ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Beat Sleep Paralysis

Updated on August 18, 2014

What is It

Sleep paralysis is when in the midst of falling asleep or waking up, you suddenly can't move your body, or speak. Many victims of sleep paralysis even claim that they see ghosts, or demons hovering over them or touching them, this leads many people to believe they were attacked by something supernatural.

During the medieval ages, sleep paralysis was often associated with coming into contact with an evil presence, little did they know it was simply their mind and body conflicting with each other.


Symptoms of sleep paralysis often include:

  • Consciously awake - Your mind will be awake, you'll be able to see and hear everything in the real world.
  • Body will be asleep - You will not be able to move, speak, or call for help.
  • Fear - Most people experiencing this and not knowing what's going on will obviously be afraid, who wouldn't if they could not move their body yet could see everything that's going on and not be able to do anything.
  • Hallucinations - You may experience auditory, visual, or even olfactory hallucinations, like being able to hear animals growling, seeing or sensing a malevolent presence in the room, hearing claws scratching again'st the wall or floors, being able to smell decaying odors, or even the sensation that you are being moved.
  • Out of body experience - a less common symptom
  • Pressure on the chest - A feeling of a weight or object on the chest.
  • Difficulty breathing - This associates with the feeling of a weight on your chest.

Sleep paralysis can often induce hallucinations.
Sleep paralysis can often induce hallucinations. | Source

Hynagogia or Hypnopompia

Which one did you experience?

See results

Hypnagogic Sleep Paralysis

This is when you become aware while falling asleep, more specifically when your body goes enters REM sleep. The body induces sleep paralysis which is what keeps it from moving while dreaming, however, when you become aware while falling into REM sleep, hypnagogic sleep paralysis occurs.

Hypnagogia is also associated with narcolepsy, when the body desires sleep, but the brain cannot shut off. When narcolepsy occurs, and the mind can not fall asleep fast enough, sleep paralysis can begin. (It's actually a lot more complicated than that..) Careful, don't confuse this with insomnia, they are two different things.

Hypnopompic Sleep Paralysis

This occurs near the end of REM sleep. Sleep usually happens in sleep cycle, REM sleep which is when the dreaming happens, and NREM sleep (non-rapid eye movement). The body alternates between these two cycles and Hypnopompia is when your mind wakes up before reaching the end of REM sleep.

For some reason people often experience more visitations from an incubus during hypnopompia than they do during hypnagogia.

Sleep Paralysis can be categorized into...

  • ISP
  • RISP
  • Hypnagogia
  • Hypnopompia
  • Or a mix, e.g; ISP and Hypnopompia are often commonly put together


ISP and RISP are another group of categories that sleep paralysis can fall into. ISP is more common (Isolated Sleep Paralysis) and can happen to anyone, it usually refers to one or two incidents of sleep paralysis and is associated with hypnopompia.

While RISP (Recurrent Isolated Sleep Paralysis) is well, recurrent. This is when patients experience sleep paralysis on a constant basis, it can be caused by more external factors like stress, lack of sleep, and a changing sleep schedule.

I have experienced ISP once, the reason for that I'll get into in the causes section.


  • Sleeping in a supine position - This means sleeping on your back, this is what causes me to go into sleep paralysis, I don't know why, but I sure won't be sleeping in this position ever again.
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Stress
  • Drug abuse
  • Lack of sleep
  • Changing sleep schedule
  • Narcolepsy


ISP - If sleep paralysis occurs rarely for you, the triggers may be more simple, such as sleeping on your back, that's how I stopped it from happening to me.

RISP - If it is recurring, then the causes will usually require a little bit of change in your everyday life, maybe your too stressed out. Or maybe your sleep pattern is constantly changing, if you read my tips on getting rid of insomnia then you know that your body likes routine. If changes to your lifestyle doesn't work, then going to a doctor should be the next thing you do.

  • Certain drugs or alcohol can cause sleep paralysis, try to stop taking them (unless you need to for other health related reasons) and see what happens.
  • Sleeping pills can often help deal with hypnagogia, and allows your mind to fall asleep as fast as your body.
  • My personal trick to waking up my body is to simply understand what is happening, once you let go of fear, and realize that the "monsters" you see are not there. You can slowly start trying to move your body, this will let you wake up completely.
  • Another trick I do when I wake up and not be able to move my body, is to simply go back to sleep. Seriously that's it, I wake up -> can't move -> falls back asleep before the monsters start coming in.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)