Ever felt you are paralyzed during your sleep? And an evil presence is by your bed? Here’s what’s happening.
Just why or how it happens isn’t clear. Researchers believe sleep paralysis is caused by a disturbed rapid eye movement cycle because it mostly happens as people are falling into or coming out of REM sleep. During that stage, their brains normally paralyze their muscles anyway, so they don’t act out their dreams. But during sleep paralysis, the sleeper is awake, or half awake, and so is aware he/she cannot move.
Other causes include stress and disrupted sleep schedules (think jet lagor pulling an all-nighter). Several studies have also found links between social anxiety or panic disorder and sleep paralysis.
Often the experience is accompanied by noises (like loud buzzing), sensations of being dragged out of bed or flying, and difficulty breathing. In fact, some researchers believe sleep paralysis is what’s really going on with stories of alien abductions.
Here are some precautions or sleep paralysis –
Sleep paralysis is frightening, but sleep specialist Clete Kushida, MD, PhD, says people can take steps at home to stop the episodes.
Skip the nap. “Nappers seem more prone to sleep paralysis than non-nappers,” Kushida says, “unless the nappers always sleep at the same time each day.”
Don’t sleep on your back. Sleep experts have found a correlation between sleeping in a supine position and being vulnerable to sleep paralysis.
Have you ever been in this situation, Tell us your stories in the comments section.