Sleep paralysis

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterbee, May 18, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Has anyone here experienced this while awake?

    This seems to be a new symptom and one I'm not liking at all. When I woke up yesterday, I couldn't move my body at all. I couldn't even open my eyes. It scared me to death and about caused a mini panic attack. It probably only lasted a minute, but it seemed like much longer. I kept willing my body to move, but it wouldn't. When I finally did, that first movement seemed to take monumental strength, but then I was ok.

    It happened again this morning, but didn't freak me out as bad. I woke because my left hand was tingling (ulnar nerve entrapment) and I couldn't move my hand or open my eyes or move anything else. I told myself that it would come around and stayed calm and just kept trying to move my arm and finally I could. It was just the smallest movement at first, but then everything was ok like before. It didn't seem to last as long as the day before.

    This coupled with my other sleep issues is prompting me to call my GP tomorrow so she and I can discuss a sleep study again. We've talked about it but had decided to wait and see.

    But, if anyone has any suggestions on what to do other than what I did when this happens - maybe a way to avoid it, please share. It's extremely disconcerting.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I have not experienced that but it sounds very frightening and I think you definitely should have it checked out. I have become a little parenoid over the risk of stroke due to inadequate blood circulation (I guess clotting) in the legs.

    difficult child kicked me in the leg a couple of weeks ago. I have periodically had foot and leg cramps at night all thru my life, but the past couple of weeks there are a few nights that I have had extreme pain along with a wierd cramp in the foot below the ankle that he kicked. It is probably just coincidence, since there is no swelling or bruise.

    But, what you are going through sounds like it could be serious- maybe it is not a major thing- but have it checked out- just to be on the safe side!!
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I have not experienced this but heard about it not too long ago. It does sound terribly scary. I think that staying relaxed like you have figured out is important.

    Please let us know what you find out from your doctor.

    In my most unknowledgable suggestions, all I can think of that might help is to try to go to bed as calm (non stressed) as possible. Tell yourself that all your issues (worries and even planning for good things) are going to have to take a break so you can have a restful sleep.
  4. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    You just spooked me :( Please be sure to contact the doctor ASAP! I've not experienced what you are, but have been experiencing something similar. I go for testing this should too!! ;)
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Now that I think about it, there have been times when I can't seem to really wake up from a deep sleep, even though part of my brain is telling me to wake up. This might not be anything real major, so try not to panic. Still, go discuss it with a doctor just to be on the safe side.
  6. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I had heard of it which is why I didn't freak out so bad after the first time. But, reading about it and having it happen the first time are two very different things.

    The first time - and probably what freaked me out even more - is that I felt an intense need to look at the floor on the opposite side of the something or someone was there. I didn't have that the second time.

    I'm sleeping so much anymore. I'll sleep anywhere from 7-10 hours at night and after being up an hour or two am so sleepy that I'm miserable and then I nap for anywhere from 2-5 hours....usually closer to 4-5 hours. And I never feel rested. So, this coupled with this new's time for a sleep study.

    I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired...and really frustrated with new symptoms that keep appearing. And still no answers. It's getting really old, really fast and it's getting harder by the day to maintain a positive attitude.
  8. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    From one Heather to another (a little strange, I know). Like I said before, not the same things though....but, I'm struggling with health issues myself. VERY frustrating & still no answers for me either (let's not mention the $$$ it's costing:mad:).

    There's got to be something to keep the positive attitude or at least a smile on your face....right? I'll come up with something if you will! :D

  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    You know what, Heather, you're near Xenia, right? And I think Lisa (Daisylover) isn't too far from you. We need to get together and do lunch. Maybe at the outlets or something.
  10. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    My. I have this all the time...didn't know it was a disorder. It takes me a good 30 minutes to get out of bed in the morning. (Fortunately, I'm an early riser so it hasn't been a problem.)

    I can't open my eyes...move any part of my body. I just lay there slowly awakening. I keep 2 liters of iced milk by me at night (sorry...I'm a milk addict) and I can't even roll over to get a drink if it's early morning. Middle of the problelm. If I have an itch, can't move my hand to scratch. Have to go potty? Not going to happen.

    My last doctor told me to take my clocks out of my room. I would generally wake every 30 minutes during the night to see what time it was. I'm not quite there, but it's better. It's very nerve racking to me to not know what time it is. Ok...I'm weird.

    Personally, I think it is stress and a pattern that you set up for yourself. I'm trying very hard to break the pattern. Stress is another issue.

  11. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Heather, I'm in the Centerville/Miamisburg area. I would LOVE to do that. Hey, we have some games next weekend in Xenia & are closer to Columbus though? have this all the time too? You've just visited one doctor with your symptoms? I understand it may be common, just something new to me. I guess stress makes sense, probably what I'm going to get as a result from my tests this week. does that just "go away"?! ;)
  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I found this.

    It's interesting that it's more common if you sleep on your back. I never sleep on my back, however the two times this happened I was on my back. My hips have been bothering me...only reason I can think of for being on my back.

    Abbey - I'd be talking to another doctor. And I'm like you...I have to know what time it is.

