Have you ever experienced a situation where you were out cold sleeping at night, and felt your entire body become paralyzed? You were especially frozen in place in a trance-like state, unable to move, speak, or even breathe easily. In the world of science and medicine, that condition is commonly known as sleep paralysis . While doctors may do a great job of defining sleep paralysis from a medical point of view, in order to really understand what occurs during sleep paralysis, you must look at the condition from a spiritual perspective. Otherwise, you will only be scratching the surface of a problem that affects you and a number of other people. In reality, sleep paralysis has little to do with science and medicine, and much more to do with spirituality.

The Scientific Definition of Sleep Paralysis

What exactly is sleep paralysis? According to Wikipedia, sleep paralysis is paralysis associated with sleep that may occur in healthy persons or may be associated with narcolepsy, cataplexy, and hypnagogic hallucinations.

The above definition sounds great. However, the same does very little for everyday people who have no idea what all of the jargon means. You need a more straightforward definition. The following paragraphs provide just that.

The Spiritual Definition of Sleep Paralysis

I do not know much about the scientific definition, but I do know this: I have experienced those episodes many times in my life. And if they do nothing else, they migrate a person of sleep, which can become very frustrating. Being deprived of sleep can extremely affect how you function in everyday life. In any event, the condition is probably more common than I think among people. Moreover, it's often explained in scientific terms. Yet, here is the spiritual:

Sleep paralysis is a deliberate satanic attack against the people of God. The attacks seem to be much more than a simple nightmare. They are one of Satan's ways of assaulting and tormenting believers in order to disrupt their progress and make them ineffective at achieving their purpose on earth.

Sleep Paralysis: The Definition Across Different Cultures

Again, what's called 'sleep paralysis' in medical terms is really a demonic attack. People all over the world in different cultures describe the condition much the same, but they may have different explanations of what occurs. In any event, most other cultures define the condition in terms of spirituality. For example, in Chinese culture, sleep paralysis is referred to as pinyin , which literally means 'ghost pressing on body'. In African culture, it's often referred to as ' a witch riding your back' . See the definition on Wikipedia to find out how different countries around the world describe the condition. No matter how it's described culturally, or no matter which forms the 'attacker' during sleep paralysis is characterized in, it's essentially a demonic attack perpetrated by Satan.

My Personal Experiences with Sleep Paralysis

Here's the reason I decided to write about sleep paralysis. I have experienced many trance-like episodes while I was sleep for the past 10 or so years of my life. In fact, I had one a couple of months ago. I figured if I went through that, there has to be someone else out there who is also experiencing, has experienced, or may experience the same. I searched the conditions of what I was going through, and to my surprise there was a medical term for what I experienced: sleep paralysis. Again, I view the trance-like state from a spiritual perspective. Accordingly, the condition has everything to do with the Kingdom of God and the saints of the Kingdom being intentally attacked by Satan and the kingdom of darkness. See below for a little more detail of those trances than a spiritual perspective.

What Occurs Spiritually During Sleep Paralysis?

Consider what occurs naturally during sleep paralysis. Satan, and his army of demons, attacks you in your sleep because it's one of the moments you are most defenseless. The attack typically results in a trance-like state in which you can not move, talk, or you may even have trouble breathing. There are a number of spiritual weapons Satan uses on you during those trances:

  • Fear. Satan knows that one of his best weapons in the assault against the saints of God is fear. So he attacks you at night when you're sleeping and he tries to make you afraid to go back to sleep.
  • Weariness. That leads to Satan's second weapon in his arsenal: weariness. No matter how strong a person is, if they miss enough sleep they become less effective during the day. They just become too tired over time to do many of the things they typically do in a day.
  • Doubt. Third, Satan wants to break your faith; so by attacking you when you're asleep, he tries to make you lose faith in God and make you feel unprotected by God, then making you weaker and less of a threat to Satan's kingdom of darkness.
  • Isolation. Fourth, Satan wants to isolate believers. Yes, isolation is another arsenal in Satan's attack against the saints of God. If Satan can isolate believers into thinking that they are the only ones going through something or even to make them think that God is not with them, Satan may be able to break their faith and increase their fear, which results in greater influence over them. Satan even tempested Jesus in the wilderness when Jesus was alone-but Satan was unsuccessful: in that case, Satan's isolation weapon was ineffective.

I speak from experience, and I've had so many of these sleep paralysis episodes that I lost count. I've seen manifestations of all types of evil spirits putting me in those trance-like states: shadowy figures (big and small), old witches, and more. Demonic spirits can manifest themselves in many forms.

The Most Effective Ways to Deal with Sleep Paralysis

Anyways, here are the best things you can do if you're ever experiencing a state of sleep paralysis:

  • Rebuke the spirits. Rebuke the spirits in the name of Jesus. You have to plead the blood of Jesus to cast them out. This can even be done subconsciously (spiritually / mentally) when you're literally sleeping, as surprising as that may seem. Sometimes you may have to rebuke the spirit several times, depending on its strength. Some spirits are stronger than others, which may require you to rebuke them several times in the name of Jesus. Weaker spirits may only require you to rebuke them once or twice. It's only through the blood of Jesus, and rebuking the evil spirits in the name of Jesus that you are truly able to overcome them.
  • Prayer. Pray to God for increased protection and deliverance; and have others pray for you.
  • Grow in God. Lastly, grow in God to gain power over the enemy, in which case Satan may become able to attack you in your sleep.

Why Does God Allow Sleep Paralysis to Happen to Believers?

There is no definitive answer to that question, yet there are a number of assumptions that one can make:

  • God wants you to grow in Him. God allows you to be attacked in such ways so that you desire to grow deeper in God, develop a greater dependency on God, and gain a defect protection from evil.
  • God wants to reveal the power of the blood of Jesus and show Himself strong. God may show Himself strong in you. You can rebuke the spirits in the mighty name of Jesus, so you call on God for His help.
  • God wants to build your faith. God wants to build your faith in Him, so He may test you in order to deepen your faith. The story of Job is a good example of how God may allow Satan to try believers.


Sleep paralysis is a problem that affects many people. Nonetheless, many leave the issue unresolved because they overlap the medical definition of the term. Correspondingly, they only scratch the surface of understanding the issue and extremely ridding themselves of the problem.

The condition must be viewed from a spiritual perspective in order to fully understand it's meaning. Once a person understands what literally occurring spiritually, they are able to rely on God and the blood of Jesus to overcome the spiritual attacks of their adversary, the devil.