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.

I Feel Like I'm Dying, That I'm Going To Suffocate

by Elizabeth
(United States )

I am almost 18 years old and have been regularly experiencing sleep paralysis since I was 13. I always thought I was awake, and that this was really happening. I'd be laying there unable to move, I could barely breathe and sometimes I couldn't open my eyes. I'd have them slightly open enough to see a man beside my bed laughing at me, and I felt angry at him.

I was able one time, and one time only to speak, and I told him I was going to kill him. He laughed harder and my eyes slammed shut and all I could feel was a human biting me all over my body. When I experience this paralysis I try to call for help but I can't, I feel as though some one is pinning me down, and I'm desperate to get out.

When I break free from it I'm soaked with sweat and gasp as though I am finally getting oxygen. Most of them time I won't go back to sleep because I'm so terrified it's going to happen again. I don't always see this man, but when I do it's just a black figure and I can't make out his appearance. Sometimes I'll see their eyes and they are the brightest blue and they're mocking.

This happened just recently when I was spending the night with my boyfriend. It's never happened to me when someone was with me before that. He said he woke up because I was loudly whimpering like a wounded animal (I think I was trying to talk and call for help), and severely shaking. It scared him and he said he grabbed me by the bends of my elbows and started shaking me but I wouldn't wake up. He turned the light on and slapped me lol, and I woke up looked at him and said "what?" but he just looked horrified. I then grabbed him and buried my head in his chest, because I was so scared. He told me what happened and I told him that I had that paralysis (I've told him about it before) and I was able to go back to sleep cuddling with him.

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.