Dreaming about paralysis or being unable to move in your dreams is very common. This kind of dream can symbolize the problems and struggles you may be experiencing in your waking life. The feeling of being paralyzed is an inherent fear for many people, and sometimes dreaming about it can cause great anxiety upon awakening.
Sleep Paralysis is a horrible feeling where you awake but still stuck in a state where you can’t even move a muscle or talk. You almost feel frozen and the only think you do is just think. Having to be or experience this state is extremely frightening on the dreamer, and some people report hearing and seeing things that are not actually there. Some lucky people would experience this terrible feeling once or twice in their lives, but some don’t get off the hook that easy. A small percentage of people get stuck in this state several times a week. Sleep Paralysis can really spook you out and make you feel like you just hallucinated. Studies have found out that it is normal and causes no damage on the human body. Sleep paralysis can happen before you go to sleep or awakening up from REM sleep. The team to describe Sleep Paralysis before going to sleep is called “Hypnagogic”, and as your awaken up from REM it’s called “Hypnopompic”. Sleep paralysis has other names that it can be referred to such as pre dormital, hypnologic, familial, and hypnopompic but all relate to the same issue.
Sleep Paralysis is when your brain wakes up from the Rapid Eye Movement (REM), but your whole body is paralyzed state. Your mind becomes fully conscious in bed but you’re not able to move your body. This is a is an unusual neurological phenomenon that happens to more children than adults. Some people suffer their entire lives dealing with it.
Anybody who experiences “Sleep Paralysis” for the first time usually wants answers right away. They feel like they actually experience a nightmare awake. You wake up feeling like you were actually living in a bad dream for a couple of seconds or even up to a couple of minutes. As scary as it seems the good news is that nobody has even died from sleep paralysis or had any psychological issues. This is just a very scary and uncomfortable feeling that we never want to experience again. The worst part about sleep paralysis is that you feel stuck and have no idea why your frozen in this state. Some issues people who suffer from sleep paralysis have trouble getting a good night sleep in fear that it would happen again.
The more you learn and become aware of sleep paralysis the easier it gets when your trapped in that moment of hell. When you are stuck in sleep paralysis and know that you are and it would be over in a matter of seconds it helps calm the mind. Most of the time the sleeper is awakened by a sound, a touch or snapping right out of the state.
Throughout the night our body goes back and forth between NREM (non-rapid eye) and REM sleep. Most of our sleep consists of NREM, the state that we are most relaxed and not much brain activity going on. When the NREM is over we switch over to REM sleep where our eyes move rapidly. More vivid dreams occur during this time and our body is completely relaxed. The body is in a coma toss state where you can move a muscle. Once you become aware before the REM cycle of sleep is completely done your will experience a feeling where you can’t talk or move.
Types of Sleep Paralysis Dreams:In many studies researchers have found out that “Hypnagogic Hallucinations” can occur during sleep paralysis state. Hypnagogic hallucinations can happen in both Hypnopompic Paralysis and Hypnagogic Paralysis of sleep paralysis. Whenever this happens the dreamer has a vivid and haunting image that feels almost life like. Depending on the dreamer some experience a feeling like somebody is in your room, being suffocated, falling, or hearing voices talk to you before you sleep. A term to describe that feeling is called the “Hag Phenomena” and has been happening to people for thousands of years. Below you can see some of the type of hag phenomena people experience when they are sleeping.
Symptoms of Sleep Paralysis:
– Vivid images – feels like the dream of all dreams
– Hallucinations – people experience a large bug or insect trying to eat them
– A devil, demon or scary ghost is in your room
– Unable to breath – Somebody sitting on your chest or being suffocated by the covers
– Falling to the ground
– Life like sensations – Impending doom
– Intruder in the room
Causes of Sleep Paralysis: There is no exact cause on why some people get this horrible sensation called sleep paralysis. It’s doesn’t matter if your male or female it all depends on the factors below that we listed. Sleep paralysis is very common and happens to 40% of the general population. You will find younger children experiencing this feeling then most adults.
Common Causes Include:
– Not getting enough sleep
– Drinking access alcohol
– Medical conditions ex narcolepsy
– Leg cramps
– Change in your sleep pattern
– Passed down from family
– Low levels of melatonin
– Change in your lifestyle ex eating habits etc….
– If you sleep on your back
Sleep Paralysis doesn’t harm or affect your body in anyway, but getting this can be quite traumatizing and wish you never got it again. Stress plays a big role when you’re dealing with sleep paralysis so make sure you take time to reflect things you need to change in your life. Have a look below for ways you can stop sleep paralysis from happening again:
– Change your sleep patterns. Get your 7 to 8 hours a night sleeps
– Your anxiety levels might be very high. Find out ways you can stop anxiety from taking over
– Change your environment around you. Did you make a sudden change in your life that’s not working out
– More likely to experience when you sleep on your back
– You might be depressed? Find ways to snap out of your depression
– People who suffer from Narcolepsy are more prone to sleep paralysis
– Check your family history. Most of the time your parents might have the same issue
– Work out at the gym or meditate
Sleep Paralysis Tips: The good news about sleep paralysis is, it causes no harm or effect to the human body. Unfortunate having to deal with it is another issue. The best cure for stopping sleep paralysis is to meditate before you go to bed and educate yourself on sleep paralysis. Once you read up on the subject being stuck in the state makes it a lot easier. If you are concerned about this issue there are ways you can battle it so it doesn’t happen again. Below we have listed ways you can combat this problem and face it head on:
– Once in the sleep paralysis state don’t fight it. Let it ride out and say to yourself it will pass
– Reduce your stress levels or anxiety levels
– Go to bed early and get a good night sleep
– Remember it doesn’t kill you
– Turn it in to a good experience. Some people report having a mystical experience during it.
