Have you ever been afraid of the dark? You might when you read 6 facts about sleep paralysis. It can happen and it can happen to you.
6 Facts About Sleep Paralysis
It’s your worst nightmare. The intruder is coming. The monster is out from under the bed. You can’t do anything. You are frozen. You can’t even scream. But, it’s not a nightmare. It’s real (except for the intruder and the monster). It’s sleep paralysis and it happens to people all over the world. Here are 6 facts.
- Sleep paralysis is exactly what you think it is. For a minute or two right when you wake up or just after falling asleep, you cannot move. You cannot even speak. But, relax (if you can). It’s only going to last for a minute or two.
- Can you breathe? Yes, but you may have a sense of being unable to breathe or “feel” a physical weight on your chest. Or, you may be making involuntary movements. That’s not all. You may feel like there is an evil presence right by you or you may even have visual, auditory or physical hallucinations. It is your worst dream ever – but you’re not dreaming. Your nerves are in a state of heightened activity so what you feel is very intense.
- It’s happened throughout history. You are definitely not alone. It’s been around since the early 19th century – maybe before, but that’s when they started writing about it. They didn’t have it exactly right. They were pretty sure it was demons sitting on their chests – or possible witchcraft and they didn’t rule out possession by some magical or evil spirit. When they got past the demons and the possession, they decided that bad meat or cheap wine might be the cause. Well, lots of things have been blamed on cheap wine over the years.
- The when but not the why. Today, doctors and scientists know that sleep paralysis has to do with REM sleep. It can be brought on by an interruption in the sleep pattern. They know that it may be inherited and that if you have twin who has experienced it, the odds that you will just went up. The thought is that sleep paralysis is a combination of your genes and environmental factors. But, they really don’t know it all.
- REM sleep and atonia. Atonia paralysis is what keeps us from acting out in our sleep. When you’re dreaming and in REM sleep your muscles aren’t moving. They can’t. It’s a paralysis but you don’t know it. Sleep paralysis may happen when you wake up or something wakes you up while you are still in REM sleep.
- Don’t panic – easy to say but hard to do. There is no prevention or treatment for sleep paralysis but it’s only going to last a couple of minutes at the most and think of the story you’ll have to tell your friends.
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