7

votes

Any help on sleep paralysis?

Commented on November 21, 2014
Created October 07, 2011 at 5:00 PM

I have looked through the forum. I have one 'big' problem I have always kept secret(on my blog/forums etc..) but it is really starting to bug me and my lack of sleep shows not only in my eyes/face/belly but it impacts my everyday life.

For anyone who doesn???t know, sleep paralysis is probably the scariest thing a person can feel and have no control over at the same time. It runs in families, and usually in families with some 'mental/brain/addiction' problems. And my family is no different. I have a father who has temper/control problems, and 2 brothers who both also suffer sleep paralysis. I don???t think it is a diet related thing, but would like to know if anything about diet can enhance/hinder or help it.

To explain to you what it is like and what it is not like.

It is NOT that feeling of falling before dozing off, everyone has felt that It is NOT a random brain zap or loud noise some people occasionally get while dozing off

Scenario- okay, I lay down to go to bed. I am trying to clear my mind/calm down etc in my dark room and I find a comfortable position, and can feel myself get sleepy...about to fall asleep. Then, this tension/pressure starts and I feel it coming. It starts INSIDE my brain nearish behind my temple and proceeds to go to the back of my brain and then all hell sets lose in my body. It???s sorta like being tazzered throughout your body. I cannot move ANYTHING. I can???t breathe, I can???t move. it is so fing scary I don???t even know how to get someone to grasp how it feels- it is like you???ve been possessed and I would guess if an outsider actually saw this it would look like an exorcism. I can???t control anything when it happens. The only thing I know is that when it happens, I NEED it to stop and am trying to do everything in my power to not let it happen and get it to stop but once it starts you cannot control anything. Then, the rest of the night I am scared to go back to sleep because I don???t want to die/have it happen again. Usually, if it happens once, it will happen again because I can 'feel it' then.

Ahh- I don???t know what I am really asking, just any relation/help/experience...

1a716a59124cab58423e46ed96311e76

on November 21, 2014
at 11:09 AM

Hi there Mallory...

I came across your article while searching for hypnoparalysis because it's occuring to me very often these times.It is (or was) very very scary I understand you.Anyways I said "was" because I have managed to take control over it by staying calm and trying to keep my awareness of situation.I believe it is caused by anxiety and over thinking somehow.

I would suggest: don't "try" anything, just let it flow, keep calm and "ground" your mind.Cheers.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 15, 2013
at 01:20 AM

Also, please pay attention to this. You will probably have trouble remembering it when you're having an episode, but eventually it should get through: YOU CAN BREATHE. YOU ARE BREATHING. Paralysis affects your voluntary muscles meaning that you can't make yourself take a breath, but your lungs are gently breathing in and out the same as they would if you were asleep. If you learn not to try to breathe, this makes the panic much less intense. It's very hard, but it helped me a lot.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 15, 2013
at 01:18 AM

Yes, it's actually common. In some countries they refer to it as the "old hag" phenomenon. I used to see all kinds of things when it was happening to me.

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 18, 2011
at 01:44 PM

???? i dont think you have any idea what i am talking about lol, i know what normal sleep is i use to have it.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 10, 2011
at 04:11 AM

To help with stopping the panicky heart racing feel and fall back to sleep more easily I found valerian and a little ginger ale useful.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:02 AM

For postural hypotension: lots of salt and electrolytes and lots of fluids to maintain blood volume. Lower leg exercises to help build the muscle that returns blood to the heart/head. And add some carbs if not already doing so.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 08, 2011
at 02:58 AM

Mallory-please report back if you stop the citrate and/or switch to chelate and let us know what your results are.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:43 AM

Sprinkling unrefined salt (like Celtic Sea salt) on your tongue first thing in the morning, and then slowly sipping water while it dissolves on your tongue is supposed to good for your adrenal glands, and extra salt/minerals in my diet seemed to suddenly fix it. The sleep walking thing is interesting, my brother did that, maybe it is part of the same type of thing and runs in families. Have you seen Mike Birbiglia's book "Sleepwalk With Me"? http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1439158002/birbigs-20 It could probably provide some comfort, he had it follow him into adulthood.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:24 AM

I thought this quote from that site to be interesting for stopping an attack. "A traditional method for overcoming the paralysis when it does happen is attempting to move one's fingers and toes. More recently, a number of people have been suggesting rapidly moving one's eyes back and forth as a way of bringing a bout of SP to an end. If you are having multiple or repeated experiences at one time it may help to get up briefly and move around before trying to sleep again."

