Zelda Wiki
    Kanashibari - "Sleep Paralysis"
    • I found this extremely interesting, needless to say it scared the sh** out of me until I read up on it a bit more...
      when u get it, in most cases u've been sleeping uncomfortably; like u slept with the pillow under ur legs, or squashed with ur blanket, or used ur arm as pillow, and got pins n needles.
      kanashibari feels like ur wide awake but cant move ur body or speak at all.... and even the whirring of ur computer sounds like someones calling u.

      i found a site with people's experiences of Kanashibari.. the one i found most interesting: he says one night, he was watching High Hit Baseball 2004 on his comp, and his bed is to the right of the comp so he just lay on his side with his hand as a pillow, then fell asleep. when he woke up the game was still going on, and his hand had pins n needles.. the game was screaming HOME RUNNN... and also a young woman's voice was calling his name (it was actually the comp filter whirring; he imagined it coz he was in a fit of terror). but he couldnt move even a finger.

      he advises that, in this situation, altho ur eyes r open, u must never close them. it feels as tho someone is pulling at ur eyelids, forcing them down, but u must never close em; if u do, u start dreaming again and go into a fit of terror, and the nightmares start. this guy had a nightmare about continually falling from his bed. he fell off the bed, suddenly he was back on it, then off again, bak on, off on off on off..

      the reason why u cant move is coz ur so frozen in terror, but its all in the imagination. and those who toss n turn at night get it easily. another guy says it feels really terrible like u wanna die. blink.gif

      ways to prevent it : stick cute things all over the room, or pix of someone u adore like a celebrity (no wonder i never get it! hikki's on every single wall of my room!)

      and if u move ur eyes while ur under kanashibari, u get more scared coz u see more things, eventually u may see a ghost.

      This article is more "scientific"..
      "When I woke up it was the middle of the night, and pitch dark. I could hear voices, someone in the room with me, so I tried to open my eyes, but I couldn't. I couldn't move any part of my body either. I tried to call out to someone for help, but I couldn't make a sound, or even move my lips. The voices grew louder and louder, and they were very close to me, screaming in my ears. I had a kind of certainty that the voices belonged to the spirits of my ancestors, and that they were scolding me for something I had or had not done that had offended them. And then, I felt like my body was floating upwards off the bed. I was hovering on the ceiling, unable to move or speak or do anything, and the screaming voices went on and on. I thought I was going mad, I thought I was going to die..."

      To a western reader, what does such an account sound like? An encounter with the spirit world? An out of body experience? An alien abduction? A near-death experience? Or nothing more than a very bad dream? We might try to explain it in any of these ways. But if you described the same experience to a Japanese person, he or she would most likely be able to tell you straight away what it was.


      The word literally means to be "tightly bound" or "tied down", and it is an old Japanese folk expression for what in English is called "sleep paralysis". If you ask an English speaker to explain "sleep paralysis" to you, you'd probably be met only with a blank stare. Kanashibari, on the other hand, is part of the general Japanese consciousness.

      Kanashibari, or sleep paralysis, usually happens when the sleeper is either entering or coming out of REM sleep. When we enter REM sleep, the brain and body "disconnect", and the body is effectively paralysed so that we don't act out our dreams. Sleep paralysis occurs when the body's transition to or from REM sleep is "out of time" with that of the brain, that is, the body is asleep while the brain is either awake or half-awake. The sleeper feels that he or she is awake, but is completely unable to move or speak. Some sufferers report that their eyes are open and that they can look around but cannot do anything else, while others cannot even open their eyes. Often, the paralysis is accompanied by auditory, visual and tactile hallucinations. The sufferer may hear strange humming noises or voices, see lights, sense a strange and often malevolent presence in the room, feel pressure on the chest, have difficulty breathing, and sometimes have feelings of floating above the bed. Understandably, most sufferers experience extreme terror during these episodes, and often believe they are about to die.

      The terror is magnified, and the experience is much more likely to be believed supernatural if the sufferer, like many people in the West, does not know what is happening to him or her. Japanese researchers believe that reports of alien abductions in the U.S., which have been increasing in recent years, could be explained by kanashibari. People who wake up paralysed, hear strange noises, see lights, and feel like they are floating off their bed may recall images of alien encounters seen or heard in the mass media, and conclude that that is what is happening to them.

      But alien abduction is just the most modern in a long list of supernatural explanations for sleep paralysis. In China, it is called "gui ya", or "ghost oppression", and references to the phenomenon have been found dating from as far back as 30 A.D.

      The European myths of the incubus - a male demon that lies on female sleepers and tries to have sex with them = and the succubus, it's female equivalent, are also thought to have arisen from the experience of sleep paralysis.

      In ancient England, it was called "witch riding", because people believed that witches descended upon the helpless sleepers and carried them off on their broomsticks. In Newfoundland, Canada, it is called "Old Hag", because it is thought to be a witch who sits on the chests of sleepers and grips their throats in her hands. In the West Indies, it is "Kokma", a baby ghost who jumps on sleepers' chests and attempts to strangle them. In ancient Japan, it was a giant devil who stepped on people's chests as they slept.

      Modern Japan, however, is the leader of scientific research in the field of sleep paralysis. Several studies have been conducted, most using university students as subjects, and, while researchers agree that no definitive explanation has yet been found, and that there is a need for much further research, several interesting discoveries have been made about the nature of kanashibari.

      Firstly, kanashibari is not caused by a disease. While it is one of the symptoms of narcolepsy, it is also quite common for normal, healthy people to experience isolated episodes of sleep paralysis.

