How many of you out there had ever had the experienced of a moment when you fall asleep, and when you wake up, you suddenly feel yourself paralyzed, unable to move a limb, unable to speak a single word, even if you felt like screaming for help – but you are wide awake? And what is worse, sometimes you feel threatened by an evil presence, and it feels like it is choking you or standing over your chest, making it difficult for you to breathe? Well, would it give you a peace of mind if you were to know that you are not alone?
This phenomenon has a name, and it is called Sleep Paralysis or SP for short. Often time, those who suffer from Sleep Paralysis will experience the feeling of a supposedly evil, malevolent and threatening presence. Some would see things from their deepest fears creeping up to them, some will feel that there is something pressing on them making it hard to breathe. In fact, some might even see things from ghost stories they heard, like how the European sees a demonic gargoyle creature sitting on their chest with a dark black horse of death, or the Americans with their phantoms, the Asians with their own cultural ghosts.
Sleep paralysis has its own name in the modern medical world, and it is called hypnagogic. When you see things that are not supposed to exist, it is called hypnopompic hallucinations. The academic world refuses to belief and even laugh at spiritual beliefs, and hence, this is their rebuttal for sleep paralysis. There are plenty of people all over the world, who believes that is a spiritual phenomenon. However, it is totally up to you to believe what you want to believe.
It is common in the scientific, medical and academic world to shut down possibilities of the experience behind sleep paralysis being real, as anything that does not make sense is considered to be a hallucination to them. There was a quote by Nikola Tesla that says, the day when scientists start to study non-physical science is the day when science is at is best and is progressing. Here, we will take a look at both spiritual and scientific approach of the sleep paralysis phenomenon – and from there it is up to you which you would want to believe – but keep your mind open when reading.
While it is hard to admit the fact that there are many phenomenon that cannot be explained by science, this opens up to many possibilities that spiritual phenomena might just exist, it is just that we are not capable of studying it because it is still beyond our worldly knowledge. Many different cultures around the world has their own explanation of sleep paralysis, be it demons, folklores, creatures, and many other theories. You might even heard of theories from your own cultures. For example, the Malays of South East Asia would belief that they are being sat on by a black furry creature called the “Hantu Himpit”, while Japanese would mostly see ghosts from their culture, like the typical white faced female ghost with long dangling hair haunting them.
Some scientists that research para-science phenomenon believes that there is something unexplainable that is connected to sleep paralysis, in fact, some believe that it is the key to an out of body experience.
Most scientist believes that people see what they want to see during sleep paralysis, which explains why different cultures see different things. They belief that people who are not educated enough on the subject will feel threatened by sleep paralysis, hence, hallucinating what they believe. According to scientists, Sleep Paralysis happens when you are in deep sleep (Rapid Eye Movement, REM) and you suddenly become aware. Your body is asleep, but your mind is awake, which explains why you cannot move.
How to Avoid Sleep Paralysis Scientifically:
There is no need of treatment for mild sleep paralysis. You may try to improve your sleep habits. Stay true to your sleep schedule, get enough sleep, and ensure that you get enough sleep every night. Try to sleep on your side instead of on your back where you are more prone to get sleep paralysis. If all else fails and if it is getting too hard on you, causing you to be depressed, extremely lack of sleep and anxious, you need to see a doctor.