Talk:Sleep paralysis/Archive 1

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Archive 1


Night Terror in See Also?

I originally put a link to night terror in See Also, but then I felt I wasn't sure if it fit, so I removed it. But...I'm getting feelings of regret again and kind of feel like putting it back. I don't think there's a real strong "scientific" link between sleep paralysis and night terror, but they are kind of "contrasting" yet similar in some ways, I feel (in that sleep paralysis can induce a fearful hallucination while somewhat conscious, while night terror just puts the person in a more unconscious panic or so, though they occur at different sleep stages, from what I understand of 'em). Anyway, I just wanted to get some "approval" of knowing if it was appropriate to stick in or not, since it's not as strongly as related as the other three "See Also's" listed. Shadowolf 09:27, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Mmm, relabel "see also" or put in a new "see other sleep disorder" link, its just too different to be comparing the two. Hope that clears things up :)--ISeeDeadPixels 22:45, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Removal of astral projection paragraph

"Depending upon one's spiritual beliefs, some believe that sleep paralysis is simply your body being accidentally woken up while your soul is coming back into it. (under a theory that you leave your body, on occasion, while asleep). Your body reacts, as it only associates this event with the time that you are 'dying', so it panics and imagines generally nightmarish things."

this content did not fit in with the section it was placed, nor with the article in general. Since we are talking about a "neurological disorder" and not a "spiritual disorder". If it is worth mentioning though it should be placed under a new "religous" section with tie-ins to whatever specific "religous" belief system it belongs to.

Agreed. I thought the paragraph was a bit odd when I first saw it. Frecklefoot | Talk 19:22, Jul 8, 2004 (UTC)

There is a spiritual component to all traditional healing or any program of wellness. "Physician heal thy self." A physician can diagnose illness and offer a prognosis and medicine that isn't always effective. As a species our ego tells us that if something doesn't work 100% of the time it is false. How many physicians have a 100% cure rate?

Twenty years ago Western medicine considered Tai Chi and Chi Kung nonsense. Today most medical facilities offer classes in Tai Chi, Chi Kung and Yoga. In addition, many lectures and workshops at major medical facilities discuss the integration between Western Medicine and Eastern traditional healing. For example the metastasis of cancer and Eastern spiritualism. East or West is not correct as it is universal. Energy seen or unseen is truth. Truth and fact are not always congruous. All the best! Italianceltic

Rework of Opening Paragraph

I contest the latest changes by Vaughan. Though I am not a sleep disorder expert, every reference I can find refers to the disorder as sleep paralysis, not the more cumbersome awareness during sleep paralysis. I suggest we change the paragraph to state that sleep paralysis is a sleep disorder. Do a google search: almost every reference for "sleep paralysis" will turn up information on a disorder. We can mention that paralysis during sleep is normal, but the term "sleep paralysis" is used to refer to a disorder. Then we should revert all the additons of "awareness during sleep paralysis" back to simply "sleep paralysis." I just think in the earnestness of being "absolutely correct," Vaughan has sacrificed clarity. We can also keep his valuable additions of the more clinical and specific terms, but it shouldn't be implied that "sleep paralysis," when used in common contexts, refers to a normal condition. —Frecklefoot 15:54, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I would agree with Frecklefoot. I have never seen the term "sleep paralysis" used in any way other than in reference to the sleep disorder. Joyous 21:05, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)

Since no one has contested my change, I'm going to change it back. The current opening paragraph is too clumsy. Frecklefoot | Talk 19:22, Jul 8, 2004 (UTC)

Ack, sorry I made the revert before reading the above. However, Google is not the font of all knowledge! Describing sleep paralysis only as a disorder does not fully capture the way it is used. The rewritten intro paragraph describes and explains both usages of this term. Why stick to one when it will obstruct people who want to conduct further investigation in the scientific literature ? Also, describing it solely as a disorder leaves no room to discuss normal sleep paralysis and even clinical problems where people do not have normal sleep paralsysis i.e. parasomnia - Vaughan 12:06, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Okay. I have no beef with the article in its current state per the comments above. It clearly states where Sleep Paralysis can be a disorder. Frecklefoot | Talk 15:16, Aug 9, 2004 (UTC)

Personally, I think the term "Awareness During Sleep Paralysis is more precise, and we can always have wikipedia forward the more copmmon but less exact name. In my psychology class on the subject of reconstructed/false memories, that is the term we used. It emphasizes that individuals are, in fact, aware during this period.
Under symptoms, I believe there is room to briefly detail some of the psychological symptoms people describe (which appear in better detail under the Hypnagogia entry): terror, a feeling of (often malicious) presence ("The Entity"), lost time, floating, etc.
--Telecart 00:01, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
The "awareness" aspect has been thoroughly discussed. Read it in: [1]. -- 00:51, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Link kill

Why was this link removed? I thought it had some good information. Frecklefoot | Talk 18:27, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)

I agree that the link should be put back in....
also, I have sleep paralysis on a fairly regular basis.. I saw that it usually only lasts 2 minutes... but has anyone else had it, and if so, doesn't it seem like an eternity? Sometimes when I have it my body is faced so that I can see the clock, and I'll look at it and see what time it is and then look away, and it'll seem like hours, and I'll snap out of the paralysis and sit up if I have the energy, and it will be the same time.... or I'll have it, fall asleep, have it again, and the time won't have changed at all. I wouldn't know how to word it though, and I don't want to put it under something that's common if it's just me that has it. --Filladdar

I have it and so does my daughter. It does seem like a long time, but I've never been able to time it since I can't even open my eyes while experiencing it. Frecklefoot | Talk 15:06, Dec 6, 2004 (UTC)

I've had sleep paralysis for over a decade. There was a period about 7 years ago, when it became so severe that I was scared of going to sleep, wary of the terror that awaited me. This is what I used to go through, I'll tell you as if it is happening right now:
  • I am in my bed in my apartment.
  • It's in the middle of the night, probably 230am.
  • I was asleep and I think I was probably having a dream. But then suddenly, I got thrown out of the dream. My dream broke and now I am awake.
  • I can see the wall of the room at the far end of the room but I can't get up.
  • I can't move at all. I am totally paralysed.
  • I can blink my eyes though. I can even roll my eyes. I can look in different directions. But I can't move my body.
  • I feel as if there's someone in the room. I am certain it wants to kill me.
  • I feel a heavy weight on my chest.
  • I feel this powerful prescence which is trying to completely take me over.
  • I am terrified.
  • I have been through this kind of thing *many* times before.
  • I am reminding myself, "This is only a dream. This is not really happening. This is a dream. I need to get up. I must get up. I have to get up NOW."
  • I won't let it take over me. I am NOT afraid of it.
  • I know it's a spirit but I am not afraid. Because I have a spirit too - my soul. Plus, I even have a body to go with it.
  • Finally, I can move. The episode is over. I can only guess, but I think that a mere two minutes have passed.

Now people, I would like to tell you all that there was apparently a very simple *cure* for my sleep paralysis and it was this: I stopped drinking soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper etc. after 6pm at night. I heard it on the radio that such drinks can trigger sleep paralysis for some reason. At the time, I was desperate to get rid of my sleep paralysis. So, I tried this simply solution and lo and behold, *IT WORKED*! Now, I almost never have an episode of sleep paralysis except may be once or twice a year. Plus, I have chosen a line of work, in which I am awake during the night and asleep during the day. I'm a computer programmer. No kidding!!! Purple Dog 00:54, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

I use to have something very similar that I've wondered about for a while. If anyone knows could they identify it? When I was like six years old or so, I would often wake up in the middle of the night. I would have full control over my body, so it probably isn't sleep paralysis, but I would mumble and ramble like I was crazy or something, and sounds would be distorted. I would hear a constant, annoying sound. Often, pacing back and forth and rambling would be the only thing that would help and it would seem like I'm up for a long time. This only happened a few times but I am completely serious about it and I have no idea what it is. bob rulz 23:08, Jan 2, 2005 (UTC)
I have no idea, but I am not a sleep disorder expert of phychiatrist. You may want to try Wikipedia:Reference desk. HTH Frecklefoot | Talk 16:51, Jan 3, 2005 (UTC)
I think I know what you went through as a child: You were violently awakened by someone doing something near your bedroom that created a horriffic noise which was loud enough to shake you up from your sleep. Being a child, in an extremely sleepy state, you heard this noise as unintelligible, annoying noises. The rambling was due to the violent way that your sleep was disturbed and the pacing helped you go back to sleep because it had a rhythm - and that had a calming effect on your heart and brought your blood pressure down to normal. You could therefore, relax again, and go back to sleep. Hope this helps. Purple Dog 00:36, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Purple Dog, I used to have the same problem. I also am a software developer, I don't know if there is anything in that. Regardless, I seem to off fixed the problem by adding more potasium to my diet. I read an article in Discover where some guy was totally conscious, and had spells of temporary paralysis from the neck down. The doctor who authored the article attributed the subjects paralysis to a potassium defenciency.
I am also interested in how you linked Coke products to your spells. I read that iron oxide and potassium is how coke achieves gasification. Coke is loaded with iron oxide... wonder if there is anything to that.Anon

Literal Japanese translation

Minor change: Added literal Japanese translation for kanashibari - firstfox 15:12, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Sleep paralysis and the brain?

Normal sleep paralysis is thought to be due to mechanisms in the brain stem, particularly the reticular, vestibular, and oculomotor neurons, which prevent bodily movements, block sensory input and provide the forebrain with the internally generated activity that characterises brain activity during REM sleep. This is thought to be necessary to prevent the body from movements caused by dreams. Eyes however are not paralyzed by this system, and this exception was used to prove that lucid dreaming was an objectively verifiable phenomenon.

I thought that the onset of sleep included the release of a hormone specialized to paralyize muscle and that sleep paralysis is when a person becomes conscious when their body is so-paralyzed. "mechanisms in the brain stem...which prevent bodily movements" isn't very descriptive. Which mechanisms? Neurotransmitters? (which?)

I went looking for the name of the hormone(s) involved with the onset of sleep, and I wasn't able to find anything concrete. There are too many references to narcolepsy.

