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Old Hag Syndrome / Sleep Paralysis

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I've had this a few times, Chiropractor and I thought it might be related to my scoliosis. Vertebrae and or muscle cramp disrupting the neck or something.


Later I learned, it does happen on my back every time, it's part of the melatonin in the base of the brain over producing. Not sure why or how, could be food allergies. Since I've gone gluten-free I no longer have these sleep paralysis episodes.


It is very frightening. Couldn't breath or move, only thing I could move is the scm muscles in my neck, slowly turn my head right and left and got out of it. That's why I thought it was a muscle spasm in the base of my neck or a vertebrae out, once I started moving it I could get out of it.

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This is what Sleep Paralysis (Old Hag Syndrome) is:







LTES gem 2014

*Multiple AI Diseases

*General Insanity

"We cautiously travel through life to arrive safely at our death" - J. R. C. , my Son.


Are We There Yet? and Dad says...All you have to do it ride it out.


Comments/views/opinions expressed on the site are my own and are not representative of Forum Admin/Owner

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I've experienced this more times than I can count. It's always really scary! The worst part is that sometimes I will have dreams that I'm in water and I'll actually hold my breath in my sleep, and wake up gasping for air. That seems to happen a lot less often since I switched to a much healthier diet and started healing. (I was tested for sleep apnea, they said I don't have it)


The most recent episode happened this past Monday. I don't work Mondays, so I was home alone at my boyfriend's house while he was at work. I was watching a movie on his bed and I passed out - I was just feeling really tired. This was around 1-2PM. I was half awake (eyes half open, couldn't really move) and was lying on my side facing the doorway to his room. To my knowledge, everything looked as it should - it was daylight, his room looked the same, was just partially awake. Suddenly, my bf barged in to the room like he usually does and walked right over to me. I thought it was weird, because he told me he wasn't coming home for lunch. First he walked past me to check the air conditioner, then he came over to me to wake me up. He put his fingers on my neck to check my pulse, because he could tell I was in that half awake state. He asked me if I was okay and tried to wake me up. I didn't believe it was really him, so I was struggling to wake up. I tried to kick/slap him with my arms to see if I hit solid leg to prove that it was really him and I wasn't dreaming. I *hit* solid leg, or so I thought. When I eventually fully woke up, I realized that I was alone and that he never came home to check on me. I texted him to double check (it was so real) and he confirmed he had not come home. I do count this as sleep paralysis, because I was partially awake, not fully asleep, and I was really trying to wake myself up. Even though it could have been much more terrifying, it was really disturbing...it was so realistic but yet I still knew it wasn't him and tried to prove it, and somehow my brain tricked me into thinking I hit solid leg and that he -was- really there. So freaky. 

Diagnosed via blood test: July 2013

Digestive Issues: Lactose Intolerance, Candidiasis, recurring hiatal hernia, possible SIBO

Skin Issues: Rosacea, Seborrheic Dermatitis, Tinea Versicolor

Sleeping Issues: Idiopathic Central Nervous System Hypersomnia, Sleep Paralysis

Allergies: Severe Seasonal allergies,histamine intolerance (under control) sulpha drugs, Oral Allergy Syndrome

Other: TMJ, Gallstones, Orthostatic Hypotension, Dysmennorhea, possible Adrenal Fatigue

Gluten Free - 07/13, Soy Free 05/14, Legume Free 05/14, Dairy Free 09/14, Grain Free 10/14

"I am in control of my own health" - working on crossing everything off this list.


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On 3/13/2012 at 10:03 PM, nb-canada said:

Someone just reminded me of something that used to happen to me before going gluten-free. It would be interesting to find out if other Celiacs have experienced this. My son who is also Celiac has also experienced it. I used to get episodes of what is called "Old Hag Syndrome". I am attaching a link that explains it. It is also called "Seep Paralysis". I just had the thought that maybe it was caused by Celiac because it has not happened to me since. It is a very scary situation where you wake up and cannot move a muscle - you hear and see and smell but cannot move. It feels like something or someone is holding you down and you try to yell out but can't. It only lasts a few seconds but it is very scary. Has anyone else experienced this syndrome?

Old Hag Syndrome

Yes I have! But mind last for 2-3 hours til I can fully move. But 100 mg of benedryl works wonders. My theory is that gluten causes CNS swelling somehow due to a rush of mast cells releasing huge amounts of histamine... and the result is the paralysis.  I am determined to figure out how the neural pathway is affected! 


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On 5/24/2014 at 12:45 AM, across said:

Yes, I have had this happen a number of times in my life. It is terrifying!


I didn't read the link you posted, but one thing I have read in the past (and that has helped me avoid this) is that it occurs more frequently when you sleep on your back. I have no idea why this is the case, but changing your sleep position might help. I'm not a back sleeper usually, but every time it has happened to me that I can recall, I was sleeping on my back at the time.

Yes! My full paralysis only happens on my back and if I sleep on my side it only happens to half my body- the side I am sleeping on.  It will take me 2-3 hours to come “out if it”. But I take 3-4 Benadryl pills (or liquid) and boom! It’s liike it relieves the CNS inflammation somewhere and speeds up my ability to move to like 1/2 hour.  Still tryin to figure out why it helps me- the neural pathway.... 

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