The average individual finds the worst part of sleeping to be waking up. However, there are far darker aspects to sleeping than the moment you get out of bed. The scariest thing is waking up but being unable to move. Or speak. This isn’t your ordinary sluggishness in the morning. The more appropriate term for this situation is sleep paralysis.
Being physically immobilized when waking up is a phenomenon that has been around since historical times. It is associated with the feeling of a heavy weight pressing down on your chest. If you have personally experienced it, you would also know that it feels as if you are trapped within yourself.
Generally, sleep paralysis is experienced by people who are 20 – 30 years old. However, it is not restricted to that age group. Additionally, it is not a symptom of any health issues. The experience is not a pleasant one and the more you know about it the better you will fare.
Sleep Paralysis’ Definition
The term sleep paralysis is pretty much self-explanatory. If you refer to medical journals, it is referred to as an indication that your body is not experienced smooth sleep cycles. In layman terms, your body will be asleep while your brain is fully awake. This state is usually attained in between stages of consciousness when you are either falling asleep or waking up.
Sign #1: Inability To Move
The feeling of being trapped is one that is beyond terrifying. But, being trapped within your own body is a whole other level of fear. The paralysis that comes with sleep paralysis will have you attempting to move but failing. Your body will not respond to your brain’s orders of movement. This sensation is often accompanied by panic, difficulty in breathing, the feeling of helplessness and a tight chest.
Sign #2: Inability To Speak
Just like your body is ripped off the ability to move, your mouth will be rid of its ability to talk, speak or utter any sound at all. The sensation is identical to crying out for help but having no sound escape your mouth. Additionally, you will feel like your breathing is constricted not allowing you to utter a sound.
Sign #3: Hallucinations and Odd Dreams
Nightmares are terrifying to say the least. However, sleep paralysis’ hallucination will have you wishing for a nightmare instead. Seeing how sleep paralysis takes place in between shifting states of consciousness, dreams will feel far more realistic making them hallucinations.
The terrifying combo of fear and inability to move will churn up a slew of horrifying possibilities. A lot of people likened the experience to a “hag” or “demon” mounting them rendering them unable to move.
Now that you have learnt of the signs of sleep paralysis, it is time to learn how to prevent the occurrence.
Prevention Tip #1: Sleep Schedule Regulation
One of the leading causes for sleep paralysis happens to be an irregular sleep cycle. You can easily prevent the horrifying experience by taking steps to regulate your sleep cycle. Making sure you get adequate sleep will ensure that your mind and body do not part ways in terms of consciousness.
Prevention Tip #2: Relax
Stress is a major factor in the occurrence of sleep paralysis. It contributes to nightmares and hallucinations, too. Although relaxing is easier said than done, you should invest effort into achieving that.
Prevention Tip #3: Consult A Doctor
A common occurrence, sleep paralysis is experienced by 4 people out of every 10. Although not an indication of any medical problems, it is commonly associated with patients of narcolepsy and bipolar disorder. If you tend to experience sleep paralysis frequently, consider consulting with your doctor.
Prevention Tip #4: Avoid Sleeping On Your Back
Sleeping on your back induces sleep paralysis, too. Most episodes occur while you happen to be lying down on your back. A great way to reduce your chances of experiencing this horror is by avoiding to sleep on your back. Although you may not be fully conscious while tossing and turning during sleep, make sure to not fall asleep while on your back.
Prevention Tip #5: It Is A Physical Problem
Being aware of any situation makes it a lot easier to tackle and deal with. Although there is nothing you can do to effectively combat sleep paralysis, it is always a welcome thought to know what it is and what measures to take to reduce the chances of it occurring.
Once you are completely cognizant of the entire ordeal it will be far easier to manage the encounters and control them. Educating yourself on the reasons, causes and prevention techniques will save your life in the long run and others as you can always inform others about it too.