Some interesting reading:



  • Hypnagogic sleep paralysis - brief episodes of paralysis that occur when falling asleep.
  • Hypnopompic sleep paralysis - brief episodes of paralysis that occur when waking up

-- Sy / (talk) 19:40, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The cholinergic nervous system

I found the reference, could someone find a way to integrate it into the article? -- Sy / (talk) 15:48, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

The cholinergic nervous system, which is controlled by the brain neurotransmitter acetylcholine, helps control body movement, such as sleepwalking, tossing and turning, and general muscle activity, during sleep. -- Robert Haas, Eat Smart, Think Smart ISBN 0-06-109234-7 page 117.

Sleep paralysis and alien abductions

Did anyone catch that Peter Jennings special last night (2/24) on UFOs? They mentioned sleep paralysis as a possible explanation for people thinking they were abducted from their beds. That might be worthwhile to mention in this article.

I think that topic is discussed in Carl Sagan's book "The Demon-Haunted World." I don't know where my copy is, though, so I can't immediately reference it. Joyous 22:26, Feb 25, 2005 (UTC)
It is mentioned in the article. :-) Frecklefoot | Talk 22:27, Feb 25, 2005 (UTC)

I agree with this statement. I once experienced sleep paralysis. I scared my out of my wits and it felt as though I was being binded by chains and could not move or even open my eyes. My dream continued on though and I became lucid, screaming and dropping to the floor in it. If you become lucid and you are dreaming about some creepy alien sci-fi spaceship situation, it is easy to see how you could be freaked out and imagine it really happened. --CherryT 01:35, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

On a personal note: i just saw the alien abduction documentary. i remember having experienced sleep paralysis once in my life so far. i'm european, but from a culture that doesn't specificaly explain sleep paralysis. at the time, however, i had been two years into my studies as japanese major, and had heard about kanashibari and how it relates to ghosts in the japanese mindframe. i swear, the moment i experienced it, i "knew" i was seeing a ghost. a japanese style ghost, nonetheless. had i been american, perhaps i'd be seeing little grey men, or maybe lady death, if i was mexican. i don't think you even need to dream about these things, it's just the straw that the mind grasps for when trying hard to process what it's experiencing, and it's culturally defined. 01:20, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Sleep paralysis shows separate states?

Where did this section come from? It says "From the personal experience of M. van Veen, during which the writer wondered how it was possible to be on two tracks at the same time." Not only do I not understand the "the writer wondered how it was possible to be on two tracks at the same time" comment, but it sounds like it's the personal experience of a Wikipedia user. If this is so, it MUST be removed--Wikipedia DOES NOT do original research. If not, cite it. As it is, its unclear where it comes from. If not done in the next few days, I'm going to remove the whole section. Frecklefoot | Talk 20:13, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

Sleep Paralysis and Dredg's album El Cielo

I added the bit about Dredg's album El Cielo. It's a really great, interesting album. I recommend it.

Please don't recommend music in articles that aren't about music. Frecklefoot | Talk 14:08, August 15, 2005 (UTC)

The whole album is about s.p. A good portion of the lyrics come directly from letters written by people descibing thier experiences with s.p. I'm going to include it in the article. Regardless of what one thinks about the music, it is a good source for information straight from those who have experienced what the article is about.Typhoid Orchid 16:25, 13 September 2006 (UTC)


Is it truly necessary to have such a lengthy portion about incubi? They are associated with Sleep Paralysis, yet I hardly think it's appropriate to include such a long and tedious history. I personally can't decide how to edit it, but if someone could trim it down a bit I would appreciate it.

I reverted it. Originally it had a "Cultural references" section with discussion on how many cultures interpreted sleep paralysis. Some anon user removed all that info and just changed it into an incubus section, which, as you note, is inappropriate. That information can easily go in the incubus article. Frecklefoot | Talk 14:08, August 15, 2005 (UTC)

M. van Veen & Sleep paralysis shows separate states

Some anon user added this section back in. I reverted it. Read why before re-adding it.

Wikipedia is not a place for original research. This includes adding one's own personal experiences. If one can find a reference in a book or a website that states some experiences, it's fine to add. But adding one's personal experiences to an article is inappropriate. That is exactly what that whole section was—someone's personal experience with sleep paralysis.

M. van Veen, the user who added it (non-member, that is his real name), contacted me on my talk page and explained why he added it and how other users altered it. Be that as it may, it was a personal experience or original research, neither of which is allowed on Wikipedia.

I stand by my revert. If you want to add it back in please discuss it here first, not on my Talk page. It is best to get more editors opinions on it than just mine. Wikipedia is a community effort. Thank you. Frecklefoot | Talk 14:08, August 15, 2005 (UTC)

Not only is it original research, but it seems to deviate significantly from other descriptions of sleep paralysis. I'm going to delete it all together.--TheGrza 20:57, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Lucid dreaming section?

Why does there have to be an exact and non-formatted copy of the lengthy lucid dreaming article here? Couldn't you just link there instead, or write it in a few short paragraphs and explain why it's an important section here? It would make more sense as edits on LD wouldn't have to be made in two places. And that's why we have a separate article on lucid dreaming afterall. I removed it and added a See also section. User:Frecklefoot reverted and told me to see the talk page – but there's nothing relevant here. –Mysid (talk) 05:35, August 16, 2005 (UTC)

Heh, sorry, this is BS. I didn't even look what sections you reverted and what you didn't. My bad! –Mysid (talk) 05:40, August 16, 2005 (UTC)

J.-C. Lerman, Ph.D., NIH Senior Fellow changes

Let's discuss your changes to the article here. What are the problems you have with the article in its current state? What do you want to change and why? Frecklefoot | Talk 15:06, September 1, 2005 (UTC)

Unfortunately, Jord jumped in and reverted my revert and then wikified "Lerman"'s edit. In doing so, he uncommented a lot of text that was removed from the article long ago. Let's discuss this, guys, before we get into a full-fledged edit war. Frecklefoot | Talk 15:39, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
Frecklefoot, as I explained over at AMA Requests for Assistance, I was responding to Lerman's request for help. The problem did not seem apparent to me at the time of my edit, so I was bold in making changes which I thought would rectify the problem but, if not, could easily be resolved by a quick revert. I have emailed Lerman and encouraged him to bring his problems and concerns to the talk page and I do not believe that there is any risk of an edit war. - Jord 17:13, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
I understand what you did and why. My comment was not meant as an attack on you. I hope an edit war does break out. Frecklefoot | Talk 15:18, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
Is that a typo or did you intend to say "I hope an edit war does breakout"? - Jord 15:24, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes, typo. Does NOT was my intent. <nowiki></nowiki>&mdash; [[User:Frecklefoot|Frecklefoot]] | [[User talk:Frecklefoot|Talk]] 02:29, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Sleep paralysis and REM atonia

The intro says that the term "sleep paralysis" is used for both the normal paralaysis during REM sleep, and the pathological paralysis after waking up or before falling asleep. It then goes on to mention the term "awareness during sleep paralysis".

I didn't know the terminology in the field, so I believed our article. Recently someone alerted me to the fact that our terminology is non-standard. I investigated: MeSH defines "sleep paralysis" as "A common condition characterized by transient partial or total paralysis of skeletal muscles and areflexia that occurs upon awakening from sleep or less often while falling asleep. [...] The pathophysiology of this condition is closely related to the normal hypotonia that occur during REM sleep." [2] A search in PubMed reveals that the term "sleep paralysis" is used in the medical literature excusively in this sense. Furthermore, a google search shows that the phrase "awareness during sleep paralysis" is not used on .edu sites, and appears to be promoted solely by the web site I don't know what their agenda is, but we should not adopt their neologisms.

So I edited accordingly and directed the reader to our article on REM sleep for the explanation of REM atonia. AxelBoldt 17:26, 23 October 2005 (UTC)


i have over 25 yrs experienced 100s of regular sleep paralysis- 95% of the time it always occurs in the morning, it is very intimidating and frightining. it is simply a feeling of compltete and utter physical weakness , and although i have an active intrest in the paranormal -there is NO indication at all of anything remotely supernatural, shadowy figures or incubus occuring ever in 25 years. intrestingly, according to my mom ,as a baby i was nearly suffocated by my brother who covered me in too many blankets, i discussed this with a psychologist as to a possible reason for my SP and i was very disappointed with her complete indifference and lack of proffesional curiosity. t ali 22/02/06

I had a few sleep paralysis episodes in my childhood - I think I was probably around five or six years old when they occurred. I am 32 years of age now, but I have a clear recollection of them and I remember that I found them tremendously frightening at the time. I think this is a very interesting phenomenon, and it wouldn't surprise me if it is more widespread than commonly known. Personally I kept quiet about my experiences until I - far into my adulthood - happened to learn about sleep paralysis as a clinical disorder. Jonas Liljeström 16:45, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Ugh. I remember when I had them. I just lied there in bed, and I couldn't open my eyes or move my body. I just sat there, terrified, trying to move in the complete darkness. Once I sat there for what seemed like hours before someone finally shook me. Sometimes it would be in an open area, like the couch, and sometimes it would be in the middle of the night. Nonetheless, it was extremely frightning. I'm glad someone can relate. 04:12, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I've definitely had the hallucinations (auditory and visual) along with this, and it was quite terrifing. Really sticks in your mind. — Laura Scudder 15:44, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I had three of them once within a few minutes before going to sleep on Christmas day... Yep, that sucked. I got up early enough around (6ish) got my presents then went back to sleep because I was so tired. Then three of them in a row. I didnt see anything but I did hear a voice (like the whispers in lost) in my left ear. Now its around 3:46 and I dont want to go to sleep because I know ill get one again... --ISeeDeadPixels 03:46, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Sleep Walking?

if paralysis occurs when one is sleeping, then does the explaination for sleep walking having something to do with your body not going into paralysis?

  • I have heard that that is the case, yes. With sleepwalkers, paralysis is not fully implemented during dreaming, and so the dreamer partly acts out their dream by walking.

An experience I sometimes get, one that I can't find fully described anywhere on Wiki, is, on occasions where I'm lying in bed tired but just can't get to sleep (you know what I mean), all of a sudden my body will paralyse, I'll get a tingling sensation all over, and I'll feel myself being 'dragged' into sleep and straight into a dream. It's almost like fainting, I suppose.

Anyone else ever experienced this? Martyn Smith 23:33, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I have experienced this countless times in my life. The last times it was happening to me was when I was in college and would fall asleep in one of the study cubicles, with my neck bent in a wierd position. I would usually fall into sleep and then all of a sudden "wake up", but only my mind would wake up and not my body. Sometimes my eyes would be open and I could see. I could see people waking by and inside I was struggling with all my might to lift my head from the desk. Normally the dissociation of your mind from your motor functions makes you frightened and you just enter this trip where you are fighting to move muscles. And sometimes you get yourself to pop out of it. This occurs with a huge jolt and inhalation of air. You can feel strange sort of chemical reaction going off in your head at that point too the closest feeling to it would be extremely "groggy".

