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Sleep Paralysis and the Monsters Inside Your Mind

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sleep-paralysis-and-the-monsters-inside-your-mind/

scientificamerican.com

Sleep Paralysis and the Monsters Inside Your Mind
Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives.

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Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Paralysis

Apparent hallucinations of a dark monster holding the sleeping person, while he or she is unable to move or speak, is a phenomenon that is experienced by one-fifth of the population at least once.

Scientists dismiss these episodes as hallucinations, but cultural beliefs pinpoint towards mythical monsters/demons, black magic and paranormal activity.

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The Scientific Explanation Of Sleep Paralysis

Scientists claim a brain glitch blurs the wakefulness and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) modes of sleep, making the dreams come out in the real world, creating a hallucination.

To prevent you from acting out these dreams, the brain paralyses your body. Sometimes this mechanism fails and you see your dream in augmented reality in the real world.

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Cultural Interpretations of Sleep Paralysis

The Egyptians referred to sleep paralysis as something caused by a ‘Jinn’, which terrorizes and even kills the victims. Italians refer to this figure as Pandafeche, a giant cat.

South Africans interpret this as small creatures known as tokoloshe, who perform black magic, while in Turkey the creature has another name, the Karabasan.

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Fear And Sleep Paralysis

The ‘brain glitch’ explanation does not do justice to what is experienced by many victims throughout history and many fearful of a ‘demon attack’ episode, as it might be deadly to them.

The fear and resulting panic create a vicious circle in the minds of the victim, feeding into the demon, and making sleep paralysis chronic and deadly. People who are under depression or have had a traumatic experience are often more vulnerable to the attack.

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