What you need to know about sleep paralysis

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A person wakes or is suddenly and inexplicably awakened to find that he or she can't move, feels a weight on their chest or body and senses that there's evil or a threatening presence in the room. The experience seems so terrifying because the victims, although paralyzed, have full use of their senses and faculties. In many cases the sufferer feels as if someone is sitting or lying on the bed beside them. The feeling of something on top of or beside the person is often preceded by strange smells and sounds, the sound of approaching footsteps or opening doors, and a sense of something dark or evil. The oppressive weight of the chest or body makes it difficult if not impossible to breath and the victim is unable to scream out for help or even speak.

According to the researchers who study the phenomenon, it may or may not be brought on at times of stress, it may or may not result from improper or insufficient sleep, and it may or may not happen if you sleep on your back. The symptoms can -can being the operative word here- can sometimes include complete to partial paralysis of arms, legs, and upper body. It can include the sensation of weight or pressure on the entire body, or sometimes just the chest. It can sometimes include a choking sensation, and is usually, but not always, experienced at sleep onset or just as one is waking up.


Auditory or visual hallucinations are often experienced during an episode of sleep paralysis. An intense fear or panic can often accompany the experience as well. The sufferer (erroneously) believes that there is an alien, demonic, evil or malevolent being, energy or presence of some kind in the room with them intent on doing them harm in some way.

Sleeping paralysis is followed by panic and inability to speak out. Various other forms of hallucination include tremors, loud noises, visuals, feeling of our selves being twisted and sudden pain in the body parts. An intense sense of dread and terror is commonly reported. It can be at any stage but mostly found in adolescent onset. You can cope up with this sleeping disorder by following few steps like have a healthy diet schedule, try to sleep by your side, avoid coffee or medication which intern affect your heart rate. Always find time to relax your mind.

Currently, there seem to be only two theories for this phenomenon; a physiological, scientific one related to a malfunctioning sleep mechanism and a supernatural one that has developed into folklore and tales of demons and witches sneaking around in the dark trying to suffocate or seduce us. There has to be another explanation, something between the two, one that explains all the symptoms or collective experiences of the phenomenon and provides a realistic and logical cause at the same time.
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