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Author Topic: Sleep Paralysis  (Read 2093 times)

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Offline Jeff

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Sleep Paralysis
« on: March 15, 2018, 11:34:12 AM »
Sleep Paralysis, it's something I have had my entire life, but until recently, it only occurred on rare occasions. Maybe once or twice a year. Lately, I get it multiple times a week and have had it happen more than once in a night.  

Many people have never heard of it. I can tell you, it is terrifying. I'm at a point, where I now know what it is as it happens, but it is no less frightening. They say it is not harmful, but to me, I can't imagine it not being. I had an episode this morning at about 2:30 AM, and decided I didn't want to go back to sleep for fear of it happening again. So, here I sit before noon, about exhausted.

I was just wondering if others here had experienced it? From my research, they say that most people do once in their lives, but few have it like I do.

From Wikipedia:
The central symptom of sleep paralysis is being unable to move during awakening.[1]
Imagined sounds such as humming, hissing, static, zapping and buzzing noises are reported during sleep paralysis.[4] Other sounds such as voices, whispers and roars are also experienced.[5] These symptoms are usually accompanied by intense emotions: such as fear, and panic.[6] People also have sensations of being dragged out of bed or of flying, numbness, and feelings of electric tingles or vibrations running through their body.[7]
Sleep paralysis may include hallucinations, such as a supernatural creature suffocating or terrifying the individual, accompanied by a feeling of pressure on one's chest and difficulty breathing.[8] Another example of a hallucination involves a menacing shadowy figure entering one's room or lurking outside one's window, while the subject is paralyzed.

Some video examples

I find myself not wanting to be away from home because of the episodes and if I am, I warn the people I am with, and how to bring me out of it, because I have the ability to holler for help, where very very few others do, but am very selective of who I am with.  @Magicman  has witnessed episodes.
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Offline newoodguy78

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2018, 12:53:02 PM »
That's scary stuff. I've never even heard of it and certainly don't want to experience it.  Does the position you sleep in seem to effect the frequency of episodes? Could it be stress related? It's a bummer for you and your wife but at least you have someone there if it happens. Best of luck figuring out the cause and hopefully you can get some answers.

Offline Babylon519

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2018, 01:03:49 PM »
Jeff, there must have been something in the air last night - I live just across the big lake from you. At 3 am, I had a dream I was being attacked from behind, and swear I had my right shoulder kicked at. I remember striking back with my left arm and - next thing I know - I'm on the floor beside the bed in a rowing position. I had hurdled myself straight off and away from the mattress. I actually started laughing at the weirdness of it all, but there's no going back to sleep after that!

I experience panic attacks regularly, whether I'm awake or asleep. If I wake up that way, I'm afraid to fall back to sleep. It's a vicious circle; sometimes the brain plays dirty. I think the sleep paralysis you describe would be even worse. I have borderline sleep apnea, and I wonder if I'm getting these attacks when my breathing has shut down for a moment. Doctor said losing 30 pounds would probably help.  :)   - Jason
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2018, 01:13:35 PM »
Does the position you sleep in seem to effect the frequency of episodes


It absolutely does. If I end up on my back, it can be almost guaranteed to occur.  I had a home sleep study done last spring, and of course it didn't show up that night. They said I had a slight episode of apnea but nothing to be concerned about.  Most of the time I will go out and sleep on the couch as I can put my back to the back of the couch and guarantee not rolling on my back.  

Until the last 6 months or so my sleep paralysis had never manifested anything beyond not being able to move, Its gotten to be a bit more scary of late.

I've debated this a bit with doctorb.  This is not a normal dream. I can even see. I can also instruct the person trying to wake me out of it, if I have help, to keep trying if it isn't working. The bad part is is (tom) that this is an altered state of consciousness. A blurred line between awareness and REM sleep, where dreams can be as real as can be and so can sensations.

Last night I was on the couch, and had it happen. I called for help from Tammy. I could hear her coming, but she stopped in the kitchen. I then heard her coming again. I could feel the couch move as she sat down beside me, at least I thought it was her. But she didn't try to wake me up. I then knew that this was part of the episode. I then heard Tammy actually coming. When Tammy hears me, she comes fast.  Before she got to me I was feeling whatever it was on the couch, poke me in the side with something that felt like a dull pin, and I could feel the couch go back up at the very same time Tammy began to shake me.

I've tried to ride these out with out hollering for help, but its so far impossible for me as the whole deal is unnerving and you just want out of it. And like I said, I am very lucky to be able to do that. I've not even found a case study where anyone else could call for help.  There are times when no one is around and I have to ride it out. You try everything you can do. Bite your lip, try to rock or roll out of bed somehow, something.

