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.

It Has Never Felt So Real Before... SP With OBE

by Rachel
(Minnesota)

This started out by happening about twice last year in 2010 and now in 2011 it happens about once a month. To tell you the truth I thought I was going crazy when I tried to explain this to my mom.


This last week I was trying to sleep. This always happens on a night that I can't sleep and toss and turn a lot. I had just moved to sleep on my back and I slowly start to see images (people, faces, objects, never really sure what it is) moving towards and away from my face. I get a really loud ringing in my ears. One time it was so loud I thought I was going to go deaf. And then my whole body goes numb and I am not able to move. All I can ever do is turn my head to watch the clock to see how long it lasts. I always try to move my hands to cover my ears because it is just so loud and it never stops.

This last time got crazier. It was only like a 4 minute episode. The ringing started, I was seeing faces, and I couldn't move. I get so freaked out because you feel like someone is in the room with you. I always think someone is there watching me. I then all of a sudden felt 2 hands on each of my arms. And I was picked up out of my bed and pushed up against the west wall in my room. I was there for about a minute and then I was slowly returned to my bed. I felt like I was levitating. Which makes me think like I am crazy.

I always sleep in complete darkness, otherwise I can't sleep. That night I woke up and before I was lifted from my bed my room was lit up by a light in the hallway and my room looked like my old room from when I was a kid. Yellow walls, beads hanging down from the door, furniture was in a different place. I was so freaked out when I could finally move. I never had the feeling where I actually thought I was getting lifted off of my bed before.

I know it didn't happen because where I was thrown against my wall my dresser is there now but when it happened (in my dream or while awake) it was on a different wall. I always try to relax but I always feel there is someone in my room watching me and they are the ones making this happen to me. I try to talk or scream every time it happens but nothing comes out. I wish I could get it to stop. Any comments to help make this stop??


Kevin: Hey Rachel, thanks for sharing this. Sounds like you've experienced what is called an out-of-body experience, or OBE for short. They're well-known in the sleep paralysis circle, and experienced every so often during sleep paralysis episodes.

One guy who writes about them is Ryan Hurd, a dream researcher who used to live in the Bay Area, CA. He also wrote a book pretty recently about taking a bit of control over your sleep paralysis (how often you experience episodes, how long they last, etc.), and you can find my review of that book here. The text is downloadable, and there are links to get it on the review.

I hope you find the information you are looking for. Anyone else have some comments for Rachel?

All the best,
Kevin

Comments for It Has Never Felt So Real Before... SP With OBE

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 09, 2011
Thanks
by: Rachel

Thank you for commenting! I am happy that someone did! I am going to get that book that you mentioned. I just want to know why this happens to people? I was told to let your "dream" play out and you will be fine. I understand that, but I just can't get over the fact that I feel like someone is in my room with me at night when this happens. So even though I want it to play out, I just panic because I feel like someone is there watching me in the corner of my room. I fell like I am crazy and that my friends don't understand me. I didn't tell my mom for months because I didn't think she would believe me and I am 23 and I think I am going crazy.

Jul 09, 2011
Why SP Happens
by: Kevin

You bet Rachel, my pleasure. Sleep paralysis is still one of those mysteries where no one's really been able to prove conclusively why we have dark feelings like someone is in the room so often during episodes.

But in terms of the mechanisms causing it, my belief is that it has to do with a process called REM atonia leaking out a bit during wakefulness. REM atonia kicks in during every REM sleep cycle to keep us from acting out what our minds are dreaming up, by paralyzing virtually everything but the breathing and eye muscles. When we wake up while this mechanism is still functioning, sometimes it takes a little while for it to realize we're awake and shut off, thus keeping us paralyzed even though we're awake and ready to move. And because REM atonia is so closely linked to our dreaming, dreams can also spill out into wakefulness and be projected on our surroundings. I don't know why they take on dark themes almost exclusively, except to say that maybe the paralysis itself causes us to project fearful themes into the dream imagery.

Anyway, that's my thinking on SP in a nutshell. You can see a more full explanation on my causes of sleep paralysis section here, or in Ryan Hurd's book.

