Sleep Paralysis vs. Alien Abduction

For years there have been questions raised over the alien abduction phenomena. Could it be that beings, a.k.a aliens, from other planets have come to visit us? Have they removed us from our homes to perform studies and tests on our bodies? Is it really possible that this is happening to people all over the world? Or is it just in our minds…an uncontrollable experience at that, but still one that has nothing to do with aliens?

There is a theory being thrown around that people who have stated that they have been abducted have experienced something...just not what they believe they've experienced. More research and better understanding of what sleep paralysis is and how it works has given way to the theory that sleep paralysis is a possible predator, not aliens. To explain this more, take a look at my findings on Sleep Paralysis...

Sleep Paralysis, basically put, is when the mind has awakened from slumber to find that the body is still in 'sleep mode'. There is an inability to move the body and its muscles because they are still in a paralyzed state.

It can be an extremely frightening experience, and in most cases can instill panic in the person experiencing it. As scary as it is no physical harm is brought about by this phenomenon. The time length can range anywhere from seconds to 10 minutes or more. In most cases it can be terminated by a sound or a touch to the body.

There are two types of this sleep disorder: The Common Sleep Paralysis and The Hag/Hallucinatory Sleep Paralysis. The difference between the two is the Hypnogogic (the state between wakefulness and sleep) state.

The Common Sleep Paralysis happens, for most people, during R.E.M. state, when the body releases hormones that paralyze to keep it from acting out dreams, thereby reducing any chances of physical harm during sleep. It is a safety net. These hormones usually wear off before the dream ends and the person will then wake up with full use of all body functions. The Common Sleep Paralysis usually only lasts from seconds to 1 minute in total, though sometimes it can go a little longer.

The Hallucinatory/'Hag' Sleep Paralysis is experienced when 'hypnologic' (inability to perform voluntary movements during sleep) hallucinations are present after the person has awakened from sleep to find their body paralyzed. During these times, a person will feel a presence in the room with them (the 'Hag') - usually an evil or fearful presence. Some go further and feel as though someone or something is actually sitting on them and they feel as though they are suffocating or dying. Experiencing this can cause a person much anxiety and fear, but, again, there is no physical harm involved.

The Hallucinatory Sleep Paralysis is different from Common Sleep Paralysis because it can last up to 8 minutes long (sometimes longer) and, due to nightmarish hallucinations, is usually an extremely frightening experience. To the person caught in this state, it is extremely realistic and very intense.

With that explained, let's compare the common symptoms for alien abduction to sleep paralysis:

Alien Abduction:

-Awakening with the feeling of a presence in the room
-An inability to move/paralysis
-Difficulty breathing
-Buzzing or humming sound
-Anxiety and fear
-Sees strange lights/bright lights
-Feeling vibration
-Feel completely awake
-Missing time periods
-Strange scars/markings on the body
-Feeling of flying through the air or an out-of-body experience (OBE)
-Odors can be smelled - some mild while some are very strong and clear (sulphur is a common smell)

Sleep Paralysis:

-Awakening with the feeling of a presence in the room
-An inability to move/paralysis
-Difficulty breathing
-Sounds can be heard (buzzing and humming included)
-Anxiety and fear
-Light and color can be seen
-Feeling vibration
-Feel completely awake
-Possible missing time periods
-Feeling of flying through the air or an out-of-body experience (OBE)
-Odors can be smelled – some mild while some are very strong and clear

Many of the symptoms are the same so it is possible that sleep paralysis is the reason for many of the 'abductions'…but does it account for all? As far as the strange scars/markings go, it could be that after experiencing such a traumatizing event as hallucination sleep paralysis and not understanding it, these forgotten scars/markings could be thought to represent part of the 'alien abduction'. How many times do we hurt ourselves and, after feeling the initial pain, forget about it only to find it a day later and wonder how it got there? It happens. This covers the mild bruising and small cuts, but it doesn't cover the more serious scars/markings that some people who have been 'abducted' discover when they wake up.

What happens when a person experiences the following situation:

A person wakes up from sleep and finds they are unable to move. Their body is paralyzed. They can feel a presence in the room with them, sometimes evil and sometimes not. Maybe they even feel a vibration or the movement of 'someone' or 'something' sitting down on the bed beside them. Sometimes they can see the figure when other times they can't. They see strange bright lights and hear abnormal buzzing or humming sounds. Sometimes they even hear the 'presence' speak to them. They have no idea where this is coming from. They feel like a weight or 'body' is bearing down on their chests and they have to fight to breathe. Sometimes the 'presence' is trying to kill them. Everything is very real, very intense, and the person knows for certain that he/she is awake.

If this person knows about sleep paralysis and understands what it is and how it works, likely the person will not suffer much anxiety and will understand that they have merely awakened in the body's 'sleep mode'. They know that they will achieve body movement in a matter of minutes.

