By Anastasia B.
Everyone has had nights where they have trouble sleeping. It happens to each one of us. You’re either restless, or you have bad dreams. But, have you heard of Sleep Paralysis? Sleep paralysis is when someone while waking or falling asleep experiences the ability of not being able to move or speak. It can happen during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep where the muscles are weak and keep you from acting out your dreams. It is accompanied with hallucinations and physical experiences where you feel like you’re touched or being looked at. This can happen to anyone, but if you’re really curious you could attempt to induce it upon yourself. You just have to lie still on your back, and ignore every temptation to move any part of your body, and soon, you will have sleep paralysis.
According to LiveScience, 5 to 60 percent of people experience sleep paralysis. It can happen once or twice, or in the worst cases, others may experience even more than that. Some people may also feel like someone is in the room with them, while in reality they are completely alone. Basically, sleep paralysis is when your brain is awake but your body isn’t, hence why you aren’t able to move. There are many documentaries out there, like The Nightmare, that are about sleep paralysis where people describe in detail their experience with it. Studies say that it happens more to people with sleep disorders, but it can generally happen to anyone.
It is possible to wake yourself up from it. You just have to relax and try to wiggle your fingers and toes. That may sound hard if you have experienced it, but you do eventually wake up from it by doing this. Some people believe that during sleep paralysis they are abducted by aliens, or some other creature is in the room with them, basically they feel anything that is out of the ordinary. If you search online, you can find a lot of stories about people’s sleep paralysis experiences, and some of them are quite interesting, but for others, those can be really creepy. Someone said they saw a huge Egyptian beetle, while another person said they saw a huge black snake around their torso. Someone else said they saw their cousin, or heard their brother speak to them even though they weren’t in the same house at that time.
Sleep paralysis has been said to have been around for a pretty long time. There are people that even made artwork about it. Henry Fuseli made a painting called The Nightmare in 1781; and in 1915, Fritz Schwimbeck, made the painting called My Dream, My Bad Dream. If you look on YouTube, you can find all kind of stories about experiences people have had, and there are some videos where someone reads a couple of stories and ranks them. So, if something like this ever happens to you, thanks to this you’ll know exactly what it is.