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.

Thought I Was Alone In This!

by Kristine
(Florida, USA)

I am doing research on sleep disorders for my psychology class and came upon one of the stories posted here. It was exactly what had happened to me only a few weeks ago! I frequently remember my dreams in vivid detail and occasionally have difficulty determining whether what I just dreamed was actually happening or not. So when this happened to me I didn't know what to think!

I woke up early in the morning, still dark in my room, to the feeling that I was being held down by my arms and legs. My head was turned to the right a little, and I couldn't seem to move it, but I could see. (I've been told I sleep with my eyes partially open, so maybe that's why I could see and some others here could not.) I remember feeling and thinking it was a person holding me down, just that they were towards my left so I couldn't see them, and as long as I looked to the right and not at them, they'd go away. After what seemed like forever I could finally move. My heart was racing and I was terrified! I think I was dreaming during this because I was convinced something horrible was present and responsible for holding me down. I was terrified also of going back to sleep, but after a bit I eventually did until my alarm went off.

I had no idea what to make of it until I read some of the posts here. So thank you everybody for sharing your stories and giving me reassurance that this is a relatively common condition, even though it is dreadful when it happens!

Comments for Thought I Was Alone In This!

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 24, 2010
You're Right On The Money
by: Kevin Morton

You hit the nail on the head of this one Kristine. Sleep paralysis episodes can seem like such unique, far out occurrences until you know why they happen. Understanding that they are a result of just our natural REM sleep paralysis outlasting sleep then makes it much easier to comprehend how such a crazy feeling can be experienced by many, many people.

Thanks a bunch for sharing your experiences and good luck with that psych class!!

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.