Someone else's story actually sparked my interest and I decided to submit my own instead of taking up comment space. Anyway, I think I have been experiencing a very mild form of sleep paralysis over the last two to three months. I have never really experienced anything like this before, but because of this site, I understood what was happening when I did experience it so wasn't really worried or concerned about it. The first two times it happened were about a month apart and I was at home both times. They both happened in the morning on days when I didn't have to be up for work, so I think most likely a weekend or holiday.
During my first experience, I was laying in bed and had woken up, maybe around 8 or so. I had my back to the bedroom door, which was closed. I know I was sort of still in that just waking up/still sleepy mode, when I suddenly felt the covers being tucked in around me. I thought at first it was my husband, and I remember thinking, "What in the world is he doing?" So I laid there for a few seconds, aware that I couldn't really move, but then it was like I was suddenly able to so I rolled over to speak to him. Obviously he wasn't there. In fact, he was in the living room laying on the couch asleep. I just thought it was weird and chalked it up to "this must be what everyone means by sleep paralysis."
The second time I was again in my bed with my back to the door. I had again just woken up, probably about 8 or so again, but felt I was more awake during this second episode than the first. I heard what I thought was the door opening and once again I thought it was my husband walking into the bedroom. I laid there a few seconds, waiting on him to come to the bed. I started to roll over and felt that stiff feeling again, like the first experience, but it didn't linger, again like the first. I was able to roll over pretty quickly and easily. Once again, the door was closed and I was just a little aggravated that it had happened a second time. But I decided to come up with a reason and thought it was probably the apartment popping and my sleepy state causing me to think the door opened.
The third and final experience I had with this was this past Sunday night/Monday morning. My husband and I had taken a short vacation to New Hampshire and were staying in a small resort. Our room had a living area and kitchen (which were connected/open to each other), a bedroom right off the living area, and bathroom right off the bedroom. Just to clear things up, my husband has trouble with insomnia a lot of nights and sometimes will stay up later with the tv on. The sound helps him get to sleep easier so sometimes he will just sleep on the couch instead of coming to bed early in the morning and waking me up. This particular night, he was having trouble falling asleep so he stayed in the living area and I went to bed (I know, it sounds so "unromantic" for our vacation! Haha). I was not really sleeping well that night either and kept waking up every couple of hours. Early in the morning, around 3:30 am (I looked at the clock when I finally woke up), I had a really creepy dream. It was one of those dreams that felt very real and made me feel confused when I really did wake up because I felt like I had already been awake. Anyway, in the dream, I "wake up" and notice that the lights in the living area were turned off, so I thought my husband had decided to come to bed. I laid there waiting for him to open the door, but nothing happened. I raised my head and saw a little girl sitting at the end of the bed. She was wearing a hood, and I noticed it was getting very dark in the room and I had an overall feeling of dread. I became vaguely aware that I couldn't move very much at all, yet the whole time I kept my eyes on this girl. She suddenly started moving up the middle of the bed towards my face. I tried to scream and couldn't, tried to move out of the way and couldn't. I suddenly wake up for real, but I'm gasping for breath, I guess from trying to scream in my dream. I could move, and almost jumped out of bed and ran out of the bedroom, but instead I used some breathing techniques to calm my breath and calm myself down. I was still really scared and was almost in tears, but I was able to go back to sleep.
I'm not really sure why I'm experiencing this now? I have never experienced anything like this before, at least not that I remember. I didn't have night terrors as a kid or nightmares that were out of the ordinary for a kid. It seems that in this past year though, I have been having really terrifying dreams. I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse about three years ago, and for whatever reason, I will have bouts of anxiety, but not very frequently and usually I can feel when this is happening and know what to do to sort of lessen the effects or even prevent a full-on anxiety attack. I'm not on any medication for either the MVP or the anxiety because I have learned different ways to sort of control it, and my doctor is sort of hesitant to start me on anything because of some of the side effects. I know that probably a lot of this and the recent nightmares can probably be linked to that, but I'm just not really sure why suddenly this year I'm experiencing these new and unusual occurrences. I never ask for medication because it seems that all this lasts for a short period of time then stops for several months, so I don't really feel like I need to take anything yet since it's not that frequent. But when all of this does occur, it can be very intense. Any ideas or insight?