Sleep Paralysis by - Avril villalobos

Sleep paralysis is very common that more than 3 million people in the United States have reported experiencing an episode. "At least 40 million Americans each year suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders each year, and an additional 20 million experience occasional sleeping problems". It's an experience that no one wants to experience in their life time. The worst thing about it is that you're paralyzed and you can only move your eyes. Sleep paralysis is caused by many things, many things can occur during sleep paralysis, and it is also easily treatable.

Some people who experience sleep paralysis can also develop insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Sleep paralysis can be caused by many reasons but the main reason is because the person isn't going through the sleep stages smoothly. The body goes through five stages of sleep. Stage one and two is light sleep, stage three and four is a deep sleep. Stage five is the REM (Rapid Eye Movement), this stage is when the mind begins to dream and the body becomes paralyzed. The body becomes paralyzed to prevent us from acting out the dream. Sleep paralysis happens when the mind wakes up but the person experiencing an episode can’t move the voluntary muscles. Due to the fact that the neurotransmitters are turned off during the REM stage of sleep.

This is how brain waves look like when awake and when going through the sleep stages.

Sleep paralysis can't harm the person experiencing it but it is scary. It can last from a few seconds to even 5 minutes. People who go through the episodes can experience a crushing sensation or feel as if they are being chocked. They can have auditory or visual hallucinations. The hallucinations can sometimes consist of aliens, shadows and even tall dark figures. Some people who experience an episode can even experience the sensation of levitation but they aren't.

An example of what a person going through a episode might see.

Luckily sleep paralysis can be treated at home and it's fairly easy to do. Sleeping in a position other then the back can help. Try to get 6-8 hours of sleep and don't use any device 2 hours before going to sleep. Sleep paralysis can be associated with lucid dreaming, insomnia, narcolepsy and even restless leg syndrome (RLS). To get out of sleep paralysis some people try to wiggle their toes and try to control their breathing. Someone talking or touching the person going through sleep paralysis can also bring them out of it.

These are some of the different type of sleep disorders some people can experience.

Sleep paralysis is curable, what occurs is very strange, and sleep paralysis is a different kind of dream. An episode of this is definitely an experience no one wants to go through. You would definitely not want to sleep after and episode of this.

Sleeping less can cause many long term problems that are hard to get out of like sleeping disorders.
  • https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep
  • http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/sleep-paralysis#1

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