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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 


Serendip Visitor's picture

Both me and my son had the

Both me and my son had the same experience in the same night and within the same hour. Weird . He came into my room and said he was trying to wake up but couldn't and when he did he came into my room and I let him sleep in my bed to calm himand not 20 min into trying to get back to sleep it happened to me too. My son heard me trying to speak so he shook me awake thankfully . Just wish I could have done the same for him

farooq rahu's picture

I am a victim

thanks to the writer of the content who have briefly described the state of subconsciousness or paralyzed sate this article is totally all about this disorder.
this also happens to me often when i sleep not well because of changing my room or sleeping to an other strange place where i am not felling comfortable.

Serendip Visitor's picture

23. Male. Had SP since I was

23. Male. Had SP since I was little. Here's a few tips for dealing with it. DEEP BREATHING. If you deeply breathe in and out your body will slowly but surely break out of it. TELL YOUR PARTNER. My wife knows to wake me if she notices my change in breathing. DON'T FIGHT TO MOVE. You'll just freak yourself out and induce a nightmare. This is probably why people see creepy stuff while under SP. USE THIS AS A CHANCE TO LUCID DREAM. When else do you have a chance to be on the verge of sleep and be in complete control of your concious thoughts? Turn this into a positive thing. Imagine yourself flying and then close your eyes. Within 20 seconds, you'll be in the dream of your choosing. Soon you'll be looking forward to SP.

Serendip Visitor's picture

This is exactly what I have

This is exactly what I have trained myself to do, I thought I was the only one, haha.

Gewls (guest)'s picture

once again

I've had this happen to me several times and decided to do a bit of research, hence, it's how I came to this site. This happens to me maybe once or twice a year. I don't know what brings it on, though anxiety, stress, and tiredness seem pretty good applicants. I not only have hallucinations, but I feel things. Last night I thought there was something under the sheets. I felt things wrap themselves around my feet. At one point I was hovering, looking down at the floor and telling myself to remember the pattern when I wake up. So obviously I knew what was happening. It's not fun. I never thought it was anything evil, but I do have to laugh at myself because I did think it was aliens probing me, taking blood samples, etc. But even though I'm scared in these "paralysis dreams" I know I'll be ok. I just have to find a way to wake myself up.

Not sure if anyone has timed the dreams or looked at the clock. But, I had just got home from working abroad, so I was pretty jet lagged. I remember watching tv at around 11:00 p.m. fell asleep and had the paralysis thing happen. When I woke up and looked at the clock it was 12:58. It felt like hours had gone by.

Anyways, whatever it is, we keep waking up, unharmed. Wish I could control it a bit, the hallucinations could be quite fun if we knew how to control them.

Jan's picture

sleep paralysis

Its comforting to read these experiences. When I was about 19/20 I realize now that what I experienced was sleep paralysis
It happened a few times and each time I was lying down waiting to go to sleep. I would get a ringing/ buzzing sound in my head which would become so intense, and it would shoot down my body. I would then be paralysed apart from my open eyes. Trying to shout out was impossible. One time i felt pressure on my chest. After the first time, which was pretty scary, and i felt the buzzing/ringing in my head again, i was able to 'snap' myself out of it. I haven't had it for years (56 now) but sometimes i have intense dreams where i am trying to wake up in the dream and desperatly trying to shout out for help, but i can't.

casey's picture


I just had the EXACT scenario happen to me tonight.... The very loud buzzing/ringing sound and the inability to control my breathing, unable to speak/shout, and impossible to move. It was the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me. I am under a lot of stress recently, so perhaps that is what it is. I, too, have a history of having dreams where I want to shout for help and I can't or that I am in a fight and unable to throw hard punches (but certainly take them). It is the most helpless feeling; and I am glad that I'm not alone.

