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.

Why am I being paralyzed and electrocuted while I'm sleeping?

by Wade Holler
(Salem, Ma.)

I get paralyzed but I am conscious of my surroundings while I'm asleep. This is followed by a very real and painful sense of electrocution, which typically lasts until it seems like I pass out, and it concludes with terror, shear terror.

I often try to scream and flail about but even if someone is sleeping right next to me they never even notice. The only living thing that has seemed to notice was a friend of mine's dog who was growling at me when I woke up once.

These episodes have been happening for about 18 years now and I can't seem to figure out what they are, or if anyone else has had them. It is important to note here that I don't drink or use drugs and it has been over 4 years since I have.

I have been to doctors and done sleep tests but the results have been nil. Lasts night's 6/19/11 episodes were the worst by far cause normally there would only be one but this time there were several.

The electrocution is painful to say the least and the one component that only a few people describe but the most dominant in my experiences, and I can liken the experience only to what I imagine it would feel like if you were conscious of a seizure while it was happening.

I am desperate for insight or understanding from a qualified respondent as the web is too full of demonic and or alien interpretations that I can't subscribe to at this point. This is real and I know that I am not crazy but I am at a loss for understanding, and at times think crazy would be better if it explained it.

Comments for Why am I being paralyzed and electrocuted while I'm sleeping?

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 12, 2015
Sleep Paralysis
by: Kevin

Hi Wade, The paralysis with consciousness definitely sounds like trademark sleep paralysis, but you likely already know that as you're posting your story on the sleep paralysis page. The feeling of electrocution is something I don't really know about. I know quite a few people report feeling tingling or hearing electrical buzzing during their sleep paralysis episodes, but I'm not sure how many others feel it as painful as much as you describe. Please let us know if you find out anything else, or maybe someone on here can add some insight.

Oct 28, 2015
I also feel electrocuted. NEW
by: Anonymous

I've has SP for over 30 years and every time I also feel this sensation and it's not comfortable at all. I always get SP as I go to sleep, not waking up, and as I go deeper into the paralysis, the feeling of every nerve vibrating gets stronger and stronger. It's like an electrical force field around my body and the dial keeps going up and up and up until I either snap myself out of it or I eventually fall asleep. The buzzing sound also gets louder with the intensity and they 'feel' related.

May 08, 2018
Electocuted NEW
by: Anonymous

I have the same episodes. This happens to me almost every night. What can it be right, it happens right before you drift off into sleep, moments before there is this extream drowsiness you feel, then you can feel like your being electrocuted and the harder you fight it the stronger the electric feeling continues, then you can snap out of it. sometimes when you snap out of it you feel like your in a hypnotic trans and you drift off only to be electricuted once again, then you snap out of it and it happens again. there is only one way that stops you from being electrocuted and paralyzed. It's praying before you go to sleep, and I'm not talking about praying with plain old words that mean nothing but praying hard and asking God to protect you. I have come to an acceptance that what is happening to me is purely demonic. I had the same thing happen to me when I had an EEG and the found nothing. So next time you want to have a good night rest, do your prayers hard. There is no scientific explanation for what is happeing, my brother is a doctor and he cant explain it nor any test will explain it its evil the devil bothering you because he can.

Oct 23, 2018
Same NEW
by: Rachelle

I always get sleep paralysis when I'm extremely tired or if I take some sort of sleep aide, cold medicine, or allergy medicine before bed. Sometimes I hallucinate things or hear things but 9 times out of 10 I just lay in bed unable to move feeling like I'm being electrocuted. It always starts in my chest. It's like a pulsing wave of electricity crashing down on me over and over and over getting stronger and stronger, making it hard to breath. Sometimes it causes me to panic which of course makes it worse and other times I am able to relax and drift in and out of consciousness while the buzzing goes on for hours. Sometimes I snap out of it only to sink right back into it and that cycle repeats over and over. It used to really freak me out. I would wake up screaming. But now I just wait it out because even though I feel like I'm suffocating and the pain is intense, I know that I'll be okay. I've always wanted to go up a doctor but of course don't have the money. And I've never seen anyone else describe the same feeling as me so I'm glad I'm not alone. Usually people describe the feeling of someone sitting on their chest but never being electrocuted...

