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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys...Another strange question. Does anyone else get sleep paralysis and strange noises on waking? Would love to talk to you if you do.I get it about once a week or fortnight, and only just told someone about it. The person I told wants me to go to the doctor and tell them, but I'm afraid that because I've had depression and anxiety the past they'll put past the sleep paralysis down to 'stress' or something like that, even though I've not had probs with depression, anxiety or sleeping generally for almost a year now. I feel safe about talking about it here! Like nobody's going to jump on me or hassle me!I'm not at all worried about it, and haven't been scared by it, until I looked it up on the internet, and amongst some very helpful information on it occuring at the point between REM sleep and awakening (apparently we are always paralysed during REM), there was some weird scary stuff about frightening violent experiences and malovelent presences. I don't usually take notice of weird, scary stuff that doesn't apply to me, but I have felt presences and I don't want them to turn nasty! I'm a bit apprehensive about going to bed tonight now.thanks for listening. would love to hear from you if you've experienced anything similar.susan
 

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Susan; not to worry. An American tv show either "Extra" or "Dateline" just covered this very subject recently.It's a transient state between waking and sleeping that you experience. Part of your mind is waking up, but the other part of it is still sleeping.In the middle ages people thought a devil or demon was sitting on their chest causing the paralisis. Today, we have updated the legend to include an alien visitation as the source.People swear the source of the visitation is real, but the reality is just the passing dream stage.It's not an uncommon event and not something to worry about. If I can find more info in my notes I'll return and post it. Sorry you missed the show.
 

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Wanderingstar I do get this occasionally. I'm not sure what causes it, but I wake up sometimes to a loud bang. It jolts me right up and when I look around there is nothing there. The sleep paralysis I would have occasionally too. I would wake up and not be able to move my body (almost felt like someone was holding me down). I like Nick T explanation of one part of the body still sleeping while the other part is awake. It would freak me out and I would get panicky. Haven't had that in quite some time. Thank Goodness.
 

