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
- 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.
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
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Jet Lag
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.