus, and everything I tried to look at seemed to dart around like a mosquito. By this time I had no feeling in my entire body, could move nothing without quite a bit of concentration, and I could barely breath.  My mother heard me try and make out some kind of cry for help, and found me there spilled into my computer chair. She rolled me to my bed, and poured me into it. Within about 10-15 minutes I had regained everything I once had, but my sea legs did not ware off for another ten or so minutes.  I went to the emergency soon after. I had an E.K.G. and a C.A.T. scan, with no results, and I piss less in a week then the amount of blood they took that night. After basically telling me I was lying, the doctor told me that my symptoms did not fit anything at all.  What I do know, is I have been researching the issue ever since, and can only base my problem on Sleep Paralysis. All the symptoms match. And again, my question....Has there ever been a record of someone under the effects of sleep paralysis without ever having gone to sleep?  I hope you can shed some sort of light on this subject, as it,...well, it freaked me the hell out, and no one has been able to answer me!  Thank you for your time ... Mitchel Henderson, 7 December 2007


I used get this "evil paralysed me" feeling when i was paralysed and usually saw a ghost. i tried to shout or move but no sound escaped my mouth and couldn't move at all. it happened again yesterday and was almost convinced that ghosts/evil spirits were getting the better of me. But, me being a practical and logical guy, erjected this theory and started researching on this phenomenon. I came across this research paper on Sleep Paralysis. This greatly helped me in alleviating my fears. And next time i "see" a ghost during sleep paralyses, ill just laugh at it ;-)  Thanks for the research ... Siddarth, 10 December 2007 


Madam Pomfrey's picture

Sleep paralysis: 3 times in a row

So like you i also experience this terrifying phenomena.

Yesterday, it attacked me. But it was worse the other day when i experienced it 3 times in one sleeping. If i could just fully describe that terrifying feeling.

The moment when your in your deep sleep and you realized you've been awaken. Then you hear voices around your house and see yourself lying.
You wanted to move but can't.
You tried to scream so that people in your house can hear your or see you struggling, but can't
You tried to move all your extremities until you get tired. Really tired though you knew none of your extremities moved. You feel exhausted till you realized you're catching for your breath.
After finding myself relaxed and gained my energy, i tried waking up again my body. Then when i wake up, i found myself mumbling and very exhausted.

It's not cute, really. And it's getting worse. I'm on this thing of tracking the number of sleep paralysis attack and it's progressing. Before, i usually experience it like twice every 3 months.

My experience for the past months was way more terrifying rather than these days.
Because of researching, it was getting clear to me. Removing the idea that it is caused by evil/demonic thing.
There's this one attack before when i felt like my mouth is being ripped up by someone. Someone strong that the feeling is really excruciating. It's like that spirit (if its really a spirit) wants to go inside my body. (Are you getting my point)
Then what i did was i prayed. that 'thing' laughed loud as in an evil laugh and eventually it diminished.
I woke up really exhausted and prayed it won't happen again.

It just keeps on coming back, this sleep paralysis thing, specially when i'm really tired. It really happens.

I'm just afraid that what if i have this attack again and i can't wake up anymore?

So for all of us who experience this, WHERE CAN WE GET HELP? WHO TO CONSULT? Neurologist? Psychologist? I really need an answer.
i'm afraid there's something wrong with my brain's activity that's why this is happening.

Tina G's picture

The real deal

What is sleep paralysis? Well "they" say its when ur frozen in place actually awake but cant respond. Well who are "they"? "They" are these peope who brainwash u and tell u this is scientific. They run all these tests cant find anything, people have similiar symptoms but still no abnormal test results. I wish u people would wake up and realize warfare between good and evil is most definitely REAL. The devil and demons are at work in our lives everysingle day trying to do whatever they can to wreck havoc and its a shame people dont realize this and they think its a joke. Everything u listen to, watch, read, or even the people u surround urself with can open up negative doorways. Perfect example i had experienced these episodes before but i started reading 50 shades of Grey...long story short i made it through the 1st book, gave the 2nd book back after the 1st chapter, and didnt even dare pick up the 3rd book because I was aware of the darkness and sexuality involved and I was spiritually attacked almost everyday. I was terrified to sleep because it was everything from being held down, seeing shadows, hearing voices, chants, feeling that out of body experience, to being choked and being able to make out a face while I was being choked. And yall really believe this is scientific yeah ok keep believing that. If people studied the word more they be opened up more to the TRUTH instead of what "THEY" are having yall believe it is. There is no way in tge world people should have episodes continuously and having test done that come back NORMAL naw what it really is is SPIRITUAL. But I guess to many people are still asleep and thats why they cant wake up and see the TRUTH!

