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Don’t know about you, but there’s no worse feeling than that feeling like you’re awake but can’t seem to move a muscle. It used to freak me out, so bad that I dreaded falling asleep. The ordeal is so scary that many people who go through it are convinced that it’s induced by spiritual forces. Which is why when people want to describe it, they say ‘it was like they were pressing me’. Well, to be honest I used to be part of that group too. However it’s been explained by scientists as a state where your brain wakes up before your muscles. Yes, your muscles are in a ‘paralysis’ state when you sleep so that your body doesn’t act out what happens in your dreams. This whole ordeal is called Sleep Paralysis. Well, I’m simply here to share how I’ve dealt with it whenever it occurs:


Do. Not. Panic: Most likely the first thing that comes to mind when going through sleep paralysis is that you might die. So you start to struggle to come out of it but then it gets worse. When having a Sleep paralysis try your best to stay calm and breathe normally. Just know that it would eventually end and your body would wake up. Wriggle Your Toes: I know, I know, what am I saying? You can’t move a muscle, how then do I expect you to wriggle your toes. True. But I’ve realized that if you can stay calm and concentrate, you can wriggle your toes. And when you do, it might bring you out of Sleep Paralysis. I say ‘might’ because it doesn’t work all the time, but it’s worth a try. Squint: This is another muscle movement you can attempt. This, when it works, would often bring you out of the Paralysis immediately.

Before/ After

Walk Around: When you eventually wake up from a sleep paralysis, try not to fall back asleep immediately. Instead get up and walk around a little. Drink some water or splash water on your face. If you fall back asleep without walking around a bit, it is most likely going to happen again. Don’t Lie On Your Back or Belly: I really don’t have a reason for this but it’s worked for me. Sleep paralysis almost always happens when I sleep on my back or belly, so I always sleep on my sides. If it always happens when you’re lying at a certain position, you might want to consider changing up. Tell Your Room Mate If you have a roommate then this is an added bonus. If this happens to you chronically, you might want to let your roommate know so that he/she can wake you up from time to time. Hope this helps. Let me know in the comment section.

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This article was first published on 13th August 2017 and updated on July 5th, 2018 at 5:51 pm

Comments (4)

4 thoughts on “What To Do When They’re Pressing You – Dealing with Sleep Paralysis”

  • JIM

    Dem dey press me…lol! Good to know the experience has a name.

  • Ed

    Ah, you just saved the lives of many old women in the village. Their family members have been killing them off because of this thing o.

  • Okay! Interesting. Good one, but it will take so many people a lot to believe they are not being ‘pressed’, especially when in their ‘paralysis’ state, they saw a face…LOL

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