People who have experienced sleep paralysis mistake it as bangongot. It is because of its very nature as a near death experience and it is indeed very scary. I have experienced it myself in a number of times in at least two ways.
The most common is when you are dreaming, say of running but you can’t run, box someone but you can’t raise your arm. Imagine you are being chased by a wild animal and you are glued in your place!
There’s one thing you can do: panic and talk incoherently or shout. You wake up tired, panting, perspiring, trying to decipher whether the experience is true or just a dream. It is so vivid that when you are back to your senses you can relate perhaps the whole story.
The other kind of sleep paralysis is more frightening. It is one that may or may not be preceded by a dream. On waking up, you can’t move. You feel totally paralyzed with perhaps only your brain is functioning. Panic seizes you, as you attempt to move but cannot. Frantically you try to move any part of your body. In my experience the first to respond are the fingers and toes, then the limbs, and as blood begins to circulate perked by adrenaline, you find yourself finally “back to the living.”
Sleep paralysis is nature’s way of protecting us during our unconscious moments. Otherwise we become another Hercules who killed his wife and children in his sleep. This safeguard is not absolutely foul proof though. Take the case of sleepwalking and some cases of violence that occur during sleeping.
Remember the popular novel Heidi by Johanna Spyri? The little orphan girl was mistaken as ghost while walking in her sleep. She was so homesick for her grandfather living on the Alps, far away from the city where she was obliged to reside. Our unconscious behavior during sleep is an expression of repressed feelings, such as fears and frustrations. Often, it is the residue of childhood unpleasant experiences.
Well, whatever way there is to assuage you, sleep paralysis, nightmares - or any similar kind - really scares you to death. Just don’t give up!~