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:18 AM

OMG IT IS CITRATE...geez and damnit i just took it...

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:16 AM

so is there anything paleo i can try and do. what helps postural hypotension and adrenal fatigue?

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:14 AM

i slept walk as a child to the extent my parents needed to put a gate and bell at the end of the hallway so when i was up and on my walk they could put me back to bed. i literally use to walk around the neighborhood, unlock the doors, come back relock them...weird. the only time i remember doing it was i woke up outside in a hideous storm in my moms garden...golly i am odd lol.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:14 AM

thank you happynow!! i definitely have postural hypotension, like all the time just didnt know it had that name. i will try the bone broth thing, my only caveeat is the bone i have access to is conventional and i am weird about the organs/marrow/bone of unhappy animals... geez i relate so much!! i try and control my breathing too as i go to sleep b/c if i dont do something like that or counting 1-8 i am flabergasted by eating disorder hell

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:07 AM

bah, i am not asleep when it happens though...

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:06 AM

thank you, i think maybe a 'stressful' life event might trigger it. both my brothers were fine until they went to war(were in special forces) and came back with it. i never experienced it until i was at my lowest weight and have had it ever since...

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:04 AM

thanks, i dont meditate and i have tried to stop it and do the anything movement

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 07, 2011
at 08:55 PM

I haven't experienced it at all since going paleo.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on October 07, 2011
at 08:39 PM

I've had this happen on a few occasions (paralyzed, sense of suffocation, imminent "doom") and it definitely seemed to cluster around a time in my life where I was experimenting with meditation, astral travel, and other consciousness exercises.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 07, 2011
at 08:12 PM

On a side note, the Edurolytes are chelate.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 08:08 PM

was just thinkin' if the sun helps, I bet serotonin/melatonin regulation play a role too because it is your body is stuck in a paralyzed state (that it needs to be in so you don't run around the house in your sleep), but the brain hasn't gotten the message and is still awake. Some of the panic I remember feeling was from trying to control my breathing, but I wonder if that crosses the wires a bit and causes a panic attack because breathing is an automatic process when your body is asleep. I've managed to give myself panic attacks meditating if I focus too much on breathing.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 08:06 PM

I was just thinkin' if the sun helps, I bet serotonin/melatonin regulation play a role too because it is your body get stuck in a paralyzed state (that it needs to be in so you don't run around the house in your sleep), but the brain hasn't gotten the message and is still awake. Some of the panic I remember feeling was from trying to control my breathing (and breath), but I wonder if that crosses the wires a bit and causes a panic attack because breathing is an automatic process when your body is asleep. I've managed to give myself panic attacks meditating if I focus too much on breathing.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 07:54 PM

I've had episodes where I could feel my body just fine, but it felt like I was being run over by a train (the audio hallucinations that came with it didn't help), and I could have sworn a helicopter landed on me a few times. I think it depended on what stage of sleep I was in when the episode would awaken me because there were also times when I couldn't feel my body at all from the terrified lump in my throat down. And waking up in that situation it is hard to tell your mind you still have lungs to breathe with if you can't feel them.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on October 07, 2011
at 07:20 PM

@Happy Now- The explanation that I was given and made sense to me was that even though I couldn't move at those times I was still feeling my body normally, my friend explained that she lost the ability to feel her body and check in, that she only had her previous check in to know where she was. The *idea* of losing your sense of proprioception scares me, the reality of it must be terrifying.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 07:08 PM

Are you taking magnesium citrate? That particular form seems to do some wacky things to me in the night, lots of nightmares, and if I was still having sleep paralysis I would probably avoid it. It could certainly be an electrolyte balancing act that needs to be worked out. Unrefined grey and pink salts are good places to start. Are there any universities near where you are that do sleep studies? It might provide some peace of mind having a print out of your vitals still working during an episode. I still remember that not being able to breathe feeling as being the scariest part.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 07, 2011
at 06:47 PM

Mallory, I understand that you are not asleep when it happens, that's why it's so scary.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Postural hypotension is when your blood pressure suddenly drops when you stand up. It is associated with adrenal fatigue. I've recently had really good responses to having a cup of bone broth salted with 2 big pinches of Celtic Sea Salt first thing in the morning. It seems to have addressed my adrenal fatigue so well in fact, that I can't drink coffee on the days I do that or I get super jittery.

