People Who Suffer From Sleep Paralysis Describe Exactly What It's Like[rebelmouse-image 18358117 is_animated_gif=
Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being conscious but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. During this time, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes. Sleep researchers conclude that, in most cases, sleep paralysis is simply a sign that your body is not moving smoothly through sleep stages.
That doesn't make it any less frightening however.
Reddit users the_yarb and aleks_1999 asked those "who have experienced sleep paralysis, what is the feeling and what are your first thoughts when it occurs?"
Here are the chilling responses.
Whatevs[rebelmouse-image 18358118 is_animated_gif=
I woke up and couldn't move. I had never heard of sleep paralysis, so it was pretty scary.
It wasn't quite as terrifying as I've seen some descriptions of, but I guess results vary. It went through my head that I might be dying and I just kind-of told myself "oh well, eff it, doesn't look like I can do anything about it" so I went back to sleep.
Not sure if it means I have no will to live, or if I'm some sort of zen bad-ass. It was an interesting experience to say the least, wouldn't recommend.
Panic[rebelmouse-image 18358119 is_animated_gif=
I've had it happen enough times that I understand what's happening, but every time I still panic and try to wake myself up. I wish I had a zen attitude about it, but my heart starts racing (at least I feel like it does).
I'll wake myself up, open my eyes and think to myself, "whew, thank god that's over", then I'll notice something that's a little off in my room, like the lighting is wrong, or an object isn't where it usually is, and then the realization that I'm still stuck and can't move kicks in and I freak out, and try to wake myself up.
I've "woken myself up" about 6 or 7 times in one sleep paralysis session before, and everything looks so real and vivid, except for a few details, I fall for thinking I'm awake every time.
And when I finally do become awake for real, I spend at least half the morning questioning if I'm still asleep or not. It's kinda freaky
Thirsty[rebelmouse-image 18358120 is_animated_gif=
My experience seems to be different from most people. I woke up, could breathe fine, nothing hurt. It was just like waking up, except I couldn't move. It was like my muscles had suddenly grown very weak and I couldn't even lift my own arms.
It was scary my first time, especially because I started lucid dreaming soon after, but didn't know how to control it, which ended in probably the worst, most realistic nightmare I've ever had.
The second time, however, I actually managed to break out of sleep paralysis. I realized what was happening to me, and so I relaxed for a moment but made sure I didn't fall asleep again. Then, I just started thinking about other things. I started thinking about how thirsty I was, so I focused all of my energy into lifting my head so I could get some water. It took some concentration- It felt like I would be able to lift my head easily, but that power seemed... distant. It was like extreme laziness. I wanted to move, but just couldn't force myself to get up. However, I eventually managed to lift my head, and then my arms followed, and soon I was up. It took a long time though- it's a lot faster to just fall back asleep.
Stressed[rebelmouse-image 18358121 is_animated_gif=
I get sleep paralysis a few times a month, and it tends to happen when I am stressed and overly tired.
The first time it happened, I knew what it was and so I was not scared. I did not experience any presences or fear, I just could not move. I have to concentrate very hard on moving one small part of my body - usually clenching and unclenching my toes is easiest, and then I can fully move again.
After a bout of sleep paralysis, I have to at least roll over in bed. If I stay in the same position and fall back asleep, it will happen again within the next half hour, and continue to happen every half hour until I roll over or get frustrated and just get up.
Classroom Nightmare[rebelmouse-image 18358122 is_animated_gif=
A weird thing I have noticed is I usually encounter the 'scarier' experiences when I have been sleeping for a longer time. It happens to me so often that every now and then it will happen to me when I doze off in class at school. I will do what I usually do and do the countdown and try to get up with all my strength and by the time it works instead of just waking up like a usual person would I would dramatically shoot up from my head down on the desk and people all get scared around me.
