What Makes Sleep Paralysis So Terrifying?

Published on May 7, 2018
What causes sleep paralysis, and do you need to be worried?
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Sources:
www.livescience.com/50876-sleep-paralysis.html
www.nhs.uk/conditions/sleep-paralysis/
www.sciencealert.com/science-explanation-nocturnal-hallucinations-sleep-paralysis
ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.16010048
www.livescience.com/50876-sleep-paralysis.html
onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsr.12282/full
www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295039.php
www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep
theconversation.com/understanding-sleep-paralysis-a-terrifying-but-unique-state-of-consciousness-48509
www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711131030.htm
www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep
www.scientificamerican.com/article/ask-the-brains-sleep-paralysis/
ncealert.com/science-explanation-nocturnal-hallucinations-sleep-paralysis
www.sleep-journal.com/article/S1389-9457(17)31007-9/fulltext
onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsr.12282/full

Comments

  • Have you ever had sleep paralysis? Let us know your experience in the comments. Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories so far! It's not an easy thing to deal with sometimes. Wanna watch more? Why is it so hard to fall asleep?: us-tv.org/tv/video-HL6ECWZ8G1s.html

    • Life Noggin nope

    • I have had sleep paralysis before thousands of times but my mom told me that it was probly some type of deamon holding me down. I did have it often but I did not see any black figure coming towards me. I would see like scary peoples heads going around me and I would see my brothers too. But he was making funny faces. It's weird.

    • I cant move i cant talk i cant look around. I can see fogs and the moonlight and someon is looking at me but it looks like its just imagination but i still feel someone is looking at me

    • Life Noggin once or twice!

    • For the last 2 night I have experienced it but I was just getting in bed and a few seconds after closing my eyes is happens....the first time I could hear someone laughing in my ear and when I was able to I sat up in bed and was like wtf

  • I had this last night & I heard really loud voices and songs & it was really friggin scary

  • I can feel my heart beating

  • I just had my first sleep paralysis today and I heard repetitive ringing and a shadow to the left of me saying my name and laughing and said something I didn’t understand, it was hard to breathe and I was frustrated cause I couldn’t turn to see what it was.... when I got out of it I said “what” and was then confused as to what I was saying what to.

  • I've been experiencing this for many many times already.. like back then i was in teenage yrs .. and up to now.. everytime i experience this, sometimes i get scared coz i know how it feels.. sometimes i don't get scared coz i know what to do.. you have to move like your finger in a sudden.. after that you have to get up.. coz if you don't it'll keep on coming back.. then after that drink 1 or 2 glass of water..then you'll be fine.. you can sleep again..

  • This happens to me but I don't have the hallucinations

  • I remember i was 16 when i had it, i dreamed that i was in bus going to school and out of no where someone behind me started to molest me. I cold't move and i tried with all my strength to break free. I woke up sleeping side way but in my terror i realized i could't move again and something behind me started to molest me again

  • sounds like watching a scary movie in 3d, must be fun!

  • Rem sleep

  • My sleep paralisis is not pleasant, most of the time it comes with physical pain and loud noises

  • Happen to me multiple times so muchhh One thing idont see anything And I have despression that time 🤣🤣 im a studunt- edit

  • I've had constant sleep paralysis for almost 2 years , it makes sense as to why I've had it for so long since I have a horrible sleeping schedule and anxiety, I've got to put myself together😂

  • I know that this phenomenon is real, but I do NOT buy it as an explanation for alien abduction experiences. Not, at least, in the wholesale and dismissive manner some people apply it. It might account for some cases or aspects, but in truth it's a very lame answer for the phenomenon at large. Alien abduction stories are often far too intricate and share too many specific details to merely be equated with sleep paralysis.

  • 😨😨😨😨OH HOW SCARY!!!!!!

  • it's just niggas wilin'

  • I really hope this never happens to me it sounds terrifying

  • I actually experienced this right before school, and I was really freaked out.

