Medical Questions > Mental Health > Sleep Disorders Forum

can't move before sleep (Page 1)

this has happened about three times over the past 3 months, as ive been dropping into a sleep suddenly my head feels as if its closing in and i hear what i can only describe as 'white noise' i know the noise was in my head and i know the house was silent, i also suddenly realise that i cannot move my head and i cannot move my arms or anything in fact, i try really hard to move my arms but i cant, i dont feel any physical pain or numbness i just literally cannot move, this goes on for the longest two minutes (i think) im scared the whole time and then when i can finally move im out of breath,, please please if anyone knows what this could be, tell me im scared to go to sleep!
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replied August 21st, 2008
Sleep Paralysis!
To me, that definitely fits the description of Sleep Paralysis. Don't know where I read this, but whatever I read said that "When your body is falling asleep, your consciousness stays awake and your brain goes into sleep mode. You can't move, talk or anything because you're sleeping, yet you are awake and can think freely. Noise or touch can free you from this trance, though, and it usually lasts a few minutes. Sufferers also seem to agree that they feel panic during these episodes, because they feel trapped and can't move or call for help".

Does this sound like what you've experienced? It might be, BUT! I'm no expert, just a random friendly stranger.
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replied August 21st, 2008
Experienced User
Yeah I suffered sleep paralysis, and it is scary, cause sometimes you get a feeling like someone or something might be in the room with you but you can't move, as hard as you try when you snap out of it you will still be in the same spot you where in before this began.

I found out that lack of sleep causes sleep paralysis. I think if you get well rested it will keep it away. Least that has been my plan and for 5 years I have not had another episode so I think that is the answer.

Good luck
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replied August 22nd, 2008
ah nice one, thank you for both replies! since the episodes ive been scared to sleep as a friend believed it was something supernatural trying to take away my soul and as far fetched as that sounds and as much of a sceptic i am, after hearing this alone in my room at night it frieghtened the hell out of me... so your logical suggestions make more sense to me so thank you so much. . . .
sweet dreams...
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replied August 22nd, 2008
Experienced User
I was called to the hospital for a EEG test, that is where they stick the wires in your hair and have you sleep for the test. I had to go the whole night before without sleep and while I was sleeping during the test it happened I had an episode and it scared me, but after that day nothing came of the test, but I knew lack of sleep was the problem.

I just grew out of it over the years and I hope the same is true for you, that it will just go away if you get enough sleep.

When ever I had an attack years ago I had a boyfriend that slept with me, so I would change my breathing and start breathing faster, he then knew to wake up and shake me out of it.

That was the only thing I was able to change during that time, so if you have someone sleeping with you, just tell them that if you get in trouble that you will breath faster and for them to shake you awake.

