We've all heard the terrifying stories of sleep paralysis.
You feel like you're awake, but you're not quite. The room is dark. Something is in the corner of your room. You want to run but all you can feel is something holding you down. Maybe an unseen force, or perhaps an entity you don't understand.
At the last second, you regain full control. We've all heard this. But how many of us have actually felt through it?
Here were some of their answers.
Should I Stay Or Should I Go
I don't remember seeing anything. The last time I had sleep paralysis was more than a decade ago. But I do remember this one experience. When I was little and sleeping alone in my room, I could open my eyes, but not move. My body would not listen to me. My eyes and my mind were wide awake though. It was really scary because I had no idea if I would stay permanently like that or not. I had to just close my eyes and try to go to sleep fully.
I didn't see anything. But I couldn't move. The first time I had it I thought I was going to die, no joke. I was a child but I couldn't call out for my mother or father. The second time I tried to move myself by force but it felt like I couldn't summon enough energy to do it. Then I tried to move one arm or leg but like I said, it felt like there was nothing in me to move. I've had this happen about five times over the course of my life, but nothing too recent. What usually happens is I go back to sleep and wake up normally and that usually solves it. It's quite a scary feeling the first time you get it. Especially if your laying on your stomach it can feel as though you can't breathe. I don't get visions with my paralysis but I do get the paralysis part.
My sleep paralysis is weird, mainly because I can feel myself move, but I'm not actually physically moving. I usually know I'm going through sleep paralysis if I move my hand in front of my face, and my hand isn't there. There was one time, I actually got up, looked back, and saw my body. I don't know if that's sleep paralysis or something else, but it's freaky. Some people tell me they've seen a shadowy figure approach them, and even sometimes hover over them real close. I've never actually had that happen to me personally.
Calm To The End
I thankfully haven't seen anything odd when it's happened to me. I'd say about once a month it happens. It sucks, all you want to do is move, straining, aching for the slightest bit of movement. Panicking just makes it worse I've realized. It's hard to stay calm in those moments, but that's the fastest way out of it. For me I have to fall back asleep (is the best way I can describe it) in order to fully wake up. A couple of times, after "falling asleep" I've woken up back into sleep paralysis. The hopelessness in that moment is always soul crushing... If you've never experienced it, be grateful. It's not fun in any capacity.
Thank Goodness For Clîché
I've seen little green men. The experience is so terrifying that I didn't even realize how odd it was until I woke up the next morning. My brain gave me a full alien abduction experience, and I often think about how if it had generated slightly less cliché aliens, I might have believed it was real.
Fully Lucid Dreaming
I experience sleep paralysis from time to time, most of the time it's just some noises and some shadowy movements in the corners if the room is light enough to see anything at all.
Then I read something online that said that when you get sleep paralysis, if you shut your eyes right away after realising you can't move and go right back to sleep, sometimes you can enter a dream where you're fully aware that you're dreaming and in control.
Now I try to do this whenever it happens, it's worked a few times.
The Wicked Witch Is Terrified
I was lying on my side when I woke up. This was not the first I'd heard of sleep paralysis but it was the first time I'd ever had it. I was maybe 14.
In front of me was what looked like a large monkey with huge teeth and pitch black skin and thin, shiny black hair. Its eyes were huge and reflective and I could feel its weight and breath beside me on the mattress. I tried to calm down, having heard about this. I closed my eyes, but that didn't help because I could still feel it right there.
I tried to scream, pressing my tongue as hard as I could to the back of my teeth. Nothing.
I shifted my vision away from its face which was right near mine. At the foot of my bed there was a shadow figure in a large brimmed hat. I tried to scream again. The monkey held a finger up to its mouth and smiled, hushing me. I fell back asleep soon after but to this day I can't describe how real it felt. I thought I was going to lose my mind. I thought I was hallucinating.
Young And (Un)Afraid
It's like punching in a dream but you're awake. So nothing really works, and since you're still halfway dreaming while awake you sometimes see things. The only time I "saw" anything was a dark figure standing over my bed. I was maybe 11-12. Freaked me the heck out.
Faint Of Heart
I've only experienced sleep paralysis twice in my life.
The first time, I was maybe 8 years old, and the doll in my room looked over at me and put her finger to her lips in a shushing motion. I was unable to move or scream for several minutes. I dont remember much else, it was a long time ago.
The second time actually happened this year. It was still dark out when I woke up and couldn't move, and at the end of my bed (you're gonna think this is a joke but I stg it is NOT) was what I could only describe as a demon pumping itself up like boxers do before a fight.
I don't know if it was the paralysis wearing off or complete and utter terror, but I managed to throw my torso toward my end table, grabbed the lamp, and turned it on--thus evaporating my would be attacker. I had a hard time in my bedroom for months, and I still get a spooky feeling if I'm alone in the dark in there.
Overall I'd say the experience is absolutely horrifying. And to be quite honest, I don't know which is worse- the hallucinations or the paralysis. My heart goes out to people who deal with this on a regular basis.
It Turned Around On Me
I've only had one experience with sleep paralysis, but it was more like a hallucination experience. I had a deep horrible sense of dread and the sense that everything was tipping over. I saw a hunched figure standing next to my bed. Then I was the hunched figure. Then I was back in bed and was so shocked my body twitched and I was able to come out of it.
I was like 9 and had no idea what just happened.