Thursday, 3 May 2012

Terrifying experience

Last night the most terrifying thing happened to me and I woke up this morning feeling totally confused and scared.
In the night I awoke with a start because I thought I could hear H in our room, which was weird on it’s own because he never gets out of bed on his own in the night. I then went to sit up to have a look and realised that I was completely paralised! I literally couldn’t move any of my body, not even lift my head of of the pillow.
I completley freaked out and then I got confused because I thought I might still be asleep and was having one of those Lucid dreams where you can control what goes on in your dream.
I could still hear the noise in our room that I thought was H, still unable to move and then I freaked myself out even more by thinking that it was a ghost or spirit. Our new house is very old so this idea plays on my mind quite a bit.

Light painting

Image by Mark Strozier

The last thing I remember was laying there, still paralised, and trying to convince myself that I was just dreaming and made myself go back to sleep.
The next thing I knew it was morning and I woke up really shaken up and freaked out! I told the other half about it straight away and he said that he remembered reading something about that kind of thing on the internet. I looked it up and apparently it’s called ‘Sleep Paralysis’.

‘A person may wake up and find themselves unable to move or speak as if they are frozen. He also may hear footsteps, see a ghost like creature or feel someone sitting on his chest.Throughout the history, people considered this phenomenon as work done by evil spirits. However, the modern science can explain the terrifying event as a Sleep Paralysis.’
‘A sleep paralyisis is possible a hereditary disorder in which one experiences very frightening seconds or minutes of total body paralysis. A victim in this state feels awake but he cannot move or speak. Common symptoms include feeling choked or suffocated, hearing strange noises like footsteps and voices, seeing beings or dark shadows and feeling an existance of someone in the room. ‘
‘When a person sleeps, his brain sends signals to inhibit any muscle contraction. If he comes into consciousness before the brain sends signals to activate muscle contraction, he cannot move his body and consequently becomes paralyzed.’
‘How an episode of sleep paralisis induces visual or auditory hallucinations is still not clear but it seems to have a significant relationship with anxiety.’

I don’t really know what happened last night but one thing I know for sure is that I never ever want it to happen again and the stupid thing is that I’m now worried about going to sleep tonight.
It does, however, show you just how powerful the human mind really is.

Annotated Sagittal T1 Midline MRI Scan of Reigh's Brain

Image by reighleblanc


  1. Scans of neural activity in the brain show that REM sleep produces activity that looks a lot like plain old consciousness. One of the few ways dreaming is different from consciousness is that we are not really aware of what is happening in the real world. If the dreaming mind was allowed to make it's body respond to the dream, that would be dangerous for it's owner in the real world. So this ability to control the body is suppressed, inhibited, turned off, paralyzed...

    This almost always happens when we dream - almost. Sleepwalking is an example of when we sleep but can move around. Sleep paralysis is an example of when we wake up but can't move. True, it can run in families and it can also indicate certain unlikely-to-actually-have sleep disorders. However, it is not harmful and shouldn't be worried about unless you repeatedly experience it.

    1. Thank you for the comment, that makes me feel better x


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