  • It was terrifying having sleep paralysis. The first I had one was last summer, it was one of the most scariest intense situations I've experienced. Waking up from a dream just to see it in from on you. I felt like I was choking. I couldn't breathe and move. I felt like I had been paralyzed from never moving. Tried to yell hard but nothing worked. Only thing I saw is something on top of me choking me. Until I suddenly moved and started breathing way harder. I got up and turned the lights on. It felt like a horror moving and I was expected to die. Honestly it's one of those feelings you wish never to have again.

  • sleep paralysis SUCKS i had it this morning and used to have it a LOT, though i don’t see hallucinations, i hear hallucinations. audio hallucinations are worse in my opinion. i once woke up immobilized and heard screaming in my ears. i also have stress and depression so that kinda sucks for me

  • Feel

  • Sleep paralysis is oddly terrifying. For me, even if I don't see anything I have an overwhelming feeling that someone else is in the room.

  • I think i had one today...

  • I’m not depressed but I have PTSD(which is an anxiety disorder), and Panic Disorder. I get it soOOOO often, but oddly enough, i have only one time ever hallucinated and saw nothing more than a shadow.

  • I'm here after watching Mara on netflix

  • Yesterday !! I had a scary dream !! And i try to wAke up but couldn’t I try moving my hand My computer which is beside my bed displays but still I couldn’t open my eyes !! However it took me around like 20 mins and ran to other room !

  • It happened to me before, I was dreaming just a blank black thing and I was woken up but couldn't move, I also had 6 dreams before it and they all seemed real too.

  • Goes to show that ignorance can lead to unnecessary worrying

  • I use to try to fight it and sometimes I would calm down say a prayer internally and after which get back into control of my body and other times o would relax as was mentioned in the video and before I knew it I was back to sleep peacefully.

  • had it today, sorta felt like i did a nang or nitros oxide, whatever you want to call it

  • It happened to me at school a lot during when we did the major test around the end of the year it felt like some one putting their high heels on top of me and I could not move and I tried to force myself to move but it hurts my brain when I try to forcefully move

  • Yeah, this happened when I was 5 once, I needed water and I couldn’t reach out, to it or tell my mom about I’m telling u it was terrifying AF I thought I was gonna die or somethin

  • It happened to me once, I felt so uncomftarble and wantedbto move but I just could not and I was scared, not because of me paralysed but because of the faint noises I heard. I just tried to ignore it and fell asleep and it worked. Didn't bother me much after that.

  • Sleep paralysis isn't normal,it's demons attacking you while sleeping. A (sinful) lifestyle draws demons to your life to torment and feed off your soul, the only way to keep them at bay is living a (righteous) life for Jesus. Those that are spiritual know exactly what I'm posting, repent of your secret sins and accept holiness today.God loves us all!

  • This weird thing just started happening to me and it’s weird like I can catch myself before I sleep and it’s like I fall asleep while being conscious and I go in and out of dreams but I can open my eyes at any time I want and I’m back in my room but I can move all I can do is look around and breath slightly faster it’s great since I’m still aware I can control my dreams I actually love it, it’s super fun and I don’t bother worrying about not being able to move cuz if I try hard enough and breath fast as I can I wake up but I try to keep it going as long as possible lol

  • I experienced sleep paralysis I like it

  • My little sisters were playing fnaf and I was just watching them play. Then when I went to bed I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't move at all. Then I started to have scary visions of the game. I could still breathe but it was still scary.