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 07, 2011
at 06:04 PM

i already take magnesium...and this is recent,. and i am curious if maybe it is unbalancing other things...???

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 07, 2011
at 06:03 PM

but i am not asleep when it happens. i am awake. i have tried to tell myself itll pass and just get through it but the longer it goes on the less i can breathe and more i feel my life is like literally ending...

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 07, 2011
at 06:01 PM

omg thank you for the relation. THE SUN DOES HELP!!! crazy you said that, but vita D supplements do NOT help. i also have hypotension problems! i obviously eat a lot of meat- anorexia recovery is a stressful bitch of a goal in itself, and the lack of sleep is wearing me down. postural hypotension? what exactly is that? i have all kinds of disformed bones/joints starting at my hips are rotated opposite angles of each other and my back isnt in line(due to yrs of gymnastics & cheerleading)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:53 PM

I've experienced full body paralysis and out of body/body disassociation feeling from self-hypnosis and occasionally on the acupuncture table, but for me that feels very different from the "I can't breathe, I'm gonna die!" and subsequent terrifying adrenalin rush I used to get from sleep paralysis.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:45 PM

Relief with the Endurolytes would appear to support the need for magnesium, and other electrolytes here. Have you tried a good dose Celtic Sea salt in the morning, and Epsom Salt bath at night? I suspect it would do the same thing (not as convenient as the capsules though). I've also used Thorne CalMag Citrate to get rid of restless legs at night. Hmmm, magnesium is looking more and more important to me here.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:39 PM

Hmmm...I wonder if it is related to the low blood pressure/electrolyte imbalance that happens with it.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:38 PM

At the risk of sounding like I'm on LSD, yes, lucid dreaming, astral projection and sleep paralysis are all intermingled.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:35 PM

Interesting, I also had severe postural hypotension with my worst episodes.

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13 Answers

3
306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on October 08, 2011
at 12:18 AM

I experienced sleep paralysis on a regular basis from my early teens to my mid-twenties. Since then, it's happened much less frequently. Not sure what the difference is, exactly. It stopped around the time my first child was born, and it may be that the differing awareness involved in sleeping when you have young kids (especially co-sleeping - I've had a kid in my bed all but a few months since then) makes sleep paralysis less likely, but that's total hypothesis. Could also be differences in sleep patterns, stress levels, or just growing out of it, which apparently many people do.

Anyways, I agree that knowing what it is helps, as do lucid dreaming and astral projection techniques (Do I believe in astral projection? I'm agnostic. But playing with the techniques can be helpful regardless).

Concentrating on moving one finger also helped me break out of it, though I think the lucid dreaming type things are probably a more positive and overall helpful way of dealing with it.

There's an ongoing study about sleep paralysis going on at http://arts.uwaterloo.ca/~acheyne/ (not 100% sure the study is really still going, but the website is still there, anyways). Doing something like that can help to turn it into more of an intellectual exercise.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:04 AM

thanks, i dont meditate and i have tried to stop it and do the anything movement

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:24 AM

I thought this quote from that site to be interesting for stopping an attack. "A traditional method for overcoming the paralysis when it does happen is attempting to move one's fingers and toes. More recently, a number of people have been suggesting rapidly moving one's eyes back and forth as a way of bringing a bout of SP to an end. If you are having multiple or repeated experiences at one time it may help to get up briefly and move around before trying to sleep again."

3
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:33 PM

I was plagued by sleep paralysis when I was a teenager, the last episode I had was in my early 20's. It is the scariest f'ing thing in the world. You have my deepest sympathy. It has been over 10 years now, and I'm still scared of it.

