Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Sleep Paralysis: Wide Awake and Dreaming
MSN Health & Fitness ^ | Not Specified | Dr. Rob

Posted on 06/07/2007 11:22:38 PM PDT by gpapa

Q: What causes sleep paralysis? Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I can’t move or speak. It feels like someone is holding me down. Finally I just go back to sleep.

A: Sleep paralysis is caused by a timing delay between our brain and body. It leads to an awareness of being awake, yet is accompanied by a frightening inability to move our arms or legs, utter a single word or cry out for help. It may be accompanied by unexplained sights and sounds, or even a feeling that someone else is in the room. Needless to say, it is a frightening condition that gets one’s attention.

(Excerpt) Read more at health.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: dreaming; elections; health; sleepparalysis
Senate democrats and rinos perhaps?
1 posted on 06/07/2007 11:22:42 PM PDT by gpapa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: gpapa

In Ted Kennedy’s case, it’s just another night of Chivas Regal-induced anesthesia.


2 posted on 06/07/2007 11:36:45 PM PDT by mkjessup (Jan 20, 2009 - "We Don't Know. Where Rudy Went. Just Glad He's Not. The President. Burma Shave.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gpapa

Could it be .... SATAN?


3 posted on 06/07/2007 11:37:55 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gpapa
sounds like something you would hear on the George Noory radio show.
4 posted on 06/07/2007 11:52:06 PM PDT by antiunion person (Freedom of speech as long as it's liberal speech)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gpapa

I have this happen from time to time. It really, really sucks. One thing the guy doesnt mention is the fear that you might stop breathing before you regain muscular control.


5 posted on 06/08/2007 12:05:11 AM PDT by Dreagon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dreagon

Hope your candor doesn’t make you the target for cheap shots and the customary silliness from the resident comedians. Having had only one such experience relatively late in my long life, I found three factors to be profoundly disconcerting:

1. My conviction that another sentient being was unaccountably present with me in the room where I had slept alone...

2. ...that somehow this entity’s position recumbent across my knees was responsible for my incapacitition, and...

3. ...a very clear sense that this presence was evil...

I subsequently learned that long before the psychological materialists had proposed their own unprovable explanations for the phenomenon, it had borne a name that resonates with me: “The old hag.”

How the hell did Hillary get into my bedroom?


6 posted on 06/08/2007 12:48:16 AM PDT by earglasses (SL)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: gpapa

I had something like this happen to me once. It was like half of my brain was still asleep. The left side of my body could move, but what I was seeing with my left eye wasn’t real. I remember looking down the bed toward my feet and trying to lift my left arm. I could feel it moving, but the arm I was seeing wasn’t moving. When the hand finally got in front of my right eye, it suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Needless to say, I was WIDE awake at that point!


7 posted on 06/08/2007 12:59:21 AM PDT by Redcloak (The 2nd Amendment isn't about sporting goods.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gpapa; Lijahsbubbe; aculeus
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I can’t move or speak. It feels like someone is holding me down...

Lie down with demoncrats, wake up bound, gagged, and in shackles.

8 posted on 06/08/2007 1:12:52 AM PDT by Thinkin' Gal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dreagon

Which, absent a health problem, is no likelier to happen than that you would stop breathing when you are fast asleep.


9 posted on 06/08/2007 1:18:00 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: gpapa
From another post:
CHRISTIAN EXPERTS SAY UFO 'ABDUCTIONS' ARE HORROR OF FALLEN ANGELS

Ha ha ha ha ha. I've got a better explanation that either alien abductions or fallen angels. Note that many of these abduction tales have these common features:

1. The person awakens at night in his bedroom.
2. He is paralyzed.
3. He is borne along paralyzed somewhere in the night.
4. When he arrives it is to a brightly lighted room filled with strange objects and weird-looking genderless bald creatures that appear to be mostly big eyes.
5. They do medical things to him, painful things, that he is powerless to resist, often involving sharp pains to the abdomen and/or to the genitals.
6. He is eventually returned to his bed.