Serendip Visitor's picture

I agree. We are most

I agree. We are most definitely dealing with spiritual warfare. I use to be afraid when I was attacked. Now I call on the name of Jesus and the evil entity leaves.

mary's picture

the same thing JUST happened to me

What you've just described happened to me for less than 1 hour ago. I felt exactly what you felt, except I was sleeping on my back. That dark cloud, clearly evil, tried to take over my body too. It tried to get under my skin into my body. I was resisting in my mind but my body couldn't move. It was horrible!

I recently survived from a terrible car accident and this might be related to it. Everybody kept saying that I must have a guardian angel for surviving without a scratch.

I'm not religious at all. I lost my father when I was 7 years old (im 33 now) and my dad was the love of my life and he loved me very much, I think he's been watching over me the whole time. He was a strong man, physically and mentally. He helped a lot of ppl and is clearly my guardian angel. So during this sleep paralysis, I called him. I think he came because all of a sudden the room lightened up, almost white, so white, like a sun, and I saw my own face on that light, smiling and although I was struggling to breath, I woke up. I felt scared, asking what was just happening ...

I think there is only an individual solution. You need to explain this for yourself or get some explanation related to your current situation, and then perhaps you'll get a proper way of dealing with it. Some turn to religion, some to doctors, I think there is a middle ground. Sure, it might be related to anxiety but the fact that everyone seems to feel and see the same things might add some truth to the spirit theories...

I hope you find a solution and I hope it's our last experience in sleep paralysis.

I would place some sage and some turquoise or blue objects next to my bed as it repels evil
Good luck!

Serendip Visitor's picture

I've experienced this as

I've experienced this as well, and the only thing that seems to commonly work for those snapping out of it is saying the name JESUS. Or thinking it. That has ALWAYS worked for me. I experience release immediently. No matter what people want to call it, it's demonic. Definitely spiritual. Jesus is the answer. Principalities of darkness have to bow at the name of Jesus! Try it!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Sleep paralysis - all my life

Hello everyone is nice to know I am not the only one suffering sleep paralysis. I remember the first time it happened to me, I was 10 years old. I was in bed I heard a noise and try to wake up but I could not. The most horrible thing is that I felt like something was lifting me into a sitting position. It last for a long time then I started praying and it put me back to my bed very slowly. From then on my experiences with this has been many, right now I can have this every other day or twice a week very frequently. I see people or shadows and hear noises that are scary, I am not scare at the time is happening but afterwards I have to sleep with someone else to fall sleep again. I have never gone to the doctor to see if anything is wrong with me. But I do remember having anxiety when I was a child, I used to stay awake until very late because I was very scare of someone killing me or hurting me, or just get in the house and hurt my family. The anxiety was very bad, I remember sweating from how scare I was. Anyways, like I said I never went to see a doctor. And now that the SP is more frequent I just deal with it. I do not think something can hurt me but my anxiety does not help. I still have the scary feeling that something really bad is going to happen. Maybe all this anxiety mix with SP is not good and makes it worst.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Control your breathing

This has been happening to me for years. It doesn't happen every day or even once a month but I do remember getting it as a kid as well. It happens all the time I sleep on my back, which is why I tend to sleep on my side every night. I notice that even if I can't control my body or voice at all I can still control my breathing. So when this happens to me I breathe really loud and fast almost snoring to get my wife's attention. She knows already that it's me asking her to wake me up. It is very scary and disturbing to feel this happen to ones body. I also always feel a dark person in the room with me almost as if they want to take control of my body. It's a little scarier now that I see a lot of other people feeling darkness and hearing voices. All I can do is give my own experience to all of you and hopefully it helps you guys when this happens.

Nadine Muzio-Clayton 's picture


I'm still so amazed by how many replies I've received about SP. It is really really really hard to read and reply to each response. Anyone can email me directly if you need info or just simply want to talk with someone else who is dealing with SP and has been for years. It's just an easier way for me to communicate back. My email address is nadine0480 @ gmail .com. Talk to you soon. ~Nadine

Serendip Visitor's picture

Why fear? You fear fear

Why fear? You fear fear itself?
Why be afraid of them? You fear only the unknown, so ask the question.

