Question: I started to experience sleep paralysis in my teens. I’m in my early 30’s now. At the time I didn’t know what it was and what caused it but I have to say not all the experiences I had were frightening.
One time I remember I was flying out of space where I could see the stars and other planets and I felt this nice warm as if I was close to God or something. Another time I was flying over the ocean doing somersaults and I had this feeling of euphoria. I’d say I am part of that group that FIRST has the hallucination whether they are positive or not and then the paralysis in which I can’t move and in my case that’s the scariest part.I had scary experiences as well in which I sensed people in the room and they even touched me. sometimes I have 3 to 5 sleep paralysis experiences a night and sometimes I can go through a month without having one. I find that the posture in which sometimes I sleep (on my belly) and the time when I sometimes sleep (in the afternoon) can trigger them.

Answer: Hey Issy, thanks for sharing your experiences. You’re right on cue with experiencing sleep paralysis more in certain sleep positions and during naps. Many people report this. It sounds to me though that your positive experiences happen more during the vivid dreams during full fledged REM sleep than during the heart of the sleep paralysis. During the paralysis itself, hallucinating people (or non-people) into the room with you is common, as is ‘feeling’ their touch, as you experienced. The scary, or at least a bit freaky, stuff tends to dominate these experiences.That said, scary sleep paralysis episodes are not absolute. People sometimes report rather banal hallucinations, like Rizu in Maine in this visitor-submitted story entitled, “I Don’t Find Sleep Paralysis Frightening.” What’s more, some people, including dream researcher Ryan Hurd, even use sleep paralysis episodes as enlightening introspective experiences, and as gateways to more positive lucid dreams. Ryan documents all this in a book I mention and recommend throughout this site, entitled, Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer’s Guide.All the best Issy, and may your dreams be merry.

Thanks for your question and good luck,
Kevin