Serendip Visitor's picture

bad expeeience

Same thing has hapoen to me two times old tales where said that kusmon a short evil character is riding your back and you become stiff and cant move or breath first time expercing this was the other night i was dreaming black hands were squeezing my hands i started saying our fathers prays but i was tounge tied i barley could get my words out but i somehow managed to say my prayers and after that i woke up dont know why im expereicing this but i pray to God he take this away from me and you all not a good feeling

Serendip Visitor's picture

Super Scared

Last night was not the first time that I have had this experience happen, but it was certainly one of the most scary. I fell asleep on my couch, on my back and I felt like there was someone behind me. Then I heard them speak. I do not remember what was said, but it was a man's voice. I immediately felt the need to escape and get away, but I couldn't move. The harder I struggled to move, the more scared I became. I remember screaming and it only sounded like muffled noises, almost as if my mouth couldn't fully open to get the scream out. I knew what was happening. I knew I was somewhere between being awake and being asleep, but I couldn't do anything to wake myself up. In fact, I don't remember how/when I finally did wake up. When this happens, I try SO hard to wake myself up because it truly feels as though there is someone in the room with me and I need to escape them. Does anyone have any information or tricks they use to wake themselves up when you know what's happening? My husband has told me in the past that he can actually hear me audibly making sounds when I am screaming. It's such a terrifying experience not to be able to move your body, especially when you think there is something to fear.

kentz's picture

trick to wake up and it works for me.

When I have sleep paralysis. I try to calm down and move my head side to side to wake up and not panic then if doesn't work I try to move my pinky finger. Don't shout because you might get tired and that makes your heart beat faster. Keep calm you can hmmmmm. But if you feel tired you have to relax again then try to do the cycle. You should get up by then. One time I tried sleeping on it and still woke up in the morning...

Meagan's picture

How to stop it

I'm only 15 and I was recently going through this every night, sometimes more than one time. I hated it, and honestly it scared the crap out of me. When it first happened to me it wasn't that scary, I wasn't freaking out I was just laying there with my eyes open. It had to have been 15 minutes I was stuck like that untill my mom came into my room and I instantly snapped out of it. But then it began to get more scary, the images I was seeing freaked me out. Once there was a hand resting upon my shoulder, it was all black and the fingers were long and skinny. I tried to move, but it felt like I had weights on my arms and legs. The ringing in my ear turned to screaming, I would try to scream as loud as I could but only raspy croaks would come out of my mouth. I'm not a very religous person, but I do believe in a God and although this article has great scientifical information about SP, I do not whole heartedly believe it. Anyway's this is my method to stopping it; you can definately feel when your slipping into it, so they best thing to do is rapidly move your fingers and toes, it will help you wake up before it happens. Also sleep with something you feel protects you a dog, person, etc. I personally like dogs only because when it was happening to me often my brother was asleep so he couldn't really help me, but my dog is my angel and usually protects me from anything and everyone. Hopefully this helps, at least a little.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I have had two experiences

I have had two experiences where I felt I woke up and couldn't breathe, and I couldn't move any limbs. Very scary feeling! I just awoke from a different kind of episode. I awoke from a dream in a dream I guess. When I awoke from the first dream, I heard my bedroom door shut which woke me up. Then, there is a fan in the room that I always have on at night to help me sleep. Well I dreamed it got louder as if someone had turned it on high. My wife then says to me, "someone is in here, get up", but I could not move, much like my first two experiences. I awoke after about 10 seconds of fighting to move to find out I was dreaming that part too. It is such a terrible feeling being paralyzed, as I am sure most of you know. Just wanted to share my event.

Lindsay 's picture

Hello, this JUST happened to

Hello, this JUST happened to me for the first time and I am SO thankful I found this as my first stop. Here is my story:
My boyfriend and I were taking a nap. I had been having a dream then "woke up". I was completely unable to move but could here my boyfriend typing on his phone so I knew he was awake. First I kept feeling very woozy, and was not sure if I was going to fall back asleep or become unconscious. Then I felt pressure on my chest and it made me slightly panic and "woke me up" while still being completely paralyzed. I kept trying to speak, but could not open my mouth. Tried hard to open my eyes and could not open them. I got scared since it felt like I was not breathing but then calmed myself down by realizing my body was on "automatic" since obviously my body was still asleep. I realized I was automatically breathing, very small, soft breaths. I then realized my hand was on my boyfriends body, and tried to move my hand with all of my might. I felt my hand moving slightly and hoped he would touch me or say something and I would wake up. I felt myself sweating and after a few moments was able to slowly move and regain control. My boyfriend did feel my hand moving and I told him what had just happened. I did not hear/see anything odd. I also don't want that to happen again as I'm sure most wouldn't. I am scared this may happen again. I am 27y/0, fairly healthy, some anxiety, 1-2 panic attacks/yr., Smoker. The dream I was having before I had the sleep paralysis was me in a stressful situation and I was sleeping on my back if that helps connect any dots? it would be great to find the cause and possible treatment and prevention for these episodes.