It is odd, 2 of my friends when I growing experienced sleep paralysis. We would all experience hallucinations of same sort. We didn't use the words spiraling tesselated sheet or rotating polyhedra, but we all were seeing these things. My hallucinations have had an auditary dimension to them also. I remember laying on a couch and falling asleep. Then "waking up" and not being able to tell the depth of objects in space, and a feeling of heaviness on the left side of the body and chest. All this time this high-pitch garbling noices are going on. They remind my of the sounds heard when pure-sinusoidal waves are generated with a synth, but they are changing frequency so quickly that they make no sense. That time I fell into sleep after the experience, instead of waking up in a jolt.

I always wondered if it was related to the fact that I would also wake up from dreams that I was drowning or suffocating. But I would actually have my face in the pillow, lying face down, and when I would wake up I would bolt up, finally get my muscles to flip my body so I could breathe. Now that I write this it seems obvious that they are pretty much the same type of experience. But none of my friends experienced suffocation dreams. Weird Huh?


Not at all. Ive had that suffocating feeling a couple of times when falling asleep or during sleep. Its a symptom of sleep apnoea. You dont have to have sleep apnoea to have it, its just one of the symptoms. --ISeeDeadPixels 02:28, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Maybe a "Techniques" section?

My mum gets this a lot, a shadowy figure over her and such... She used to have it a lot, and of course because you are overwealmed by fear, the instinctive action is to get away... to move away as fast as possible, but that never works.. because you're paralysed. What my mum tried to do (over 6 months ago) is move towards it... and she just described to me that the "spirit" broke... and the thing was over and she was happy.

I mean this is very much a personal thing, but can anyone else confirm this or suggest other techniques?

I have been exeperiencing this kind of paralysis since I was a child. I have told my mother about it and because my family is orthodox she told me to pray whenever this happens or to try to move my tongue making a cross with it. Maybe other people don't believe in God, but the effect of this technique would probably be described by science people like a way of relaxing by thinking that everything will be ok. I have also read a lot of articles and researches which said that whenever the person having an attack managed to move even the slightest muscle, excepting the eyes, the attack would vanish. Trying to move you tongue seems to be easier than trying to move any other muscle.

—— The only technique that ever worked for me was quite non-intuitive; simply try to fall back to sleep. I tried this, and it works quite well. You just have to convince yourself to fall back to sleep, and you will wake up seconds later with no paralysis. I've been able to make sounds during an episode, hoping that my wife would wake me up, but that never worked. The few times she heard something, she said it was just a very quiet moan. Mockdwig 00:04, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Japanese ghosts

how come you wont let the fact about the Japanese think sleep paralysis is caused by ghosts stay on the page? just wondering...

Missing verifiable source with full citation and with indication whether its POV is folklore or pseudoscience. Jclerman 00:43, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Because not all Japanese people do think that. What are you trying to say here? If there is some traditional folklore/myth that it was due to ghosts (similar to the idea of the hag), then you should state that. Mdwh 10:59, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
PLAINLY SAID: Either include a verifiable source with full citation or delete the statement. Jclerman 11:56, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Needed citations

The first and third sentences marked "Citations Needed" can be found in Volume 3,Issue 1 of [mental_floss] magazine. Is this a proper source? 22:29, July 1, 2006

scariest night

I had an episode of sleep paralysis last night, my scariest one yet. I was awoken by a scary, radio-like voice really close to my ear. It was saying something that I couldn't decifer. I could move my eyes, but nothing else. I tried so hard to move but it was impossible. And it felt like something heavy was on my chest. After a few minutes, I was able to wiggle my toes. Then, I fell back asleep and woke up normally within what seemed like seconds.

Right before the episode, I had a series of dreams. Like one of the above stories, I drank diet coke after 6 pm and listed in the possible causes, I was sleeping in a face up position. Also, every time it happens, I'm sleeping in that position.

Anyway, I'm scared to go to sleep tonight. Aug 02, 2006, by User:

Well, are you uncomfortable sleeping on your stomach or in the fetal position? That's what I would reccomend you do, though I'm no expert. By the way, have you talked to your doctor about this? 15:00, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I had an episode recently when i was drifting off to sleep. I felt pressure in my brain. Its hard to describe but it felt like waves crashing against my brain or cars passing really close to my head, its like a little rush that gives you a jump and it almost startles you into falling out of bed(anyone else have these?). I have these more often than I have the sleep paralysis but when i have it it usually means im going to have an episode. (I only get that feeling when I close my eyes and when I open them its gone.) The room was really dark and when I had the episode I felt like I saw a dark figure standing on a chair less than 2m away from me I saw a flash of light come up from beneath my blanket and in a couple of minutes/seconds(honestly i dont have a clue) i could move again. Needless to say i was freaked out. I had about 3 more of these within the next 20 mins, it felt like i was bound and gagged and the only way of getting out of it was to concentrate on moving my feet. I think the problem was i was out all night and got to bed at 3. I was really tired during lectures all morning and had to have a quick 2 hour nap between lectures, thats when i had the episodes. Naps are evil! ;) --ISeeDeadPixels 22:40, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Mention of OBE's

I think some mention of out of body experiences is appropriate for this article. Rather than applying a ridiculous spiritual or non-scientific explanation to sleep paralysis as was previously done, I believe the article should merely state that the symptoms of sleep paralysis are nearly identical to the precursors of obe's and parts of the experience itself.(numbness, tingling, visual/auditory hallucination) Surely there is an important connection to be made and highlighted there. With a lack of physical sensory input, the body seems to compensate through other means. If lucid dreaming is worthy of mention, certainly obe's are. The level of consciousness people report during obe's is much more akin to sleep paralysis(being fully awake as in normal life) than sleep paralysis is to dreaming, lucid or not. Any thoughts on this?

--A.Lynn 05:38, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I second that. A note of the Astral Projection phenomenon would also be appropriate, seeing Sleep Paralysis is the vital part of spiritual students attempting to Astral Project out of their bodies. One of the steps, so to say. Clockword 13:54, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Removed quackery

Removed the spiritual science paragraph because the term is an oxymoron and because the paragraph presented this quackery as fact.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Have reinserted the content as it is a referenced alternative insight. Your edit is unsigned. Knowledge for All 11:45, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

If someone else had not already removed the comment and links again, I would have done so. You cannot present outrageous statements like the ones the paragraph contained as fact. Calling it an "alternative insight" simply means you think it is insigtful and that you know other people disagree (and we do!). It does not make it any less controversial. Take a look at the "cultural references" section for how to describe controversial stuff like that in a more acceptable manner. 15:43, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Copyright violation?

The linked article on is identical to a paragraph in the wikipedia article. The Skeptic's Dictionary entry on Sleep Paralysis

Cite your references

Someone keeps putting "extreme cases of sleep paralysis can last more than 5 hours" back into the article. If you don't cite your sources it will be deleted, there is no evidence i have found in medical journals of SP cases lasting more than a few minutes at most. If this is your own research then maybe you might consider publishing it for study and then it would be citeable, but as it is it seems unlikely. --ISeeDeadPixels 16:38, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Plus, it might be impossible to determine how long these episodes last since:
  1. It's almost impossible for the victim to determine the duration since their sense of time/space is completely distorted
  2. It's usually impossible for an outside observer to determine that a subject is suffering from this condition.
I can't see how it could ever be verified. Some episodes might seem to last that long, but I bet a few minutes is tops. — Frecklefoot | Talk 17:31, 11 January 2007 (UTC)


The last in possible causes "artifical sleeping aids or antihistimines" could be more generic or more specific. Maybe more clear would be "certain drugs or medications such as artifical sleeping aids or antihistimines...". Excellent article, by the way! --Eurlim 05:57, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Moved from top

the first time i ever had one of weird dreams were i could not move or speak but could hear everthing around me going on i was only 12 we never had soda as kids or sugar hardly ever it was water or milk in my house and no sugar so i dont think it has anything to do with that still have there dreams and when they are doing something to me wile i lie there it hurts real bad and still hurts for hours after explaine that one now my daughter is going threw this and when she has it i have them too but this time i did something different i put salt next to my bed now i have nothing i think something will allways be after me thats what it feels like it makes you crazy i dont think its just a dream and i never will no matter what other people say this is real and will be real theres so much more to this im 45 when will it end —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 16:02, 29 January 2007.

Shared Memory?

I just had First Aid class in school and he told me about this sleep paralysis thing, so I came here. He said that the "Old Hag" was some sort of "Shared Memory" between people of all races. I don't see anything like this in this article. -Occono.

SciFi. It's in the genes. Jclerman 16:24, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Find a reliable source and you can cite it. Anecdotes do not suffice.--Drat (Talk) 13:27, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Someone's been watching too much Stargate -- 17:26, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

astral projection

Is sleep paralysis a state you have to enter befor you can astral travel? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:02, 28 March 2007 (UTC).

Drug use

The only time I ever experienced sleep paralysis was when I was coming down off of Ecstasy (MDMA). However, Ecstasy is not just MDMA, but many different drugs all in one pill.

Cody 08:23, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I have reverted your addition, as it is original research.--Drat (Talk) 11:55, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

To move again without waiting

From what I've seen, most people think you just have to wait, but when this happens to me all I have to do is concentrate really hard and jerk a part of my body like my arm, after I do that I can instantly move again. --CHEESEWHIZ 06:18, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Also, If someone could figure out a good way to add this to the article, I think it may help quite a few people who have it and look here for information. --CHEESEWHIZ 06:20, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Unless you can find a study proving this method, it can't be added. This is original research. Absentis 10:50, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

I know it works because I do it, but I guess I'll see what I can find --CHEESEWHIZ 12:23, 12 June 2007 (UTC) ,"I finally get a finger to wiggle, or I manage to jerk my leg. I drag in a deep breath of air, and I'm fine again. The paralysis is gone", 4th paragraph "I had to jerk before I could move"

4th comment

I'm not sure if that's enough for you, so I'll keep looking I suppose--CHEESEWHIZ 21:39, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Alternate Explanations

Has anyone considered listing alternate explanations for the phenomenon? I got redirected here from "Old Hag Syndrome", which I see as a problem, since this article is about a neurological condition that is not accepted by everyone as explaining old hag attacks. In fact, I see attempts by others to express this very thought by making edits (which seem to have been removed, justifiably, for poor articulation, etc.)

