ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sleep Paralysis - Haunted in Your Sleep

Updated on December 17, 2017
Rafa Baxa profile image

Rafael Baxa is a budding writer who likes to write about psychology, social behaviour and everything weird.

Having a nightmare is never fun. And it’s even more scary when what you are having is not a nightmare but instead something much more terrifying – sleep paralysis. Anyone who might hear this word may dismiss it as simply nightmares, but only those who have experienced it may know the difference. Sleep paralysis can be called the ninjas in the world of parasomnia, they come in at night, paralyse you, and scare you enough to not be able to sleep for the rest of the week, all without making a sound or movement. Though they are less common than nightmares, they are ten times more effective in evoking feelings of fear and helplessness.

Sleep paralysis is a type of parasomnia which is seen in a very small percentage of people, but these people spend a huge part of their life being haunted in their sleep. Some mistake it for an actual haunting, for sleep paralysis do not end in our sleep, they bring about some hallucinations and physical symptoms that may really make it hard to explain.

People often experience sleep paralysis right before falling asleep or right before fully waking up. It is usually explained as the stage where we are neither asleep nor awake, now say that you just woke from a very bad nightmare that you can’t even remember and now you are in a limbo state where you are neither asleep nor awake, and you are having this feeling of dread creeping up inside you, and you are unable to breathe. You may be able to open your eyes and see which only makes it worse, for what you see is maybe a dark figure just standing in the corner or a white figure sitting over your chest and preventing you from breathing. At this point the only reaction you have is to scream and get rid of the white figure sitting on top of your chest and suffocating you, but when you try to move or scream, you realize that there is nothing you can do. You are paralyzed. All you can do is wait for the terror to pass and hope that your heart doesn’t jump out and you don’t go mad before this ends.

Most of the people having night terrors have explained seeing something dark sitting on their bed, hanging over their head, standing in the corner or lurking near the door (For Stephen King fans, you can think of this as the butter-knife nosed Space Cowboy or the Specter of love from ‘Gerald’s game’). This is referred to as the intruder. Another example of this intruder is the hallucination of seeing a white figure sitting in your chest suffocating you, this one is more specifically called as the incubus. Another instance of such hallucination is the out-of-body experience where the person experiencing this feels like he is looking in from the outside at the scene of himself sleeping and is unable to wake himself up. In this case, he becomes the intruder himself.

This parasomnia usually occurs when our sleep pattern is disrupted, and the various stages of sleep do not take place as they normally should, which is common in people with high stress levels who are unable to get enough sleep every night, and have to make do with taking naps every once in a while. This may not immediately cause sleep paralysis, but to those who are already experiencing it, it may be like adding fuel to the fire. While there are those who have understood the phenomenon and sought help, there are also those who have put the blame on some supernatural creature haunting them in their sleep and changed their sleeping position or their homes hoping that it won’t follow them. While all the questions regarding this particular parasomnia are yet to be answered, we have reached a point where we can surely explain the neurological process that occurs during the visit from the intruder, and that has been more than helpful for making the treatments available to avoid such visitations.

The poll below is just to see how many people have suffered from sleep paralysis, though it may not be an accurate way of getting a count, it may give us an idea. And please do share your experiences in the comments.

Have you ever suffered from sleep paralysis?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Rafa Baxa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rafael Baxa 

      19 months ago

      Thanks for reading, Sanket.

      Sorry for the late reply, but no, I didn't come across anything suggesting that.

    • Sanket Chavan profile image

      Sanket Chavan 

      20 months ago from Mumbai, India

      Interesting article, a question though, in your research for this hub did you come across any material that may indicate the influence of one's surrounding like dimensions of a room in causing sleep paralysis?

    • Rafa Baxa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rafael Baxa 

      20 months ago

      Thanks for your comment SakinaNasir!

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 

      20 months ago from Kuwait

      Hi Rafa! I have never experienced sleep paralysis before. But, my mother has gone through this.

      I hear this a lot from her in the middle of the night, when she wakes up after a terrible nightmare. "I couldn't breathe, I was trying to call you all, but I can't even speak. Someone wanted to kill me."

      She has this problem sometimes.

      I can relate to this. Another interesting hub!

      Keep it up! :)

    • Rafa Baxa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rafael Baxa 

      21 months ago

      Hey Jodah! I don't know how I missed this comment and didn't reply, sorry!

      I am happy that you find the topics I write about interesting, and thanks for the warm welcome!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      22 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This was very interesting, Rafa. I have never suffered sleep paralysis but my brother had. He often woke sometimes yelling that he couldn't move because there was an old lady sitting on his chest. Scary stuff.

      Your hubs are of very interesting subjects. I read a forum post where you said you had no followers so thought I'd check your hubs. You now have a follower. The best way to get more followers is to read and comment on other people's hubs and then they will usually return the favour.

      Anyway welcome to HubPages.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com 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: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    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 googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    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)
    Marketing
    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.
    Statistics
    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)