Sleep paralysis - Deepstash
Sleep paralysis

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.

STASHED IN:

142

MORE IDEAS FROM Sleep paralysis: a terrifying encounter with our own mind

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 teeth and cat eyes.

One explanation is that in the same way that people who are born with a missing arm may experience phantom limbs - they feel the missing limb - a person can 'feel' another phantom person during sleep paralysis.

STASHED IN:

73

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 it receives from the senses. The area is usually turned off during REM sleep.

In sleep paralysis, there is no feedback from the body telling the brain how to build the body image, resulting in out-of-body hallucinations such as seeing your body float in the air or sink deep into the bed.

STASHED IN:

73

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 - turns off and makes our bodies temporarily paralyzed. It prevents us from acting out "real" dreams. Sometimes we wake up in this stage. The vivid and sometimes threatening dreaming of REM can "spill over" into conscious awakening. It can feel like a nightmare coming alive.

STASHED IN:

75

  • 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 dreaming.
  • Meditation relaxation (MR) therapy was designed to treat sleep paralysis. The treatment includes techniques of cognitive reappraisals, emotional distancing, meditation, and muscle relaxation.

STASHED IN:

72

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 fear areas in the brain, making them more likely to wake up during REM. The escalating anxiety would worsen sleep paralysis, causing more intense bodily hallucinations.

STASHED IN:

67

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

RELATED IDEA

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.

1

STASHED IN:

119

Adults and babies alike dream for around two hours per night—even those of us who claim not to. 

Researchers have found that people usually have several dreams each night, each one typically lasting for between five to 20 minutes.

4

STASHED IN:

187

STASHED IN:

0 Comments

What Is False Awakening?

A false awakening refers to the strange experience of “waking up” when you actually remain asleep. It can involve vivid, realistic images that leave you feeling anxious and confused.

  • The key difference between sleep paralysis and a false awakening is that sleep paralysis happens when you’re awake, not dreaming.

2

STASHED IN:

5