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.

Do I Have This?

by Gail
(UK)

I have a feeling that I may have this, I think I've actually had it for years and just thought it was normal, horrible but normal.


It’s a very strange dream and basically it feels like I’m awake but can’t get up. I’ll be lying in bed and know exactly where I am but my whole body feels tired, like way too tired to move or sit up or get up. I am always on my back and try think of new ways to ways to wake myself and sit up, I'll try to move my body and sometimes feel like I do sit up but then have to lie back down.

Another element of this for me is that I always feel like someone is breaking into my house and I can't get up to stop it or check if it's real. I'm alone in the house every time this happens. I generally feel like I can't breathe properly when this is happening too. I know what happened that morning for example that my boyfriend has left and if we spoke, I know what time my alarm is going to go off and I feel really concious.

I told my boyfriend about it last week as I was asking if he has ever had the same thing he said it sounded strange, he'd never heard of it, when it happened again today I was a bit freaked out by it as I think I get this quite often. I just started to do some research and can relate a lot to all the articles here.

The furthest back I can remember it was when I actually had my apartment broken into at university. I had been out the night before and went to bed really early (4pm) I tried to wake myself up all night but just couldn't as my whole body felt exhausted. I then I had the sensation that someone was breaking in which unfortunately that time had actually happened. The guy came into my room and turned my light on but then left again when he seen me, I managed to convince myself it was a friend and went back to sleep. Is it possible that this has just been brought on by that experience?

I'm finding it all a bit frustrating as its quite frightening when it happens and I feel panicked when I wake up and can't concentrate that well.


Kevin: Hey Gail, what you describe certainly sounds like sleep paralysis, yes. The difficulty moving, the weight pushing you into bed, the feeling of others around you in the house--all pretty characteristic. In some ways it is normal though, interestingly enough, in the sense that it is coming from a normal process in your body related to REM sleep. More on that here, if you haven't seen it already. I think it's probably a stretch to say that the break-in experience in college is bringing on the sleep paralysis now, but perhaps it is contributing to the feelings of having someone breaking in that are coming with it now. I think that's sounds plausible, but can't provide much more insight on that.

Something that may help with the frustration you're feeling is a book by Ryan Hurd about tools and techniques for exercising some control over your sleep paralysis. It's pretty recent, and a game changer in the general perception of SP. You can get more info about it from my review here.

All the best,
Kevin

Click here to post 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.