Sleep paralysis ... definition, causes and treatment.
Ever felt paralyzed in your bed?
The feeling of being choked?
Hard to breath and a helpless feeling overwhelming your body?
Few minutes of pure horror that feels like hours?
It's dark and you feel like you're hovering around your body?
Even worst, you feel like something is pressing against your chest?
Hearing voices? Feeling movements while not being able to move a muscle?
This is not a demon playing games on you nor a supernatural disorder.
This is sleep paralysis
- What is sleep paralysis, scientifically?
Lucid dream. More like your subconscious brain messing with you. It's a state between completely falling asleep and being awake. Explains the feeling of being helpless. Your brain acts normally while your body is shut down failing to respond to your brain's orders to move and react. This normally cause hallucinating as you can't really cope with what's happening.
Makes sense right? Not supernatural demon who's bored and messing with you after all.
- When does it occurs?
It usually occurs either when you're about to fall asleep o when you're waking up.
Personally, I got it more often while I'm about to fall asleep.
- Is it harmful?
Now that we've cleared out that this is not some sort of witch craft or a supernatural evil spirit homing around you, let's try to work on getting over it.
Understanding what this really is tends to help you. You see, while your body is shut down, your brains are still awake. And while this is actually the cause of this problem, you can benefit from it by taking a second and thinking this is all just normal and nothing should panic and freak you out rather than fighting it and going all crazy about it.
Fighting tends to make it worse
If you focus away from panicking, you'll notice you can actually move a limb or a part of your body. A leg for example. Keep on moving it in an attempt to wake your body up. It's like when someone else is waking you up, they keep on shaking your body. In here you're doing it yourself. Weird, but it helps sometimes.
Again, the key to get out of this phase is NOT TO PANIC. You'll probably be witnessing some difficulties in breathing. Try to regulate it. Breathe deeply. You can manage to relax yourself enough to snap out of it.
- Embrace it:
Fighting it tends to make it worse. The more you fight the more you feel helpless. Just put on your poker face and go like
"oh, I'm paralyzed. cool :l"
Surrender to the helpless feeling and you won't feel helpless anymore. How can you feel helpless when you're not even trying. Got it? ... Twisty but works like magic.
- Eyes movement:
Try to move your eyes left and right rather than struggling to open them. Sometimes that worked out fine with me. Not always though.
Bottom of line is, the key to snap out of it is NOT TO PANIC NO MATTER WHAT
Now let's talk about precautions. How to avoid the whole thing in the first place?
- Sleep regularly:
Sleep paralysis episodes tend to happen more often to people with messed up sleeping patter, people who doesn't get enough sleep and people who's suffering from insomnia. Try to regulate it and you'll notice that the episodes are less or even gone completely.
- Sleeping position:
It has been proven that sleep paralysis occurs more often to people who are sleeping on their back. Try to change that position. Sleep on your side or something.
- Exercise and eat healthy:
Exercising regularly while maintaining a balanced healthy daily diet will help you in so many ways. It can even fix your sleeping pattern, therefor stop the often sleep paralysis episodes.
- Empty your mind:
Sleep paralysis usually occurs to stressed people with busy mind. Which explains why your brains end up awake while your body is shut down. You're so busy over thinking that it keeps on working even pass your sleeping phase. So try to relax. Even write down the stuff keeping your head busy in a paper or talk about it with friends. This helps in tuning down the stress and pressure on your brains.
Finally to sum things up in few words ..
IT'S NOT HARMFUL
IT'S NOT SUPERNATURAL
DO NOT PANIC
CHANGE YOUR SLEEPING HABITS.
That's all ... sleep tight folks :)