Johnny's picture

Try this

Hi all, I too have been experiencing sleep paralysis. At first it was really scary as I sometime would feel an evil presence and even once saw a dark cloak skeleton grime-reaper. What was even more scary about it was the horrible evil laugh... By I have gotten used to it now and it not as scary as before. What I noticed it that when I get the sleep paralysis and after getting out of the first one, I would slowly shake my head left to right for 30 seconds and then move it left and right while leaving it on either side for about 5 seconds. This method actually help me form getting a second episode of sleep paralysis. I hoped by sharing that it will help others too who gets more than one episode of sp per night.

Spooked's picture

I am a 29 year old woman. Who

I am a 29 year old woman. Who has been experiencing Sleep Paralysis for years. Its so scary. I haven't seen anything evil I've jus heard my kids playing and talking around the house. I couldn't move anything but my eyes from left to right. I couldn't talk at all. I would get so scared that I would pray and then try my best to jus pop my body up, then I'm fully awake. I've gotten so use to it, this is what I do everytime it happens to me. Which has been ofyen lately. It seems like it mainly happens when I don't get enough sleep. Or trying to sleep after waking up from a hangover and trying to go back to sleep. Very scary.

Serendip Visitor574's picture

This just happened to me -

This just happened to me - which is why I looked it up. I felt as if I was wide awake and as if my dad was in my room. It's almost as if I could see him watch me. I moved my arms and I tried to ask for help but I could barely breathe. I could feel myself moving around on the inside but I was paralyzed on the outside. So I just stopped fighting it and let it be and I woke up an hour later. But I've had pins and needles in me feet for about 15 minutes after.

bea e.'s picture

to mitchel henderson from 2007

I recently had that happen and it scared the heck out of me. I was sitting down and suddenly felt complete exhaustion to the point of passing out, I literally felt my whole was shutting down. I breathing slowed, I had no strength in my body and I honestly thought I was dying. My vision was slowly blackning so at that point I got up to go to my bed but never made it because I went down within a few steps. I remember it was so bad that I dropped my cellphone which had been in my hand without realizing it because that's how weak I was. I thought I was dying but I couldnt even get enough strength to reach out for my cellphone so I just laid there calmly, thinking this was it. After about 5 minutes on the floor I felt my breathing coming back a lil bit normal and I was able to reach out for my phone. I stayed on the floor a few more minutes and at that point I was able to get up at which point I laid down on my bed. That was the only time that has ever happened to me and I never went to the doctor about it. At the time i attributed it to exhaustion because I had just got off my eliptical machine but ive worked out much harder and longer than that so I honestly don't know. Any thoughts?

Hugo's picture


Hi, I'm 15 and i have this alot. Normally it happens around 2-4 times in a row and it's always in the morning right when I woke up. I'm 100 % sure this has NOTHING to do with religious things cause I never see demons or such. I just try really hard to keep calm and constantly move though I can't. Anyway, this is pure scientific cause demons and such are just ridiculous. Seriously I have respect for religion and such but you all have to be realistic here and stop scaring people. Believe what you want but this is just my opinion on this thing.

Serendip Visitor's picture


You're a 15 year old, you dont even drive a car...Come back in 30 years when you've experienced life and weigh in on the possibility of this phenomenon being linked to other than science.

Serendip Visitor's picture


So what if he/she is only 15? The fact that your probably much older then 15 doesn't mean you are more credible. I also believe this has absolutely nothing to do with religion. The reason you see demons and scary figures while you're in sleep paralysis is because you're to much of a pussy to realize that it is normal to have this happen to you and you panic. Maybe if you stopped believing some sort or "demon" was trying to do you harm you would realize you can control what you see while your under this state of sleep and actually enjoy it.

