Awaken But Unable to Move: Sleep Paralysis

A phenomenon experienced by many where one is awake but cannot move a muscle and sometimes feels an evil presence upon them.

It’s the middle of the night and you have just woken up in a cold sweat. You cannot move a muscle and feel an evil presence upon you coupled with the sense of impeding doom. You are completely aware of your surroundings but cannot move a muscle in your body, not even your mouth to utter a word. Panic sets in but there is nothing you can do about it, absolutely nothing. You cannot scream, blink, or lift a finger. This episode has lasted 3-5 minutes and you are back to normal again, left to sort out what just happened and wonder if it will happen again. What is this evil presence that you cannot see? What does it want from you? If you cannot see it, then how do you know it exists? Why can you not move or say anything? What you just experienced is sleep paralysis and it is experienced by many.


  • Inability to move the body or limbs at the onset of sleep or upon awakening
  • Episodes of complete skeletal paralysis
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic
  • Inability to speak or cry out
  • Disassociation of REM sleep


Typically during an episode of Sleep Paralysis, subjects have reported the feeling of an evil presence nearby. Some have indicated this presence as unseen, while others have seen a presence in the room with them; either way, the presence is typically said to be evil and malevolent. Other reports have indicated tremors, shaking, and seizing during Sleep Paralysis. Episodes can also include: acoustic hallucinations such as: ringing, voices, buzzing, and other noises. These episodes have also been known to produce disassociation and/or the feeling of floating (out of body experience) by some.

Medical Interpretation:

Doctors have found a correlation between people suffering from Narcolepsy and those that suffer from Sleep Paralysis. Because of this and other studies, some doctors have suggested the following as causes for sleep paralysis:

  • Irregular Sleeping Patterns (i.e. not going to sleep around the same time or not waking up around the same time everyday)
  • Increases in stress levels (i.e. sudden change in lifestyle or circumstances)
  • Sleeping in a supine position
  • Anxiety
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Fatigue
  • Jet Lag

Supernatural Interpretation:

Outside of the medical field, mystics, and others of supernatural beliefs, see Sleep Paralysis as an interruption of soul travel wherein the subject is awaken before the soul has a chance to get back into the body; this is considered to some to be astral projection. This school of thought states that the body becomes paralyzed because it is associating this experience with death and its normal function is to shut down all motor functions as apart of the dying process. Others in the arena of superstition believe that spirits attack us living beings during sleep because that is when we are most vulnerable. Some today even go as far as to say that episodes of Sleep Paralysis are actual alien abductions.

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  1. I have had sleep paralysis many times and it is terrifying. I have struggled so hard just to move a finer or whisper a word and it seems to take forever but once I can move a finger I come out of it. I would love to know why it happens but nobody realy knows.

  2. love the article, very interesting !

  3. Thanks for the comments!!! Yeah, I used to get this quite frequently and didn’t have a clue what it was. I haven’t had an episode in a couple of years but felt compeled to write about it because it is something I know and something I have done much research on. Im hoping I didnt just jinx myself and get an episode tonight because it is the most terrifying thing I ever had to deal with.

  4. Used to have this when I was (much) younger minus the evil presence part. Haven’t experienced it in years TG.

  5. Had this experience over and over for years intermittently.
    I have found that if I pray (usually the Lord’s Prayer) and patiently force myself to be calm and not fearful, I snap out of it pretty quickly.

    Good luck. Hope this helps someone else out there suffering with this problem. I very rarely have an episode now and I always reapply the same technique, if I do. I think you have to have faith in God for this to work though.

  6. Had this experience once, very scary. I do not believe the medical explanation. Not sure what it was.

  7. I have experienced this quite a few times. I have grown to actually get used to it and know how to snap out of it. I do believe that it is a spiritual experience, not necessesarily stating that it has to do with an evil spirit or a demon, but I think it can also be your own spirit trying to make you aware of a change that needs to be made in your life. I used to get these episodes alot when I used to drink and gamble completely out of controll. Because of my lifestyle of the constant drinking and the stress of gambling, this caused my blood pressure to be high. I feel like by me having these episodes, it warned me that I was harming myself. I then cut back on the drinking and gambling majorly and now my blood pressure is back down to normal. Also,since then I have not been experiencing the sleep paralysis. That is my story. But on the flip side, I do have a friend who has had an episode where, and he swears up and down, he has seen a demon. He states that the demon was a female who was trying to keep him asleep. He started mentally praying and the episode eventually ended. So either way around it, I do feel that these are spiritual episodes and we need to look within ourselves and figure if there is something that needs to be changed. Meditation is also great for the phisical body and spirit connection. GOOD LUCK!!

  8. I had an experience today that I am trying to make sense of. I had taken a little cat nap and had woken up, but was still laying there with my eyes closed. I was very relaxed. I felt like suddenly a very powerful sensation of pressure all over, even in my head…l think there was audio like a loud buzzing…couldn’ t move or open my eyes..saw a very bright red ball of light with my eyes closed, and struggled to come back. It felt like something just came out of the blue, or maybe i connected to something very powerful….i don’ t know. It didn’t feel like an evil presense, but still scared me because the feeling is so intense, and sudden. I remembered that something very similar happened to me when I was like 12.. now i’m almost 33, so a long time ago. Is this sleep paralyis, or some kind of non-physical connection?

  9. im in the military and me and my friend which was also my neighbor in the barracks had the same dream discriptively anyways and it was that we woke up and couldnt move or say anything while some presents walked up to us and was breathing on us. it was the most terrifying thing ever i dont remember opening my eyes when it was over i just remember trying to move and i could physically see something it was dark but someone was there, and when it left i had controll over my body as soon as my door shut i sprung up and out of my room freaking out then ticona came too my door moments later descibing the same thing i just experianced. so i beleive the presents was evil and i wanna know what it was.

  10. Ive had this happen to me many times over my 34 years and the last 2 times have been the most scary! In the past Ive always managed to somehow squeeze the words out “I demand you to leave me NOW” and for the most part its always gone away, but the last two times I couldn’t even talk and I remember trying so hard to scream out but all that kept coming out was moans. It was a very weird and scary experience! I don’t really know what to do about it and its something that I’ve lived with most of my life and is only getting worse over the years….. IDK

  11. Mine is the same as your Jennifer, but instead of Red, it was like something every bright and was going side to side. I had my eyes open and could not move a muscle. Finally I was able to move after struggling for a while. Very scary moment, I hope it doesn’t happen again hehe

  12. dis is a horrifying xperiencce..iv encountered dis experience many times during da past 1 kills me.just yesterday it happned wlie i tried to whole body seems dead at that feels as if im being lifted up from my body..its jst terrible..!!please help me

  13. Wow I’ve had almost the same thing for years and years I never knew there were so many others one thing I have to add is sometime IT tricks you into thinking you’re awake but you’re NOT and you have to start fighting again to move also I have had stranger situations when I how to put it. Was out of my body. Sounds crazy but I remember certain things like one time I “got up and looked out the window and it was raining and I saw my vehicle window open”. Well when I ACTUALLY got up. It WAS raining and the window was really open!!

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