Today I am going to be discussing my experience with sleep paralysis. This is not a pleasant post and will probably sound quite disturbing to some, but I wanted to share so others who may have experienced it as well will be able to relate.
First of all, let’s define sleep paralysis. Quite simply, it’s the feeling of being conscious but you are unable to move or speak. It occurs when a person passes between the stages of wakefulness and sleep. It usually only lasts a few minutes but in that short amount of time, the person can feel trapped, like they are choking or witness paranormal entities around them. Yes, some do believe that evil spirits are drawn to a person experiencing sleep paralysis and will use that opportunity to torment them. If you Google scary sleep paralysis stories (do so at your own risk) you may be alarmed by what you read.
Sleep paralysis is typically caused by sleep deprivation or interrupted rest, so it’s no wonder it began happening more frequently in my final trimester of pregnancy and now as a new mother who is used to waking up in the night. However, I do remember specific instances in my lifetime of sleep paralysis that were truly terrifying, so if you’re curious, read on!
1. The Unbearable Stomach Pain
I hate this one and unfortunately for me, it’s recurring. I will experience this particular type of sleep paralysis a couple of times a year and every single time I do, I am in agony. So what happens is, I’ll wake up (unable to move or speak) and a random person will be sitting beside my bed (either I recognise them or I don’t) and without a word, they will press their hands on my stomach and push until I’m silently screaming in pain. I feel every bit of it. They keep pushing until somehow I’m able to wake myself up fully. I always grab my stomach upon waking and it feels fine, but when I’m in the state of sleep paralysis, it is excruciating. I don’t know why this one keeps happening. It could possibly be related to past trauma but I’m unsure. Either way, it’s awful.
2. The Shadowy Smooth Talker
This one is odd but not entirely unpleasant. It’s only happened once. I woke up paralysed around 4am one morning whilst my room was still dark and there was a man sitting at the end of my bed in the shadows. He began to smooth talk me with his words. I couldn’t move or speak and I cannot remember what he said, but before he left, he kissed me and disappeared. The kiss felt like hot wind blowing around my face. It was so strange!
3. The Soul-Sucking Demon
Not a fan of this one! It happened in my third trimester of pregnancy when I was getting up every hour to pee. Towards the morning, I woke to see a demon hovering over my bed. Just like in Harry Potter, it resembled a Dementor. It opened its mouth wide and screamed, trying to suck my soul out. Its face was mere inches from mine and the bed was shaking violently. I was convinced Francis would feel it and help me out, but of course it wasn’t real. Much like the previous story, I felt hot wind on my face from close proximity to the demon.
4. The Crying Baby
You have probably heard phantom baby cries at all hours of the day if you’re a parent, but when it transfers to sleep paralysis, it’s actually traumatic. I have woken up a few times to Abigail screaming; unable to move and attend to her. The good news is, when I am able to properly wake, she’s actually asleep. The one I had recently involved a demonic clown toy trying to attack me as I tried to wriggle away and get to Abi. Horrifying! I feel like this was the cruelest of all the dreams because it involved my child.
There’s no real reason why sleep paralysis can be so terrifying. Perhaps the inability to move induces fear which causes nightmare-type scenes to play out. For those that are still confused by this phenomenon, please understand this is not a nightmare. When you’re having a nightmare, you’re asleep. Sleep paralysis happens when you are awake and conscious. Your brain and body have not yet synched up. You cannot move any muscles which denies you the ability to act out the dream.
Let me know if you have ever experienced this and what your stories are down below. I find this whole topic fascinating. I’m not sure how to ‘cure’ it but I’m certain once my sleep cycles return to normal it will be less frequent. I hope!
Thank you for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo