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..


16 Responses to “Maimizial”

  1. September 15, 2009 at 2:54 am

    good post, though the scientific explanation doesn’t make it any less scary!

    how often do you get it?

  2. September 15, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    yeah maimizial is the correct spelling 🙂 ; i’ve experienced it at least 3 or 4 times; not a pleasant feeling while it is happening but awesome once you get over it!

    misual.com has a topic on maimizial if you’re intuhrested


  3. 3 Calliopia
    September 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Interesting read, red. I can’t recall ever having had this experience though I’ve heard people talk about it. Guess it doesn’t run in my family, touch wood. By the waygood sleep hygiene, huh? Is the word hygiene correctly used in this context? Sounds a bit off to me.

  4. 4 NotGood
    September 17, 2009 at 2:11 am

    @fed: Scary or not, it still makes you kinda think about how less we know our own mind, or body for that matter. I get it once in 2 years or so.. maybe I should make a list of the dates so as to predict when the next one would occur.. hehe

    @Mos: I agree the awesomeness. Its scary because your mind is so friggin’ awake, but your body is. And the delusions you experience while being in that state is more real than dreams, thats what makes it awesome, and scary at the same time… scaresome!!

    @Calli: Now that you’ve mentioned it, I guess it is kinda genetic. But trust me, its a feeling worth experiencing at least once, y’know, so that when you meet old friends and the topic of Maimizial (hehe) comes up, you’d have something to narrate… 😛

  5. September 17, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    The whole seeing a figure at the foot of the bed without being able to do anything about it is so Black Sabbath! The same experience happened to their bassist Geezer Butler, and soon after they wrote the song “Black Sabbath” which also became the name of their band. Before they were called ‘Earth’. Just some bit of trivia for you.

  6. September 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    My father used to tell stories about maimizial, sleeping in a room and calling out to your friends at the top of your voice and nobody hearing you, unable to move or wake up but yet able to hear everything, and the scariest part was the big strong person who pinned you down and left you breathless and you tried to break free but he was too strong for you and you desperately hoped someone would come and wake you up….

  7. 7 NotGood
    September 18, 2009 at 2:37 am

    @Andy: Thanks for the info.. Haven’t delved that deep into the band, but nice to know I have something in common with a famous personality.. 😛 maybe it wasn’t by fluke that I added “Black” in my blogname, maybe it was just destiny.. hehe..

    @Aduhi: You make it sound so creepy.. maybe you would do well writing a fictional horror.. but you’ve described the experience more vividly than I could’ve ever done, the feeling is exactly what you’ve described, I wondered how i failed to miss the part about screaming and no one hearing you bit… hehe

  8. September 18, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    hehehe… Freud would say its because you were a victim of child abuse. 😛

    Just kidding. Yeah even I have experienced it a couple of times. I never knew this was a genetics complication… I always thought it was one of those once in a blue moon nightmares you get. damnnnn.

  9. 9 mesjay
    September 21, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Interesting. During childhood i heard ppl talking of such experiences and it was connected with superstition.

  10. September 30, 2009 at 2:56 am

    fascinating discussion. i’ve always thought this was fairly common, quite surprised to hear others don’t get it. just asked the wifey too, and she says she’s never had it! nice to be in the company of geezer butler though, lol. i wonder is people who get this are naturally more morbid.

  11. 11 NotGood
    September 30, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    @Kima: Freud’s explanation of everything starts with problems during childhood. This may be due to him being physically abused as a child.. hehe.. You may be right about this sleep disorder being related to the genes.. hmm.. interesting..

    @Mesjay: It is definitely connected with superstition. People create myths and legends out of things they fear or do not comprehend, which evolves into superstitions.

    @Fed: As a kid, I’d heard of the phenomena, but had never experienced it then. I was told it could also be induced by facing the ceiling when sleeping and crossing your arms and resting them on your chest. This kinda restricts blood flow to the heart/lungs/(medical stuff) and may cause the mentioned symptoms. Try it out.

  12. September 30, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    goodness no, blackest. i get this way too often to want to create it, lol. but yes, that is the way i sleep sometimes, though i had never connected it. will deliberately try *not doing it, and see what luck i have.

  13. 13 NotGood
    October 9, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    @Fed: C’mon.. be a sport.. Try it once.. You have nothing to lose. If it fails, no harm no foul.. but if it works, you have a new post coming.. hehe

  14. February 16, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    what a relief! i have been maimi zialing on and off all my life, and ive found that it happens mostly when im tired n stressed. a naga fren once told me that my spirit was temporarily suspended outside my body, n that was why i could see n hear things around me without opening my eyes, that scared the crap outta me, specially as i was reading anne rice’s ‘tale of the body thief’ then. nice 2 know there’s a scientific xplanation

  15. February 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    and feh! i do sleep in that corpse position (crossed arms over chest).

  16. 16 NotGood
    February 17, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    @ku2: There’s always a logical, rational and scientific explanation for most things, for the rest, there is faith. 🙂 For example, if you, ie, your spirit, was suspended outside your body, wouldn’t you be seeing and hearing things from a different frame of reference? Yet while in the state of Maimizial, you can actually see the rest of your body and hear things around you, so that proves your friend wrong.
    BUT: it got me thinking, if you WERE suspended, you would be able to see your own body lying down, stiff as.. a stiff. Now THAT would be creepily scary!! And awesome at the same time!!

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