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Sleep Paralysis and Chemicals.

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posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 04:42 PM
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Greetings, all--long-time lurker, first-time thread-maker here, but I've noticed a lot of threads on sleep paralysis and wanted to share my own experiences/pose some questions.

I've experienced sleep paralysis since I was about 10 or 11 years old, seemingly as part of a complex set of sleep "disorders" including insomnia, night terrors, lucid dreaming, and sleepwalking (these things often seem to travel in sets and are sometimes genetic, as in my case).

My experiences frequently include visual and auditory hallucinations (dreaming with the eyes open, while paralyzed), as well as tactile ones (the "buzzing" sensation others have described, and the feeling of being "touched" when no one was present, during the episode). I've read a lot of theories as to the suspected causes, ranging from forms of epilepsy to a throw-back "playing possum" mechanism on to the supernatural and paranormal explanations.

Nothing has worked as a fully effective treatment, and I've tried everything from Christian prayer to Pagan protective rituals to Zoloft to detox. On average, I have one-two episodes per month, with the majority occurring in my early teens and slightly less frequency after the age of 25 (I'm now in my 30's).

The change in frequency suggests, to me at least, a surface similarity between sleep paralysis and migraines; something else that decreases with age and starts at the onset of puberty, but that's only a theory and sadly, I didn't major in neurology. ^^

I have noticed that drinking a lot of coffee near bedtime will sometimes increase the likelihood of a sleep paralysis episode, but the correlation doesn't seem to be 1:1 (and being an insomniac, I do drink a lot of coffee). Thus the title of this post, though I drifted way off the topic while writing the rest... Mod edit? ^^;;

I have also noticed that, when the "buzzing" sensation is present, if I relax instead of giving in to panic, I get a strange "floating" sensation. I once "drifted" as far as my hallway, but generally just feel as if I'm falling out of the bed. I consider myself an open-minded skeptic, which means to you whatever that means to you, but I don't dismiss anything if there is room for doubt... and oobes are something I consider to be entirely possible, however unlikely I may personally find it.

My question is this: if the oobe portion of the sleep paralysis experience is possible, what does that mean for the auditory/visual/tactile hallucinations of external beings? I find it difficult to accept that potential, but again, must remain open-minded. If they are genuine, then what is their purpose, what are they after? From my experiences, they never do more than lurk about menacingly and generate unwarranted panic, frankly, but is that their actual goal?

And regarding the oobes themselves, what purpose might those serve? Is it something like sleepwalking? Meaning, an unconscious tendency to wander about or act out our dreams, but without the physical body? I would find it wholly reasonable that a person with a history of sleepwalking might continue the tendency with or without the body's cooperation, but is that really the cause?

Thank you for your patience, and sleep soundly! ^^

[edit on 1-2-2009 by quitebored]




posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 05:03 PM
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Bro,i've experienced Sleep Paralysis since childhood too,never knew what it actually was until now though.Sleep Paralysis is when you wake up suddenly out of a Lucid Dream,or dream,or deep sleep and a Demon is sitting on your chest/body paralyzing you.Trying Pagan Rituals to cast out Satan will not work.Try BELIEVING and praying to Jesus to rid you of this,he did it for me.Once i was in Sleep Paralysis and i heard "Go back to what you were doing" and many other voices,immediately i called to Jesus and he pulled me out of it and saved me,in other words,he made the Demon('s) haul ass once he came to my rescue.He would have NEVER came to save me if I DIDNT BELIEVE.Believing is the most important aspect when dealing with Yeshua/Yahweh.If you dont believe,it is done in vain.I would post bible verses to help you out,but this place(ATS) is so Spirtually Dead they would be ignored.Those who are Spiritually Dead on this site will always be takin advantage of by Demons,and deceived.No thats not a "grey" alien visiting you dumbass folk of ATS,its a demon.Wake up from your slumber ATS,and find the real Truth.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 09:33 PM
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...Would love to hear some thoughts, theories, or ideas on this one...

How about the chemical link? Anyone noticed more sleep paralysis experiences after heavy caffeine consumption, or lowered ones after switching to decaf, or for that matter, seen any relationship between any other substances and this type of thing?



