Anyone experienced Sleep Paralysis?

It's crazy the things that your mind makes you go through when you're over stressed and anxious about life. I haven't always been an anxious person, but with every passing year, as I climb the scale of adulthood, the coping seems to get increasingly difficult. 

Lately, I've been experiencing something very peculiar and SCARY. 

Some times when I drift off to sleep in the midst of an active mental awakened state, I mean, while doing something that keeps my head extremely active (like working on a paper, studying, after a stressful day in general), I end up dreaming for a short while, and then suddenly waking up WITHOUT ACTUALLY WAKING UP. In other words, I'm conscious and aware of the fact that I'm dreaming. The worst part is, you cannot move a single muscle in your body nor let out a sound. You just helplessly lie paralyzed and immobile, experiencing a dream which 99% of the time is actually a frightening nightmare, and wait for the fit to pass and your body to wake up. 

The last time I remember, I saw a giant horse come striding inside my bedroom and rear its legs up to kick me! I know it sounds funny right now, but when I saw it in my paralyzed state, the horse felt nothing less than a ghost or a demon! 

I've been told that this happens to people experiencing extreme stress and anxiety, and the only cure is probably to release the mental heat. But in any case, I would like to know if anyone here has faced something like this before?
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  • @Hiraeth — I've experienced sleep paralysis off and on for many years. In fact, my most recent episode was last night. I heard the faucet running so I turned it off and walked away... and as I walked away I realized it was still running... confused, I returned to the sink and turned the water off again... walked away... and paused as I realized the faucet was still running... like you said in the horse dream, something spelling these things out doesn't sound too scary, but in the moment, in the dream, it can be anywhere from eerie to utterly terrifying. Last night's instance was relatively mild, but at the end of it I realized I was dreaming, began slapping my face (in the dream) to wake myself up, and that's when the paralysis came as I collapsed on the sofa and couldn't move...

    I've never looked into what causes this, but stress and anxiety seem as likely as anything. In any event, you're not alone, my friend! 
  • @HIRAETH wow...that is interesting! i've not heard of this, but it sounds like something i would like to study out..i love the thought of figuring out dreams...

    keep on the search..i'm sure it does happen to other people.
  • I have experienced this one before, maybe a year ago. Woke up in the middle of the night wide awake but could not move. I wasn't scared and had sense enough to realize what was happening, my brain had woken up before my body, trippy experience non the less.

    I also dream in color and have (cant spell ) (desuavue) of dreams ive had long ago.
  • I've never experienced it myself but I've heard of it before. The thought of being in the middle of a nightmare and aware of what's going on but literally being unable to move or do anything sounds really frightening.
  • I could relate to you as I have often experienced sleep paralysis in the past, and yes, it's really difficult to wake up from it. I remember I saw a white lady standing right beside my bed, looking down at me. It was a really scary dream. Then the next night, she was already whispering something to my ear. 
  • I fall into sleep paralysis from time to time and it is horrible. My last vision was one of a tall guy, standing at the end of my bed, he was ever so skinny. And, for some unknown reason, I tried saying hi to him. It was not a good idea, as he began flapping his feeble arms, but there was no sound, even though he wore a ski coat. It was dreadful, and I held my breath to wake up. My heart was beating so fast that it felt like my chest was going to burst.
  • this happens to me a lot unfortunately. Its usually terrifying because it always during a bad dream and Im trying to run away or scream because something bad is happening. Sometimes its accompanied by the feeling of suffocation. Even after I feel Ive woken up I cant move. I dont know why it happens either. 
  • This happens to me somewhat regularly and I agree, it is one of the scariest experiences ever! I have a few recurring nightmares (often about driving the car, which I hate!) and there have been quite a few times where I have this feeling of trying to scream or run and nothing happens. 

