Tag Archives: Rapid eye movement behavior disorder

Sleep Paralysis

4 Nov

I mentioned in my About Me Page that I sometimes suffer from sleep paralysis. A lot of you may have heard of it.

To someone who has never experienced it, it is hard to explain just how scary it is.

Looking back, I can figure out that the first time it happened was when I was about 12. I felt something heavy which seemed to be moving across my chest. I didn’t feel too scared that time, because my mind told me it must be our cat. It was only in the morning that I realised the cat had been out all night. I told my parents about it and they just passed it off as a nightmare. Maybe they had never heard of such a thing themselves.

It didn’t happen to me again for many years. I was in my thirties in fact. This time I knew it wasn’t just a bad dream. I got the feeling that there was a presence in the room, although I couldn’t see it clearly. I tried to move but I couldn’t. I tried to shout out but I couldn’t. It only lasted for about a minute, if that,  but it seemed like a lifetime. Whilst it was happening, it was so, so scary.

I have read lots about what causes it. Knowing it happens to others and that there is nothing wrong with my mental state does not make the episodes any less scary. I thought I would be able to control my fear knowing the facts but it doesn’t work that way.

I can go for long periods without having an episode (sometimes a year or more), then maybe have a few within the space of a few weeks.

There are explanations for it, such as stress, lack of sleep or disturbed sleep patterns, although I have had episodes when not of these triggers seem to apply. Or maybe I just don’t realise and my brain is telling me otherwise.

Lots more about sleep paralysis in the links below.

Sleep Paralysis Wikipedia 

NHS on sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis in the Guardian

Sleep paralysis on Wired Science

I’m not taking this one too seriously….

A rather outrageous view of sleep paralysis here.

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