The Science Behind Sleep Paralysis: The Feeling of Being Conscious While Being Asleep

Sleep paralysis is technically a scientific term to describe something that’s actually pretty scary in nature.

What happens is that you would wake up in the middle of the night, conscious but notice but that your body is immobile; sometimes, ghostly shapes start to materialize, and physical touches might even occur.

For some, there could be voices seemingly whispering into their ears; for others, a crushing force on a part of their body could surface; for a select few, both could happen.

At least for me, sometimes I can move myself somewhere else, almost like a soul, only to realize that I’ve not moved an inch.

There have also been cases where sufferers got strangled by an imaginary demon, and actually feel themselves suffocating and flailing.

There have been a number of circumstances associated with sleep paralysis, ranging from insomnia and sleep deprivation to stress and physical fatigue. However, the cause of it hasn’t been defined, which of course led to many paranormal conclusions (but it’s 2018: we should know by now that what we can’t understand are just things that we haven’t understood).

Supposedly, sleeping in the supine position and trying to control your actions in a dream could also trigger sleep paralysis (that is called lucid dreaming, but we’ll leave that for another article).

Treatment wise (if you even call it that), there have been no real verified methods to get out of that state, although wriggling your fingers or toes upon awareness of the situation may enable some sufferers to move again in some cases.

In order to avoid it altogether, adopting healthier sleeping habits is advisable, and for the more serious cases, they might need to seek medical attention.

Despite putting the victim through an especially terrifying experience, sleep paralysis does not actually pose any immediate risk to those who experience it.

Anything the victim might see, or feel, is purely in their minds (much like the ghosts people tend to see when they get tired) and would not actually inflict physical harm on them. It’s all imaginary – after all, we’ve all experienced it every now and then, and we’re still pretty much very alive.

So if you ever find yourself immobilized and some creepy thing is heading towards you, make sure you wriggle those toes and fingers.

Some people claim that it does help; if it doesn’t work, just stay still and be calm. The visions will slowly but surely fade away.

For me, when I consciously know that I’m in a sleep paralysis, I’ll just let it take over me. We can’t fight ourselves, can we?

This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying:
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This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying: