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.

What Parasomnia Do I Have?

by Laura
(Lebanon, PA)

I don't know how common it is to have multiple parasomnias, but after perusing your lists, it seems I've had quite a few at one point or another. Enuresis as a kid, debilitating night terrors (also as a kid), hypnagogic jerks (though I think everyone gets that), excruciating nocturnal leg cramps, paralysis and strange sensations of being pressed into the bed as I fall asleep, and a really unusual one recently that I can't really categorize by looking at lists of them. I suppose on the surface it's sleep paralysis, but it's accompanied by bizarre lucid dreaming where when I try to move my body I wake from one dream into another, where I'm lying in my bed and rolling back and forth, though my arms are paralyzed. Eventually I roll onto the floor but it doesn't make any sound or hurt. The second dream is remarkably detailed and I really think I've just fallen out of bed. Then I wake up to find myself paralyzed, not having moved at all during the course of the dream with my heart racing. I've determined that these episodes last about 15 minutes. Afterwards I usually fall back asleep normally. One small detail that may be helpful is that I usually fall asleep the first time listening to spoken word podcasts. When I wake up, the sleep timer has ended and I put my ipod away. I doubt this has anything to do with it, but it may be of some importance.

Kevin: Hey Laura, glad the site could help you informationally and thanks for sharing your interesting experience. I can't speak too much from personal experience or insight in regards to what you have described, but it strongly brings to mind a resource that I think may prove very insightful for you: Ryan Hurd's downloadable book Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide (link goes to my review). It's got quite a bit of great information about lucid dreaming with sleep paralysis that may give you some inspiration or a starting ground for finding out more. I also recall reading one or two other visitor-submitted stories that involve dreaming vividly of moving substantially before waking up to realizing they had not moved at all.


Comments for What Parasomnia Do I Have?

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 11, 2017
What do I do NEW
by: Jasonmcd32

My parasomnia contains me acting out what I do in my dreams(nightmares) they contain waving my arms and holiding them in the air , my question is: Is there any way that I can prevent it?

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 Questions and Answers.

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.