It is unfortunate that the truth is "the more you talk about sleep paralysis, the worse it gets" and I am fully aware that mine will not go away. I am here to talk about my experiences with the strange phenomenon and offer my own incentive for those suffering to come forward and also talk about theirs. I'll go through it from start to finish and be completely open with you — my hands are empty and I have nothing to hide.
It began a few years ago and even though it wasn't regular, it was still probably the scariest thing I've ever experienced. This is because the weird thing with sleep paralysis is that you remember what you saw when you're finally awake — you can't take your mind from it and normally, you're so scared that you can't get back to sleep either. What I saw was this: an old woman dressed completely in black and holding a stick — sometimes the stick was lit with a flame, but sometimes it wasn't. She would keep repeating the same words over and over, and eventually she kept getting closer until her voice was up against my ear and I could feel her breath against my neck. She kept saying, "the end is here" or "the end is near" depending. I don't know what this means but since then, I've pretty much been drawing the picture everywhere trying to work it out and hoping that one day I'll have an epiphany.
(See bottom for picture. Note: if you are a sufferer, I don't suggest you look at it.)
When it first started, I had no idea what sleep paralysis was and thought it was probably just a really bad nightmare. It was only when I hadn't had it for a while and then suddenly got it again at the beginning of this year that I started to do some research into it. Now, I shouldn't have done that because the more you think about it, the worse it'll get.
Unfortunately, I didn't know that at the time either and just wanted to know if anyone else was experiencing similar problems. Now, I'm about to tell you how sleep paralysis feels.
Here's a bit of a warning: if you're suffering from sleep paralysis and relate to this post, I suggest you skip this section that will be written entirely in bullet points for your safety. When the bullet points are over, you may continue reading.
Here is the sensation of sleep paralysis that I feel:
- I can't breathe properly — my heart is racing and I feel like I'm suffocating.
- I'm sweating — when I wake up, I'm still sweating.
- I'm screaming — I'm so afraid that I begin screaming myself awake, obviously nobody else can hear me.
- I'm crying — but not when I wake up.
- I feel nauseous when I wake — sometimes like I've just been on a roller coaster.
- I can't get back to sleep — the idea of falling asleep again is impossible for me.
You may continue reading:
Yes, it is something that is experienced by many people and I know it's something that we talk about a lot, but I feel that the people who keep telling others that they have sleep paralysis don't actually have it and are probably looking for attention. What I'm trying to say is that if you've had similar experiences, please don't think that you're alone. I did some research and a lot of people (including myself) see and hear the same/similar things. But please, if you do actually have sleep paralysis, don't treat Tumblr as a saviour — it's full of people who don't actually experience things and sleep paralysis is a very horrible thing to pretend you have. They will reel you in, force you to talk about your experiences and copy them online to pretend they have them. Unfortunately, many people get lost in this and having this sort of rhetoric around you won't make your paralysis of sleep any better. You need to talk to others who actually have it - there's a whole sub-Reddit about it and I highly recommend it.
Hopefully, those of you suffering will be out of it soon, but I'm going to offer some cures/temporary cures that I find have worked for me in the past:
- Limiting caffeine intake
- More/better sleep
- Changing the bed covers/mattress
- Drinking water before sleep
- Having a shower before sleep
- Listening to calm music before sleep
- Drinking a cup of herbal tea before sleep
Good luck with your journey and if you have any ideas for other cures you have tried yourself, then you can contact me and we can discuss them.
The Picture of the "Being" (2012)
This is a picture I drew in 2012 when my paralysis began. I was about 16 and I was taking my exams. It is drawn on the back of a receipt for a Chinese Restaurant and at the top, I've written what the "being" keeps saying.
Note: the "being" has sharp claw-like fingers and a mouth like a black hole. They also have no eyelids and wear nothing but a black shadow-like overcoat with a hood. Their eyes are also black with no colour or iris, just black. Imagine how terrified I'd be to think this thing was in my room.