Helpless[rebelmouse-image 18358123 is_animated_gif=
This happens to me a lot actually, usually about 3-4 times a month. I've learned to adjust to it. Now its more of a "F* not this again"
To describe it in my experience for other people who have never had it. Imagine a time in life where you were too scared to move, Or even had one of those dreams where you try to run but can't. It's that exact feeling, but it's real and you can't move or speak. You are stuck in place while the world around you is dark and strange noises creep into your ears. You start wondering if you are dreaming but you know in the back of your mind that you are awake and this isn't just another dream. You feel your entire body as if it were filled with lead and your blanket had turned to steel and encapsulated you. You are a prisoner in your own body, your only escape is hoping you can calm down enough to return to the safety of your dream, this waking nightmare is hopefully only temporary and fleeting fast. Once it's over you fear it's return, the haunting feeling of being so helpless and vulnerable with no obvious signs it could happen the next night, and then the next, and the next...
When it first started I was absolutely terrified every single time and would cry. I lost a lot of sleep in school due to fear of having another case of it. Eventually I learned tricks how to wake myself up.
Prelude to Night Terrors?[rebelmouse-image 18358125 is_animated_gif=
I go between hallucinations and being aware that I'm in sleep paralysis.
It gets really nightmarish when I go through a cycle of waking up from a dream into another and I tell my hands to move and they do but not in the real world.
It takes screaming and all my strength just to move the slightest bit or let out a groan to tell my girlfriend to shake me awake.
My dad has night terrors and screams in his sleep with constant nightmares, I'm hoping that doesn't start happening to me.
OBE[rebelmouse-image 18358127 is_animated_gif=
I actually woke up in sleep paralysis once, opened my eyes, realized what's happening (it happened numerous times before), saw a figure or entity on the chair near my bed and didn't think much of it. I kind of reacted like it was normal or like didn't want to do any harm, and went back to sleep...
Another time I felt like I started to float, and even something pulling me out. I guess I was close to an Out of Body Experience (OBE), but got scared and woke up when I felt I was dragged (or at least that was my impression/imagination).
These things happened a lot more frequently when I was meditating daily
Creeping Dread[rebelmouse-image 18358128 is_animated_gif=
I've been having sleep paralysis for years, several times a week, and personally, the first time it happened was extremely scary. Kicking, screaming, clawing for anyone to help me only to hear my muffled moans when I'd float out of the dream state and always finding myself in the same position I "fell asleep" in despite KNOWING that I moved to try to wake up or clawed someone for help.
Personally it happens so often that I know when it's coming. Usually just feels like I can't move my toes at first, and I begin feeling this dread come over me. I usually try to close my eyes, knowing that panicking will only push me further into it. I continuously wiggle my toes, knowing that I only THINK they're moving, until my blanket moves from the shaking then I usually get up out of bed and move around. Or go in my phone and completely change my state of mind. I've never had an experience less than terrifying so I'd have to say fear is my first reaction/thought.
Conspiring[rebelmouse-image 18351340 is_animated_gif=
So, I'll just go over one of the worst episodes I had when I was younger. I was falling asleep listening to a podcast out loud on my phone.
When I "woke up" I was looking at the bottom right corner of my room. There were 4 figures that appeared to be talking in a circle. I couldn't understand what they were saying. I honestly thought they were here to kill me. All the sudden I could make out what one of them was saying. "shhhh, he's awake" and they all looked at me.
I gained control of my body again and ran out of my room. Didn't go back for a few nights.
Over Tired[rebelmouse-image 18358129 is_animated_gif=
For me, it's quite like still being in a dream but being aware of it, not 100% conscious. I was told to just go back to sleep and my body would wake up naturally. I used this method for years, but "woke up" after falling asleep in the car with my brother and a couple of friends with my mom driving one night. I remember feeling safe, and just laying there, listening to everyone talk. I eventually woke up but was able to go back to sleep and repeat the process a couple of times.
It happened a couple of weeks ago, and my girlfriend was sitting next to me in the bed watching TV. She said I often kick my legs around, which I recall trying to do to wake up, but couldn't feel them moving. I remember trying to talk to her, but all she could hear is "whimpering".
I could be wrong, but I recall a doctor explaining that as your mind incorporates surrounding stimuli into your dreams to prevent you from waking up when you need the sleep, this seems to be related to when I am exhausted and not getting enough rest.
