Sleep Paralysis

I will never forget my first, and, fortunately, only experience with sleep paralysis. I was about eleven or twelve years old when it happened; I woke up in the middle of the night unable to move. I panicked and wanted to scream, but the words never came out.

After a few seconds, something let go of me and I ran as fast as I could to tell my parents about the episode. In the years that followed I couldn’t understand what happened to me that night, but it fascinated me so much so that I became determined to find out more.

I have, on various occasions, been told that this condition is the work of demons (a very popular belief in some parts of the world); however, I now know that there is a scientific explanation for this phenomenon.

Most people, at some point in their life, will experience Sleep Paralysis.  The condition is broadly defined as it sounds – paralysis during sleep.  While it may also occur in people who don’t suffer from any apparent sleep problems, sleep paralysis has been linked to narcolepsy, cataplexy and hypnagogic hallucinations. .

Lack of sleep, sudden lifestyle or environmental changes and stress may trigger Sleep Paralysis, and you can take several steps to prevent such episodes:

  • Get at least 8-10 hours of sleep every night
  • Have a set schedule for bed time
  • Avoid consuming alcohol when you are sleep deprived
  • Exercise
  • Avoid stress and relax few hours before bed time.
  • Avoid sleeping in a face upwards or supine position


Sleep Paralysis is not generally considered dangerous and, although some people may be frightened by it (like me), in reality it isn’t anything to be afraid of . If you’d like to find out more about this topic, please visit:


Have you ever experienced Sleep Paralysis? Share your experience and continue the discussion in the comments below.

By Agnieszka.

The Sleep Blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Instead, this website provides general information for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions or concerns regarding any medical condition or treatment.

21 thoughts on “Sleep Paralysis”

  1. This scares me TO DEATH! It happened to me alot as a kid , I always felt like someone (or something) in the room was looking right at me , it really stayed with me till I started reading about how it happened to other people, I was quite glad to find out that I wasn’t alone 🙂

    1. Hi Brandon ,
      You are certainly not alone, millions of people go through this . The most important thing is that you know what is happening to you and know how to deal with it. So a good advice for parents would be to talk to their children about a possibility of sleep paralysis.

  2. terrified, you abruptly awake from sleep, eyes tightly shut
    to find yourself paralyzed by an unseen intruder, you
    sense him standing beside your bed, you struggle,
    but are unable to move a finger or cry “help!”

    medical experts mis-diagnosis your night paralysis as
    caused by poor blood circulation

    the experts are wrong!

    this story is about mysterious nocturnal beings that live
    on the invisible moons of earth, they invaded our
    mind’s thousands of years ago
    they have co-molest mankind for eons

    the truth behind “the boogieman” myth, may terrify you

    …with great trepidation

    I tell this hideous yet true story

    it will prove your nightmarish “boogiemen” are real

    I have been endowed by beings with what old folk
    decribe as a “third eye”.

    For the past 50 years I have lived a
    secret life known to no one.
    I have lived life here and at the same time
    witness life through the eye’s of
    beings known as the son’s

    i have seen the boogiemen thousands of times…
    i have watched him during his nightly visits…
    what he has done to you…
    what he does with your children…

    What I have (kept secret), in-a-hurry
    I now write.

    When I say true, I mean… aclassNtrue — the things I
    speak of are real whether you can see it or not!

    in urgency I say…

    “Remember The DayStar”

    read more here… blog for comments

  3. Are there any support groups or something like this? I have it once in a while and would love to find a treatment or something similar to help me with this awful problem.

    1. Hi Bill ,

      Sleep paralysis affects different people in different ways , some may feel like an evil entity is watching them others may feel an alien obduction etc, recognizing the symptoms makes it easier to cope with such episodes. Learn your ”triggers” and avoid them. Make sure you get enough sleep each night and try to avoid sleeping on your back. Also talk to your friends and family , you might be surprised to find that someone close to you has had sleep paralysis experience.

  4. Well i get something similar when i fall asleep i remain in this state where i could move around but not really its kind of like a outer body expereince but my body aint really moving just in a dream state but oll see a shadowy figure almost like a demon and i uselly start wrestling it but last night i seen a hand come from the ground i was able to get up but in the dream state and i was like its satan he pulled me off the bed and i started punching it then i woke up and i was on the bed sleeping with nothing there anyone have any advice for me

    1. Are you aware of what is going on ? Is it a dream or maybe like a half dream experience where you are half awake half asleep? It sounds like you may be having OBE episodes.

