Sleep paralysis while falling asleep

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HeroOfHyrule
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31 Jul 2022, 6:28 pm

For the past week I've started getting sleep paralysis sometimes when I try to fall asleep. It terrifies me because I stay conscious, but can't move or talk and it feels like I can't breathe. I usually freak out and hyperventilate until I can move, and then wait until later to sleep. It's been making me not want to sleep since I don't know when it's going to happen.

Does anyone else get sleep paralysis while falling asleep? What do you do to deal with it and prevent it from happening?


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Where_am_I
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31 Jul 2022, 7:59 pm

It used to happen to me a lot, and it was scary every time. I don't know why I barely experience it now.

There's some advice on the NHS website that you may find useful:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sleep-par ... u,insomnia


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01 Aug 2022, 6:03 am

I experienced 'hypnagogic hallucinations' and 'hypnopompic hallucinations' for several weeks about 20 years ago. I'm not absolutely certain that these come under the heading of 'sleep paralysis', but I'm sure they're at least closely related to it.

Scary stuff, but the good news seems to be that these things are of limited duration and generally sort themselves out before too long.


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babybird
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01 Aug 2022, 7:25 am

It started when I was about 16. I used to get it every night and I still get it now but only about once or twice a month. I've learned to just relax and let it happen these days. It is really scary though. I also get that thing that DeepHour said and that happens immediately after the paralysis but I'm able to move by that time.

I always think it's related to adhd but I couldn't be certain of that.



HeroOfHyrule
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01 Aug 2022, 11:28 pm

I thankfully don't get hallucinations, or at least not any that I've noticed. I've heard that's common with/related to sleep paralysis though. I just freak out so bad that I can't pay attention to anything else, so I don't know if that's happened before. I do try to relax now since I logically know it'll pass, but feeling like I can't breathe makes something in my primitive little monkey brain have a panic attack. lol


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dragonsanddemons
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02 Aug 2022, 12:57 am

I am bizarre. I’ve been experiencing sleep paralysis on a somewhat regular basis for probably roughly a year now, but all it is is paralysis, no hallucinations, no feeling of suffocation, not a trace of fear. Seems to be at random times during the night, but I usually wake up multiple times, could coincide with that in some way. I feel like I really need to get up for some unknown reason, but there’s no fear or anxiety about it, I’m just like “well, okay, I guess this is what’s happening now.” Sometimes I’m just struggling to move and occasionally manage to fall out of bed and drag myself a short distance (but have not moved in reality), but after a while I started being fully aware of exactly what’s happening and instead put my efforts into trying to wake myself up, struggling to open an eye even a tiny bit or trying to lick my pillow or my arm (if it’s in reach).

I don’t enjoy it, but it’s more akin to annoyance and stubbornness, like being determined to try to move an object that’s too heavy for you to lift by any means possible, only the object in question is my body. I remember exactly two times I had any anxiety, one seemingly random time a few weeks ago and one time several months ago when I could hear what was probably my dog tapping his foot against the door and couldn’t get up to see what the noise was. But oddly I do have times where I dread the experience despite lack of fear.

I also have had over the past few months, fairly often, where I don’t fully wake up and stay in sort of a state between dreaming and waking, with things happening like in a dream. I’m not completely paralyzed, but I struggle to move and am numb (which I usually am not in dreams, it’s always a very strange sensation (or lack thereof) to me). That clearly happens during the transition from sleeping to waking, never the other way around.

Sorry, not really anything useful there :oops:


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HeroOfHyrule
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03 Aug 2022, 12:00 am

The sleep paralysis has been happening while I'm actively trying to sleep, so it's really jarring to go from awake and then to suddenly not being able to move + feeling like I can't breathe.

When it happens I can open my eyes and look around a bit, but I can't talk or move, except for moving my limbs a tiny bit when I've really freaked out and put a lot of energy into trying to. The suffocating feeling also feels like something is restricting my lungs, and while I don't know if I'm actually not breathing great, I definitely can't get as deep of a breath as I want to unless I once again put a lot of energy into trying to.

It honestly feels similar to something that would happen when I was a kid (which made me avoid trying to sleep then, too) so I guess this isn't exactly "new", but it hasn't happened for quite awhile. I have no idea why it stopped then or why it's happening again now. :?


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03 Aug 2022, 12:06 am

Have you ever had a sleep study? If not, you should probably talk to your doctor and get one.


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babybird
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03 Aug 2022, 5:15 am

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
The sleep paralysis has been happening while I'm actively trying to sleep, so it's really jarring to go from awake and then to suddenly not being able to move + feeling like I can't breathe.

When it happens I can open my eyes and look around a bit, but I can't talk or move, except for moving my limbs a tiny bit when I've really freaked out and put a lot of energy into trying to. The suffocating feeling also feels like something is restricting my lungs, and while I don't know if I'm actually not breathing great, I definitely can't get as deep of a breath as I want to unless I once again put a lot of energy into trying to.

