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 Know I'm Awake

by Karin
(Troy, NY USA)

I was sleeping at a friend's house that I had never been to. We were planning on holding a paranormal investigation because of some strange goings on there. We never ended up doing the investigation because my friend's husband did not want to disturb the deceased, as one of the entities believed to be in the house was his brother. Instead we had a glass of wine and watched a spooky movie before heading to sleep.


I was uncomfortable on the couch so I moved myself to the floor. It was a thick and very comfortable carpet and I had plenty of blankets and pillows to keep me comfortable. I'm not sure what time it was but I was awoken in the middle of the night. I was on my stomach, so I lifted my head up and started to look around and there was nothing in sight.

All of the sudden it felt like someone crawled on top of me from the neck down. I could still move my head but not far enough to see if there was actually something, or someone, on me. I couldn't move a muscle from the neck down and my friend was sleeping soundly right next to me. Does this sound like sleep paralysis, or was there a paranormal entity actually on top of me? I never did snap out of paralysis, I just went back to sleep.

I have experienced this paralysis before immediately upon waking up in the middle of the night, which definitely leads me to believe it was in fact sleep paralysis, however, one time was different. I woke up and my entire body was paralyzed. The only strange thing that coincided with this event was the fact that someone was pushing down on my pillow.. but I was alone in the room. It felt like two hands pushing down on the pillow and they went all around my head in a circle. Is this something that carried over from a dream and I was just experience residual effects after waking up? I don't think I'll ever know!



Kevin: Hey Karin, thanks for sharing your experiences. What you describe does sound like sleep paralysis in both cases, and I think you're right on the money when pointing to residual dream effects to explain the sensation of feeling two hands pushing down. Sleep paralysis is very tightly linked with dreaming, since the atonia that causes the paralysis stems from REM sleep, the period of the night when most dreaming occurs. As a result, things like hypnagogic hallucinations often coincide with episodes of sleep paralysis, making for some pretty terrifying experiences for some people.

You can find out a lot more about this relationship of dreaming and sleep paralysis by reading some of the other visitor submitted sleep paralysis stories on this site.

All the best,
Kevin

Comments for I Know I'm Awake

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 08, 2014
other symptoms? NEW
by: Kimmery M.

Hi,

I read your story and was wondering if you have other symptoms. Such as excessive daytime sleepiness, insomnia, cataplexy? Cataplexy is muscle weakness or total body collapse. This usually happens when experiencing a strong emotion such as laughter, being startled, or even stress.

The reason I am asking is because I suffer from narcolepsy and sleep paralysis and hypnagognic hallucinations are two symptoms of narcolepsy.

I would Google Epworth Sleepiness Scale and take that short questionnaire. If you score relatively high I would consult a sleep doctor.

If you'd like more info contact me on FB. My name on their is Kim Mackie. I am from Des Moines, Iowa. My profile picture is of my grandson and he's wearing a Iowa Hawkeye shirt. Just friend me and leave me a message that you are from this site and I will accept your request.

Best of luck,
Kimmery Mackie

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.