Another interesting tidbit is that, at least at the time I read it several years ago, among supposed abductees there were none that were born by Caesarian. All were vaginal deliveries. My explanation for alien abduction stories is that they are a combination of two things: 1. the mind awakening while the body is still in the paralyzed state characteristic of certain parts of the sleep cycle, and 2. a heavily-processed memory of one's earliest traumatic experience--being born. The experience was, for some, so striking that memories were formed, but merely as sensory images with virtually no intellectual context since the infant had not yet developed a sophisticated means of explaining his world to himself, and accompanied by feelings of pain (which is hardwired) and fear (which depends only on a sudden unexpected change of environment especially when accompanied by pain) which are known to be effective agents for imprinting sensory memory. The processing comes in later when the sensory memory for some reason returns through a dream and is reinterpreted in terms of whatever cultural icons the individual feels are relevant: alien abduction, demon possession, succubi, etc.. Given that neither of these two conditions is extremely common, the chances that both would occur together are even more greatly reduced. It may even be that the experience of sleep paralysis triggers the birth memory. Or it may be that both the ability to consciously experience sleep paralysis as well as to re-experience the gross sensory images of one's own birth are characteristic of a small subset of the population such as those who are prone to narcolepsy--awareness of sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucination is common among narcoleptics.*

At any rate, up until a relatively short while ago, infants were considered to be more or less unfinished in cerebral development when born and, therefore, assumed to be incapable of intellectual processes or even devoid of the ability to remember pain. This is now known to be false. It is known that infants from birth try to manipulate their environment and can, even before birth, distinguish between their mother's voice and that of others. They are not, as far as their nervous system and intellectual processing goes, inert lumps. So, look at these characteristics again in terms of this explanation:

1. The person awakens at night in his bedroom.

The dark bedroom is both his own dark bedroom as well as the womb, both places that are most often taken to be restful, safe, and pleasurable.

2. He is paralyzed.

He is both consciously experiencing sleep paralysis as well as the memory of his constricted movement in the womb.

3. He is borne along paralyzed somewhere in the night.

He is being forced through the birth canal. And perhaps it is this trauma bridging the two locations of pre and post birth that serves to result in a lasting neural imprint of the sensory input. It would be interesting to see if there is a greater number of 'abductees' who were born to mothers undergoing 'natural' childbirth without drugs for pain and in hospital than to those who were heavily sedated (which can affect the unborn infant as well).

4. When he arrives it is to a brightly lighted room filled with strange objects and weird-looking genderless bald creatures that appear to be mostly big eyes.

He comes into a brightly lighted and noisy delivery room. He sees brightly lighted objects. He sees people moving around. Both the doctors and nurses are clothed pretty much the same, gender-revealing features being obscured by masks, gowns, and caps. Just about the only facial features easily seen, and therefore made all the more prominent, are the eyes.

5. They do medical things to him, painful things, that he is powerless to resist.

Medical procedures are done to him: his umbilical cord is severed. He may have blood drawn. He is given a series of reflex tests. If he's a boy, he is often circumcised. He can do nothing to stop it.

6. He is eventually returned to his bed.

After all the light, noise, and pain, he is bundled up and placed in a relatively quiet nursery and in an unmoving, still bed--quite unlike the warm and gurgling place the womb was. Into a bed, in fact, quite like the one he is experiencing in his conscious state of sleep paralysis. He falls back asleep and eventually wakens. If he remembers anything at all, it is recast in terms of his current beliefs and imagery.


Given this scenario, we would expect to find abduction stories most often among those who were born in hospitals under conditions of light or no sedation (or at least given to the mother late enough in the delivery to miminally impact the infant) and who also, perhaps, are narcoleptic and during a time in history and in countries in which there is a cultural mythology about aliens and abductions.

And it's interesting to note that a lot of these abduction stories are not spontaneous recollections but are elicited through hypnosis, a state in which a person can become hyper-aware of memories** as well as very open to suggestion. If the operator or the subject (but especially if both) has already assumed that such abductions are real, then it is all the more likely that any such remnant memory of birth would be reinterpreted according to the imagery of abduction stories known to either or both.


*Several other symptoms commonly occur with narcolepsy:

Sleep attacks (short, irresistible episodes of sleep during the day).

Sleep paralysis (the inability to move while going to sleep or waking up).

Hypnagogic hallucinations (intense visual or auditory experiences at the beginning or end of a sleep period that are hard to distinguish from reality and are sometimes terrifying).