JimmyK's picture

The door closing

I woke around 3am or seemed too. I could see the whole room but couldn't move any other part if my body. I had a slight buzzing sound in my head and barely breath like there was a heavy weight in my chest. I was trying so hard to nudge my wife and say her name to wake her up but I could so i panicked. As soon as I started to panic I looked towards the door of my room which was cracked about half way and it started closing slowly. I was scared beyond believe until I remembered to pray. As soon as I finished my prayer with amen after asking god to forgive me for whatever I had done to deserve this and asking for his help the door stopped moving and my arm that was trying to nudge my wife shot over and hit her side. She also panicked with me asking me what was wrong so I told her and I didn't get a wink of sleep the rest if the night. I only laid in bed praying.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Im so glad i found SOMETHING

Im so glad i found SOMETHING to explain whats been happening for me for the past few weeks. Im in High school at the moment, and i dont really get that much sleep, about 4 hours a night, so me going to sleep in class was a very frequent thing. One day though i fall asleep sitting down in one of my classes, but somethings off, like i couldnt put my finger on it, but my body had this strange sensation, this like pulsing all over, and although i knew my eyes were closed i felt like i could see around me, and it was dark, but i could kinda hint out the other classmates if i looked at them long enough,pretty weird. When i had enough of that, thinking it was a dream, i tried to open my eyes, but i couldnt, i could just feel them squirming, and thats when i got scared. it happend a few more times, but today, after taking my final, i sat down in a couch in class, dont know why there was one in there lol, and just fell asleep. A few moments later, i could hear everything around me, but my eyes were closed, felt that strange pulsing throughout my body, and couldnt move. I had like visions, or brief moments where i could just gaze at a classmate from where i was sitting, but stilll couldnt stand, and i still was asleep. This one really scared me because i felt that whatever was happening had to stop right there, i had to get someone to wake me up, so while sleeping i attempted to get off the couch, just roll of and maybe someone would help me up, but i wouldnt budge. i felt my nerves in my leg kind of move, and felt like i had gone to the floor, but the whole time i stayed in that chair, the bell rang to go on to the next class, but i was still stuck there, someone had to come move me for me to get up, and when i i did my heart was racing as if i had just had a nightmare. Idk what to think of it all, but if its just something called sleep paralysis, i feel way more confident that im not losing my mind,

Andrew Sherman's picture

4:50 am and these things are getting worse

I am new to this experience. Over the past 3 weeks it is every night but a few of them. And any where's from 3-15 sleep paralysis dreams that are horrific. Most times I feel like I am in a hospital receiving CPR, docs are trying to save my life, however so many weird things going on around the room... I can't understand what is going on other than I think I am dying. Can't see a lot of times but on the other end I can see vivid light around the shadows of a loved one I am reaching out for help. Trying to call them but I can not talk. I can not breath. I hear sounds & ponds. I feel like I am in coma state yet being held down on top of it. What makes it bad is that I am conscious and it feels so real. I panic because I know if I could move, I will wake up. I hear voices but do not understand the words I am hearing. I see things I do not understand. I am scared of sleep. It is 5am and another night with out sleep. Is there anybody reading this that can help me with this new terrifying fear I have encountered. Finding this blog helped me see I was not going crazy. I am not religious. so spirits and ghosts were something I was not buying. I do believe in science. And I am hoping someone has some logical help answers please and a huge thanks in advance. - Andrew Sherman

Andrew Sherman's picture

I am new to this experience.

I am new to this experience. Over the past 3 weeks it is every night but a few of them. And any where's from 3-15 sleep paralysis dreams that are horrific. Most times I feel like I am in a hospital receiving CPR, docs are trying to save my life, however so many weird things going on around the room... I can't understand what is going on other than I think I am dying. Can't see a lot of times but on the other end I can see vivid light around the shadows of a loved one I am reaching out for help. Trying to call them but I can not talk. I can not breath. I hear sounds & ponds. I feel like I am in coma state yet being held down on top of it. What makes it bad is that I am conscious and it feels so real. I panic because I know if I could move, I will wake up. I hear voices but do not understand the words I am hearing. I see things I do not understand. I am scared of sleep. It is 5am and another night with out sleep. Is there anybody reading this that can help me with this new terrifying fear I have encountered. Finding this blog helped me see I was not going crazy. I am not religious. so spirits and ghosts were something I was not buying. I do believe in science. And I am hoping someone has some logical help answers please and a huge thanks in advance. - Andrew Sherman

Ephasius's picture

Logical Answer

There are logical answers. As requested, look into the following wiki articles:

Serendip Visitor's picture


I do believe in spirits and have had this happen more than a few. I will agree it's very scary and upsetting to be awake and know your asleep. Come on wake-up! This last time was after I was awake all night unable to sleep. Usually the same things stress, bills, and anxiety. This time was different though very real and I think I took what was happening all wrong. The dream I had before I was out of my body and beside myself and to the bathroom and back in my apartment and screaming at my girlfriend to help me although I was dead asleep and not actually moving was a nightmare about a man who was saying something before blowing us both to bit. But the more I thought about it the more I wonder if it you my recently deceased father just trying to visit me but stupid me just had to be watching American horror story before his visit. I don't know what the scary man was saying but I could totally see my dad like it's alright calm down as I'm freaking out because of this world I'm not going to hurt you I just wanted to tell you...... ah shoot he dreamed something crazy I'm staying out of this I'll try latter and as much as I loved the old man me still unable to understand...well the rest you know . And I'm still OK. I just calmed down a little and I might have even remembered. Jesus the millisecond before I woke. Well one or the other. And dad if you see this just know that I'm alsome and those bills will get paid. Hope this helps. It hasn't been easy without you. Love, JTR

Ephasius's picture

screw it

I've had enough of giving reassurances, but theres only so much I can say. Take some time to look at dates and locations if you want but what you need to be doing is reading about Ultra Low Frequency. Around the 18Hz band will cover your eyes and more.. That type of resonance can occur naturally. Im sure that sort of info is put there by now if you google.

