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Sleep Paralysis

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by landovr, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. landovr

    landovr Android Enthusiast
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    About 4 months ago I started to have a problem with sleep Paralysis. I usually experience it about once every three days and it is the worst feeling in the world. It always starts out of as a normal dream and then it turns into a lucid dream. This is where things go bad. My dream starts to fall apart and I end up trapped in-between being awake and asleep. My body is still sleeping but my mind is awake. I end up trying to scream which my wife hears and then she wakes me up. I hate going to bed every night wondering if this is the night its going to happen. Just wondering if anyone else has a similar problem and know of any ways to help wake up.
     

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  2. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
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    I recall having this a couple of times when I was younger, but never to the extent you are having it.

    Isn't it classed as an Out of Body Experience?
     
  3. mttfrog13

    mttfrog13 Android Enthusiast
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    I know exactly what you're describing. I had been having it for years and didn't know exactly what it was. I've been getting this since I was a kid. My jaw would lock up in the morning maybe once every 2 months when I was waking up, between dreaming and being awake. I grind my teeth sometimes when I'm having a stressful week, so I thought it was related to that and that I was just sore from clenching my jaw all night. That wasn't the case.

    What terrified me though was when my entire body did this to me. I had been having a dream, and wanted to wake up but couldn't. I tried moving my limbs, and could feel the sensations that my arms weighed 200lbs each. As started waking up(fully), they became lighter and lighter, and by the time I was awake, I could move normally. I had been taking multivitamins at the time which is what I think helped this happen. The full body paralysis has only happened to me twice.

    The best way to describe sleep paralysis is basically like being in a coma but being self aware. Or similar to those stories about people who don't receive the right medicine before a surgery and are awake the whole time, but can't move. Your body's sleep, but your brain isn't.

    If it wasn't for sleep paralysis, we would all be running into walls:
    http://youtu.be/z2BgjH_CtIA
     
  4. Sak01

    Sak01 Android Expert
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    I remember having it once in my early teens and it scared the crap out of me but it never happened again during childhood. Then I started getting it all the time for several years until I got used to it and now it no longer scares me. Fortunately, I haven't had it for the past 18 months.

    Ever get the feeling of something pushing on your chest? The best thing to do is not to panic. Just close your eyes and let it pass.
     
  5. APDell

    APDell Well-Known Member
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    Yes. It used to happen quite often in my teens and early 20s. No idea why, but I began to realize what it was most of the time. The worst time was when I was 17 years old though. I was having a bad dream about darkness around me and yadda yadda (it was scary) but when I felt like I was about to get possesed by the "darkness"; I tried to wake up.

    I could not move but i could hear the T.V and hear my girlfriend talking. It was horrible at the time because I was so confused and afraid. Being "possesed" in a dream and paralyzed but being somewhat conscious is a freaky thing. I woke my self up to my left index finger frantically tapping my leg. My girlfrind was sitting over me with a puzzled look in her face asking me if I was ok. I guess I was mumbling oddly in my state or something and she saw me tapping my leg with my eyes partially open. It weirded her out.

    Has not happened in a while. I am not sure what I would call it to be honest. But I think this is something like what you are describing. Maybe not as intense exept for this one time though.

    I think if you can recognize it to a certain degree, you might be able to "control" it a little better. Or at least understand whats going on and stay calm.

    I really hope you get over it though. Your situations sounds incredibly stressful. Best wishes.
     
