Below are some of the known and true facts about Sleep Paralysis one should know. Read them carefully, they could be scary.
1. Sleep paralysis occurs when you’re falling asleep or waking up
Sleep paralysis occurs between one or two transitions in your sleep cycle. For sleep paralysis to occurs the body must go into REM sleep and then come out of it. Sleep paralysis generally occurs when the body has trouble making these transitions.
Now if sleep paralysis occurs when you’re falling asleep, it’s called hypnagogic sleep paralysis, while if it occurs during waking it’s called hypnopompic. Although it is still unknown why your body can’t transition smoothly.
2. Its more than a nightmare
Well, to make it clear it’s not a nightmare at all.
When you are in a REM sleep, your brain tells your body’s muscles to relax and they go into a state of paralysis called atonia. Other parasomnias like sleepwalking or REM sleep disorders atonia does not occur properly and what really happens is that the voluntary muscles move and mind remains asleep. That’s what make people do crazy stuff and they remain totally unaware of them when they are awake.
In sleep paralysis, the body remains paralyzed in REM atonia while the brain awakens and the eyes start to open.
People are unable to move voluntary muscles and are not able to speak. While breathing is not affected in it at all. All this could last from a few 15-20 seconds
3. You may experience hallucinations during sleep paralysis
Hallucinations generally occurs when you are between a sleep and waking state. Here your mind is active and alert and the eyes are open. Unlike in REM sleep where lucid dreams or nightmares occurs with your eyes closed.
True visuals or hearing any kind of sound hallucinations are generally rare. But many patients of sleep paralysis reports that they felt a very scary presence in the room.
Not only that sleep paralysis increases your heart rate. All this happens because people can’t really move during sleep paralysis. It causes extreme anxiety and makes people really fearful of their surroundings.
4. You may feel like you woke up DEAD
Many of the sleep paralysis patients describes sleep paralysis like “It feels like I woke up Dead.” You know that your mind is awake but not your body. That means you are trapped.
5. It can lead you to an Out of Body experience
Out of Body experience is a sensation of floating out of your body and is able to observe your physical body from a distance. Although this isn’t scary, but it’s one of a kind experience which you really want to experience. To know how to turn your sleep paralysis into an out of body experience read this: Turn Sleep Paralysis into lucid dream.
6. Rate of occurrence of sleep paralysis is twice in men as compared to women
So, women might feel a bit of relief in here as they don’t have to worry about sleep paralysis as much as for men. Normally people do not experience this more than twice in their lifetime (except in some cases like mental disorders). But in case of men they are generally more stressed. While in some extreme bizarre cases, men can experience it weekly as well. You must be in a less depressed state to avoid it.
7. It’s not possible to wake yourself up
To wake yourself up from REM sleep, one of the way is to wiggle your fingers, toes and facial muscles. This helps the rest of your body to wake up.
The patients of sleep paralysis revealed that they wiggle their toes, fingers and facial muscles to wake their rest of the body. Everybody tries different methods. But it’s not really possible to pull yourself out of it completely. You must calm down and wait for sleep paralysis to completely get out.
8. Sleep paralysis is very normal and can happen to you any night
There is some risk of waking up in sleep paralysis, every time you sleep.
But the degree of consciousness varies greatly. Any person at least once in his lifetime can experience sleep paralysis. And when it does happen, it’s very rare experience for everyone.
It’s very common young adults and people with some kind of mental illness.
9.There is no definitive cause at all for sleep paralysis
Stress, depression, anxiety all of this are linked to sleep paralysis. But according to research there is no clear cause of it. This makes it really frustrating for the person who is going through this. Because he really doesn’t know how to get rid of it.
10. People are trying to explain this weird experience or phenomena for many centuries (The painting says it all)
Swiss painter Henry Fuseli‘s painting is inspired by supernatural dream experiences and the growing interest in sleep paralysis among doctors at the time. In this painting, a creepy little gremlin might be representing the sensation of chest pressure…or he’s just trying to get it in with this sleeping damsel.
The horse in the back doesn’t know what’s happening here
11. People have also blamed sleep paralysis on witches and UFOs as well
All over the world, there are various folk legends that attempt to explain the existence of it in different cultures.
12. In Pakistan, it is considered to be an encounter with Shaitan (Satan) who has taken control of your body.
Yes, in Pakistan many people believe that it is an encounter with a Satan who is trying to take control of your body. Just think of it, how scary this could be like someone taking control of your body.
13. Nightmares can continue even after waking up
The patients say, even after waking up they feel like they are caught in a very scary nightmare. This happens because with their open eyes they see hallucinations.
Many say that immediately upon waking up they feel as if they are caught up in a terrifying living nightmare. This is because they open their eyes and see hallucinations. They know they are completely awake and mentally conscious but still they see weird things which are not actually there. It’s so much real that it’s easy to think you’re still asleep and you are in a really bad nightmare.
14. So, Is Sleep Paralysis Paranormal or Scientific?
Well, science has its own explanation that is a normal scientific phenomenon. While many people consider it a paranormal experience as there is really no explanation of such experiences. So, there is no definite answer to it.
15. One thing is for sure – It can’t kill you
Research says sleep paralysis can’t kill you. It’s not dangerous. It does not cause any physical harm to your body and so far, no deaths have been known till date due to this.
Well that’s all. No matter whether it would be scientifically proven or not, this small bub right here is damn weird and scary
You should also check out this video that features 10 terrifying sleep paralysis facts which might keep you up all night. Be careful.