I never really figured out what made it stop, but I do know what made it worse: Exhaustion and emotional stress. Which leads me to think that adrenal health, thyroid health, high levels of cortisol, and low levels of magnesium all played a role.

I don't know if you have noticed this phenomenon in yourself, but I had my worst postural hypotension episodes during the same time I was having the most sleep paralysis, and would black out pretty much every time I stood up. But sleep paralysis is so stressful in it's own right that I can't imagine someone wouldn't develop an elevated cortisol level and decreased magnesium just from the stress of anticipating it.

It seemed to get better when I started eating meat and going outside in the sun, but if you are here, I'm guessing you are already doing those things. I hope you find relief soon, sorry I don't have a more helpful answer.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:35 PM

Interesting, I also had severe postural hypotension with my worst episodes.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:14 AM

i slept walk as a child to the extent my parents needed to put a gate and bell at the end of the hallway so when i was up and on my walk they could put me back to bed. i literally use to walk around the neighborhood, unlock the doors, come back relock them...weird. the only time i remember doing it was i woke up outside in a hideous storm in my moms garden...golly i am odd lol.

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 07, 2011
at 06:01 PM

omg thank you for the relation. THE SUN DOES HELP!!! crazy you said that, but vita D supplements do NOT help. i also have hypotension problems! i obviously eat a lot of meat- anorexia recovery is a stressful bitch of a goal in itself, and the lack of sleep is wearing me down. postural hypotension? what exactly is that? i have all kinds of disformed bones/joints starting at my hips are rotated opposite angles of each other and my back isnt in line(due to yrs of gymnastics & cheerleading)

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:16 AM

so is there anything paleo i can try and do. what helps postural hypotension and adrenal fatigue?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:43 AM

Sprinkling unrefined salt (like Celtic Sea salt) on your tongue first thing in the morning, and then slowly sipping water while it dissolves on your tongue is supposed to good for your adrenal glands, and extra salt/minerals in my diet seemed to suddenly fix it. The sleep walking thing is interesting, my brother did that, maybe it is part of the same type of thing and runs in families. Have you seen Mike Birbiglia's book "Sleepwalk With Me"? http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1439158002/birbigs-20 It could probably provide some comfort, he had it follow him into adulthood.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 08:08 PM

was just thinkin' if the sun helps, I bet serotonin/melatonin regulation play a role too because it is your body is stuck in a paralyzed state (that it needs to be in so you don't run around the house in your sleep), but the brain hasn't gotten the message and is still awake. Some of the panic I remember feeling was from trying to control my breathing, but I wonder if that crosses the wires a bit and causes a panic attack because breathing is an automatic process when your body is asleep. I've managed to give myself panic attacks meditating if I focus too much on breathing.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 08:06 PM

I was just thinkin' if the sun helps, I bet serotonin/melatonin regulation play a role too because it is your body get stuck in a paralyzed state (that it needs to be in so you don't run around the house in your sleep), but the brain hasn't gotten the message and is still awake. Some of the panic I remember feeling was from trying to control my breathing (and breath), but I wonder if that crosses the wires a bit and causes a panic attack because breathing is an automatic process when your body is asleep. I've managed to give myself panic attacks meditating if I focus too much on breathing.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Postural hypotension is when your blood pressure suddenly drops when you stand up. It is associated with adrenal fatigue. I've recently had really good responses to having a cup of bone broth salted with 2 big pinches of Celtic Sea Salt first thing in the morning. It seems to have addressed my adrenal fatigue so well in fact, that I can't drink coffee on the days I do that or I get super jittery.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:39 PM

Hmmm...I wonder if it is related to the low blood pressure/electrolyte imbalance that happens with it.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 08, 2011
at 03:02 AM

For postural hypotension: lots of salt and electrolytes and lots of fluids to maintain blood volume. Lower leg exercises to help build the muscle that returns blood to the heart/head. And add some carbs if not already doing so.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:14 AM

thank you happynow!! i definitely have postural hypotension, like all the time just didnt know it had that name. i will try the bone broth thing, my only caveeat is the bone i have access to is conventional and i am weird about the organs/marrow/bone of unhappy animals... geez i relate so much!! i try and control my breathing too as i go to sleep b/c if i dont do something like that or counting 1-8 i am flabergasted by eating disorder hell

