Sleep paralysis: A cause for Fear?

woman sleeping

woman sleeping

The notion of being bedevilled by demons, evil spirits and extraterrestrial being, has been the myth surrounding sleep paralysis. The feeling of being paralyzed and suffocated, though scary, is a result of the medical condition called sleep paralysis. This condition is caused by disturbed rapid eye movement cycle (REM) and it occurs as people fall asleep or come out of sleep.

Here are some myths and facts surrounding the condition:

MythsFacts
This is a Paranormal activity caused by evil spirit or sleep paralysis demon.It occurs when the body goes into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and encounters trouble while making the transition from being asleep, to being awake.
The hallucinations experienced during sleep paralysis is due to unknown forces.During sleep paralysis, the person wakes up before their REM cycle is completed. This causes the individual to hallucinate while being unable to move.
You cannot do anything about the experience.focus all your energy on wiggling a toe, finger or muscle. Such a tiny movement can help break the paralysis. Also, endeavor to remain calm.
This is a strange condition with no cause.While the condition is not fully understood, several factors have been identified as probable causes: stress, narcolepsy (sleep disorder), jet lag, shift work and lack of sleep.
The experience may kill you.It does not cause any physical harm to the body, and there have been no published deaths as a result of sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis affects target individuals.Sleep paralysis can happen to anyone.
It could be a warning that evil spirits are out to get you.It is a sign that your body is not moving through the sleep stages smoothly.
An incident of Sleep paralysis can last for long hours.Typically, sleep paralysis last for about a few seconds to minutes.

According to WebMD,
“there is no need to fear night-time demons or alien abductors. If you have occasional sleep paralysis, you can take steps at home to control this disorder. Start by making sure you get enough sleep. Do what you can to relieve stress in your life; especially not just bedtime. Try new sleeping positions if you sleep on your back. And be sure to see your doctor if sleep paralysis routinely prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep.”

Be rest reassured that this condition is generally not severe. To prevent sleep paralysis, avoid alcohol, nicotine, and drugs a few hours before bed. Follow a consistent sleeping schedule which enables you get adequate sleep each night also, desist from sleeping on your back.

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Further Reading:

https://dailytimes.com.pk/245799/addressing-the-myths-of-sleep-paralysis/

Reference:
Blahd, W. (2016, October 16). Sleep Paralysis. Web MD. Retrieved September 26, 2017