– Focus. Try your best to snap out of it. If you force yourself hard enough you will wake up
– It is a medical phenomenon! Don’t think you’re going crazy, and try not to associate it with bad thoughts
– Relax. Don’t work yourself over an issue you’re going to snap out of in seconds.
– Meditate before you go to bed.
Manifestations in a paralysis dream can be the inability to: get up from your bed, walk a flight of stairs, grasp an object or run from impending danger.
Paralysis dreams may signify that you are feeling stuck and restrained from accomplishing a particularly important goal in your waking life. These feelings can stem from either external or internal sources; however, your own insecurities might be the ultimate driving force. Stresses in your waking life may bring on this type of dream — financial worries, health concerns, relationship conflicts, career advancement, unresolved family issues. Emotional states in your waking life, in which you have been stuffing your feelings or have a fear of expressing them, can also cause dreams of paralysis. You may also be too rigid or inflexible in your waking life.
In addition, dreams of paralysis as an adult may be the result of a childhood consumed with a rigid upbringing or a series of events while growing up that had a negative impact. In waking life, these experiences can cause feelings of helplessness and an inability to move forward.
If you dream about someone else being paralyzed, this could be symbolic of a part of yourself that is being held back by something or someone.
It is important to monitor and analyze the dreams you have so you can be in touch with your day-to-day waking life and ultimately improve upon it.
Feeling paralyzed within a dream or while waking up is actually a physical process of protection by your body while you are asleep. The fear & rush of adrenaline bring you to partial wakefulness, close to waking up completely. While we are asleep (in REM state), our brain induces paralysis to prevent us from acting out our dreams, and quite possibly hurting ourselves. (See Sleep Walking, below) There have been reported deaths of people with this mechanism being faulty, who fled a dream “monster” and threw themselves out of a high-rise apartment, or ran into the street and were struck by a car and killed. There have also been reports of people “fighting” dream assailants, and sadly when they “come to” or awaken, they find out they have hurt or even killed their housemate or spouse. This is rare.
If your sleep disorder has reached a stage where you may be on the verge of violence or accidental injury, I strongly urge you to go to a sleep clinic and get help. Stress and being overtired are triggers for sleepwalking, and you can learn how to alleviate these triggers.
Being aware of dream paralysis is a good sign that your intuition is heightened! Being partially awake in a dream is the pre-cursor to lucid dreaming, a highly enlightened state in which the dreamer is totally awake within a dream, and reality merges with the dream-scene… one can will oneself to fly, cause magnificent manifestations of artwork, create a quite realistic reunion with friends or relatives who have passed on…the possibilities are endless. Once one has lucid dreamed, they are never quite the same. Life has opened a door of heightened awareness, which truly feels more real than one’s waking life.
It’s important to separate sleep paralysis from hypnagogic hallucinations (HH), because understanding these components will help you gain familiarity and mastery of this fascinating mental state.
- The physical sensation of paralysis. You can’t move. You can’t scream. You can’t do anything as the feeling of weight presses down on your chest and throat.
- Next, there is a conscious reaction of fear, dread, and terror as your sense of helplessness escalates. For some the fear of being attacked is so intense it is called “death anxiety.”
- The scariest part of all–– Hypnagogic visions which can be visual, auditory, tactile and even odoriferous. HH includes the hooded apparition who shows up on the side of the bed, or the invisible presence who lays a cold hand on your helpless body.
Together, these symptoms of SP/HH can reinforce each other by our participation, whether the reaction is fear, anticipation, or passionate surrender. What we bring to these encounters helps determine the outcome because dreaming is a co-creative mental act, not a given. The path is not set: we are surrounded by choices and possibilities in every moment.
Psychologically, what happens when the fear spirals into a nightmare is a feedback loop known as the expectation effect. The fear caused by the paralysis leads us to bring up past experiences that are similar to this sensation. Often, these are experiences or stories of being oppressed by another person, of being held down, and, especially for women, of being sexually violated. In a world where 1 out of 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, these fears are all too common.
Once the subconscious connections have been made between the present sensations and memories or fears, the brain begins to interpret the experience according to these narratives. If the paralysis is followed by hypnagogic hallucinations (HH), then these visions will typically include a sinister agent who wants to do us harm. We end up manifesting our worst nightmare without realizing it.