People in ancient times used to associate sleep paralysis with evil powers and demons. Back then, people had twisted and peculiar ideas when it came to sleep and unconsciousness.
People who could not sleep accurately were associated or possessed by demons and evil spirits as per ancient accounts. Every single ancient culture incorporated the concept of evil beings in some division of their lives.
Sleep paralysis, in general, leaves individuals feeling frightened and disorientated because it makes them immobilized.
A person’s brain becomes aware of its surroundings but does not provide signals to the rest of the body.
Most of you may have experienced this at some point in your lives. But worry not, you are not possessed, and there are no demons at play.
Here are ten intriguing things you should know about sleep paralysis:
1) As stated above, people who experience this, end up feeling trapped. Sleep paralysis immobilizes your body and leaves your mind awake. Hence, it gets difficult for people to wake up and move their limbs during sleep paralysis.
2) In sleep paralysis, most of your body remains paralyzed while certain parts start functioning. Some individuals open their eyes and become temporarily aware of their surroundings. It also gets difficult for certain people to breathe accurately during this state.
3) Sleep paralysis can occur during two transitions in the sleep cycle. It generally transpires when your muscles are not at ease or when your mind is disturbed. If it happens when you’re falling asleep, it’s known as hypnagogic sleep paralysis. However, if it happens when you’re about to wake up, it’s called hypnopompic sleep paralysis.
4) Sleep paralysis can also make you hallucinate. People experience all sorts of bizarre things when their mind is conscious, but the rest of the body is immobilized. Certain people have reported seeing spirits and demons during sleep paralysis. What truly happens is that your mind becomes alert, but the rest of the body remains asleep. You end up imagining things that do not exist in reality.
5) Sleep paralysis is quite common, and anyone can experience it. However, the severity and degree of consciousness vary. For example, two individuals cannot have similar experiences. According to various psychologists, young adults with a history of mental illness can have a relatively bad experience during sleep paralysis.
6) Psychologists and experts generally encourage people to get more sleep if they experience sleep paralysis daily. It can traumatize a person for a couple of hours, since sleep paralysis, in general, leaves you vulnerable.
7) Ancient accounts of sleep paralysis can be found in Persian medical texts dating back to the 10th century. The first clinical observation, however, was made by a Dutch physician in 1664.
8) Ancient people did not understand the concept of sleep paralysis and associated it with demons or spiritual possession all the way until the 19th century when research into the phenomenon was given more attention.
9) Various individuals associate sleep paralysis with extraterrestrial beings. Some theorists and writers have made a connection between sleep paralysis and aliens whereas sleep paralysis acts as a medium through which transformation is shared between an alien entity, and a person.
According to these claims, aliens contact Earth’s residents by sending them messages when they’re asleep.
10) Sleep paralysis is not dangerous and won’t cause harm to your mind or body. It leaves you disoriented and traumatized for a bit, though.
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