3rd Time Is No Charm[rebelmouse-image 18358130 is_animated_gif=
Happened three times in one night. BOY WAS IT A STRESSFUL DAY
First time I "woke up", I couldn't open my eyes. Or move. at first i was like "oh cool sleep paralysis, I've heard about it, might be fun".
But then I heard footsteps from the hall into my room. I'm not a very religious man, but have I ever prayed so much. Immediately after that, I woke up, extremely sweaty. Took a while to calm down, then fell asleep.
Then I "woke up" for the second time, nothing special, couldn't move at all, realized what was happening, then just decided to sleep.
Third time I "woke up" I heard a distant laughter in my bedroom. I just prayed some more and woke myself up crying. After that I just didn't sleep and pulled an all-nighter, while being very very scared.
Not Enough Air[rebelmouse-image 18358131 is_animated_gif=
I wake up feeling like my face is in the pillow. My hands are trapped underneath me. I am trying to move them, but they don't work.
Maybe I can rock my shoulders back and forth and the arms will come loose. But I can't. I'm starting to panic. I just can't get enough air.
I try feebly to call out to my wife next to me, just so she'll give me a little push. Please wake up just once. But what noise I can make, if any, is not going to be heard by sleeping beauty. I try to relax. I haven't died the other hundreds of times this has happened, but I sure would like a little more air.
Dream Induced[rebelmouse-image 18358132 is_animated_gif=
I get this regularly, and how it happens can vary pretty significantly. I tend to suffer from pretty bad nightmares, so the worst cases are when I'm trapped in a really negative dream and it feels like my whole mind is trying to suck itself out of there but my body isn't responding.
Sometimes I have trouble breathing. From there, a lot of the times I manage to make one violent jerking movement of sitting or lurching up in bed (I sleep on my back).
There have been times though where I wasn't able to actually wake up and fell back into a nightmare.
There have been times where I thought that there was another person or at least...presence in the room with me. I am confused if these were very vivid dreams, hallucinations or actual encounters with spirits. I am not a firm believer in that stuff but I'm not ruling it out.
I once thought that a demon or something was sitting on my chest and guiding my dreams into bad places as I fought to wake up and push it off. That is one of the more surreal things I have ever encountered during sleep paralysis, and it is terrifying on different levels. My mind could've been creating the demon dream to rationalize my labored breathing, or maybe I'm just losing it slowly.
Cool[rebelmouse-image 18358133 is_animated_gif=
I was in bed, thankfully not alone. I heard the front door open and close, and could feel someone getting closer. I couldn't so much as hear the footsteps, but I could feel them and the presence.
I tried to speak to my spouse to wake him, because I was afraid, and couldn't. At this point I realized it was sleep paralysis, and after that is was just really cool, to experience my body do something that I shouldn't have experienced at all. I tried to move, and couldn't, and just found that to be so awesome.
It took a few moments after that to fully wake.
Visitor[rebelmouse-image 18358134 is_animated_gif=
13 year old me woke up and couldn't move like how you'd expect. I had a TV that was at the end of my bed, and I just remember a black figure crawling out like the girl in the ring, except it started crawling on the ceiling. as it got above me, I blinked and it seemed to teleport over by my left side, then looked at me for five seconds or so.
It all ended right after that. I just remember going down stairs crying hard as I explained it to my mom. It was awful.
Only time it's ever happened. Scared to death that it'll happen again.
Prescription Induced[rebelmouse-image 18358135 is_animated_gif=
I had this for a few years while take some serious antipsychotic meds. It's hell. The first time it happened I couldn't move but I thought I was screaming and couldn't understand why my husband wasn't helping me. I ended up in a full blown, can't breathe panic attack before it ended.
Every time after that I'd panic but try to talk myself down from a full blown panic attack, sometimes it worked, other times not so much. It didn't help matters that I always experienced this immediately following night terrors that left me terrified and traumatized.
It hasn't happened in a few years but it's not a feeling I'll ever forget.
Shadowman[rebelmouse-image 18358136 is_animated_gif=
I'm startled awake by either a sound or a tactile sensation, like something bumping my bed, pulling my hair.
I think at first that I am frozen in fright from being startled until I try to move but can't. At that point I usually know what is happening but sometimes not.
