Updated: Jun 5
Sleep Paralysis: What it is and how to get rid of it. (Play the video to read along)
For those of you who have never heard of sleep paralysis before, here’s a quick description of it. Sleep paralysis is when you go from being asleep, to being fully awake and conscious, but you cannot move your body or speak. This experience can many times, include seeing or feeling a demonic presence in the room with you. Some people claim to be choked, pinned down to their bed, and in some cases, even taken advantage of sexually. Needless to say, sleep paralysis can be some pretty scary stuff.
Whether you believe that the demons are really there, or you believe it's just your mind playing tricks on you, nobody enjoys the feelings associated with sleep paralysis.
But what if those demons that you're seeing are really there?
What if this isn't your mind playing tricks on you?
What can we do to stop this from happening to us?
We will go through all of that today, but first, let me tell you about some of my experiences with sleep paralysis.
Sleep Paralysis is something that I dealt with for almost 20 years of my life, I remember having it as a teenager and it continued all the way into my adult years. It became such a common experience to me that I actually started to get used to it. It was never a fun experience, but it became more annoying than anything. I could barely get any sleep.
What would normally happen is I would fall asleep and then I would start to feel, see or hear a dark presence coming closer to me until it was finally right on top of me. Sometimes it was just one demon, other times it was a group of them. They were usually dark figures with no eyes, who looked like they were wearing hoods. I could never see their faces, but I could always tell where they were looking.
I’m going to describe a few specific experiences I’ve had with sleep paralysis just so you can get a better understanding of what this looks like for people who suffer from it.
One time, I got to work early, so I decided to take a nap in my car. This was something I always liked to do, I never like rushing to work. I believe I was about 19 or 20 years old at the time, and at this time, I was pretty rough around the edges and always kept a baseball bat right next to the driver's seat in my car. I fell asleep, then immediately I woke back up, when I looked outside, I was still by my job, but the whole area looked gray. It looked like a mix between the upside-down in the show Stranger Things and the ashes falling from the sky like the video game Silent Hill. Then when I looked in the rearview mirror, I saw the hooded figures. In my mind, I was prepared, I had it all planned out. I was going to grab the bat and swing on these fools. Before I could even finish the thought, the demons went from the mirror, to right next to me. Then they grabbed me and started choking me. My body went numb and tingly at the same time, and I couldn’t move or speak. I was so mad that they got me before I could get them. After what felt like an eternity of not being able to breathe, move or speak, I woke up and grabbed my bat, but nobody was there, just me. Everything was back to normal.
Another time that really stood out to me was when I was sleeping on the couch in my mother's house. Quick background story, my whole family thought that my mom’s house was haunted. We always felt like someone was looking at us. I never liked being in that house alone.
Anyway, one night as I was sleeping on the couch, I went into a very weird dream state. I was on the couch, but I could somehow see around the whole house. I watched what I thought was my ex-girlfriend, who was walking around my mother’s house naked, come into the room I was in, lean over and whisper into my ear. Only it wasn't a whisper, it was a loud scream. She yelled my name “JONATHAN” in my ear and I immediately couldn't move and was paralyzed again. I couldn't sleep for the rest of the night.
One incident that would happen to me over and over again was a situation where two specific demon-looking figures would come into my room. One would hold my throat and the other would pin down my arms. I was familiar with these two demons, It was like I knew them. Not as if I knew them in life or they were related to me or anything, but I knew them because of how often they would visit me. I could also usually tell whenever these two were going to show up. It’s like I could feel them watching me during the day, waiting for me to fall asleep.
They would even attack when I took naps. Interestingly enough, the more progress I was making in my Christian journey, the more these two showed up. I’ll tell you about my final encounter with them a little later.