While it's true that the explanations given by different cultures are mentioned in the section about names, the bulk of the article gives the impression that the neurobiological explanation is universally accepted today, when that isn't the case. I would say that about half the people I've asked think the attacks are in fact caused by a malevolent spirit, and see old hag attacks as distinct from, though related to, sleep paralysis as such. It might be good to at the very least mention that sleep paralysis as an explanation for old hag syndrome is disputed.--Bananasandramen 01:01, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Edited out by Laurascudder, see article's history

  • In Newfoundland and other parts of North America, sleep paralysis is referred to as a visit from the "old hag" (Irish: Ag Rog).
  • In Chinese folk culture, sleep paralysis is referred as "gǔi yà chúang" (鬼压床,鬼壓床), literally: "Ghost press bed": : ghost, : press, : bed. The belief is that a spirit or ghost is sitting or lying on top of the sleeping individual, causing the sleep paralysis. This is thought to be a minor body possession by the forces from the dead which doesn't usually cause any harm to the victim.
  • In Japan, sleep paralysis is referred to as kanashibari (金縛り, literally "bound or fastened in metal," from kane "metal" and shibaru "to bind, to tie, to fasten").
  • In Thailand, this condition is said to be caused by a spirit or "pee um" (ผีอำ) which sits or lie atop of the victim causing him or her to be immobile. The spirit causes no harm to the victim and is said to only be playing pranks.
  • In Scandinavian mythology, sleep paralysis was caused by a Mara, or mare - a kind of malignant female wraith who is responsible for nightmares. She appears as early as in the Norse Ynglinga saga, but the belief itself is probably even older. "Mara" is the Old Norse, Swedish and Icelandic name, "mare" is Norwegian and Danish.
  • In Mexico, as Se subio el muerto (the dead has climbed on top).
  • In Greek, as demonokavalikema (in Greek: δαιμονοκαβαλήκεμα), which refers to a demon having climbed on top of the body.
  • In German as Hexendrücken (witch pressing).
  • In Turkish, as karabasan (literally: "dark presser": kara: "dark/black":, basan: "pusher, presser". Most Turkish people believe that it's a metaphysical incident, and especially religious people believe that it's a jini that causes the discomfort; so generally some kind of prayer is advised).
  • In Hazaragi, as Shazia Zer Kado (pressing ink).
  • In the Southern United States, people have described it as "The witch riding your back".
  • In the Western United States, the Sleep Paralysis is commonly called "Scissor Lock".
  • In Korea, it is referred as Gawinullim, (가위눌림) literally in English: "To be pressed by Gawi." The meaning of Gawi is clear, generally known to mean "spirits" or "demons." Another word in Korean "Gawi" is a homonym that means "scissors". Such occurrences are usually referenced as "scissor lock" in English.[citation needed]
  • In Indonesia, Javanese people call it tindihan, spelled traditionally as "tindhihen" (To be laid upon). Also in Sundanese, people call it ereup-ereup.
  • In the Philippines, Sleep paralysis is often associated with Bangungot.
  • In Malaysia, known as "kena himpap", meaning being pressed down.
  • In Vietnam, sleep paralysis is known as "ma đè", meaning a ghost or spirit lying on top of or pressing down on the person.
  • In the West Indies, being "ridden by a duppy".
  • In medieval times of Europe, attacks of sleep paralysis may have given rise to the belief in mara, incubi, succubi, other demons and witchcraft. People in England believed that witches or hags rode on men's chests as they slept, and the feeling of being unable to breathe was attributed to a hag. This is why people who have had very little sleep may be described as looking "hag-ridden".
  • In traditional Russian belief symptoms reminiscent of sleep paralysis were attributed to the anger of domovoi, the home spirit, punishing people for bad husbandship or betrayal.
  • According to traditional Hmong beliefs, various states of sleep paralysis are thought to be the processes in which an evil spirit or demon sits down on a person usually in retaliation to wrongdoings. Some Hmong have deemed it as the process of getting 'squashed'.
  • Traditional Islamic cultures would usually interpret this as an encounter with a Jinn (or "djinn"); a race of beings, similar to humans which inhabit the earth. The word "jinn" literally means anything which has the connotation of concealment, invisibility, seclusion and remoteness, and is one of the two beings (the other being Human) addressed directly in the Quran. In Islamic text, and scholarship, Jinns are considered beings, which like humans are accountable for their deeds and thus have free will. They are considered to have life and death, society, culture and religion.
  • In Laotian culture, it is called "pee um" translated as "ghost silencing you". The ghost or spirit is thought to visit you in the night, hold your arms and legs down, and even cover your mouth up so that no sound would come out when you scream.
  • In Finnish a nightmare is called painajainen, but literally it means "pressing" and is thought to be originating from sleep paralysis sensory effects.
  • In Hungarian folk culture sleep paralysis is called "lidércnyomás" ("lidérc pressing") and can be attributed to a number of supernatural entities like "lidérc", "boszorkány" (witch), "tündér" (fairy) or "ördögszerető".[1] The word "boszorkány" itself stems from the turkish root "basz-", meaning "to press".[2]
  • In Polish folk culture sleep paralysis is known as "dusiołek", a creature that strangles people in sleep. This creature is a character of a poem by Polish poet Bolesław Leśmian "Dusiołek".
  • New-age practitioners have argued that sleep paralysis might be the point of separation of the "dream body" from the physical body and out-of-body travel then begins.
  • Scientists believe that many supposed occurrences of alien abduction, out-of-body travel, and other seemingly paranormal events may actually be due to misinterpreting the sensory effects of sleep paralysis.


I really don't see what the harm is in letting facts come back into the article as they are referenced. Otherwise it will likely sit with that {{unreferenced}} tag forever because no one will bother. — Laura Scudder 05:39, 8 July 2007 (UTC)


From the recent history:

  • 03:32, July 8, 2007 By Drat: I meant it's not encyclopedic to have a pointer to the talk page. The stuff that's been moved there can stay the hell out until refs appear.

  • By Jclerman: Drat: The references have always been and still are here:[3], or just scroll the hell down.

Jclerman 15:04, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Paralysis when waking up, treatment/explanation?

I was stuck by the mention of sleep paralysis happening more often when sleeping face up. I can remember waking up and feeling like I couldn't move... I wanted to get up, but just couldn't seem to move anything other than my eyes, so.. I just went back to sleep =p I wonder that, in more superficial cases at least, it's just a matter of not wanting to wake up? Does this issue ever occur to anyone when woken up by something that demands an immediate response, like a loud, closeby alarm clock?

It's obviously very hard to understand your own thought processes when just waking up and very sleepy, but I've always tried to understand myself then so I can, for example, learn how to motivate myself to not sleep in. So might this be an accurate way to describe what one is thinking when experiencing sleep paralysis upon waking up?

  • lying on side: symmetry is broken, less chance to feel paralyzed.
  • but lying on back: symmetry. You can't decide which side to roll onto, your brain is too muzzy to think about things like that, and rolling forward into a sitting position simply takes too much effort! Faced with either having to think, having to expend nontrivial effort sitting up, or doing nothing, your brain ends up doing nothing.

Is this consistent with anyone else's observations of their motivational state and physical position when experiencing sleep paralysis upon waking? 22:31, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

The significance of sleep paralysis?

I have gotten SP many times now (over 20 to date) and lately I've been wondering if there might be some sort of a significance behind them... and if so - then how come not everyone gets them and some people get a lot of them? In each SP episode, I see things that I do not understand (the way I see things, the distortions and symbolism in these visions, the way the sound perception changes, and more), but I've been thinking that if there is something to understand through these episodes... then we surely gotta find that out!20:59, August 7, 2007

The rational response is: "There is no significance to the visions, sounds and feelings experienced during sleep paralysis. But, sure, they're usually scary as hell." However, I'm sure there are hundreds of theories as to what they mean and why you must understand what they mean. I'm sure there are as many theories to interpretations as there are ways to interpret dreams. But of course none of these are backed up by any kind of scientific critique. So, pick one that you fancy and interpret your experiences based on it. Or not.
Why do some people get them all the time and others never have them? No idea. Maybe people's brains aren't identical? Me and my daughter get them, but my wife and son never do. As the article mentions, there are some things you can do to help avoid them. So perhaps those that don't experience them naturally avoid the risky factors. — Frecklefσσt | Talk 14:50, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

My experience...

My sleep paralysis was due to a terrifying "Screamer" site experience when I was 13'ish. For about a year and a half, I would see a "Face" (Not the exact one) appear and I'd wake up, paralyzed in fear for quite a period of time. I was too scared to tell my parents. So, I tried to solve the problem myself, and started trying to 'shake' myself awake, starting with my face. It worked, and its ironic to see it as a method in this wiki article. Its the exact same thing I did, but I wasn't told to do it. I just started trying it one night. If anyone is having problems with sleep paralysis, try to train your brain to think of doing that =) Posted by anon

Universal experiences for our species. It's in

our genes, that's why each one of us "discovers" the same phenomena and how to react out of them. Jclerman 03:20, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Incubus ? Sleep paralysis ?

Ive been experiencing this very often seekin for a scientific explanation..i dont realy have beliefs in spirit and demon..but the contents of this pages makes me to they exist ? not a fearful person..and im not stressed at the moment..why am i getting all this then ?..i would like to share my experience here..i was sleeping..i had a dream..someone(something) knocked on my door..when i opened the door..i saw no one but a short white tried to come into my room..and i was trying to close the door..i got scared n tried to wake from sleep..that is when i was paralysed..n i saw the white figure beside my bed..holding my hand..i couldn get up..voice out..i felt as dho something heavy was lying on my last for almost 30 seconds..when i got up..i felt strengthless..since that not sleeping well..thinking of seeing a doctor..

Sleep paralysis and me...

Incubus ? Sleep paralysis ?

