Did you ever wake up and couldn’t move? Unfortunately this type of temporary paralysis does occur. Even though it only lasts for a short it can be very frightening. This type of condition is called sleep paralysis.
While in the REM stage of sleep the body is naturally paralyzed so no injury occurs. This is a concern because during the REM stage the brain is very active and without the paralysis the sleeper may try to “act” out their dreams which may include hitting, kicking or jumping out of bed. With sleep paralysis the sleeper wakes before the REM stage is over but the paralysis isn’t.
Why this occurs is generally unknown but there is some suggestion that sleep apnea may have a connection with parasomnia conditions which is what sleep paralysis is.
This condition is also referred to as “Hag phenomena” because at one time sleep paralysis was considered to the work of the supernatural. You couldn’t move because a witch was riding on your chest.
I haven’t ever had this condition but I have heard of people who have and it can be very frightening. Sleep paralysis isn’t harmful other than scaring you to death but you should check it out with a doctor in case it is related to another health or sleep disorder.
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