Sleep paralysis is an unfortunate condition that happens when you can’t move or speak as you are waking up or falling asleep. It’s scary to lose all remote functions of your body but it’s usually harmless and doesn’t happen often. For some people, however, it can be a terrifying experience during which they have no control. Some have reported seeing and feeling terrible things and having no way of saving themselves.
Some have even described being in the presence of evil spirits that took away their function. Good luck falling asleep again after reading some of these stories!
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It Takes Constant Effort, Over And Over Again
We take our ability to speak, touch, feel for granted because it’s part of our basic functioning. But, when that gets taken away it can feel like a loss of control and an inability to even be: “The experience is terrifying. I can see everything (or at least it seems like I can) but I am unable to move.
It feels like if I don’t make every effort to move I will be stuck like that forever. I usually have to start by wiggling a toe, or a finger, and then keep that momentum going until I fully wake. It takes an extreme amount of effort and if I don’t keep the effort constant, I have to start all over again.” string97bea/ Reddit
Luckily the best cases of sleep paralysis don’t last very long, and by moving one part of the body slowly, the rest eventually follows. It can just be an issue of mind over matter at first.
Waiting For The End
“It’s like lying in front of a steamroller slowly waiting for your impending doom, or being nailed in a high spaceless coffin yelling for help but getting nothing but silence. One time I could levitate my body and float it around the room, but I couldn’t move it otherwise. Very surreal. I haven’t had it in a while, but it usually happened when I slept on my back with my knees bent upward and my feet flat on the bed.” – Keepitsway / Reddit
Imagine seeing your own body and being outside of it. How would you perceive yourself? We tend to internalize the way that we are seen and we never stop to think about how we see ourselves.
Never Wanting To Go Back To Sleep
” Often this is combined with the feeling of being unable to breathe (whether it’s because of the position I’m in or something like a blanket/pillow smothering me), so it’s like this eternal struggle to save my own life that seems to last forever…the whole time I’m thinking to myself, ‘if I manage to wake myself up from this there’s no way I’m going back to sleep”. It’s a miserable experience.
I’ve also had a few instances of auditory/visual hallucinations. In one case, I remember hearing people creeping around outside my house (when I lived alone). Then I’d hear them open the front door and even see them walking around in the other room (no one recognizable, just indistinct figures)…so vivid that I believe it’s actually happening and I NEED to wake myself up but can’t…like being possessed by crippling fear. When I finally do get up the sense of relief I feel is overwhelming and I usually need a cigarette and a moment to laugh at myself.” – sipofsoma / Reddit
An Outerbody Experience
While some people don’t necessarily meet a presence or spirit, they have very vivid out-of-body experiences that can be just as terrifying: “It always starts with an auditory hallucination; a loud rushing sound in my ears, and of course the paralysis.
The first few times, I seemed to leave my body and float around the room/house. I freaked out, which woke me up. Ever since I’ve tried to replicate it, but I usually chicken out, thinking I’ll never get back into my body and will die (believing in my dream that this is actually what happens to people who die in their sleep). Sadly, details in the room have proven I’m not actually leaving my body, it’s all just a dream.” – Poezestrepe / Reddit
There are ways, however, to practice leaving the body safely. It’s called astral projection and there are numerous guides that teach people how to leave their bodies on command. It starts out by practicing lucid dreaming, or the ability to control your dreams.
Meeting An Outwardly Presence
“I’ve only experienced it three times but my first time was the worst. I’ve never had any visual encounters but when it happened the first time I was laying on my left side and started to feel that pressure on my chest. When I realized I was paralyzed and started panicking, something whispered in my ear ‘Just coming in to say goodnight.’ That’s when I felt like something was pushing me towards the edge of my bed.” -cehenley
What do you believe happens when we die? Many believe that some spirits don’t actually full leave our world. They have one foot in and one foot out into the next world. Some spirits just can’t seem to let go of the physical world and will hold onto it at any cost.
A Visual Encounter
” One day I woke up to a little girl walking down my hallway. Right before it reached my room it turned its whole body. I say body because the whole time her eyes were locked on mine. She smiles the creepiest grin and walks on an angle into my parents room. Got up ran in there so fast my parents woke up. They saw me standing at their door panting and sweating. They told me they saw my face and knew something happened. Never been more scared in my life.
Another story is I’m sleeping and hear my brother come in late. Everyone’s asleep and I hear him coming up the stairs. He opens the door of our room walks in and starts opening and closing the closet. I was asleep so I let it go. After at least 10-15 times I finally sit up and some guy turns and looks at me. I quickly turned my and grabbed for the light. I turn back and the closet is still open(freaks me out because I know I close it every night). My brother is fast asleep in his bed.” Erick408 / Reddit
Understand Your Dreams
Is it better to dream and have nightmares that feel incredibly vivid or to get jolted awake and live a nightmare without being able to move? If you ask us both sound terrifying. It’s quite interesting what the subconscious brain does to us. It might not seem like it but in all cases, it’s just trying to protect us.
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