Jan 06, 2019
Dream or reality
by: Jawad

Its like a wave first for me then it gets stronger and stronger the vibrating and zapping.cant move mussle and cant talk but suddenly i see my self in the postion where i was sleeping and nothing happened.but the experience was soo real. It often happens when im tired .but these experiences are very vivid
Once i was sleeping and saw a guy walk past my bedroom door and suddenly he leaned back to me and stared at me .the guy was a shadow. He kept looking at me .then intense pressure and zapping feeling set in and im struggleing to stay awake and keep my eyes open.i fail and close my eyes and open agin and poof nothing happend .WTH is going on

Jan 11, 2019
I thought I was going to die NEW
by: Anonymous

I woke up from a dream this morning, I've been electrocuted by 240v a couple times before and being woken up by the exact same feeling not being able to move and every part of my body felt like it was convulsing.

I've read that it can be your body's way of dealing with anxiety. I don't believe what you felt is sleep paralysis

Sep 12, 2019
Felt like i was going to die aswell.
by: Spooked

i had this almost same experience not some days ago, but i think i was still dreaming... we lost power and i holed up in one corner of the house, in view of a mirror, i sleep and some few minutes later i felt myself get sucked in the mirror then come back to where i was, but then my vision was just flashing lights(i'm not sure if i was still dreaming or just sleep paralysis) with a shade of a face surfacing every flash, this is when i muster all my strength to move, but every time i attempt to my body felt shocks while being weighed down by some unseen force.

i wake up and after 30 seconds the power comes back on and i felt like i probably would have died if i didn't try to move.

disregarding the paranormal nonsense my sleep deprived head made up with the mirror, the paralyzing and the shocks is my 2nd sleep paralysis, as i remember not so fondly enough.

I'm curious about this being linked to anxiety, cause that might explain it, being in a dark room holed up in a corner even though i fell asleep through the heat.. and got a good scare.

Oct 16, 2019
Electric shock, and hallucinations NEW
by: Anonymous

I honestly thought I was the only one that experienced the electric shock. I often have sp when I sleep on my back, or sleep sitting up. Sometimes I feel myself trying to wake up my partner by scratching them with my fingers and toes, and later find out it was just a hallucination. Its seems very real, but they never notice or say anything about it, and I feel myself digging into their skin with my nails...creepy. I had a specifically strange episode one night in 2011, when I felt myself drift into paralysis, and all of a sudden my entire body felt as thought it was being electrocuted. It was extremely painful, and when I awoke I was screaming, and had tears in my eyes. It's never happened before, but it's something I've never forgot. Its relieving to see I'm not alone in this

Jun 09, 2021
by: Anonymous

I went to sleep very tired. I remember becoming aware in my sleep but not really thinking, just being there. I was enjoying this space, it was very quiet and still. I then saw what looked to be an eclipse that was about to occur, a black sun and a white moon or the other way around? not sure. I realized I was in control of them and felt responsible for getting them aligned on top of each other. I remember struggling but as soon as I managed to get them to align I felt a shock of electricity all through my body I remember waking up screaming in pain and unable to move, but I think It may have been a hallucination, I am not sure, but it felt very real. I went back to sleep but I've been so sleepy all day.

Dec 28, 2021
by: Samantha Bailey

I just went to the ER tonight and I feel stupid. They told me night terrors and that nothing was wrong. Chopped it up to my generalized anxiety disorder. When I was conscious but getting what felt like electrocuted it started out uncomfortable and started ramping up. I usually move or wake up when I start to feel it but this time I did not and now I know. The more it ramped up I heard some screaming my name like in torture. Drawn out female voice. When I was waking up I BARELY heard someone yelling in a normalize tone NOOOOOO kinda strained but kinda normal which freaked me out but it felt and sounded really far away in a down wards manner idk if y’all understand that like it was coming from down and further away if you closed your eyes but slightly to the right. The woman came from the left and close to me . But when I woke up my left eye felt buzzy my left side of my head felt strained and the left rib cage part felt like it had just contracted. When I tell you guys I felt something evil I was "whispering" help. It was awful.

