Sleep Paralysis

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Just two weeks into college I had an extremely vivid dream in which I was laying exactly where I fell asleep, but was entirely unable to move. It was extremely unnerving, and a couple weeks later the same thing happened again. This was unlike anything I had ever experienced, and it wasn't until I read about sleep paralysis in my psychology book that I realized that this was what had happened to me.
Sleep Paralysis is a phenomenon caused by a disruption in the sleep cycle. People are hypotonic while asleep to prevent them from flailing about and acting out their dreams, and when the bodies sleeping rhythms are off it can cause a person to feel this affect while awake. The phenomenon has been known to occur both just before falling asleep or just after waking up. In addition it is much more common in those who suffer from narcolepsy.
One of the major things that causes sleep paralysis is not just a disruption in sleep cycles but also being in a new setting such as college. I think a combination of being in a college setting and having sleep cycles often disrupted is what caused my sleep paralysis.
In addition, different cultures experience this differently. While some people experience it as a demon or old hag on their chest, I had an experience of thinking I was on some type of Inception related dream level. While there is no scientific evidence for this being in anyway plausible, but in the brief panicked moments that I was laying there this was the explanation that my mind came up with.

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This page contains a single entry by joh09648 published on October 23, 2011 10:55 PM.

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