Sleep Paralysis – A Plea for Help



Today is less of a helpful improvement suggestion than a request for improvement suggestions. Yes, you can tell I’m tired today!

I have started to suffer from sleep paralysis. It first happened about seven years ago and then popped up every so often, but now it’s happening at least twice a month. I have been on the NHS website and there is no medical solution which is upsetting, but there are suggestions in there from other sufferers which I’ve been trying.

Basically, sleep paralysis involves being awake but unable to move, often accompanied by hallucinations.  My hallucinations are always that I am waking up from a dream. I think that I’m awake and then I realise I’m not and I try and wake myself up. This seems to work but then I realise I am still asleep. This happens any number of times until I eventually succeed in waking myself up. It sounds very run of the mill written like that, but it is really very frightening. I feel like I am trapped in the dream, like Eri Asai in After Dark, and I will never get out. The first time it happened I was dreaming that there was rustling going on behind my bed and the lights and television were turning on and off poltergeist style. That definitely wasn’t a dream I wanted to be trapped in.

Last night it happened and I actually remembered a piece of advice I saw which sounded like rubbish but I thought I should try. The theory is that if you realise you are hallucinating then you can change the hallucination to suit yourself. I did try to do that, mainly just trying to calm myself down, but unfortunately I ended up thinking I had fallen off the bed and was choking on my hair. Guess trying to control the hallucinations doesn’t really work for me!

It’s starting to become quite scary, especially when I am preparing to go to bed. Has anyone experienced this and do you have any suggestions? Please???


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2 Responses »

  1. That sounds very unpleasant for you.

    I have not experienced sleep hallucinations before, although I have the never-ending trying to wake up from a dream and still realising I’m asleep dream.

    I’ve also had not being able to sleep or stay asleep issues at different times (all stress related).

    During those periods I try to keep a very strict bedtime routine that involves lots of soothing elements. No technology after dinner but quiet music instead or a really boring TV show, a warm shower or bath, a chamomile tea after dinner, reading time, lavender oil on my pillow, clean sheets, pyjama’s & bedroom & a gentle flow of fresh air if possible.

    After one bad patch I also spent the weekend completely rearranging my bedroom. I read some books on feng shui and moved my bed, bought a dream catcher and a gentle wind chime. I also changed my doona cover to be a more restful colour!

    I also try to get really physically tired. I do some heavy gardening, go for longer swims, walks or bike rides, anything to exhaust my body.

    But I finally had long term successful when I removed the major stress factor from my life – everything cleared up!

    Good luck.


    • That all sounds really good. I will be rearranging the bedroom shortly, although mainly because my boyfriend wants to bring a television in which may not help. It is my only sleeping issue because I am an incredibly deep sleeper – I have even missed earthquakes in the past! Things have been more stressful recently (new career, argh!) so perhaps it will clear up when that settles down. In a way I hope not though, I seem to have so many stress triggers that I’ll end up just a gibbering mess every time something happens!!


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