Good luck with this matter,
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replied February 3rd, 2009
similar thing happens to me time to time.
I'm laying in my bed when i start to doze off. While my eyes are closing, i feel like i can't move. This occurs for about two minutes at the most. I try to move really hard but i can't. I can only breath ans see i can't move at all. I don't hear any white noise or anything, it's just like im paralyzed for a minute or two. It makes me scared when this happens if anyone knows a cure for this, please write me.
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replied February 6th, 2009
My experience
You can actually turn this into a rare experience. Some people forces an Out of Body experience known as Astral Traveling or Astral Projecting, claiming that they travel outside the body into physical or spiritual places. Some do this for spiritual reasons and others do it or fun.
To produce this effect, one must induce Sleep Paralysis. From there, one must relax, meditate, and imagine oneself floating out of the body. It takes practice to induce Sleep Paralysis successfully. But if you find yourself in that situation, give it a shot.
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replied April 14th, 2009
Sleep paralysis experience...
I never knew that so many other people experienced this paralysis. I have them occasionally, but never saw spiders or other crawling creatures before. My experiences are very scary. I usually experience them when im falling asleep late, my eyes are closed, but still aware of whats going on. All of a sudden I fell paralyzed and feel my covers moving with a force of wind, i sometimes see a shade of someone standing in my room, my episodes have lasted i beleive up to 5 minutes or so. One time when i was little i thought my dad had came to tuck me in at night but my eyes were closed then i was paralzed, i felt someone pulling the covers over my legs, when i finally was able to move and fully awake, my covers were over my legs, it was so creepy. In most of my episodes i feel a strong force of wind and very cold. Im actually just writing a comment becuase im at work and suddenly laid my head on my desk and had another episode here in my office, i could have sworn my boss was sitting in the chair and as much as i tried to get up i couldnt. I have heard stories that these epsidoes sometimes happen becuase their is a spirit in the room with you at the time, which would explain the strong force of wind and the shade of soemone i always see. I am not the type of person that beleives such things but now i question my belief. My grandmother just passed away about a month ago. After her funeral I feel asleep in her bed, no one was in the room with me and i had another episode, but this time it was more intense than others. I felt the force of the wind blowing stronger than other times and a very strong vibration. Since then I really question wether those stories are true. How wierd is it that it just so happended on that exact day in my grandmothers bed. I would love to hear any other stories that relate to my episodes. I would really like to know how to control them because i think i have insomnia becuase im scared to fall asleep.
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replied June 30th, 2009
need sleep
Hi...im experiencing this same issue.pretty much what the guy who posted it stated.i read on wikipedia it happens when u wake. but in my case...im drifting asleep and suddenly...i cant move,talk, and barely open my eyes. the most i can do is grind my teeth...the funny thing is Im Awake. i feel like there is something on my back stopping me from moving and i swear i get goosebumps. i also felt this thing once...like this wind blowing my face. how is this Sleep paralysis...and then i sometime stay up like 40 minutes...or put the lights on then its all good and i can sleep
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replied September 12th, 2011
I had been experiencing this since I was in elementary school. At that time, I lived in west africa and believed it was a ghost over me at night. I would feel trapped, unable to move and scared. The feeling would last for a few minutes. I never really told anyone of this; just lived with it. We moved to the USA and it stopped for years. Once I became an adult and married, I started having them again; This time, my husband and I was renting a house that he believed was haunted by a woman. One night the experience happened to me when we had a fight and I was sleeping in my son's room. It lasted for a long time where I was moaning and couldnt shake the force off. It actually woke him up in our room and he came and shook me awake. I thought I was being sucked into death. It was scary and seemed so real. It has been years later now and Im 41 and still have them on occasions. I started sleeping with my Bible under my pillow which I feel helps. Last night I had one again. This time I felt awakened by a noise and then a soft force layed over my body. I could not move and force myself to moan until it left. I wasnt as scared as I am usually when I awakened. I simply put my Bible on top of my pillow and went back to sleep. Had no more. Had gone to a friends funeral the day before and felt maybe it was her. Irronically, I work in the Sleep field as a sleep tech and know about sleep paralysis. However, though this experience is defined as this, I dont think I am usually in stage REM when it happens. I always remember my dreams and they never shift to this feeling of something being over me; forcing pressure to prevent me from moving or talking....
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replied July 2nd, 2009
sleep paralysis
I'm also experiencing the same problem.Since I was in high school, i've been suffering from this sleep paralysis. And it makes very scared whenever it attacks. I also consulted some physicians and experts, they told me that complete rest at night is the best solution. And whenever it attacks, don't force yourself to wake up. It will only last for 2mins or less. forcing yourself to wake up may trigger your heartbeat to pump fast and it is dangerous if you have cardiac problems or high blood experiences. Just relax during the sleep paralysis. And better yet, sleep with someone and also inform them about your sleeping disorders so that they may know when to wake you up during that paralysis.
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replied September 2nd, 2009
sleep paralysis and spooky experiences!
I have had so many of these experiences since I was a teenager (I'm now 27). I used to do psychology in college so spoke about my experiences with the college teacher - he said at the time that people only usually have these experiences once or twice in a life time so he was quite surprised to learn that I was having them frequently! It didnt frighten me too much because of the lessons in psychology surrounding sleep and dreaming however there was a period in my parents house where I had woken up to see a figure over the bed, I wasnt paralised at this point and i reached out to touch it to see if i was dreaming and i received a wave of static through my head (sounds a bit weird i know but only way i can describe it!)

From this point I always felt the sleep paralysis coming on when I felt a wave of static in my head and after this I always felt like there was an oldish man about me, curled up in my bed with me and sometimes I would even hear him speak and mutter to me! Sometimes he would be standing over my bed. I tried to convince myself it was just dreams but its pretty hard when it feels like there is a presence in the room... after this I spoke to my mum about it and she told me she was having the exact same experience! she said she felt a man standing over the bed one morning and thought it was my dad but then realised he was in work... when she turned to look again the man had gone. Then she would feel him in bed with her etc. She said the same as me that it felt like an oldish man. My parents house is built over old cold mines so my mum thought it was a miners spirit! She's quite religious and she said once felt she felt him in bed with her she started to pray to jesus an she heard a voice as plain as day say "jesus isnt here".

Scary!

I dont live at home any more but I still sometimes have the paralysis and it does feel like there is an entity in the room - sleep paralysis is definitely something to do with your body's way of dealing with sleep and dreams but they say that you're more in tune with the spirit world when your between wake and sleep so perhaps that explains the spooky experiences!
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replied September 4th, 2009
I have just had a scary episode of this last night! It seemed to last longer than 2 minutes, more like 5-10mins. I was very tired which fits into the views on here that it is caused by lack of sleep, however it is difficult to shake off the feeling that it is a supernatural entity controlling you. I prayed to God and eventually said inside the 'Will of Christ' really strongly and it just stopped! This makes me suspicious of the scientific view about lack of sleep as it really felt that something was controlling me. Very disturbing!
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replied September 22nd, 2009
Sleep Paralysis, Why Have I Never Heard Of This Before.
Oh My Goodness.

Who Knew. I'm Not The Only One?

I Was Sure It Was Ghosts Until Now.

