Sleep paralysis, the biggest fear of everyone’s life which people face at least once in a lifetime. Has it ever happened to you? You suddenly wake up at midnight and find out a Demon sitting on your chest, you try to shout but unable to utter a single word, you try to resist but unable to move your single muscle? If yes, then you were in a state of sleep paralysis. It is linked to deep psychiatric problems.
Scientifically “Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which an individual, either during sleep or awaken, briefly experiences an inability to move, speak, or react. This is a transitional state between wakefulness and sleep, characterized by the lack of ability to move muscles.”
Let’s talk about why and what really happens when you wake up dead.
Sleep paralysis happens when (REM) rapid eye movement occurs while you're awake. REM is that stage when your brain is extremely active and dreams tend to creep in. Only eyes and muscles used in breathing are in your control possibly to stop you acting out of your dreams.
Reasons behind this condition
Insomnia: When you do not or are unable to sleep for long hours or sleep deprivation.
Irregular sleeping pattern: Due to Jetlag, change in working shifts, traveling, working long hours.
Stress: Carrying up a heavy stress in your brain of any sort that is making you uncomfortable.
Narcolepsy: It is defined as a sleep attack where the brain sets you on sleep mode without any prior warning.
Migraines: An illness which causes an extreme headache when a person cannot handle the stress or sometimes due to noise pollution.
Genetic: When there is a family history of sleep paralysis.
What really happens during sleep paralysis?
You feel like a dead body
Most people feel like a dead body whenever they face sleep paralysis as they are unable to move their muscles or any part of the body just after they open up their eyes from sleep, the most horrifying moment of one’s life.
That most terrifying one minute
As the body is in a state of REM, the breathing is not affected but a heavy pressure on chest sends the message to the sufferer to open up the eyes and get back to their normal state. Hence, this picture of death could take up to one minute or even more, to bring you back from the road to heaven to your bed.
Your conscience is affected
Sleep paralysis occurs during the beginning or ending of sleep. During the act, you can only create the sound of air straight out of your lungs (as the breathing muscles do not stop working) but cannot add up any type of sound or vocal in it and your voice remains unheard till it ends.
Unlike the dreams of ghosts and witches or lucid dreaming when your eyes are closed, in sleep paralysis, the hallucinations occur when your mind is alert, eyes are open and you see and feel like a demon is sitting up on you when you can’t even move your single muscle. These hallucinations might freak the patient out which also cause the increase in heart rate.
You're scared as hell, you can’t move, you can’t shout, your eyes are open you feel you’re alive and dead at the same time which definitely increases your heartbeat and causes lot of sweating.
Treat the damn thing!
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Take good care of your sleep. An adult needs at least 6-8 hours of sleep a day. Better sleep is a healthy sleep. Improve your sleeping environment. Choose one of the best foam mattresses, pillow and sleepwear should be the most comfortable thing you've ever worn. Keep the bedroom clean, dark and cool. Avoid eating heavy meals, drinking alcohol shortly before going to bed.
Break the pattern
An excellent trick that works for many people is to try to move an extremity, such as a finger or a toe or try to clench or unclench your fist. This method will definitely break your sleep paralysis. Whenever you face sleep paralysis, just don’t sleep back, you might face it again. Instead get out of your bed, open up the lights, go to the washroom and wash your face with the cold water. If you keep facing the issue, then visit up the psychologist to get some medications and help in this matter.