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15 Times Reddit Users Experienced Sleep Paralysis and Had the Courage to Share It With Us

Many people have what is known as sleep paralysis. It’s a state people fall into when they’re about to wake up or fall asleep. It causes an inability to move for a few seconds, leaving people feeling terrified. It sounds like something that would only happen in spooky movies, but it does happen and these users talked about the time they experienced it.

What Is Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis happens in a very specific stage of sleeping, so it’s important to understand what sleep stages are and how they work. There are 3 stages of sleep and a different state called REM sleep:

  • The first stage is when you first fall asleep. You’re sleeping lightly and can easily be woken up.
  • In stage 2, your body is getting ready to enter a deeper sleep, with changes to your body temperature.
  • Stage 3 is deep sleep, where it is hard to wake you up.
  • REM sleep is when you are able to have more vivid dreams.

Sleep paralysis a state people experience when their body is going through the switch from wakefulness to a subsequent deep sleep stage. Usually, you’ll be asleep and won’t notice the transitions since your body gradually falls asleep and progresses into the different sleep stages. However, it can happen that you’re still aware, like your brain is awake, but your body isn’t.

This can lead to an inability to move and speak, possibly accompanied by the feeling of being unable to breathe or feeling the presence of something or someone in your room, which internet users like the ones below sometimes call a sleep paralysis demon.

How People Experience It

  • “I just had my first sleep paralysis experience that lasted for about 10 seconds. As I was laying on my bed watching YouTube, I accidentally went to sleep. It was the shortest nightmare I have ever had. I was editing a video, and suddenly my PC got hacked. I tried to get up from the desk, but then BOOM. I gained awareness. I was hearing voices and saw myself still sitting in my chair even though I knew that I was laying in my bed. After that, I could finally open my eyes. Craziest thing I’ve ever experienced.” © _Sausig_ / Reddit
  • "Thank God I never had a visitor... All my sleep paralysis ’dreams’ consist of extra-corporeal feelings... Like, I see myself sleeping and not moving even though I’m really trying to. © GrootRacoon / Reddit
  • “There’s a nice little corner on my college campus where I sometimes sleep. I get sleep paralysis often. My solution is usually to act out like I’m ‘screaming.’ I wake up from this nap, and can’t move or see, I can only hear other people. I hear one of them mention the time, I have class in 6 minutes. I acted out my usual silent battle cry, but what came out was a fully-fledged ‘NYAAAAAAGH!!!’ echoing through the building. I’m awake now, and I see a girl fling her coffee to the floor, with a room full of people staring at me.” © Nobst / Reddit

“This is the creature I see during sleep paralysis.”

  • My visitor tends to be an old witch crouching on my chest, while other times it’s just a presence in the room. I always wake myself up trying to scream in my sleep with my heart racing and adrenaline coursing through me. It makes falling back asleep difficult. © bob_apathy / Reddit
  • “Mine are always the ’velociraptors’ (Utahraptors) from Jurassic Park. They turn doorknobs, like the round kind. Messes with me every time. The best part is that I’ve been having those nightmares since I was a kid, but didn’t see Jurassic Park until I was an adult.” © brutallyhonestfemale / Reddit
  • “This reminds me of when my grandma died. I was 9, and a few weeks later, she was my sleep-paralysis demon! I was sleeping on the couch, and she came up behind my head and put her hands on my shoulders to hold me down. I was terrified but she just kept saying, ‘It’s ok. I’m still here for you. I’ll always be here.’ I didn’t really know what to make of it when I woke up. We were never close so I knew it was all in my head.” © maggotymoose / Reddit

“My 11-year-old made this Lego of sleep paralysis.”

  • “We were having our house renovated, so I spent a few weeks sleeping in the attic. Every night I had sleep paralysis and kept seeing a shadowy figure standing in one corner. I didn’t bother saying anything about it. When my sister’s room got renovated, she went to sleep in the attic. After a few days, she complained to me that she’d been having sleep paralysis there and kept seeing a shadowy figure standing in one corner.” © AgeOfCapricorn83 / Reddit
  • “I was taking a nap during the day. I was having a lucid dream where there was a bipedal figure chasing me. I woke up when he caught me, and I couldn’t move. The weirdest part was that I was half-awake, but I could still see my dream that I was having, overlaying my real vision. That’s when I saw the creature standing in my room...” © ChapelCone / Reddit
  • “My first experience happened at my great-grandfathers house. I woke up to a void in the closet, and it felt like it was trying to pull my spirit into it. I tried yelling, but nothing came out. I’ve had them periodically since then. Sometimes I’ll allow it to go on and see where it goes. Other times, I’m just too tired and just fall back asleep. It’s a strange experience, no doubt.” © Sm****Man1 / Reddit

“Sleep paralysis visitor”

  • “I was at a friend’s house, and they had to take off for a while so I took a nap. I entered the sleep paralysis state. My eyelids were just barely open to see the haze of a shadow darting in and out of the doorway to stand right at the end of the couch by my feet. When I woke up fully, and my friends came home, I had the name Mary stuck in my head. I kept thinking that the shadow’s name was Mary or it was trying to tell me something about Mary. Not particularly scary, but it was the first and last time I saw a shadow figure in SP.” © asianmfmike / Reddit
  • “I’ve only ever experienced sleep paralysis once, and this was just last year. I immediately realized what was happening when I was experiencing it. I saw no hallucinations and felt completely calm. I could barely open my eyes, and I just continued to stare at the table by the foot of my bed. It was an amazing experience, and I felt like I didn’t even really exist, it was just super peaceful.” © KiroshiBee / Reddit
  • "Sometimes, as I’m falling asleep or zoning out, I hear static and ringing. And then, on rare occasions, I begin to hear voices. I can hear them like a distant conversation that I’m not a part of but close enough to hear, and as soon as I realize I’m listening and try to pay attention, it’s gone. Even if I feel like I know what they were saying before that, I have no memory of the words, except occasionally, I might remember the last word that made me try to pay attention. © FaithCPR / Reddit

Have you experienced this scary feeling? Share your story and see how many people have gone through the same thing 😉

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