I suffer from sleep paralysis once in a while, and 99% of the time it occurs after falling back to sleep on my back in the morning or during an afternoon nap. I'm also aware of the symptoms of sleep paralysis. However, I experienced an episode this morning while laying on my side and it was accompanied by a very rapid heart rate. I turned on my left side to try and fall back to sleep when suddenly I began feeling like something bad was going to happen. My body felt heavy and soon I realized I couldn't move. Then my heart began to speed up very rapidly and I could here it beating in my head. I had to consciously control my breathing to bring it back down. I still couldn't move or open my eyes. I tried to speak but couldn't move my lips to articulate my faint words. My heart began to beat rapidly for the second time and again I had to bring it back down through controlled breathing. My thoughts and my breathing seemed to be the only thing I could control, though my breaths were somewhat shallow. Eventually my motor skills returned and I was able to ***k back the covers and sit up.
Was this a panic attack, another case of sleep paralysis or something more serious? Usually I'm in and out of a dream state when I experience sleep paralysis, but this time I was clearly thinking about trying to move; if I could get to my phone if I needed to; consciously controlling my breathing; praying in my head. And I've never experienced this rapid rise and fall in my heart rate. What happened? Was I putting too much pressure on my heart by laying on my left side? Thanks for listening.
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