Adventures In Sleep Paralysis

SugaryGhost

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#31
Two nights ago I had a terrible nightmare as I do often and upon what I thought was waking saw a huge bone white,thin,super elongated hand that moved across my bed with each finger wriggling independently.I tried to scream but could only force this sort of clicking from my throat.Is that sleep paralysis?
 

EnolaGaia

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#32
Two nights ago I had a terrible nightmare as I do often and upon what I thought was waking saw a huge bone white,thin,super elongated hand that moved across my bed with each finger wriggling independently.I tried to scream but could only force this sort of clicking from my throat.Is that sleep paralysis?
Quite possibly, but it's difficult to give you a definite 'yes'.

Sleep paralysis involves a disconnect with your voluntary muscle / motor control, such that you cannot move of your own accord. This can extend to interfering with voluntary control over your breathing, resulting in gasping or feelings of suffocation.

Since you didn't mention your status with respect to motor control and basic breathing, a definite attribution of sleep paralysis remains an open issue. A loss of breath and constriction (etc.) rendering one temporarily unable to utter any speech are possible symptoms of an extreme panic / shock reaction, too.
 

SugaryGhost

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#33
Quite possibly, but it's difficult to give you a definite 'yes'.

Sleep paralysis involves a disconnect with your voluntary muscle / motor control, such that you cannot move of your own accord. This can extend to interfering with voluntary control over your breathing, resulting in gasping or feelings of suffocation.

Since you didn't mention your status with respect to motor control and basic breathing, a definite attribution of sleep paralysis remains an open issue. A loss of breath and constriction (etc.) rendering one temporarily unable to utter any speech are possible symptoms of an extreme panic / shock reaction, too.
Thanks for the information.I couldn’t move at all,which I should have mentioned.It was a horrible experience I hope I never have again,whatever it was :hide:
 

EnolaGaia

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#34
Thanks for the information.I couldn’t move at all,which I should have mentioned.It was a horrible experience I hope I never have again,whatever it was
If you couldn't voluntarily move your (e.g.) limbs, then I'd say 'yes' (it was an instance of sleep paralysis).

In the REM (dreaming; final) phase of a sleep cycle the body's motor control 'connection' is suspended or shut off. One of my theories is that sleep paralysis incidents occur when one consciously 'surfaces' during a REM phase without the motor control connection being re-booted (at least not immediately) as would happen during a normal reawakening.
 

Monstrosa

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#36
I have never had sleep paralysis (which brings up an interesting question as to why some people do; some suffer regularly and others never have a single instance - you would have thought it being a part of human existence should mean that pretty much everyone would have at least one episode?) but I have had extremely vivid lucid dreams (in the 'proper' sense, dreams where I know I am dreaming). In these dreams other people behave like separate entities, doing things in a realistic manner, and I can smell and see things with extreme clarity. I've often been impressed during the dream with my brain's ability to recreate things in such a realistic way.

Lord Lucan's experience with the shuffling, breathing wicked witch made me remember that the characters in my dream are usually as realistic as this., doing things that I think upon waking are actually true to character. It's made me wonder if there's any connection between lucid dreaming and SP...
Have you ever had an episode of sleepwalking or sleeptalking?
 

brownmane

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#37
It's made me wonder if there's any connection between lucid dreaming and SP...
I have lucid dreams as well, so that's an interesting question.
I didn't know that lucid dreams don't happen to everyone until I was telling a friend that sometimes I like to do things intentionally, such as flying, in my dreams. I don't do lucid dreaming often, but it is interesting when I do.
 

GNC

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#38
I heard Honeyblood in session on the radio this afternoon, and lead singer/guitarist/main mover Stina Tweeddale mentioned she had suffered sleep paralysis, or "night terrors" as she put it, after returning home from an exhausting tour. But she didn't see a night hag or man in the hat, or even a space alien, she saw a "babe" in a yellow dress with a black bob hairdo. She wrote a song about it called She's a Nightmare, which is here:


The video's about a séance, mind you. But the lyrics are relevant. Quite often in her dream she'd be speaking to a friend and the person would transform into her nightmare character!
 

Tempest63

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#39
My very first episode of sleep paralysis came about in my early twenties. I awoke unable to move and though I never saw any ghosts, hags etc., I did have the very menacing feeling that the ghost of Napoleon (why Napoleon I will never know) was standing behind my left side.
I then went years without another episode until my thirties or forties when they became quite common over a period of years.
I never saw a spook at all and never again experienced the feeling that something menacing was near me or restraining me.
I used to try crying out for help but my wife of the time admonished me for the strange noises I uttered.
This weekend my wife and I went out for dinner with some close friends. I didn’t really want to go as I was extremely tired after long stressful hours at work, early starts each morning and the sleepless nights I experience when under a lot of pressure. That night i drunk too much and ate too much, including copious amounts of cheese.
That night I had my first episode in sleep paralysis in years, however for the first time I felt something trying to restrain me. I didn’t see anything, hags, ghosts or ghouls but had the impression that I was being restrained by someone quite tall in a white rabbit outfit with the addition of deer antlers attached. At first I didn’t recognise it as an episode of sleep paralysis as I was under the impression that I was rolling left and right quite vigorously to throw off my attacker, however on fully waking I realised the rolling about was part of a dream so I’m not sure I experienced sleep paralysis or just had a nightmare that I experienced it. Bloody weird; I think I’ll be avoiding future cheese and wine parties.
 

remute

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#43
Relevant podcast is relevant:

https://www.astonishinglegends.com/al-podcasts/2019/02/23/ep-135-sarah-and-the-spider-woman

"When people see horrific apparitions of a supernatural nature, what are they really seeing and what could be causing these images to appear? Could it be that the demons and terrors some people have witnessed sometimes come from a strange symptom of a rare medical condition? This seems to have been the case with tonight's guest, Sarah, who was seeing beings and elements more associated with demonic possession, a haunting or even a psychological disorder, rather than with a physiological illness."
 

