There are some people that have experienced a frightening phenomenon called sleep paralysis. They wake up and they cannot move for a short period of time.
It is a rather terrifying experience because you cannot move any part of the body, you experience shortness of breath and you cannot make a sound. This condition can be accompanied by a sense of danger and a strong pressure on your chest.
What is sleep paralysis?
It is a form of parasomnia that actually, is not that dangerous. Sleep paralysis can last several seconds when the person is just waking up, and in some cases it can happen right before falling asleep. The reasons behind this condition are unknown but some experts believe that it happens because the body is having difficulties transitioning between sleep stages.
The body becomes paralyzed during REM (rapid eye movement). This is the body’s defense mechanism, which activates in order to protect the body from injury during the sleeping process. When we dream, it happens during REM. If there is not a paralyzing effect, the body responds physically to the dream which in some cases can be dangerous.
Some experts believe that sleep paralysis occurs when the body experiences a transition between REM sleep and other stages of sleep. When a person that is affected by sleep paralysis wakes up, it becomes aware of it and in some cases it may experience sensations of flying or falling and hallucinations. It is a terrible feeling, but it is not dangerous.
There are groups of people that are more susceptible to this condition than others. For example, people who have experienced trauma, suffer from depression or have disrupted sleep cycles, are generally more prone to having this condition.
What to do if this condition appears?
The most important thing is to keep your calm and not panic. It is difficult, but keep in mind that this condition is not dangerous for your health.
How to prevent it:
You can decrease the chances of experiencing this condition, and you can do that only if you improve your quality of life.
- Sleep regularly
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol
- You need to avoid late night dinners
- Eat healthy
- Maintain your mental health by reducing the stress
- Exercise regularly