Ive been experiencing this very often seekin for a scientific explanation..i dont realy have beliefs in spirit and demon..but the contents of this pages makes me to they exist ? not a fearful person..and im not stressed at the moment..why am i getting all this then ?..i would like to share my experience here..i was sleeping..i had a dream..someone(something) knocked on my door..when i opened the door..i saw no one but a short white tried to come into my room..and i was trying to close the door..i got scared n tried to wake from sleep..that is when i was paralysed..n i saw the white figure beside my bed..holding my hand..i couldn get up..voice out..i felt as dho something heavy was lying on my last for almost 30 seconds..when i got up..i felt strengthless..since that not sleeping well..thinking of seeing a doctor..

Signs and Symptoms

Normally a section on signs and symptoms provides a description of the phenomenon without going into speculation about what is causing it or the pathogenesis of the phenomenon. There is currently a lot of stuff in this section that ought to be in the pathogenesis/pathophysiology section or a section on theories of causation.RFabian (talk) 17:18, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Agreed. "Some scientists have proposed this condition as an explanation for reports of ghost parasites and alien visits with the means of fourth spatial dimension, thus being able to freely enter and exit a completely closed-locked room.[7][8] Some suggest that reports of extraterrestrial involvements are related to sleep paralysis rather than to temporal lobe lability.[9]" Seriously? (talk) 09:12, 4 May 2015 (UTC)


This article is about Awareness during Sleep Paralysis (ASP), and while I've seen many places where people call it just 'Sleep Paralysis', I believe that is a form of shorthand. The full name more properly describes the phenomena, and distinguishes it from normal REM atonia. --Telecart (talk) 18:20, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Most scientific literature refers to ASP as simply "Sleep Paralysis", as it only physiologically similar to muscle atonia. SP is essentially a sleep pathology. Am I understanding your statement correctly? Wisdom89 (T / C) 18:28, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

The word "hypotonia" is used in the first paragraph. It links to the REM sleep article, where the word is not used at all, leaving the reader confused about both the definition of the word and its significance here. I suggest replacement/removal. (talk) 17:50, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Common experiences

From personal experience and articles I've read elsewhere, I thought that there was a frequent association between sleep paralysis and dreams of a black figure - I can see a lot of people describing these experiences in results for a google search of 'sleep paralysis "black figure"', but was wondering if anyone's aware of a formal citation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:43, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

cleaning up talk page

This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Sleep paralysis article. This is not a forum for general discussion about the article's subject.

Can we just remove those comments? maybe move them? The S/N is getting pretty high here. Kl4m 04:52, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

I think the recommended Wiki course of action is simply to archive the heck out of this discussion page and 'start over'. But personally, I hope Wiki in general would give a little slack to this discussion page since it -is- such an intense topic. I've had it before and it isn't fun at all. Lots42 13:21, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
There, how's that? We can't keep all the issues here forever. Archiving makes them still available, but this (now shorter) page more accessible to the greatest number of users. — Frecklefσσt | Talk 11:20, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

-That image you have is not so good an idea, I assume most people who suffer sleep paralysis will Google(or wiki) the phenomenon straight away and to see that image come straight up is very frightening. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:27, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

What about OBE's? What about felt presences?

Why is there no mention of the effects of SP that the sufferer experiences? The majority of experiences report at least one of the following: out of body experience, loud buzzing in the ears, pressure on the body as if being pushed into the bed, malevolent presence, extreme feeling of dread...

Bigdealamerica (talk) 00:49, 23 February 2017 (UTC)This article needs to go into further details about the shared experiences of SP in general. Have there been any experiences that are not inherently negative and terrifying? Does this phenomenon have a link to other sleep disorders or mental illnesses? I would like to see links to more articles discussing the long-term psychological repercussions of Sleep paralysis.

How can you have an article on SP without its non-physical effects? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Globalize tag

I've marked a section globalize/USA because of this fragment: "... in African-Americans panic disorder often co-occurs with sleep paralysis." The article African-American itself discusses at length the intended referents of the term, but the conclusion seems to be that it refers to people living in the USA who have some black African ancestry. There are several possibilities about the sleep paralysis statement:

  1. it co-occurs with panic disorder in Africans and people of African descent
  2. it for some reason only occurs in such people when they live in the USA
  3. it's only been studied in the USA

Probably it should be stated which holds. Thayvian 04:20, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I think it's pretty clear that the article is referring to people of african extraction in the USA. It's in the first couple of paragraphs (talk) 20:26, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

reference not found - see LOC and WorldCat

Provide ISBN to the "Notes"

  • Parker Johnston, states after his encounter with sleep paralysis, "I can tell you right now, if I hadn't read about this type of thing earlier, mainly the part about the hallucinations, and known exactly what was going on, what was causing it and what to expect, this would've easily been one of the most nightmarish experiences of my life" and goes on to say that "knowing is half the battle".[3]

Jclerman 11:22, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Nothing more than a dream

I dispute the claim made in the article that "More often than not, sleep paralysis is believed by the person affected by it to be no more than a dream". There's no citation and "it's only a dream" has not been my experience or the experience of anyone I've ever read about. My experience is that SP is so potent because it doesn't feel like a dream and it takes a great deal of mental self-convincing to decide that it really was just a dream and not, for example, a reason to sleep with the lights on and a knife under the pillow and perhaps a nice exorcism of the surrounding area (just in case). --TheCynic (talk) 19:08, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

No, it definitely doesn't feel "like a dream" to the person experiencing it. It feels like being physically attacked or suffocated. — Frecklefσσt | Talk 20:07, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Of course this is all anecdotal - But I concur - I have never mistaken the phenomena for a "dream" - I am fully aware and panic internally. Wisdom89 (talk) 20:10, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I also agree that the "dream" statement shouldn't be in the article (especially if unverified), because it certainly doesn't feel like a dream. Even if their eyes are closed, the person is often conscious as this happens -- which is why if you ever suspect that someone is experiencing it, you should definitely ask them if everything is okay. If all they can do is twitch or mumble, you should move them a bit. -- (talk) 02:58, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Observations: sleep paralysis while asleep

Tripping in a dream

I just encountered an xkcd comic[4] that duplicates my own personal experience, and which I assume can't be too uncommon - while in normal people sleep paralysis prevents all normal walking motions, when reacting to a stumble the mechanism seems to be bypassed. I've been woken a dozen times myself this way, from the sensation produced after actually moving in response to a dreamed stumble (though I suppose I can't rule out that some spasm only occurring while asleep simply resembles a stumble and is interpreted as such in the dream just prior to causing wakefulness, though it seems less likely)

Is paralysis a misnomer?

To me the word "paralysis" seems altogether inappropriate for this situation. Far from going limp, the muscles work, sometimes overwork, to maintain a fixed position. Perhaps this phenomenon once served to hold our ancestors safely in trees? I remember one occasion during which I took a moment to rest my eyes while reading a textbook, and held it open, balanced on the flat of my hand. Two hours later I was awakened when it fell on me. It is possible for this to cause muscle soreness, should I happen to fall asleep while in the process of trying to get up out of bed or holding up bedding in my arms, for example, and I assume that the phenomenon of a "stiff neck" happens the same way for people who experience it often. I assume also it is the means by which storied sleeping Western gunslingers kept weapons or treasure firmly in hand, if such stories are based in reality.

Anaesthetic properties

The ability of this phenomenon to cause soreness depends on the lack of sensation. Actually, it has been my perception that a broad variety of aches and pains one might have before falling asleep are relieved while this is active.

Not all or nothing

I've noticed that upon awakening, it seems I can retain the "paralysis" in some limbs and not others, simply by not choosing to put forward the mental effort to initialize their movement at first. I haven't put this to any rigorous experiment, but it would seem to be a useful way of narrowing down the biological mechanisms.

Of course, I can't dump comic strips and unsourced musings into the article, but perhaps better info will turn up. Wnt (talk) 00:14, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Did you have anything to contribute to the article? Personal experiences are original research and can't be used in articles. — Frecklefσσt | Talk 13:28, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
As I said... but perhaps observations of this type are tucked away in some of the published literature, so I mentioned these things in the hope I'd jog someone's memory. They're not the sort of thing you can search for quickly at NCBI. Sorry... Wnt (talk) 04:15, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Added my workaround

After many years of waking up terrified as a child thanks to this condition, I realized that it never occured when I slept in a particular way. Have not had a bad night for about a decade. Added a short sentence to the Treatment section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:45, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but we cannot accept information based on personal observations, as that would be original search.--Drat (Talk) 22:23, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
A study charting a very strong link between paralysis and the supine pose is accessible via one of the article's existing references ( ). Given the amount of trauma that knowledge of such details could conceivably prevent, maybe more detailed coverage of this article's findings is in order. K2709 (talk) 17:25, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Affected famous people

-Napoleon Bonaparte-Quote: "Ah, my friend, I have had a frightful dream; a bear was tearing open my breast, and devouring my heart!" told his servant. (talk) 13:54, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Interesting, but is it paralysis? I'd classify this as Shamanic dismemberment experience. K2709 (talk) 22:01, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Another workaround

I suffered from this quite often before I was diagnosed and treated for sleep apnea. I found that if I crossed my eyes, the sensation would stop immediately. Should/can I add this to the article? It may help some people. If so, then where in the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry but no, as it would be original research. If you can find a reliable source that has written about it, however, you can add the info and cite the source.--Drat (Talk) 06:22, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

I understand now. Thanks for the insight Drat!—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Lucid Dreams Associated with Sleep Paralysis

Can something be added about lucid dreams associated with sleep paralysis? When I relax during an episode and just 'go with it' instead of fighting it, I often fall into a sleeping dreamstate where I am aware that I'm dreaming and that my body is at home in sleep paralysis mode. The dreams are vivid and intense and I am totally lucid and have partial control over what is happening. The dreams are often highly symbolic with themes such as my own personal power and ability to overcome beings/people who try to exert control over me. I have always won so far. Anyway, I've heard other people on various sleep paralysis forums discuss this connection between sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:32, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

You can't use your personal experiences as sources in the article. These things need to have been written about by reliable, independent sources, otherwise you'll be engaging in original research.--Drat (Talk) 18:53, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

I dont know how to format my comment properly (can someone fix it please), but I would like to say this can be most important information about SP. I found this article by reading about lucid dreams and when I saw this page, I made completely wrong conclusion! What I can say from my experience is that SP is a fear of lucid dreams and/or astral projections. If you have it, you should get rid of it ASAP and have a nice life. There's no real reason to be afraid of it and you shouldn't trust them when they say its a ghost or witch or demon or evil spirit...