There are less natural causes too. But what they are is irrelevant.

Shelby 's picture

I have had this happen to me

I have had this happen to me multiple times and each time it was absolutely terrifying. I once had it happen twice in a row while taking a nap. I always feel a presence but have only seen "ghosts" twice. This keeps me from wanting to even go to sleep.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I'm not scared

This just happened to me also. Have had that same experience as a kid were I new something was wrong with going to sleep but did it anyway. Just got to calm down and pick your battles with sleep. Don't pass out if you not comfortable you know.

Toni Jones's picture

Its now 3:11 in the morning

Its now 3:11 in the morning and I had woke up cause it felt Like someone Was choking Me idont know if I have the syndrome or not but I'm So Afraid to go to sleep

yogi fatur's picture

it was just happent to me few moment ago!

This what just happent to me just now: at first I thought I'm awake because I still can see clearly. But than I can't moved my body, either my arm or leg are both stuck. Event I cant move my head. All I can do is just rolling my eyes to see around without any of my body working. And than that feelings was just happent. It felt like a fever at the begining just without a body heat. Than I start to felt like there was something push me from above, over and over again. and I'm start to drawning on my bed. At the same time my eyes slowly forced to closed. And when its totaly closed, things were just become worst! I'm feel like something is drag me very hard to every corner of my bed. Just chaos. I still can't move, and I'm thinking that it must be only happent in my head that will finish when I'm more relax. So I'm try to relax and try to manage my breath (event I still felt that I'm on draging) and it stop! I thought that I have to woke up to end this weird journey. So I'm try to wake, but my body was still freezing. Than with my eyes open I felt that something grab me on my rear neck and I'm slowly start standing.. More and more until I felt that I stand only on my toe! It was happening again! Arrrggghhh.. My head is again chaos. So I try to start manage my breath again and slowly I'm going down and down and back to my starting sleep position. I try to speak but nothing were out from my mouth. I'm try harder and I finally hear my sound in a very quite one. I thought it heared more like a 'last word from somebody before they dead' than a voice. But than I felt my body are slowly cured, It start from my finger, hand, until I can control all my body normaly.

Now I'm awake. It was my first time being like that. I was so curius about this and start to browse to find why it happent that lead me to this blog. Now I know that this called sleep paralysis. I know that there is no such thing as a 'ghost or devil' and I'm 100% sure that everything can be explained scientificaly. Thanks for somebody who wrote this blog. Now I can back to sleep again without anything to be worried about. cHeers!

Serendip Visitor's picture

I am 17 and this started

I am 17 and this started happening to me not that long ago and it really freaks me out still. Most of the time i can't eveb move my eyes. I panic a lot during this, i have no idea how to be calm during this. One time this happened and i saw a man standing by my bedroom door staring at me and he didn't disappear until i regained control of my body. If anyone knows how to stay calm i would really appreciate the advice.

Serendip Visitor's picture

im 19 and it has been happen hoping for a long time

i know the feeling. my getting so bad dont want to go to sleep and doc cant help you and there nothing you can do. i feel so hopes when i have one. and i just try to think of something happy as much as i can and see if that helps it helps me a little but idk. i just give up hope on that

Serendip Visitor's picture

I am 17 too and this same

I am 17 too and this same thing started happening to me! I have a horrible dream where i feel half awake but half asleep and i cant move, once i wake up i feel really strange and feel like something is watching me. Now im kind of scared to sleep because I dont want it happening again. Just thought i would reply to this because it was relatable to yours

Serendip Visitor's picture

This has happened to me

It both relieves me and frightens me that I'm not the only one experiencing this terrible condition. I've been through this since I could remember. For example, one day I was babysitting my baby cousin. I had him in his rocker beside me on the couch. I fell into a sleep, and then next thing you know I was struggling to move. I managed to get one eye open, and when I did this black figure stood over the couch at least three feet. I KNEW it was there. Or at least I believe it was. I don't know if I'd say it was an hallucination. I'm hoping it was. As I began to still struggle to move, my body was frozen, stiff, rigid. My eyes were closing slowly, I panicked knowing that 'thing' was still there. Watching me. It was so real, I had to be awake.. It just felt so real. It took all my strength to move my finger, it's what I always do to wake myself. Once I move at least one finger I can jerk my body to move. I've noticed something similiar has happened to others. The stories I've read has a lot to due with spirits, demons, evil. I don't know if it has anything to do with Science or if it has something to do with god. But it scares me to death, I don't really even want to talk about it now. I just know I'm getting back into church, I'm going to start living my life better. Anyway I wanted to share one of my stories. xxx

simon's picture


Has anyone else actually picked up on or acknowledged the common factors here yet?

