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.

My Experiences With Sleep Paralysis

by Jessica

I have been having problems with Sleep Paralysis as long as I can remember. I am 29 years old, in good health, with low stress, and a good sleep pattern. I don’t seem to really fit the normal category for reasons to have this disorder. A physician has not diagnosed me, but I have the symptoms that most people claim to have. I will wake up to find myself aware of what is going on around me, but I usually cannot move, or talk to anyone. I have had times where I was able to get out of bed while still in the disorientated state, with a very weird feeling that I really can’t describe, then I am slowly able to come back to full movement. I have had it come back while standing a couple of times too which is really weird, but will only last for a couple of seconds.

Kevin's Response

Hey Jessica, thanks a lot for taking a moment to share your experiences. One thing that should hopefully quell any concerns you may be having over your episodes is that sleep paralysis isn't really a full-fledged "sleep disorder" in the typically expected use of the phrase. Despite the intense experiences it brings on, sleep paralysis is really a rather normal event that can happen to anybody, regardless of whether they fit into any categories because of stress, or health, etc. As a result, many people experience sleep paralysis at least once or twice in their lives.

It's easier to see why this when you understand just why sleep paralysis occurs, which you can learn by reading the "Causes" section of this page.

Of course, some people like yourself experience sleep paralysis on a much more frequent basis, and on rare occasions this can prove disruptive enough to really be a problem warranting medical attention, but in the vast, vast majority of cases sleep paralysis episodes are not a cause for concern.

You mentioned too that you've had it "come back while standing a couple of times". Does it come back pretty immediately after the initial incident when waking up or much later in the day after everything has seemingly returned to normal. If it's the latter, you may want to learn more about narcolepsy, just to equip yourself with knowledge of the subject and how sleep paralysis relates to it, in case it proves useful in understanding anything that is happening with yourself.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

Best wishes,

Read more stories about sleep paralysis 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.