Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night but found yourself unable to move even though you are completely awake. You try to move your limbs, but you can’t. On top of everything, you feel a presence near you. And your gut tells you that the presence you feel might not be a friendly one. The phenomena mentioned above is called sleep paralysis. While it might be terrifying feeling yourself trapped in your own body, it isn’t a harmful occurrence. However, sleep paralysis causes fear in the hearts of those who experience it. So let us dive in a know a little bit about the terrifying and mysterious phenomena.
What Exactly is Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis is a condition that occurs during the REM phase of sleep. When this happens our body gets paralyzed for a short while. We find ourselves unable to move or speak even though we are awake.
In the REM stage of sleep, the muscles of our body get relaxed. Our mind, however, stays quite active during this period. That is why on the verge of being asleep and waking up, people sometimes might have experiences of being paralyzed when they sleep.
Symptoms of Sleep Paralysis
Symptoms of this disorder include the following
- Inability to move any part of the body even though being fully awake and aware,
- Inability to speak or make any sound,
- Having trouble in breathing,
- Feeling an evil or paranormal presence, even though being completely alone,
- Paranoia and Hallucination,
- Feeling strong or mild pressure on the chest,
- A feeling of fear and dread
- Out of body experiences
Sleep Paralysis and Hallucination
People who experience sleep paralysis also feel a supernatural, terrifying presence that makes them believe that it is the work of a demon. Sleep paralysis is also closely related to Narcolepsy. In between the state of falling asleep and waking up people some times have dreams. Sleep paralysis and dreams are also very close. When our mind experiences this state, when we have a nightmare, of saying an evil presence in our room, it feels incredibly real.
Therefore some people hallucinate about being chocked or threatened by ghosts when they are paralyzed. They interpret the paralysis in their muscles as a work of the evil presence. But in reality, the paralysis is just a result of the state of our mind in between waking up and being asleep.
Reasons that could Cause Sleep Paralysis
There could a wide range of reasons that a person might experience sleep paralysis. some common ones are:
- Irregular sleeping habits, sleeping too much or too little. Having a sleep schedule that changes very often
- Some medication might contribute as a reason for sleep paralysis
- substance abuse
Treatment and Care
Sleep paralysis is one of those disorders, which might be terrifying when experienced, but pretty easy to diagnose. often after the paralyzed muscles get back to its normal state and our brain fully wakes up, the paralysis cures itself. We find ourselves free to move again. The terror of the unholy presence goes away too. And there are no lingering side effects of this disorder.
However, you might want to see a doctor if these conditions happen to you:
- The paralysis occurs very often.
- The hallucinations, the paralysis, and nightmares keep you up at night.
- You feel extra stress or anxiety because of your sleep terror.
Sleep paralysis treatment often involves identifying the reason for the frequent occurrence of sleep paralysis. In most cases, improving sleep habits or changing the medication that is causing the condition helps the most. It is always helpful to make sure to get enough sleep. Have anyone heard about the Russian sleep experiment? Any creepypasta fans out there? Now we know that most creepypastas are fictional. There probably was no experiment that set the inner animals among every man free. But there are very dire consequences if we do not let ourselves sleep enough. So let’s all sleep well so our mind gets the rest it is in dire need of. Here are some habits that could help you sleep better at night.