You seem to wake up but are rendered completely immobile whilst the presence of something malignant seems to loam over you with a threatening heaviness. Sound familiar? You’ve experienced sleep paralysis, a phenomenon that at least 1 in 4 people will experience at one point or another.
Sleep Paralysis Is Not a New Phenomenon
Throughout history, similar occurrences have given rise to folklore equating sleep paralysis with entities such as ‘the old hag’, Pisadeira (of Brazilian legend) and mythical tales surrounding Incubus and Succubus. Modern advances have given us less terrifying and more scientific answers for sleep paralysis.
The Science Behind Sleep Paralysis
Approximately one and a half hours after falling asleep and going through the other sleep cycles, your body enters the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. Dreaming is vivid during this phase and as a result, the brain releases chemicals that immobilise the body in order to prevent it from ‘acting out’ those dreams.
Sleep paralysis usually occurs when there is a disruption in sleep before the REM Cycle has finished. Your mind is essentially awake whilst your body is still paralysed. Some of the hallucinations occur because of still being in a semi state of dreaming.
What Else Contributes to Sleep Paralysis and What Can I Do?
Insomnia, inconsistent sleeping patterns and stress have been known to contribute to sleep paralysis. To combat this in the best possible way, eat healthily, avoid stimulants and maintain a consistent sleep routine. To assist with relaxation and optimal sleep results, ensuring that you have a supportive bed and mattress to go along with a relaxing environment is a must.
Easier Transitions through Various Sleep Cycles
To transition between sleep cycles and lessen the chances of any premature disruptions during the REM phase of sleep, try meditation and relaxation techniques before bed. Ensure that light and noise levels in your room are conducive to sleeping. Lastly, if your body lacks the necessary support it needs during sleep and experiences discomfort, this could be contributing to your sleep paralysis. Contact Slumberland or visit their website for better sleeping solutions.