1) It seems very real to the person experiencing it.
2) The figures, the manner they appear in the dark and quiet are in common.
3) From the above there may or may not be sonething real at work.
4) Those who panic and obssess with how "evil" they are appear to be the only ones with negative experiences.
5) Any change of emotional state, from relaxing, to reason, to praying is mirrorred in the experience. Ie it stops or changes.
6) Regardless of the cause being internal or external, based on the above, simply find the solution that works for you.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Oh yeah. Its a FACT because I

Oh yeah. Its a FACT because I said so. So it must be true. Oh yeah. I have evidence and stuff but I wont go into it now... because I lost it. I swear I had it yesterday lol.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Sleep Paralysis

I've had this for a long time, started when I was a young kid, and I never knew people suffered with this until today, im 23 now. When I wake up, I cant move, I can not speak, and icing on the cake, I can not breathe, I feel myself suffocating every time. I try to keep myself calm in my mind, saying it wil go away, but not being able to breath really freaks me out. Today was my first time experiencing this in a car. I was in the back seat, siting up and not laying down, and it happened, I thought I was asking someone to help me, but maybe it was in my mind, and they could not hear me suffering. It feels like I am suffering every time.

Serendip Visitor's picture

This is what exactly happens

This is what exactly happens to me. My childhood was quite troublesome although not sure if this has any connections to this order. If my girlfriend is next to me i feel like i'm trying to squeeze her hand so she can wake me up but she says that i'm not! sounds like people have it a lot worse than i do !

AK's picture

Try this..

I used to have those episodes too.. some were really terrifying..

I will suggest to do this:
- when you know you are a sleep and its happening.. just try to go back to sleep
- Close your eyes since its the main reason for panicking..
- calm down and try to regulate your breathing (sometimes you flip over your stomach and your breathing might be obstructed)
- you can try to focus on moving your finger, 1 finger not a whole hand or foot.. i was able to wake up by waking up my body..
- i find it very effective and resolve all this by wearing an eye patch thing like the one you wear in the airplane when travelling..
- avoid sleeping on your back or stomach.. i usually sleep on a my side and face the wall.. it helps to face the wall (for me)

Hope those help..

PS: its not calling god name that help actually.. its that praying when it happens calms you down, and when you stop panicking things go back to normal and you wake up..

PSS: sometimes i try to explore it, i once was able to walk all the way to the main street (its like 5min walk from the room and out of the house) and it was so strange, saw all those dark shadows and things i couldnt understand.. then when it was getting weird i just closed my eyes and trying to calm myself.. i guess playing so much suspense computer games made me set my mind to go and walk in it.. but when i wake up i am in the bed like nothing happened..

AK's picture


Hi guys.. so it happened to me again.. but this time i again tried to tackle the problem differently..

i woke up on bed and unable to move.. i remember i was feeling sleepy and i was watching tv and just dozed off.. this time i can hear someone is in the room.. didnt bother with it but tried to move my one finger which is one of the things that usually wakes me up.. but suddenly i was dragged of the bed and into the floor.. even though that happened i know am still on the bed sleeping.. so i tried again to wake up.. and again suddenly something from my behind sat me down.. i started to try smething else which is just close my eyes and try to go back t sleep.. and out of no where i was woke up and i was able to move my arms..

but it was weird bcoz i was still on the floor.. which is so wrong since i ALWAYS wake up where i am sleeping at.. so i stood up and hit the light switch immediately.. and looked at the light and it was on.. looked at the windows and saw a big black dragon like figure flying.. thats when it hit me that am still sleeping.. looked up at the light again at it was off.. and the switch was moved like 5 foot away from where it suppose to be which prompted me to walk to it.. but saw something passing by the outside of the door which made me ignore the switch and weirdly the room was lit with out lights.. so.. i opened the door and took a step out and in the hallway there was like 1 or 2 figures standing at distance.. they were talking or something and when i stepped out it stared at me and one f them tried to wave their hand so to appear to say hi or something.. and when i was about to wave my hand.. i woke up bcoz my little sister jumped on the bed and hit my legs.. i woke up and kissed her which made my sister kinda wonder why haha.. at the same time i wanted t see what will happen if i said hi.. its like a bad ending for a bad suspense movie..

anyway just wanted to share what i went though.. this is the first time i wake up and not being awake but being able to move around..

and again i cant explain it..