Disturbed nighttime sleep (tossing and turning in bed, leg jerking, nightmares, and frequent awakenings).

**The recall of memory under hypnosis appears to be more like that caused during brain surgery in which memories are triggered in an almost holographic recall instead of as an intellectual Cliff's note summary of the memory which is more typical of waking recollection.


10 posted on 06/08/2007 1:39:59 AM PDT by aruanan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gpapa
W are paralyzed when we sleep to avoid us from harming ourselves in our dreams. What no one understands is why this protective mechanism fails to protect people who sleepwalk.
11 posted on 06/08/2007 1:41:39 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck
Which, absent a health problem, is no likelier to happen than that you would stop breathing when you are fast asleep.

Sadly, "Sleep Apnea" is a common health concern where the individual does stop breathing while they are sleeping. I use an APAP machine myself. Grandfather had it, father had it as do I. Not a pleasant sensation, I assure you. I'm the first one in my family to have it properly diagnosed and treated.

12 posted on 06/08/2007 1:45:04 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: earglasses
LOL! Good one!

Interesting. Actually there has been a great deal of discussion of this phenomena as a function of "Demonic possession". Particularly the part about "someone in the room".

Sensations such as :

* Onset immediately upon awakening or just prior to falling asleep.

* Inability to speak or utter a sound until your whole body “wakes up”.

* In spite of being conscious, you cannot move your arms or legs for a brief period upon awakening or just prior to falling asleep.

* Unexplained fear.

* Visual or auditory hallucinations that may be accompanied by unexplained smells.

* Sensing an unexplained “presence” in the room.

* More common during times of stress.

* A “floating” sensation.

* A pressure feeling on your chest (this should be reported to your personal physician).

Have all been associated with "possession".

I had an experience probably close to the age of 21. On waking I was at about a 30' angle where my legs were both off of the bed to the side. Straight out. I couldn't move though and every thought in my mind was to thrash wildly. I came to full conciousness when I hit the floor. I think I rolled off the bed. I'm getting goosebumps thinking about it, it really scared me. It has never happened since.

I have no problem associating this to something other than a "sleep condition". Anyone who goes through it may have a similar feeling.

13 posted on 06/08/2007 1:52:53 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: aruanan

It’s certainly an empirical question that research could address, but no physical reason is yet understood for the fetus or baby to be able to image its surroundings that well. A memory of surgery later in life might comport better with this, where the anesthetic is augmented with amnesic drugs such as Versed.


14 posted on 06/08/2007 1:55:23 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Redcloak

I’ve had this happen repeatedly since my teenage years. The farther I’ve gotten from that era of my life, the fewer times it has happened. I finally found that the best way to deal with it is just to consign myself to the hands of God and let it go. The feeling of a frenetic, tickly bubbling in the center of my brain increases to a point that feels almost intolerable and then ceases. When I was younger, that bubbling was accompanied by an increasing feeling of terror and strange oscillating sounds. But once I found that the best way was just to abandon myself to it, it’s not been a problem.


15 posted on 06/08/2007 1:57:03 AM PDT by aruanan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Caipirabob

Inasmuch as a spiritual cause may be involved, prayer to God at bedtime against these specific things (along with whatever else is prayed for) might prove helpful. One of the major tenets of Christianity in particular is that you don’t have to just sit there and take it from the demon world, or cower or run scared when you encounter it, but that rather you have a greater Power of good to call upon.


16 posted on 06/08/2007 2:02:22 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck
It’s certainly an empirical question that research could address, but no physical reason is yet understood for the fetus or baby to be able to image its surroundings that well

It doesn't have to be "that well". Besides, research has indicated that babies and fetuses are much more aware of their surroundings than previously believed. Babies are born already recognizing and distinguishing between the voices of their parents, not that they think of them as "parents".
17 posted on 06/08/2007 2:03:05 AM PDT by aruanan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: aruanan

The “traveling towards a light in a tunnel” doesn’t make a lot of sense as a birth memory in the context of the usual headfirst delivery. The baby’s eyes, which are closed anyhow, are pressed against the side of the vaginal canal and blocked from light. A breech baby might see something like that.