Aug 31, 2011
try this , it helps
by: Arty

i had this happen a lot too. similar experiences jamie had. one time i thought i had rolled out of bed and woke up, ran up stairs, but was still in that state. later woke up in my bed. doesnt happen when sleeping on my side.. try it.

Oct 01, 2011
Wondered for years "what happened to me"
by: Virginia

I was taking an early evening nap while my two young sons were nearby watching "Sesame Street" on tv. I was aware all of a sudden that I was awake but unable to move or speak....I was completely aware of my kids playing and the noise from the television. Becoming frightened that I was paralyzed was nothing compared to the terror that engulfed me when a voice, from within me, a very real voice (and I was not dreaming) spoke to me, kindly, I might add, saying "don't be afraid, I want to take you on a journey"...about the same time he was speaking I felt a pulling of my spirit from the pit of my stomach rising towards my head as if I was leaving my body...In all my 25 years I had never experienced such fear. I resisted by praying and calling on the name of Jesus, over and over and over until I slowly was able to move again. I'm not sure what happened. I thought perhaps I was dying. This was 30 years ago and I've always wondered what I missed by not going. On the other hand I was so afraid I felt it must have been evil.

Nov 05, 2011
Submit your self to Jesus Christ son of God and you'll find peace.
by: EUNICE

If you fully believe Jesus is your saivour and he died on the cross for your sins and rose again, call on him with faith and he will be there. "I PROMISE" I have experienced SP and to me it felt more of an evil entity than a mare sleep disoder, but once I submitted my self to christ by confessing my sins aloud to him with prayer and fasting one night about the time my attacks start the holy Ghost woke me up and I swear I felt the presence of the LORD. Something woke me up and I was shaking and praying in the spirit and started rebuking in the name of Jesus I couldn't believe how energized I was to pray. Submit your self to the Lord and he will NEVER let you down because he is a FAITHFUL GOD. Jesus is a live and the same yesterday, today and forever. His love endures foever, Please people let God take charge and you will have PEACE you never had before. CALL ON JESUS please......please......please!!!!

(Prov 1:33) But whoso heareneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Nov 05, 2011
SUBMIT TO THE LORD
by: I AM

If you fully believe Jesus is your saivour and he died on the cross for your sins and rose again, call on him with faith and he will be there. "I PROMISE" I have experienced SP and to me it felt more of an evil entity than a mare sleep disoder, but once I submitted my self to christ by confessing my sins aloud to him with prayer and fasting one night about the time my attacks start the holy Ghost woke me up and I swear I felt the presence of the LORD. Something woke me up and I was shaking and praying in the spirit and started rebuking in the name of Jesus I couldn't believe how energized I was to pray. Submit your self to the Lord and he will NEVER let you down because he is a FAITHFUL GOD. Jesus is a live and the same yesterday, today and forever. His love endures foever, Please people let God take charge and you will have PEACE you never had before. CALL ON JESUS please......please......please!!!!

(Prov 1:33) But whoso heareneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Nov 05, 2011
SUBMIT TO THE LORD
by: I AM

If you fully believe Jesus is your saivour and he died on the cross for your sins and rose again, call on him with faith and he will be there. "I PROMISE" I have experienced SP and to me it felt more of an evil entity than a mare sleep disoder, but once I submitted my self to christ by confessing my sins aloud to him with prayer and fasting one night about the time my attacks start the holy Ghost woke me up and I swear I felt the presence of the LORD. Something woke me up and I was shaking and praying in the spirit and started rebuking in the name of Jesus I couldn't believe how energized I was to pray. Submit your self to the Lord and he will NEVER let you down because he is a FAITHFUL GOD. Jesus is a live and the same yesterday, today and forever. His love endures foever, Please people let God take charge and you will have PEACE you never had before. CALL ON JESUS please......please......please!!!!

