The next super-freaky sleep paralysis incident

I first wrote about my sleep paralysis awhile back.

After being on sleeping medication for the past several months, which was actually fairly effective, the growing side-effects convinced me to stop taking it.  Aside from a bit of nausea and the rebound insomnia being a BITCH, it hasn’t been TOO bad.  Wait who am I kidding – insomnia makes me want to stab myself in the face.

Anyway, after finally getting tired enough to go to bed at 8:30 this morning, I had a series of sleep paralyses each time I would start to drift off, but they were much worse than the ones I’ve had in the past.  They paralysed me for longer, and as much as I tried to pull myself out of it by wiggling my toes and fingers I couldn’t move any part of my body; even trying to force my eyelids to stay open wasn’t very effective.  I can’t remember what I was dreaming about each time I woke up – it happened four times – but for some reason it was scary, so I tried really hard to become fully conscious rather than letting myself be pulled into sleep.  As it was morning it was broad daylight, so I thought it shouldn’t be that scary if I let myself fall back asleep again.  But each time it happened, the sleep paralysis would kick in again and I felt compelled to fight it.

The other really strange thing about it was that each time I started to lose consciousness, I would feel a deep humming sensation in my head, and then my body would start shaking as the dreams started and the paralysis told hold.  Each of these cycles occurred very quickly, in a matter of seconds as opposed to the drawn-out process it usually is; and I could actually feel it taking hold each time and thinking “should I fight this, or should I surrender?”

It’s really hard to explain, and I wish I could attach a cable from my head to my Mac and record what I see during these things.  They always feel like they’re going for much longer than they really are.  The longer it takes you to get your body to move and pull yourself out of it, the more you panic – and panicking when you can’t move is not fun.

Well that’s my sleep weirdness for this weekend.

x K

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~ by Kitten of Doom on April 22, 2012.

7 Responses to “The next super-freaky sleep paralysis incident”

  1. thats pretty common if you go into sleep deprivation 18 + hours. The only thing that can re-adjust this is huge amounts of focus or a change of habit. If you live outside your body clock adjusts to being daylight hours only. camping, homeless,etc. If you can stay up all night and don’t do day work you will probly become nocturnal. Some people can survive with only a little sleep each night and can sleep on demand, people like Winston Churchill would only sleep for a few hours each night.
    Motivation and focus are the key for sleep, and also a healthy amount of excercise for your body type.
    You shouldn’t really be worried about when you sleep as long as you can grab some when you want to. Depending on what you want to do throughout the 24 hour cycle depends on what style of sleep pattern you will aquire. None are “proper” and it swapping between patterns probably will take some time( like jetlag feeling)
    Also meditation seems to reduce the need for sleep, and indeed less becomes more.
    Having use of both daylight and night hours requires probly around 8 hours in sleep blocks but sometimes a seista when you feel you need it most can give you a rotating body clock which is ideal if you want to get the best of both worlds.
    Also don’t pretend that caffeine makes staying awake and sleeping easier. Caffeine is more problem than it’s worth.
    I go for 32+ hours sometimes, awake including regualr work as a tradie without using coffee, coffee works as a nervous system stimulant and doesn’t really give you mental awakeness. there are many studies on this.

    You cannot beat the power of the mind though, and if you can tune your mind to be able to sleep without guilt and wake without regret you will have a much more powerful system.

    the important thing is being honest with yourself about why your sleep patterns exist the way they do as only you know that full spectrum of your day to day life, stresses etc. And sleep meds are second rate to connecting the dots in your own life, better than trusting it to the pharmaceutical assertations.

    There is a wealth of information online but has also to be taken with a graine of salt and taken comparily to your situation and contradicting evidence.

    Good Luck

    • Hey, thanks for your response! I actually have started sleeping every 1.5 days now that I’m off medication, so that makes sense what you’re saying about sleep deprivation after 18 hours. The few periods of time where I have been unemployed I have become nocturnal. With 9-5 work, I still sometimes stay up all night and force myself to get through the next day.

