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Looking For Answers, Glad I Found One

The truth is, this entire idea of Sleep Paralysis is kind of a relief to me. Although I knew it existed (I'm a medical student), I didn't know it came with hallucinations, and that changes everything.


You see, around the age of fifteen I started waking up in the middle of the night, always hearing 3 knocks on my wall. I would think (or hope) that it was my girlfriend tapping on the window or wall outside, asking to come in. I found this was not the case. It would keep happening to me, 3 knocks, (not every night but often enough to mean something to me) and every single time (no matter how loud I perceived them to be) my eyes would shoot open and for a few seconds I'd be unable to move.

After a while it became more of an annoyance than a fear, and after a while I thought that maybe it was some recurring dream I was having.

This went on for years (I'm 18 now) and very recently I started to get genuinely fearful. I woke up in the night unable to move or make a sound with the image of a screaming face staring at me. Finally I was be able to let out a yell, and when I became able to yell and move the image dissipated.

It didn't happen for a while until the other night I woke up with the image of the shape of a person walking up to my bed and reaching for me, and again I was unable to move or yell. When I finally was able to move, the image dissipated again. Maybe 2 weeks after that I woke up again around 11:47 and saw the shape of a person, bent over me, and never have I been more terrified, because I put these images together and thought it was some spirit getting closer. It's even scarier that I was unable to move for a few seconds, and I tried to yell but my dad was right outside the room and he said he didn't hear anything. I stayed awake until I was too tired to care. I told my dad and mom and my fiancée, and I was absolutely sure it was something supernatural.

I actually started researching looking for clues to some supernatural presence or similar cases of what I was experiencing (the three knocks, the face hovering above me, other noises I didn't bother to describe), but I'm really glad I found this site. Knowing that Sleep Paralysis comes with hallucinations makes this whole thing make sense. Knowing that what I'm experience is my body's idea of a joke is kind of comforting.

It's good to know it's nothing supernatural, and that it happens all the time. And for others who experience sleep paralysis, chances are you know fear. But don't worry, it's an explainable medical condition. If it troubles you sincerely, talk to your doctor. Just remember, you're not the only one.

Sincerely,
~A Future Doctor

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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.

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The Zeo

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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.

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