      Secondly, attacks of kanashibari are probably related to anxiety and stress levels, and to a person's sleep patterns. That is, you are more likely to suffer an episode of kanashibari if you are stressed, or if your normal sleep cycle has recently been interrupted. Japanese studies have shown that the most common age for the onset of kanashibari is the mid-teens for girls and the late teens for boys, that is, puberty, which on its own can be extremely stressful. Add to that that this is a time when young people are experiencing the pressure of entrance examinations, and when sleep patterns are often interrupted due to long hours of study.

      Thirdly, you are also more likely to experience kanashibari if you have a greater death anxiety and a greater external locus of control, that is, you believe that the majority of the things that determine what happens to you are outside of your control. A correlation between experiencing kanashibari and being female could be explained by the fact that women tend to have both a greater death anxiety and a greater external locus of control than men.

      Despite the research that is being done, however, most people in the English-speaking world are still pretty much in the dark about kanashibari. So, just remember next time the ghosties and goblins, or giant Japanese devils come visiting unexpectedly in the middle of the night, or when the mothership interrupts your well-earned rest to levitate your body above your futon, it's nothing to worry about, just a normal, healthy little episode of kanashibari.

      Has anyone experienced regular sleep paralysis? Kanashibari? I think it's really interesting... so discuss away.
    • I've had it once, and it was the most horrible thing ever. I was lying in bed (after watching a horror movie, no less) and I suddenly couldn't move. I tried to bang the wall to wake my parents up but I couldn't; I was entirely paralyzed. I heard this loud droning noise rise in volume and I had this feeling that something evil was right at the side of my bed, but I couldn't look down and see it. I wanted to scream but I couldn't. I laid there terrified and around a minute later I just flew out of bed and it was over. o_O
    • Maybe a week after a horrible DH accident, I was sleeping and when I woke up I couldnt move, it felt as if i was paralysed but I wasnt i could tell (After the crash my spinal cord was shocked and I wasnt able to move for 2-3 days) All I could see is my ski binding screwing off and me ending up in the trees... I think it was related to the sterile hospital room and me seeing my shattered skis on the wall... Worst thing ever
    • I've experienced something like that...

      I was having a nightmare where I was driving with my mother in a storm or something. At the end of the dream though, before I woke up, I was suffocating. As I started to come to, I couldn't breathe. I was laying on my couch, unable to move, gasping for breath. I was scared out of my mind, I seriously thought I was going to choke to death on... nothing. It was one of the most horrible experiences I've ever had. I'm hoping I never have to live through it again.

      The topic itself is indeed interesting, though. The article was a good read.
    • actually umm... pretty much... if your human.. you have it

      Its a natural function of the body, a defense mechanism against self inflicted damage.
      your body locks up so you wont move around alot, this happens right before and after REM because its a really important that your brain has enough time to "wake up" just like how we dont like to be bothered when we are all groggy in the morning.

      I've experienced it alot, and well, I dont like, its feels like you cant breath. its funny at the same time though, because if your still half awake, then its possible to control your dreams, I've had many-a-sexual dream because of locking-up. It's sorta like a gateway to lucid dreaming.

      Everyone gets it, but most people dont remember it because they're still asleep.
      People who often have nightmares may experience it because they want to wake up, so they're brain starts to get you out of the nightmare, but not soon enough, so you find yourself locked up, waiting to breath
      meh... Whatever
      [COLOR="Cyan"]Commit fellatio speedy quadraped![/COLOR]
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    • i dunno if i have had this.. it seems familiar but i would remember it... but yes controlling dreams... as said above has happened to me... sounds wierd hto... to eb asleep but awake...
      "it dsont mttear how a wrod is splled as lnog as the frist and lsat ltters are in the rghit pcale"

      "A good friend will bail you out of jail, a best friend will be sitting in the cell next to you saying "That was F**KING awesome!!!"

      DS rocks!!!
    • I am not going to bed ever again.
      But seriously that scared the crap out of me, I can't recall ever having it, but now I fear I will for my sleep patterns are VERY uneven. One night I go to bed at ten the next I go to bed at three in the morning. Sometimes I never sleep. But man, that sounds terrible. And now I am aware of it I'm afwaid.
      "Ignorance is Bliss."
    • My little brother has had it at least once, and I would be supprised if it was the only time.

      He has night terrors. Usually he just wakes up and hallusinates (sp? don't really care) whilst running and screaming up and down the halls. He yells random stuff ("The plates are burning me!") and shakes uncontrollibly. He calls for his mother and when she comes, he pushes her away in fear. It looks terrible.

      This, however, looks worse. I have seen my brother in a state that looks simmilar to this once... And I had to spend 10 minutes comforting him to get him out of it. Now I know what it is.
    • Never had it, but it sounds interesting. It sounds kinda like lucide dreaming (=dreaming and knowing you are, so you can manipulate your dream), wich I'm trying to get. But it also sounds scary, and my sleep patterns aren't the most perfect out there... But I'm not stressed or something, so that may help.
      [SIZE=1]'I knew....
      that you would leave the forest...
      someday, Link...

      Because you are different from me and my friends...

      But thats OK, because we'll be friends forever...
      won't we?' - Saria.

      ~Adopted by legolas maiku~[/SIZE]
    • I used to have this happen to me rather regularly, or several times a night. Sleeping uncomfortably in a foldable chair to the roars of a 10,000 person crowd every night doesn't have the nicest effects.

      I figured on my own that it was some sort of sleep paralysis during the first time or two, though, so I never really had much terror associated with it; other than being in Kingston in the middle of the night and not being able to move, and my parents possibly forgetting I'm there. I just went back to sleep until I woke up with it again, and again, until it was time to leave and someone pulled me into a car.

      If there's any truth to it causing nightmares, though, that would explain mine. Of course, those might just have been caused by the constant preaching of nuclear war and armageddon and the antichrist and stuff making it into my dreams. :B

      I've always found it rather fascinating, really. Sometimes I try to do it again, just to learn more about it through experience.