Vanessa's picture

This just happened to me

This just happened to me right now! I woke up or at least felt awake and I tried to move but felt completely helpless! I would try to live my arms and nothing. The wierd thing is I tried to move my head because I felt like something was at my door and when I would try to love my head it felt like my head would be forced back the other way. My heart was beating fast I felt afraid. It was a scary feeling. I was praying even though it felt like I could only utter some words. And I kept on until it stopped and I could move. It really does feel demonic and I've had a few experiences before. I hate it! The worst feeling ever.

worst feeling ever's picture

body paralysis

Last week I felt like my entire body was paralyzed. I tried moving my arms and legs but I couldn't move them at all period. I was able to turn around and lay on my bed belly up. When I tried calling out to my wife and son they couldn't hear me. Then I was able to move my eyes to the right and saw a silhouette of a woman next to me but I couldn't see a face I tried to swing and hit it but I couldn't fucking no e at all . I forced myself to move my arms and break the paralysis of my body and got up swinging at the silhouette and I couldn't touch it. I woke up scares as fuck. While going back to sleep it tried to do it again and I broke the hold and grip on me and I immediately pushed out of the force holding me down WTF IS HAPPENING TO ME. AND FUCK THAT BODY SLEEP PARALYSIS BULLSHIT . THIS IS EVIL SHIT. AND AS I TYPE THIS MY DOGS STARTED HOWLING IN THE BACK YARD. AND MY PHONE STARTED FUCKING UP AND MY DOG INSIDE THE HOUSE STARTED BARKING. AND MY fingers went numb. THIS IS SOME CREEPY SCARY SHIT. DOES ANYONE ONE HAVE AN EXPLANATION ON THIS AND ONE OF MY DOGS IN THE BACK YARD DIED YESTERDAY.... ???????!!!!!!!!!

luc's picture

my trick

take a spoon of apple cider vinegar before you sleep or in the morning...
i did that last night and it help...NO PARALISIS...and i usually get them almost everyday

Arizona's picture

sleep paralysis

I am 13 and had a sleep paralysis before. I didn't hallucinate. I could hear things happening around the house and feel the covers on me but I couldn't move or open my eyes. I wasn't scared but extremely frustrated. Then I lost feeling but could still hear. Then my body woke up all the way. I know what I'm about to type is off topic a little but I want to type it. One time while I was dreaming, I could feel the covers on me, which confused me .

Heremaia's picture

Sleep Paralysis

I had my second episode of this kind earlier this morning. I now understand the condition is called Sleep Paralysis but I am still unsure as to what happens exactly. Anyway it seems as though i suddenly wake up and i see something in the room and hear noises that are unmistaken as a presence in the room, my eyes are open and my senses are all alert, but in no way am i able to move, it takes a minute or two for myself to come out of this state and am able to imvestigate exactly what if is i saw, which obviously leads to nothing being in the room nor any presence in the house whatsoever. With my heartrate beating as fast I have ever felt, I decide to go back to bed not knowing exactly what just happen, just wondering if anyone else has had a similar episode (particularly where your eyes are open, as i have noticed there are quite a few who seem to be awake but with eyes closed) and provide some clarity on exactly
what happens/triggers this effect, thank you.

ray's picture

Im 40 years old now and I

Im 40 years old now and I have no disorders as far as I know. But I do have addictions..codeine with aspirin and caffeine is my Achilles heal.. And I have had quit a few paralysis episodes and I think it's my brain stays up whilst my body tries to see crazy shytt,,hear crazy shytt and I'm very sure being on that plane of existance is not where we r suppose to be yet.. And they r telling us to get out

Serendip Visitor's picture

hearing whats in the real world while paralyzed during sleep

i have been having this problem for years, where I feel partially asleep and partially awake. During in the sleep process I can hear what ever that is been said around me in the conscious world like the television or person around me speaking but when I try to move or wake up to look at the tv or acknowledge the person speaking I cant move. its like my spirit is out of me body and I can look at my self lying in the bed but I cant wake myself up. I know the things happen around me are not dreams because if some1 touches me or I hear a loud sound out of what is already happening I wake out of it and the television is playing exactly what I was hearing while sleeping. Can someone please help me to understand what is happening, how can I be in both the conscious and the unconscious world at the same time. I can be so scary at times especially when I feel like someone is holding me down. HELP

New's picture


Last nigh for the first time i experienced something new very frightening thing. I was dreaming something and suddenly i felt how someone is choking me. strangling and in that moment i sow myself how i could not breath, i could not wake up but i was feeling like i am awake. Something helped me to wake up and i stood up from my bad and felt very strong pain in my chest. I understand what it is explained up but is this dangerous? Please i wait for you comments and answers. Thanks.

