Archive for September, 2009

14
Sep
09

Maimizial

I think that is how it is spelled (Correct me if I’m wrong!)

It was a lazy afternoon and I must’ve dropped off to sleep while in bed. When I woke up (Or so I thought), I could see everything around me. There was some strange sound outside of people making some kinda noise. I thought I’d get up,  but then realised I was stuck. I couldn’t move any part of my body, not even my lips. I could see around the room, the door, the rack, the newspaper on the floor, but I just couldn’t move.

It wasn’t my first time, I’ve had worse. Like once, it happened at night and that was worth remembering. I could even see a dark silhouette of a man standing at the foot of my bed, but couldn’t move or scream. (In later descriptions of the same event, the dark shadow even had what looked like horns.. hehe) I’ve read that trying to move ones toes helps, and that was what pulled me out of that half-awakedness.

Another time was on another afternoon. (I know, an afternoon nap is unbeatable!) I could hear my roomies shouting about something in one room, while I was lying frigid on another. But eventually when I wriggled out of the semi-coma, there was  no one in the other room. It was kinda creepy then.

So, I drove on the Information Superhighway to find more info. on it. I found something called “Sleep Paralysis” in Wikipedia which was exactly similar. It seems the world was no stranger to the phenomena. From all over the globe, they have Myths, Folk-lore, legends, etc to support their beliefs. In the end, it was all just superstition. But for more scientific details on the subject, I found this:

What is sleep paralysis?

Sleep paralysis consists of a period of inability to perform voluntary movements either at sleep onset (called hypnogogic or predormital form) or upon awakening (called hypnopompic or postdormtal form).

Sleep paralysis may also be referred to as isolated sleep paralysis, familial sleep paralysis, hynogogic or hypnopompic paralysis, predormital or postdormital paralysis

What are the symptoms?

  • A complaint of inability to move the trunk or limbs at sleep onset or upon awakening
  • Presence of brief episodes of partial or complete skeletal muscle paralysis
  • Episodes can be associated with hypnagogic hallucinations or dream-like mentation (act or use of the brain)

Polysomnography (a sleep recording) shows at least one of the following:

  • suppression of skeletal muscle tone
  • a sleep onset REM period
  • dissociated REM sleep

Is it harmful?

Sleep paralysis is most often associated with narcolepsy, a neurological condition in which the person has uncontrollable naps. However, there are many people who experience sleep paralysis without having signs of narcolepsy. Sometimes it runs in families. There is no known explanation why some people experience this paralysis. It is not harmful, although most people report feeling very afraid because they do not know what is happening, and within minutes they gradually or abruptly are able to move again; the episode is often terminated by a sound or a touch on the body.

In some cases, when hypnogogic hallucinations are present, people feel that someone is in the room with them, some experience the feeling that someone or something is sitting on their chest and they feel impending death and suffocation. That has been called the “Hag Phenomena” and has been happening to people over the centuries. These things cause people much anxiety and terror, but there is no physical harm.

How can I stop the sleep paralysis?

In severe cases, where episodes take place at least once a week for 6 months, medication may be used.

You may be able to minimize the episodes by following good sleep hygiene:

  • getting enough sleep
  • reduce stress
  • exercise regularly (but not too close to bedtime)
  • keep a regular sleep schedule

So the next time, you can safely say that there is no evil spirit possessing you, no devil sitting on your chest (or standing at the foot of your bed), no ghost forcing you down, its simply “Hypnopompic paralysis”.. pompic.. hehehe..