Feb 14, 2022
Omg thank you NEW
by: Joy

This started happening to me a few years ago and it’s gotten increasingly worse. This morning was the worst by far. It happened to me in the middle of the night. Then this morning it happened like 5x in a row and I couldn’t fully wake myself up. I could feel myself grimacing and my hands stiffening and rising. All morning I’ve been hearing weird noise and voices. I thought I was having seizures. In fact I just spent 15 min researching every seizure known to man before I happened upon this.

Feb 14, 2022
Electrocution NEW
by: Joy

To add to comment above, I’ve had SP issues for a long time. It’s the electrocution that’s new and it is beyond terrifying and very painful. As other people have stated, it starts with a buzzing then it gets increasingly worse until it feel like I’m being shocked by a 220. And it doesn’t just stop when I wake up. It slowly (painfully slow) fades. I’ve been awake almost 2 hours now and I can still feel it.

Feb 16, 2022
This was terrifying.... NEW
by: Katie..????

I believe I just had one. It was like I was being electrocuted. I couldn't move and it felt like something was shaking me very hard. It was like you were vibrating and trying to move. And when you wake up your fine but just scared. What's scarier is I had it twice. I guess it was a dream I had, because this isn't the first time I had this dream and had the same problem.
The dream: I was standing in front of a mirror watching myself disappear, and as i was disappearing the buzzing like sound got louder.

Feb 25, 2022
I am 17 years old and have had the same problem since I was a child
by: Anonymous

Ever since i was a child i have had the same string of nightmares of bieng in a sleep paralysis state of pure fear and then getting shocked by a dark figure, it stopped at around 6-8 years old and came back the other night

Jun 30, 2022
Like Electric Paddles Were Being Applied NEW
by: Anonymous

Like someone applied those heart-start paddles. And I was aware but I couldn't move or talk.

This is exactly the state people describe in ET abduction scenarios, aware but paralyzed. I'm not suggesting it was that. But in an aware dream-state, there were people doing that somehow without paddles and and it felt clinical. I mentally begged them not to do it again but there was a dream-discussion about whether the amperage/voltage was enough and a decision I could survive it, so was applied multiple times. It was meant to strengthen/heal some system in my body. It felt like clinical coldness but no malice whatsoever.

In that paralyzed dream-state, my body lifted in exactly the same way as when on tv when they apply high voltage paddles and the massive shocking lifts the body- not quick- for for about 5-10 seconds at a time. I sure hope I never dream it again! I didn't even wake up from it- went back into unconscious dreaming for another while, which seemed weird too, since it was so uncomfortable and I was aware of my room, etc. My heart goes out to anyone having that dream/experience often. And I totally agree Prayer is always a good idea, regardless! I believe it helps all things, altho my dream-state experience did not feel malicious, but was freaky and uncomfortable.

Sep 16, 2022
A also feel electrecuted NEW
by: Anonymous

I actually feel it since the beginning of my sleep paralysis to the end of it(the time i wake up).The electrocution feeling gets stronger as much as i try to wake up from SP.I'm also afraid because it is not too common(i search it on internet and i only found this).It is terrifying painful to me, I'm afraid to sleep tonight.I want to rest but i can't because the electrocution feeling is so painful and i am also exhausted even when i wake up because of this

Sep 18, 2022
Sleep Paralysis Story NEW
by: Joshua

It started when I was around 14-16 when I started having sleep paralysis with an extreme sensation of electrocution all over my body. Now I am 22, it also happens to me all the time whenever I fall into sleep paralysis. I also can feel the extreme electrocuting sensation gradually building up with tension whenever I am starting to experience sleep paralysis while I am asleep. It happens even though I am not physically exhausted, it just happens ever since I experienced sleep paralysis for the first time. The tension starts to gradually build up on my head and will spread to my entire body. It hurts, especially on my head that I feel like the pressure is too much like it's gonna get crushed. And it also causes me to have a difficulty in breathing.

I also experience hallucinations, visual and auditory. There are episodes that take minutes before it goes away.