BTW Google both phrases: "Lucid Dreams" "Sleep Paralysis" and you will have ~10K results, so I would say that these terms are connected even I don't know about reliable sources. (talk) 15:37, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

If you had a point, I missed it. Did you have anything to discuss about the article? — Frecklefσσt | Talk 20:24, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

This article does need a section about its uses and prevalence in the lucid dreaming culture. Sleep Paralysis is a very strong tool in the procuring of lucid dreams. It is known by oneironauts as the process called WILD. WILD is a process of using the sleep paralysis to enter a lucid dream. it is well-documented as very connected to lucid dreaming, so I would HIGHLY suggest adding either a section about the connection of the two or at least a link to this page: --Erikkujonson (talk) 20:52, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

wrong citation in note 16

note 16 says something about clonazepame being a good treatment for sleep paralysis and refers to Wills, L., & Garcia, J. (2002, December). Parasomnias: Epidemiology and Management. CNS Drugs, 16(12), 803-810. First of all, the citation is incomplete as you can see from the correct citation above. Secondly, I am looking at the article right now and clonazepame is only suggested for Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep Behaviour Disorder (RBD) and disorders of arousal. Both have in common that people MOVE without wanting to while sleep-onset paralysis is about being not able to move when wanting to. I am rewriting the note on how to treat citing this article correctly.

Removed: Paralysis alleviation

Many sufferers report that when in a state of sleep paralysis, focusing on moving a single body part, e.g. tip of index finger, then finger, then hand, etc, quickly alleviates the paralysis in an accelerated fashion.

I'm sure I've got refs for this somewhere so have fished it out to stop it getting lost. Googling "sleep paralysis finger" certainly backs it up so scientific sources probably aren't too hard to find. K2709 (talk) 17:27, 23 February 2009 (UTC)


Hi, I'm Polish and in our folklor we call it "zmora". When somebody have 7 daughters, the last one is "her". Zmora during he day is beautiful, but seams absent, but during the night she ripps her cloths, pleats horses' tails and attacks someone, who did something wrong to her, eg. a man, who didn't find her attractive or chose some other woman, or the very woman, which was chosen instead of her. There should be something in old, Polish books, so you could verify this. That's quite old story. Oh, and you can sleep straight with your face up. Aldona, 19/05/09 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:38, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Potential Contradiction to SOME of the Sleep Paralyzed People... (talk) 00:25, 5 June 2009 (UTC)Andrew Frisina 06/04/09 "I cant remember if I was asleep or wake but I did see something it looked like shadows of people on the wall lined up, and was feeling like I couldn't breathe like a pressure on top of me . I looked up on the ceiling and there was a shadow with a sneaky smile and I said leave me alone go away and they were gone. I am Catholic and I believe in god , Jesus and it seems like when I go to church a few days later is when I have a bad dream, or I awake with an uncomfortable feeling, I feel scared like someone is watching me, and when I try to go to sleep and turn my head towards the left I hear like a light flick on the wall wall when IIturn my head the other way and I hear it on the other wall. I haven't gone to church in months, but I still pray and believe. Strange. maybe this is all in my mind, maybe I am nuts."

From Strange Things Anywhere I go[4]

Either way, it was from awhile ago, but it was still one of the real experiences nonetheless. I think one of the experiences on that same page (if I remember correctly) was actually a case of sleep paralysis, and there may've been a few other cases of sleep paralysis amidst these, but nonetheless. Besides, apparently ghosts suck energy or whatever out of their surroundings, so it's possible there are other things they are capable of doing...

(as good music vibrations are capable of changing around the bodies physiology and/or chemical distribution or whatever and other such things, and bad music is also capable of things, but really good and bad are being used subjectively here, not from the PoV of a creator) [5]

... capable of doing other things we are not aware of, such as mess around with the brain signals that are occuring. Anything is possible, is it not?

From the same site... (

"This is not a personal experience, but my brother told me the story and I can vouch for his credibility. My brother made artificial rock work for water features and pools. He went to go do a job for a guy on a farm near Tabazimbi, South Africa. He wasn't staying in the main house but was staying in a sort of servant lodging outside the house, which was a big old house in itself. He woke up in the early hours of the morning to the sound of somebody very hard at work. If you know my brother you should know that it takes a BIG racket to wake him. Any way he tried to ignore this noise and go back to sleep, but it wouldn't go away. Till the point where he lost his temper. Who the hell works at this time of morning anyways when people are trying to sleep? He said he could distinctly hear the sound of sawing wood, as well as someone hitting in nails and all sorts of sounds associated with wood-work. When he got up to quiet the person, he could not find the location of the noise. At first he thought it was the foreman in his room but when getting to his room he had already passed the sound. When he walked back the way he came it sounded like it was coming from his room. And getting there he passed it again. After about 15 min of searching he decided to give up and go back to bed. The next morning at the breakfast table he enquired the house owners to who was making that noise last night, and what they were building at that time? To which they answered "oh, you heard Him"! Apparently there is some ghost that shows up all over the farm in the old buildings, doing some sort of woodwork. Nobody has actually seen him but they hear him quite often, working away. Maybe it's some person who really wanted to build something but died before they could complete it, and is now restless to complete their project. I do believe that there is a spiritual world that we don't know anything about, except that it's there. All religions on earth believes this to some degree or another. I also believe that there are other spiritual beings in existence, good and evil. Ghosts? Maybe some of them are ghosts, but there is also beings that never lived lives on this planet, that were "created" in spiritual form. All religions talks of them too. But I think my brother's experience, and most of those written on these pages are those of ghosts "ex-living people"." From Working Ghost

"When I was about 7 or 8 I saw a little boy that was at least 6. He Had Brown Hair And It Was Short But Old Fashion. He was all white and glowing white. he stood at my door faceing me while i was sleeping. The thing that is odd about is that I don't know how I woke up in the middle of the night. I was toooo frightened to look at the boy, so I pulled the Covers over my head and tryed not to think of it and fell asleep and kept the cover's over my head till I did." From Scary

"Really very simple, i havent had the misfortune of seeing my "GHOST", but on two seperate occasions, while sleeping in my sons room I was awakened unable to breath. And it felt like something was wrapped around my neck. Once I got my composure It went away except for an eerie chiil the air. Noone else in the house has had any unexplained expeiriences other than myself, needless to say I dont sleep in my sons room anymore." From Choking —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:46, 5 June 2009 (UTC)


Unsolicited good faith contribution of a primary source testimony. Whether or not this ends up helping the article, it is not obviously intended as a bad faith edit nor is gross negligence shown by this edit. WP:NEWCOMER. And speaking personally, as a human being, that was an incredibly dickish thing to do, to delete without counsel, explanation, or even comment, this person's hard-earned story given to us in the spirit of a desire to share information, Wisdom89. The following information Restored by Anarchangel (talk) 17:02, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

The above information Restored by Anarchangel (talk) 17:02, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

No offense, Anarchangel, but what does the experience add to the article? It's someone's first-hand experience, with no references or anything verifiable. It reads like a very accurate description of some sleep paralysis sessions, but none of it can be added to the article.
For the record, I did not remove the content and am not inclined to do so. I simply would've commented on what talk pages are really for: improving the article. But Wisdom89 did explain why he removed the content: "this is not a forum". — Frecklefσσt | Talk 17:21, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

I am not obligated to to thoroughly explain such actions as I indicated the rationale in the edit summary. This is not a WP:FORUM. This isn't the place to chat about personal experience, and I think you know that. Wisdom89 (T / C) 20:31, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

inaccurate analysis of Chinese character

Under Folklore, the analysis of the character 魇 in the sentence below is incorrect, or at the least very misleading:

A more modern term is "夢魘/梦魇" (pinyin: mèng yǎn); notice that the character "魘/魇" (pinyin: yǎn) is composed of "厭/厌" (pinyin: yàn), "to detest", and "鬼" (pinyin: guǐ), "ghost, demon".

In the character 魘/魇, the 厭/厌 component is the phonetic element, i.e. it suggests the pronunciation of the character. 鬼 is the semantic element. To use the standard term, 魘/魇 is a phono-semantic compound. I just confirmed this with a dictionary. The analysis in the article implies that the 厭/厌 component contributes in some way to the meaning, which is false. Especially given this fact, any analysis of this character is of no intrinsic interest. I have thus been bold and removed the incorrect information.

--ZheXueJia (talk) 01:54, 24 September 2009 (UTC)


I'm curious why it doesn't mention sleep paralysis not affecting the eyes. Hence, you being able to open them and look around and realise you can't move. Also, does the paralysis only affect your mind rather than your body, since your only half awake and half asleep and you can't control your body, like you wouldn't be able to when your asleep. That could explain why dreams mesh with reality. Its similar to drunks saying they see things when they are seperated from their senses and the mind is open to influence. Also why is the Folklore section not called the Theory section. The reasons they put out are based on their folklore, but the events aren't fiction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mwarriorjsj7 (talkcontribs) 09:30, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Adderall as a cause?

