I’m lying in bed. I take a long, deep breath and sigh after a very busy day. I cannot wait to get some well-deserved rest. And then I remember the shadow man. The man who stalks my dreams. I’m suddenly wide awake and turn on the TV for some background noise and light but it doesn’t stop me from falling prey to the inevitable sleep. I’m fast asleep, or at least I think I am until I suddenly wake up – my eyes dart open and my heart is racing. There is a horrible sense of dread in the air – something bad is going to happen. Then it hits me as my bedroom door starts to slowly open and I know what’s coming next. A tall dark figure with long limbs makes his way over the room towards me. My heart is pounding too fast to count and I can feel the sweat gathering in pools on my back and dripping down my face and neck. I try to scream but my lips have been glued shut. My arms tied down to the mattress. I cannot move. The shadow man sits on the bed beside my paralysed body and his lifeless eyes stare into my soul, feeding from me. I try to look away, as if breaking his gaze will save me somehow but I’m compelled to stare right back at him. His power is too strong to break, no matter how hard I try to fight. Suddenly he lunges forward. His hands wrapped tight around my throat. I cannot breathe. My breathing becomes short and wispy. I stop trying to fight it and accept my fate. Then all of a sudden he disappears into a dark fog leaving my room and I can breathe again. I can move. I quickly turn on the light. My breathing fast and heavy and my heart still pounding through my chest so hard I can feel it throbbing in my toes. My clothes are saturated in sweat. I need to change but it’s too soon. Am I really awake? Is this all a trick to catch me off guard? I see a clean pyjama top on the chair and I quickly jump from the bed, grab it and jump back into bed. I wipe myself down and change clothes. After a while calming myself down, I reassure myself it was all just a terrible, awful dream. I watch some TV to take my mind off it and soon I’m fast asleep, undisturbed for the rest of the night until my alarm wakes me. And it’s time to do it all again.
Have you ever suffered from sleep paralysis? Let me know your experiences in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This post features real-life experiences with sleep paralysis. To find out more about this, click here.