Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Community
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Sleep paralysis

Had chronic fatigue/pain syndrome since early 2014, always had sleep problems - the usual - insomnia, going nights without sleep. Yesterday morning went to sleep early hours of the morning only to have dozens of nightmares followed by waking up with sleep paralysis, worse of all it lasted a good 30 min, all I could do was open my eyes. My body would not move. Therefor I kept drifting back to sleep and waking up paralysed again. Any help/advice on how I can stop this from happening or try to prevent it? Was a very scary experience...

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Hi aj17, I too would have experienced this quite often. The only way I found to minimise it was through pacing - if I do little and I don't get exhausted as much, well more exhausted than my normal exhaustion, it tends to occur less.

In the beginning I found it very frightening - I would be sitting talking with the good lady wife half watching TV then all of a sudden I would fall asleep without knowing it and there I was thinking I had just become paralysed. I would be straining every muscle to try and get my wife's attention and maybe after some time I might moan a little, most of the time not even audible.

I found sometimes if I scanned about my body I would be able to feel or move some wee part like say blink and I would have focused on that as a way through to bigger movements and out of the paralysis.

I also decided to try and cultivate interest in it to see if I could 'dwell' in that paralysed state. Those hypnogogic type states are meant to be seriously good for reprogramming yourself/affirmations and the like so I tried to use it as a meditative place. Now that is easier said than done and I often slipped over into fear again but the real terror has disappeared, (although it can get a might confusing in there).

Hope that helps, its all I can suggest :)

Take care.

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It might be an idea to volunteer to partake in this research?

surrey.ac.uk/surrey-sleep-r...

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Don't know how I'd get to Surrey but I would be very keen on any sleep studies in Ireland.

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I am plagued by this since I got ME. I really empathise! The rough explanation I think this is right hehe, is when people are in dream sleep we all naturally get paralysed to stop us acting out dreams. It is something to do with the brain & body getting mixed up so you stay paralysed when you aren't meant to. Then the accompanying dream is usually scary isn't it! I think certain medications and stress worsens it and fitful sleep, like lots of waking & going back to sleep or sudden waking. Yes also very much sleep deprivation makes it worse. So in that case lose dose of medication might be helpful. To prevent if I wake in early hours I don't go back to sleep because it is more likely to happen then. Very hard not to when you are so tired. If it happens I watched a sleep expert on this morning he said best thing if it starts is try very hard to move your fingers or toes and you will come out if it. It does work. Also I say to myself 'it's not real, it's not real' rather than panicking. Big hug ☺

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