8 Terrifying Facts About Sleep Paralysis

8 Terrifying Facts About Sleep Paralysis

Have you woken up at night and were unable to move and felt paralyzed? Well, then chances are that you might be suffering from sleep paralysis. 

The average person sleeps for around eight hours a day. Over a lifetime this amounts to spending about one-third of life asleep. It’s common knowledge that a good night’s rest is vitally important for maintaining health and balance, both mentally and physically.

However, for some people, a good night’s sleep is hard to come by, or it ends up being ruined, by a strange phenomenon that is called sleep paralysis.

It happens when your mind wakes up before your body ever gets a chance to. You can breathe normally, you can see and understand everything around you, but you can’t move a muscle no matter how hard you try. The feelings that run through your mind when sleep paralysis occurs are overwhelming and the whole experience can be summed up as terrifying.

Many people report that right before waking they hear a loud bang or waves crashing in their head which suddenly jars them awake. Others report that they do in fact have difficulty breathing and that it feels as if someone were choking them. These moments can last from a few seconds to several minutes or longer and most commonly show up initially during one’s teenage years.

The sensation of waking up and not being able to move is thought to affect less than 8% of the general population. There are no serious risks attributed to sleep paralysis on its own, medically speaking, rather the mental and physical damage may occur in the long run.

While there may be genetic factors that contribute to it, the main causes are thought to be a lack of sleep, schedule changes, and sleeping on one’s back. Back in earlier times, it used to be thought that demons or evil forces were behind the strange phenomenon and it’s easy to see why.

Here Are 8 Terrifying Facts About Sleep Paralysis

1) No one knows for sure what causes it –

Science and researchers have yet to find a definitive cause or explanation as to what may trigger it. It has been a mystery for thousands of years and to this day it remains one.

2) It feels like you’re dead –

Many people equate the experience of waking up and being unable to move, while fully mentally awake, to feeling like they’re dead. Basically, it’s a type of out of body experience that you never want to experience.

Want to know more about sleep paralysis? Read Sleep Paralysis: Astral Demons and Witch Wars

3) It can happen when you’re trying to fall asleep –

It doesn’t only occur when you wake up. It can occur at two points in the sleep cycle when your body transitions between going into and coming out of, the REM (deep sleep) stage.

4) If you suffer from a lack of sleep it’s more likely to happen to you –

Studies have indicated that individuals who suffer from chronic sleep issues, and who routinely don’t get enough sleep, are more likely to have an episode of sleep paralysis than their well-rested counterparts.

5) Your nightmare may continue –

A lot of people have reported that they feel like they’re in a living nightmare even after they wake up because they open their eyes and see hallucinations. They are mentally alert and know they are awake, but their minds and eyes see things that aren’t there, and it’s all too freakishly real.

Having constant nightmares? Read 10 Nightmares And What They Are Trying To Tell You

6) It can feel like a demon is sitting on your chest –

A common description given of what it feels like is that there is something heavy and bothersome weighing on your chest. Yikes!

63 thoughts on “8 Terrifying Facts About Sleep Paralysis”

  1. ..yaa… this happens to me, though the frequency is less now…one more thing i want to add here,…in that particular phase, most of the time, i feel the warm touch like somebody touching you gentally for a while…but then being helpless, i just go on praying and taking the names of my gurus in my mind and wait till the time it slows down…!…and now i am not much afraid of it…, as it really doesn’t cause seriously to the body once it gets awaken…all we need to do is to be reluctant mentally and yet an observant to all the happening…!.. it surely lessen your fear then, whatever it may be as a sort of frequently experienced experience…

  2. Yes this has happened to me many times you ever had a out of body out of mind experience I get it backwards sometimes or out of mind out of body I think I had it the first time I have those experiences also

  3. Sleep paralysis is one of the classic symptoms of narcolepsy, which is excessive daytime sleepiness even after a full night’s sleep and drinking large amounts of coffee. Other symptoms include waking dreams, and cataplexy. A sleep study will reveal if narcolepsy is the cause.

  4. You can always regulate your respiratory system because it’s autonomic.
    When you realize you’re having an episode you simply start breathing rapidly almost hyperventilating. This has woken Me up each time.

