Facebook Pixel

Sleep Paralysis: A Waking Nightmare

By HERWriter
Rate This
sleep paralysis Via Pexels, Edited by Jordan Haiber

Have you ever heard of sleep paralysis? It can be exactly as scary as it sounds. It happens when a person passes between the stages of being awake and sleeping and the result of this is feeling completely conscious but unable to move your body. The episodes of sleep paralysis vary in severity and they can happen to anyone. Some people never experience them where others struggle with them frequently. However, it is more common for those who suffer from some degree of sleeping problems to experience them. People who experience sleep paralysis on a severe level recall hallucinating, hearing voices, and even associate it with encountering sorts of paranormal activity.

I myself have had my fair share of experiences with sleep paralysis and it is unlike any nightmare I could describe. They were at their worst when I was in high school. I would be lying awake in bed and out of nowhere feel extremely tired. Suddenly, I would feel and become wide awake but unable to move my body. It was as if there was a heavy weight pushing me down and every time I would open my mouth to scream I was unable to make even the slightest sound. I would attempt to jerk and thrash my body as much as I could to try and snap out of it, but some episodes seemed like they lasted an eternity as I stayed glued to my bed in a nightmarish state. During the most intense episodes I would hear voices and hallucinate to the point where I felt a dark presence with me. It was like being awake during the scariest nightmare you could possibly imagine.

During these sleep paralysis episodes, I genuinely thought something was wrong with me. I started to jot down what would happen during these episodes in a journal after they occurred and began to contemplate seeing a therapist. I had no idea what sleep paralysis was at this time and really did not know what to do. I was scared to go to sleep at night because I knew that there was a huge chance a terrifying episode would soon take hold of me. Luckily, I met a friend who I felt I could open up to about what was happening to me. Even luckier enough, she was experiencing the same exact thing. I couldn’t believe it. We decided to search everything we’ve been experiencing on the Internet, and low and behold we stumbled across the dreaded phrase ‘sleep paralysis.’ The relief I felt was indescribable. I wasn’t alone dealing with this horrifying experience and fortunately, for some reason, when I started to read more and more about sleep paralysis the episodes would slowly dwindle away until I was rarely experiencing them.

I still occasionally experience unnerving episodes of sleep paralysis, but it is a lot less scarier now that I know what is going on. If this sounds like something you are experiencing, I urge you to do your research so you can understand exactly what you’re going through. Understand that this is something extremely common and it is in short a mishap occurring in our complex sleep systems.

Editing Note: This article did not filter through the normal EmpowHER editing and fact checking process. It was checked for spelling and grammar.

Read more in Being HER

Being HER

What It's Like to Be on Your Period When You're Homeless

What It's Like to Be Homeless and on Your Period

What I Had to Unlearn as a Girl

6 Toxic Traditions I've Had to Unlearn as a Girl

How to Handle Situations With a Bad Roommate

How to Handle Bad Roommate Situations

Stress About the Election Is a Real Thing

Election Stress Is a Real Thing

All in Being HER

Add a Comment1 Comments

While I never had any sleep paralysis bouts earlier, in my peri menopause I knew well what they were. I would lapse into stupor during day time ( also had narcolepsy that I could not resist) then while waking up, my eyes would be open and I would be unable to speak or move- just watch with my eyes, needing around 15 minutes to resume moving capability. I do understand that because my brain was severely affected at my estrogen depletion- as I had seizures and gasping daily. I did not have any hallucinations or hear voices. This is in concordance with the benefit gained from antidepressant use, as at menopause serotonin is affected by estrogen depletion!
Currently, after 13 years already of hot flashes consummation( on no treatment whatsoever), this is not happening anymore, and the seizures and gasping concomitantly markedly ameliorated, pointing to brain hormones correction.
Maria Jasmine Freeman, published author.

July 24, 2016 - 1:00am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.