One of the craziest things that we can ever experience in our sleep is sleep paralysis. This is when you feel like you’re awake, but are completely unable to move your body. Sleep paralysis only happens when a person is trying to fall asleep but gets caught in the stages of wakefulness and being asleep at the same time.
This is crazy because what people experience while in this state of consciousness is something entirely else and can scare the pants off of us when it happens. People who experience sleep paralysis often times describe the feeling as if something or some terrifying entity is sitting on their chest, not letting them move at all.Luckily, sleep paralysis does not actively hurt you at all when it’s happening. It may feel like something is going or wants to hurt you, but this is simply not true because of being in this twilight stage of sleeping.
What happens is that when a person is about to fall asleep, sleep paralysis begins to sink in after they have begun the stage known as “hypnagogic.” This means that they are experiencing sleep paralysis before they fall asleep. Another stage of sleep paralysis known as “hypnopompic” is when they are experiencing sleep paralysis as they are waking from their REM sleep.
Essentially, as begin to drift off and our minds start to relax/less aware, hypnagogic sleep paralysis begins to kick in as the mind is completely aware of it’s surroundings still but your body has already shifted into an involuntary state of relaxation. They are aware that they are still awake, but are unable to move any part of their body at all, which causes them to panic as well as hallucinate that demons or some kind of crazy witch looking figure is creeping up on them as they sleep.
Sleep paralysis usually occurs in people who are suffering from some kind of mental disorder at that moment in time. Most of the time, the case is either anxiety or depression in which people begin to experience there first encounters with sleep paralysis. People who have sleep apnea, certain kinds of medication, or people who already have an underlying sleep condition can experience a lot more sleep paralysis than those with anxiety or depression.