Now take a person who does not know about sleep paralysis…has never heard of it before. How is that person going to react to this experience? If this person has heard, read, or watched anything on alien abduction, it is most likely that he/she will believe the experience has been one of just that…alien abduction.

After that, if that person were to go through hypnosis to re-discover or re-live that experience, hypnosis could easily make the memories of this 'real' experience (but not proven to be a 'real' abduction) completely convincing as an alien abduction.

Looking at this information, we have to ask ourselves, is it possible that some alien abductions are merely sleep paralysis in disguise or is it just as it has been said: an actual alien abduction…?

What brings on sleep paralysis?

The following was taken from the Sleep Well Webpage

· Some people with disrupted sleep schedules or circadian rhythm disturbances experience sleep paralysis
· A study found that 35% of subjects with isolated sleep paralysis also reported a history of wake panic attacks unrelated to the experience of paralysis
· Sixteen percent of these persons with isolated sleep paralysis met the criteria for panic disorder

Also known to bring on sleep paralysis are the following:

· Possible symptom of narcolepsy
· Radical changes to daily life
· Practicing Meditation
· Your sleeping position - lying in the face-up or supine position increases your chances of experiencing sleep paralysis.

Take a look at this information by J.A. Cheyne

...'It turns out that the prone position (sleeping face-down) is completely neutral with regard to sleep paralysis. About 15% of people report sleeping in this position and about the same percent report experiencing sleep paralysis in that position. Sleeping on one's side during sleep paralysis is, however, extremely uncommon, with only about 5% of people reporting this. This finding is especially striking when one realizes that this is the most commonly reported normal sleeping position in our samples. According to these reports people are ten times more likely to be on their sides during sleep than during sleep paralysis. These findings should certainly encourage people to try to sleep on the side, especially during bouts of sleep paralysis.'

It has been said that when experiencing sleep paralysis; move your eyes side to side rapidly. This eye movement will switch on the arousal centers of your brain and wake you up. Another way to terminate it is to try to relax and move a finger or a toe. Also, any sound or touch to the body will usually terminate the paralyzed state.

Ways to avoid sleep paralysis: 

  • Get lots of sleep
  • Avoid sleeping on your back or stomach - sleeping on your side is best
  • Try to maintain a regular sleeping pattern/schedule 
  • Reduce and avoid stress as much as possible
  • Try to get regular exercise
  • Eat a healthy diet

Tip: Avoid dehydrated varieties of onions and garlic. Some have claimed that this has helped decrease chances of sleep paralysis.

Personal Testimonies


I've read your article on alien abductions and it is a most excellent primer on the prosaic explanations behind "alien abductions." A point I have is that some abductees claim to have no interest in UFOs, aliens, etc. prior to their alleged abduction. If we take them on their word then a prior belief that aliens are abducting humans is not needed from someone to turn a sleep paralysis episode into a "real" event.

To counter this I argue that since 'Close Encounters of The Third Kind' (and possible before) the idea of aliens coming to Earth and abducting people has crept into our collective subconscious and has replaced incubi and succubae as night terrors. And to top it all off I have had a personal experience with sleep paralysis involving aliens so I do find this topic interesting.


I have found that my SP has changed and diminished drastically by doing experiential therapy & holotropic breathing developed by Dr. Stanilov Grof. The demonic presence changed to human intruder to no intruder, and the suffocation and choking has disappeared. I have determined that the SP is due to suffocation trauma at birth. I suspect those that experience UFO abductions may have been born by caesarian, or pulled out with forceps. The abductions are symbolic. In my case the SP is a dream. I continued to experience my SP "in my old house" after I moved. It is unfortunate that the researcher stigmatizes people by calling these hallucinations since they are dreams. The sleep paralysis is the body/mind's natural way to discharge old subconscious trauma - a natural therapy if you will.


I found myself wide-awake but totally unable to move or speak. My imagination was in overdrive and rather than the alien abduction scenarios described in your first article, I seemed to focus on the haunted house/evil spirit angle. I recall seeing three-foot tall, completely black figures darting around the bedroom. After deciding that I was seeing things, I saw black hands and arms reaching through the bed from below, grabbing me and trying to take me God knows where! During this episode I woke my wife beside me. She claims I was howling like a tormented soul - a most apt description of my state of mind at the time. An unsettling thing about it all was the fact that I hadn't had a drop to drink! It was a most unsettling experience and one that I do not enjoy recalling.

There are ways to avoid or decrease your experience of sleep paralysis but if you are experiencing it once a week for a period of 5 months or more, you should contact your doctor. There are medications that can be taken to help you through this.

My thanks goes to all those who showed courage through sharing their stories for the benefits of others who suffer with Sleep Paralysis. May God bless you all with peace.

** This information is not intended as medical advice **

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