Sleep Paralysis Is It Real?
The other day my friend was telling me about a rather unusual experience she had, it went something like this, she was sleeping, in the middle of the night she suddenly woke up but could not move, it was as if she was paralyzed! To add to the terror the night before she had watched some horror movie before sleeping and this added to her anxiety, she felt there was someone in the room holding her down, and all this ended after some time and she could move again. This left her shaken and confused…
Well friends, this is not some filmy story but a condition that does occur in many humans, it is called Sleep paralysis. This condition occurs when a person is either about to sleep or just waking up. When the body experiencing REM (Rapid eye movement) the muscles in the body relax, meaning they are ordered by the brain to not move at all so as to not react or move as per the dream sequence, this is known as muscle atonia. Thus when the body is in transitional state between waking up and sleeping a person experiences that he cannot move and also experiences hallucination or sounds or lights which leads him to believe that there is some evil spirit in the room trying to hold him down, whereas the reality is that this person is unable to move due to the relaxed muscles.
This is how it feels, you are sleeping, and suddenly you have this feeling that you are falling, you wake up, but you can’t open your eyes! You feel your breathing is constricted and no matter how hard you try you just cannot move. Then you feel a pressure all over your body, as if someone is sitting right on top of you and then after a struggle for some time with yourselves and the fear, you can open your eyes and yes, you will remember the whole episode, it’s not just a phase that you can forget about! Don’t worry you are among 6% of the world people who experience this. This condition being a sleep disorder can be treated and cured.
What causes this is overlapping of REM and waking stages of sleep, this is also known by disrupting sleeping pattern, another major theory is that the neural functions that regulate sleep are out of balance in such a way that causes different sleep states to overlap. Thus, as you can see, the problem is really deep and underlying and often the patients don’t understand what exactly is going on.
This can be avoided by making small changes like, maintaining a regular sleeping pattern and not sleeping in a supine position. Sleeping in a supine position constricts the wing pipe and thus making breathing difficult.
Anecdotal reports indicate that wiggling fingers or toes upon awareness of the condition may enable the patient to move again in some cases. Medical treatment starts with education about sleep stages and the inability to move muscles during REM sleep. People should be evaluated for narcolepsy if symptoms persist, where clinical help would be required.
Thus guys, don’t believe in folklore where people make you believe that some demon has come into your room and sits on your chest trying to ride and kill you, it’s just a sleep disorder and needs to be treated.
Anyone out there experiencing this disorder? It is also said that sleep paralysis can be further expanded to have an out of body experience… So anyone experience that is also welcome to share your journey with us. Our mind is really more capable of doing things which are yet unexposed to mankind, few of us use the mind and expand its capacity.
This is Pooja, signing off! J
Did you have any experience of sleep paralysis?
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