Sleep Paralysis

by NewChapter 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • NewChapter

    This subject has come up on several different threads, and I thought it might make an interesting topic. I've experienced sleep paralysis since I was quite little, but didn't know what it was until I was in my 30's. Since this is often mistaken for demons or alien visits, it sometimes soothes people to know that others experience it and there is a scientific explanation.

    When it happens, it is extremely real. It is sounds, sights and sensations. Since the person is semi awake, they often see their own surroundings with some added details (hallucinations). It can be incredibly scary. But I found the fear factor dropped exponentially when I learned about it.

    For me: I float above my bed, fly through what feels like tunnels, I rock quite violently, I've seen lights, flames, and dancing demons. I've felt presences, and felt them walk through my room or apartment. I even felt one enter my bedroom and sit on my bed, when my body seemed to shift toward the weight. Now I would have loved to have turned to fight of the attack, however I was completely paralyzed. No attack came, but I just laid there waiting.

    the way I understand it, in normal sleep we go through cycles and during one of them we are paralyzed. This generally isn't a problem because we are sleeping and unaware---but I wake up. And that's when the fun begins.

    Anyone else?


  • mythreesons

    Good idea on the thread. I posted this earlier, but for the sake of keeping it here I'll post it again.

    I had no idea of what was going on. I used to thing it was the demons or evil trying to scare me. I remember thinking that I needed to scream out Jehovah, but I couldn't. I was paralyzed, I thought it was paralyzed with fear. Here is my experience with it:

    It would always happen just before I actually woke up. I would think I was awake, lying in bed and my eyes would be scanning the room. I would not be able to move. I would start to hear what sounded like a low growl and it would get louder and LOUDER. I would start to get this tingling buzzing feeling all over my body. I couldn't really breathe. It was like someone was sitting on my chest. I would start clinching and grinding my teeth, I would do this so hard that they just shattered in my mouth and I would start spitting them out like they were sunflower seeds. I used to think it was demons or Satan, something evil. That's when I would try to scream out Jehovah's name....I never could. Then I would blink my eyes and I would be awake and could move. My breathing would then be fast and I would be shaking from how scared I was. I thought it was just a dream...but it seemed so real. I know my eyes were actually open.

    I just read the wiki article on it and it said that stress could bring this on. The funny thing is (and this could be a coincidence) but since I left the JWs and never went back, I haven't had one more of these experiences. I used to have them on it seemed like a weekly basis and now it's been 2 1/2 years since it has happened. The teeth grinding? It has also stopped since I left.

    Stress and how our mind deals with it can be a crazy thing!

    Thanks NC for bringing this up!

  • NewChapter

    Yeah--I just an hour ago made the connection that the buzzing was related to the sleep paralysis. I've always had it, and just didn't think about it. My sleep has been so weird for so long, that I don't always question things that others may find strange. So now I know---the buzzing---which means I'm having many more episodes than I thought. Ah well. Always been this way.

  • Leolaia

    Demon attacks in JW land seem to often happen at night or when the person is asleep:

    *** g76 4/8 p. 15 I Was a Faith Healer ***

    For several nights thereafter I could not sleep. I had dreadful nightmares in which sick persons were imploring me to cure them. Sometimes I heard dreadful noises, like stones falling on the roof, or I felt someone touching me. In my fright I would pray to Jehovah, begging him to rescue me, for I realized that I was suffering from demon attacks.

    *** w80 7/1 p. 23 “Rejoicing in the Harvesttime” in the Philippines ***

    She thought that while asleep at night, she had the power to leave her body and fly through the air as a witch. In these “travels” she felt that she associated with other witches and even ate human flesh. These dreams appalled her, but she could do nothing to prevent them. She even contemplated suicide. Once, an Adventist recommended that she read the Bible. However, since she did not understand what she read, even this did not help her. Finally, she spoke to one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Witness explained that Jehovah is stronger than any demon. A free home Bible study was started and she was taught to pray to Jehovah for help. What wonderful relief! The demon attacks stopped.

    *** w87 9/1 p. 8 Shaking Off the Yoke of Spiritism ***

    First the demon troubled me only when I was going to sleep. As I was about to doze off, the voice would awaken me, talking about burial places and death. Losing sleep made me feel weak, although I continued caring for my children. Later the demon stepped up his attacks. Several times I felt as if he were strangling me. Though I tried to run away, I could not because a heavy weight seemed to press on my body. I wanted to scream but could not produce a sound.

    *** ol part 8 p. 28 [2002] Reject False Religion; Practice True Religion ***

    One night while I was asleep in bed with my husband, I heard a voice call my name three times. Then I saw the ceiling split apart, and a fiery, ball-like object dropped onto my stomach. Of course, my husband could see none of these things. Nevertheless, I felt a terrible heat that lasted for several months. Six months later, the voice called me again. Immediately, the whole house seemed to be in deep water. A large python came out of the water and crawled around my hand. I tried in vain to shake it off. I was terrified. Then the water and the snake vanished, and I was violently thrown to the ground. I was unconscious for several hours.

  • mostlydead

    I experienced this quite a lot when I was an older teenager. I'd come home from work and/or pioneering in the afternoon and be so exhausted I just had to sleep for a while. It would always happen during these nap times. I'd come to consciousness, but couldn't open my eyes or move or breathe. I felt like if I didn't open my eyes or move in some way I was going to die...literally. I'd have to summon up every ounce of strength and force my eyes open. The feeling would be gone instantly, but sometimes I'd fall back to sleep (probably never really woke up at all!) and the whole cycle would start over. I've also had teeth grinding problems, and dreaming that my top front teeth were locked behind the bottom teeth and I couldn't resist the urge to keep pushing until I thought I was going to break them. But I experienced those dreams as a separate issue from the sleep paralysis. For some reason, I never thought it was demons, and never experienced a "presence". I'm sure I would have been freaked out of my mind if I had!

  • NewChapter

    I really SHOULD have thought it was demons. I just didn't. I guess I wasn't a good witness. But the above accounts from Leolia really do sound an awful lot like sleep paralysis====and the WT is supporting such notions. Those still in their grip could really be terrified when they read that crap.


  • still thinking
    still thinking

    Good idea to give it it's own thread is the link that was posted on the other thread...

    Worth noting in that link is the occurance of sleep parlysis world wide...and the fact that EVERY culture has attributed it to the spirit realm or some sort of demon possession. This only proves that lack of another explanation can lead to spiritual thinking.

    If we lived when the witch burning was in fashion we would be up in flames for this type of experience....just as well we didn't live back then NC...


    Some guys need to visit a doctor. Honestly!

  • dontplaceliterature

    You guys should read Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan. It covers this topic pretty well.

  • Berengaria

    Would this be similar to night terrors?

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