Frozen limbs and voiceless screaming .. Why do we get sleep paralysis?

How many times have you woken up during sleep disturbed after miraculously escaping from a struggle during sleep with an unknown person or ghost or something, and felt suffocation and inability to resist and the desire to scream for help, but you lose your voice, and you keep resisting to escape until you wake up to discover that what you saw and lived with all your heart Was it just a dream.. or a nightmare?

After waking up and realizing survival, you will try to recover the events that you usually remember well, especially since they will be dreams with clear events and details, and you will remember well that you were unable to move, and feel completely paralyzed, yes it is indeed a very temporary paralysis, which scientists describe as sleep paralysis.

Let’s take you quickly on a journey to explain this situation that everyone may have experienced at least once in their lives.

The sleeper remains conscious during an episode of sleep paralysis that often involves disturbing hallucinations and a sensation of suffocation (pixels)

sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move immediately after falling asleep or upon awakening.

According to the definition Sleep FoundationThe sleeper remains conscious during these episodes, which often involve disturbing hallucinations and a sensation of suffocation.

The researchers also believe that sleep paralysis is a mixed state of sleep, wakefulness, and the “rapid eye movement” (REM) phase, which explains why painful symptoms are felt during their occurrence.

REM includes vivid dreams as well as tension.

describe the site web med A state of sleep paralysis with a brief loss of muscle control followed by a feeling of weakness, known as “atonia”.

Sleep paralysis is classified as a type of parasomnia, meaning abnormal behaviors during sleep, as it is associated with the “rapid eye movement” (REM) phase of the sleep cycle.

What do you feel?

During an episode of sleep paralysis, the brain sends signals to relax the muscles in the arms and legs, making you feel weak or completely helpless, but you are aware of your surroundings and cannot move or speak. But you can still breathe and move your eyes, and also feel a tightness around your throat.

The interesting thing is that the brain signals that relax the muscles prevent you from moving your limbs, thus protecting you from harming yourself in that tense dream.

Many people hear or see things that are not there, and even after you regain consciousness you will still be unable to move for a few seconds, which makes it terrifying and unexplained.

The duration of episodes of sleep paralysis lasts between a few seconds and a few minutes, according to the website Cleveland Clinic.

People with narcolepsy often find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time (Shutterstock)

Causes of sleep paralysis

Researchers believe that sleep paralysis is caused by a disorder of the rapid eye movement cycle, because it mostly occurs when a sleeper enters or exits the REM phase.

Studies show that between 25% and 50% of Americans have experienced sleep paralysis at least once.

Who gets sleep paralysis?

Sleep experts believe that sleep paralysis may be partly genetic. Other causes include stress and disturbed sleep.

Several studies have also found links between social anxiety or panic disorder and sleep paralysis.

Rare sleep paralysis can occur in people of all ages. It is especially more common in cases of sleep deprivation in combination with a shifting sleep schedule, which may occur if you are an exam period student or work shift shifts.

Recurrent sleep paralysis is a symptom of narcolepsy or narcolepsy.NarcolepsyIt is a chronic sleep-wake disorder. It is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, sudden sleep attacks, and frequent nighttime awakenings.

People with narcolepsy often find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time.

Sleep disordersSleep paralysis is more common in cases of sleep deprivation in combination with a shifting sleep schedule (Shutterstock)

How can get rid of episodes of sleep paralysis?

Nothing treatments They are proven to stop an episode of sleep paralysis, and there’s not much you can do to prevent sleep paralysis. But there are steps you can take to reduce the risk, says Dr. Clet Kushida, a sleep specialist.

Kushida advises avoiding irregular naps. “It seems that naps are more likely to cause sleep paralysis, unless you’re napping always at the same time every day,” she says.

“Get as much sleep as possible, as there is some evidence that sleep-deprived people enter REM very quickly, which means they are still awake but their bodies are paralyzed.”

Some people who frequently experience sleep paralysis report that focusing on small bodily movements (such as moving one finger and then another) helps them get out of the state and recover more quickly.

Also, do not sleep on your back, sleep experts have found a relationship between sleeping in a lying position and exposure to sleep paralysis.

In addition to some tips to help you sleep stable, including:

  • Set a specific bedtime and wake up schedule.
  • Create a comfortable, dark and quiet sleeping environment.
  • Put phones, tablets, and computers away before bed.
  • Relax before bed by taking a shower, reading, or listening to soothing music.

When do you go to the doctor?

If sleep paralysis occurs frequently, especially if you feel excessively sleepy during the day, or if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, consult a sleep specialist, and if you are dealing with high levels of stress or anxiety, consult a mental health professional.

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