Sleep paralysis can be a very scary experience. The main thing that makes sleep paralysis scary is probably the actual paralysis part.
Sleep paralysis is literally being unable to move or speak during waking, or while drifting into sleep.
If you haven’t had the experience, imagine feeling like someone is holding you down when you are trying to wake up.
While most cases don’t last over a few minutes, it can seem like a lifetime when it is happening to you.
While sleeping you also enter and exit different cycles of sleep. Your body will heal and restore itself in then Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep cycle. Then you also enter Rapid Eye Movement(REM) sleep where dreaming takes place.
Your body enters a natural state of paralysis during sleep to protect itself. This paralysis normally ends when you wake up.
An interruption of, or a rough transition through, your sleep cycles is believed to be the main sleep paralysis cause. Some things that may cause this interruption could be:
- Lack of Sleep
Most people, if not all, have experienced some sort of bad dream or nightmare. Sleep paralysis is often associated with, or even referred to, as a sleep or night terror. There are a ton of scary sleep paralysis stories out there.
There is even proof that many cultures from around the world have believed in sleep paralysis demons for some time.
These demons are described as many things from goblins to black spirits, or even old ladies.
Most of these demons are said to hold the victim down, and try to smother them.
Along with seeing them, there are some that claim to hear and feel them as well. Hearing about these demons can obviously increase your fear and make you wonder.
There are cases of people claiming to feel or even see an evil presence during sleep paralysis. There are many different types of hallucinations a person can experience. The three types of hallucinations that are commonly associated with sleep paralysis are:
- Visual – Seeing things that aren’t actually there. (Reported dark presences, evil spirits, or demons)
- Auditory – Hearing non-existent sounds. (A popping or buzzing noise is reportedly associated with sleep paralysis)
- Tactile – Feeling a touching sensation that is not actually happening. (Feeling held down, a chest and/ or throat pressure)
Whether sleep paralysis is demon related or not can’t really be proven. What a person experiences in sleep paralysis, however, can seem very real.
Most people can rationally think through the thought of these supernatural associations and be fine.
3. Fear of the Unknown
The unknown can often be a source of anxiety or fear. The hardest part may be that you are not sure you are only experiencing sleep paralysis.
If you experience sleep paralysis symptoms and have no idea why, it can be worrisome. Besides the actual paralysis, as previously mentioned, some other symptoms may include:
- Pressure on chest
- Difficulty breathing
The first time you run into these symptoms, you may literally believe your going to die. This is easy to understand when a person feels chest pressure or has difficulty breathing during an episode. When they come out of it, they may think that they have some other serious health issue.
Someone may also think that they are literally getting attacked in their sleep. Sleep paralysis can be hard to understand. The truth is that even experts don’t even fully understand sleep paralysis.
The main thing to remember is that experts don’t consider sleep paralysis to be a dangerous thing. Still, don’t be afraid to consult a doctor if you feel worsening symptoms or like things are getting out of control.
How To Deal With Sleep Paralysis
It may have only happened to you or a loved one maybe once or twice. Whether it is happens frequently or not, most people want don’t want to keep experiencing sleep paralysis. It may not be a huge deal, in fact some aren’t even scared of it at all.
In any of these cases, realize that there are things you can do that may help stop sleep paralysis from happening.
Here are a few examples from our complete guide on How to Stop Sleep Paralysis:
- Learn what may be causing your sleep paralysis
- Make plans to get better sleep
- Try to relieve stress and worries before bed
- Don’t let the demon stories increase your fear