  6. keatingschick

    keatingschick Well-Known Member
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    I've experienced this alot and its horrible!! That feeling where you are aware of being awake but just can't wake up fully and move.
    When it happened sometime last year I googled it and found like forums and information about it, there were 2 types, sometimes when you are falling asleep and sometimes when you are waking up, both relating to a chemical released from your brain that paralises your body while you sleep (I suppose stopping you getting up and acting out your dreams)
    The one where you are falling asleep the explanation was that the chemical is released before you are actually asleep, therefore you feel awake but can't move or anything.
    The one as you are waking up is that the chemical hasnt worn off so you are still paralized but you are awake.
    I have lay there sort of THINKING I am shouting out, and I've tried to hit my husband to wake me up to sort of drag me out of the paralised state, but obviously you don't actually move or anything, I tend to make like muffled noises/shouts.
    I told him that if he ever hears me making those noises then he must wake me.
    It happened most recently about 3 weeks ago, I must have been coming out of a bad dream and I was shouting in my dream, and then I was aware I was sort of half awake half asleep and shouting etc. but I couldnt move, and I knew that I was desperately trying to shout but it was muffled, then suddenly I was awake and really scared and shook up. I am also scared to go back to sleep after it happens - cos I often find it keeps happening when I go back to sleep (my mum also suffers from it and she says the same), so I got up and tried to stay awake for a while.
    I found in the morning that I HAD shouted out, my husband said it was pretty scary I was shouting DAD but in a really weird, muffled but loud voice.
    Google it, you will find interesting information on it. But I know how you feel its horrible.
     
  7. landovr

    landovr Android Enthusiast
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    I would like to say that the more it happens the more I can control it but its not the case. Sometimes I can wake myself up on my own, sometimes I have to start screaming as loud as I can in my sleep and my wife hears a quieter and more muffled sound and she wakes me up. But sometimes I am completely trapped and I am unable to speak or move in any way and its like being trapped in nothing. I've recently had the feeling that someone is trying to communicate with me in my dreams but when I realize that there is some other consciousness in my dream I freak out and try to wake up.

    I can still remember clearly the night this all started and I woke up in the middle of the night screaming at the top of my lungs.
     
  8. keatingschick

    keatingschick Well-Known Member
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    Yeah like you say I'd like to think I could just relax when it happens, but its a state of panic. Mine happens when I am waking up, and I suppose I am often still partly asleep because I see things too, which I often am scared of or reach out for when I am fully awake. The other night I remember seeing something green which in my concious state I knew was dangerous (???????) and I sort of shrank away from it as I woke, my heart was pounding and I was really scared as I looked down at the side of my bed for whatever it was....and I still had that very real fear of it....I am such a weird sleeper!!!! My mind must be weird lol!
    But the last sleep paralasis was while I was away a couple of weeks ago, and I was shouting out...now maybe thats progress because in the past I've asked my hubby have I shouted and he has said no, but I've been desperately trying to shout and get him to wake me, more recently I have shouted - muffled shouts like you say, but then last week I was really shouting "dad" and scared the life out of my hubby who gave me a thump and went back to sleep!! So maybe I am progressing.
     
  9. Sak01

    Sak01 Android Expert
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    It took me several years to get over my fear of it but I did and I think you can too. That's not to say it I could control the sleep paralysis itself or stop it happening but eliminating the panic turns the whole event into a minor annoyance rather than something to fear. I could actually lay there paralysed, unable to get a sound out and with a huge weight on my chest but wait for it to pass and then turn over and go to sleep like nothing had happened.

    So it's actually made me a stronger person and in a way I'm actually glad for it.

    Whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, eh? That's the way I see it.
    Out of interest, was your dad in the house when you were shouting for him?
     
  10. keatingschick

    keatingschick Well-Known Member
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    Out of interest, was your dad in the house when you were shouting for him?[/QUOTE]

