I experienced the so-called “Old Hag Syndrome”, otherwise known as Sleep Paralysis last night for the first time in my life, repeatedly, and I now understand why it is so horrifying to those who suffer this regularly.
It started with partially coming into consciousness believing my wife had returned home. I felt movement on the bed, and then I thought she was crawling over me to get to the other side of the bed, except she didn’t move off of me, and it felt like a crushing pressure. As I opened my eyes and realized nobody was there, I still felt this pressure and I couldn’t move. At this point, even though I had never experienced this before, I’d read about it enough times to know what was going on and so I just kept trying to move, wiggle a finger, eventually my brain stem restored connectivity to the rest of my body, the pressure went away, and I could fully move.
However, as soon as I started to drift off to sleep, I’d feel the pressure come back on me as if someone had crawled up on the blankets. I tried everything, different positions, taking off all of the blankets except the sheets, but every time I started to drift off to sleep it would come back.
Eventually, I tried to just embrace it, instead of thinking of someone trying to smoother me, I thought of when I was a young child and it was cold and I had extra blankets to keep warm, and the warmth and comfort they provided, and drifted back to sleep and the next time I awoke it was a normal awakening.