December 27

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Sleep Paralysis 101


Sleep paralysis is a sleep disorder that causes the body and mind to become temporarily unable to move or speak. It usually occurs when a person is transitioning between wakefulness and sleep. Despite these myths, sleep paralysis is quite common and is usually nothing to worry about, scientifically speaking at least, just like playing a round on Spinia.

 

 

During this time, the person may experience vivid hallucinations, a feeling of being unable to move, and a feeling of being held down and/or choked.

 

Sleep paralysis is not considered a dangerous condition, though it can be very frightening and distressing for those who experience it. While the exact cause remains unknown, it is believed to be related to disruptions in the normal sleep cycle, such as during times of stress or changes in schedule. During sleep paralysis, the brain is in between the states of being awake and asleep. This is known as the hypnagogic state. During this state, the brain is unable to move the body and the person is unable to speak. This state is caused by a disruption in the normal sleep cycle. The brain is still active during sleep paralysis, but it is not able to properly control the body’s movements. This is because the brain is in a state of decreased arousal, which is similar to a state of deep sleep. The part of the brain responsible for controlling movement, called the basal ganglia, is not able to activate the body’s muscles.

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Sleep paralysis can be treated with lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding stimulants like caffeine and alcohol, and ensuring that one gets adequate sleep every night. In some cases, medications for anxiety or depression may be prescribed to help reduce the frequency and severity of episodes. There are several strategies you can use to help you manage this condition;

 

  1. Stay Calm: It is important to stay as calm as possible during a sleep paralysis episode. Although this can be difficult, it is important to remind yourself that this is not a dangerous situation and you are safe.
  2. Move Your Body: Move your body by wiggling your toes, fingers, or any other body part you can. This will help to break the paralysis and allow you to move freely.
  3. Take Deep Breaths: Taking deep breaths can help to reduce your heart rate and relax your body. This can help to reduce the fear and anxiety associated with the experience. 4. Change the Environment: If the environment is causing you to feel anxious, then try to change it. Try to move to a different room or area in the house.
  4. Talk to Someone: Talking to someone about your experience can help to reduce the fear and anxiety associated with it. This can also help to provide a sense of comfort and support.
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One common myth is that sleep paralysis is caused by an evil spirit or presence in the room. This belief has been around for centuries and was even mentioned in the Bible. While some people may have experienced something that felt like an evil presence in the room while they were paralyzed, this could be chalked up to the effects of sleep paralysis itself. It is an inherently frightening experience and can cause people to feel like they are being attacked or watched. Another myth is that sleep paralysis can last for hours. While episodes of sleep paralysis can be lengthy, most typically last only a few minutes. Some people also believe that sleep paralysis is caused by sleeping on one’s back. While sleeping on one’s back can increase the likelihood of experiencing sleep paralysis, it does not cause it.

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