I've experienced insomnia my entire life. When I was a kid I think it was because of some traumatic experiences, but as a teenager and adult I've experienced something different while trying to sleep.
As a kid I would lay awake thinking about a traumatic experience and it would keep me awake for hours.
As a teenager and now as an adult, when I start to feel myself fall asleep, I feel like I can't move and panic for a split second, waking myself up. Then I lay there avoiding that sensation for hours.
In the past few years (I'm 26 btw) bedtime has become even more stressful because I worry that I won't be able to fall asleep and then won't be able to wake up on time in the morning, resulting in my son being late for school or my being late for work or an appointment. Then (if I don't take an anxiety medication), I often lay there stressing out about that for hours. lol
My question is for those who experience sleep paralysis. Do you find yourself avoiding falling asleep at bedtime because you're worried that you'll experience sleep paralysis?
I've never avoided sleep because of it, though I have been nervous of sleeping, and sometimes if I've had a bad one (I usually hallucinate at the same time) and it's morning I won't let myself go back to sleep because I know that sleeping in the morning when it's already happened virtually guarantees it will happen again.
Instead of panicking, focus all your concentration on moving a finger or toe. A lot of people find this brings them out of it quickly. And remember that some people experience it very frequently or for hours at a time (usually narcoleptics), and it hasn't done them any direct harm. If you get enough sleep, eat well and don't self-medicate, it won't affect you beyond the sensations themselves, which some people even come to enjoy or explore. Basically, just make peace with the experience. Some people actually get it much less often just by ceasing to fear it.