Sleep Paralysis: Sleep Disorder Or A Creepypasta?
Updated: Mar 2
Have you ever had the feeling that you couldn't move your body or open your eyes fully when waking up from a short nap, the feeling of someone being in your room, or a heavy pressure on your chest which stops you from moving, the desperate urge to scream, call for help, cry, but being unable to do so.
This uncomfortable, but usually harmless situation is known as sleep paralysis. It usually occurs at the beginning of sleep and occurs as a result of a failure in the transition from wakefulness to sleep, or vice versa, from sleep to wakefulness. Simple movements, such as opening the eyes or sitting up, are hindered; while, the person is conscious. To understand it better: it is as if the mind has woken up, but the body has not.
Like Something Out Of A Horror Story
Most people who experience an episode of sleep paralysis will do so in isolation and may not recur throughout their lives. Much less frequent is that it is part of a clinical syndrome, known as narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks, which lead the person to fall into a deep sleep in a few moments. It can even cause a sudden loss of muscle tone (cataplexy), with potentially serious consequences from falls, blows and accidents. Fortunately, narcolepsy is a very rare condition and should not be of concern to someone who has only suffered from episodes of sleep paralysis.
Will It Happen To Me?
Sleep paralysis and hallucinations occur quite frequently in the general population (once in a lifetime for 50% of people). They tend to produce great anguish for those who live them. The person seeks to find an explanation that calms them down and normally the ones that fit the best are those that have a rather threatening, dangerous and sometimes magical background: Could it be that I have an undiagnosed illness? Is it something paranormal? Spirits appear to me just when I fall asleep or when I wake up? Does my (deceased) grandmother contact me?
Is Granny Contacting Me From Beyond?
No, you can relax. Sleep paralysis is not some kind of ouija board-esque experience. The causes of this are very scientific and not at all paranormal (sadly not as cool)
The causes of sleep paralysis are not fully explainable, with research giving us clues as to the probable cause. Both the National Library of Medicine of the United States (NLM) and the Association of Argentine Psychiatrists (APSA) endorse a series of causes or factors that can predispose someone to sleep paralysis. These are:
Not getting enough sleep or sleep deprivation.
Having irregular sleep-wake schedules, such as those suffered (yes, suffering is the correct adjective to describe nightshifts) from working night or rotating shifts.
Sleeping on your back (repeated as a factor in many cases of sleep paralysis).
Going through a state of anxiety or mental stress.
A weighted blanket to help with restfulness and relaxation
Given these causes, how to prevent sleep paralysis? One way to help with paralysis is to regain normal sleep habits and the use of a weighted blanket to bring on restfulness and relaxation. Here is our recomendation. Sleep well, eight hours and at night. Try to calm all kinds of anxiety. Sleep on your side and avoid irregular sleep pattens are both great tools for those suffering from sleep paralysis.
Seek Help From A Professional, Not A Medium
So no going to any mediums or Medium, j.k, please read my stories!
All kidding aside, although sleep paralysis resolves itself spontaneously and lasts very little (most of the time), it generates great anxiety in the sufferer. And that anxiety can later manifest itself in fear of sleeping or generating insomnia.
Through the years, people have always searched for explanations for this mysterious paralysis and the feelings of terror that accompany it. If we add to paralysis the hallucinations that often occur during these episodes, the conditions exist for all kinds of supernatural interpretations to arise, such as demonic presences, astral travel or encounters with extraterrestrial beings.
Hopefully reading this will give you some relief and the tips and tricks you need to overcome these nightly terrors.
We made something a little great! The Anxiety Workbook, get yours by clicking here.
This blog post is proudly sponsored by Seed but all opinions are my own. Seed are the makers of the Daily Synbiotic is a probiotic plus prebioticis vegan and gluten-free and includes 24 clinically-studied, naturally-occurring strains, not found in yoghurt or fermented foods and beverages. If you aren’t familiar, Seed is $49.99 a month, and they offer a 30-day risk-free guarantee. Our readers can also save 20% off your first month with coupon code CYBERGUT. As a Seed affiliate, we may receive compensation, if you purchase products or services through the links provided, at no extra cost to you. This helps support the running of the blog.