(Prov 1:33) But whoso heareneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Nov 05, 2011
Call on Jesus
by: I AM

If you fully believe Jesus is your saivour and he died on the cross for your sins and rose again, call on him with faith and he will be there. "I PROMISE" I have experienced SP and to me it felt more of an evil entity than a mare sleep disoder, but once I submitted my self to christ by confessing my sins aloud to him with prayer and fasting one night about the time my attacks start the holy Ghost woke me up and I swear I felt the presence of the LORD. Something woke me up and I was shaking and praying in the spirit and started rebuking in the name of Jesus I couldn't believe how energized I was to pray. Submit your self to the Lord and he will NEVER let you down because he is a FAITHFUL GOD. Jesus is a live and the same yesterday, today and forever. His love endures foever, Please people let God take charge and you will have PEACE you never had before. CALL ON JESUS please......please......please!!!!

(Prov 1:33) But whoso heareneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Jan 09, 2012
No worries! What you are experiencing is awesome!! NEW
by: Bellerempert@gmail.com

Okay, Rachel (and any else curious about this on this thread) you have nothing to fear, this is an OBE (out of body or astral projection) and it is very real and a very wonderful thing if you can learn about them and how incredible they can be with a little concious effort. There are tons of books you can read - the journeys series by a man who sort of pioneered learning about OBE (journeys out of the body is the first in the series, by Robert Monroe - other great books - adventures beyond the body by William Buhlman is great one) These are common, you don't have to worry about demons or calling on Jesus or anything - although you can if it makes you feel better. You know the guy who wrote the movie Jurassic Park? Michael Crichton - he had OBEs and wrote about them in his book Travels. I know that is a totally random tidbit of info, but I just say that to point out how totally common they are that even a movie director has them and writes about them like it's no biggie. Oh - just wanted to mention when you said you know it's not real because when you were put up against the wall it was the wall your dresser is in real life but ti wasn't in there in this "experience"... I was chuckling to myself because that is a typical OBE thing. It was in fact very REAL but physical objects and rooms commonly look a little different or are in different places then your waking life. But, that is something you can learn more about if you read those books. Until then - I will say that you are in control of these experiences. It dosent seem like it now, but you are. Next time it happens, try with all of your energy and concentration to yell "clarity now!!" and see what happens. Things should clear up and you will be able to see things better. Or try yelling "I am in control now!" if you feel like you are not in control of the situation. Or for those of you (others who poste) who feel like that can't really move, yell "my body is free and floating now!". But really, pick up some of those books and learn more about the totally cool world you are experiencing and have access too that you don't even know about yet. :) good luck and happy travels!!!

Jan 10, 2012
PS NEW
by: Bellerempert@gmail.com

Ps - I just want to add that you said you want to get them to stop because they are frightening you, but I can tell you once you realize some tricks for getting around and take control of the situation it can be the most life changing - in a good way - thing to happen to you, there are people who try for months and months to experience an OBE and they are coming naturally to you. They seem very scary right now, but it is only because you feel out of control and like another being is making this happen to you. What I can compare it to is if you had never been on a roller coaster before and someone put you on one blindfolded and didn't tell you where you were. You would be terrified and want it to stop. But, if you took the blind fold off you would be exhilarated and probably think it was the most fun you've ever had. That is how different it will be for you with the right knowledge. :)

Feb 16, 2012
More to it than they believe... NEW
by: Steve

There's definitely more to this than hallucinations. I completely agree with you, Jamie. I truly believe that what people are seeing are spirits, but most people tend to have negative experiences because of fear, whether they're consciously aware or not.
I've had positive and negative experiences during sleep paralysis. It started out negative from childhood, then it stopped for many years. It happened again when I was 17, seeing a black apparition which scared the hell out of me lol.
I'm now 20 and it happens on a regular basis, however the experiences are more weird and wonderful, rather than negative. I've heard a harp playing which filled me with this immense sensation, I felt so fresh when I got up that morning! :D Another time I felt and heard intense vibrations, as well as a spinning sensation which through me out of my body, but it was that strong it woke my body up and I could still feel it all happening within me.