  5. A year ago this happened to me, almost every time i tried to get some sleep, for over a month. I think it had something to do with me quitting smoking weed after a weird bad trip involving all kinds of drugs. It was horrifying the first times it happened, because i was resisting instead of accepting. It was a scary place till i saw it for what it was; a play of my imagination. You are always incharge of your dreams and toughts. When this occurs to me again, and i can happily say it didn’t for a long time, i close my eyes and focus on my breathing. When my breath is at ease i fall back in sleep modus and wake up in total controll of my body. Fear is a creation of the mind, it doesn’t have to exist. Enjoy your days and nights.

  6. serendipity happens

    I forgot to mention, that when I can not breathe during the event of sleep paralysis, I try to call for help, but my ability to talk, is also cut off. It is one of the most frightening events that happens to me quite frequently, and I wish that I knew how to prevent it. My husband has shared with me, that he is quite certain that I astral project quite frequently, and I often have dreams that I am with my son, when this happens, and he passed away in November 2014. When I visit him, I never have the sleep paralysis, but the dreams are quite clear and lucid.

  7. serendipity happens

    This has happened to me quite frequently, but worse than what this states. My body is paralyzed during the episode, plus I can not breathe. My ability to move, sit up, and wake up is associated with a lack of ability to even take a breath of air. My doctor has stated that it may be related to sleep apnea, but after a full discussion about it with her, she said that I do not have the signs, nor symptoms of sleep apnea. It has not happened in a while, but it has caused ma a terrible fear of going to sleep at night. It has even happened during a nap, several times. Can anyone else relate to this? I would truly like to know how I might prevent this from ever occuring again.

  8. Used to have it regularly and felt like a tornado touching down in/on my skull. I trained myself to control the tornado and was able to move it around inside my skull. Often was associated with weird visions and the more I focused on the whirlwind the stronger it got till I felt I was in a wind tunnel and several times took off in the wind to hover above the room and to the sky even. This was in my college years…As I got older it became rare and now only happens once every few years. Probably because I’m not focused on it any more. The more I concentrated on the wind the more intense it was and more frequently it came. Usually was when I was restless and feeling warm and couldn’t sleep and in a half state half asleep it would come with the familiar roar in the ears which became the whirlwind tornado as I focused more on it… To get out of the state I tried with all my might to move my jaw by just a millimeter and that would usually make it go away. Sometimes the visions were heavenly but often it was just pure energy and sound. Often the sound also came in waves like the whooshing of a fan and as I focused more the frequency of the waves increased until it became an audible tone (like a car starting up -revving )… Eventually I gave up seeking it as my spiritual seeking became more heart-centered and less worried about phenomena.

  9. I feel a loud sound like a blast when I keep my right or left temple on pillow and after few minutes, Suddenly, I feel a loud sound like a bomb blast. What does it happen, can anyone explain, rightly ?

  10. I’ve had this happen to me numerous times. it seems like I’m awake, and for some reason I feel like I want to yell “hey” like to call somebody because I can’t move, but I can’t speak either. I’ve never seen or felt anybody in my room. There were times when I was falling asleep I could feel it coming on. There’s a certain feeling that I get where I know it’s going to happen. Also, when these events occur, it seems like I’m partly awake and I’ve felt what feels like an earthquake. Also there’s a sensation of a lot of wind blowing by me in an upward direction. When the paralysis thing happens, I think I’m awake, but I think I’m just dreaming I’m awake.

  11. It’s the beginning stage of astral projection. Because you become scared because you can’t move (you use your mind to move in this situation, not your physical body) then you attract fear based entities to you. You can learn to shake yourself awake, or you can research what this truly is. You’re seeing the realm adjacent to this one, called the astral realm through your 3rd eye. This can be strengthened. You can go from seeing negative entities and not moving, to seeing the loving beings who are with us from before birth and actually exploring other more pleasant realms. It’s society with the scary movies and stories n shit that make us more afraid of this than we should be. This is actually more natural than we really know yet on this side of the world.

    1. Chazzo..any thoughts or reference material on how to train yourself during paralysis to Not be afraid and attract the negative entities and instead attract the positive loving beings? Ive experienced this for all of my life and just feel like the Devil is trying to steal my soul!!! Terrifying doesn’t even describe it!