    Heather - I'm north of Columbus, but the outlets are only about an hour, hour and a half away.
  13. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Well, going to a doctor right now is a bit of a problem as I have no insurance. I don't think the sleep thing is a problem....just interested in hearing someone else going through the same thing. I just thought I was being Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). ;)

    Umm...maybe that's the case.

  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm also wondering if it's stress/anxiety related. Although I'm glad you're going to get checked out by your doctor.

    I had a severe episode once several years back. ONCE. And I don't care to ever have it happen again, thankyouverymuch.

    Mine, I woke up feeling really weird, almost flu like. Headed toward the bath because one of the kids had an early psychiatrist appoint. It hit in the bath on the toilet. I literally felt my body shut down. I made it to the hall to call out to Travis before I collapsed onto the floor.

    Couldn't move a thing, not even my eyelids. I could hear just fine while my kids were panicing all around me. Mine lasted a LONG time. We figured at least a half hour. Once it passed I made husband come home and run me to the ER to be checked.

    psychiatrist a few years later was positive it was a stress related severe panic attack. (goody for me)

    I don't care what it was as long as I never experience it again. Scared the daylights outta me!

    As for meeting up with you and 4sumrzn, I'm game! Sounds like a fun time to me. I'd love to meet you both in person!! :redface:

    4sumrzn, You're living in my old neck o' the woods, dear!! We used to live off of Alex Bell in West Carrollton before we moved down here. lol (how cool is that?)

  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I get this but mine happens when I am going to sleep rather than waking up. I will be in this half asleep/half awake state but I cant go in either direction and I cant move at all. It always ends up waking me fully up before I can finally go back to sleep too.
  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I've been mulling over the stress aspect. There have been times in my life where I can say I've probably had much more stress, but at least then I felt like I had some kind of control over my life. I feel like I have none now.

    There is something to the saying, 'at least you have your health'. I'm not dying, but my health issues are definitely incapacitating. Sometimes I think it would be easier if I were dying. I know that sounds sick and morbid and probably really pathetic, but imagining living this way for the rest of my life is just too much sometimes. And I have been thinking about that lately. I've had a lot of dreams where I lose my job, or go to work and can't remember what I'm supposed to do, or something terrible happens and I have to leave. I've dreamt a few times of having my children taken from me. And I've dreamt several times of being suddenly misplaced and in another house and trying to find my way back, but I can't get back because someone else is living my life. My nights - nearly every night - are full of these right after another.

    Not knowing from one day to the next what my level of functioning will be, not being able to provide for my family, not being able to do all that a mom 'should' be able to's all getting to me.

    At least when difficult child was spiraling and I was so sick with undx'd heart disease, I didn't dream. I'd go months and months without dreaming. I could use a little of that now.

    Ok. That part's over.

    Heather and Lisa - we need to figure out when we can get together. Let's work on that.
  17. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Janet -

    I think the wikipedia thing on this that Sara linked mentioned klonidin (sp?) is prescribed for sleep paralysis. Have you noticed if it makes any difference with you?
  18. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    It's terrifying to have that feeling of helplessness! I've experienced this phenomenon after seizure activity & I always panicked.

    I hope you find relief for this soon.
  19. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I don't care if it is common or well known !!! It sounds scary... and I am sorry you have to experience this. The fact that you say it is sooo hard, as it is for you to get up, and now this!!!
    Yeah, sick and tired of being sick and tired... you have the right!
    I would probably just ask to be admitted and say don't discharge me...
    I hope you figure THIS out... something. Something has to be figured out in your poor body!
  20. Pam R

    Pam R New Member

    I've had this for several years. It's lasted as long as 4.5 hrs.

    Been to the ER twice with it. ER doctor wrote in record it's self limiting, but no idea what it is, so I can not go to ER again, as insurance will not pay for it, because it's self limiting.

    When the first severe attack happened, I was awake but resting. Suddenly could not move, but could talk and see. Lasted about 3.5 hrs. Wore off gradually. Had no health ins. and doctor would not do house call.

    Happened several times over the next few years, of varying severity. Then last year I woke to find I could not see or speak for the first 20 mins or so. And that scared the cr*p out of me. At least before I could communicate.


    I was like you, just waited til it wore off, not too upset about it. Tried to remain upbeat about it. Doctors took this as some sort of mental aberration. And it was diagnosis;d as "somatization" of my mental state.

    In other words, it was all in my head. I went to a big hospital in Boston, in hopes of some real diagnosis. That doctor was even worse. She out and out told me I was causing my body to be paralyzed, I needed to be on anti-depressants, and the only way to make it stop was electric shock therapy. Can we say "extremely angry"? She's lucky to have left the room with her face intact.

    So I still have no real diagnosis and no place to look for one, on my insurance. Don't know what causes it, though it does get worse with stress. Don't know why I will go months with no attack, though it did at first seem to be tied to the equinoxes. So I suspected a day length connection. No one was interested in that observation.

    It's not fun, and for me, has become downright scary. I don't know what to tell you, as you can see I've not gotten far with mine. I only knew one other person with ME, who also had these attacks. Hers were much the same as mine, and she was treated the same by docs as I was.

    Sorry to hear you've joined our ranks.

    Pam R.