Going to College with Sleep Paralysis
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Going to College with Sleep Paralysis

I'm 19 and I'm afraid to sleep.

46
Going to College with Sleep Paralysis
Wikipedia

Imagine this: you are fast asleep when suddenly your eyes fly open. You look around your dorm. You try to sit up but your body is somehow paralyzed. You try to scream to get your roommates attention that something is wrong, but your mouth will not open. You feel completely trapped. That's when you see a dark figure by your bed. You begin to panic. Your heart rate quickens, you begin to sweat and it feels real until the next morning.

This is sleep paralysis. Over 3 million people in the United States alone have suffered from at least one episode of it. I, myself, have what I call Chronic Sleep Paralysis. My biggest fear of coming to college my freshmen year was that I would have an episode and my roommate would wake up and see me and probably freak out. This, however, didn't happen. My sleep paralysis is triggered by stress and sleep deprivation.

I remember my first episode. I was maybe four or five, and I awoke in the middle night. I was panicking and freaking out because I couldn't move or scream for my mom. When I looked over by my door, what I saw completely terrified me. I saw the clown from my nightmare. After that night, I developed a fear for the dark. But, as I got older and experienced sleep paralysis more often, I began to develop a fear of sleep. To this day, I still have a fear of the dark and fear of sleep.

Whenever I tell people about my sleep paralysis, either one of two reactions that take place. There is either the person who will tell you that they've had it before and it's so scary, and they can't imagine going through it time after time. On the other hand, there are the people who don't believe you have it unless they see evidence of you freaking out in bed. This was my worry this year when I told my boyfriend that I have sleep paralysis and explained to him what it was. He believed me, but was so concerned about my safety that he would constantly ask, "what do I do if I wake up and see you having an episode?"

I answered, very nonchalantly, "Nothing. You just go back to sleep." He was surprised by my answer as he had expected me to tell him to "wake me up" or "call 911". But, due to the fact that I had been dealing with this most of my life, I was very comfortable handling it on my own. After my first few episodes, I taught myself tricks to get back to sleep. This would seem easy enough for most people. But, if you add on the fact that I have generalized and social anxiety and a panic disorder, this makes it a little trickier.

The tricks I taught myself were:

1. Do not go to bed angry or stressed.

2. If an episode occurs, remind yourself it is not real.

3. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and go back to sleep.

Sleep paralysis comes with a dark history. It was believed to be the work of demons, mostly associated with the work on Incubus, who would sit the chest of his victims. Originally, sleep paralysis was classified as simply nightmares, and in the 19th century Europe, it was believed to be caused by the poor eating habits of the people of this time. It was also believed to be the work of magic and possession. Doctors now, though, understand that sleep paralysis is caused by lack of sleep and stress.

Going to college is hard enough and it can cause a lot of stress and fear, but going to college and experiencing sleep paralysis is completely terrifying. If you know anyone who may be experiencing sleep paralysis on a regular basis, talk to them about it because normally the people experiencing it are too afraid to come forward and discuss it. So please ask them about it, because talking it out will honestly make you both feel better.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

96147
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses
Pinterest

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

42974
​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

71498
The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments