Sleep paralysis: a terrifying encounter with our own mind - Deepstash

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Sleep paralysis: a terrifying encounter with our own mind

bigthink.com

Sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis is a neurological phenomenon in which a person awakens from sleep but is temporarily paralyzed.

The episode may last a few seconds to minutes and is accompanied by the strangest hallucinations. It can feel terrifying.

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Sleep paralysis often occurs when we take a nap, when jet-lagged or sleep-deprived. We wake up while still in the stage where vivid dreams occur, called the rapid eye movement sleep (REM).

During REM, the front brain - central to our ability to plan and think logically...

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Out-of-body experiences

Sleep paralysis can sometimes make us feel like we're floating outside our body. The out-of-body experience can reliably be reproduced in the laboratory by disrupting the temporo-parietal junction in the brain. This region helps build a body image based on inputs...

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Seeing a ghost

The most distressing during sleep paralysis is seeing an intruder that sometimes attacks the sleeper. Anything the imagination can invent can happen. Commonly, the intruder chokes the person by crushing his chest. The creature can include details like a demonic face with sharp te...

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Research suggests that your beliefs about sleep paralysis can shape your experience.

In Denmark, people see sleep paralysis as something trivial caused by the brain. Egyptians fear dying from sleep paralysis and consequently have longer episodes. The fear will activate...

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  • Understanding what is happening during sleep paralysis helps to prevent fear cycles. People are relieved to hear they are not "crazy".
  • Literally turn your back on the terrifying monster by dreaming a coherent dream in which you are aware you are dr...

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