Feeling “Frozen” – Unable to Move in the Middle of the Night
Have you ever awakened from sleep and you cannot move? It’s very unnerving – no matter what age you are when it happens. I have heard different terms used to describe this experience – a friend of mind calls it feeling “frozen”.
This has happened to me many, many times. You know you are awake. Sometimes you can look around the room – without moving your head. You are conscious and you are aware of what is happening around you. But you are completely unable to move a muscle.
Usually, this starts to make you afraid so you try even harder to move. You try calling out someone’s name for help. Nothing works. You are stuck.
I hate this feeling, don’t you?
I recall when I was first married that I described this situation to my husband. He had no idea what to do. I discovered that the only thing I could control when I was in this state was my breathing. So I told him that if my breathing became erratic in the night, that meant I needed him to “snap me out” of whatever was making me frozen. It worked! Every time I became aware that I was frozen, I would start breathing hard in and out and he would wake up. Then he would shake me until I could move. Wow, what a relief! I finally had help!
Finally, some years later, I discovered that waking up unable to move is actually a trick your mind is playing on you. It’s like some part of you is awake (your consciousness), but the part of your brain that controls your body is NOT awake. So you freak out. What I learned to do was take a deep breath to calm down and tell myself, “It’s time to wake up.” Or pray, “Lord, please wake me up.” Then I would open my eyes. I was now fully awake and could move normally and get up.
So, have you ever woken up at night or in the morning and you cannot move? What did you do to get free? Please feel free to share your experiences below.