Wendy's picture

To the one who fell to the floor

To the person who fell to the floor from his computer have you every watched duece bigalo male. Jigalo one of the girl did the same thing it call narcelipsy were you gain fall asleep at a drop of a dime during Convo, driving ex. Yours may be mild. Or it could be aciduos from not eating enough ketones from the break down fat too fast can have some nasty effect also its hard on the kidneys.

Linda's picture

Experienced it for years

I have been experiencing sleep paralysis for years. Years! And sometimes almost every night. Last night was one of the worst experienced. I can feel something touching my hand. And at that point I just feel asleep for less than 10 mins. I got so scared and i turn on the lights when i managed to get up. My hear was beating so fast. This is crazy. How can I live normally if it keeps happening to me. I was half awake and tried to get up because of this "evil shit" but I couldn't move. I had to try very hard to move my fingers. And yes I did pray. Usually I woke up after praying. So what really triggers sleep paralysis ? It's really really annoying !

Realtf's picture


Thanks for clarifying this.I was trying to figure this out but never thought it would be this simple.

Taylor Benito's picture

My Method of Breaking Sleep Paralysis

I'm 17 years old and i've only experienced this a few time, this is gonna sound really weird but whenever this happens to me, when i get to the point of having my eyes cracked open just a little bit and try and move, i always felt that breathing really hard, so that i can hear myself breathing, A: I know I have some control and that i'm alive, and B: was my kind of method of breaking out Sleep paralysis. Because every time i did it, it would work and wake me up minutes later to assure myself that everything is okay, and the more i kept doing this, and after reading this article it made sense. Since the brain can't restrict 100% of my body movement, otherwise we couldn't sleep at all since our lungs wouldn't release or take in oxygen. It made me think that aggressive breathing( keeping in mind, i'm not panicking and my heart rate isn't going up, just increasing the intake and release of my breathing.) could be a way for me to be "released" from this disorder, felt like my personal loop-hole. But also this has only happen to a few times and this before i found this article. I don't have any knowledge if what I do could have any negative effect or do any harm to my body.

Shavonne's picture

Sleep paralysis

I am 19 years old and I have experience sleep paralysis I never knew what this was I had experience this a lot in my life. what should I do hearing your story made me wanna know more about this. my question to you is how do I come out of sleep paralysis. When his does happen to me I try my best to fall back to sleep and try to wake up again. Sometimes I wake up sometimes I don't. I don't know what else to do. I NEED SOMEONE HELP NOW !! If anyone out there that can help me plez e-mail me at I need more answers. 7/25/2013

Serendip Visitor's picture

this helps me

this has been happening to me for about 3 years now, and a few months ago I discovered that sleeping on my back triggers this , so I started sleeping on my sides and find that it wasn't happening to me anymore, sometimes i'm on my back and I can sense it wanting to happen,I have to quickly move to my side and the feeling goes completely away, Try it it might work for you too, good luck!

Taylor Benito's picture

Sleep Paralysis

I'm 17 years old and i've only experienced this a few time, this is gonna sound really weird but whenever this happens to me, when i get to the point of having my eyes cracked open just a little bit and try and move, i always felt that breathing really hard, so that i can hear myself breathing, A: I know I have some control and that i'm alive, and B: was my kind of method of breaking out Sleep paralysis. Because every time i did it, it would work and wake me up minutes later to assure myself that everything is okay, and the more i kept doing this, and after reading this article it made sense. Since the brain can't restrict 100% of my body movement, otherwise we couldn't sleep at all since our lungs wouldn't release or take in oxygen. It made me think that aggressive breathing( keeping in mind, i'm not panicking and my heart rate isn't going up, just increasing the intake and release of my breathing.) could be a way for me to be "released" from this disorder, felt like my personal loop-hole. But also this has only happen to a few times and this before i found this article. I don't have any knowledge if what I do could have any negative effect or do any harm to my body.

mrs black 's picture

27yr old been experiencing since age 7

Well I thought I would share my experience as well. I have been going through this since I was a child. For me when I'm sleep I wake up and only my brain seems to be working. I can barely breathe and I hate that part, feels like you are dying. Also while all this is going on I always she dark yall shadows and one day I saw the ugliest thing I've ever ever seen in my entire life. The crazy part is it was standing over my 3mth old baby like trying to take her,I eventually was able to get fully awake and then it was gone. I hate going thruthis it is so difficult to deal with especially when u cantbreathe and u keep seeing weird things.....I just pray every time I go through it.....also eanted to add in my old place this use to happen almost ebery other night and i will always see a door within the walls with numbers on it...its just so weird!!!!!

