I’ve been having little bouts of sleep paralysis lately. It’s been happening about twice a week for the past few weeks (touch wood it hasn’t happened this week) but it’s a bloody scary experience.
If you’ve never encountered it, it occurs just as you’re about to fall asleep, or in my case, after waking up. I’m not able to move any body part or speak. When I try and think about what I can liken it to, I just think of being held hostage by someone – bound and gagged to the bed – maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of 24!
It’s as if I’m fighting for control of my body but I’m useless against it. Even though I’m sort of aware that it’s my mind/body playing tricks it’s very scary. I sense something is in the room threatening me, but I’m helpless to do anything. I want to fight and shout out but I can’t. What if it gets me? I try and turn my body around and move my head to check behind me but I can’t.
It doesn’t last very long, mine have been maybe 10-20 seconds but it feels longer. Even when it’s over I feel very anxious, waiting for something bad to happen – it doesn’t of course, I just drift off to sleep again.
Doing some reading on the interweb some people who suffer with this also have vivid hallucinations when it happens. They see someone standing next to them, or something sitting on top of them. Imagine that? I’d have to wash some bed sheets the next day if that happened to me!
My sleeping patterns are all over the place and I feel very stressed lately so I know that’s why it’s happening, it doesn’t stop it being scary though. The worst one happened the other night, I had already woken up twice stuck to the bed and useless. Then, if that wasn’t enough, this last one felt as if someone was pushing on my chest. It wasn’t painful or anything, but I felt a push down into my chest twice – as if I was being given CPR. In Chinese culture, sleep paralysis literally translates into “ghost pressing on body”. Maybe the afterlife is calling for me.
“Come in Cynical, your time is up” !
And on that cheery note….
don’t have nightmares, do sleep well… 🙂