About two years ago, I had been taking adderall for some years and began suffering from sleep paralysis mixed with a strong falling feeling. I was falling asleep around the time when the medication began wearing off and was so afraid of it happening that I would wait until I was so exhausted that it would never happen. Once I stopped taking adderall, it eventually stopped happening with the only aftereffect being somniphobia which lasts with occasional upsurges now and again. -Skyler 05:26, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Shakespeare's Queen Mab (literary reference)

In Romeo + Juliet, Mercutio gives a long monologue about the dream bearing fairy, Queen Mab. The last part of this poem seems to indicate that the fairy queen was the same as the hag, "This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs, That presses them and learns them first to bear, Making them women of good carriage: This is she—" The part about maids lying on their backs and being pressed really made the connection for me. [6] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ray.heather (talkcontribs) 17:12, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Folklore around the world – LISTCRUFT

Do we really need a very long list of words in various languages? This, if anything, is LISTCRUFT. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:23, 14 January 2010 (UTC)


The one time I've experienced sleep paralysis was when going to sleep on the night I first tried mephedrone (I have since completely stopped experimenting with drugs, and never took mephedrone after that). Judging by a Google search on "mephedrone sleep paralysis", it looks like others have had the same experience. Could serotonin be playing a part in the condition? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:46, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

folklore in korean culture

folklore : In korean culture, sleep paralysis is called gawee nulim (Hangul: 가위눌림). In general, "gawee" is a scissors, but isn't here. "Gawee" in the case of sleep paralysis is "ghost" or "the edge of blanket". so "gawee nulim" literally means "being pressed down by ghost or the edge of blanket. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:51, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Sleep paralysis and meditation

It is writen in many meditation texts, that long time meditators are able to enter the sleep paralysis state at will, thus being able to remain in meditation for many hours, without feeling the discomfort of the body. Such technique is called Pratyahara, and its purpose is, along with others, to be able to remain awake while the body sleeps in order to better observe the mind. The main point of interest here is that these texts teach that the meditator must "overcome the fear" that first strikes the practitioner, when such experience occur. Once the adrenaline sent by the brain to wake you up sets down, fear and allucinatios fade as well, and the meditator is able to dive deep into his practise. Check the wikipedia text on Pratyahara. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:39, 1 June 2010 (UTC)


why would the change i made in reference to muhammad having sleep paralysis be removed? this is sabotage. if you look even very briefly about the story at the cave and other recollections of muhammad, you will find that his symptoms match sleep paralysis exactly. is this what you call a wiki? thats ridiculous.. stop sabotaging it.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:51, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

At a minimum, you need to provide a reference to say where your information comes from. People can't briefly look at the story like you suggest if you don't tell them where the story is, or even what it's called! Also, it sounds like you are trying to convince people rather than just tell them, and you used a very large section heading for a very small amount of information.
Relatedly, I remember a description of sleep paralysis in the Old Testament too. Does anybody have a reference for that? (talk) 17:22, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Job 4:13-15?
"In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face" K2709 (talk) 21:57, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
the section heading could not be avoided, because it does not fit in any other section. it however is a valid point, and should not be deleted. it's not one specific story, but if you'd like i will get citations. but this does not allow someone to delete it, as most of wiki is built on content that has no citation. you wopuld have to delete/revert the entire wikipedia project. I'm not trying to convince anyone. If i were then i would have provided citations. The stories of which i speak are very well known, especially to those familiar with the faith. Honestly, it won't make any difference if I add citations, the radicals will still continue to sabotage it. (talk) 17:35, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not a radical or a vandal. My revert of your edit was not sabotage. Just provide verifiable references, and your edit can stand. But try to fit it in some existing section. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 19:17, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Why would i fit it into another section? this article could well do with citations to artistic and religious people that had this or related disorders. Someone else has already mentioned this in this discussion thread. It simply doesn't fit anywhere else, unless you want it directly in the body of the text as part of a paragraph. I will wait for clarification until tomorrow, otherwise I am putting it back to the way iot was and notifying the admins. 8 years doesn't give you the right to dictate procedure. And yes, it was a verifiable reference, taken from a translation of a hadith, which is supposedly considered the most authentic one, and there are more, you just fail to see reason where it exists which does in fact make you a fanatic. (talk) 21:17, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
And why are there other sections in this and other articles with a single sentence, sometimes not even a full sentence? Why don't you go fix something else, like the entire wiki. Seriously. (talk) 21:33, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Well. I t has now been 2 days and no response from you. therefore I assume no contest and will be adding the edit again with the reference. i will add more references in the days to come. (talk) 17:25, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
The reference you gave was incomplete. Include a complete, proper citation and there won't be any problem. But I'm sure Hadith doesn't say "cleary, Muhammad suffered from sleep paralysis." That is your opinion, and any editor's opinion is original research which we don't do here. If you find an authority who says that Muhammad received his prosephies or visions while experiencing sleep paralyis, fine. As long as you cite the verifiable and reliable reference, we have no problem. But until then, when you include it as you have been doing, it is original research and it will be reverted, and not necessarily by me.
I am not a one-man reverting machine, I'm merely one of thousands of volunteer editors who try and maintain Wikipedia policies. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 13:51, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
This will never end with you will it? The evidence is clearly ascertainable from the passage given. That is not NP:OR. That is not the only one, but since I didn't want to waste any more of my time, I waited to see what you would do with it. It is not 'original research'. What you are saying then is that "since no expert testified to such effect therefore the evidence does not stand." That is absurd an unacceptable. You may say it is 'undeniable' that he had SP or a 'related' disorder as is clearly illustrated in that passge. These hadiths are quoted by imams, theologians, historians and other academics alike. If you do not consider this as proof then you are either stupid or ignorant (I apologize for the insult, what i mea to say is blind, but it doesnt seem fitting in this case). Your actions will no longer be tolerated, but since you are hardly worth my effort, it might take me some time before reporting your account. Asking your friends or using anonymous accounts to do reverts for you will also not suffice. Clearly the only one here with opposition is yourself and you must be in collusion with mechamind90 because i find it suspicious how he made the reversion but posted his comment on your talk page instead of this one. odd to say the least. Also, what yiou are saying is that I am not qualified to 'study' the evidence and provide an analysis. You may call this an 'opinion'. You are right in one thing. I may not be an 'expert'.. but my iq is still 138+, which makes me way more qualified that yourself to answer these questions. (talk) 06:29, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
As per NP:OR. "Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. Caution should be exercised when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else is likely to have done so. Self-published sources should never be used as third-party sources about living persons, even if the author is an expert, or well-known professional researcher or writer."
The simple fact that noone has already done so is evidence that either A. nobody has noticed or B. nobody dares try. If such a paper has even been produced by a professional, which through my research it hasn't, then which journal would publish this information? only in the case of A. would it be NP:OR, but to say that nobody has noticed this is utterly absurd. It is plain to see even to a child. (talk) 06:50, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I should ammend that I am not anti-muhammad. I am atheist. I have nothing against the man. I'm more like gandhi. (talk) 06:56, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I do reverts only under my one user account, Frecklefoot. If you have a problem with my actions, I invite you to report me; I have nothing to hide. But given that I am not the only one who has reverted your edits, I don't think you stand much of a chance of getting me banned, or whatever it is you're trying to do to me. Either provide verifiable references as I and others have stated before or leave your material out of the article. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 14:20, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
the other guy who made a revert was your friend or fan of yours. this is no secret. like i said, he mistakenly posted his comment on your talk page instead of this one. try again. btw, i notice you did not provide an answer to my questions. this simply means that you have no freaking clue what you're talking about. to you verifiable means 'someone with a PHD' and 'someone i can agree with' but it's probably the latter of the 2. (talk) 12:43, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
There is no conspiracy here. I don't know who did the other revert, but I completely agree with it. I didn't answer your question because I couldn't find one in your post that didn't look rhetorical. It's simple: find a verifiable ref for the information or leave it out. I really don't know how many ways I can say this. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 18:07, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
in that case, there is either something wrong with the accepted middle-eastern and south-asian interpretations of this phenomenon (which all refer to a demon) and the hadiths, in which Muhammad describes this same sensation down to the last detail but attributes it to God... (talk) 19:11, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Sleep Paralysis Caused by Weak Muscles in Throat?

I've been going through sleep paralysis for a number of years now, when i asked my dad about it, he said it was a hereditary condition caused by weak muscles in the back of the throat, the muscles fail to move the oxygen through your body so you're unable to move your legs. He said i shouldn't sleep on my back and should sleep on my side, ever since i did that it worked and i stopped having the sleep paralysis, at least not as often, i used to have it maybe once a week or every two weeks but since i stopped sleeping on my back its now more like once every 6 months. Turns out the condition runs in the family and my dad and uncles sleep with some oxygen machine. Siwhat (talk) 08:37, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

This is not a discussion board for the condition, it is a place to discuss improving the article. But it sounds like you're describing two different thing: sleep apnea and sleep paralysis. The oxygen machines you refer to are used to treat chronic sleep apnea, not sleep paralysis. And apnea is attributed to weak throat muscles by some. And "oxygen moving through your body" has nothing to do with sleep paralysis.
But like I said, this isn't really the place to discuss such things. Please feel free to bring up any issues that you think would improve the article. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 15:02, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Pseudo Science explanations

A source claimed that some scientists have linked sleep paralysis to alien abductions and ghost encounters. Upon reviewing the source, the quoted material mentioned nothing about the physiologists believing that, only that they had tested people who claimed to be abducted by aliens. I deleted the two sentences, because not only was it misquoted, but I do not think the use of Pseudo-Science is helpful to the community, and only spreads superstitious beliefs and misinformation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:44, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

I'll rephrase the first sentence. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 07:25, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

New Zealand Folklore

Hi there, New Zealand also has a version of the folklore around sleep paralysis and I'd like to add it to this page but, being inexperienced around here, I have a few questions people may be able to help me with.

Firstly, New Zealand doesn't particularly fall into the current 'around the world' categories. Should I make a new category or simply add it to the 'closest' one? Perhaps it would be worth hunting down similar myths from other Oceanic or Pacific locations so that such a category would be more worthwhile?

Secondly, I managed to find a few mentions of the folklore here: but I have the feeling a proper citation should be something more robust. Should I hunt down the source behind those pages or is there some other step I should be taking?

Thank you very much. WeaponsGradeHumanity (talk) 14:40, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ lidérc, Magyar Néprajzi Lexikon, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 1977, ISBN
  2. ^ boszorkány, Magyar Néprajzi Lexikon, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 1977, ISBN
  3. ^ Johnston P (2007). "Sleep Paralysis - the threat is real". Parker Johnston's Notes. 1 (5): 1. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^

What the heck is sleep paralysis?