I Have It Where I'll Half-Wake Up. Try To Scream But Can
Only Mumble A Few Sounds, Then Focus On One Part Of My
Body Until I Can Start To Move It Little By Little. 2-3 Minutes
Normally. Terrifying, For Me. But, I Have Also Had The White
Noise. But I Know It's Only In My Ears. Only On Two Occasions
Have I Had My Covers Felt Like They Were Being Pulled Off Of
Me. It Is So Strange, It Feels Like They Are Being Pulled Off Over
& Over Again, But When I Finally Am Fully Awake, They Are
Always Where They Should Be. Just The Other Night, I Woke Up
To Being Pulled Of The Bed. I Had No Grip But Was Trying To
Pull Myself Up. Ethhhhh.

I Don't Sleep Much, So, I Am Assuming This Is
The Main Reason. But, Thinking About Going To
The Doctors Anyway.

The Weird Thing Is, I Am Not Afraid Of Many Things,
So I Look Forward To These Episodes. They Are Interesting.
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replied October 18th, 2009
This all sounds similar to what I experience except its for a much shorter time, less than a minute, and it is when i am falling asleep. I dont experience any of the white noise or wind or spooky things, i just get scared because I cannot breathe at all. When I snap out of it I gasp in my breath and it wakes up anybody near me. Last night it happened at least 4 or 5 times, so Im kinda scared that maybe one time I wont be able to snap out of it and just die from no air.
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replied October 26th, 2009
This happened to me for the first time last night. It was one of the most scary experiences of my life! I didn't have any of the wind, noise, or pulling. I did, however, have a "vision" before it happened. I was laying in bed, worn out from a hiking trip, and I was praying. In the middle of my prayer I was interrupted by a very vivid picture of a headless blue corpse laying on the ground pop in my head. Then, instantly I couldn't move or fully breath or scream, which is what I really wanted to do! When I took a breath it was very slow, very hard to pull, and felt hollow, almost as if it weren't going into my lungs! When I snapped out of it I shot up and looked around the room half expecting to see the grim reaper standing at the foot of my bed! I'd thought I'd been scared to death by the picture! I'm relieved that I'm not the only person that it has happened to, but now I'm scared that it'll start happening more often! My husband is leaving for the military in a week so I'm already going to have trouble sleeping, I don't want to add this terrifying sleep disorder on top of it!!! Is there a medication/cure to this? Will it show up on a sleep test?
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replied October 27th, 2009
Sleep Paralysis VS Nocturnal Seizures
you have to be in R.E.M to experience sleep paralysis. I have the same problem as stated above but no hallucinations, just paralyzed right when I am about to fall asleep. If it happens right at the moment of sleep but are still awake your having a nocturnal seizure. Epilepsy. It last for a minute or two, I cant breath sometimes and its painful. The next few days after are rough. I have 5-8 a month. It can be treated. If you have this right at the moment of sleep but are still awake your having a seizure. Seizures often occur when about to fall asleep or during sleep. My Dad has it, as well as me and my son. Sleep Paralysis occurs when you have reached R.E.M. during sleep, although they are very alike, you've fallen asleep for a bit the awaken with S.P. Nocturnal Seizures occur when you are on the threshold of sleep
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replied October 28th, 2009
Hi,i've had many experiences of sleep paralysis; in fact am awake right now at 3:46 because am tired not getting enough sleep because of this. i did't know what it was until right now that i was researching about sleep paralysis, i got to say , i fell much better i always though that it was a dead person laying on top of me, because i read that from a book. but it makes more sence that it's just me sleeping while still awake....wird i know
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replied November 10th, 2009
sleep paralysis
ive had this too.....i thought i was going crazy and i told my friend and she thought it was mad sketchy.
literally seconds before i felt like i was about to fall into a deep sleep, i couldn't move any muscle and i felt like i was having trouble breathing. I thought i was having some sort of panic attack. i tried turning my body to the left but i couldn't. i struggled for a minute or so and finally i gave up and fell asleep. i looked back on it and thought maybe it was a dream but it felt as real as anything. as if some pressure was stopping me from moving. i remember opening my eyes and trying to scream but i couldnt. that was the first and hopefully the last time that will happen.
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replied November 19th, 2009
Thank Goodness, I finally found some answears!!
I also experienced these episodes I felt like a spirit got on me so that's why I could not move. But I could still talk to my self and tried to move but could never do so, I would also panic while this was happening because I felt trapped. I would then try and call out to my boy friend sleeping next to me but could not yell so I would try to scream with a hum!!!!!! (that's all I could do)when he finally woke up as soon as he touched me I would snap out of it. He always told me that there was an explenation other than a entity. I guess it was okay to let him say 'I told you sow'
Once again thanx!
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replied November 25th, 2009
Sleep Paralysis
I tend to get sleep paralysis quite often. I have, from being a young child (Im now 20) had wierd sleeping patterns and habits ie sleepwalking and doing really wierd things in my sleep, but have recently started to get sleep paralysis quite a lot. This morning, my boyfriend left for work, and I drifted back off to sleep. I awoke with a feeling like the bedroom door was being opened, it was like i could see it even though i was lying on my front and couldnt see the door. I felt like i could see my self also, if that makes sense! My heart was seriously beating so fast and I could not move a muscle. I have never had it be scary like that Sad
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