Tai's picture

The Truth, The Cause, The Cure

No one wonders why, even though you're asleep, you have total awareness of what's going on in the room around you?
Or why every time there's either a presence, or a spirit, or a person with you?

When you die, where do you go??? To heaven? Reincarnation? If you think you're just a body- you're wrong. It's a fact. But I won't get into that right now.

Sleep paralysis is caused by someone, who currently does NOT have a body, lurking near your sleeping body, while you are slightly outside of it. They are attempting to control your body. Most people are generally good. But about 2-3% of people are pure evil! Living or otherwise. It is someone in this small percentage, with ill intentions, and stuck in an incident that happened in their past, who are terrorizing you.
This is why this event will occur FAR more often at/near a hospital, or cemetery, battlefield, or mortuary etc. Because that is where they "dropped their bodies" (died).
I'm sure plenty of people share this with other members in their home- because it is the same person doing it to each of you!
But don't worry. This is just some asshole who's totally jealous of your ability to live! Just let them know that this body is yours (with your thoughts, or write it down, or whatever), and if they want, they can visit a local maternity ward, hospital, or pregnant woman if they want their own body!

Terry's picture

response to person having sleep/wake paralysis

I have to agree with the person who wrote in about a possible entity actually being so enviousof us having a physical body that it torments us. It is the exact same persona,if ypu will,in the room with us each time. The doctors and all professionals can use all the psychiatric or scientific information they want. I'm 50 y.o. and know my mindvand body a lot more than any of them. The best solution for me is to slowly gain control of my body,then either say"get out of here or just get up for awhile. It does get old,and stays somewhat terrifying,but bottom line,we are the ones in control. Thanks for your time. Blessings to all of you

that was weird's picture

that was weird.

So just had one of these first time. I couldn't move or open my eyes. Felt a presence and heard noises. So I went back to sleep. I have never had any type of anxiety. But yah that was weird haha.

Josh (guest)'s picture

Sleep Paralysis

Just recently this happened to me. As I am still in highschool, I live with parents. I went to bed as usuall then my dream started. I remember sensing my mom walking down the hall way ( she actually was at the time, weird?) then she came in mr room ANC started to talk to me. I then woke up and could see all around my bedroom and she obviously wasn't here, yet I could hear her talking to me. After her voice subsided, I couldn't move, and as loud as I tried to get my moms attention ( I could tell that she was in the bathroom ) all I could do was get out a slight murmur, nothing that would get her attention. I have had the feeling where you have a "spirit" or "demon" over you before, but this just seemed different, and while I couldn't move, I could squirm around and honestly I thought about falling off the side of the bed to stop it, but I let it subside.

Ashley92194's picture

My Sleep Paralysis

I experienced so called sleep paralysis last night. I went to sleep for about five minutes and found myself dreaming about me dying repeatedly. When I finally could open my eyes, they would not open all of the way, I could slightly move them side to side and my whole entire body felt as if it was frozen. I had to literally twitch my body so hard in order to get it back to normal moving state. I thought it was nothing and fell asleep again. The second time I had the same dream and I was frozen again, but then when I opened my eyes, I heard voices when I know dang wll nobody was up at this hour of the night in my house. As I was trying to scream because I live with my boyfriend, there was nothing coming out of my mouth, just muffled noises and it felt like I was being choked. I twitched myself out of it again and I sent a text to one of my friends and I did not even recall sending this text until this morming when they replied back to me. I told them to help me and then just a bunch of nonsense words that did not make sense.

Joapedro's picture

Slee paralisis

Im 14 years old and i keep getting this and its really scary i dont know what to do, whenever i recover myself from it, my body jumps. Is there a way to help stop this from happening to me

Simon's picture


I guess the bible thing makes sense to some people if you're Christian. I've never felt the need for a book. If you want to look at it that way, Gods all around you. You dont need to see or hear that. You can feel it like a warm breath covering you. Theres a reason you're here talking about your worries. Its because youre safe and have been all along. Perhaps you just didnt take the time to realise it. If you fear shadows, feel the light fill your being. You cant be harmed. But dont project harm lest you find yourself looking in a mirror, realising the anger or fear you fight against matches your own. Some people are lost or confused in this world. Those that dont project peace just need a guide. Show compassion.

Simon's picture

Im sorry but I cant recommend

Im sorry but I cant recommend taking anyone seriously on a subject like this if they cite having a degree as making them more credible. Or for that matter, those who profess to be religious experts... of any variety.

Ultimately what youre relying on is personal opinion. It may be based on someone elses personal opinion, be it a previous "religious expert" or otherwise but it adds no real value.