It honestly feels similar to something that would happen when I was a kid (which made me avoid trying to sleep then, too) so I guess this isn't exactly "new", but it hasn't happened for quite awhile. I have no idea why it stopped then or why it's happening again now. :?


The not being able to breath thing doesn't happen to me thank god. With mine it is when I'm falling asleep. In fact I don't even know that I've fell asleep because it's as soon as I've closed my eyes. I get noises and voices that are really loud in my head and it's just echoing and really disturbing. I also get a feeling that someone is pulling me out of my bed. I can't stop it or do anything about it. Its really scary but at least I've learned that it's not real.

I find it to cause me a lot of stress still. Like I know that after it's happened I will be more quick to anger for a few days afterwards. It took me years to connect the sleep paralysis to the angry outbursts so that's something else I have to remember to keep in check as well.



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03 Aug 2022, 5:40 am

I think I had it once when I was a teenager. What happened was, I woke up but my body was cold and I couldn't move. I looked around my room for a few minutes. Then there was an quiet click and humming started and my body suddenly started to get warm and everything started working and I could move again. It made me wonder if I was an android or something. Or my brain woke up before my body did. But it only happened that once.

Is that sleep paralysis?


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babybird
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03 Aug 2022, 6:20 am

Could be although I've never experienced it on waking up



HeroOfHyrule
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03 Aug 2022, 7:20 am

Twilightprincess wrote:
Have you ever had a sleep study? If not, you should probably talk to your doctor and get one.

I haven't had one, but I should get one. I have a lot of other issues with sleeping, like not being able to get into deeper stages of sleep and not being able to stay asleep.


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HeroOfHyrule
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03 Aug 2022, 7:23 am

KitLily wrote:
I think I had it once when I was a teenager. What happened was, I woke up but my body was cold and I couldn't move. I looked around my room for a few minutes. Then there was an quiet click and humming started and my body suddenly started to get warm and everything started working and I could move again. It made me wonder if I was an android or something. Or my brain woke up before my body did. But it only happened that once.

Is that sleep paralysis?

It probably was. Most times that I've heard about it, it's happened while people are waking up. I didn't even realize it could happen while falling asleep until it started happening to me again as an adult.


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I don't often respond to PMs, unless I interact with the person that's PMing me a lot on the forums.


KitLily
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03 Aug 2022, 7:44 am

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
KitLily wrote:
Is that sleep paralysis?


It probably was. Most times that I've heard about it, it's happened while people are waking up. I didn't even realize it could happen while falling asleep until it started happening to me again as an adult.


I think I was about 17 or 18. Human bodies are extremely complicated aren't they. I'm astounded they work most of the time :?

I hope you get it sorted out. :)


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HeroOfHyrule
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03 Aug 2022, 7:52 am

babybird wrote:
The not being able to breath thing doesn't happen to me thank god. With mine it is when I'm falling asleep. In fact I don't even know that I've fell asleep because it's as soon as I've closed my eyes. I get noises and voices that are really loud in my head and it's just echoing and really disturbing. I also get a feeling that someone is pulling me out of my bed. I can't stop it or do anything about it. Its really scary but at least I've learned that it's not real.

I find it to cause me a lot of stress still. Like I know that after it's happened I will be more quick to anger for a few days afterwards. It took me years to connect the sleep paralysis to the angry outbursts so that's something else I have to remember to keep in check as well.

I can feel that I'm falling asleep, but I'm still completely conscious, and can feel my body lose tension and everything when the paralysis kicks in. It's a bit less scary now that I know what's going on, yet it's still pretty terrifying.

I also have other issues with sleeping and find it hard to get past the 1st or 2nd stages of sleep, and often stay semi-conscious too. In my case I feel like it might be related to that specifically. I also guess sleep paralysis occurs during REM sleep, which is a stage I don't easily get into.


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I use he/him pronouns.

I watch a lot of cartoons and anime. I also have a cat and a rabbit as pets. I like to learn + catalogue information about other organisms, especially rodents (+ related animals) and great apes.

I don't often respond to PMs, unless I interact with the person that's PMing me a lot on the forums.


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03 Aug 2022, 11:16 am

I have hypnagogia and hypnopompic auditory hallucinations pretty much every time I sleep, for my whole life.

In the last two months I've also been having visual hallucinations before falling asleep.
I've had a physical paralysis once that I recall.
I normally have the opposite problem. I thrash in my sleep and act out dreams instead of being still.

I have a slew of diagnosed sleep disorders and I'm supposed to use a C-PAP for apnea but I don't use it.

I wonder if it's related to your Wellbutrin?
You seem to be having a lot of issues with your medication lately.