Have you ever felt like you were awake but unable to move? This phenomenon is called sleep paralysis. Up to as many as four out of every 10 people may have sleep paralysis. This common condition is often first noticed in the teen years. But men and women of any age can have it, there is no specifics, so even children can experience this, although it is most common in teenage years.
What is it?
Sleep paralysis is a sign that your body is not moving smoothly through the stages of sleep. It may leave you feeling frightened, especially if you also see or hear things that aren’t really there. Sleep paralysis may happen only once, or you may have it frequently — even several times a night. You can experience it at least once in your life time. Over the centuries, symptoms of sleep paralysis have been described in many ways and often attributed to an “evil” presence: unseen night demons in ancient times, the old hag in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and alien abductors. Almost every culture throughout history has had stories of shadowy evil creatures that terrify helpless humans at night.
It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. During these transitions, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes. Some people may also feel pressure or a sense of choking. People may also sense a malevolent presence nearby or believe they are about to die.
How to prevent it?
Try changing your bad habits. 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 just before 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.
Remember, even though sleep paralysis is incredibly common and perhaps 1 in 4 people will experience it unintentionally, there is no reason to freak out about it even after all the experiences I’ve shared, Since it is simply an extension of the dream state, it is harmless. According to livescience.com claims that having knowledge on this subject makes it less dramatic of an event, “a new study finds that understanding why it happens helps people feel less distressed after an episode.” Again, because sleep paralysis is not considered a health problem, it is not entirely dangerous. So when you sleep over your friend or grandmother’s house this summer keep in mind to put these points to use so you can get the best of a good nights sleep.