I was just talking about this and then I saw this picture! I actually have not had an episode of sleep paralysis since I have been off work because it seems to be related directly to sleep deprivation and I have not been sleep deprived obviously. I didn't sleep well at all last night, but my sleep cycle is erratic, I notice my persistent migraine aura is extremely vivid with little sleep, which explains why it is so intense when i am working. lack of sleep is a huge migraine trigger and it can cause a huge amount of issues.
I mean I have serious sleeping problems and when I work even with a sleeping pill (which is rather sad) I don't fall asleep until hours after I go to bet and I wake up frequently, but it is worse without the sleeping pill. That is not what causes the sleep paralysis though it is when the migraines go nuts and I get those never-ending status migraines that make the sleeping pill useless... such that I get maybe a few hours or no sleep, and still go to work and after a few days of that or more... or a bad month... you get the point. It adds up. Then I start getting it.
I used to get it when I was in my early twenties before I was on a sleeping pill and it became a regular occurrence, along with violent hypnotic jerks... and horrific morning migraines. Then i was put on the sleeping pill and that really calmed it down, but then the migraines went from chronic to daily and the status migraines made the crappy sleep basically to nonexistent. So they came back, but far worse.
When i first got them they were just getting 'stuck'. And always in the morning. I would wake up 'stuck'. And the first time let me tell you I Freaked out. I had No idea what it was. You do not want to wake up stuck in your body but completely awake and unable to speak, it beyond horrific. It took about fifteen minutes of this internal struggle that caused no movement before my pinkie finger began to move then I was... just released. I figured out what it was and then it was not so bad after that... I would just focus on my hand and just try to get it to move and wait it out, but still disturbing. But as I said as time went on, the things like the hypnotic jerks began to add in and I began to have a hard time just getting to sleep. I already had a hard time getting to sleep obviously, but then just when i was about to fall asleep I would violent jerk in the jaw, neck, leg, back... any muscle group and be wide awake all over again. And the sleep a paralysis began to happen in the middle of the night... it was getting pretty bad. My sleep was getting very disrupted as well as it usual unrefreshed state.
Zopliclone helped a great deal. I don't get eight hours by any means. I'm still very surprised people can take half a pill and get knocked out for eight hours on it... seriously... very surprised. I don't know if it is the nature of my sleeping disorder or the pain, but that has never been the case for me. I do get a good five hours, not solid, but still... a good five hours out of it. Granted that has never been sufficient so I have always still be not great on the sleep, but better than nothing. When the migraines went to daily, that is when it became insufficient. Just can't beat pain. Still decent for morning migraines most days, which is good. Just when the migraine pain is acute enough at night... no sleep... which means obviously I wake up with the migraine still, if I get to sleep at all.
The sleep paralysis got Weird. I never had dreams with the sleep paralysis before. I knew what it was because I had researched it, but doesn't matter it is serious some messed up stuff. Like a waking nightmare that you are frozen into. So you 'wake' up into your sleep paralysis state, which sometimes you don't realize right away because it just feels like you have woken up in your sleep. You may feel like there is someone in the room. There staring at you. Sort of in a hostile, dark presence sort of way and then feel the stuck feeling... then go 'oh its sleep paralysis'... that is the mildest version. I have felt someone grabbing my legs, felt someone try to pull me off the bed. Felt someone touch my face. Felt someone grab my hand. Worse... is feeling someone hug me from behind, think it is my spouse, then feel them squeeze, realize 'ohmygodohmygd not my spouse not my spouse' and try to move and free myself, can't and that is freaky. And because they repeat all night long as in you jerk awake, slowly obviously because you have to work to free yourself from the state and then get back to sleep... you end up back into this state again... sometimes several times a night... so the absolute worst are the ones that get twisted into nightmarish dreams... these dark, wrong feeling dreams. They are lucid like because they feel wrong almost immediately and they are very dark wrong, I then realize this is Not real something usually is disturbing about them, then back into the sleep paralysis which can have some of the same elements in it... very twisted.
It is such a weird thing. I get why people can attribute so many strange paranormal phenomenon to it... because it seems so vivid and real and you seem so alert... but that state between awake and asleep can cause a lot of strange things to occur, I know that for sure and that is when the hypnotic jerks and other things happen, and sleep paralysis is actually not even that... you are actually still asleep really.