What is Sleep Paralysis?
Sleep Paralysis is a major problem in Health, sleep paralysis is a terrible feeling while you sleep. Imagine that you wake up in the middle of the night, being fully conscious, then you start realizing that you cannot move. Your chest tightens and it gets hard to breathe almost chokes. You start hallucinating and something dark begins coming towards you. You try to ask for help, but you cannot.
Are you dying?
Are you dreaming?
Then, all of a sudden. That terrible experience is gone and you can breathe normally, you can move again. You believe in this or not, experiences like this are fairly common. It is caused by a combination of factors but before we dive into the deep let’s start with a simple discussion. Around 10% people of the population have or already had the experience of a horrible nightmare like this.
People used to think that this paralysis was caused by supernatural beings like monsters pulling people down while they sleep. Since having the feeling of hallucinations is fairly common in these circumstances, It is natural for the people that they would think the thing they felt was what was pausing them from moving, but there is actually pure science. Some variation of it in their lives. While this can be absolutely terrifying, scientists say it is not dangerous. It has nothing to do with not supernatural explanations for why some people wake up and cannot move.
What is REM and NREM? – Sleep Paralysis is a major problem in Health
Sleep can be broken up into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement). NREM is static sleep; where your heart is slowed and you remain still. When that happens our most dangerous dreams occur. To prevent you from hurting yourself or others during your happiest dreams or worst nightmares, your brain temporarily paralyzes you. Using the ventromedial medulla and pons, our brain sends out the glycine and neurotransmitters GABA to inhibit motor neurons in the spinal cord, pausing any movement.
Sometimes you wake up before REM is finished, all of your senses are conscious but your body can’t move and it is called perceptual activation. Therefore you are forced to endure infernal hallucinations. The abductors, mutants, and demons that come for you in the middle of the night are there for different reasons.
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Neural connections in our body are the reason for showing us the demons cortical homunculus whose proportions are related to neural connections rather than the physical size. Generally, this beast stays away into the corners of our minds but conflicting signals between efferent neurons and afferent neurons which are used to send signals from and to our nervous system.
Another culprit is the MNS (Mirror Neuron System), when we decide to move, neurons in the V5 area of the premotor cortex will fire. However, 10% of these neurons will fire simply by glaring at another person. The MNS is heavily dependent on the sensory feedback and prefrontal cortex and together these cause the feeling that you are interacting with someone improbable while you are lying in bed.
Causes of Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis is thought to be caused by certain Medications, Sleep Deprivation, Sleep Disorders like Stress, Altered Sleep Patterns, like Working Night Shifts, and Narcolepsy. If you are between the ages of and, you are more likely to experience it.
People with mental disorders like PTSD, depression, and anxiety are also at higher risk of having the condition. From the different parts of the world, the researchers have found that 20% of people who experience sleep paralysis regularly actually find it pleasant!
Scientists are also investigating whether there is a genetic link to this condition. Twin studies have pointed towards yes, but there is still more research to be done. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this, but doctors suggest regulating your sleep schedule and avoiding drugs and alcohol before hitting the hay. A wrong sleeping pattern is also the reason for this issue so be conscious about the pattern you sleep. In serious cases, an antidepressant may be prescribed, but this condition is not dangerous or permanent.
Disturbances of these interactions can lead to the manifestation of an abductor, demon or intruder. But perhaps knowing that it’s all a dream makes these creatures of the night worse.
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We saw how Sleep Paralysis can occur while we are in REM sleep! During this stage, our brain shuts down the muscle movements while we are dreaming.
Now consider this interesting possibility!
What if the opposite happens?
That is, we are in the REM sleep, we are dreaming, but our brain fails to shut down our muscle movement.