Sleep paralysis has become a thing in my life as of late. I’ve had sporadic episodes of it previously in life, but in the last few months it’s been more of a regular thing. I understand the science behind it…my brain is waking up before my body comes out of REM sleep. Understanding that doesn’t ease my mind when I’m in the middle of it though. The episodes are terrifying – I wake up helpless and unable to move. There are a few things that always remain the same:
1. I am in my bed, everything is the same in the “dream” as it is in the real world
2. I am paralyzed
3. I am terrified, and feel completely vulnerable and alone
4. I am screaming out to God for help (in my head – I cannot physically speak)
Once awake, I’m always left questioning why I didn’t receive an answer to my cries. I had another episode last night, and for the first time I felt like there was an answer. After I screamed for help, I was able to move my fingers and wake myself up quickly…I wasn’t left to continue screaming like normal.
I don’t always know whether it’s a dream or real. I feel the sensation of “waking up” finally, but before that there is nothing to tell me that it’s a dream…my room is the same, I am the same, everything around me is the same. The only things that have not been there once I regain movement, are the presences that sometimes are also in the room with me while I struggle to move. One of the last times it happened, I remember there being someone sitting on my laundry hamper talking to me (don’t remember what was said – but the overall feeling after waking up was negative). There was also a time where I didn’t see anything but I knew something else was in the apartment. I was afraid to go to sleep the night after that…I had to leave a light on and make sure my cat was in the room with me.
I’ve read up on it a little bit, and pretty much every culture throughout time has their own beliefs on it. People that claim to be abducted by aliens may be experiencing sleep paralysis also…more often than not people claim to be seeing something in the room with them…I think it just depends on your personal beliefs that dictate what that something is to you. There is the science behind it as well and one thing I read was that sleeping on your back may make you more susceptible which makes sense as I had started sleeping on my back more in the last few months. I stopped sleeping that way though once I learned that, and have since been sleeping on my side again. The only problem is that’s how I was sleeping last night when it happened again. So I’m not really sure what I can do to combat it.
Have you experienced sleep paralysis? I’m curious how other people learn to keep calm in the midst of it, instead of panicking.