I'm also then aware of a faceless shadowy man in my room. Sometimes he physically attacks me, other times he just stands ominously in the doorway. Even knowing it's a hallucination doesn't make it feel less real in the moment. I hate it so much.
Dry Drowning[rebelmouse-image 18358137 is_animated_gif=
I couldn't breathe any more than these tiny, unfulfilling breaths and as I panicked I felt like I needed more and more air but couldn't get it.
Like drowning out of water.
Also could not speak to call for help, even though my boyfriend was sleeping a foot away.
Family Tradition[rebelmouse-image 18358138 is_animated_gif=
I've had sleep paralysis my whole life, but I didn't understand what it was until a few years ago when I googled it.
I usually get it either right before I'm going to fall asleep, or waking up from a nightmare. For me, the sensation is like being smothered while falling, and I'm uncomfortably warm. When I'm falling asleep, it isn't too bad. I'll get auditory hallucinations, like hearing someone laugh (not a creepy laugh, just regular laughter) or talk, or a crashing noise like something fell off my desk.
The episodes I get following nightmares are the worst. Usually it starts with that falling feeling as I'm coming out of the dream. When I open my eyes, I usually have a visual hallucination.
Shadows coming towards me, three figures with red eyes looming over my head, my door opening, things like that.
The worst I've ever had was when there was a hunched over impish figure with bulbous eyes and fangs just staring at me. I couldn't move. His mouth wasn't moving, but it was like I could hear him whispering really awful things in my head. I remember the feeling of panic was overwhelming and I wanted to scream but I just couldn't move.
After that I had really bad anxiety when it came to falling asleep, so I did a lot of research and learned that people who sleep on their back are more likely to experience sleep paralysis. Ever since I started sleeping on my side, I haven't had an episode. I literally can't fall asleep in any other position now because it makes me nervous. I also learned that apparently my father had it, but he doesn't like to speak about his experiences.
Advancements in science happen every day in every way.
But often it feels like we are still so far behind.
How have we not cured so many diseases?
Shouldn't we know more about space?
What is Jello really made of?
So much to ponder and understand.
Maybe one day.
We all have a bucket list of what we'd like to see cured or invented before our last breaths.
Redditor yoda2060wanted to discuss all the science that needs to be devoured before the sand runs out of the hourglass. They asked:
"What scientific achievement you would like to see before you die?"
Life is infinite and we'll never know everything that is possible. But let's dream of what could be...
MiraclesMood Grandma GIFGiphy
"Cure for Alzheimer's. It sucks."
"I want to see us grow hearts, kidneys, livers, etc... In labs and end the need for donations and waiting lists for transplants."
"I waited for a heart/bilateral lung transplant for over a year and I spent 8 months living in the hospital waiting for it. You’re basically waiting for someone to die."
"Which feels all kinds of wrong… but my therapist (all transplant patients sees a transplant therapist) kept reminding me that me needing a heart and lungs doesn’t cause someone to die…"
"And what made even harder was that my mom died of Covid about 5 weeks before my transplant happened. So while I was praying and hoping so hard my mom wouldn’t die… I was also praying for my transplant to happen. I had a lot of mixed and confusing feelings. My transplant happened last November."
"Idiot Bottom Line"
"To build an environment friendly world."
"That depends entirely on how far you want to go with 'environmentally friendly.' Some amateurish pseudo-intellectuals will say that humanity itself is devastating the planet by it's very existence so we'll call that the 'Idiot Bottom Line."'
"So you have to find an acceptable level above that to declare environmentally friendly. For example can we still have hear exchangers? Space debris? Artificial Electromagnetic radiation? There has to be a level before you can declare such and so far no one agrees."
“20 years, tops”
"Viable nuclear fusion."
"Nuclear Astrophysicist here. I know the joke is that we been saying '20 years, tops' for 50 years now - who do you think came up with that joke? But seriously, we are really close."
"We need a reaction that is self-sustaining and puts out more energy than we put in. We can easily do a reaction that’s one or the other, just getting one that’s both is hard. And with recent updates to the Greenwald limit we found some relatively minor tweaks that doubles previous theoretical max output."