3
6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:31 PM

The only relief I have found from sleep paralysis is number one, knowing what it is and what the mechanisms are, which greatly relieves the fear factor. It is not an evil being laying on top of you. It happens because you wake up while your body is still in normally induced paralysis from sleep. When you find yourself in that situation, tell yourself that it is a normal mechanism and that it will pass and try to relax. Do not fight it. Number two, getting enough sleep reduces the incidence of sleep paralysis for me. I use Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes HERE(2 capsules before bed). It relieves my restless legs and helps me sleep.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 08, 2011
at 02:58 AM

Mallory-please report back if you stop the citrate and/or switch to chelate and let us know what your results are.

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 07, 2011
at 06:04 PM

i already take magnesium...and this is recent,. and i am curious if maybe it is unbalancing other things...???

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:18 AM

OMG IT IS CITRATE...geez and damnit i just took it...

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 07, 2011
at 06:03 PM

but i am not asleep when it happens. i am awake. i have tried to tell myself itll pass and just get through it but the longer it goes on the less i can breathe and more i feel my life is like literally ending...

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 07, 2011
at 06:47 PM

Mallory, I understand that you are not asleep when it happens, that's why it's so scary.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:45 PM

Relief with the Endurolytes would appear to support the need for magnesium, and other electrolytes here. Have you tried a good dose Celtic Sea salt in the morning, and Epsom Salt bath at night? I suspect it would do the same thing (not as convenient as the capsules though). I've also used Thorne CalMag Citrate to get rid of restless legs at night. Hmmm, magnesium is looking more and more important to me here.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 07, 2011
at 08:12 PM

On a side note, the Edurolytes are chelate.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 07:08 PM

Are you taking magnesium citrate? That particular form seems to do some wacky things to me in the night, lots of nightmares, and if I was still having sleep paralysis I would probably avoid it. It could certainly be an electrolyte balancing act that needs to be worked out. Unrefined grey and pink salts are good places to start. Are there any universities near where you are that do sleep studies? It might provide some peace of mind having a print out of your vitals still working during an episode. I still remember that not being able to breathe feeling as being the scariest part.

2
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:20 PM

At the risk of also sounding like a flake the only person I know who had this problem got a lot of relief by working with lucid dream techniques, by being more aware she was able to calm herself and explain what was going on and had something reassuring to do (check a poster that was her consciousness/unconsciousness checkpoint. Somehow knowing she was unconscious made it more ok for her.

I sometimes wake while still unable to move, but I understand that isn't the same sort of experience because I feel myself and I am not cut off from the feedback loop like she was, just not able to move. Because of that I can just fall back to sleep without having the fear that seemed to come from not feeling the body properly.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:38 PM

At the risk of sounding like I'm on LSD, yes, lucid dreaming, astral projection and sleep paralysis are all intermingled.

1
A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

on October 11, 2011
at 12:03 AM

I began experiencing this regularly a little while after starting college: which probably coincided with a significant shift in diet (more fast food and junk), much less sun, less sleep and/or irregular sleep patterns, and general emotional and acute bouts of stress (mid terms, finals, ya know how that can go).

When I tried researching it at the time i came up with all sorts of hokey stuff about alien visitors and demon oppressions and what not (didn't help the stress side of the equation for sure). I recall the phrase being coined "hypnogogic trance" for this phenomenon.

I felt so helpless and the only thing I could do to begin the long disruptive traumatic process of bodily wake was slowly grinding my teeth. As if everything else was tightly chained down to the earth.

So late teens, early 20's this started, tapered off a bit in my late 20's but still an issue. It has been extremely rare for years now, and I do believe dialing in my diet, handling stress and resolving issues in life, getting more outside activities going and improving sleep habits, all must contribute somehow. Though I wouldn't know what the mechanisms are, there seemed to be strong correlation in my personal history.

hope this helps

1
C1ea79115a062250a7263764797faa30

(851)

on October 10, 2011
at 11:53 PM

For me, the things that make sleep paralysis more likely are 1. Irregular sleep schedules (ie - not sticking to the same schedule every night) 2. Getting lots of sleep (I budget for nine hours a night, at seven hours it's less common), and 3. A period of approximately one hour awake when my sleep is interrupted in the middle of the night.

