I should be sleeping, but ten or so minutes ago I called out for help in my sleep. It’s been another (now rare) night that my body slipped into sleep paralysis. This has been ongoing for years and happens most often when I’m extremely stressed or laying on my back. Tonight I was on my side, and although there is always a certain level of stress that comes from motherhood, pregnancy and life in general, I haven’t been feeling particularly stressed.
It always happens in the same way and perhaps you’ve experienced this too. I’ll be dreaming and then I’ll want to wake up, so my brain tries to. I start trying to move my limbs, to open my eyes… And nothing moves. I will my toes to wiggle, my fingers to scratch against the sheets so that someone, anyone outside of my body can hear me. I try to call out and in my mind it’s working, I’m shouting for help, I’m calling Curtis to rescue me and shake me from my slumber.
In the past it had been a slight scratching that Curtis has heard and he has awoken me. Other times I finally break free and it’s the sudden spasmodic movement of my body that wakes him. Tonight for the first time ever, my voice broke through first.
I am always so thankful for the times that this happens and Curtis is beside me to comfort me afterwards and make me feel safe. But on the nights I’m alone, waking up and clawing at the sheets for some comfort makes me feel like I’m drowning.
I’m thankful that in more recent years this happens far less often than the nightly torture I experienced ten years ago. Those led me to the hospital to have EEGs to rule out seizures and narcolepsy. I guess sleep paralysis is some sort of mild narcolepsy, I’m still not clear as to why this happens and really what I can do to prevent it other than laying on my sides to sleep and trying to be stress free.
This has been my way of relaxing tonight, to just write this down after an episode and get it out of my head.