Deep Withinblack hole animation GIF by rotomanglerGiphy
"Figuring out what Dark Matter is, solving the mysteries of black holes. Proper thorough investigation of our own oceans."
So far, so interesting. We have so much to learn.
let me dream...news tech GIFGiphy
"Prosthetic limbs and organs that can work just as well as real ones. Affordably too. A cure for total nerve damage. Carbon neutral liquid fuel. FTL travel (let me dream)."
"Making contact with another intelligent species in another solar system."
"That's probably not going to happen. I'd be overjoyed though if we discovered even just microbial life in the oceans of Europa or Enceladus. They'd be the first true extra-terrestrials ever encountered."
"If we had teleports then we might also have other technologies integrated with it like instant dental work, instant food, instant surgery, things just unthinkable without the technology but before the steam engine travel was by horse so they could not imagine traveling cross country in any other way besides ships. Maybe with teleports we wouldn't need energy, just an infinite loop of the first spark."
Sickness be gone...
"Cure for all cancer forms."
"I approached a nursing assistant with the question. They could describe it as trying to go after the stick of a lollipop. The treatments are mostly concerned with favors, not sticks. If they can discover a way to deal with the stick, then you may be able to treat cancer from there."
"I think it is important to add that there won’t be ONE cure to all cancers. Cancer is such a broad spectrum of diseases that sometimes have next to nothing in common. But hopefully we will keep getting the survival rates up with different medications for different cancer types."
SimplicityGet Ready Pain GIF by Rodney DangerfieldGiphy
"Solve back pain please. We can do crazy sh*t like nuclear bombs, new fancy vaccines and space exploration, yet we don't have a solution to one of the biggest and most common ailments that existed though all of humanity."
I want to see all of this happen! Fingers crossed.
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Fast fashion is terrible for the environment, one of the largest polluters of clean water globally because of its all too common use of cheap, toxic textile dyes.
It also places producers under more and more pressure to manufacture more and more clothes on masse–the people working in the factories that make this stuff are being paid a pittance, contributing to much of the wealth inequality in less developed nations.
Additionally, it's estimated that the textiles industry produces 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 per year and that just two percent of all fast fashion emissions can be reduced through recycling. Ouch. Time to change habits, right?
People shared their thoughts on this and other topics after Redditor urmomsucked asked the online community,
"What should people seriously stop buying?"
"Pets they can’t take care of."
I have known several people who got puppies, decided they couldn't handle them, and dumped them. It's rage-inducing.
"Nestle products. Literally the most evil company currently in business. Unfortunately it's really hard to tell what brands they own."
Nestle is responsible for the deaths of babies in undeveloped nations. It's sick.
"Designer clothes and accessories with logos slapped all over them. It wastes your money and makes you look idiotic."
The funny thing is, the designer clothes/accessories with logos slapped all over them are typically the cheapest options from said designer.
"Simple syrup. It’s sugar water with an $8 price tag."
It's easy enough to make your own. Your iced tea will never be the same again.
"Cheap belts. A quality leather belt will last you decades."
I have a few (quality leather belts, that is) and they've lasted for years and years. Can confirm.
"Cigarettes. To anyone reading this, please just don't start even if it's out of curiosity. I'm 20 years deep into this and it's hell."
Smoking is a brutal addiction to break. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed rules prohibiting menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars to stop young people from picking up the habit.
"Fast fashion. Garment workers get paid s*it, the environment suffers and you look like everybody else on the street with no personality or sense of individualism."
This should be up at the top. The environmental impact is terrible.
"Unnecessarily large vehicles..."
"Unnecessarily large vehicles, which they'll then inevitably complain cost too much to fill the gas tank."
Gas guzzlers need to go. It's far past time that they be phased out.
"Anything advertised on Instagram. It’s a scam and those influencers are just making it look cheap AF."
Or just avoid Instagram in general. That would solve a lot.
"New phones when their current is just as good."
You've got that right. People buy a new one for the hell of it without even thinking about it.
It's pretty clear that many of us need to change our habits now. Our wallets will thank us later.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
If you make too many funny faces, your face will stay that way permanently.
Watch too much tv and your eyes will fall out.
Break a mirror and it's seven years of bad luck.
