Question: I don’t know that I’ve ever had sleep paralysis happen at night. Maybe once or twice in the morning. But when I experience it the most is when I take naps during the day, which I try to avoid for that reason. It’s the same old thing, like everyone else I can see and hear but I can’t move.
But what I haven’t heard about before is that, every time it happens to me there is a very loud buzzing or humming sound in my brain. It’s like all the electricity in the house is running through my spinal cord. And even before the paralysis “sets in” I can hear it coming. It’s very strange. I know what’s happening with the paralysis but I’d like to know if anyone else hears the loud hum?

Answer: Hey Courtney, Thanks for writing in. You’ve hit on a key insight with highlighting the fact that you usually only experience SP during naps. I believe this is due to the fact that depending on the length of your nap, you can be much more likely to wake up during a REM period, and thus be more prone to your atonia leaking out into wakefulness. More on that here. You could try changing the duration of your naps significantly and seeing if it makes a difference in the frequency of your episodes (e.g. if you usually take around 40 minute naps, try 20 minute or 90 minute naps instead. This could make it more likely to wake up outside of REM.)In regards to the buzzing, others definitely experience the same thing and I’ve heard accounts of the noise and the electricity tingling feeling a fair bit. A dream researcher named Ryan Hurd, who’s suffered from SP since he was 14 and devised ways to control it since, writes quite a bit about it in his book, Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer’s Guide, which you can read my review of here.

Thanks for your question and good luck,