Serendip Visitor's picture


Had the same thing lastnight. Pretty messed up. My firsy time doing research on this just like the rest of the people I thought it was just jins (demons) messing me up. Its really a sick and scary feeling. But what is strange is that I can actually do this at will when ever I go sleep. I tried it once and never again. Last time I was chasing my mom through a tunnel and only to finf out I was tricked by a jin disguised as her and she was swirling around me like a smoke like figure. Science or not its not a nice thing to go through...

freedom-man978's picture


I can tell when its gonna happen I've ask my fiance if I scream or hit on my sleap from the flopping and screaming I'm trying to do to wake up. My question is has anyone ever just went thru the motions with it? Its scary so don't blame anyone. When it first started I felt like I was on the ceiling looking down on the room myself included .now all I see when it happens is what I'm facing when trying to go to sleep. Its very scary. Especially the breathing part.

chris krummich's picture

what the fuckk

im 17 and i used to do drugs!! thats when all this started happening. at first i thought it was the drugs and i was going crazy so i stoped the drugs 3 years later it still hapenign im glad im not the only one with this problem its scarey

Serendip Visitor's picture

Its back again

My first episodes of this phenomenon happened when I was in my 20's, I would wake up and not be able to move I would try for what seemed a long time to move my hand to my mouth and use the side of my finger to force my mouth open as teeth were clenched that tight it hurt..I then would feel something pushing me down (never saw a face or shadow) just felt the presence pushing I would fight and in my mind be counting slowly to snap out of it, at the same time I would hear Sharon coughing from her bedroom or a dog barking knew I was awake..they got harder to control and then something would lift me up out of my bed I felt my arms fall down underneath my body as I raised up as always I got to the number 10 and I would drop back on the bed. I heard myself calling out but only a quite groan would come out...I mentioned this dream to a person whom finished off telling my dream and told me it was an evil spirit...this I always believed, also at that time I was not in a good place in my mind a lot of (Anxiety) now in 40's having the onset of these again and I admit I am very the point of not wanting to is very frightening. I believe it could be either theory, but stress is definitely a contributor..whether you pray in your mind or count or try to shout out you will eventually wake up...

kelly's picture

Sleep Paralysis

hi my names kelly and last night i went into sleep Paralysis, i cant tell you fo rhow long but it felt like forever.
i am glad to see there are otheres out there, only thing that bothers me about it is that there isnt enough proof to state that its a condition and not spirts and evilness!!!!!!
unlike the otheres i havent heard footsteps but i hear this static the pitch is unbearable where it feels after a while i can taste blood i cant move i break out in sweats i cant speak and i honestly cant tell how long iam out for..... it only started last year and ever since then i go into transe about once a month and i find myself go into transe when i sleep on my back as others have said in the blogs above............ coinsedence???????????????

Serendip Visitor's picture

Feeling helpless

This has happened to me a few times. And it only happens while I'm laying on my back. Unlike others I don't hear spirits or see ghost like figures. It just feels as if I'm stuck and can't utter a word. I hear everything around me and I try to yell for help but nothing. I panic always tryna get out of this trance, until I'm finally able to move and is fully awaken in a sweat. This really scares me and I thought I was the only one this happens to because when I bring it up to others they have no clue on what I'm speaking on and immediately tie it to spirits. I googled it because it happened to me one day and my girlfriend didn't believe me and said I was just having a dream when I know I wasn't dreaming... It felt as if I was awake just could move or speak but I heard everything and sometimes even open my eyes! So glad I found out what it was and hopefully some of the tips work so I won't panic as much

blah. Visitor's picture


Well, i get Sleep paralysis alot! Its really annoying... I guess its due to stress because i sleep really late like.. 2:30 am n stuff...however for the good of it , i dont get reallly bad ones such as an apparition like a few have got.. i just hear a loud noise and maybe see a kind of a light.. I got a tip to wake up from it .. Sometimes i try to move my tounge side to side and it does sound funny but it works for me.. I get scared a few times coz i sleep alone but well, Im used to SP so i try to stay in SP sometimes coz its kinda interesting :P

Alejandra Rodriguez's picture

Recording myself would be a great idea

Before I start commenting in case you may apologize me for my spelling, spanish is my first language.