  • Is it just me or I can move in my sleep if I have a nightmare I slap myself too wake up

  • Then explain the dark figure in the corner of my room

  • The first time I had it I could see myself sleeping then all of a sudden I gasp for air and I can’t move, and I had just recently had one like back to back maybe 3-4 times I couldn’t breathe or move I kept going in and out of the same dream

  • Sleep Paralysis Anecdotes: -I've had instances where I can't distinguish sleep paralysis from a dream about sleep paralysis. I remember one time I woke up, couldn't move, open my eyes, or make a noise, quickly fell back asleep, and had a dream where I had sleep paralysis but could move well enough to get out of bed despite exhaustion and knock on my dad's door to ask for help. Another time I had a dream where I had sleep paralysis but I was around people, and so (somehow) started making noises in hopes they'd understand and try to wake me up -The first time I had sleep paralysis I straight up thought "This is how I die," because I didn't know what was happening -You know how people will say if you can move your finger or toe it'll break the paralysis? Yeah, that doesn't work for me. I've literally been able to move my entire foot (in some cases my entire l e g) and still my chest, arms, and face will be paralyzed. -I've heard about a lot of people being able to open their eyes during sleep paralysis (and thus visually hallucinate), but I can't. I can certainly try, and I do, but my eyes just flutter and I can't open them. -The rare times I have had hallucinations, they've been dreamlike and really frickin weird. One involved a queen bee sitting on some weird pink brain-looking thing on a very pink background being super mean to me. Another involved a strange buzzing sound and black and white static-esque dots that kept popping up faster and faster. Edit: Do people really find that changing your sleeping position works?!?! I only ever get sleep paralysis on my side, save one time I was on my back. I envy all of you that can actually do things to fix/prevent it.

  • Help me plz I got anxiety

  • I had sleep paralysis last night I saw a shadowy figure in the corner of my eye and heard my door opening and couldn't move, and then it all stopped I could move the figure was gone and I could see my door was locked. It sucked but then I laughed it off and went back to bed.

  • I was trying to sleep late at night and when I tried turning, I realized I couldn’t move and I opened my eyes and literally heard “let it grow” but sped up and saw it “projected” onto my wall I kept my eyes open for a minute and my eyes wandered around my room to see someone completely black and saw their head tilt to the side

  • 2:23 and now I’m scared :”)

  • I never had sleep paralysis and I hope I don't

  • I don’t care if Satan is at the foot of my bed I just don’t want to see my biggest fear come @ me (swarm if scary bugs)

  • I just woke up from this

  • You make learning fun and I like that keep up the good work 👍🏻

  • I don't get why anyone would enjoy it. It only happens when I go to bed, not when waking up. Almost always when I'm very tired. 90% of the time it's accompanied by horrific happenings ie someone coming over to me or attacking the person next to me. It doesn't happen as frequently as it did in my late teens and early 20's. My girlfriend at the time knew to shake me and I would wake right up. When I finally can move and I wake up I'm usually very groggy and a bit disoriented. I feels like you weigh a ton and no matter how hard you try to move nothing happens. You can control your breathing so I just tell my significant other if they hear me breathing rapidly, the should just shake me. Benadryl can cause it I've found. Benadryl also can cause horrific vivid nightmares.

  • I used to get sleep paralysis when i was 10 and i would wake up snoring until i finally screamed and it makes you feel like your being dragged down into a hole until finally you open your eyes

  • I experienced it about 10-15 times and never hallucinated, I just sit there awkwardly with a headache and some type of background music occasionally

  • It happen to me. A man pushed me into the sea in a chain all over me and i cannot do anything, im drowning and after that i woke up.

  • One time I saw a dark shadowy figure with long black sharp nails sitting right by my bedside swinging at me and every time it swung at me, it made the same sound as knives sharpening. My bedroom door was closed but I could see light coming from my living room and I tried calling out for my sister but all my screams sounded like whimpers. It was the most terrifying experience ever

  • I believe with all my heart and soul it's evil spirits. The first time I got paralyzed I seen what looked liked to be the grim reaper who roared like a lion. Then I had another one where it was like a vision I woke up in the dream in my car and seen a tornado then it went all black right before it hit then I seen all blue spinning like I was going through a portal. Another time I slept next to my mom because I was scared it would happen again and she gave me comfort. I dreamt in a dream and I dreamt I jumped off a bridge to kill myself and woke up and turned to my mom to tell her then all of a sudden she started yelling but then it got more muffled like when a grenade goes off in a movie but no boom or ringing noise and then here eyes stretched out wise and I sunk into the bed and woke up. Now I get paralyzed and whatever I think echos in my head or I see all red and even in some cases I hear screaming. When I think the name of Jesus it goes away seconds after.

