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Sleep Paralysis


Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which the person involved is unable to perform voluntary movements as the result of brief, partial or complete muscle paralysis.  It usually occurs while lying in the supine (face up) position at the onset of sleep or upon awakening.  Sleep Paralysis is described by the people who have experienced it as “terrifying” because they don’t understand what is happening to them.  Sometimes hypnogogic (occurring in the state of intermediate consciousness preceding sleep) hallucinations are present during episodes of SP which makes the victim feel as though someone is sitting on their chest trying to crush or suffocate them.  In certain instances they may also feel as if they are being bitten or choked and the presence is often described as threatening and malevolent.  This type of occurrence is more commonly called the “Hag Phenomena”.  Although the research and knowledge on this phenomenon is very limited, it has been happening to people for thousands of years and it has recently been discovered that 25 to 30 percent of the population has experienced a least a mild form of SP in their lifetime.  We still do not know exactly why SP occurs but research has finally been able to explain what is physically happening to us during an episode.

What can cause Sleep Paralysis?

It is believed that the hallucinations during Sleep Paralysis are a result of a malfunction in the normal REM state of sleep.  During a normal REM state, our brains send a message to the rest of our body to turn off or cease our regular motor functions so we are unable act out our dreams which could cause us to harm ourselves.  Research has shown one possibility that the brains neurons fail to remind the body that it is presently awake resulting in paralysis or muscle atonia.  Other things that may factor into this type of experience are:

•Falling asleep on your back


•Sleep Deprivation

I have personally had my own experience with Sleep Paralysis and I can attest to how scary it can be. 

Quite a few years back, I was spending the night with a friend of mine.  She had already fallen asleep and I was lying on my back on the verge of falling asleep when suddenly I couldn’t breathe or move a single muscle in my body except for my eyes.  I tried crying out to my friend next to me but to no avail.  I couldn’t open my mouth or even manage to utter even the slightest sound.  I just laid there with this immense weight on top of me for what seemed like ages, peering over at my friend from the corner of my eye as sheer panic began to set in.  Suddenly, all of the weight lifted from my body and I sprung up in bed letting out a loud cry.  I couldn’t begin to explain to my startled friend what had just happened to me nor could I explain it to myself until years later when I began researching this phenomenon.  It truly was a terrifying event.

Some people believe that during SP episodes that they are being probed or abducted by aliens.  They believe they are able to feel a presence in the room with them that is just out of sight, watching or monitoring them.  Other people have believed there to be ghosts or vampires, even werewolves. Although many people who have experienced this type of phenomena are deeply convinced and wedded in their belief that these events have truly happened, it would be very beneficial if more people could generally understand what SP really is and how it has contributed to many worldwide and widespread paranormal experiences.

Have you ever experienced Sleep Paralysis?

If so email us through the link below, we would love to hear about it.


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