      I have found that exercise is the only thing that can reliably get me to sleep, but I have to do it every day. I go through long period where I don’t do it though so it’s not always reliable. I walk 2-3 hours minimum every day and that doesn’t help at all.

      I find it hard to have naps as once I am awake I can’t go back to sleep again, and if I DO have a nap in the afternoon, say after work, even if it is only 2 hours, I often won’t be able to go to bed at the time I normally would, I’ll sit up until 4-5am and then when I finally start to get tired it’s time to go to work.

      I don’t know why my sleep patterns are this way as I’ve had insomnia since I was about 5, or 6; that’s about 25 years now. I think, as one doctor once told me, I need to unlearn my sleep habits and relearn new ones, but I have no idea how to do that, or I probably would have been able to do it by now. I have tried all the conventional advice; medication, exercise, trying to maintain regular hours with waking, going to bed etc, healthy diet, cutting out caffeine; all of it. Apparently I have to have “sleep therapy”, but I have no idea what it entails, do you know anything about sleep therapy?

      • i would question the effectiveness of a therapy that does not actually force you to change your lifestyle a bit. for example two years i travelled australia with nothing but a fire for light and my sleeping pattern completely changed in about one week. From being nearly nocturnal from living in the central city and then to dawn till dusk in the wild.
        But as soon as i would set foot back into civilisation and had light it would mess with my body clock and i would begin to go back to later and later bedtimes ( unless i was working 7 till 4 hours ).
        There is interesting information about sleep around though, for example ghandi would only sleep about four hours every night, given that he had some strange routines though.
        There are ways to pre program your mind so that regardless of how much sleep you get you still get up feeling refreshed for even getting that little bit.
        If you get good at this you sometimes do not even need an alarm clock.
        It takes sincerety in convincing yourself that you must get up and go and the first time you wake; you must wake with the same conviction as when you set your mind on getting up the night before. don’t hit the snooze button and think a few minutes more..

        I have a feeling this is called metaprogramming..
        http://www.erowid.org/spirit/metaprogramming/metaprogramming_article1.shtml
        this is an old article but it may have some good information, and if only to reaffirm that there is no right or wrong way to get sleep, just new ways.

        When i was in the bush an aboriginal guy who used to just drink lots of water so that by morning he would be busting for a pee, i don’t know if this would be scientifically endorsed and probly shouldn’t be don’e before asking someone whether it’s harmfull but it did work for him..

        Good luck

  2. 😦 this sounds really bad brie, i hope there is something that can be done for you

  3. I know what you mean about the sound in your head during paralysis! It happens to me too. For me it’s like a big heavy whirring sound, only I know it’s inside my head, not coming into my ears.

    Gah! Feeling for you, love.

  4. I didn’t know other people went through this, or that it had even a simple name like “sleep paralysis”. I’m not sure my experience was the same as what you have. Mine was temporary, and turned out to be drug-induced. I was working graveyard shift as a security guard, and if I took a chlorpheniramine antihistamine (brand name Chlor-Trimeton) before eating my dinner, I could fall asleep lightly in a chair. I thought it was safe to sleep at work for only that reason, the shallow quality of sleep, until I started having night terrors and paralysis. I would be absolutely convinced I was awake, and my boss was right in front of me, watching me disapprovingly, just to make sure I was truly sleeping on the job, so he could fire me (not a bizarre dream, as he actually lived on the premises of my workplace, and kept late hours). So I would panic and try to stand up, or even stir in my chair, to no avail. I started trying little tricks to determine if I was awake. I would struggle to reach my wrist-watch with the other hand, try to remove it, then toss it to the floor. If I (seemingly) succeeded at this, I could then touch that wrist again, and find the watch still on, after all! Then I would know I was asleep, and manage, with great difficulty, to truly wake up. Of course, my boss was never there in reality, nor was my watch off.
    The only solution I came up with was, don’t take antihistamines before a meal, or any time you plan to sleep. This pretty much stopped the terrors and paralysis. Maybe there’s something you’re taking you could stop taking?

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