Have you ever been prey to sleep disorders? Then you must definitely be interested in knowing scary sleep facts. Well, different people speak of terrifying experiences in their sleep. Sleep demons are the most popular among them.
Many sleep disorders are a result of sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is a condition many people experience where they cannot move or talk even if they are in a conscious state. You might wonder what could be the reason behind such disorders and what causes sleep paralysis.
So if you are tired of feeling caged during your sleep and those demons that invade your sleep, you might want to know what causes sleep paralysis and everything about scary sleep facts to get rid of them. Well, here, you will find the answer to all your sleep problems associated with sleep paralysis and catch up on many scary sleep facts.
What is sleep paralysis?
Sleep paralysis is a sleeping disorder that makes you feel paralyzed in your sleep. It must be pretty clear with the name itself. Sleep paralysis is a condition where you feel conscious in your sleep and are yet unable to move.
You might feel a temporary loss of muscle function during sleep paralysis. It usually occurs when you are in a transition state from wakefulness to sleep or vice versa. Sleep paralysis is generally accompanied by an inability to sleep or move for a few seconds or a few minutes, even if you are conscious.
Sleep paralysis might also occur shortly after you have fallen asleep. Hence, you might experience disturbed sleep patterns due to sleep paralysis. If you dig deeper into scary facts about sleep, you will realize sleep paralysis is a result of your mind and body getting out of sync.
Why do we experience sleep paralysis?
Sleep paralysis is not one of the demon things about sleep. It has a well-established scientific reason behind it. If you come across scary sleep facts, you would notice what causes sleep paralysis is when your body wakes up in a state of sleep.
In simple words, our body has a mechanism of relaxing while asleep, and the voluntary muscles do not move. It is designed to keep people from hurting themselves while they act out in dreams.
However, when you wake up in that relaxed state of your body with your voluntary muscles still unable to move, you experience sleep paralysis. You might experience hypnopompic or hypnagogic hallucinations during sleep paralysis. Hence, this explains what causes sleep paralysis, as many scary sleep facts state.
What are the types of sleep paralysis?
Through the above discussion on scary sleep facts and what causes sleep paralysis, you must have noticed two terms, hypnogogic and hypnopompic hallucinations. These are nothing but the types of sleep paralysis you might experience. The two are differentiated based on what phase of your sleep you experience sleep paralysis.
When you experience sleep paralysis as you are just about to sleep, that is the transition from wakefulness to sleep; the condition is known as hypnagogic or predormital sleep paralysis. On the other hand, when you experience sleep paralysis while waking up from your sleep, that is, the transition from sleep to wakefulness, the condition is termed hypnopompic or postdormital sleep paralysis.
The two types of sleep paralysis have different symptoms and causes. Hence, if you need an answer to what causes sleep paralysis, you must know what kind of sleep paralysis you experience the most. So before knowing what happens in hypnogogic and hypnopompic, you must first understand what causes sleep paralysis. Then you would notice some scary facts about sleep.
What causes sleep paralysis?
So now that you are deeper into scary sleep facts, it is time to know what causes sleep paralysis. However, you must first know how the body functions during sleep and the transitions that take place as you sleep and wake up.
There are phenomena called Rapid eye movement (REM) and Non-rapid eye movement (N-REM). The body undergoes a REM-NREM cycle for about 90 minutes, during which the time spent sleeping falls under the Non-rapid eye movement phase.
Our body relaxes during the Non-rapid eye movement phase. On the other hand, the body is still relaxed during the Rapid eye movement phase, but the eyes move quickly. We experience dreams under the Rapid eye movement phase.
However, when the transition between REM and NREM is out of sync with the brain, it is what causes sleep paralysis. During sleep paralysis, you keep alternating between the Rapid eye movement and Non-rapid eye movement phase. Hence, you find yourself unable to speak or move even if you are in a conscious state.
Hence, the brain becomes over-sensitive to threats and goes on to a heightened state. So now that you know what causes sleep paralysis, you know a lot of scary facts about sleep. However, hold on as there is more to cover on scary sleep facts that would tell you interesting things about sleep.
What are the factors that trigger the causes of sleep paralysis?
Now you know what causes sleep paralysis and uneven sleep patterns while falling asleep. However, you might wonder what leads to these causes and why your body reacts in such a way during sleep.
There could be numerous reasons behind this, and many factors could trigger what causes sleep paralysis. People experience sleep paralysis and disturbed sleep patterns while falling asleep, mainly when they sleep on their back.
Some factors that increase the risk of sleep paralysis are stress, anxiety, narcolepsy, sleep deprivation, heartburn, alcohol, disturbed sleep patterns due to overworking or jet lag, obstructive sleep apnea, migraine, hypertension, bipolar disorder, nighttime leg cramps, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc.
Some researchers even say that family history regarding sleep paralysis and poor hygiene can also lead to sleep paralysis and trigger what causes sleep paralysis. Hence, you are more likely to experience sleep paralysis if you have such medical conditions.
What are the symptoms of sleep paralysis?
Now that you are aware of many scary sleep facts, you would like to dig deeper into scary facts about sleep. Well, scary sleep facts are incomplete without knowing the symptoms of sleep paralysis, so you do not freak out when you experience them and stay calm.
The main symptoms of sleep paralysis are the inability to move or speak as if you are paralyzed in your sleep, as the scary facts about sleep state. You would also find many other symptoms as you go about reading scary sleep facts.
Many studies related to scary sleep facts state that the symptoms of sleep paralysis include hallucinations, scary sensations, heavy sweating, headaches, muscle pains, finding it difficult to breathe, fear, and intense pressure on your chest as if you are being pushed down. You might also hallucinate about demons, monsters, aliens, and something creepy around you during sleep paralysis.
Many people can not recall their sleep paralysis episodes as scary sleep facts state. The symptoms could differ depending on the type of sleep paralysis you experience, hypnagogic or hypnopompic. Hence, you can go through numerous scary facts about sleep and understand your symptoms better.
How to avoid sleep paralysis?
Now you are well aware of what causes sleep paralysis through our discussion on scary facts about sleep. However, if you experience the symptoms of sleep paralysis, you must also know how to avoid sleep paralysis.
There are various ways to avoid sleep paralysis you would find in your study about scary sleep facts. Here we have listed some ways to prevent sleep paralysis which you could apply in your daily life.
- You must exercise regularly to reduce stress and anxiety and stay fit. However, you must not keep your exercise sessions close to bedtime.
- Relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises, can help you reduce stress in life and hence reduce the chances of sleep paralysis.
- You must maintain a healthy sleep schedule that should include going to bed on time and getting at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep. Maintaining consistency in your bedtime routine also helps.
- You can also reduce excess exposure to light in the evening and use night lights.
- You must avoid sleeping on your back and sleep on your sides as much as possible. You can take the necessary measures to avoid sleeping on your back most of the time using a pillow.
- You must keep track of your medications and what side effects they cause.
- You must treat the medical conditions leading to sleep paralysis by consulting with your doctor.
Hence, you can follow these preventive measures to avoid sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis is a sleep disorder that many people experience. It is not a life-threatening condition, and you can treat it by following the necessary measures. You can follow scary sleep facts and get more information regarding sleep paralysis.
Authored By : Poorvi Chhajer
About Author : Poorvi is a psychology graduate with a knack for writing and belief in ayurveda.