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.

Interesting Enough To Write This...

My story of sleep paralysis... Fell asleep on the couch watching a movie, woke up at 1:00 am was very sleepy walking to bedroom, but when i laid down in my bed I couldn't sleep.. Must have been awake turning for about another hour. Around 2:30 - 3:00 i was coming out of a dream, cant remember what it was about ..but i know it wasn't unpleasant, i had fallen asleep on my back.

I think i realized i couldn't move when i tried to roll over like i had been doing earlier, nothing happened and i felt very weak, not in a sickness type way, but in a way where i was putting a lot of energy into moving and it felt like i was almost moving. It was an interesting sensation i did not feel much fear or anxiety, just kinda exploring it like i was in some sort thick jello.

I think it was the feeling of myself that intrigued me rather than panic of not being being able to move. I could feel the aliveness of myself, a formless energy that was bound inside my limbs... with space to move though, it felt like a cable tv when there is no cable .. all those little black and white spots jittering... not black and white ..just the jittering part ..and i was directing it to try to move the body.

It was subtle but with some effort i finally moved a little and it felt like it broke, i could feel that i could move again, i might have wiggled a leg or something to make sure. The whole time there was not much imagery, mostly dark.. some shimering and no colors.

Then almost right after this is when some fear and panic came... because after i felt comfortable i could move again, there was a forceful weight on me. chest wrists and throat, it happened like the crack of a whip it felt "instant" with a little electrical feel at the wrists.

I instantly began resisting because this was not like earlier, earlier i had my mind and was thinking .. this time it was as if my mind was being pushed into a sleep state. so i put all my will into moving .. it took what felt like a minute winning, losing , winning, losing then
finally breaking it and moving my body...i didn't know what to think so i lay there with my elevated heartbeat.

For the next 5 minutes even though i was awake looking around my room, i was still fighting the going to sleep thing, i could move my body but my mind was slipping.. if i didn't try to keep alert i would have been sleeping. i let myself go halfway and try to see.. this was really strange because my eyes were open but i was seeing all darkness and shimmering grey tones the room kinda melted into this. i stayed in this place shortly looking around , some part of me was telling me to wake up, and fortunately i had to go the washroom so i finally got up out of bed... feeling a little uneasy as to what just happened.

When the first subtle mellow paralysis was happening i recognized it , i have experienced it before. but not the second... it felt very intrusive and forceful.

Anyway i was intrigued enough right then to stay up for a hour looking this phenomenon up, weird that the first thing i looked up was "sleep paralysis" these two came to my mind to best describe it. I was pretty amazed from wikipedia article about the worldwide and historical references made to this from all sorts of different cultures. It definitely was an interesting experience.

If this happens again im going to do my best to stay calm and try to "see" what is going on.

Kevin: Thanks for that awesome description of your sleep paralysis. You're right, the cultural history of it is fascinating. I actually just wrote a bit about it on an update to the sleep paralysis page here (in the rectangular box on the right).

The second part of the episode you describe, where you felt like you were being sucked into sleep, is actually used by some skilled dreamers or those used to SP to enter straight into a lucid dream state (if you haven't heard of lucid dreaming, definitely check it out here). I just finished reading a great book that describes how to do this, as well as how to take control of your sleep paralysis episodes. It's by a dream researcher named Ryan Hurd and you can check out my review of the book here.

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.