These are among the many myths and superstitions we heard as children, more often than not from our parents and teachers as a way of scaring us into behaving.
But while there is not one ounce of truth to any of these tall tales, there are many who still believe them, and many more.
Redditor RedditPersonIf was curious to learn what superstitions people continue to believe are true, leading them to ask:
"What myths are obviously false, yet most people still believe they are true?"
When they fly the coop...
"If you take care of a baby bird, the mother won’t want it anymore because it’ll smell like a human."- GreatXs
No amount of fiber can help you
"If you swallow gum, it'll stay in your digestive tract for 7 years."- stinky_cheese33
It was every other subjects he had trouble with
"Albert Einstein failed math in school."- Nothingreallyendalbert einstein GIFGiphy
Though it does make shampooing easier
"Shaving your hair will make the hair grow back thicker.'- RunWithScissorsss
Sleep with your mouth closed
"The amount of spiders you eat while being asleep."- pantsofafatman
"That you are supposed to pee on a jellyfish sting to ease the pain."- Actuarybajellyfish burn GIF by Monterey Bay AquariumGiphy
"Bulls not liking the color red."
"Bulls are partially color blind and can only see yellow, green, blue, and violet."- Rogurzz
Call a Lyft instead
"Coffee, speed, and uppers sober you up."
"Too drunk to drive?"
"Now you're drunk AND on drugs, you just don't feel the effects of the booze but your motor skills, reaction time and decision making are all still drunk AF."- kirkrjordan
Best let nature run its course
"The damn alpha wolf."
"It was one study under captivity, the poor researcher made it his life's work to try and set it right."
"If you want a brutal hierarchy where everyone pecks down, what you're looking for is chickens."- raxeira-etterathdog lol GIF by Regal CinemasGiphy
Give this one some thought
"We can only use 10% of our brain."- UnbearableHuman
A little bit of research will clear up any doubt you have on these old superstitions and beliefs.
And for anyone who helped out a friend who got stung by a jellyfish, no need to be embarrassed.
Who hasn't looked at a scarf someone knitted for a loved one, a flawless homemade birthday cake, or an immaculately planted garden and thought, "I wish I could do that"?
But you'd never dare try to attempt it yourself, knowing that it's well beyond your personal skill set.
But is it?
Intimidating as they may seem, some skills might be deceptively easier than they appear to be, or might come more naturally to you than to many others.
Redditor halfmoon599 was curious to hear what skills people believed to be much easier than they seem, leading them to ask:
"What skill is actually easier to learn than what other people think?"
Everyone can be ambidextrous!
"I'm left handed and and I wanted to learn to write with my right hand."
"it was much easier than I thought and now I can write with it making it look somewhat decent."- JE3V4N_
"Using your off hand skillfully."
"I worked on this when I owned a woodworking business and it has helped so many times over the years."- karg_the_fergus
Should you ever forget your keys...
"Picking a lock."
"It only takes about 1 or 2 hours to learn, contrary to popular belief." - DifficultAd5113frustrated frustration GIFGiphy
Can't get to the genius stand? No problem!
"It's just a lot of googling and YouTubing."- theassassintherapist
"Basic IT troubleshooting."- usmarine7041
You'll have a blanket done in no time!
"It looked really difficult to me but I was really pleased how easy it was to pick up."
"Especially with YouTube tutorials."- geeltulpenCrochet GIF by Twin_MadeGiphy
But do get a license first...
"Flying a small airplane is actually very simple."
"It's everything else like weather and flight planning, emergency mindfulness, airspace and traffic, and confidence in yourself that gets tricky, but any person with eyeballs and a pulse could fly a plane."- Clyde-MacTavish
With practice, of course
"Parallel parking."- Feels2old
Give your arms a rest!
"It takes just 10-20 minutes a day for 3-10 days.'
"Find a railing you can lean on to start."
"At some point, you'll be able to let go and ride!'- Vegan_BTW_VRJuggling Unicycle GIF by Derek TeeGiphy
... Is it though?...
"Driving a stick shift."- fantazja1
Next time you think, "aw, I wish I could do that," rather than keep wishing, why not just give it a try?