The following is a visitor-submitted question or story. For more, you can submit your own sleep story here, or browse the collection of experiences and questions other visitors have shared here.

17 Years Of Sleep Paralysis, And Learning To Cope

by Jo
(Norwich, Norfolk, UK)

Firstly I'd like to say thank you so much for all your stories. They make my own experiences seem somewhat 'normal' and easier to deal with and the feeling of not being alone is comforting.

I have suffered with sleep paralysis since the age of 14, I'm now 31. This usually always occurs in the mornings although I can suffer at night if I'm very tired or stressed and can occur every morning for weeks at times then i can have a clear couple of months which I'm thankful for!

The scenario is always the same with me. I hear a pounding of the stairs and a figure, always in a fluorescent jacket for some reason (my partner wears one for work and we live together so maybe that's something to do with it) enters my room and tries to force itself upon me and touch me inappropriately and sometimes goes as far as to try and have intercourse with me.

I feel frozen, suffocated and if I try to shout or struggle the feeling intensifies and I feel like I can't breathe and I'm going to die. I can safely say its the scariest feeling in the world and can go on for some time in my case.

Luckily for me and hopefully all of you after reading other posts and solutions you can control sleep paralysis. I strongly recommend Ryan Hurd's book "A Dreamers Guide" to anyone suffering, it is an amazing book and he for me is my saviour (Editor's Note: Here is the book, now called "Sleep Paralysis Kit" because it comes with some other resources in addition to the Dreamer's Guide book). Before reading his book I really thought there was no hope and I would be scared to sleep forever.

People have their own methods of escaping from sleep paralysis. Mine is to control my breathing, tell myself this is just sleep paralysis it can't hurt me and scrunch up my face, fingers and toes several times. Sounds weird I know but it usually brings me out of it 99% of the time. Sometimes you just have to roll with it and keep calm and let it run its course. Easier said than done i know but the worst thing to do is panic and try and fight it because it will just intensify the whole experience.

Thank you for reading my post and if it helps just one person cope with what can be a terrifying experience then I'm glad I wrote this. Remember you are not alone and sleep paralysis can be treated.

Comments for 17 Years Of Sleep Paralysis, And Learning To Cope

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 22, 2014
Thank You For Sharing
by: Kevin

Thanks for sharing your story Jo! Sorry it took so long to get published on the site, we've just had so many stories to get through. If you have any updates since you posted this story, please feel free to share them in the comments.

Jan 11, 2015
intercourse NEW
by: Anonymous j

So it has never actually had intercourse with you?

But it did try?

Feb 08, 2015
Beating, coming to terms objects and figureS!! NEW
by: Anonymous

I have a the same little black figured 'demon' or whatever the hell it is becoming more of a threat in every sleep I have, it started just standing there looking at me then breathing on me until tonight when the demon attacked me by slapping me😂 yess slapping me, it seems funny now but when it's happening it's something else. Iknow this may sound funny and it kind of is explaining it to you but holy sh*t it's horrible I can feel it slapping me and taunting me!! Oh yea just to be clear am not a devil/demon obsessed person, it's just the only way I can really describe it!! But when I repeat in my head "your not real" over and over again it becomes more pissed off at me and intense until I snap out of the sleep!! The best way to get out is to stare at the image bothering u dead in its face of the object in other cases and repeat "YOUR NOT REAL" as many times as possible! Thanks for reading this! Hope I helped someone out there!!... From Roman

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Sleep Paralysis Stories.

Enjoy this page? Please help us pay it forward to others who would find it valuable by Liking, Sharing, Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or Voting below.

About This Site

Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?

A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

More Questions:

Ask | Answer

The Stanford Sleep Book

Stanford Sleep Book Picture

Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

Important Disclaimer

Please Note:

The information found on this page and throughout this site is intended for general information purposes only. While it may prove useful and empowering, it is NOT intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgments of healthcare practitioners.

For more info, see our
Terms of Use.