What Makes Sleep Paralysis So Terrifying?

Hey There! Welcome To Life Noggin! Imagine waking up in the middle of the night,
being fully conscious, then realizing you can’t move a muscle. Your chest tightens and it gets hard to breathe. You start hallucinating and a dark figure
begins moving towards you. You try to scream for help, but you can’t. Are you dying? Are you dreaming? Then, all of a sudden, you can move again. That terrifying apparition is gone and you
can breathe normally. Believe it or not, experiences like this are
fairly common. This is a medical condition called sleep paralysis
and about 8% of the population has experienced some variation of it in their lives. While this can be absolutely terrifying, scientists
say it isn’t dangerous. Phew. People used to think that this paralysis was
caused by supernatural beings like demons holding people down while they sleep. Since hallucinations are fairly common with
this condition, it’s understandable that people would think the thing they saw was
what was stopping them from moving, but there’s actually a very scientific, not-so-supernatural
explanation for why some people wake up and can’t move. When we sleep, we experience cycles of REM
sleep and non-REM sleep. Rapid eye movement sleep is when your eyes
move quickly from one side to the other. This is the time of night when parts of your
brain like the thalamus and the amygdala are most active. Usually, people wake up when their brains
are in the non-REM phase, but sometimes you wake up when you’re still in REM sleep. This is what prompts sleep paralysis.During
REM sleep, neurotransmitters like GABA and glycine basically turn off your muscles to
make sure you don’t act out your dreams. So if you wake up before a REM cycle is over,
your muscles are still sleeping, so you can’t move, even if you’re fully awake. Your chest muscles are turned off too, with
the exception of your diaphragm. That’s why people experience shortness of
breath or feel pressure on their chest. When your brain is in REM mode, your dreams
are the most vivid. In sleep paralysis, your mind is still partially
dreaming, leading to hallucinations that can feel super real. People experience visual, sensory and auditory
hallucinations, but they disappear once the paralysis is over – usually after a couple
minutes. Sleep paralysis is thought to be caused by
sleep deprivation, certain medications, sleep disorders like sleep apnea and narcolepsy,
stress, and altered sleep patterns, like working night shifts. If you’re between the ages of 10 and 25,
you’re more likely to experience it. And people with mental disorders like PTSD,
anxiety, and depression are also at higher risk of having the condition. But, while all this might sound really scary,
researchers recently found that 20% of people who experience sleep paralysis on a regular
basis actually find it pleasant! Since it’s not dangerous, they relax and
just let it happen. Scientists are also investigating whether
there’s a genetic link to this condition. Twin studies have pointed towards yes, but
there’s still more research to be done. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for this,
but doctors suggest regulating your sleep schedule and avoiding alcohol and drugs before
bed. Sleeping on your back also contributes to
the problem, so try a different position. In serious cases, an antidepressant may be
prescribed, but this condition isn’t permanent or dangerous. Curious to know why it’s sometimes so difficult to fall asleep? Check out this video! well aside from worrying about that one thing you did in middle school several years ago. It might have something to do with what you’re eating. Drinks and food with caffeine can cause sleep disturbances. Especially when you have them close to bed time! as always, my name is Blocko, this has been Life Noggin, Don’t forget to keep on thinking!

100 thoughts on “What Makes Sleep Paralysis So Terrifying?”

  1. Have you ever had sleep paralysis? Let us know your experience in the comments.
    Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories so far! It's not an easy thing to deal with sometimes.
    Wanna watch more? Why is it so hard to fall asleep?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL6ECWZ8G1s

  2. I get it quite regularly and fit into the 'likes it' camp. I enjoy confronting psychological tricks when I understand how they work, it's about the closest thing to casting a magic spell we have in real life.

  3. Its happend me was being run over by train I heard my dad saying was wrong when I was froze leaning and I un froze then felk fce flat on the floor

  4. I had a dream where I was on my bed and fell it was just a dream but it was scary I then woke up on my bed still but it fell weird like if you had this type of dream


  5. my experience:

    after playing CSGO at the internet cafe(with superior specs), i got home and laid on bed, few(or more?) hours, i got up but couldnt move a muscle, i hear russian people raging(that sound the same in the gameplay), etc etc. that was weird

  6. I had this last night and a few times before , except all the times before it was me trying to get killed but this time it was creepy shadow that tried to rape me .. scary ishhh

  7. i wouldn't say fully conscious, i say this because i've had sleep paralysis since i was 4…5 years old and still to this day sometimes don't realize i'm having an episode and think it's completely real.
    oh and sleep paralysis feels way more real than any dream

  8. When I get sleep paralysis it's hard to kinda remember the images , but I never see myself.. like not my arms or legs my entire body is gone I just see this figure and once it was like a dummy , like a head you put wigs on and it had like a red hoodie and blue jeans . And then I can run from it and it's running after me and I can't get to the door .

  9. I had a sleep paralysis experience where I was able to control my body a little but it was weird because after forcing my body to move I unconsciously closed my eyes and I started seeing patterns of green and white like I was on acid and i felt like my nerves were on fire and I heard this buzzing noise and a high pitch noise at the same time like in slender man except it was lower pitch and I eventually woke up and my nerves still felt like a burning sensation

  10. My sleep paralysis demon looks like a morph of ET and the 1960's Godzilla and he's pretty nice here only growls when I try to move even tho I cant

  11. MY sleep paralysis monster would probably 99.9999% look like malachite or alexandrite, they're frikin terrifying…


  13. I've had sleep paralysis it was when i sleep before i ate then i wake up sweating heavily.I know it's weird but hey 😂

  14. I have sleep paralysis but sometimes I manage to move my hands and attempt to fight the invisible demons that aren’t even there

  15. I feel like I can get sleep paralysis if I want too and it only happens during the day and forcing myself to stay away. Then I just think of trying to move my fingers while at the same time not trying to move them.