As real as all these experiences felt, I wasn't always the biggest believer in the supernatural. So when I went searching for a solution to this problem, I looked into all of the possible natural causes and solutions to it. What I found interesting was that although there are many medical theories of why this happens, nobody really has a solid answer. They explain what happens to our brain and body, but they have no solid cause for why these things happen. I found causes like:
Lack of sleep
Sleep schedule change
Sleeping on your back.
Other sleep problems.
I read that list like it said “we are just guessing”.
The medical advice on how to stop sleep paralysis was even more disappointing.
Get enough sleep
Relieve stress in your life, especially before bed.
Change sleeping positions.
Anyone who has ever suffered from sleep paralysis knows that none of that stuff works to get rid of it.
In my search for a solution, I kept coming across people saying to use the name “Jesus” to stop the sleep paralysis when it’s happening to you. I truly didn't believe that the answer could be that simple, but I was open to trying anything.
And don’t ya know…… IT WORKED!
Every single time I found myself under attack, once I was able to speak, I said the name Jesus and the demons would leave! This blew my mind. I also started to notice that the more I began to dig into my Christian faith, the more intense and frequent the attacks would become.
When I got baptized, I was attacked, when I became more vocal about my faith, I was attacked, when started a Jesus Facebook group, I was attacked. All of this made it very clear to me that sleep paralysis wasn’t just some “misfiring neurons” in my brain, it was spiritual.
My prayers now began to be very intentional. I went to war. Praying that God removes any demonic forces from my life, that he protect me from any evil spirits, and that he gives me the endurance to push through the constant attacks.
Then came my final showdown with the two demons we spoke about earlier. The day this happened, I could feel them around me all day and I knew they would be showing up again that night. But this time, I was ready!
I remember it oh so clearly. I fell asleep and immediately, they rushed into my room. One grabbed my neck and the other grabbed my right arm. This was one of the most intense attacks I ever had. As hard as I was trying to say the name “Jesus”, I couldn't get any words to come out of my mouth. I was fighting as hard as I could. Then, something interesting happened. I was able to lift my arm! As I was slowly lifting my arm, I could see the two demons look at each other. I couldn't see their faces but I could feel them looking as if they didn't understand what was going on. They didn't know how I was able to lift my arm. I eventually was able to speak and “YESHUA” came out of my mouth. Yeshua is “Jesus” name in Hebrew (Jesus is just how we say it in English). I found this really crazy because I don’t ever use the name Yeshua when talking about Jesus. It’s like His name was somehow stored inside of me somewhere and came out the moment I needed it most. From my Christian perspective, I know now that that was the Holy Spirit.
After that last incident, the demons never came back….. that is, until I started dating my wife Gio. Gio was big into the New Age before she came to Christ and without getting into too much detail, she came to a point in her walk where she wanted to burn all of her New Age books. For those who don't know, the New Age is a spirituality rooted in the occult with many of its beliefs being very anti-Christian. Gio lived in Boston and I lived in New York, so we met halfway at my mother’s house in Connecticut. My mom has a nice fire pit, so we burned the books, roasted some marshmallows, made some smores, said some prayers, and had a lot of fun doing it. The very next night I started to get sleep paralysis again, so I reached out to the only person I knew at the time who had any experience with this kind of stuff, Steven Bancarz.
Steven explained it to me like this:
“Demonic backlash is normal. It’s a normal response to major repentance happening. Going after the devil in ministry can bring warfare into our lives.”
It was comforting to know that Gio becoming a Christian and burning her New Age books upset the kingdom of darkness so much that the enemy decided to attack again. I know this may sound weird to say, but I was actually happy about it. The attacks stopped and I hadn't experienced them again until recently when I decided that I was going to make this video to help others who suffer from sleep paralysis. That’s exactly how I knew that I needed to write this blog and record this video. Since I was prepared for it this time, it only happened once leading up to me writing this.
This brings us to how we can limit/prepare for these attacks and even get rid of them altogether.
There is a website that you can visit stopsleepparalysis.org and a book written by Chris White ( buy it here ) that goes through all the ins and outs of how to prevent sleep paralysis, but right now we will go through what has helped me.