So extrapolating from myself, I'd say that to lessen it's incidence, I would stick strictly to a sleep schedule of about seven hours a night, and try very hard to get fight back to sleep if you're awoken during the night.

1
279493cd0b85ed78595dec94b93d1d31

(155)

on October 10, 2011
at 08:13 AM

I find that I experience SP a lot more when I am really stressed out. =( It is a very very scary experience. Try supplementing with minerals (Magnesium drink, Concentrace) and reducing stress the best you can. Thank you for posting this question! I'm sure it has helped a lot of people to not feel alone. =)

1
0e2772604bdb3627525b42d77340538b

on October 07, 2011
at 08:32 PM

I used to experience sleep paralysis a lot. Only occasionally these days - although most of my dreaming is pretty lucid (which is good sometimes and sucks sometimes).

I'll echo above posters and say the best thing to do is relax, don't fight it, try not to panic, and just try to get yourself to go/go back to sleep.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on October 08, 2011
at 01:07 AM

bah, i am not asleep when it happens though...

1
Medium avatar

on October 07, 2011
at 05:46 PM

Sleep paralysis can seem to happen spontaneously, and can also arise in relation to intentionally investigating one's consciousness.

Some years ago I experienced sleep paralysis as something of side effect of practicing meditation, self-hypnosis, autogenic training (self-relaxation) and self-induced guided imagery. There were occasions during my explorations when I became extremely tired, such that I really wanted to go take a nap, which I did. And I quickly fell into a sleep state which included the paralysis you describe, combined with extremely lucid consciousness of "being fully awake yet unable to move my body." In addition, I "heard" and "felt" eerie, astral-like "presences" in the room, like an episode of the Twilight Zone. Sort of like a "haunting." I willed myself "back into my body" and went on with my day. Had a few other such experiences. I practiced remaining lucid, noticing the "presences" and telling myself I had nothing to fear.

Which turned out to be correct. Over time I continued practicing meditation, including noticing the drowsiness when it showed up, just as I noticed other mental/physical phenomena, as phenomena, rather than getting caught up in the content, or feeling the need to act on this or that impulse. Wise to practice not get caught up in (attached to) exotic states, whether seemingly positive or not, or for that matter, whether waking or sleeping, or betwixt/between.

"Sleep paralysis" is but one of many interesting experiential possibilities that occur in relation to known or unknown triggers. At another time of my life, I studied and practiced lucid dreaming: the intentional cultivation of the state of being aware that one is in a dream state, and from that vantage point seeking to direct/shape the dream. When one gets into those regions of experiential reality, well, Alice's looking-glass adventures can seem like dispassionate journalism.

As for possible "Paleo" connections: It seems safe to imagine that our hunter-gatherer ancestors were not unfamiliar with remarkable states of consciousness, which almost certainly they would not have experienced as "happening to them as a unique self" in quite the way we do, in the wake of Freud and ego-psychology in general. There is considerable evidence our ancestors used psychedelic substances in the context of rituals and ordeals of a clearly religious/spiritual/shamanic nature.

I give William James the last word, from his remarkable book "Varieties of Religious Experience":

"Our normal waking consciousness . . . is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the flimsiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus and at a touch they are all there in all their completeness . . . No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded."

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 05:53 PM

I've experienced full body paralysis and out of body/body disassociation feeling from self-hypnosis and occasionally on the acupuncture table, but for me that feels very different from the "I can't breathe, I'm gonna die!" and subsequent terrifying adrenalin rush I used to get from sleep paralysis.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on October 07, 2011
at 07:20 PM

@Happy Now- The explanation that I was given and made sense to me was that even though I couldn't move at those times I was still feeling my body normally, my friend explained that she lost the ability to feel her body and check in, that she only had her previous check in to know where she was. The *idea* of losing your sense of proprioception scares me, the reality of it must be terrifying.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 07, 2011
at 07:54 PM

I've had episodes where I could feel my body just fine, but it felt like I was being run over by a train (the audio hallucinations that came with it didn't help), and I could have sworn a helicopter landed on me a few times. I think it depended on what stage of sleep I was in when the episode would awaken me because there were also times when I couldn't feel my body at all from the terrified lump in my throat down. And waking up in that situation it is hard to tell your mind you still have lungs to breathe with if you can't feel them.