    2. Excellent. We move through time as we sleep and dream. Alternate realities. Once we acknowledge this as a positive and natural thing, it can be used to download what Self knows, without thinking. Medical society wants to create Fear around it and call it a disease, so that we can be controlled by the drugs they prescribe for our condition. If we will realize our true purpose and power in the Universe, we can initiate the changes needed to live and love peacefully on this Earth. She is patiently waiting for us to get it. We are One.

  12. Happens before a lucid dream and also regularly before you astral project. Don’t be scared, embrace it and relax. Stay aware and don’t fight it. Now prepare for awesomeness. ??


    1. Yes….I have experienced it many times and I agree that it is a preliminary stage to astral projecting. I just breathe now and relax into it and go…..where it takes me.

  14. Happened to me once when i was very young.. was really afraid.. found ways to move bit by bit until i drop myself on the floor from my bed to wake my body up and it helped a little but took some time but heck i still remember it like it was yesterday..

  15. Worst nightmare ever experienced. I’ve experienced it 3 times, I felt like someone was pressing my whole body and I literally couldn’t move except I was fully concious of everything, I tried to visualize it and saw something sitting on my chest but it was so dark like a perfect black body. But, last time when I experienced, as soon as I woke up , maybe after a minute of struggling I heard some noise on my window, felt like some evil spirit left through my window..

    1. Elmina Sagga The main reason is sleeping with a full stomach and I usually eat before I sleep, but there are plenty of other reasons why this can happen to a person. Al Yathoom is explained to Muslims and scientists should read the Quran to find the answers.

  16. Has happened to me once when I was taking a nap during my teenage years. Now before I fall asleep I sometimes hear loud noises only to awake and nothing going on. I read that it is the same cause.

  17. Ooh after someone spoke bout this last year it seemed to prompt my body into having this experience it wad mad!!! Turned over in bed then suddenly my body froze and felt a huge weight on me i tried to call hubby to help me but cudnt speak or yell it was extremely scarey but thank goodness it lasted podsibly seconds or a minute!!! I dont want it to happen ever again – no likey :(((

    1. Been happening to me for years, I really thought I was going a bit cracked! Its a proper sleep disorder though, think it is a electrical fault somewhere lol

    2. Omg how awful it possibly put’s you off going to bed to sleep not looking forward to it happening :/ then comes sleep deprevation and so circle begins eh 🙁

  18. I often happens to me, when I wake up early in the morning and decide to sleep a little bit longer. It doesn’t frighten me anylonger and sometimes I even can determine what I want to “dream” during this time. But earlier I desperately tried to move and get up, I was terrified and when my body finally woke up, I was exhausted and sweaty.

  19. I often happens to me, when I wake up early in the morning and decide to sleep a little bit longer. It doesn’t frighten me anylonger and sometimes I even can determine what I want to “dream” during this time. But earlier I desperately tried to move and get up, I was terrified and when my body finally woke up, I was exhausted and sweaty.

  20. It has happened several times when I sleep on my back and during the day. Once it happened when sleeping on the couch. I devised that if I took my arms and dropped my leg off the couch it would jolt me awake. I did it. I woke up (shortly there after) only to find my arms tucked at my side and both legs on the couch. But it felt so real. LOL. I’ve tried screaming for help. Nada. I have awoken to an apparition as well. It said to me “Aren’t you feeling chilly”. I lashed out at it and woke up. Bright and early the following morning I met an old lady at the bus stop. She asked how my sleep was. I said “It was great, thanks”. She replied, “Are you sure you didn’t have nightmares?” I guess there is a “scientific” explanation. Yeah right!

  21. I’ve never had this happen though hear people swear it does to them. Though oddly enough since I’m a realist.. Have woken up twice in my lifetime to something figure-like staring at me while I was sleeping. Maybe I’m just too scary for them to approach closer & hold me down. lol

  22. yup… spent my childhood running in my older sister bed and slept with all the lights ON. Then, we did not have Internet to research sleep paralysis and OBE, so I had to deal with ghost, spirits stories, posession and such, which made it even worst. It took me 30 odd years to get a handle on it, and learn what it trully is. Though all is under control today, the consequences are that I am a night owl now !

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