Other people that I met do not experience the feeling of electrocution as I do during sleep paralysis. I also happen to have multiple episodes of sleep paralysis with the feeling of extreme electrocution in just one night. For the many years that I have been experiencing this, I have found a way how to prevent my sleep paralysis from happening. Whenever I hear the sound of gradual tension of electrocution building up, I quickly move to prevent it from happening, but it does not work all the time. It's always a race for me, if I act or move before sleep paralysis happens, it will stop.

If I experience sleep paralysis now, I calm myself down and wait for it to stop. But if that does not work, I try to move my fingers or my toes. Control my breathing and do not panic. And if I have the chance to snap out of it, I act fast.

I do not experience sleep paralysis whenever I sleep on my back. My sleeping position when I experience sleep paralysis is when I sleep on my side or on my stomach.

Oct 04, 2022
Electric burning NEW
by: Anonymous

These sleep issues are no joke, after closing my eyes I can usually begin sleep within 5 minutes or less it's always been something I could control. Upon sleep I have been having these shocks. They originate randomly yet always rush to my head and throughout my whole body. It is unbearable. From outside observation it seems that I will usually have 2 hour intervals that gradually get smaller and smaller 1 hour then 30 minutes and so on.
I am forced awake by this. There is no way to sleep through the attack it is too painful.
I started having these after ingesting mushrooms and attempting to sleep during the trip. That night they started and continued many many times before I could finally achieve even a measly few hours of rest, yet again to be awakened by this shocking feeling. It would be terrible if this is the cause yet I doubt it is perhaps just a trigger to a deeper neurological problem.
Opinions please thank you for your time reading this and good luck with your pain.

Dec 02, 2022
Don't move your body wiyle your paralyzed in your sleep NEW
by: Ruth


Feb 06, 2023
Electrical short circuit NEW
by: Anonymous

woke up last night hearing the most intense electric sound inside my body, thought I was being electrocuted. Sounded like a transformer shorting out and felt like I had my finger in an electrical socket. I’ve never in my life experienced this and it scared me. I have MS and have had so many weird nerve problems plus sleep issues over the years but this felt different.

I woke up actively yanking my hands apart thinking I created a closed circuit and had to break it or I would die. Then 5 seconds later just lay there trying to figure out how I was being electrocuted laying in bed.

Feb 16, 2023
Feeling my whole body vibrate NEW
by: Anonymous

So glad I’m not the only one… Whatever this was, was scary. I was laying on my back with my legs slightly elevated. I had this weird feeling and opened my eyes, then all of a sudden it felt like someone touched or pushed on my feet and I looked down. Then I felt a vibration from my feet to the top of my head. Then it stopped and started again. I’ve never been electrocuted, but I don’t know how else to describe the feeling. I felt paralyzed but then was able to move and could feel my heart pounding with fear and the sensation of the vibration turned into like a tingle all over my body. This has never happen before…

Mar 04, 2023
I share this knowing that God might use it to help someone searching for answers.
by: Jeff

I experienced something similar last year but in addition to the feeling of electricity pulsing through my body, there also appeared to be an entity in my room. The entity appeared to me simply as an amorphous cloud of gray static. I don't know if this was its actual form, or if that was somehow hidden from me. Many things that are hard to understand happened that night, but to keep the story short.. While all this was happening and I had began to panic, a voice suddenly spoke to me (not audibly, but somehow telepathically) and said, "Rest, Jesus is with you". Suddenly, the electric sensation ceased, my panic immediately dissipated, and as I began to drift back to sleep I glanced over and noticed that the entity was no longer there.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and he is eternal life.

Mar 10, 2023
Electrocuted after waking up. NEW
by: Matt

I believe I also experienced a similar situation but rather during waking up. I have had no prior experiences of SP and I don’t believe this was a case of one. I was dreaming of getting a kid to escape a deadly obstacle course and I remember in my dreams just before I woke up I jumped into electrified water to save the kid. When I woke up, I felt a strong vibrating shock like I was being electrocuted and I was paralyzed while this was happening. I was aware of my surroundings and the shock lasted for 10 secs and was slightly painful. Can someone please tell me what just happened to me?

Mar 16, 2023
@Matt NEW
by: Jeffrey

Two questions:

1. Did you have any sense that there was something or someone present with you in the room? Or did you experience, see or hear anything else out of the ordinary during this experience?

2. Do you know Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as your Lord and Saviour?

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.