I always thought this was a pure mind waked up before the body thing until a few years ago. There was something that happened that night, and this was before I found out I wasn't the only one out there with this. I was in bed, and could not move.  I tried to rock myself hoping I would roll out of bed. I tried and tried. Eventually I succeeded. I rolled out of bed and woke up when I hit the floor, and found, that I was still in bed.
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2018, 01:43:21 PM »
Jeff -

I have no experience to offer here, but truly pray that you find relief from this soon.  Jim
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2018, 02:01:27 PM »
A couple months ago, i had an episode where I was calling for Tammy, but she wasn't coming ( i had shut the bedroom door when I left it and she wasn't hearing me as it turned out). I began to get angry, as it seemed like this was lasting for ever, so I started to yell "MOTHER(you know what)" But stopped in mid cuss because I knew if I yelled that, Tammy would NEVER come and help me. (Tammy keeps my foul language in real life in check like I keep everyone elses in check here).  

So then all of the sudden I find myself calling loudly "Mom!  Mom! Mom!"  at that moment my eyes opened and I was looking down the hall of the mobile home I grew up in. My mom was standing at the end of the hall in her nightgown. Just standing there, looking back at me as she would have looked when I was a kid. This was not like any dream. Because you are awake, and asleep, and in a dream state, it was as real as being awake. I knew however through all of this what was happening. I then thought, well, there aint no way she is going to help me, so I started calling for Tammy again, and then just woke up. I was so rattled, that I didn't go back to bed that night either, and that happened like at 1pm or so.

It ain't fun.   If you watch some of the videos, I have experienced this "shadow person" it usually slips past and you feel it stand off the end of my head where I can't see.  Like I said, I am aware now when these things happens, exactly what is happening, but it makes it no better knowing.

The other difference between these episodes and a regular dream, is you remember every detail.
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Offline Shotgun

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2018, 07:01:07 PM »
Jeff, do you snore?
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2018, 07:02:57 PM »
Rarely. And that's according to Tammy. But I will if extremely tired and end up on my back.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2018, 07:10:34 PM »
That is scary. I was going through a lot of odd stuff at night. A diffeant job has helped out some.
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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2018, 07:21:43 PM »
Jeff, you might want to consider a full fledged sleep test in a hospital that's capable of doing the whole 9 yards. Your sleep paralysis might just be connected to sleep apnea. I've had two tests done, the second one after we moved in June of 2017. Talk to your primary care physician about having it done.  It might be a life saver.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2018, 07:35:26 PM »
They ruled out sleep apnea the first time.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2018, 07:53:24 PM »
Jeff discussed this with me when he came to the Cabin in January, but in all honesty, I didn't understand what he was telling me.  One night about 2AM I heard Jeff calling; "help me, help me".  He was on his side so I grabbed his shoulder and shook him rather violently.  When he woke up he said; "thank you, thank you, I am OK now".   Another night he had gone into the living room and was in the recliner.  I had to keep listening to find where he was.  I again shook him, but not enough.  Jeff was able to tell me to shake him some more.  The last episode Pat was there and about 2-3AM he rolled himself out of the bed and hit the floor  :o  which evidently woke himself up.  He told me the next day what he had done and I told him that I figured that.  I had told Pat when he woke us up that I thought that Jeff had rolled out of the bed.

I have Googled and read as much as I could find about this strange "illness".  During that state of sleep our brain naturally paralyzes our bodies so that we can not actually act out a dream.  In Jeff's situation he is more awake than asleep but his body is still paralyzed.   What I have read says that it is not harmful, but to that person it is frightful.
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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2018, 08:07:22 PM »
Luckily with a friend like Lynn, I didn't have to worry about the embarrassing part of waking people up to help. I just make sure I wear plenty of cloths to bed. :D  

Ive declined going some places, like the last couple of logging shows because of how bad it had become. If it were just Tammy and I it would be okay, but in those cases I was supposed to share a room with someone and didn't want to inflict my affliction on them.
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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2018, 08:24:38 PM »
Jeff i have had several of those episodes over the years and understand . Have not had one for a very long time. They were more prevalent during a very stressfull time in my life.
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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2018, 08:48:14 PM »
If you're having them that much trouble,get a camera and set it up each night. Show that to a Dr,that will get thier attention. As I said,I was going through alot,some sleeping pills helped me out,or relaxation pills. I was seeing one for awhile,but run out of money to keep going.
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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2018, 08:57:47 PM »
They don't dispute it happens, there just isn't any real treatment. They say getting a good night's sleep will help.

YA THINK??
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Offline Logger RK

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2018, 09:36:47 PM »
I forgot about similar experiences i have had. But I don't think I could talk. I'd finally wake up & be pretty shook up & wonder why The Mrs didn't hear me.It's been some time since the last one. 

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2018, 10:20:20 PM »
Jeff, I strongly urge you to go to a sleep center for a complete polysomnographic study. 

