Imagine opening your eyes in the middle of the night, you’re not even able to move a finger. You feel terrified and tightness in your chest. You face difficulty in breathing and feel like someone is watching you or you see creepy shadows around you but cannot scream. It sounds like a horror movie scene, right? This is what living with Sleep Paralysis is like.
Before starting my story, here’s what you need to know about Sleep Paralysis.
You don’t have control over your body. Thus, it’s like waking up dead. You start hallucinating which can be spine-chilling because you start seeing things. Hallucinations can happen in different kinds. For some they see horror movie characters, some hear creepy noises or you could also feel someone touching you and for some, they start seeing a strange person in the room.
Sleep Paralysis is a totally normal mental phenomenon and it doesn’t possess serious effects on your health. What triggers Sleep Paralysis? This condition occurs when your body and brain don’t get in sync while you’re asleep. According to experts, 40% of people in the world experience sleep paralysis at least once in their lifetime. It can happen to anyone from a small kid to adults.
Sleep Paralysis happened to me very often when I turned 21. My first encounter was when I was 16. I was having a sleepover with my friends, everyone dozed off but I wasn’t feeling sleepy. So, I started watching YouTube videos on my phone. I was not scared to stay awake till midnight because my friends were in the same room. I went to bed at around 3:30 and I woke up by something but I wasn’t able to move, not even my mouth. I tried to call my friend but couldn’t. I don’t know how I went back to sleep. The next morning, I thought it was just a dream or my hallucinations. I told my Mom about it, she just said it was just a bad dream.
Months and years passed it didn’t happen to me again. A few years later, I left the house to work overseas. The first month was normal and everything was going fine. One night, I was very tired and was in urgent need of sleep. I took my blanket and slept. All of a sudden, in the middle of the night something felt different. It happened to me again, I was able to see everything around me but wasn’t able to move my body. I felt someone was sneaking at me from outside the window but I wasn’t able to see it properly. It was all blurry and I was struggling to get up. I couldn’t scream or call anyone. After a while, I somehow got up and ran into the roommates’ bedroom. I explained to her everything. She simply gave me the advice to pray before I go to sleep. But, it didn’t work out at all. I was scared since it was the second time this happened to me. I called my mom but she didn’t really believe me and in fact, told me this was happening because I don’t pray or go to the temple. Every night I was experiencing this and I was finding difficulty in having a pleasant sleep. I started having vivid hallucinations and it still scared me to date.
Months passed, sleep paralysis almost took over my whole body. It was stupid of me that I didn’t go to the doctor about my problem in the first place. I was getting used to it until it got worse. One night, I invited my boyfriend to my place. We fell asleep after drinking 2 glasses of wine. Suddenly I woke up to the noise of the banging window. I tried to wake up my boyfriend but couldn’t move at all. It was a loud noise yet my boyfriend wasn’t waking up. After 5 minutes of banging, I saw a strange man like a character from the Sinister movie ‘Boogie Man’, he was staring at me, his eyes were completely black. I was forced to watch that man because I wasn’t able to move. I kept telling myself, it is just hallucination. I was so scared that I peed on a bed. I started praying in my mind and in a split second that disturbing figure was gone. It was a relief.
But, my fear started to arise when I heard banging noise from my closet yet my boyfriend didn’t wake up. I was getting paranoid of zero body movement. I strained my eyes to look at the closet through the darkness. That’s when I felt these are my last breaths, I saw the same person standing near my closet. I could hear his every single breath, he just stood there staring at me. I prayed to get this over soon. As my bed was all wet since I peed on it my boyfriend woke up. He was looking at me in worry because my body was stiff and I was struggling to move. He started shaking me, that’s when I finally moved. That creepy man was there watching us, I pointed my finger at that man but my boyfriend couldn’t see him. He switched on the light still he said there was no one. Seconds later, that creepy figure went away. I started crying and told him everything. He realized it was Sleep Paralysis and he promised me to take me to the doctor first thing in the morning. The doctor said I was going through Sleep Paralysis and it was all due to my chronic stress from my childhood.
After consulting a doctor and taking sleeping medications, along with meditation and changing my daily schedule, I’m no more afraid of my Sleep Paralysis. But, I still have this fear inside me that the same man will come again to haunt me.
Have you experienced Sleep Paralysis or perhaps you know someone has let us know in the comments below.
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