Sleep Paralysis: The Terrifying Condition Millions of Women Endure

Alina Gonzalez
by Alina Gonzalez
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Instagram/@prettyfrowns

Sleep paralysis sounds like the stuff of urban legend or American Horror Story. In the middle of the night, you feel the terrifying sensation that someone is pressing down on your chest, standing at the doorway, or lying next to you in bed—but you're utterly unable to move. You're trapped. Paralyzed in a disturbing state between sleep and consciousness, you know what's happening, and you know you just need to wake up for it to end—you're trying to wake up—but you can't. Your eyes may even be open, and you may even feel like you are awake, but you can't make the paralysis end of your own accord. You just have to wait for it to be over. 

As scary as it sounds, it's scarier to experience, and as strange as it sounds, it's not the stuff of urban legend or a horror movie—it's surprisingly common. It even managed to make its way onto a recent episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians—Kendall Jenner shared her own onset of the condition, which terrified her so much, she began avoiding sleep altogether.

And when researching this story, we discovered four people at our very own offices who suffer from it, one of who was willing to share her story with us. Keep scrolling to read what it's like to actually have sleep paralysis.

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