Sleep paralysis is defined as the inability to move or speak when falling asleep or waking up. I have had this occur to me a handful of times in my life. It occurred the most times while in grad school and the few months I was unemployed. Since I have started working, I no longer get them. It isn’t a terrible thing to get. It is just annoying. So, imagine waking up, but you can’t move any part of your body. I wouldn’t be able to open my eyes or anything. The only thing I could do was think and breathe. I do like to sleep on my stomach so it does get scary when I find my face halfway in the pillow and I can’t move from that position. I mean I was sleeping the whole time with my face in the pillow and I can start moving within two minutes, so at the end of the day it is not big deal.
I have read that some people feel a “presence” or a “demon” looming over them when they are in sleep paralysis, but I have only felt a presence once. It just felt like someone was sitting on my bed.
Apparently some causes of sleep paralysis are:
- sleep deprivation
- sleep apnea
So, if you ever suffer from sleep paralysis just let it happen. Focus on your breathing and don’t panic.
Here is a fun Buzzfeed article about it because who doesn’t like lists?