Reality of Sleep Paralysis Essay

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The concept of sleep paralysis is not necessarily a “concept,” it is a reality. I have had this occur to me numerous times for the better part of the past twenty years. What makes this a “concept” is why and how it occurs. I do not believe it is not spoken of enough, and I sincerely believe that more people would be interested in knowing what exactly this condition is.

The conditon known as sleep paralysis is defined as the momentary inability to move one's limbs, trunk and head despite being fully conscious. This can happen while falling asleep (hypogogic sleep) or when waking up (hypnopompic sleep). In my case, hypnopompic sleep is when I suufer this condition. Hypnopompic sleep is when a person becomes aware before REM has finished,
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I did in fact fall back to sleep, and I didn't mention it to anyone, because for all I knew, no one else had ever felt this.

While researching the topic of sleep paralysis I learned that it is not a new kind of disorder, brought on by cell phones, smog, or global warming- it has been around for centuries. Sleep paralysis was once attributed to “evil” presences, and it was even referred to as “old hag” in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. I learned that, in most cases, it is simply a sign that a person's body is not moving smoothly through sleep (http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-paralysis). Most cases refers to hypnogogic sleep, whereas it happens to me when I am coming out of REM sleep.

There is not at this moment a known cure for sleep paralysis, yet there are symptoms that are attributed to causing it. I found in Scientific American that factors include: going to sleep while lying on the back, and also when feeling stressed or experiencing a disruption in normal sleep patterns (jet la attributed g, caffeine, alcohol). I found on Stanford University's website that good sleep hygiene may prevent sleep paralysis. These preventive measures include: getting enough sleep, reduction of stress, exercise regularly (but not too close to bedtime), and also keep a regular sleep schedule

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