The original definition of sleep paralysis was codified by Dr Johnson in his A Dictionary of the English Language as “nightmare,” a term that evolved into our modern definition. Such sleep paralysis was widely considered to be the work of demons and more specifically incubi, which were thought to sit on the chests of sleepers. In Old English the name for these beings was mare or mære (from a proto-Germanic marōn, cf. Old Norse mara), hence comes the mare part in nightmare. The word might be etymologically cognate to Hellenic Marōn (in the Odyssey) and Sanskrit Māra. Folk belief in Newfoundland, South Carolina and Georgia describe the negative figure of the Hag who leaves her physical body at night, and sits on the chest of her victim. The victim usually wakes with a feeling of terror, has difficulty breathing because of a perceived heavy invisible weight on his or her chest, and is unable to move i.e., experiences sleep paralysis. This nightmare experience is described as being “hag-ridden” in the Gullah lore. The “Old Hag” was a nightmare spirit in British and also Anglophone North American folklore. In Nigeria, “ISP appears to be far more common and recurrent among people of African descent than among whites or Nigerian Africans“, and is often referred to within African communities as “the Devil on your back.”Various forms of magic and spiritual possession were also advanced as causes. http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/ghoststories/
There are several medical reasons for waking up with sleep paralysis during the night: stress, eating late, disease, narcolepsy, cataplexy, and hypnologic hallucinations. I don’t rule out any of these as possibilities for why anyone is experiencing this phenomenon. However waking up from sleep paralyzed at 3 am could be a sign of demonic activities that are not related to a medical occurrence. Because I am not a doctor I cannot provide any insight into the matter based on your own personal health. I can only give you my insights from a spiritual perspective. It is your judgment call if you feel like you need to seek medical help for this occurrence.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, Nor for the arrow that flieth by day; for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, Nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; But it shall not come nigh thee. Psalm 91:5-7
Ever since I was a teenager I have experienced it. Over the years it has lessened in my life. I have learned to pray against and war against it when it happens to me or my husband. When I have experienced sleep paralysis I have been attacked, tormented, and even tackled. I am wide awake when this happens and unable to move. I have heard noises, sounds, and have seen dark spirits, black birds and other entities manifest. I am awake when it happens. You get this sensation of feeling really drowsy and tired. And you know that if you go back to sleep it will only get worse. The room is very clear and you know that you are not asleep. You know that if you can move just one part of your body or scream that you can break the spirit that is holding you down. Fear can also paralyze you. It is a spirit and also an over whelming grip. God did not give us a spirit of fear. Bind it and rebuke it in Jesus name!
I have talked to so many Christians who go though this and have no idea how to deal with it. There are two solutions I have found that work every time I am paralyzed. Call upon the name of Jesus. If you are not able to talk then just say it in your mind “Jesus help me!” As a Christian we also have the power to rebuke it and bind it. Whether or not it is a medical problem you are having it is not normal nor of God. You have nothing to lose by rebuking and calling upon his name for help. Jesus came for us to have healing in our bodies so if it is medical he can help you still. If it is demonic and you are being tormented by spirits you still have power over it based upon his power. This does not happen as often as it used to because I have learned to pray, bind it, cry out, and fight with the weapons of warfare we have in Christ! Pray for the Lord to make you sleep peacefully and restful in Jesus’ name!