Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sleep Paralysis

The most scariest thing happened to me yesterday while I was taking a nap. I tried waking up but I could not move at all. I seriously couldn't move! I thought I was hearing voices around me and I tried getting up.  I even tried pinching myself in an attempt to wake myself up. An even scarier thing was that no one was around when I was napping. I must have been in a half-asleep state while still dreaming. I finally woke up and I panicked.

After my panic attack, I went online to search why I couldn't move. I mean, I did study about sleep in my psychology class. I do know that the body relaxes during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. I just just didn't know that it would be that serious that I couldn't wake up. I finally found that I just experienced sleep paralysis. And, it's not the first time I experienced this. It's a pretty scary sensation.

In simple terms, sleep paralysis is when you are conscious but you are unable to move. If you start waking up before your REM sleep cycle is finished, you notice you cannot move. That is because your voluntary muscles relax during REM sleep. Some say your body naturally does that so you don't walk while you sleep.

I looked online and some risk factors of sleep paralysis are:

  • Sleeping on your back
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Change in sleep cycle
  • Having other sleep problems
  • Certain medication

Looking at the list, I have to say that I fall into three of those risk factors. I normally sleep on my side but I realized that when I nap, it's usually on my back. Stress is affecting me a lot and I'm not getting enough sleep. I get an average of 5 to 6 hours of sleep. That is NOT enough. I should be at least getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

I'm guessing that if I don't want to experience another panic attack again because of this, I'm going to have to somehow relieve stress and get more sleep. It's easy to change my sleeping position but I will have to find time to get more sleep in as well as reducing stress. They're linked because they are both due to school!

Have you ever experienced sleep paralysis?

-It is said that as much as 4 out of 10 people experience it. Another article I found is that 1 in 5 students experience it. I wonder how common it really is. 

What's the most scariest thing that happened to you?

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