Various sources say that from 5 to over 50 percent. of the population occasionally has to do with a feeling of inertia of the whole body while tightening the chest. Although in most cases sleep paralysis is not dangerous to the health and life of people who experience it, it is an unpleasant state, which causes great fear. Where does this phenomenon come from and how to prevent it?
What is sleep paralysis
Sleep paralysis is a natural phenomenon in our body. Occurs always when our dream enters the REM phase, because then we dream the most intensely.
Thanks to sleep paralysis, we do not chase the murderer in a dream during the night or dance at a dream ball. It is quite natural, and before we wake up, the paralysis will pass.
It happens, however, that at some point, in the REM phase, our mind wakes up, and the body does not keep up with it and remains paralyzed. We can’t move, we breathe quickly and shallowly. This experience raises a lot of anxiety, but it passes after a few to several seconds.
Causes of sleep paralysis
Sleep paralysis is a condition in which our brain has already woken up and the body has not yet. We regain full awareness, but we have no control over our body. This is a kind of “physiological error” in most cases occurring automatically and once.
The factors that increase your risk of sleep paralysis are:
- inadequate sleep hygiene: going to bed too late, sleep shortage, irregular sleep times,
- stress or emotional tension
- addiction to alcohol, medicines, psychoactive substances.
Sometimes, however, sleep paralysis can recur and appear with alarming frequency. In this situation, you should seek the advice of a specialist, because sleep paralysis is sometimes confused with epileptic seizures and sleep apnea, which can be life-threatening.
Symptoms of sleep paralysis
Sleep paralysis is classified as a parasomnia, or sleep disorder. The main symptom of this condition is complete or partial body inertia, transient paralysis of the arms, legs and upper torso.
Sometimes there is a strong and unreasonable feeling of anxiety, fear, terror or a sense of loss of control over reality. Visual or sound hallucinations are rare, which by the person affected by this ailment are described as visits to alien beings or evil powers.
A person who suffers from sleep paralysis often awakens with fear because he is convinced that someone or something is squeezing his chest and preventing him from catching his breath.
Is it possible to cure sleep paralysis
Because sleep paralysis is not perceived as a disease entity, there is no way to treat it, but there are several ways to overcome unpleasant experiences if they have already occurred. Waking can make it quick and rapid to inhale and exhale, or to concentrate all your strength and will to move your finger or toe – when a person is able to move at least one muscle, the sleep paralysis passes.
In case of recurrent sleep paralysis, you should report to a neurologist.