18 posted on 06/08/2007 2:08:57 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck
Well said! Agreed.
19 posted on 06/08/2007 2:12:14 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Thinkin' Gal

The dems are giving that for free? That’s usually $400/hr!


20 posted on 06/08/2007 5:08:55 AM PDT by skepsel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: patton
Wide Awake and Dreaming

daydreaming? ;)
21 posted on 06/08/2007 5:31:27 AM PDT by leda (19yrs ... only 4,981yrs to go ;))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aruanan
Interesting theory. I read years ago a similar theory for the near death experiences.

The doctor said that the near death experience - going through a tunnel, coming out at the end with bright light and people waiting for them was a simple re-living of the birth experience. The tunnel = the birth canal, the bright light = the delivery room, the people waiting = doctor and nurses.

I hope the doctor is wrong.

22 posted on 06/08/2007 5:39:09 AM PDT by Tokra (I think I'll retire to Bedlam.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck
The “traveling towards a light in a tunnel” doesn’t make a lot of sense as a birth memory in the context of the usual headfirst delivery. The baby’s eyes, which are closed anyhow, are pressed against the side of the vaginal canal and blocked from light. A breech baby might see something like that.

You don't have to see the walls of the tunnel to have the sensation of traveling through it. Climb on a childrens slide and slide down with your eyes closed - you still know you are travelling even though you can't see it. Same thing with the baby - he doesn't have to see the walls of the birth canal to sense the movement.

23 posted on 06/08/2007 5:43:31 AM PDT by Tokra (I think I'll retire to Bedlam.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Dreagon

Me too, and it is rather panic-inducing when it happens. You’re awake, but still experiencing or remembering something that makes you want to move, but you can’t. Not pleasant at all. Never happened to me until the last few years, and only a few times since then.


24 posted on 06/08/2007 6:08:41 AM PDT by -YYZ- ("My Rocinante" sailed by night on her final flight...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck
The “traveling towards a light in a tunnel” doesn’t make a lot of sense as a birth memory in the context of the usual headfirst delivery. The baby’s eyes, which are closed anyhow, are pressed against the side of the vaginal canal and blocked from light.

Sure, it does. You're in a dark, constricted place undergoing the most trauma you've ever experienced followed by the most brilliant light you've ever seen. It's the later interpretation of a concrete experience that dresses it up as a tunnel or in whatever happens to be the current imagery (now alien abduction versus earlier succubus or demon theory).
25 posted on 06/08/2007 7:16:48 AM PDT by aruanan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: earglasses

It happens to me occasionally, and it’s almost the opposite of sleep walking,which I also suffered when I was a child.

I’ll partly wake up, I can’t move, and I think there’s someone in the room. Sometimes the paralysis leaves, and I’ve thrown pillows at the “person” in the room before, before my brain’s cognitive part wakes up to rational thought.

Hopefully if there ever REALLY is an intruder, I’ll do something more useful than throw pillows. But this is one reason I’ll never keep a loaded gun around :-)


26 posted on 06/08/2007 7:56:35 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: antiunion person

It’s a real phenomonon, believe it or not. Happens to me on occasion. Was a little scary at first, but once you know what’s goin’ on, it’s no big deal.


27 posted on 06/08/2007 7:58:30 AM PDT by LIConFem (Thompson 2008. Lifetime ACU Rating: 86 -- Hunter 2008 (VP) Lifetime ACU Rating: 92)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: aruanan
I’ve had this happen repeatedly since my teenage years. The farther I’ve gotten from that era of my life, the fewer times it has happened. I finally found that the best way to deal with it is just to consign myself to the hands of God and let it go. The feeling of a frenetic, tickly bubbling in the center of my brain increases to a point that feels almost intolerable and then ceases. When I was younger, that bubbling was accompanied by an increasing feeling of terror and strange oscillating sounds. But once I found that the best way was just to abandon myself to it, it’s not been a problem.

I've had some similar things happen too. There's not much else you can do other than to be patient and wait until it stops; or as happened to me one morning, wait until someone else gets annoyed enough at the alarm clock to come in and wake you up.

