Sleep Paralysis normal yet terrifying state of being unable to move, either at the onset of sleep or upon awakening. This commonly occurs when a person is moving into or out of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the deepest part of sleep.
The team to describe sleep paralysis before going to sleep is called “Hypnagogic”, and as your awaken up from REM its called “Hynopompic”. Sleep paralysis has other names that it can be referred to such as predormital, hypnologic, familial, and hypnopompic but all relate to the same issue.
Sleep paralysis is when your brain wakes up from the Rapid Eye Movement (REM), but your whole body is paralyzed state. Your mind becomes fully conscious in bed but your not able to move your body. This is a is an unusual neurological phenomenon that happens to more children than adults. It is not uncommon for people to experience this every week.
Is Sleep Paralysis Dangerous?
Anybody who experiences “sleep paralysis” for the first time usually wants answers right away. They feel like they actually experience a nightmare awake. You wake up feeling like you were actually living in a bad dream for a couple of seconds or even up to a couple of minutes. As scary as it seems the good news is that nobody has even died from sleep paralysis or had any psychological issues.
This is just a very scary and uncomfortable feeling that we never want to experience again. The worst part about sleep paralysis is that you feel stuck and have no idea why your frozen in this state.
Some issues people who suffer from sleep paralysis have trouble getting a good night sleep in fear that it would happen again. The more you learn and become aware of sleep paralysis the easier it gets when your trapped in that moment of hell.
When you are stuck in sleep paralysis and know that you are and it would be over in a matter of seconds it helps calm the mind. Most of the time the sleeper is awakened by a sound, a touch or snapping right out of the state.
What Happens During Sleep Paralysis
Through out the night our body goes back and forth between NREM (non-rapid eye) and REM sleep. Most of our sleep consists of NREM, the state that we are most relaxed and not much brain activity going on. When the NREM is over we switch over to REM sleep where our eyes move rapidly.
More vivid dreams occur during this time and our body is completely relaxed. The body is in a comatose state where you can move a muscle. Once you become aware before the REM cycle of sleep is completely done your will experience a feeling where you cant talk or move.
Types of Sleep Paralysis Dreams:
In many studies researchers have found out that “hypnagogic hallucinations” can occur during sleep paralysis state. Hypnagogic hallucinations can happen in both hypnopompic paralysis and hypnagogic paralysis of sleep paralysis. Whenever this happens the dreamer has vivid and haunting images that feels almost life like.
Depending on the dreamer some experience a feeling like somebody is in your room, being suffocated, falling, or hearing voices talk to you before you sleep. A term to describe that feeling is called the “Hag Phenomena” and has been happening to people for thousands of years. Below you can see some of the type of hag phenomena people experience when they are sleeping.
Sleep Paralysis: Symptoms & Causes
There is no exact cause on why some people get this horrible sensation called sleep paralysis. Its doesn’t matter if your male or female it all depends on the factors below that we listed. Sleep paralysis is very common and happens to 40% of the general population. You will find younger children experiencing this feeling then most adults.
- Vivid images – feels like the dream of all dreams
- Hallucinations – people experience a large bug or insect trying to eat them
- A devil or demon in your room
- Unable to breath – Somebody sitting on your chest or being suffocated by the covers
- Falling to the ground
- Life like sensations – Impending doom
- Odd smells or random voices
- Intruder in the room
Common Causes Include:
- Not getting enough sleep
- Drinking access alcohol
- Medical conditions ex narcolepsy
- Leg cramps
- Change in your sleep pattern
- Passed down from family
- Low levels of melatonin
- Change in your lifestyle ex eating habits etc.
- If you sleep on your back
How Can I Stop Sleep Paralysis?
Sleep paralysis doesn’t harm or effect your body in anyway, but getting this can be quite traumatizing and wish you never got it again. Stress plays a big role when your dealing with sleep paralysis so make sure you take time to reflect things you need to change in your life.
- Change your sleep patterns. Get your 7 to 8 hours a night sleeps
- Your anxiety levels might be very high. Find out ways you can stop anxiety from taking over
- Change your environment around you. Did you make a sudden change in your life that’s not working out
- More likely to experience when you sleep on your back
- You might be depressed? Find ways to snap out of your depression
- People who suffer from Narcolepsy are more prone to sleep paralysis
- Check your family history. Most of the time your parents might have the same issue
- Work out at the gym or meditate
Sleep Paralysis Tips
Once you read up on the subject being stuck in the state makes it a lot easier. If you are concerned about this issue there are ways you can battle it so it doesn’t happen again. Below we have listed ways you can combat this problem and face it head on:
- Once in the sleep paralysis state don’t fight it. Let it ride out and say to yourself it will pass
- Reduce your stress levels or anxiety levels
- Go to bed early and get a good night sleep
- Remember it doesn’t kill you
- Turn it in to a good experience. Some people report having a mystical experience during it.
- Focus. Try your best to snap out of it. If you force yourself hard enough you will wake up
- It is a medical phenomena! Don’t think your going crazy, and try not to associate it with bad thoughts
- Relax. Don’t work yourself over an issue your going to snap out of in seconds.
- Meditate before you go to bed.