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 09:43 PM
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You say that you have tried everything, but you do not say that you have tried going to a board certified sleep physician, nor having a sleep study run. I recommend that you do this, as you might have another underlying issue, such as sleep apnea. Often people who have insomnia, and headaches, actually have sleep apnea, so they float between stage one sleep and awake for hours with the desaturations causing a headache. Sleep apnea can cause arousals in REM sleep, thereby causing sleep paralysis. Narcolepsy is another potential underlying cause of sleep paralysis, and again only a polysomnography can diagnose this, while ruling out other possible issues such as apnea.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 09:52 PM
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Originally posted by defcon5
You say that you have tried everything, but you do not say that you have tried going to a board certified sleep physician, nor having a sleep study run. I recommend that you do this, as you might have another underlying issue, such as sleep apnea. Often people who have insomnia, and headaches, actually have sleep apnea, so they float between stage one sleep and awake for hours with the desaturations causing a headache. Sleep apnea can cause arousals in REM sleep, thereby causing sleep paralysis. Narcolepsy is another potential underlying cause of sleep paralysis, and again only a polysomnography can diagnose this, while ruling out other possible issues such as apnea.


Quite true--haven't had the chance to schedule a sleep workup, and apnea may indeed be a factor that I'm presently unaware of. Will certainly give that a try, though I've had no headaches or narcolepsy so far; I mentioned the migraine link as seeming similar, but don't suffer from them myself (knock on wood).



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 09:58 PM
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Interesting question, and welcome to ATS! I have the same episodes of sleep paralysis as you, once every 2 weeks or so.

Mine usually occurs during my day naps or after I go for long periods of time without sleeping. I actually have been testing something out with my sleep paralysys.. with psuedophedrin hcl. I notice that on nights that I take some of it for my allergies, I get a slight nauseating feeling, the kind you get when your eyes open and you realise that you cannot move. However the full setting does not set in.

I do remember that one night I had cofee at ihop and could not sleep till about 7 am in the morning, I had one of my worst attacks when i did finnaly try to sleep. I woke up and was right in the middle of sleep paralysis. I also knew however that I was dreaming at the time. I kept trying to wake up but it kept chaining into another dream, like I would wake up, and seconds later realise that i was STILL dreaming. It was very frightning.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 10:07 PM
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Originally posted by LeTan
Interesting question, and welcome to ATS! I have the same episodes of sleep paralysis as you, once every 2 weeks or so.


Thank you very much!


Mine usually occurs during my day naps or after I go for long periods of time without sleeping. I actually have been testing something out with my sleep paralysys.. with psuedophedrin hcl. I notice that on nights that I take some of it for my allergies, I get a slight nauseating feeling, the kind you get when your eyes open and you realise that you cannot move. However the full setting does not set in.


I've had a few in the daytime, mostly when I was younger (had more time to nap in those days), and have also noticed that lack of rest beforehand seems to make a difference, yes. Have also had the Sudafed queasies, but never could sleep on it so no paralysis there...

Am wondering if the link I thought I'd noticed between sleep paralysis and caffeine is actually more to do with fatigue? Since one drinks more coffee when tired... but even without that, just plain fatigue seems a factor. Hmmm. Now you've got me thinking!


I do remember that one night I had cofee at ihop and could not sleep till about 7 am in the morning, I had one of my worst attacks when i did finnaly try to sleep. I woke up and was right in the middle of sleep paralysis. I also knew however that I was dreaming at the time. I kept trying to wake up but it kept chaining into another dream, like I would wake up, and seconds later realise that i was STILL dreaming. It was very frightning.


Ack! Sounds horrible--I've only had that type of experience once, and it seemed more like a kind of night terror than sleep paralysis, though I'd figure the two could be linked, given the panic-inducing nature of some sleep paralysis episodes. Scary stuff, though, for sure!



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 10:13 PM
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reply to post by quitebored
 


Sorry I thought you said that you had headaches, I misunderstood what you wrote.
Yes, chemical changes can effect Sleep Paralysis, therefore doctors often change peoples medications and diet to try to remedy that issue if they know its not an underlying problem. There is no way that you can self diagnose whether you have narcolespy or not, it requires a set of sleep studies where we judge how many REM periods a person has in a specified amount of time using a polygraph machine (EEG). As to decreasing events with age, that can also happen, though not normally with sleep paralysis. Delta stage sleep (also called slow wave, or stage 3&4) starts decreasing in your 20's. Many of the odd sleep disorders that occur in youth occur in that state of sleep, for example: Sleep Terrors, Somniloquy, somnambulism, Enuresis, etc... Hence the fact that doctors tell many parents of children with sleep issues not to worry about them as they will pass, since slow wave decreases as they get older.
I hope that helps you some.