I have never tried to record during 'Sleep Paralyze' and this is regards to Mitcher Henderson's question in the 2007; and apparently that's what first crossed my mind when i woke up "Why i didn't recorded myself...?".

First off a little of myself; I'm 19 years old from Puerto Rico. I love to believe in aliens and such from not this world since I were little, it's already part of my own likes. I do feel stressed out now because of my relationship, university, transportation(without car) and also because today I'm going to try weed for the first time before entering to Afrojack concert tonight and I'm scared mom might find out since she has found out around 2 weeks ago my brother having some. Also I do not have sleep habits, I honestly sleep whenever I feel tired, which could be at 2:00 am 3:00 am around, I love to play video games in the computer so i sometimes end up till 4:00 am up. This time i slept early at 1:30 am though.

Just not so while ago, around 20 minutes ago, I experienced a 'Sleep Paralyze' for almost 18 seconds or so. This is my second time experiencing it, the first one was in another room while sleeping with 2 people next to me in other 2 beds and i was in the middle bed one. In that first time I was sleeping with arms stick to my ribs, just like the basic anatomy body demonstration with hands displaying frontwards. In the "Sleep Paralysis" moment which how I just found out it's called, I was in trance that moment, that I even tried to shout "MOM!" who was in the bed of left side but I couldn't, I was around 17 or so. I felt my body was lifting for just millimeters of distance from bed to my body because I didn't felt my back at all just my whole front, like some short of source trying to lift me then my hands still stick to my body.I couldn't open mouth nor move head nor breathe well, all the possible moves i could try to wake up. Happens that soon I impact back to my bed I wake up freaked out shouting to tell my mom what happened. Honestly in that first time i though aliens were experimenting me while i was asleep, now its less hopes for me it was true with all I've researched today. But recording myself stills up.

Now my second time the one I experienced today was different from the first one. This one was longer and I was in my own room, took up almost 18 seconds or so. Like i said, I feel really stressed out with my relationship and very in tension with the other stuff[which I don't see the point still while the stress has to be implicated in everything?]. Proceeding my experience, this one I felt the chills, the buzzing sound in the ears exactly as if I were inside an airplane in progress. The funny thing is that I felt I was as well IN an airplane because of my body bouncing from left to right on air. I still could hear my damn fang moving because I sleep with fang on ceiling and another one in front of me which moves side to side... I could possibly hear it while in 'Sleep Paralyze', the fang was moving my bed sheets still remembering now. I was sleeping this time with both my hands be-hide my head. It was soo hard for me to move any part of my body, that I could just barely move my pinky finger and also open my eyes in a continuous blinking which I could see eyes, happens that the eyes I saw are not the reflection of mines, but the ones of the cat of Alice and Wonderland? However, I prayed in my mind "God help us all..." before I woke up from that "sleep" I felt the huge wave of chills or something from the right arm passing through my chest till my left arm, a very very strong wave like water in the ocean then the ringing sound in the ear getting louder till I moved my pinky finger completely waking up from that nightmare that had me shocked for like 10 minutes. During those 10 minutes I was walking around the house thinking what could possibly be bothering me these past years.. and also wanting me so bad to record myself in some nights.

If I hear the footsteps or some phenomenal thing I would freak the hell out even more but at least that's not my case. I share this with everyone here because I needed really to get it out of my chest. I feel actually more relieved that I am not the only one experiencing these kind of abnormal experiences. I hope there is a logic answer to this and not just "science" involved. Neither the evil spirits, because even while praying to God you will still get those experiences... Its really annoying and frustrating how far people can go when they not even into religion and use His name just to fight their fears in a situation or are frightened of what is going to happen.

Thanks for your attention whoever is out there, and some detail before I go; I'm in favor with it being called 'Sleep paralyze' but I still think that it has to do with something from not this world that uses us in our sleep. That's just my point of view. Everyone has their right to think, thanks again.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Thank the Lord I found this.