Serendip Visitor's picture

When it happens to me (I'm

When it happens to me (I'm only 12) I really didn't wrry about it much cause I could wiggle my toes till I gain strength back in my whole body but this time I saw a very small man grab a baby out of my hamper which scared me but now I know I'm not the only one and I hope to research it more

Serendip Visitor's picture

Your not the only one man.

Your not the only one man.

Simon's picture


Regarding the comment "Jesus doesnt have wings", dont worry about it. If Jesus was there and Jesud wanted to have wings Im sure he can have wings. The stereotype not picked up on though regarding the european man with long hair and goatee... well thats not believed to be accurate and was encouraged by a certain church...

Anyway thats all immaterial. No name or face matters here. Look at whats in common. People panic. Those that find comfort in God, Allah or whatever your belief use it with success. Those who continue to worry tend to be afflicted more.

Who really knows if this is a chemical thing and pur brains playing tricks on us or if theres something real there.

For me there was fear and now theres none. I hid from the shadows then a thought struck me. If Im going to die... I have no fear of death. If these are lost souls I will show them the light. If it ever happens again I will do the same. I will step into the shadows with no fear. Only compassion.

Noah's picture

Jesus, I saw.

I saw Jesus

A. WILLIAMS's picture


I am a 66-year-old retired Baptist Minister with a degree in Biblical Theology. I’ve had sleep paralysis for 30 years or so. Thank God it doesn’t happen very often. I’m like the rest of you; awake but can neither move nor speak. I can move only my eyes and eyelids. Horrifying! It happened just last night, but with a little different twist. This time my breathing stopped. My very rapid heartbeat slowed quickly to one beat every 5 to 7 seconds. Suddenly I felt my heart begin to get very warm, extremely warm to the point it felt hot. It actually felt very good. I did the only thing I could do. I prayed in my mind. My very words were, “please help me Jesus, not now.” Not now meaning, please don’t take me now. Immediately everything was restored. Was it my time? Was I going to die? I can’t answer these questions with certainty.

One partner in this suggested placing your Bible next to your pillow. He said it helped him. If I thought it would help, I’d put peanut butter on my pillow. But seriously, tonight I’ll be placing my Bible next to my pillow.

It might sound strange to you that a Baptist Minister would say no to leaving this life, and going on to heaven. I’m a little different from most Baptist Ministers. I’m also a realist. And do I want to go to heaven? You bet! It’s just that it was a frightening experience. This is one preacher that will shoot straight with you.

Many people have expressed they see demons, feel evil spirits, and etc. Perhaps they do. If I were you, I’d be using that Bible tonight, and be found reading it tomorrow.

Are demons and evil spirits for real? Absolutely. Can they be seen? At times, yes. I’ll call no man a liar concerning his experience. It’s his not mine.

In closing for now, let me say, fear can create a lot of mental problems. Yes even preachers experience fear. Check out Elijah in the Old Testament. He feared greatly for his life. So did the apostle Peter. Fear can be healthy or unhealthy.

I’ll let you know how it works out using the Bible. Our problem may simply be fear in our conscience or sub conscience. Or it could be a spiritual problem. Preachers have spiritual problems also.
Tonight I’ll go to sleep with my hand / arm resting on my Bible, and my mind saying, “Lord I’m going to try to trust you a little more than what I’ve been doing. Keep in touch.

Just call me Anthony.


Bourbon's picture

sleep paralysis

I'm a 43 year old woman,
i have experienced sleep paralysis since i was about 8,9,10 years old.
My mother also had this and my older brother on ocassion's.
Mine is when Im going off to sleep, i get a buzzing noise in my head... or little quick buzzy noise's,s
sometimes i get an intense feeling in my head of pressure and ive also experienced my body or head shaking fast.
when im paralyzed the more i try to come out of this state the more intense it gets. (meant to relax) yeah right..
I use to have them once in a blue moon but recently iv'e had them a lot, and 2 or 3 times in a row last night and so on :/
They scare me more because of feeling a presence ect
im also scared in case my boyfriend touches or hugs me during this state... daft i know...but could it be like a sleep walker being woken up? god knows
Just wish they would stop, scared to go to sleep sometimes

Jay's picture

sleep paralysis

Hey. I'm 18 y.o and I've only experienced the same thing that you have about twice thus far. I always hear that buzzy static sound in my head first and I also feel that pressure and then my head starts shaking and I can feel my jaw clenched and then my teeth rapidly hitting each other, then my body starts to shake and I try, with no avail, to stop it. Actually experienced it an hour ago, reason being why I'm awake and here.
I've heard the buzzing static sound since I was 12 and always considered it an entity trying to take control over me so I would pray and it would slowly stop, but the whole body shaking experience is new to me and only started last year.

