Discussion Forum

Please help! Sleep paraylisis….or…. something worse?

sometimes I have this weird thing happen to me right after I fall asleep. I hear that its called sleep paralysis, but I have also heard that its a witch riding my back. I’m confused and kinda scared! It happened to me for the first time when I was in high school, it had been awhile since the last time I prayed, and I decided to give it a shot. After I prayed I was left with this weird feeling, I guess I was kinda scared. Well later on that night/morning, I woke up (not really awake though) and I couldn’t move or breath. It probably lasted for 2 minutes. I felt like someone was holding me down and smothering me! Then I could have sworn that I heard a voice say “do you believe in me now”. I fell asleep shortly after that w/o any problems. I graduated 5 years ago, and this still happens whenever I sleep on my back. The last time was recently, and I think that I saw the thing that holds me down. What could this be, and why does it keep happening to me? I’m scared to live by myself now

4 Comments

  • It’s sleep paralysis.

    “Witch riding on your back” is a term used to describe it used by some African cultures, according to what I’ve read before. Every culture tends to have their own myth or legend about it… but it’s actually nothing supernatural.

  • It’s sleep paralysis, accompanied by what’s called a hypnagogic hallucination. It’s actually very common. (No, it’s not a witch, and it’s nothing supernatural.)
    http://watarts.uwaterloo.ca/~acheyne/S_P.html
    http://neurology.health-cares.net/hypnagogic-hallucination.php
    http://www.sleepeval.com/hypnagogic_hallucinations.htm

    Actually, the best way to “overcome” what you’re experiencing, is to first understand what it is you’re experiencing. That takes away the majority of the fear. The next time you experience this, what you need to do is first acknowledge what is happening. Literally say to yourself, “OK…this is one of those hallucinations. It’s not real, and there’s nothing to be afraid of.” Once you acknowledge what’s happening, about 90% of the time, that alone will pull you out of it.
    The second step to take when it starts to happen, is after acknowledging what’s happening, force yourself to relax. Don’t fight it. The tension involved with fighting it will usually make it worse. Concentrate on lying very still, and start thinking about relaxing your arms, relaxing your legs, etc. That too, helps.

Leave a Comment