What Does Sleep Paralysis Mean Spiritually

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Have you ever wondered “what does sleep paralysis mean spiritually?” Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon that quite a few people the world over experience or have experienced in their lives. It is an occurrence where someone who is falling asleep or just waking up from sleep remains in a conscious state. However, the person is utterly unable to move a muscle in their body, literally speaking. But what makes this a really scary experience is the fact that it is accompanied by some unseen pressure or choking over the subject’s chest. In some cases, even frightening whispers from an unseen external presence are heard.

Thus, in most cases, the experience becomes a terrifying one that leaves the person breathless and may linger on for a few seconds to a few minutes. It would be so scary that the person afflicted by it would be very scared to go back to sleep, or even close his or her eyelids. Science tries to give it a logical explanation by defining it as just an out-of-sync condition between the body and the mind. But the mind and the senses wake up while the body is yet to. Yet, the people who have experienced it would say otherwise. But what does sleep paralysis mean spiritually after all? Read on to get a better understanding and insight into this eerie phenomenon.

Sleep Paralysis Meaning Spiritually

Different cultures around the world have already recorded many occurrences of sleep paralysis incidents, and almost all of them attribute them to a supernatural phenomenon or presence. The Canadian Inuit people associate the occurrences with shamanic spells, while Brazilian popular folklore attributes them to demons, and they have even named those demons as ‘Pisadeira’. Literally, it means a hag (ugly old woman) with lengthy fingernails who prowls along the rooftops, to descend upon sleeping victims and trample over their chests. In the Orient too, Japanese folklore describes them as wrathful spirits known as ‘Kanashibari’ that suffocate their earthly enemies during sleep.

To better answer the question ‘what does sleep paralysis mean spiritually?’, We can explore two specific incidents, both of which happened in the U.S. In the first one, a popular shaman was visited by a young woman who had recurring sleep paralysis experiences that were absolutely terrifying to her each time. After a couple of her visits, the shaman decided to investigate the matter herself. She projected herself astrally to enter the astral dimension and witnessed the happenings herself first-hand. In the astral dimension, she witnessed a teenage boy’s spirit with a heavily scarred face visiting the young woman. The scarred face indicated the boy’s traumatic experiences while on earth.

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The shaman also realized that the boy was actually perplexed and a bit afraid of her own presence. She then tried to assuage him by smiling gently at him and expressing her intention to genuinely help him. After a concerted effort on her part, the boy then trustingly moved toward her. Then, gently holding his hand the shaman led the boy’s spirit towards Light or illumination, thus freeing him from his earthly limbo and enabling him to continue with his onward journey. The shaman states that the young woman stopped having sleep paralysis incidents after that.

If the question “what does sleep paralysis mean spiritually?” still remains, read further. In the second instance, a pious, Christian, teenage girl experienced SP one early morning. She used to fervently tell her prayers with rosary beads every night before going to sleep, and incidentally, she failed to do so the previous night. She describes her experience as a really frightful one, being unable to breathe or even shut her eyes. She feared that she was going to die. Though it lasted for only a few minutes, it felt as though it had been many hours before it was finally over. At daybreak, she confided with her mother about her horrifying experience. Her parents were really concerned about it though the girl herself believed it was only a bad dream. They performed a special novena to St. Michael for the sake of protection against evil entities.

That afternoon, they brought in a spiritual guide that was known to the family. The man placed his hand over the girl’s forehead and started uttering intense prayers with closed eyes. The words were unintelligible to the family, but the man seemed to enter into a kind of trance and made violent jerky movements while sweating profusely all the time. After a while, he informed the bewildered family that he had freed the girl from her demons and that they would no longer torment her. Even though the girl didn’t believe in all this stuff, she didn’t experience sleep paralysis after that.

Though common perception is yet to fully understand the events, sleep paralysis does have a spiritual meaning and significance as can be witnessed in the above incidents. Some scientific studies suggest that sleep paralysis is a kind of hallucination that can be caused by factors like stress, sleep deprivation, and jet lag. They also suggest that sleep paralysis is akin to vivid dreaming that takes place during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase of sleep. They label this condition as parasomnia, a sleep disorder that entails undesirable, sleep-disrupting experiences. Proposed remedies include improving sleeping habits such as avoiding a full stomach before going to bed, refraining from alcohol and caffeine, etc.

But age-old cultures, both oriental as well as occidental, insist that there is more to it than these scientific explanations. The Cambodians believe it to be a form of spiritual attack. The Chinese call it ‘Ghost Oppression’. In the U.S., many believe that they were victims of alien encounters or abductions. In Italy, they call the spirits ‘Pandafeche’. The Egyptians call them ‘Jinn’, a shape-shifting spirit that is made of air and fire. The ancient Romans and Mesopotamians believed in a demon called ‘Incubus’ that sits on the chests of victims and causes terrifying dreams and immobility. The above-stated facts and case studies are more than ample proof to stop you from making that internet search “what does sleep paralysis mean spiritually”, ever again.