  • Iv had this loads of times an when shouting for my dad i couldnt talk or even move bu felt wide awake, always thought it felt like been possessed or seen things in the room

  • I just had sleep paralysis. I heard a dog sneefing me... I have no pet!

  • No wonder why I was slowly moving..!

  • Same. Ive experienced this before :C SO CREEEEPY EEEEEEE

  • Why does not sleeping on your back help?

  • for me i just yell at the hallucinations and trash talk like its call of duty multiplayer

  • I get this paralyse every time i have a nightmare i cant move for 10 mins and i can nearly breath and i have so much horror illusions and i get scared (scared before paryse and after it XD)

  • Happens to me when I’m with my cousin.. it was scary the only thing I could do was scream

  • Why was it cool to get sleep paralysis got it for first time last night

  • I woke up in a dream I got a sleep paralysis and did not fear because I always get it

  • I get sleep paralysis ever 2 or 3 nights and i think i have found a way of getting out of it really quickly. Just really focus on wiggling your toes and when that happens your legs and then the rest of your body comes back to life 😀

  • Sometimes I fall into sleep paralysis seconds after closing my eyes. I’m so used to it I’m not scared of it anymore, I just don’t like it bc it’s so uncomfortable not being able to move

  • I was about 7 or 6 when this happened and I got scared that I couldn't open my eyes at all. It was 5 mins untill I could move any parts on my body... 😬

  • ive known how to handle sleep paralysis since the first time i had it & even though i can tell when im having it, my hallucinations still freak me out ://

  • This happends to me like 2-3 times a week

  • Lol I’m 11 and I had sleep paralysis I think. I woke up crying hysterically and sweating like a pig I was completely in shock I thought I was going to die

  • I've had sleep paralysis and it was fine

  • I had a bunch of sleep paralysis and in my case, I can have it laying on my back but also on side. I always have them in the morning. I never saw a demon but I almoust always heard familiar voices. Sometimes they are crying my name, sometimes they are talking to me. And once I felt that something was sitting on a chair cheering: kill! kill! kiLL! KILL!

  • Is anyone watching this because they literally just had sleep paralysis for the first time?

  • Then why are we dreaming

  • I saw Jesus Christ in Bikini during sleep paralysis

  • When I suffered from sleep paralysis for the 1st time, I thought what I was seeing was real, and I thought the reason I couldn't move was because I was terrified or in shock....but nope....it was a halucination. Thank goodness!

  • I have sleep paralysis almost every night

  • *Oh hey mark*

  • Just experienced it, I have had it for three nights in a row

  • Am 10 ooooh nooooo

  • this happened to me last nite :(

  • I had it yesterday 3 times...time after time...i cant believe only 8 percent of population had sleep paralysis and i had it 6 times in this month.

  • ur muscles turn off to not act out ur dreams which would be a lucid dream if so?

  • This has happened to me. I had a lucid dream, but I got scared so I ended up waking myself up somehow, but I couldn’t move. My brother was sleeping next to me and I was trying to get his attention by saying his name, but I couldn’t. Then I blinked and my brother wasn’t there and I could move again.

  • It was scary when it happened to me

  • I have never seen a nightmare

  • I already experienced Sleep Paralysis.And I didn't sleep whole nighg

  • bullshit comments probably the most lied about thing ever .. its not all scary so when people make it look like such just reinforces there bullshit . its clear when i read comments and watch videos .. i was 26 with aniexty disorder no doubt and on a mild anti depression ...

  • #dearblocko what if the black hole was bigger

  • I was alone in my dorm and i was sleeping, my room and the apartment was locked, but all the sudden something just broke into my room, i couldn't move or yell then all the sudden the black figure started to cuddle with me, i could feel him or her, i could even smell it and it was just cuddling with me, i was freaking out and all the sudden i could move and everything was normal...

