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What is Sleep paralysis: My experience

“One night I woke up in the middle of the night dreaming about something terrifying. It was not a regular nightmare but something much more realistic and I could feel every single moment of this dream, even a demonic appearance in the room next to my bed. I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t say a word. I wanted to move, but my body was paralyzed.”

Have you ever woke up in your bed with the feeling you can not move any part of your body and you can’t even speak? This might turn into a scary experience because together with the disability for movement very often people have terrifying hallucinations. Some people describe that they are seeing ghosts, demons and other supernatural creations. If you ever had something similar then maybe you experienced Sleep paralysis.

What happens when we sleep?

In general, there are two main stages of our sleep REM and Non-REM. The first one REM sleep, states for “Rapid Eye Movement” and the second Non-REM states for “Non-rapid eye movement” sleep. During REM sleep our eyes are moving quickly in different directions and that doesn’t happen during Non-REM sleep.

In the REM phase of sleep, our brain is very active and that is the time when we are dreaming. During REM sleep, like GABA and Glycine turns off our muscles while dreaming to protect our body of movement and injuries. People wake up when they are in Non-REM phase of their sleep but sometimes it is possible to wake up in REM phase while they are still dreaming. Then your muscles are still sleeping and you can’t move even if you are fully awake.

That what prompts Sleep paralysis.

What is actually Sleep paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is a condition when our body is still sleeping but our mind is awake. This can be a cause while we are falling asleep or when we are about to wake. During the transitions, people are not able to move and to speak, very often they have the feeling that they can’t breathe normally. Sleep paralysis is accomplished by visual and sensory terrifying hallucinations but they disappear minutes after the paralysis is gone.

Sleep paralysis is considered as a sleeping disorder but it’s not a dangerous sickness. It can happen to almost every person and the researches show that the highest number of people experienced sleep paralysis is between 10 and 25 years old.

My story

The very first time I experienced what is sleep paralysis was half a year ago. I woke up early one day and had some coffee, after that I started watching something on my laptop. Suddenly, I fall asleep while watching and then I started dreaming.


In my dream, I was expecting my best friend to visit me and when she arrived we had a very nice time together – going out partying, having fun. At some point, I woke up in my dream and she was not there. My apartment was very messy like somebody was throwing stuff around. Then I started realizing that something is wrong. I was afraid, shocked and I knew that really bad is happening right now. And then the hallucinations started…


I woke up and I couldn’t move any part of my body.
The feeling I had was scared and not knowing what is going on. Deep inside I knew I had to escape from this dream and I started trying to open my eyes. Then I tried to get out of the bed but everything around was spinning. The feeling of not being able to control the situation made me feel the terrifying appearance of some evil spirit. I started breathing very hard and my heart was beating faster and faster. It felt like the worst nightmare...


Waking up

Right after the Sleep paralysis is over, your body is awake as well and you can move. The first minutes bring you back to normal condition but probably you are still afraid of the experienced sleep paralysis.

Take the fear away and treat the Sleep paralysis

Once you’ve been there you already know how the Sleep paralysis occurs. From my personal experience, after 3 sleep paralysis, I have to say that you can control and treat this condition, even prevent its future appearance.

These are the things that helped me to take the fear away:

  • There is nothing to be afraid of. Don’t stress your mind thinking about next Sleep paralysis.
  • Try to change your position of sleeping – sleeping on your back might cause the sleep paralysis.
  • Make sure you have enough sleep during the night.
  • Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol or taking coffeine right before going to bed.
  • If you have stress in your life then meditation can help you get better sleep.

Conclusion

If you have ever experienced Sleep paralysis you are not the only one. Thousands of people are going through the same one or more times in their life. You could be a difficult period with a lot of changes, stress or many other reasons. Don’t get scared, try to be relaxed. If you feel the need for professional advice contact a doctor.


I wish you a great day and a lot of smiles,
Vyara 😊

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