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  6. Sleep paralysis? Resolved – eliminated!!! At least by me it works 100%.
    Few years ago I (65) suddenly started suffering by sleep paralysis, I never ever had before. I got an idea, that this must be caused by something new, I am consuming, like food or drink. Particuralry a “new” Coca I started to drink at that time fell under most suspicion. So I red the small letters at the back label, discovering an artificial sweetener > ASPARTAM. So I quit that Coca and started to drink instead Coca Cola sweetened by sugar. I never had a sleep paralysis again. Aspartam is lately disguised as E 951 and has many variations to it such as Neotam > E 961, salt of aspartam-acesulfam > E 962. There may be other chemicals causing Sleep paralysis yet to be discovered. Brain gets affected by many chemicals. So be aware by reading the content label of all food you are about to consume. Novadays they put beside artificial sweeteners also artificial coloring, taste enhancers etc. Don’t blindly trust your doctors, FDA and the US government, find the truth by yourself! Aspartame was once forbidden by FDA……

  7. I first started having sleep paralysis in my 20’s I would wake up unable to move no matter how hard I tried. I would fight like hell to move than I would moan. I can remember my wife and I established an agreement, if she heared me moaning I would be touched immediately. This routinely happened and it was terrifying. I do remember when I was stationed in Korea for a year and there was no wife to wake me up, on one occasion it happened but I was aware and for the first time I embraced it and I was calm. I was able to float above my body I floated above the base and was able to visit my home back in the US (can’t explain it). I remember waking up naturally and amazingly I didn’t have another sleep paralysis episode for years. But it did come back I was never able to embrace the paralysis again I instinctively would immediately fight and moan. However; I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea 10 years ago and I now know as long as I wear my CPAP mask I won’t have any Sleep Paralysis. But I had one just yesterday, didn’t put my mask back on after waking up and going back to sleep. I can go into a sleep paralysis by waking up in the morning and then going back to sleep without my mask it almost a 95% garantee. just wanted to share my story and hopefully it will helps some else.

  8. Had sleep paralysis for years starting in my early 20’s. Experienced all the symptoms, entities entering my dreams, talking in my ear while feeling pressure of it laying on top (was actually sleeping on my side). Someone told my i could use a natural black Shiva lingam stone of a larger size (4+ inches) resting above the head / pillow next to the wall or headboard to block the stuff. It worked completely and taught me there is stuff and ways to fight or negate it.

  9. Hello,

    I’m so glad I found your page. I had sleep paralysis happen to be exactly 2 days ago.. My mom had texted me at 7am to go for a walk since I’ve been working a lot lately I have been tired and not in the mood, at about 8am I heard our alarm go off as I got up to turn it off I realized I wasn’t able to move for some reason I had my blanket over my head and i started to feel a lot of pressure on my stomach and another hand hold mine at this point I was freaked out and I squeezed their hand really hard and I seemed to have cracked their fingers…. after about a minute I was able to move and left to my mom house immediately… Last night as I was laying on my side because I no longer wish to sleep on my back I turned to my right and there it was ….. a black tall shadow looking straight at me… I closed my eyes saying “its just a dream, its just a dream” and I guess I feel asleep because I woke up the next morning….

  10. I am Simran and currently doing M.Sc. Clinical Psychology and i would like if some of you could share your sleep paralysis experiences with me for my research. I will assure that the information will be confidential. If anyone of you are willing to share your experiences please mail me at

    Thank You

  11. Hi, I’m Simran pursuing my Masters in Clinical Psychology from Gujarat Forensic Sciences University. I’m conducting a research on unusual sleep experiences that many people have. E.g.: having the urge to talk, move during dreaming but unable to do so, feelings of someone sitting over your chest, sleep paralysis etc. The ultimate objective of this research is to measure the Prevalence of Unusual sleep experiences.

    For any queries mail to:

    I kindly request you to fill up the form in the link below if you fit in for the above criteria and also forward it to others.
    Thank You

  12. I am intrigued and appreciative of those that have reported their experience with SP. I respect all views as they are YOUR reality. My experience is such that I am a post-menopausal woman who as of late has experienced SP more frequently and have had this on and off for my entire adulthood. My paralysis is upon waking where I am consciously aware that I am trying to wake up but physically cannot move. My limbs feel like dead weight. No dreaming associated with my paralysis. My coping strategy is to self-calm by telling myself that it is temporary and I probably am overtired so I should just try to give in to it because it will be over shortly and sure enough after 3-5 minutes of continued rest, I now can move. I do rise with a headache on the crown of my head and sometimes ringing ears which lingers 45 minutes upon rising. I have Meniere’s syndrome but I am symptom free. I researched the meds I am taking and nothing points to contributing to PS. I do not do recreational drugs but have one glass of wine per day. The only thing I can discern is that every afternoon (for years) around 3pm I am so profoundly and overwhelmingly tired, I could use a nap. When my SP occurs, it is upon waking from an afternoon nap and early morning. You are probably wondering if it doesn’t phase me, why do I even blog? My concern is that it has become more frequent and in the event of an emergency, I cannot move. I will say that I have been under considerable emotional stress as of recent but that is the only thing I can pin down as being a potential contributor to increased frequency. Again, I manage through reassuring self-talk. Thanks to all for sharing your experience. Nice to know I am not alone.

  13. I suffered sleep paralysis for years believing I was experiencing some form of evil. I would be awake but not able to move. Trying to pray to overcome the evil in the room but not able to open my mouth. This wouold leave be very distressed and anxious even after waking up.It was not until understood what was really happening and tried techniques similar to those found in this podcast that I was able to overcome it. It was good to understand from this video that it was not demonic but a sleep order and also that there are things I can do to overcome it.

  14. I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you’ve
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    speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I came across this during my hunt for something concerning this.

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