  16. I've actually had sleep paralysis when I was 4. It was pretty scary because I couldn't move but other than that there wasn't anything that bad

  17. This is very weird but about two years ago I saw this "thing.." I dont know what it was but it was bright and it was green and orange. I heard indescribable noises. I could move but I reached out to the side and I was "in a cage?" It lasted about 4 seconds.

  18. I had a sleep paralysis, and I could talk and move my hand. But I couldn’t move anything else, I wiggled my hand and I tried screaming for help but it wouldn’t work, I can only whisper, i waited 10 seconds to move again, but I felt like a black figure, like a kid… ran towards me, but I turned on the lights and it was gone, that was so scary, ;(

  19. I had Sleep paralysis yesterday I had a dream about being at my friends house it was basically party then I woke up goodcould not move a muscle and then the clown starts walking towards me and I can’t move anything and then I just randomly wake up

  20. Last night I was sleeping and woke up so I went to get water but I couldn’t move and I looked at the end of my bed and a no faced figure was moving closer and then I could move my legs and arms and stood up and got super scared.

  21. F*ck science! It may make sense from a physical point of view, but not spiritually. Your mind is in the demonic realm either way you look at it. It will always be totally terrifying until you learn how to laugh the demons away while dreaming awake, meditating. That is when you find out they are nothing but morons! When you do that, all you will feel is pissed off that you cannot move. They will no longer present themselves, but their presence will be felt and it is still somewhat scary, but not nearly as much. Rage takes over and that is the reason why. I have had a lifetime of experience dealing with demons, some of them, family members.

  22. I wonder if anyone else had the same kind of dreams, only with The Soul Collector where he puts a noose around your neck and drags you all over the floor until you sink under it. I used to get a lot of those from ages 6 to 18. Now that Satan is in my dreams, those things never happen anymore. It was a curse straight from Vatican Central! Why? I never accepted the crucifixion of Jesus.

  23. I had a experience when i was a kid i was dreaming and i was relly scsred cuz someone chssing me and my 1 eye is wake and i cant move and i see my 1 foot are moving

  24. I just had sleep paralysis and I thought there were millions of spiders all over my wall. I'm terrified of spiders and I was right next to the wall

  25. Yes i did so this is what happened….

    It was 3:30 am in the morning and i saw a dancing metal alien and was forced to watch him if i didnt he will just keep on dancing

  26. There is nothing relaxing about your brain telling you that you're awake and the rest of your body including speech not obeying commands. No matter how hard you try you can't move one muscle.. 😑

  27. I had sleep paralysis 4 times and i acctually see demons when im having sleep paralysis and. One night i was just trying to slerp and suddently i couldnt move my body i could only blink and hen some demon appeared abbove me it was very hard to wake up after that exprierance i wouldnt want to sleep for 2 days. And i could barely scream for my life i was trying to scream for my mom everything looked so real but my mouth couldnt open.

  28. I have experienced sleep paralysis a number of times. It always happened right as I was falling asleep. I felt a dizzying, vibrating, tense feeling grow in my head going right into it. I would then be unable to move or talk, but had perception of my surroundings. I experienced vivid halucinations, sensations of time moving very quickly, malicious beings moving around, all accompanied by an overwhelming sense of dread. It has been a couple years since I experienced it last.

  29. im 10 years old and i experiented it , thanks blocko i thought a deamon is taking over my body💔💔💔😈😈😈

    you better put a comment and a like if you saw this

  30. It happend to me once but what i do is trying to move my one arm and its moving slowly and its gone and a accidently punched my mom.

  31. I have had this before and the rem stage was weird i was asleep but awake if you get what i mean and holyyyy it was absolutely annoying to try and get up

  32. I have 3 types of sleep paralysis the first is the one you explaind 2nd is one where when it ends it starts again once I close my eyes I only had this once and for all of them I can move my hand so I can hide but for this one I relised I could move my legs so I kicked it
    What came after me witch btw was a chucky chesse toy and I could feel it! I kicked it cause it was lifting up my blanket and the 3rd is where I see no monster but before the paralysis I get a tingle on my back.

  33. One time, I dreamt about a certain human figure that wears a black scattered cloak running behind me on a forest, then the person/creature threw something that wounded my cheeks, the blood felt real. And then I suddenly woke up looking at one part of myy cousin's room where the creature stood wide red eyes staring at me then it chocked me to death but after some minutes i realized it was me who's chocking myself

    Is this also sleep paralysis? Even if yes or not. The memory is vivid and clear, until now that a year passed. It won't leave my dreams whenever i sleep in an entire different place/nature

  34. This happened to me too….

    The vampire from Sesame was bitting me and I was crying , When I could move I still felt pain… Now that I say it, it sounds very wrong.

  35. sleep paralysis once hapenned to me I couldn't move but fortunately I felt that I couldn't move but I decided to close my eyes and wait( that helped a lot) and I fell asleep during sleep paralysis and I woke up again after half an hour and I could move

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