    No, I was on holiday with my hubby and kids. I don't even remember what I was dreaming about, but I do remember shouting "dad", I figured that cos when it happened usually I sort of shout a muffled nothingness that I had just thought I was shouting dad, but my husband said I was really shouting. I do talk in my sleep alot, and like I say alot of the time when I am waking up I do see things, and I think - like the sleep paralasis description, it's like not completely waking up. The sight I googled said that its that the chemical that paralises you while you sleep hasnt totally worn off but you are pretty much awake, hence feeling like you are in a coma like state. And I think I experience this alot, because I'll see things and grab out at things but then suddenly be more awake and confused at what I've grabbed at.
    My bed has like an overhead cupboard thing, and the other night it was like I was snapped fully awake in a second, but the second I did I sort of shrank away from "something" over my head, and I actually saw it and flinched away from it but I was awake, n I am like confused when that happens, because I am pretty much awake, but then I know its totally not possible (like the green thing I shrank away from), I am sort of confused at why I see it when I am "awake" and yet its so obviously not real.
    I thought of this in response to the other question re seeing ghosts, cos I have seen people, but I actually do think this is the same thing, I think sometimes I wake but I'm not awake kind of thing so I wake up and see around the room, but maybe part of my brain is still in the dreamstate and I see things/people.
    Doesnt scare me as such, though I don't like the sleep paralasis, I do feel quite panicky when that happens, though I don't know why. Maybe the feeling of being out of control?
     
  11. momoceio

    momoceio Android Expert
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    We are living in modern times...maybe try seeing a doctor/specialist and having a sleep study done. Just sayin' :p
     
  12. Dark Jedi

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    This and maybe any meds you are taking might be causing it. I agree you need to see a dr about this if it is reoccurring. I use to wake up an felt like something was holding me down and I couldn't open my eyes no matter how hard it try. I is a scary feeling.
     
  13. keatingschick

    keatingschick Well-Known Member
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    Yeah cos that would be cheap!! Dunno about in US but in England if I went to my doc and told her this she would think I'd lost my marbles, if I wanted it looking into I am assuming I'd have to be referred to a specialist but would have to go private for that.
    It's not something that particularly is something that I'd have checked out as I assume its not something that is life threatening (unless my hubby hits me too hard next time I shout), but its not something I'd consider PERSONALLY to require medical attention.
    And no I dont take any meds.
     
  14. Dark Jedi

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    If your DR would think that then maybe its time to find a new doctor.
     
  15. Sak01

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    You wouldn't have to go private for it. You can be referred to an NHS specialist. I know people who are seeing NHS psychologists and psychiatrists and from what I recall it doesn't take too long to get a refferal.

    I wouldn't personally seek medical attention either but like I said, I'm not panicked at all by it anymore and haven't had it for some time. However, the OP should consider it as every 3 days is very frequent and obviously very distressing for him. I'm sure the medical profession know about sleep paralysis.
     
  16. keatingschick

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    Yeah to be honest I do find it quite panicky when it happens BUT like I said I personally wouldnt seek medical advice. In all honesty though I just rarely go to the doctors anyway, I've pretty much got to have something dropping off before I go to the docs - but thats just me. This I suppose I'd just never consider it to be something medical or that for me would require medical attention. I'd just deal with it. I just think sometimes it's your mind/brain and probably something triggering it - maybe stess or maybe brain not switching off properly when you are asleep or something.

    Sorry Dark Jedi, that was a bit of a throwaway comment, no my doctor wouldnt think I'd lost my marbles, to be perfectly honest my doctor is lovely, and I think particularly because I don't go often when I do go, she knows there is something up and takes me very seriously and is very helpful and very understanding, I think its just my own view because like I said it's not really something that I PERSONALLY would visit a doctor about, but thats just me. I'm not really one for faffing about with stuff, I've just had a referral to a specialist for a medical procedure and to be perfectly honest wish I hadnt bothered cos things are worse now than before, wish I'd just left well alone!!
     
  17. landovr

    landovr Android Enthusiast
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    I myself have talked to my doctor about this whole thing and I have been waiting to see a specialist for months. One of the big problems with a sleep study is that the sleep paralysis doesn't happen every night and the study is only for one night. Its basically a gamble whether it happens or not on the night they choose to watch my sleep. With my luck I would probably have the best sleep ever on the night they chose and they would think i'm just looking for attention or something.
     
  18. Sak01

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    No don't worry about that, sleep paralysis is a lot more common then you think and the medical establishment know all about it as well as the infrequency with which it occurs. You're doing the right thing.

    Here's some guidance from the NHS:
    Sleep paralysis

    You may well be given some simple advice on how to sleep better or maybe medication if that doesn't resolve it.
     
