Friday, 30 November 2018

What is Sleep paralysis? how to handle with it

My eyes suddenly open, my breathing becomes erratic, and I'm feeling physically unable to move. I notice a dark figure in the corner of the room and It's creeping slowly towards me I'm attempting to scream, but nothing comes out, the best I can do is a grunt and hope my partner hears me. When he eventually does, I snap out of it, my heart races so hard it feels like its gonna jump out of my chest, then I pull the covers up over my head, and feel too terrified to fall back to sleep. Aside from this, I can sometimes experience hallucinations which are also pretty terrifying. I feel like I'm floating, or moving around, and sometimes I'll be floating above my own body watching myself sleep.

Sleep paralysis is horrifying, It can happen to anyone anytime and anyplace. It's embarrassing, scary and can make you feel like there's something wrong with you. The entire situation is extremely disturbing, due to my love of horror movies, my imagination runs wild, and I'm suddenly plunged into this vivid, scary situation. The entire thing can last for a few seconds or minutes although it feels like much longer.

Symptoms of sleep paralysis.

  • Feeling unable to move when you're either falling asleep or just waking up 
  • unable to speak 
  • your eyes may be wide open
  • breathing heavily
  • sweating
  • hallucinations such as flying, floating or feeling a presence in your room.
  • feeling absolutely terrified
  • suddenly feeling paranoid
  • hearing voices or loud banging sometimes I think I hear the doorbell ringing or my son crying in his sleep

If this is your first time experiencing this and if your anything like me you will be freaking out right now and wondering what the hell was going on. However, there is a very simple explanation for it, and now I understand the reasons it's now much less scary.

During sleep, we experience something called (REM) which is rapid eye movement, and it causes very vivid dreams. When we're asleep our muscles are incapable of moving, which prevents us from acting out our dreams, this is a good thing if you have very random nightmares like me. Sleep paralysis occurs when we wake up before REM has finished, so we can open our eyes and look around, but we will be physically unable to move its like our brains have woken up before our body.

What can cause sleep paralysis?

There are several things that can increase the risk of sleep paralysis such as...

  • Stress
  • lack of sleep 
  • Sleeping on your back 
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders such as insomnia and narcolepsy
  • Coffee

To prevent this the best thing you can do is try to get a sufficient amount of sleep each night, avoid caffeine before bed and don't sleep lying on your back try to sleep on your side or front. Some things you can do when you are experiencing this is to try and tell yourself that it's going to pass and it's only a temporary, focus on something positive rather than the paralysis, try not to move because you can end up becoming more and more stressed out, breathe deeply.

I hope this helped anyone who experiences this, it's so scary and its only been the last couple of months that I've started to learn more about it whereas before I would ignore it and become very distressed about it. 

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Do you suffer from this? if so how do you deal with it? 

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