Question: I had another episode last night. Now that I am 36 they happen less often. My mind wakes up but my body cannot move. The air in the room feels different, some how more evil. I know that it’s going to be one of those nights. I cannot move my body. When I was little it felt like someone was holding me down. The only thing I can think of is to pray. I pray really hard that God will take away the evil in the room, take away the presence that is holding me down. Praying always helps me to wake up.
I tried to explain the experience today to a friend and found myself feeling crazy. How do you explain to someone that there is evil in the room or that you feel an evil presence holding you down without sounding crazy.I know when I am going to have one of those nights. Even after I am awake I can still sense a change in the air in the room. I’m not saying that there isn’t a scientific explanation for everything but I am saying that this is how I feel when it happens. When it’s happening I am frightened and feel helpless I cannot move.

Answer: Thanks for sharing this Erin. Prayer has definitely been noted to be an affective way of dealing with sleep paralysis and the feelings of evil forces that sometimes accompanies it. As you might imagine there are various opinions for why this is. Some attribute it to supernatural intervention of course. Others may suggest that the positive thinking the prayers tend to foster help change the negative projections of the mind (to which the evil feelings are attributed to) to more positive projections. And that this positivity in itself, as well as simply more time elapsing, helps end the REM atonia that causes the paralysis.If you’d like to learn more about these feelings of an evil presence from someone who has experienced them often and researched them thoroughly I highly recommend reading this book by the sleep paralysis specialist Ryan Hurd.For everyone else, for more information on sleep paralysis episodes like the ones Erin describes, you can also read our informational page here.

Thanks for your question and good luck,
Kevin