    I think this is a response to a lot of stress. Usually I think my own dreams are pretty easy to interpret, and this scary feeling of sleep paralysis seems to feel a lot like and correspond with times where I feel just generally not in control of my life. It's very frustrating to feel like I know what this all means but not know what to do about it!
  • This happened to me 3 times in total when I was younger, I had the same.. dreaming, then ''waking up'' to find myself unable to move. Or jumping from one dream to another, until I started to experience a vibration feeling and sound... It's scary as heck, funny that never took place at night, only during my day naps... Not sure if you can take anything to help you prevent this, mine stopped once i hit 25.  Haven't had one ever since. 
  • I am not sure that I have experienced this before but I have heard of it. I can well imagine that your body would be under a large amount of stress and anxiety for this to happen. I have many times been dreaming and wake up in my dream but I do not think I wake up in reality. I do not like these dreams because they are not usually good ones and I have no way of getting out of them. I have had dreams that I have had years ago like @pillsmoneyweed said and they feel like deja vu. I also dream in color and there have been times when I have dreamed in animation which was really weird. I always try to figure out what my dreams mean because sometimes they can get really weird. I have even had prophetic dreams a few times and those really bother me because they are not always good.  I hope you find the answers you are looking for. 
  • I saw a documentary called the nightmare and I have since then gained a bit more of an understanding of what sleep paralysis actually is. Once I thought it was just a myth or exaggeration but I guess I was just ignorant back then. The documentary was probably a bit exaggerated for added effect though, I'm guessing, but either way I think that even a milder version of what the people there were talking about would be awful specially if you experience it regularly.
  • I can tell you that 3 years ago, when I was under extreme stress, that particular thing happened to me and I was concious of myself but I was not able to move, speak or do anything at all, all I had in my mind is hopelessness and depression. It's a difficult situation, but I've never had it after 3 years, I think it is because I've chosen to let go of things and I got better. If you're under extreme stress, do something about it, there are people here who can help you and people who love you also can help you, do not struggle alone.
  • I've only ever experienced sleep paralysis once in my life, that was a long time ago and yes it was very scary. It basically happens when your mind goes into a hypnagogic state and you end up experiencing a waking dream. It is also believed that this is the explanation for most reported alien abductions although I have to disagree with that conclusion having had experiences with UFOs and alien entities myself. Sleep paralysis can be quite daunting but imagine how bad it would be to open your eyes to find yourself surrounded by alien greys - well, after experiencing much UFO/ET activity myself (and most of it whilst I'm conscious, awake and outside), my daughter described a typical alien abduction to me the other night and proceeded to ask me what it was that happened. The scariest part - three of us have seen UFOs directly above the house, I have had experiences myself and at the time my daughter was having these experiences, I was seeing strange orbs of light, awaking to strange sulphuric smells and sensing peculiar activity in her bedroom - it wasn't until many years later (yesterday) that she told me about the alien abduction experience! Now that is scary!
  • I went through a stretch of this. I would be lying in bed, wanting to wake up, but not being able to. I'd try to shake my head, but nothing happened. It was a very creepy feeling. I think it was the result of a mix of high stress and really bad sleep patterns. I would get almost no sleep during the week, and then sleep 16 hours straight on the weekend. Then the paralysis would start setting in, almost on a regular basis. Eventually my sleep patterns became more normal, and the paralysis went away.
  • I only have this happen when I'm in bed... I am awake, but aware that I'm actually not really awake.... or am i??? So I kick. i never try to get out of bed anymore, because whether I would be awake or not.... the process would be the same, and I still wouldn't be sure if I was awake or sleep... like going to the fridge or toilet, then getting bakc into bed and thinking "haaang on a miinute....!"
    So I kick and kick and kick and eventually my legs will actually jolt and I'll be awake for real.
  • So far it happened to me five times and I notice it is when I'm anticipating anything in the morning. For example, when I had to present my graduation thesis it happened to me. I remember hearing steps, like someone was walking on and on, and it scared me tons before I woke up. I know it was sleep paralysis but the steps (or the hallucination) scared me so much that I almost woke up crying.
  • That is interesting.  I have never heard of this condition.  I have had times where I had to make sure I was awake when I got up to go to the bathroom but nothing like what you have experienced.  When I get stressed I have trouble going to sleep, recently I was awake for more than 24 hours because I was stressed over a situation.
    You may want to talk to a professional about this situation.
  • I have experienced this before, and it's truly scary! But in my case, it almost has nothing to do with stress or anxiety, it only happens to me when I take naps which I almost never do because of that, but when I'm feeling tired/sad I sleep a lot and it's almost inevitable to experience this... There's actually documentaries and a lot of information about this, you should give it a read.
  • This has happened to me as well! Back when I was in school and studying all night without any sleep, the next day when I go to sleep I experience sleep paralysis. The feeling is surreal, you want to wake up but you cannot. And it seems as though you're aware of everything around you. Sometimes, I can even see myself sleeping. In my sleep, I cannot scream, wake or even move. Then almost always, there's a scary creature beside me. Gah, I'm glad I don't experience that anymore even though I'm still stressed now.
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