Sleep paralysis

March 10, 2007 10:54am CST
There's no proven explanation, but the theory goes that when you're sleeping the part of your brain that controls movement shuts down to stop you acting out your dreams. Very rarely, it is possible to wake up before this area of the brain has re-activated, resulting in temporary paralysis. It is essentially the opposite of sleep-walking. It can be accompanied by hallucinations and delirium. Some people are more prone to this condition than others. I first experienced this when I was 14. I remember sensing an intense orange light pulsing above my head and hearing a noise louder than anything I'd ever heard. It sounded like a jumbo jet was passing just inches above my face. My first thought was that I was being abducted by aliens. I tried to get out of bed but couldn't even move my eyes, much less my limbs. I tried to call out but to my horror, no noise came from my mouth. And so I was forced to stare at a patch of wall and wait for the sensation to pass. It eventually did, leaving a ringing in my ears and a fear of going back to sleep that lasted a good few days. Luckily by the next time this happened I'd read up on the experience and since I now had an explanation I wasn't frightened and didn't hallucinate. This has happened to me numerous times throughout the past ten years and I now view it as a troublesome inconvenience rather than a disturbing experience. However, the other night it happened for the first time since I left home over a year ago. I fell asleep on the sofa and woke up to a strange buzzing noise and the sensation that something was squeezing my hand. I tried to look down to see if someone was there but couldn't move my eyes. I could genuinely feel something clasping my hand, cold and wet. I could feel myself rolling slowly off the edge of the sofa and waited to fall, releived that the impact would wake me up properely, but it didn't happen. It seemingly lasted about 5 minutes and was the first time it had scared me since my first experience ten years ago. I'd like to know if anyone else suffers from this phenomenon, and how it feels for you.
1 person likes this
2 responses
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
6 Apr 07
It's happened to me and at first it scared me and I thought it was a ghost or evil spirit holding me down. I wasn't able to talk or move. I never heard any noise though. I always thought for many years that it was a ghost. It happened to me 3 different times about 4 years ago. Actually sleep paralysis only happens about 1 to 3 times per person. Here is some information on it... Here you go:
@aries_0325 (3062)
• Philippines
10 Mar 07
I've had the sleep paralysis but none of the hallucinations. I also have it where I feel like I'm going to go back to sleep before I wake up. So the first time it happened I thought I was dying. The superstitious here say its when a witch flys over your house.