This article's summary paragraph is in desperate need of an "explain this to me like I'm 10" sentence. ~ Booya Bazooka 04:27, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

This is exactly what I was going to comment about. The article lacks any concise explanation of the phenomenon. After having read through this article, I think the TITLE is more descriptive than the article itself. --Josmul123 (talk) 13:50, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

I've reworked the lead slightly in an effort to make it more informative to non-expert readers. Looie496 (talk) 19:04, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
One thumb up! — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 21:47, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Bad information

(Incidentally, as a neurobiologist, I have to point out that it's the activity of the reticular formation, not neurohormones, that shuts down spinal motor activity.) Also note that spinal paralysis is a REM-related phenomenon (to prevent us from leaping about and crashing into walls as we dream! The reticular formation doesn't "disconnect" the spinal motor output during these lighter stages of sleep, which is why we humans toss and turn. (14a) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Do you suppose you could fix the errors? Regards, Looie496 (talk) 22:01, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

I am a patient with a diagnosis of narcolepsy and cataplexy for over 25 years. I am unaware of ANY genetic test to either rule this condition out or confirm. Please be more specific. Sleep paralysis is a symptom, so that is not something that could be defined as a genetic condition. Clarification: Some people with Narcolepsy also have Cataplexy. Both of them are neurological disorders. Neither of these conditions are psychiatric diseases, but sometimes they are classified as seizure disorders. Cataplexy is a seizure. For many of us, the stigma of this has been another battle, and causes us to conceal our diagnoses when we should not need to. In reality, we are models of a well-rested population, unlike the sleep deprived majority. Instead of focusing only on the sensational aspects of this condition, why don't you try to write above the fold about the real day-to-day life of a narcolepsy patient. And that painting is really obnoxious. Here's an idea: sleep on it, and let me know how you feel in the morning. ~~Danielle


it is too scary. it may even induce more sleep paralysis in people. if you suffer from sleep paralysis you know what i'm talking about. it's almost like you're doing it on purpose. get the picture off. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:01, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Audio hallucinations

Buzzing or ringing sounds are also common to sleep paralysis so I was surprised this wasn't mentioned in the article. I will dig out some cites before adding this.--MijinLaw (talk) 01:29, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

I was going to ask about this as well. Both my SP experiences have had distinctive audio components to them, and looking around the web it seems many others experience something similar, however I haven't found any good resource to cite about the phenomenon. (talk) 23:02, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Anecdotal I know but my SP experiences have a very large auditory component to them too; would be interested to see referenced material relating to this. Mike talk 02:12, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Norwegian "Mareritt"

In Norway we call nightmares a "Mareritt" - so I'm guessing that the word "Mare" here is the same as the Swedish and Finnish "Mare" as quoted in the article. "Ritt" is someone riding something, like when a man is riding his horse.

On another note, the english word for bad dreams is "nightmare" , i.e. a conjuction of the words "Night" and "Mare" again.

a simple explaination

I am not entirely sure if the following observation may be relevant or even fit into this category, however i think it may help people living through similar experiences - so in any case:

Getting the impression being unable to move while asleep whilst something is moving towards me disturbed me a couple of times. Usually, the moment the presence would have been at arms length i snapped out of the experience. I came to the realization that indeed i was not awake, but dreaming to be awake and hence unable to move and in fact this realization, as the experience repeated itself, would come quickly ("aah, been there - i am still sleeping") and with this realization i awakened every time fully, each time more quickly than before which in turn made me unable to feel threatened anymore at which point the experiences stopped. Completely. (talk) 14:36, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

This page is not a forum for discussing the issue, but a place to discuss improving the article. Also, original research and anecdotes--such as yours--cannot be used in an article as they are not verifiable. Thank you. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 15:52, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Suggestions for improvement

Hello, my name is Garrett Schwindt and I am a Junior Biopsychology major at Nebraska Wesleyan University. As a class project we are supposed to edit and make suggestions on a page of our interest to improve psychological Wikipedia pages. I have a few friendly suggestions that may be of some help to clarify this page. I am a first time Wikipedia user so please feel free to let me know what your thoughts are.

I think as a whole this page is informative and structured well. I think some sentences could improve on flow and composition.

In the introduction I think the sentence, "It is believed a result of disrupted REM sleep, which is normally characterized by complete muscle atonia that prevents individuals from acting out their dreams." could be changed to start out like, "It is believed to be a result..." just to make it sound more conversational and straight forward.

The sentence that begins, "Many people that experience sleep paralysis are struck with a deep sense of terror, because they sense a menacing presence in the room while paralyzed—hereafter referred to as the intruder." might be changed to, "Those that experience sleep paralysis are often struck with a deep..." just to freshen up the sentence structure.

The sentence that begins, "Common consequences of sleep paralysis includes headaches, muscle pains or weakness and/or paranoia." could possibly be changed to, "A common list of consequences of sleep paralysis include..." just to break up the consonance of back to back words with a hard 'C'.

These are simply suggestions to make the article easier to read. I think the article is great and it offers a large amount of understandable information that any reader can interpret, but these are my humble suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to right this article and for reviewing my suggestions. As an undergraduate and a first time Wikipedian I greatly appreciate your time.

Garrettschwindt (talk) 06:52, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

I don't see a problem with your suggestions, but for those types of edits, you don't need to ask for permission first. Be bold and go ahead and make the changes. Thanks for checking in anyways. Happy editing! — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 14:27, 5 March 2014 (UTC)


The article was very well written and the flow from topic to topic sounds like a natural progression rather than being choppy. I like how you brought in the different cultural perspectives because that is something that many psychologists tend to overlook. The amount of cultural perspectives you brought in was astounding and I personally appreciate how much effort you put in to bringing it outside of the American perspective. You clearly did your research for this topic and brought in many of the methods used to study and diagnose the disorder. It was an easy read and very informative. Gvanstee (talk) 04:45, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

I think you did a good job with the additions to the article, however I think they might be better earlier in that section or in a different section. Read through the full article and check if your added content flows well with the rest. In addition, it looks like you have part of your reference outside the reference coding (at the end of each paragraph you added). Definitely take a look at that and fix it. Also, I'm not sure if you saw Garret's suggestions, but if those haven't been addressed you should consider doing those. Overall well done. Mpetracca (talk) 16:38, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

And Alien Abductions

There is zero evidence that sleep paralysis causes specific hallucinations with the specific subset invariant concomitants of 1) alien beings in the room 2) the immobilization of other sleepers in the room 3) floating, levitating, or passing out through physical structures such as walls and windows 4) into a UFO, with a very specific type of alien figures who 5) communicate telepathically 6) have large, deep black eyes and 7) engage in manipulative telepathic procedures aimed at eliciting or alleviating particular mental states such as 8) extreme fear and 9) sexual arousal and 10) perform semen-procurement procedures or in women gynecological or obstetric examinations 11) with a laparoscope, seemingly accurately described by normal people unfamiliar with this medical procedure who are 12) returned to their bedrooms with an hour or two of missing time and may 13) years later discover or uncover the above incidents, down to a single specific night or multiple specific nights in which 14) strange lights, landed craft, power failures - observable and observed by non-participants - also occur, many of which occurred during the 1960s and 1970s before the resulting invariant event structure was widely disseminated. This specific sleep paralysis event is all that stands in the way of serious consideration, for many people, of the alien abduction phenomenon, much of which is and has been reported by people who were 1) never in bed 2) wide awake the entire time 3) performing tasks, such as driving, that would have life-endangering consequences if sleep paralysis had really been involved. Please supply copious sources, free of speculation, that detail this specific subset of invariant event structures, particularly with reference to a testable and repeatable induction process that satisfies the standards of science so-called. The extraordinary claim that sleep paralysis=alien abduction phenomenon requires extraordinary evidence.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The statements in the article are not nearly as strong as you portray them, and seem to be adequately supported by references. The article does not assert that sleep paralysis really does explain "alien abductions", only that some scientists have written about that hypothesis. Looie496 (talk) 14:34, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

This is wikipedia?

"Some scientists have proposed this condition as an explanation for reports of ghost parasites and alien visits with the means of fourth spatial dimension, thus being able to freely enter and exit a completely closed-locked room.[7][8] "

... what is this sci fi channel? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:24, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

What's your point? — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 10:31, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
I tried to explain my removal of material here a few minutes ago, but I had some internet trouble and my edit seems to have disappeared. The problem is that the sentence is virtually incomprehensible. What are "ghost parasites"? What does the fourth spatial dimension have to do with this? If the sentence just said, "Some scientists have proposed this condition as an explanation for reports of ghosts and alien visits", it would be much better. I'm not convinced that the sources are strong enough to justify including the material anyway, though. Looie496 (talk) 14:44, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
You're right, that's why I left out the part that said "...with the means of fourth spatial dimension, thus being able to freely enter and exit a completely closed-locked room". Like, I think I understand what it's supposed to mean but it sounds too awkward. And sadly we don't have an article about ghost parasites but I think it's relatively clear what it's supposed to mean? (Feeling parasites on/in you when there's nothing there.) We can't change it to something else if that's what the source says. Why do you think there's something wrong with the sources? I don't see it. They look like professional scientific sources to me. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 14:57, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Excuse me, I read your edit summary and didn't realize that you had only partly reverted my edit. Regarding the source, per WP:MEDRS we generally prefer review papers to primary experimental research papers, as they tend to present a more consistent story. The second source is a sort of micro-review -- a review of two studies carried out by the authors -- so its status is sort of ambiguous. Looie496 (talk) 15:24, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
  • If reliable source do mention this condition causes people to have an out of body experience, or see ghost, aliens, etc, then it needs to be in there. Dream Focus 15:39, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Googling for PubMed "sleep paralysis" and "out of body"[5] or "ghost" or "alien" all show various results. Not sure which ones would be good references. Dream Focus 16:01, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
I think those sources are just fine for the claim that we're making here. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 17:10, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Alarmist issue - nerve paralysis

Should be differentiated from nerve paralysis where you sleep on your arm, and it goes dead until you lift your head for a few seconds, then you can move it. Shoud include this DDx so as not to cause people to become alarmed that they have some sort of psychiatric condition (talk) 03:12, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

Sleep paralysis is not a psyc condition. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:52, 23 February 2017 (UTC)


User: per your edits and your all-caps edit notes here and here, you are objecting to the content. Would you please come and explain? Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 15:53, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

I suffer from sleep paralysis

This article speaks to me! I have suffered from SLEEP PARALYSIS for years. I've been researching my disorder for years. I would love to find a doctor or sleep group to join for testing and studies to find out why this happens to me. I'm not asking for medical advice just seeking help with my disorder. I thought it was just me but after researching I found that there is a name for what I suffer from. I'm not sure if my medical insurance covers such a thing but it is clearly a disorder I suffer from and would love to know more about it and cures/prevention tips. Will you help me? I can't believe how on point this article is. I will often tell my husband to wake me if he hears or sees me struggling in my sleep. He is a witness to this and wakes me when it happens. Bernitaweston (talk) 07:59, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Hello Bernitaweston. While it is also an experience which I am familiar with, I can't say that it has been disabling, only interesting (and a gateway to other mind experiences, although admitedly frightening at first). However, this page is for discussing improvements to the article rather than about the topic itself (WP:NOTFORUM). Maybe a better place to ask about it here may be at science reference desk or humanities reference desk. There probably also are other sites which are better for this. As you already suspect, people will still avoid giving tips which could be interpreted as medical advice at the reference desks. Thanks, —PaleoNeonate – 08:18, 25 September 2017 (UTC)