  • I had sleep paralysis last night. It only lasted a few moments. Was still terrifying. The first experience I had, I was flat on my back and my eyes were open. I felt a hand grab my left wrist from under the bed. It scared the hell out of me.

  • Once I saw Lafayette being sliced with a super thin fencing sword by George Washington but Lafayette's inners were just cooked fish at the end of my hotel bed. (The same Laf and Washington from Hamilton)

  • I went home from school, I was tired all I wanted is to sleep, so I lay on the couch closed my eyes and for 10-15 sec I fell asleep then I had sleep paralysis. I can't move at all but I opened my eyes at first glimpse I saw light coming from my window, but then my eyes starts to shut down and so I panicked I called out my sister's name, I can hear my voice loud and clear but I realized I wasn't really speaking it was my mind thinking that I was speaking. I shouted my sister's name still not working. I was panicked, horrified thinking that I might die here. I couldn't do anything, i said to myself to calm down and relax. I was so calm that I could feel the heat ascending through my body then I forced myself so hard that I woke up confused of what has happened i was scared and my heart was pumping so hard. It was like I broke a spell by releasing all "the heat" which is my energy. I woke up thinking I was high hehe.

  • I came here from the start of a movie so I can learn about sleep paralysis (because I didn't know and the movie is about sleep paralysis) and wow, that seems so frightening.

  • I had some reeeeealy boring sleep paralysis, this was when i was about 10-11 i woke up at like 12:00 am and i couldent move or talk but one thing i could do was scream through my vocal chords so i did that and my sister who was in the bottom bunk got my dad who calmed me down i could move again after about 3 minutes and i did’nt see or hear anything weird. Soooo ye kinda boring but still awsome.

  • Sleep paralysis is really creepy... one time when I was 10 I woke up but couldn't move and a darkness started filling my room. I couldn't even scream. It was like living death basically..

  • I have never had sleep paralysis yet, I think I might like it, I like horror sometimes, sure I'd be a little scared but I might enjoy it

  • I am 20%

  • I had that 10 minutes ago and I search it up lol it's 2 am and I have school..........I wasn't sleeping I was trying yo sleep and it happed

  • Goshh i just experience sleep paralysis a seconds ago so I search if that was really sleep paralisis so heres mah story *In dream* First i was in a pool just having fun some seconds later i teleported at school and still i was having cause i was dancing with my friends and teacher and again i teleported in my house and that is were it all started in my house dream it was like just the same posistion i was doing before sleeping (sleeping facing my pillow) so i started getting bored so i tried waking up but it doesn't let me to so i started getting scared so i run to my mother in my dream and told her to slap me but when i said that i teleported back but that time i can' t see well cause my eyes were weak i put her hand in my chest and there was a mean woman outside our door laughing demonicly (She has short hair,she looks kind but my heart just said that she's mean cause of her demonic voice) but my dream was super annoying so it teleported me back to bed same posistion but this time it was super scary cause the woman i can hear her voice laughing demonicly and i tried moving my body but i can't (i can't see anything cause my face is at my pillow so thats why i can't see them) i tried shouting "Mommy" but i was just like rose in titanic screaming for help but can't shout so i prayed "dear God i'm feeling scared so please make me wake up" after praying finally i can move but just legs i tried screaming "Mo-mo mmm y" but it was just a whisper and i pray again but before that i have a feeling it was sleep paralisis "Dear God please even just this once please respond quickly i really need help please tell my mother in her mind too wake me up" after that i felt that i can speak and stand up so i stand but still in my dream but i felt someone touched me in real life so i tried waking up and magic im awake *end of dream* i saw my mother and hug her and cried i asked what was i doing she told me i was just sleeping i asked her if i was screaming she said no she also said that i was just like a normal sleeping person so i told her everything and told me i was having sleep paralisis so i would really like to thank God p.s. Thankfully i did not saw any demon and stuff just can move and scream and just hearing scary noices