[edit on 2/1/2009 by defcon5]



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by defcon5
reply to post by quitebored
 


Sorry I thought you said that you had headaches, I misunderstood what you wrote.
Yes, chemical changes can effect Sleep Paralysis, therefore doctors often change peoples medications and diet to try to remedy that issue if they know its not an underlying problem. There is no way that you can self diagnose whether you have narcolespy or not, it requires a set of sleep studies where we judge how many REM periods a person has in a specified amount of time using a polygraph machine (EEG). As to decreasing events with age, that can also happen, though not normally with sleep paralysis. Delta stage sleep (also called slow wave, or stage 3&4) starts decreasing in your 20's. Many of the odd sleep disorders that occur in youth occur in that state of sleep, for example: Sleep Terrors, Somniloquy, somnambulism, Enuresis, etc... Hence the fact that doctors tell many parents of children with sleep issues not to worry about them as they will pass, since slow wave decreases as they get older.
I hope that helps you some.


[edit on 2/1/2009 by defcon5]


Well, likewise, I seem to have misunderstood what you meant by narcolepsy--thought that was the disorder characterized by excessive daytime drowsiness, usually accompanied by fits of inappropriate sleeping. My issue is more the opposite--I can be quite tired, but not drowsy, and have difficulty falling asleep.

I do appreciate the explanation, certainly, and the help!



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 11:17 PM
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reply to post by quitebored
 


Just as any disorder, there are various levels of it. Some people do experience constant daytime drowsiness, others do not. It depends on the person. The way its diagnosed is by running an MSLT, which rules out other factors in a overnight PSG, followed by a series of daytime naps. The frequency of REM periods, and the REM Latency are used to determine whether the patient is positive or not. Sleep Paralysis episodes, and hypnagogic hallucinations are symptoms of possible narcolepsy:

Four other "classic" symptoms of narcolepsy, which may not occur in all patients, are cataplexy, sleep paralysis, hypnagogic hallucinations, and automatic behavior.

The only way to tell 100% is with a Polysomnography with a MSLT, if no issues are found on the PSG.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 11:21 PM
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The only way to tell 100% is with a Polysomnography with a MSLT, if no issues are found on the PSG.


Makes sense... and yes, same is true for other disorders as well. Thank you for the heads-up! Any chance I could get a link to that source for more info? If the cause is apnea or something, I suspect I'll find some way of clearing my schedule for a proper sleep workup after all!

[edit on 1-2-2009 by quitebored]



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 11:44 PM
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reply to post by quitebored
 


I just pulled that off Wiki quickly, but you can find lots of other source out on the net. Here is the Wiki Link:
Narcolepsy

I hope that helps you.

I work as a PSGT, though I am not a DR, so I can only guess at things based on my experience, but not diagnose. Only a certified sleep doc, and proper testing can tell what is going on. The reason being that peoples perception of what is going on when they sleep (or try and sleep) is really askew of reality, and only a EEG can tell what is really going on. Believe me I have seen it thousands of times. Its really hard to explain to people too, unless they have experienced it first hand. Often I will have people tell me that they are awake for hours, when in reality their brain waves show that they have been dosing off the whole time. If you look around ATS, notice how many paranormal or alien abduction posts start out with: “I was falling asleep and...”, “I was in bed and...”, “I woke up and...”, or “I was meditating and...”. You will start to understand what I mean.

I hope that you find your answers, and I wish you good luck.
I have to hit the sack myself for tonight, but feel free to U2U me.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 11:45 PM
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reply to post by quitebored
 

I have to star this. It was very well written
. I've never had sleep paralysis but I have had Out of Body Experiences. OBEs can open channels of awakening. To realize that there are things not seen beyond the vale. You can also retrieve information you could not, in your normal waking state. Plus the whole flight thing is fun.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 05:28 AM
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reply to post by NativeAmerican
 


Thank you very much. I'm not much used to writing on forums, which probably shows, but I thought I'd give it a go.

OOBEs without paralysis are an intriguing idea--how does one go about trying such a thing?

I'm not certain that what I've experienced are OOBEs (they may just be extremely vivid dreams), but as I said above, I'm certainly willing to accept the possibility as, well, possible. ^^

Interesting note about recall, though--In college, I learned that I retained things better in a relaxed, almost a low-level trance sort of state. I'd get into one of these, study, then go in to a test and relax again, and during the test, find myself recalling things I didn't even remember studying!

I mean, things that the prof had covered that I heard maybe once beforehand, but remembered easily when prompted, in addition to the material I'd covered during the review. Always found that interesting, though I have no idea how it actually worked.



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