But since you posted this a few months ago, I would just like to know if you've found a way to get rid of this or to make it happen a little less often? I'd really like your advice, if you have any.

Matt's picture

Saw Jesus during my sleep paralysis

I was asleep and I felt a presence in my bedroom so I opened my eyes. I saw a man with wings kind of like bug wing that were flapping really fast so fast I could feel the wind from them. I was so scared at first but I couldn't move. The man turned his head and I saw a beard and long hair. I instantly thought it was Jesus. I tried saying his name but mumbles would only come out of my mouth. I was still very afraid but I tried to reach out to him he reach his hand out to me as well and then just like that I came too and he was gone. Then a 1 second later my phone rang and it was my therapist. After I got off the phone my body started getting waves of chills intense chills. I closed my eyes to see if I see him again and I felt this rush come over my brain it started in the front and worked it was back. I get headaches all the time but this was different. It was actually pleasant.

A. WILLIAMS's picture


I'm a retired Baptist Minister with a degree. Don't let me upset you Matt. I'd never intentionally do that to anyone. But Jesus has no wings. As a matter of fact neither do angels. Only cherubim or seraphim have wings. I don't remember which one. You may have had a visit from one of them. A most important verse for you is II Corithians 5:21. Read it over and over till you understand it fully. It will give you perfect peace and could help the sleep problem. Praying for you.


Serendip Visitor's picture

sleep paralysis

I’m 17 yrs. old and i get sleep paralysis quite frequently and it comes on and goes off but then never totally goes away. I don’t really know why i get it i researched about it after repeatedly having dreams of demons or something in my room, like once i get this dream of a black ghost or something that i couldn’t see clearly outside the window and me looking towards it then i suddenly woke up by praying to Allah (god) i called out to him caz i notice every time i do that i wake up and because i get it frequently i try not to stress over it or else that will just make it worse so i try to make myself understand that’s only a dream and it will go away. After having one terrifying dream i have another one after the other and it’s quite scary, now it’s night 3:54am and i recently had all these scary dreams. I felt like i was dying or that im becoming a spirit i tried to fly while my body was still in rigid place but it’s this feeling that i can’t move myself but i always try to understand the fact that’s a nightmare. Because i kept on having dreams one after the other i forced myself not to fall asleep each time i woke up caz i would keep on going back to another nightmare so i forced myself to stay awake and decided to research this. i heard many people saying this could be a demon, ghost or something evil which is from religion side but from scientific side it wasn't much of a clear explanation i mean i don’t really know if the scientific info would have much evidence or prove that could explain this repeatedly nightmares. I remember i was a sleep one night and then i dreamt there was an insect on my neck so i reached out to get it in my dreams but then i woke up and i had my hand on a moth which was on my neck in reality during the night and this freaked me out caz i was having a dream about it then it was caught in my awaken life. There’s this other day i came from school and i straight away went to my parents room and slept near the window on their bed caz i was soo tired they were not home. i fall asleep in their room alone and later on my sister woke me up, it was around 6-7pm already dark and then i went to the kitchen and sat down tired and i felt a pain on my leg when i looked at it i saw this oval long brose, bluish and purplish colour it was new but i had no idea how it got there before i didn’t see it there i know for sure after that sleep it happened like that so i didn’t take it as a big deal at the time but then in that night i slept at 12 am again on that same bed although with my sister caz i was scared this time then there i kept on having nightmares after nightmares and i wanted to wake up but couldn't caz i would fall back to sleep every time i called out gods help and dream another part of a new nightmare... i was soo scared and i didn't want to sleep anymore i called my sister on and on but she was comfortable sleeping until i read a prayer of islam (dua) and finally i fall peacefully to sleep but after calling my sis she didn't even seem to care until she then started having those demons dreams as when i prayed it went off me to her and she was struggling with it and she tried calling me caz she was scarred i didn't even notice her calling me caz i was in peace at last so she then said a prayer to god and fall to sleep i have had many of these dreams and always tried to wake up but i couldn't. i believe it might be ghosts or demons evil spirit because when saying prayers they go away but if not then this happens its really creeping me out i wish i could have further information on this and why it really happens! Thanks.

Serendip Visitor's picture


Its the most scary this I've ever been through. Just glad to know I'm not alone.

jake giles's picture

same but different

Just had the scariest experience of my life. Fell asleep and immediately I was in a state of paralysis. The weird thing was that i was in a dream in a dream and when i would get out one state of paralysis I would go into another.. I dreamed that I was screaming at the top of my lungs trying to push over my pool table to wake me up and something put its fingers in my mouth and choked me.. there was a light shining in my house and would not go away.. I was running from something.. the weird thing is I kept waking up and would literally blink and go back into this world.. scariest night of my life.. I do not wish this on anyone..