Sleep paralysis is a unique experience during which we are unable to move or fully communicate. Scientifically, this happens because the body immobilizes us during sleep to stop us from acting out our dreams. This state often brings with it vivid, sometimes frightening experiences and a feeling of unease. The question of rare movements during sleep paralysis, however, is a fascinating one.
Small Instances of Movement: While most experiences of sleep paralysis involve complete immobility, you can make small, minor movements, such as shifting your eyes or twitching your fingers or toes. These instances, for some strange reason, involve a significant amount of effort from the individual. The moment that the move is made it breaks the sleep paralysis experience and waking up is possible
The Influence of Sleep Stages: The slight movement during sleep paralysis could also be influenced by the stage of sleep in which the event takes place. Sleep paralysis that occurs as we’re falling asleep (hypnagogic sleep paralysis) might be more likely to allow for minor movements than sleep paralysis that happens as we’re waking up (hypnopompic sleep paralysis).
If you would like further support and information on sleep paralysis, I have a Substack community here and have just opened the doors to an online space called Sleep Paralysis Explored with resources here. I also manage a podcast where experiencers talk about their sleep paralysis: Sleep Paralysis News. We are open to hearing more guest stories on the podcast. If you’d like to share your story in written, audio or video format send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.