  19. keatingschick

    keatingschick Well-Known Member
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    Where do they study you? Would you be able to fall asleep? I always struggle to fall asleep when I am somewhere new, like on holiday, so if I was somewhere having to sleep while people monitor me I wouldnt be able to sleep.
    Like you say too will it happen. Thing is, like I was saying maybe something triggers it. Something has happened to me last couple of weeks and it sounds really daft, but I am waking up alot in the night, really restless sleep, but then not long before I am due to get up I'll drop off, and it's like I KNOW that its time to wake up, like my subconcious shakes me awake, but I do it with this really loud grunt/snore!!!!!:(
    I don't snore AT ALL. But I have started waking myself with this really loud snore and I think thats something triggered with my brain. So I sort of think maybe the sleep paralysis is the same, am I particularly stressed when it happens? Maybe I have stuff on my mind when I am sleeping.

    I have to say one time when I found it happened alot and a time when I found it particularly scary was when I was in my early 20's and I would stop at my bf (now hubby)'s house after we'd been out on a nightout on Saturday night. He'd get up and go off to football and I'd fall back asleep, and it would happen ALOT. I'd feel that I wanted to get up and get dressed/go home etc, but I couldnt drag myself out of sleep and I was awake but couldn't move. And when I did wake, then I'd be sort of scared but then I'd drop off and it would happen again, over and over again, so back then maybe the alcohol had something to do with it, now funnily enough, the last time it happened was on holiday when I was shouting my dad and we'd been out drinking, so maybe it's the alcohol with me???
     
  20. keatingschick

    keatingschick Well-Known Member
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    And just after reading the NHS info, one point that springs to me immediately, my mum also experiences it and it says a possible family tendancy.
     
  21. landovr

    landovr Android Enthusiast
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    I've been staying up till after 1am for the last week and so far no sleep paralysis. It seems like it always happens between 12am and 1am. Its been 6 days now and i think thats a record for me. Now I have to deal with a lack of sleep, not sure which one is worse.
     
  22. landovr

    landovr Android Enthusiast
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    Well I couldn't stay up that late last night and it was the worst sleep Paralysis i've ever had. Even with my wife shaking me to wake me up it took about ten seconds which felt like an eternity for me. Before I fell asleep I was having what I would call twitch attacks where my arms and legs would twitch and had a bad
     
  23. keatingschick

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    If its happening as regular as you are saying and there MAYBE is a pattern (like you say at a certain time) then I would go to your gp and see what they can suggest. I wouldnt say that its actually the time thats relevant, I'd have thought its more the level of sleep you are in. The twitchy arms you say, the one thing I do experience is if I am really tired my arms get restless, its a horrible feeling and when it happens I know I have to go to sleep then, now when I had my son I was waking in the night to feed him and I was shattered and I felt that in my arms then, when I spoke to the doctor he said I had an infection in my blood (???) but I do experience the same thing now, but its always when I am really tired and I know that I need to sleep.
    I know I am terrible for not visiting my doctor unless absolutely necessary, but my sleep paralysis episodes do not happen with the frequency that yours do, so I would think it might be an idea to see someone, rather than make yourself ill with sleep depravation trying to tackle the problem yourself.
     
  24. nueser

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    I have it every time i spend the night at my parents house for some reaon, no matter which room i sleep in, every single night i stay there. Its terrible
     
  25. melim

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    I get this, too, occasionally, and I can't even read though this entire thread without feeling a bit panicky. Usually I'm able to force my body awake if I try hard enough, but the most recent episode was the worst one I've experienced.

    OP, do you sleep on your back? This is known to be a major factor, and every episode I've had has occurred when I've somehow wound up on my back (I'm a side sleeper). There is some kind of gadget for people with other sleep disorders that can prevent you from rolling over onto your back while you sleep. May want to to look into it. Take care, know you are not alone, and while I know it's hard, just keep telling yourself that it can't harm you no matter how frightening it is. :)
     

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