What is sleep paralysis?! And how to face it!!!
Sleep paralysis sounds like an urban legend or another horror story. In the middle of the night, you feel a terrible feeling as if someone was pinching your chest, standing at the door, or lying next to you in bed. And you are not even able to move. You are trapped! You know what's going on. You know you just have to wake up to end it - you're trying to do it, but it's impossible. Eyes are already open and you may even realize that you are not sleeping, but your muscles will not give up your will.
In general, it can be said that ordinary people have encountered sleep paralysis at least once in their lives! To get some idea of this peculiar state, we rely on the experience of Dr. James Cheyne of the University of Waterloo, who is the author of several papers on this subject. According to Dr. Cheyne, sleep paralysis exists around us forever.
You can find reports about him in very old written sources. Many, if not all, of ancient cultures, speak of the night of demons or other creatures that approach people in the dark when they are paralyzed and helpless. The original meaning of the term "nightmare" referred to night-time monsters in the dream of attacking people.
It was only in the twentieth century that every horrible dream began.
What actually happens during this nightly episode? In a state of sleep paralysis, a person recognizes his or her surroundings but is unable to move. In most cases, this happens either at the moment of falling asleep, or immediately after waking up.
Characteristic for sleep paralysis is full of human consciousness, at the same time, absolute inability to perform the least movement. Usually accompanied by this provides a strong feeling of fear and even enormous panic. In addition, there are often visual, auditory or hallucinations. A man can hear footsteps, see dark figures bending over him or standing next to him, feeling their touch.
Often there is a feeling of pressure on the chest and strangulation.
Interestingly, sleep paralysis can occur only during a natural awakening and has never been reported after a wake-up call or other external stimuli. The highest number of such cases was recorded among people aged 10-25 years.
The phenomenon of sleep paralysis has been known for centuries and in every culture. So it is no wonder that people have been trying to explain the horrible night events in their own way. Russians traditionally associate the phenomenon of night paralysis with the "Domowik" (caring home spirit) who, according to beliefs, jumps at night on the human breast to warn him of either a good event or a bad one.
The Basques explain the phenomenon of night paralysis by the action of Inguma, the evil god of dreams. Inguma sneaks into the house at night and sleeps at the throat, causing them to be terrified. He is also responsible for nightmares. According to Japanese mythology, it is Kanashibari, the sleep demon, poses leg on the sleeping man's chest.
Contemporary scientists believe that sleep paralysis is an inevitable biological phenomenon, provided by nature.The most common explanation for psychoanalysts - muscle paralysis, which is the natural state of our body in the sleep state called REM (Rapid Eye Movement). At this stage of sleep, there are rapid eye movements, irregular breathing, dreaming appear. Our subconscious intentionally paralyzes the muscles of the body so that a person, in an active sleep, performs no actual action and does no harm.
Sleep paralysis occurs when consciousness has already awakened, but the body has not yet.
Some psychoanalysts have hypothesized that sleep deprivation may be responsible for some hormone that is sometimes too long in the body that is secreted during sleep and is responsible for immobilization of the muscles.