Sleeping is very good, peacefully in your bed, warm and comfortable, resting, dreaming beautiful things. Everyone likes this but unfortunately it is not always like that. There is a disorder that is responsible for ruining your nights, making you believe that there are beings in your room looking at you, talking to you or even touching you. What is it about?
It is a disorder or rather a very dodgy parasomnia, which leaves you immobile and makes you see things that are scary. 90% of the population suffers from it at least once in their life, and once it arrives you will wish that it never happens again. Sleep paralysis comes without warning. You find yourself in your bed sleeping and suddenly you wake up, open your eyes and notice that something is wrong. Your body remains immobile, it is difficult for you to breathe, you begin to feel someone’s presence, you feel a great weight on you, and in the best of things everything will remain there; But things can go further, you can start to see human figures or strange beings, hear their voices and even be touched by them. The best thing about this is that, as I have said before, you cannot move. In my case, the first time it happened to me, I was 15 years old and the first thing that came out was screaming MAMAAAAA! but to my surprise, just as I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak. Without a doubt we are talking about one of the worst experiences that can be had in life.
A little history
What did I think happened after my first sleep paralysis? Only three possible answers came to mind: in my house there are spirits, aliens have come for me or I am going crazy. Faced with such dilemma and fear, I decided not to say anything to anyone and investigate on my own what had happened that night. There Google shed some light on the subject and I could see what it was about. This phenomenon has been occurring since humans exist, and of course, before there was not so much knowledge or studies, so in all cultures it was related to demons or spirits of deceased relatives. The phenomenon was so recurrent that even great painters dared to represent it.
Today many people still believe that they are ghosts and many others believe that they are aliens. Luckily science has already looked for an explanation, and although it is not 100% certain, they believe that it is a simple brain process and that there really is no risk during sleep paralysis … although that does not change the bad time they put you through .
So … what do you feel during sleep paralysis?
The basis of sleep paralysis is that you are aware of everything that is happening but you are not able to move or speak. To this must be added the following symptoms:
- You feel a great pressure in the chest and therefore shortness of breath
- You can only move your eyes
- You know that you are not alone and that something is not friendly
- The beings you see interact with you, usually yelling or hurting you
- There is a dark and evil atmosphere
- You have a tactile sensation of electrical tingling, vibrations going through the body, people touching or holding you, pricks, cuts and body pressure
- Duration can range from a few seconds to several minutes
- When it ends, everything immediately returns to normal
After collecting numerous reports from people who have suffered from sleep paralysis, the cases have been classified into three factors:
- Intrusion factor: Someone is close to you and scares you
- Incubus factor: Someone touches or presses your body, you can even have a feeling of imminent death
- Illusory movement experience: You feel like you are floating or that you have stepped out of your body
How is this possible?
Sleep paralysis occurs when we are in the REM phase (the time of night when dreams are most intense) and at the same time we wake up. During the REM phase your body is paralyzed so that you do not do the movements that you are doing in dreams. So, when you wake up while in rem phase, you are still totally paralyzed and your brain joins reality with the world of dreams. This is why we have hallucinations and we see strange things in our room.
Now the million dollar question How do I avoid sleep paralysis?
Little is really known about this, since you can suffer from sleep paralysis any day no matter what you have done, but it is recommended to always follow the same sleep schedule, and of course, sleep between 7 and 8 hours. Lead a healthy life and, what I think is more important in my experience, not sleeping on your back.
Now you are warned, if it ever happens to you, you can rest assured, everything is in your mind and in a few minutes it will be over. And if you have already suffered from sleep paralysis, do not hesitate to tell us about your experience in the comments.