IbisNibs

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#45
Jackalopes, definitely jackalopes. The spider woman belongs in the "erotic dream" thread -- that's where all the spider folk are congregating.
(But, yeah, where DOES this stuff come from?)
 

Newt

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#46
About 15 years ago I had recurrent sleep paralysis for about a year. A demon thing would sit on my lower rib cage and stab me in upper chest with these long knife things. It was agonising. I screamed and screamed. But not really. I was only screaming in the 'dream', not out loud.

It was horrible. Got to the point where I was afraid to sleep. I was also angry with my husband for just lying there next to me while I screamed for him to help me. Which was irrational, as obviously he couldn't hear me.

I noticed one thing, it only happened if I was lying on my back. If I felt it coming on (and sometime I could), and could manage to turn on my side, it wouldn't happen. Also, while it was happening, if I could manage to force my eye open, it would stop.

I eventually made it stop totally by sort of imagining a dream creature that would drive the demon thing away. After creating the protector in my mind, when the sleep paralysis started I could call it up and it would chase the demon thing away.

After a couple of times doing that it stopped happening, and has never happened since (touch wood that it never happens again). But it was the most horrible experience, and the actual physical pain when it stabbed me was incredible.
 

GNC

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#47
Sounds awful! Interesting you say sleeping on your back would trigger it, suggesting a physical cause as well as a psychological one. Maybe more a physical one, in fact?
 

Newt

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#48
Yes, it only happened when I was lying on my back. And yes, that would suggest a physical component to the experience.

Although why I should suddenly get it at age 40, and never before or since, I have no idea.

The 'cure', as it finally happened, was purely psychological, as far as I could tell. Nothing else changed. After my imaginary protector chased the thing away a few times it stopped happening completely. Even if I lay on my back it never even started happening.

It was the weirdest, most horrible thing. I really hope it never comes back.
 

GNC

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#49
If you've convinced yourself you've banished it, that will probably be enough to get rid of it. If it hasn't returned in years, then I doubt it will return at all, it might just be something you "grow out of", for want of a better phrase, like sleepwalking.
 

GingerTabby

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#51
Yes, it only happened when I was lying on my back. And yes, that would suggest a physical component to the experience.
I recall reading in FT magazine several years ago that people who experience sleep paralysis typically do so while lying on their backs. The two people I've known who have admitted to experiencing it said they were sleeping in exactly that position when it occurred.

It sounds terrible, Newt. I too hope you won't experience another episode.
 

IbisNibs

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#53
Yes, it only happened when I was lying on my back. And yes, that would suggest a physical component to the experience.

Although why I should suddenly get it at age 40, and never before or since, I have no idea.

The 'cure', as it finally happened, was purely psychological, as far as I could tell. Nothing else changed. After my imaginary protector chased the thing away a few times it stopped happening completely. Even if I lay on my back it never even started happening.

It was the weirdest, most horrible thing. I really hope it never comes back.
Sleep paralysis sounds bad enough without horrible physical pain to go with it! :nails:
Have you ever mentioned the pain to a doctor?
 

Newt

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#54
I didn't! The pain would cease as soon as the experience stooped. It seemed to be purely a dream pain and not really real.

I never saw a doctor about any of it. It wasn't something that I felt I could have explained to my GP.
 
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#55
I didn't! The pain would cease as soon as the experience stooped. It seemed to be purely a dream pain and not really real.

I never saw a doctor about any of it. It wasn't something that I felt I could have explained to my GP.
Wow, I had no idea it was possible to have dream pain, because I have never experienced such a thing. That's horrible! I've experienced excruciating acute as well as chronic pain at various times in real life, so the idea of having to experience that kind of pain again in a dream is, well, nightmarish! I'm glad to hear you don't have those dreams any more.

Have other people here also experienced pain in dreams? I'm curious now.
 

catseye

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#57
I've had pain in dreams. I used to dream I was being injected with something and when I woke up I'd still have the sore spot on my arm. Also felt stomach cramps (which my dream brain translated to labour pains and a dream of giving birth). I also feel heat in dreams, rarely cold. I can smell in dreams too...
 

Ladyloafer

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#58
I just had a dream wherein I had what I in the dream recognised as sleep paralysis. Odd.
I had that once. in the dream i was thinking 'if i could just move my arm it will break the spell', and in the dream i did, only to 'wake' and still be paralysed. i remember feeling really annoyed!

I've also felt dream pain, usually from real pain.
 

Krepostnoi

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#60
Have other people here also experienced pain in dreams? I'm curious now.
I vividly remember a dream (whereas normally I forget them instantly on waking) in which I was hanging from the gutter on a building. A spider bit me painfully on a finger, causing me to fall. As per standard procedures, I woke before landing, but my finger was still throbbing from the "bite"... There was no visible damage, and to this day I remain puzzled as to what actually caused the pain.
 
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