Medical Questions > Mental Health > Sleep Disorders Forum

Sleep paralysis or something else?

I have a weird problem, kind of like sleep paralysis. It's sort of hard to explain, but basically, it's like there's an electric gateway in my head, and this is the threshold of control. If I allow myself to pass through the electric field, I lose control of my body. But if I feel myself going in and force myself to pull back, then I regain some control of my body.

As I am passing through the gateway, I can feel electricity going through my arms, fingers, and head. While this is happening, I lose control of my body and cannot move or make any sound. If I manage to pull myself out, I can gain enough control to move my limbs, though it takes more effort. If I let myself go through, then I fall back asleep. This happens most frequently while I am in the process of falling asleep. If I try to wake myself up, I usually end up wavering back and forth for a while. I also feel like my heart starts beating too fast/hard when this happens. It's a very unpleasant sensation, and the first time it happened I thought something terrible was happening to me.

In addition, I sometimes experience exploding head syndrome or hear unusual sounds while I'm passing through the gate. The sounds are usually loud and sudden buzzing noises, kind of like brass instruments almost, or even an electrical "cracking" sound. These will often startle me awake.

Anyone know what this could be? It's very weird. Could this be a form of sleep paralysis?
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replied October 5th, 2013
Active User, very eHealthy
Check out hypnagogic hallucinations. Could be what you are describing. If so, not super unusual, and the awareness of sleep paralysis while in a half-awake half-sleep state is not all that unusual either.

The exploding head syndrome would be consistent with a hypnagogic hallucination, although rarer.

The pounding heart could be a form of a panic attack that insomniacs sometimes experience between sleep cycles.

Much of this may be due to excessive levels of stress and/or anxiety. Just speculating. But if you also suspect stress/anxiety, you might be able to help yourself by learning drug free methods to address them both. It can be done.

If any of this feels overwhelming to you, by all means see a doctor.
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replied October 15th, 2013
ChaChaChaaa....That's the perfect description of what happens to me usually a few times a week. The sensation of passing through the electric field and the wavering back and forth to try and get out of it.

Mine normally starts soon after falling asleep, I'm usually startled by a loud noise which varies (Door banging/Loud voice etc ). Then I seemed to be sucked into this state but I can't do anything about it as I can't move. I have what seems to be some sort of electrical pressure focused to my head and then noises which are more continuous (White noise, Electric static, sometimes voices or baby's crying).
I can see my room but I would describe it as being in the same sort of state Frodo was in when he put on the ring the "Lord Of The Ring" movies.
A new addition to this is the sensation of seemingly being poked by an unknown force in all my tickly areas (Armpits, Sides of stomach). Worse that it sounds.

All this time I'm trying to get out of this state, Sometimes to do momentarily only to get sucked back in again like trying to escape a magnet with a metal suit on. Sorry for the odd comparisons but it really is hard to describe as there is nothing like it.

The best I can come up with looking on the internet is that its "Exploding Head Syndrome" mixed with "Sleep Paralysis". But they seem unique from person to person. Not much is known about this kind of disorder but it generally seem to be harmless apart from the obvious fear and discomfort. You aren't alone friend
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replied November 3rd, 2013
Since my last post I have started to listen to "Binaural Beats" before sleeping. They are noise patterns designed for relaxation and meditation but seem to help induce deep sleep too. Look them up, There are many free to download sites. They need to be listened to through stereo headphones though.
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