Thank the Lord I found this. I had this happen twice to me this morning for the first time. I like scary ghost hunting and paranormal shows and I often jump becaus e neighbors walking around by my window makes me think there is an aparition but there isn't. Its like one of those scary maze game scares. Anyway, I occasionally have nightmares about this shadow (which my neighbors have used this knowledge of the shadow to prank me) about once or twice a year. After I woke up a few hours early this morning, I was starting to drift back to sleep when this happened and guess who I halucinated holding me down. That's right. Mr shadow figure. I started to think a few things 1) its not my nieghbors 2) I'm dreaming and 3)ignore it and it'll go away. I closed my eyes and the pressure and sounds started again. I imediately got up, and hung a cross over my bed and left the room for the day

simon's picture

Good job Tony :) Stick with

Good job Tony :)
Stick with it!

Serendip joshua's picture

answer sort of

Sorry I didn't even answer your question. I have also had many people call me a liar when I explain what happens but. then here's another night that I'm stairing at the ceiling and the next thing I know I can't move a muscl for what I've experienced with SP is that you first - need to be extremely phsically tired and two not moving such as stairing even like 5 minutes at the right time will do it. once you move a single muscle no matter which a finger toes leg ect you will be out of SP and wide awake. Keep in mind when it happens it will befrightening but you'll snap out of it.

Serendip joshua's picture

paralysis before sleeping

Hi my name is Joshua And I was going to ask the same question you did. The only kind of sleep paralysis I have experienced is before I sleep. I have never awoken into sleep paralysis which I think would be much more frightening even though going into paralysis while Conscious is still scary. Fortunately the last two times I have been successful on letting the paralysis come over me while staying calm. and if anyone can do this, you'll experience the most uplifting sensation before passing out or waking up. I was also while Conscious and in. SP able to(dream while I lay awake) visualize anything my mind designed. I've done this twice and both times had inon one time woken up and the other :) had the most amazingly vivid dream I had fallen into from paralysis. If you would like to know more about my experiences. or have questions. let me know

tony's picture

white lady

Ive been also experiencing these SP since a child. The most recent ones a tall lady in a white dress flew and layed down next to me as I was paralized looked right into her eyes. The second time she appeared again as I laid on my bed she was stading infront of me and this time she spoked and told me to stop drinking... I couldnt believe the fact tjat she spoked to me while I was paralized. Im not an alcoholic but I do drink heavy. I have cut down on the drinking ans hope to stop for good. It was a eye opener for me.

Serendip Visitor's picture

sleep paral

I had this almost nightly for my whole childhood down to 1-2 nights week as adult.. I know its worse when im real tired, and I instantly go into dreaming upon,i know im sleeping and i can kinda control mydeam, but then i also know that i can make it a bad dream with just any negative thought which then automatically always happens..i know its gonna, now i try to wake myself but im paralyzed and the more tired, the harder its to wake. (for some reason i go from saying i, to saying you here).. then you try to stay awake cuz youll go right back into then you go through weird states where you think you woke yourself or your still awake and your in reality, but your not, and it starts to click that things are weird and you need to its at this point when trying to wake but paralyzed that you get the bad seems for me in this state that like my soul is open and less protected from evil or spirit possession and like theres a big neon sign flipped on advertising this fact drawing them in like moths to light..whatreally sucks is your already so tired, its more work to wake yourself, then you gotta make yourself stay up, till it passes and you can fall sleep normal...become totally exhausted and mentally off...BUT,one thing it seems to me is during this state you actually can pick up on stuff with your third eye or whatever(like if a murder occurred there, or like if someone lived there for years in total despair) ((prolly what ghosts actually are)) ..its like a strong emotion is imprinted on an area from a traumatic event, great event,or allot of regular emotions but from a large number of people(adds up)..cuz we naturally have this sense, (intuition,vibes) used unconsciously to sense things and pickup on other peoples feelings(prolly pack animal survival instinct..example-'hes scared i should be too and ready to run')..anyway during s.p. your more conscious of it and more affected by its extremity..not spirits they dont exist..someday try sleep paralysis in a funeral home prolly get evil spirits..but i bet you could also try sleep paralysis at the entrance to disney world and see angels...sleep deprivation makes you write stuff like this