What is Sleep Paralysis?

Ever had an experience when you could not move or speak even when you know you’re awake? Sleep paralysis is quite a common occurrence and may be triggered by different factors.

When does it happen?

There are two instances when sleeping paralysis can happen. Most people experience it when they are waking up from sleep or when they are about to fall asleep. Remember that there are stages the brain goes through when sleeping; that moment when you are about to final fall asleep is called predormital form, while that stage when you’re about to wake up is called postdormital form.

Some people who experience sleep paralysis more often than most have a condition called parasomnia and is associated with other symptoms that point to a sleeping disorder.

How does it happen?

When you go to sleep, your brain has to go through a phase called atonia to feel relaxed. But there are times when atonia happens while you are awake, that is why sleep paralysis happen specifically at those moments already mentioned above.

This is also why people who have experienced it tell you that they are aware of what is happening and are trying to do their best to move or speak. It can be scary, but most people have experienced sleep paralysis at least once, so it is not usually a sign that you have an illness.

Is it nightmare?

For most of human history, sleep paralysis was associated with nightmares. It was only when the stages of sleep were understood that the two were differentiated. Nightmares usually happen during slow-wave sleep, that is why most people having nightmares might be difficult to wake up because they are in deep sleep.

Nightmares also tend to happen in the early part of sleep, while sleep paralysis often occurs at morning or when the person is about to wake. Sleep paralysis tends to cause hallucinations, which is why it is often confused with nightmares.

These hallucinations make the person feel as if there is a threat around, such as ghosts, aliens, and monsters. There are also testimonies that people also go through an out-of-body experience during sleep paralysis or there is an entity sitting on their chest or abdomen.

How can it be prevented?

There is no proven method to prevent sleep paralysis, but there are things that you can do that might help you get better sleep overall. These include not falling asleep on your back, follow a regular sleeping schedule, learn to relax before sleeping, and to avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.

If sleep paralysis happens often, you might want to consult a behavioral therapist to help you. Sometimes it can be triggered by stress, lack of sleep, and mental distress.

If sleep paralysis happens often, you might want to consult a behavioral therapist to help you. Sometimes it can be triggered by stress, lack of sleep, and mental distress.

What should you do when you experience it?

Even experts don’t know what to do when it happens but knowing that it is happening to you can help you calm down instead of panicking. Fortunately, it’s not dangerous, just scary.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.