Try to overcome the fears of it and your experiences will change :) I just can't stand the sensation of being paralyzed! >.<

Mar 21, 2012
feeling paralyzed NEW
by: Heather

I just woke and went online. Now I wasn't scared this time. As another time in the past I was so scared when this happened, it felt so real and so scarey last time. But this time, I simply could not move and I was on my side. I don't know what woke me in this way and gave me the instinct that I needed to move. So after I guess waking in this state I could not move. I did not feel any evil presence this time or even see anything strange. The only thing that scared me was the fact that I really felt like I must move and being unable to do so. I have had this happen before and it was tremendously scarey that I slept in the living room for awhile.. lol. Anyways since it wasn't that scarey this time, I dont know why but I got the feeling after waking could this be how I will die, unable to move or wake in my sleep, that I could lose consciousness, or be unable to breath. I mean except for trying relentlessly to move and not being able to, could this be harmful???

Apr 10, 2012
same thing NEW
by: jerry

i have the same experiences, but mine are self induced, i have always been able to control my dreams and everything about them, but this is out of hand, the feeling of someone in the room to me is ourselves, the part of us that no one knows but you yourself, the part of you that has done things you have never spoken about, in essence your sins so to speak, i am not religious by any means, but all i can think is that the "someone in the room" is the side of me that is never shown. being afraid of that is normal, but as to how to deal with that is unknown. i believe that everyone has a slightly evil side, i dont mean a hidden killer in each of us, but a side that you just keep to yourself or close friends, for example, if you ever cheated on your significant other, or you stole something when you knew it was wrong as an adult, things like that. this is not easy to explain, i can only type from experience because i have done some things that i will never speak about. i hope this helps, if anyone would like to talk more my email is available at won5one@yahoo.com i would like very much to know that i am not crazy and some very real person has similar experiences.

Feb 06, 2013
I Don't Know What to Think Anymore NEW
by: Kevin

Since 2001 I have been having regular experiences while in bed at night of being lifted out of my bed and pulled through the air. At first it was a wonderful sensation of being free and I looked forward to it. I could not tell when it would happen, it just would happen, without me controlling it. I would be lying in bed, and all of a sudden an intense sensation would come over my body starting at my feet working its way up my body until it reached my head, and then I would be lifted out of bed. I never see who is lifting me, but I know it is someone or something. It was always the most freeing experience, I loved it, until recently. When it happens now, there is no gentle lifting, it is a yanking, and instead of gently floating in my room, I am being pulled and pushed into walls and doors. On this last Sunday, Feb 3, 2013, I was violently yanked out of bed, arms restrained, forced to face down to the floor, and I heard a voice say they wanted me dead. I don't know what to think anymore...

Feb 18, 2013
Thought I was having a stroke NEW
by: Toni

I am so pleased to have found this site. Last night scared the hell out of me. I thought I was having a stroke. I had difficulty falling asleep to start with and was woke up by what I can only describe as someone pulling at my foot through the bottom of the bed. This alone frightened me so much I thought somebody was in the room with me, then I started to get a very high pitched noise in one ear and started shaking violently like I was having a fit, but I could not move my hands or cry out. I remember thinking if I could wake my husband he would help me but my voice was only a whisper and I could not reach him as my body would not respond. I really thought somebody was in the room close to my face although I could not see anybody just felt a presence that was evil, don't ask why I thought that, maybe it was just shear panic on my part. I remember cursing trying to shout out but all that came out was a slurred whisper. I told whatever it was to go away and leave me alone, this happened about 4 times last night each time the feeling got worse, until I was able to turn my body over and feel my hands again. I was scared stiff and really thought I was losing the plot, the feeling of someone in the room then passed and I was able to feel like I was in control of my body again. I could not believe that this is a disorder that affects lots of people and knowing this makes me feel so much better, but I am still not looking forward to sleeping tonight in case it happens again.

Apr 04, 2013
.....just this morning NEW
by: Anonymous

....i had another SP experience early this a.m.....it always starts with a vague vibration between my eyes and becomes more intense...shaking my body sideways...i almost feel as though i'll be turned inside out and then suddenly i feel light, free and can fly anywhere...the colors are intense and i sometimes feel the wind. i have control over my "travels"...i like to soar to a high mountain cliff and fall off, lifting up and flying just before i reach bottom. it's a wonderful feeling. i've been having SP experiences since i was a child. (i'm 63 now) and at first they were as terrifying as the ones i read about, but when i learned to not be fearful...the experinces became enjoyable..i look forward to them now.

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.