That was another strange one. I dreamed that my alarm clock went off, but the snooze button wouldn't work. I'd had dreams like it before where I destroyed the clock trying to get the stupid thing to stop screaming. This time, I realized that it was a dream. Normally, merely saying the words "wake up" in a dream will wake me up. Not this time. I tried several times, but nothing worked. Finally, I decided to get up (in the dream, of course), go into the den, turn on the TV, and wait for someone to wake me up. After a few minutes, my dad came in and woke me up. (This dream, BTW, was the one where I realized that I dream in color rather than black-and-white. There was a bowl of Cheetos in the den and they were distinctly orange.)

At other times, I've had the odd noises. Mine didn't oscillate; it was more like a sudden, very loud crescendo. (The best way to describe it is like a very loud, sudden sound being played backwards.) These happened more often when I was just about to fall asleep. You can imagine how annoying this could be after the fifth or sixth time you've almost gotten to sleep.

And now that I think about it, I remember other dreams when I was little where part of my room looked real, but other parts were clearly a dream. All of these half-waking dreams have fallen off in frequency as I've gotten older. The Attack of the Phantom Arm was over ten years ago. 

28 posted on 06/08/2007 9:14:39 AM PDT by Redcloak (The 2nd Amendment isn't about sporting goods.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: aruanan
I always wondered if it was related to kids being ill when thy were very small, and the parents having to go in and check their temp at all hours of the night.

Both of my kids had a nasty virus a couple of years ago (they were one and three), and waking them up to take their temps was disconcerting to them, to say the least. Imagine -- you're asleep, in your warm bed and it's dark -- until someone turns on the overhead light and jams a thermometer in your rump! Traumatic, indeed.

29 posted on 06/08/2007 9:24:27 AM PDT by Malacoda (A day without a pi$$ed-off muslim is like a day without sunshine.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: LIConFem
I used to have dreams that always seem to end with me falling off the top of a large building. I'd scream all the way down, but I couldn't hear myself screaming.

Of course, the dream always ended before I hit the ground!
30 posted on 06/08/2007 9:34:28 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (I'm Fred, White and Blue!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: leda

It is pretty wierd, when you are asleep, and someone sits on the edge of the bed.

Waking, you look, and there is no one there. But you can still feel the depression on that side of the bed, the covers pulling, like someone is sitting there.

I usually just roll over and cuddle with you.

Or the dog, whoever is handy.

;)


31 posted on 06/08/2007 9:52:30 AM PDT by patton (19yrs ... only 4,981yrs to go ;))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: patton

stop creeping me out, man. lol!


32 posted on 06/08/2007 11:11:37 AM PDT by leda (19yrs ... only 4,981yrs to go ;))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Dreagon
you might stop breathing

Fortunately that is an autonomous function. As for the rest, try to move a voluntary muscle, even just take a deep breath, and you will wake up and the rest will come online right away.

33 posted on 06/08/2007 11:15:27 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: earglasses
How the hell did Hillary get into my bedroom?

Good one!

Seriously, I had this happen to me about a half dozen times when I was somewhere between 7 and 12 years old. It scared the **** out of me, because I was convinced that there was an evil, vaguely female presence with sharp nails or claws holding me down and breathing heavily and warmly on my neck in the darkness of my bedroom. I imagined it almost exactly as an "old hag", a recollection which shocked me only last year when I read a clinical description of this phenomenon for the very first time.

As a child, I recall that I could neither move nor cry out, but I did learn that I could "escape" by trying to wiggle my fingers, which apparently caused me to start waking up.

Since those episodes many years ago, I have occasionally awakened into a state of sleep paralysis, and have remembered to try wiggling my finger(s), and I have quickly awakened each time.

34 posted on 06/08/2007 11:30:34 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: aruanan

These illusions do not tend to be “pop from darkness into light” or “it’s getting brighter and brighter.” A growing bright spot is seen in a dark surrounds. “Near death” visions also share this characteristic. You resort to much hand waving to try to explain how this could happen during birth with closed eyes.


35 posted on 06/08/2007 7:10:32 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Tokra

Well, Jesus said “You must be born again” for a reason you think? “Must” here is not meant in the sense of inevitability but rather in the sense of a responsibility or a prerequisite for reaching a goal.


36 posted on 06/08/2007 7:19:35 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson