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6 responses to “What is Sleep Paralysis?”

  1. How does it feel to experience Sleep Paralysis? | Lucid Guide

    […] I briefly explained sleep paralysis in a previous post, I’d like go into further detail about what an episode of sleep paralysis […]

  2. Gia


    I found your website to be the most thorough and extensive one on the topic of SPs. Keep up the good work! (Incidentally, I checked out stopsleepparalysis.org when I saw it mentioned here – and was promptly turned off – although I respect your objectivity in mentioning them at all. Hey if it works for some…)

    Other than to offer praise though, I actually have a specific question regarding SP, for which I can’t seem to find ANY information on. It involves completely forgetting the experience only to recall it later…

    Here’s what happened to me in a nutshell: I had your typical run-of-the-mill SP experience around age 15. Scary, creepy, all that jazz, still fell back asleep. But the odd thing is that upon waking up, I HAD NO RECOLLECTION WHATSOEVER of having had the SP. I even woke up refreshed and in a really good mood. Only about 30 min. later, when my father asked me how I’d slept, I started to say, “really well” when I guess that triggered my recollection of my SP experience the night before. Needless to say I was terrified (for a looong time after). But even more so, because I began to question how often this happened to me without my then remembering the incident at all! (Please keep in mind that I had no clue as to what SP was at the time, so I truly thought I’d had a demonic visit – though the manifestation was in the form of witchdoctors for me.)

    Also, I think I was only able to remember that SP experience because my father, who often had premonitory dreams when he was younger, taught me techniques for dream recall that would enable me to remember more and more of my dreams (pretty much the exact same ones you offer! :-). I’d gotten in the habit of doing this every morning for several weeks until that one morning when I’d had the SP and it “just so happened” I didn’t use the technique that day. But I’m convinced that since I’d gotten in the habit of doing this, it took my mind several min. to force the memory of my SP dream back to me.

    Unfortunately, I have been unable to do the dream recall techniques since then. Although I’ve tried, it seems my mind won’t let me and I’m left wondering if I often have SP experiences, only to completely forget them the next day.

    What i’m trying to say is, although I understand all the medical and non-medical possible/plausible explanations for SP, I have yet to come across a story/situation that mirrors my own. And I would like to know if you or anyone you know has experienced anything of the sort. I’m sorry for the lengthy explanations, but I’m so desperate to know more about this.
    Any response would be greatly appreciated!


    P.S.: I’m also able to wake myself up from nightmares (although I haven’t had any in many years), and also had an accidental OBE when I was 10, it was wonderful 🙂

  3. admin


    Thanks for the comment and I don’t mind lengthy comments.

    What you describe is very interesting. I haven’t had the same experience per se, however I was recently thinking back to a time when I was about 7 years old. As a child I was terrified of this colorful devil statue my parents had on a shelf (the ones they wear during Carnivale festivals in the Caribbean). I could never figure out why I was so afraid of that statue until recently. I remember taking a nap in my living room and seeing the statue come alive, jump off the shelf and start dancing around! I totally forgot the source of my fear until recently. I have no doubt that this was one of my first SP episodes yet I had forgotten about it for so long.

    I think episodes of SP may often go forgotten, the same way we forget many of our dreams unless we actively try to recall them or we wake up in such terror that we immediately recall the experience. That’s the best explanation I can fathom at this time. I will definitely put more thought into this.

  4. Gia

    Thanks for the reply!

    But there’s a reason I’m making such a big deal about not recalling my SP experience… it’s because it’s the only one I’ve had, and I might have never even known about it, yet it seems to be such a widespread phenomenon insofar as most people do remember theirs.

    For example although you didn’t remember that one time when you were seven (sounds super creepy by the way), you’ve still managed to remember most of your other experiences though (from what I’ve read in your posts).
    How do you usually remember your SPs? As soon as you wake up? Or like I did mine, as a huge shock a 1/2 hr later?

    I mean, I understand that it’s an almost nonsensical question, because how can someone know they’ve forgotten an experience since they’ve forgotten it? (talk about a catch 22!)
    But since I’ve been trying to to deal with some unrelated repressed memories recently, I feel like understanding that past SP experience could be a big help. Or maybe I’m just grasping at straws…

    Either way, glad I found your website! 🙂

  5. admin

    Normally I transition from a sleep paralysis episode (awake/asleep state with full consciousness) to the waking state (awake with full consciousness), so the episode is fresh in my memory. It’s like remembering what happened to you 20 seconds ago; there’s really no way you can forget it. However, a lot of time SP episodes occur at the onset of sleep and once it is over you transition straight to dreaming. And of course, many dreams go forgotten.

    I really can’t say for sure. Maybe I have had more SP episodes than I remember but they have gone forgotten since I fell back asleep and totally repressed the memory of them ever happening. It seems plausible to me but usually they are so vivid and I immediately wake up from them leaving me no chance to forget.

    If there are some specific questions you have for your unconscious self (such as repressed memories), I think the best way to uncover them is during a lucid dream. I often explore situations and ask myself questions while I’m lucid (with great success). I have a few posts up about how to become lucid and I would be willing to give you some tips and answer any questions you have about that.

  6. Gia

    Thank you so much!

    That’s a great idea that hadn’t even crossed my mind! Probably because I’ve never had a lucid dream before. I’ve read your tips on how to LD (and from other sources as well). It sounds wonderful and I’m going to keep trying, tho so far I’m still struggling even with my dream recall abilities (although I think they’re getting better). But I’ll keep practicing, and with this extra incentive I’ll hopefully get some answers soon enough.

    Although how accurate of an answer I could get from a dream – I’m just not sure…

    Regardless, thanks for the support. It’s much appreciated!
    🙂 Happy Holidays 🙂

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