Question: My Name is Meghan. I have been experiencing episodes that I now think I can link to sleep paralysis. I have yet to figure out if I’m actually dreaming or awake. I feel like I’m awake, but I want to rationalize it by calling it a dream. I am unable to move, scream or talk. I feel pressure on me, and I absolutely can’t move.
I am currently living in the dorms at school, and have experienced this about 3-4 times since I moved in. I can recall a few experiences that happened when I was living at home as well. Overall it has happened frequently over the past 3 weeks.Today it happened, and I couldn’t move, I tried very hard to break through the “force” and was slowly able to move my fingers/hands and eventually opened my eyes. I felt like as soon as that happened, I fell right back into the paralysis, and then eventually became unfrozen. What’s weird is the fact that I feel like I’m going through hell while experiencing this, but I wake up feeling totally fine. It scares me not to be able to move, I am trying so hard to open my eyes, and yell for my roommate, or pound on the wall…only to have no success. I’m afraid to sleep now, and don’t know what to do differently.

Answer: Hey Meghan, thanks so much for sharing this. You give such a perfect description of what sleep paralysis usually feels like. And now that you’re experiencing episodes with some frequency, you should try to learn about why sleep paralysis happens, if you don’t already know. Understanding that it’s the result of a very natural process and is rather common (most people will experience at least one episode at some time during their life) is the best tool to defend against the fear and anxiety that can rise up while you are in the middle of an episode, as you describe.Another thing that may help with this is reading about the sleep paralysis experience of others. A lot of visitors write in to this site about sleep paralysis, and learning about how they deal with their episodes or realizing that you’re not alone in it can definitely be of some value. Also, have you had the chance to talk to your roommate or any other friends about this yet? Sometimes being able to chat and laugh about it with the people who you will be seeing soon after you have any episodes can be really comforting. Anyway, just some thoughts. Thanks for sharing again, and feel free to write any more follow-up thoughts using the “Post Comments” link below ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for your question and good luck,
Kevin