We will start with some preventative measures, then conclude with what to do in the middle of an attack. The steps are actually quite easy to follow.
The Bible clearly says “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7). One way to resist the devil is to set up a good defense.
What to do to prevent an attack:
Remove all occult objects from where you live. This goes for any new age/spiritual books, crystals, prayer beads, ouija boards, Santaria statues, angel cards, tarot cards, astrology symbols, altars, statues of buddhas, dragons, Hindu gods, etc. Basically, remove everything that has any other spiritual implications that are outside of Christianity. We have to work on closing the spiritual doors that we may have opened in the past.
Stop opening new spiritual doors. One thing that opens spiritual doors that should be pretty obvious is sin. Now I know this is easier said than done, I’m speaking from experience, but diligently working on living a holy life will help prevent you from opening new spiritual doors for unwanted spirits to enter through. Then there are not so obvious doors that can be opened through things like meditation, yoga, tai chi, feng shui, practicing the Law of Attraction, dream-catchers, mind-altering substances such as alcohol or marijuana, etc. Pay attention to what you are allowing into your life. Especially what goes into your mind. The mind is one of the devil's favorite places to attack.
Start filling your home with worship music, all day and night. The enemy and his army cannot stand the sound of worship music. Sing your praises along with the music and sing them with joy!
Stay in constant communication with God. Pray all throughout the day. Pray for protection, pray prayers of thanks, pray for a hedge of protection around you and your family and be continuously in prayer. I don't mean you have to drop to your knees every 20 minutes, just in your mind and out loud, always be talking to God.
Specifically, pray that all demonic spirits and forces be removed from your life and thrown into the abyss. Chris White said a few things about demons’ fear of the abyss that really stood out to me. Not only are demons afraid of the abyss, but the devil doesn’t want to prematurely lose any of his soldiers to being banished into the abyss. If you have read the New Testament, you should remember the story of Jesus sending demons into the pigs after the demons begged Him not to “torture them before the appointed time”(Matthew 8:28). In Luke 8:21 the same demons specifically begged Jesus not to send them into the abyss. The thought process behind praying to banish them into the abyss is that the devil will stop sending demons to attack someone if he is in fear that the demons might end up in the abyss and therefore lose soldiers in his army. Keep in mind that although this tactic can be used, it's just a theory. It doesn't hurt to try. Use this knowledge to your advantage and be consistent in your spiritual warfare.
Read your Bible. Read it first thing in the morning and right before bed. Leave it next to you on your nightstand. I also used to leave the audio version of the Bible playing very low as I fell asleep so that it could play throughout the night.
Don’t be afraid. Easier said than done, sleep paralysis is a scary thing. But if you are in Christ, you have nothing to fear. You are now a child of God and although the weapons may form against you, they will not prosper. Always remember that we aren’t fighting FOR victory, we are fighting FROM victory.
What to do during an attack:
Say the name of Jesus. SAY HIS NAME! If you can’t say it, think it until you can speak it. Banish those demons into the abyss in the name of Jesus! This is the only thing I have discovered that actually works. The name of Buddha doesn't work, the name of Krishna doesn't work, the name of Mohommad doesn't work, trying to get on a higher frequency doesn’t work, meditation doesn't work, and trying to fight it by yourself doesn't work. The ONLY thing that works is saying the name of JESUS!
Whether you are a believer in Christ or not, I beg you, put His name to the test. The next time you have sleep paralysis, ask Jesus for His help. And when He helps you, ask yourself a few serious questions:
Why is the name of Jesus the only thing that works for this?
Why does Jesus’s name seem to have authority over demons?
Why does Jesus care enough to help me if I don’t even believe in Him?
Please, go digging for those answers, and don’t stop digging until you find them.
With Love, Your brother in Christ
To help support our ministry, please consider checking out our shop: