Also known as “Awareness during Sleep Paralysis,” or simply “Sleep Paralysis.”

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this to some of you in the chat room at some point, but I’ve suffered from these for most of my life. They’re not common, maybe one ever other year or so, but they suck a lot. They scare the crap out of me (not literally, thankfully).

<B>If you’re easily scared, or do not like graphic imagery, please do not read further.</B>

Basically, you’ll be asleep, so your body is paralysed (your body does that to keep you from moving around in response to the stimulus of your dream). However, for some reason, you begin to regain consciousness, without losing the paralysis related to the REM stage of your sleep. If you’re lucky, you simply wake up and can’t move for a minute or two. That’s only happened to me once, though. Most of the time, during your paralysed state, you’re still dreaming, only now you’re dreaming with your eyes open. The usual side effect of this is that you’re in your bed, in your room, only now there’s something abnormal there, usually either about to kill you, or pinning you down (explaining the paralysis in your mind).

In the past, I’ve had some bad ones. I used to have a picture on my wall of Marvin the Martian (from Looney Tunes). In my sleep paralysis state, though, I only saw the eyes from this poster, surrounded by some sort of demonic head (in retrospect, it much resembles the little head that Kefka summons during the final battle of FFVI). Oh, also that head was coming right at me, very slowly, and I couldn’t move. Another time, I saw a random woman in my room, covered in blood, and she was staring at me and smiling. A common theme (which my Grandmother had once, I assume she’s who I inherited this from) is seeing someone pressing down on your chest, killing or mutilating you (she saw someone ripping her chest open and pulling things out… yum).

They aren’t always bad. Or, at least, they’re not always all that terrifying. One time, when we used to play Starcraft a lot, I ‘awoke’ to see miniature Terran base being overrun by Hydralisks, who were conveniently burrowed in my chest (under my blanket, I assume). It made a little sense, though, since the Terran base was also located on my chest… again, they were miniature.

Well, I had a particularly bad one last night. I awoke to see my room, with the Television directly in front of my bed. However, the little girl from the Ring was on the TV, where she slowly got out of the TV and came toward me. I haven’t seen The Ring in a very long time, so I don’t know where it came from. It just scared the HELL out of me. I had to cover the TV with something just to get back to sleep… ;-_-


Oh, forgot to mention, because you’re paralysed, you can’t scream, either. You really really want to, though, so when you wake up, your throat feels strained like you’ve been trying to scream but can’t.

I’ve had that happen a few times when I was younger, nothing that freaky happened though, I was just in a haze and came out of it after a few minutes. If I remember correctly, they all happened when I was sick in some way.

If you close your eyes and visualize stuff, (for example you getting up from your bed) you can lucid dream (ie you can do anything you want and it feels realistic). Go for it if it happens again cause it’s worth it!

You can’t close your eyes. You’re PARALYSED. That’s kind of a part of the package. You just have to sit and accept it, and it usually feels like it lasts much longer than it actually does. The closest I’ve ever come to “lucid dreaming” my way out of one of those is simply being aware of what exactly was happening (when I realized I couldn’t move or scream), and just sitting back and accepting it, knowing it’d end soon, no matter how bad it was.

In fact, I’ve never been able to “lucid dream” at all. Any time I even try to, it wakes me up since I realize that I’m dreaming.

I feel paralyzed before I (kind of) lucid dream. You really can’t close your eyes? Now that’s heavy paralysis. People usually can do it (AFAIK). Try moving fingers and stuff and you’ll get out of it regaining control of your body. That’s how I get out of the paralysis when I’m done LDing.

Shit, that’s weird. I used to get this nearly every month when I was younger, around 9 or so… I remember one time especially when I had watched Stargate that night, and that sorta got freaky…
I never knew what any of this was called or anything… just thought it was really freaky and weird.
And as Saturn said, it feels like a LOT longer than what you’re really experiencing.

I’ve lucid dreamt before, in fact, quite often I will have control. But when I wake up there are only ever certain parts that I remember… I suppose that’s probably linked to life experiences or somesuch…

Still, all this stuff always bewilders me.


It happens to me every now and then, and in much the manner you described it, Sat. One time I awoke to a brief paralysis and remember a shadow fleeing from me - once it was gone, I could move.

The other time, I had just met God in a dream (it was a She that time, by the way, quite pretty but not sexy - not motherly either though. Let’s say “priestly”), and the awe I was supposed to feel translated into the paralysis.

The most recent time I awoke to paralysis feeling a strong pressure pushing down on the center of my back, which in my half-lucid dream I understood to be the work of a demon.

I have an awful lot of religious-related awakenings for an agnostic, come to think of it.

Thankfully for me the paralysis has never lasted even half a minute after becoming aware of it. If it did, I don’t know what I would do, as I find the feeling fairly terrifying.

I think something very like this happened to me last year. Although I think was able to move, as I was rolling around in bed, but it felt like tiny people were crawling all over me and I think they were all fighting each other. I could hear people shouting as well, though I couldn’t make out what they were saying, it was just noises buzzing through my head. It stopped though when I got up for a drink.

Another experience I had during the night, although I don’t think it’s the same thing, also took place early last year. From the moment I went to sleep, I could hear footsteps pacing around in my room in the back of my head, even when I was dreaming. I dreamt I was in a dorm-room as part of some school trip (as I was still in school then) and we all received letters from home, but all the while I could hear these footsteps. Then I ‘woke-up’ abruptly and gazed around my room when I noticed a dark figure near the window, pacing back and forth. He walked over to me, and I went to scream, but he placed his hand over my mouth and said something like: “I’m no wimp!” then I woke up for real and was convinced it really had happened. It was really vivid too, unlike my dream.

Also, when I was about 13/14 or some such age, I had a phase of waking up in the night and thinking I was asleep, before getting up for some reason. I would just be lying there, staring forward in the middle of the night convinced I was asleep, then I’d just realize that I wasn’t and get up as though it was morning, despite the fact that it was pitch black. Then it would be impossible for me to get back to sleep. When I told my Dad about this, he said I should get him up whenever it happened, so that night I did and I think he gave me some tablets and some water in the bathroom. But this went on for a few weeks, eventually I stopped bothering my parents and started turning the radio on in my room to help me get back to sleep, and it worked.

I’ve had that happen to me in what is now the moderately distant past. It wasn’t any more disturbing than my usual dreams. It was annoying to not be able to move around, but it was by my standards a pretty ordinary dream: it had me floating down a river or stream of blood ontop of the corpse of someone I knew and very probably killed up stream. I went back to sleep afterwards.

I remember when i was a kid, there were a couple of times i woke up feeling as if still in a swinging or falling motion, not sure if i felt paralyzed though. There was another time where I was pretty sure I saw a bat in my room along the ceiling coming from the ac vent, again don’t know if i felt paralyzed then either.

Wonder if succubuses were a product of this Kanashibari?

This may have happened to me once or twice during my childhood, I remember dreaming that I woke up but something was holding me down. I hadn’t heard the scientific (or multicultural) terms for it, thought. Thanks for the info, Sat.

As for lucid dreaming, I tend to do that often. Probably because I daydream a lot (I tend to visualize my stories so well that I kind of space out) when I’m asleep I can usually (but not ALWAYS) realize I’m dreaming. Cannot always control it, tho. One of my most common dreams is that I have telekinesis, and go around lifting things with my mind. Then I decide to elevate myself, and it works… a few feet over the ground. And I get pissed because I want to FLY but never can! >_< I wonder what that means?

The vast majority of my dreams are based on things I read or watch, so for the most part, they’re entertaining. When I dream about something mundane, I get bored and annoyed. I do have nightmares, but they’re rare. The scariest one I remember involved… a piece of haunted cheese.

Yes, I know, it sounds moronic. But then so is the entire premise of THE RING, and it’s still one scary movie. No, the cheese didn’t come to life and kill people- but every one who touched it suffered some horrible accident, as in the movie FINAL DESTINATION. The worst part was, I tried to warn people but nobody would believe me!

Another odd fact: I can only remember my dreams when I sleep during the day. I have no idea why… maybe because I’m not as deeply asleep?

There have been sometimes I’ve felt a falling motion for about 5 seconds or so (or so it feels) right before I wake up. Like, almost like my consciousness is falling back into my body, and when it does, I immediately wake up. Was it that sort of feeling? :open_mouth:

It’s your mind “coming back” to reality and regaining control of your body, more or less IMO.

I think it was like that, but I’m pretty sure it’s not happened again since when i was a child.

Sat- Is that the same thing as night terrors?

Night terrors involve action too. The person gets up and sees altered surroundings and beings who don’t exist even if awake. The person usually runs away and risks to get hurt, but they try to snap out of it if (s)he is conscious enough. And (s)he doesn’t remember anything the day after. Here’s a typical night terror from www.nightterrors.org:

I woke to a huge spider on the wall and snakes on the floor. I screamed, jumped over the spiders and ran for the light switch. I don’t remember exactly when I started having them on a regular basis. I do know that they are a part of me now. I literally cannot remember the last time I slept through the night like a normal person. In addition to the spiders and snakes, I have “seen”: people, meat hooks, hands, various insects and a number of strange objects swinging down towards me. Typically, what happens is this: about an hour after easily falling asleep, I wake very suddenly to something terrifying. Sometimes, instead of hallucinations, I just “know” something. It is very hard to explain. I wake and know that I have forgotten to do something. Whatever it is, it is very bad that I’ve forgotten it. It will mean my death. Sometimes, also the death of my husband and/or children. Other times I wake to a horrible presence in the room. Something that wants, or has, to kill me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve waked my husband, even rushed him into the bathroom, to get us away from “it.” It is more of a feeling or a knowledge than a person or thing. Whether a hallucination or a strange thought, I wake from these with my heart pounding in my chest and an utmost desire to escape.

I’ve also felt exactly that several times, though I haven’t had a dream I could remember for years.

I find it funny that people say you can’t remember night terrors, and if you do it is just a nightmare. Really the only difference is you are unable to remember one.

I personaly have remembered a night terror, or something that felt much like it. It was a long time ago, when I was, like, 5, but I still remember it perfectly. I was in bed and I was pleading with my father not to kill me. But he wouldn’t listen. I ran out of bed and tried to turn on the light, but the light wouldn’t work. I ran into the hall but all the doors wouldn’t open, and the lights wouldn’t turn on. I banged on my moms door and she wouldn’t answer. I couldn’t go down the stairs because they were gone. Then my dad murdered me in the hallway.

I had a variation of that one, the next night, only I was in the hall trying to get back into my room to save myself from my dad, who was coming up the stairs. Same things, doors wouldn’t open, no lights, when I finally made it into my room the light wouldn’t work, and my dad was in there waiting for me.

The subconsious is a scary thing sometimes.


The whole idea of actually waking up and seeing someone in my room scares me beyond belief. I hope to never have a dream like any of these.

It happened to me once. I was awake, but couldn’t move at all, as described. I always thought of it as your brain waking up before your body does.