Parasomnia is the undesired events that come with sleep, Sleep Paralysis is a parasomnia. “Atonia” is a condition when your brain allows your muscles to relax and be still as you sleep. Sleep paralysis occurs when this atonia occurs while you are no longer in sleep and are awake.
Whether you have suffered from it or not, there are several things you must know about it. The certain age group that is most likely to suffer from sleep paralysis is 16-45 years old. Some people learn to get a grip over their body, which is termed as ‘Lucid Dreaming’. Lucid Dream is all about gaining a certain amount of consciousness over your body that you can wake yourself up in an intense nightmare. Lucid Dreams does not work in sleep paralysis. As sleep paralysis occurs when a person is half awake and half still sleeping (REM sleep).
Listed below are ten most amazing facts about Sleep Paralysis.
10. How does it Feel?
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with raising pulse? When your is heart beating against your chest and a lump of fear hovering in your throat?
Sleep paralysis is one of the most terrifying phenomenon known to man. Sleep paralysis is the frightening torment of waking up in the hush of night when you are unable to move a muscle or speak for some moments. It is like your brain is awake but your body isn’t. For some individual’s it occurs nightly and might experience weird sensations and hallucinations.
9. What is REM Sleep?
Scientific explanation says that you wake up at the wrong time when your REM period isn’t over yet. Your muscles are still asleep, this includes your chest muscles. That’s why people feel shortness of breath and a heavy weight on their chest. You cannot call for help or scream during your sleep paralysis episode. As your mouth muscles fail to function. A unique phase of sleep in Mammals and birds that is characterized by,
a) Rapid Eye Movement
b) Occurs at intervals during the night
c) Vivid dreams
d) Low muscle tone
e) Faster pulse
f) Heavy breathing
g) Alert Senses
8. Spine Chilling Hallucinations
People might see frightening visions or figures, some even have reported a heavy weight like an invisible being on their chest pinning them on the bed during a sleep paralysis episode. Others have reported hearing some voices in the room. One case even reported deep breathing and growling behind him during his episode of sleep paralysis.
Some individual’s say they see a figure just sitting next to them or bending over them and they are unable to move.
7. Everyone Seeing The Same Figure
The surprising fact is that people from all the world have, who have no contact with each other have seen the same thing and went through same sleep paralysis experiences.
- Many reports have mentioned that most people see an old woman who takes pleasure and laughs at the fear she is causing to her victim.
- Sleep paralysis is very much supernatural as compared to medical because there hasn’t been any clear explanation for it.
6. Causes Of Sleep Paralysis
1. Not getting enough sleep.
2. High level of Stress, depression and Anxiety.
3. Eating big, Heavy, Sugary meals.
4. Major Alcohol consumption or other drugs.
5. Sometimes sleeping on your back can cause sleep paralysis.
6. People with psychological problems such as Bipolar disorder.
7. Leg cramps that occur at night can also cause this condition.
1. Relax or meditate
2. Exercise or yoga
3. Eat healthy
4. Healthy sleep cycle
5. Try Camomile tea before bed as it has some relaxing effects.
6. Avoid watching scary movies before going to bed at night.
4. Isolated Sleep Paralysis
The paralysis that occurs when a person just goes to sleep or when he wakes up is called Isolated sleep paralysis (ISP). Sleeping on your back, mental stress, or not having a regular sleep cycle can be the cause of isolated sleep paralysis. It could happen once or a couple of times in a person’s life and it lasts for several minutes.
3. Recurrent Isolated Sleep Paralysis
A person is having an episode of recurrent isolated sleep paralysis when he is unable to talk or move at sleep onset or upon awakening. Recurrent isolated sleep paralysis is also characterized by hallucinations that could be auditory, visual, or tactile. It is a chronic condition and occurs throughout life and lasts for more than an hour.
2. Genetics Of Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis may run in families as well. In a study, more than 800 twins and siblings were asked whether they had any experience of this phenomenon. As shown by the results, genetics also played a part in this strange phenomenon.
Scientists say that the main thing they have learned yet about the sleep paralysis is that it is heritable and there could be some genes that influence sleep and wake patterns up to 50%.
1. False Awakening And Lucid Dreaming
When a person is dreaming about waking up but in actual still sleeping is characterized as a false awakening. It is a common phenomenon. Almost everyone experiences the phenomenon of false awakening once in their lifetime. Paralysis occurs during sleep paralysis however, during false awakening the paralysis takes place within the dream but the person can move normally.
A lucid dream is a dream where the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. An interesting thing about the Lucid dream is that the dreamer can control the dream to some extent. It is an induction technique of sleep interruptions and may increase depressive symptoms i.e. Sleep paralysis. When sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming occur together, it leaves the dreamer in terror and shock.