I did some research on the Mayo Clinic web site and it lead me to Sleep disorder Program

From what I read, you have some form of Narcolepsy. There apparently is no known cure but there are some medications and lifestyle changes that can help. One medication that I saw mentioned was Melatonin which is an over the counter sleep aid that my wife's doctor recommended for a non narcotic sleep aid. It's not expensive and worth a try if you are not already using it. 
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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2018, 10:34:34 PM »
This is a real thing.  I, too, have experienced this, but only quite rarely, and never as intensely as Jeff.  It can be truly terrifying.  

Sleep studies investigate more than breathing patterns during sleep.  I do not see any harm in discussing this with a sleep center to:

1.  Verify that you don't have sleep apnea.
2.  See if they have any expertise with this phenomenon.

Especially if this seems to be progressive.
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2018, 10:36:56 PM »
Melatonin is a natural compound, it's what makes you tired after stuffing yourself with turkey actually.  I do take some now and then and it does work very well.  
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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2018, 10:49:47 PM »
From the Internet

How does it work?
Quote
Melatonin's main job in the body is to regulate night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles. Darkness causes the body to produce more melatonin, which signals the body to prepare for sleep. Light decreases melatonin production and signals the body to prepare for being awake. Some people who have trouble sleeping have low levels of melatonin. It is thought that adding melatonin from supplements might help them sleep.
Certainly worth a try. Poor sleep can be caused by all sorts of things, like side effects of medications etc. If you aren't getting good sleep it also affects your health and mental state as well. 
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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2018, 11:41:08 AM »
The thing is, I don't have trouble going to sleep and sleeping. Its the waking up part. I wake up several times a night, but that has a direct relationship to what and how much I was drinking in the afternoon and evening. It is also related to what I am eating. Anything with MSG is like a diuretic to me. I'm also one of those individuals that if there is some weird side effect to a medication, I get it, so, its better for me not to take anything. The more natural I eat, meat vegetables fruit and potatoes home cooked, and no prepared foods, the better I do, however, none of it seems to have any relationship to the sleep paralysis.  Believe me, I'm trying all different combinations. To be a bit contrary, this is one of those things I WOULD wish on a worst enemy.
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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2018, 01:28:01 PM »
If I end up on my back, it can be almost guaranteed to occur.

Do you get a back ache when you lay on your back?

Do you feel uncomfortable when you have to get up in the night for a bathroom break?

One thing I've learned from my wife going thru sleep apnea and memory problems is the brain needs to rest and recover while you sleep. Any pain or stress that you endure during sleep can cause the brain to work and process pain or other stress signals and not be able to rest and recover.

So it's an easy solution, eliminate the stress. ::)
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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2018, 04:00:40 PM »
Do you get a back ache when you lay on your back?
 

I refuse to sleep on my back so I could not say.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2018, 07:34:55 PM »
Some of your descriptions sound like an X-files episode.

I've had a couple similar episodes in my life. My recollection was that I was more on the asleep end of the spectrum than Jeff is, but I was somewhat aware of what was going on around me and while logically I knew it wasn't real, logic was not enough to convince me. and did not experience any real transition from sleep to awake when it ended.

In one I was sure some shadowy being had paralyzed me and was trying to pry my soul out of my body. I was lying on my stomach and he was pulling at my shoulders. I was trying as hard as I could to throw it off but could not move. I could not even yell at it. I'm not a particularly religious person, but became convinced that if I could manage to get out the Lord's Prayer, it would have no power over me.

In my other episode, I was more on the "asleep" end of the spectrum. Again, I was lying on may stomach and could not move. I remember trying to say something, and trying to get this thing off of me. The next thing I know my wife was yelling "whoa!" and jumping to the edge of the bed. Apparently, she had heard me muttering and sounding angry. She asked what was up, and I did not answer, just kept up the angry muttering. She reached over and grabbed my shoulder to shake me awake. I guess she must have shook me right where the thing was grabbing me, because the paralysis broke, I rolled a bit and jerked my arm back ready to swing with a big punch. She jumped, and then I was wide awake. I remember asking her "what's bugging you?"  As she explained, the memories all came flooding back to me.

Two of the weirdest things I ever experienced while sleeping (or almost sleeping). It happened more than 15 years ago (i.e. before kids). I had forgotten all about it until I read Jeff's post.
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Offline barbender

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2018, 09:04:24 PM »
I have a friend who suffers from this too, Jeff. He has since at least his early teens, and it seems to come and go in occurrence. He will also wake up paralyzed, sometimes he can very weakly whisper his wife's name, and she will reach over and touch his arm. He then snaps out of it immediately. I've also heard interesting stories on public radio about this affliction, and it had some interesting history. Such as the term "nightmare". In some traditions, the shadowy figure you have mentioned was called "the hag", if I remember correctly, they said "mare" in old English was a term for woman, so "nightmare" was when the hag came and tormented you at night. I wish I could remember the name of the program, it was quite informative but it's been a few years since I heard it.
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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2018, 09:13:56 PM »
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: Sleep Paralysis
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2018, 01:50:38 AM »
I've read about them before but never have known anyone that has them, or atleast that talks about them. I imagine no improvement since the last post?


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