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Sleep Disorders

Sleep Hypnosis with Unaddressed Symptoms

06/15/2009

Question:

I have knowingly suffered from sleep paralysis for almost my whole life. I have learned to come to grips with it and it really doesn`t frighten me too much anymore. But there are certain things that occur during my episodes that I have not heard from any other recollection that I have researched. I have rarely felt the pressure on my chest. I think it may have happened one time out of hundreds of episodes. Also recently I have been able to communicate with the beings. Before I used to never been able to say anything or move, but I am now able to communicate with the beings and move almost freely. Most the questions I ask can be answered by a yes or no. Usually a head movement is done as opposed to the being vocalizing. It seems that anytime I hear the being speak to me, it is in a jibberish that I do not understand, although it is clear as day to me. Usually there are multiple voices.

Also about half of the time I experience a lot of wind howling around me before the experience begins. This is yet another thing that I have not heard from any other experience. Although the experiences are creepy, I really don`t get scared anymore because I realized there is nothing to fear by fear itself. Can you explain any of this?

Thank you for your time.

Answer:

Thank you using NetWellness. It is always difficult to determine the exact nature and extent of a patient's problem when responding to an internet question as we are often lacking vital information needed to provide the appropriate advice. However, I will answer your question with the information available and advise that you seek additional help from a sleep specialist in your area.

It sounds as though you are experiencing the symptoms of sleep paralysis and sleep-related hallucinations. Sleep paralysis is a common finding in the general population. Ten percent of healthy adults have experienced one or more attacks. It is usually described as waking up from sleep but being completely paralyzed and unable to move other than the eyes and the breathing muscles. Symptoms that may occur with the episodes include extreme anxiety, breathing difficulty, sweating, palpitations, buzzing, tingling, sensation of suffocation and visual or auditory hallucinations. This lasts a few seconds to a few minutes (although it may feel like a longer duration), and is terminated suddenly, either by an external stimulus (such as an alarm clock or another person touching you) or spontaneously.

Sleep-related hallucinations are a prominent, vivid, dream-like state that occurs at either sleep onset (called hypnagogic hallucinations), or while waking up (called hypnopompic hallucinations). These phenomena are also common (10-20% of the population) and may be associated with sleep paralysis. Most of the time, these hallucinations are visual, though they can be auditory (hearing things), tactile (sensation of feeling something) or kinetic (feeling of motion or movement). The "wind howling" that you hear may be the auditory equivalent to the visual imagery that most people experience.

Both of these symptoms can be brought on by a lack of adequate sleep, stress, primary sleep disorders or psychiatric conditions. Factors known to bring these about or increase the frequency of occurrences include younger age, current drug use, past alcohol use, anxiety, mood disorders, insomnia and lack of sleep. Certain medications may also cause sleep-related hallucinations as a side effect. In addition, sleep paralysis and sleep-related hallucinations may be a sign or symptom of another sleep disorder, such narcolepsy, a primary nightmare disorder, migraine headaches, or, rarely, they could be part of sleep-related seizures (epilepsy). Psychiatric disease (such as schizophrenia) should also be included as a possibility, though assuming the hallucinations occur only with sleep, then this would be less likely.

I would recommend at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night so that you avoid sleep deprivation. As mentioned before, you should seek a comprehensive review by a sleep physician in your community.

The chest pressure that you describe is something that needs to be further evaluated by your primary care physician as it may or may not be related to the sleep symptoms and certain factors in your history may prompt further evaluation.

Once again thank you for using NetWellness.

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Response by:

Steven  Kadiev, MBBCh Steven Kadiev, MBBCh
Formerly:
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University