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What is sleep paralysis

02-06-2014

What is sleep paralysis

What if alien probes and things that went bump in the night were all in your mind? What if we told you that all the people who have been visited by something when they are in their bed, who have been held down and had things done to them, were actually suffering from something that doctors call sleep paralysis?

Awake, unable to move with figures around you
Many people have reported waking in the middle of the night, being unable to move, they are being held down and are surrounded by figures and often bright lights. They often feel like they are being subjected  to some form of investigation or even torture. The experience is a horrible one, it is something that has been reported for many centuries. In the past people thought they were being visited by demons, an ‘old hag’ or some other mythical creature. More recently people have said they were visited by aliens who did experiments on them. However, medical science has an answer that is far more mundane but no less scary.

There is a scientific explanation for that
There really is a scientific explanation, it is called sleep paralysis and it is very scary. At times when you are asleep your body is paralysed, unable to move, so that you do not act your dreams out and hurt yourself.  This is generally during the REM phase of sleep when you have the most vivid dreams. Sometimes though, people will wake up during this phase and they will still be paralysed.

Caught in between two states
They are caught in between two states, the waking and the dreaming world. They are conscious but still half asleep. The dreams are blended with their reality, even worse, they are unable to move. It is actually quite common, though many people do not talk about it. Research studies suggest that between 20 and 60 percent of people have experienced it. Technically sleep paralysis is when  a person’s rapid eye movement (REM) sleep elements intrude on their conscious awake life. REM sleep is when people have their most vivid dreams. You have several of these during the night, with them normally happening every 90 to 120 minutes.

What can you do?
Unfortunately for anyone who has suffered from sleep paralysis there is little that you can do except wait it out. You will eventually be able to move. The only solace is knowing that you are not being visited by aliens or an old hag but rather that you are stuck between the two worlds. For most people, it is a rare occurrence. If you do suffer from sleep paralysis a number of times then you should see a sleep expert as you may have an underlying sleep disorder that is exacerbating the problem.

 


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