0
58e9b779cd4ea6cc296e499624589a1f

on July 15, 2013
at 12:00 AM

Hi, I'm 21 and last night I experienced my very FIRST attack of sleep paralysis. I assume that's what it was, after reading people's stories. It began shortly after I woke up after sleeping for about 15minutes. As soon as I closed my eyes again, my body couldn't move. I couldn't open my EYES, I couldn't move my ARMS or LEGS and I couldn't BREATHE. I had both eyes closed, I couldn't open them, but subconsciously I was very much awake. The even more scary thing is that while this was happening, a girl with long dark hair covering her face was walking towards me and she was face to face with me for the whole length of the paralysis. This lasted for about 45seconds to a minute. Scariest experience of my life, has anyone else seen things while they were under the paralysis?

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 15, 2013
at 01:20 AM

Also, please pay attention to this. You will probably have trouble remembering it when you're having an episode, but eventually it should get through: YOU CAN BREATHE. YOU ARE BREATHING. Paralysis affects your voluntary muscles meaning that you can't make yourself take a breath, but your lungs are gently breathing in and out the same as they would if you were asleep. If you learn not to try to breathe, this makes the panic much less intense. It's very hard, but it helped me a lot.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 15, 2013
at 01:18 AM

Yes, it's actually common. In some countries they refer to it as the "old hag" phenomenon. I used to see all kinds of things when it was happening to me.

0
9ce9373ef3504d7562737bff5434ca5e

on January 29, 2013
at 11:54 AM

Physiological symptoms of sleep paralysis are the same with those of syncope. Thus, sleep paralysis is caused by syncope. For experts in cardiovascular diseases, sleep paralysis or syncope is a common symptoms of cardiovascular disease【1】. For a long time, due to the ignorance of physiological knowledge of syncope , ischemie cerebrale , slow beat, fast beat and so on, psychological illusion in people’s sleep generated by such physical symptoms i.e. the nightmare really has puzzled the psychologists, therefore they put forward a wide range of wrong even absurd views on the nightmares, which both have no scientific basis, and could not be confirmed, even more were not self-consistent. For example, a medical expert Debacke drew the correct conclusion that the anxiety-dream resulted from ischemie cerebrale according to the physiological symptoms of the anxiety-dream of a boy of thirteen. Freud called such view was a " medical mythology" in the book of Dream Psychology. Most important,the experiment confirmed the idea. For example, a place in country , there is a "haunted" bed which makes people have sleep paralysis or syncope every night, and it is this fact that the pillow in the bed is too high will reduce cerebral blood flow.                                         【1】 http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Sleep-Disorders/Nocturnal-fainting/show/11612

0
5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on October 18, 2011
at 12:01 PM

It is perfectly normal and everyone experiences paralysis during sleep, just most don't remember it. Its purpose is to prevent you acting out your dreams etc and hurting yourself. Imagine all the thrashing around in bed otherwise. I can be scary to wake up slowly while still paralysed and easily cause panic. You seem to have it the other way around and the paralysis sets in before sleep hits you. Good luck and try not to let it upset you.

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 18, 2011
at 01:44 PM

???? i dont think you have any idea what i am talking about lol, i know what normal sleep is i use to have it.

0
637d1d08d40122964e01ccbea973449b

on October 17, 2011
at 02:24 PM

I feel for your situation, and agree with the general assessment that it is related to stress/fatigue. I have experienced the same thing many times. For me, what worked was to (1) recognize its onset; (2) imagine I was at the top of a long slide, and (3) hunker down knowing that at the bottom of the slide I'd soon be asleep. Knowing that I could whoosh by the worst of it with my eyes closed made the scary part much easier to deal with. Sort of like closing your eyes at the scary part of a movie. Good luck.

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