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This took awhile to track down. It's not as complete as what I was hoping for, but....NBC-TV "Dateline" story (8-16-00)For a transcript of the story go to... http://stjohns-chs.org/english/Romantic/drea.html There are some other articles on the page, but if you're using Microsoft's Internet Explorer, when you get to the page, click on the "Edit" button at the top, then select "Find" and search on this text string from the top of the page.THE FOLLOWING WAS BROADCAST ON NBC'S DATELINEAUGUST 18, 2000. THE CONDITION KNOWN AS "SLEEPPARALYSIS" HAS FASCINATING IMPLICATIONS FOR HOWTHE ROMANTICS VIEWED DREAMING.I tried to find a video or transcript for you at Burelle's transcription service, but didn't have much luck. Maybe you will... http://www.burrelles.com/tvrframe.html I did find a video (not NBC'S tho) at... http://www.bluecanyonproductions.com/mystery.html which explains the condition even more.The Dateline show, impressed me coz the researcher was also experiencing the same condition. "I'm the doctor, and am exactly aware of what's happening, yet the experience is so real, it's overwhelming."(liberal quote)Anyway - HTH - Your net reporter NickT
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi weener, thanks for sharing. Nice to know it's not only me. Nick T, thank you so much for findout out all that information for me, I really appreciate it. I found the StJOhn's website very intersting - giving different perspecitves on dreams. Some of the material was familiar as I have done some reading on Jung and dreams. A very helpful site, thank you. I had a good if interrupted nights sleep last night. Every time I had a dream I fully woke up - I think my subconscious was trying to reassure me that I wasn't going to get the SP again. Plus I set my alarm this morning 10 minutes before I usually naturally wake up, so that I would be well and truely jolted awake instead of being half awake and half asleep. I went to sleepnet last night and looked at some of the discussion boards there, which helped. It really troubled me that there are people who truely feel they are possed by a demon or are being visited by aliens. I'm sure this can't lead to a good nights sleep. Who am I to say what is really happening, except that the science points to it being a chemical/neurological thing where the paralysis switch isn't fully knocked off when I awake. I guess relgions/spirituality has throughout time explained some things in its own way, before science got there first. That's not meant to be inflammatory by the way!susan[This message has been edited by wanderingstar (edited 01-13-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is an email I got in response to filling out a sleep paralysis questionaire at Waterloo's Unusual Sleep Experiences website: http://watarts.uwaterloo.ca/~acheyne/S_P.html "Hi: A short while ago you responded to a questionnaire on "Unusual SleepExperiences" associated with sleep paralysis (SP). I am writing now toacknowledge your response and to thank you for your participation. Iunderstand from personal experience that sleep paralysis can be a puzzling,even terrifying, occurrence. I suffered from this for many years myself andthat was certainly my experience. In our research (now involving over 5000people participating locally and worldwide who have had this experience) wehave found intense fear to be a very common, though not universal, reactionto sleep paralysis. In addition to the fear, there are a number ofsometimes very vivid hallucinations. A description of these and otherhallucinations is provided at our web site listed at the end of this note.A small minority of people who have this experience report that theyactually enjoy it or have learned to enjoy it - in some cases even torelate it to mystical or transcendental experiences.In our research we have found that between 25%-30% of the populationreport at least one experience with SP. About a fifth of those report thatthey have particularly intense, complex, and often disturbing experiencesand that they have them with some frequency. They often seem to occur inbouts, with several episodes occurring with a week or even a night,alternating with long periods without episodes. Most of the questions weasked you refer to experiences that people have during SP. Many peopleinitially think that their experiences are unique and are surprised to findthat others have the same or very similar experiences. Different peoplehave different combinations of these experiences, and a few people have allof them. One of the things we are focusing on in our research is the natureof the clusters of experiences different people have. We have not found SP to be especially associated with depression oranxiety although there is some suggestion in the literature that it mightbe and some people, though not all, have reported reduction in SP episodeswhen on certain anti-depressant medications. We have recently foundexperimental evidence supporting anecdotal and clinical reports that somepeople experiencing SP are also experiencing high concurrent levels ofstress. I suspect SP is triggered by a rather specific quirk in individualsleep patterns exacerbated in some people by stress and/or irregularsleeping habits (e.g., shift work). Occasionally, it seems to be triggeredby novel settings or certain locales. For others it seems to come and go ina quite haphazard manner. In my case, which is not unusual, these episodesjust stopped at some point, I don't remember when, but it was many years ago.Although SP is typically regarded as a relatively benign disorder, theactual experience itself can be quite distressing, particularly for thosewho have the experiences very frequently. Beyond treatment with medication,avoiding stress (easier said than done I realize) and regular sleepinghabits may sometimes reduce or even eliminate SP for those experiencingepisodes frequently. A traditional method for overcoming the paralysis whenit does happen is attempting to move one's fingers, toes, or tongue. Anumber of people have suggested rapidly moving one's eyes back and forth asa way of bringing a bout of SP to an end. Others learn to make low moaningsounds as a way of signaling a sleeping partner to wake them. If you arehaving multiple experiences at one time it may help to get up briefly andmove around before trying to sleep again. As far as we can tell theseexperiences do not reflect any serious problems, beyond the distressingnature of the episodes themselves. Of course, if your episodes areparticularly frequently frequent or intense, or are interfering with yourwaking life, it would be sensible to consult with a physician, sleepclinic, or neurologist. Once again, thanks for your assistance in our investigation. We are doinga number of related investigations on this topic, in addition to this wwwsurvey. A number of our findings are discussed at various points in ourweb-site. We have begun to do some follow-up studies with people who haveresponded to our web questionnaire. We will be doing some further follow-upof our respondents in the near future so you may be hearing from us again.In the meantime, gets lots of sleep and keep a regular schedule if possible. BTW: If you try any of the suggestions for terminating SP episodes let meknow if they work. Or if you have any suggestions of your own please passthem on.Regards, Al Cheynep.s.: In case you missed our information site (A Sleep Paralysis Page) theURL is: http://watarts.uwaterloo.ca/~acheyne/S_P.html Dr. Al CheyneDepartment of PsychologyUniversity of Waterloo200 University Ave. WWaterloo, Ontario N2l 3G1CANADAe-mail: acheyne###watarts.uwaterloo.caURL: <http://watarts.uwaterloo.ca/~acheyne>Telephone: (519)-888-4567 (3054)FAX: (519)-746-8631"
 

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Susan; glad to help!Sleep and dreams fascinate me. I think it is a common observation that people like us usually remain to long in stage 1 sleep, and not much time in the stage 2 or REM period of sleep.Regards - NickT [This message has been edited by NickT (edited 01-17-2001).]
 

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Ack! One more thing. I checked your bio, and it looks like you live in the UK.Regretably, I don't think you can order the video that I referenced.America is on a different television standard, than the UK, Europe and Japan.(Our standards are probably lower coz we have Rubert Murdoch and Fox Broadcasting [g])But seriously, our standard is NTSC, yours I believe is called PAL. Unless an American video tape is recorded in your format, it won't play in your VCR.HTH - Peace Out - NickT
 

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Hi Guys, I too have something so similar to you all. What happens with me is this, I feel like I can't move my body at all,( any part of it) then as if that isn't bad enough, I get this tingling. It starts in my legs and works its way up until it covers all of me. All this time, I know I am awake and I try to fight it and get up but I can't. I haven't told anyone about it yet but I suppose I should. I will try to remember when I see the Doc on Monday. I will let you know what he says.Brooke
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Shrinky, what was the upshot of your discussion with your doctor? I think the point about sleep paralysis is that the brain is awake but the body isn't. best wishes,
 
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