Why do we have sleep paralysis? Almost everyone has at least one episode in their lifetime. Sleep paralysis is one of the scariest, mysterious, things anyone can experience. It has you up the rest of the time wondering why it happened, or why you couldn’t do a thing at the moment you were having it. It is also known as rapid eye movement (REM). It is where you’re awake but your body is not. 5-60% of people have sleep paralysis.
Night terrors can seem to be nightmares, but occur during NREM-3 sleep, which is a stage of sleep when you are hard to waken. Originally I considered my childhood nightmares night terrors, but unlike night terrors I could easily wake myself up and never talked or walked around during an episode. Sleep walking can sometimes be linked to night terrors, but are also they're own separate disorder. Within the NREM-3 a person can be prone to sleepwalking, especially if it runs in the family. I personally have been in
Did you ever awaken and find yourself unable to move? Perhaps you sensed a presence in your room or a pressure on your chest. This is sleep paralysis. It is a common disorder that affects millions of people. Most believe it occurs as we are on the edge of REM sleep. The disorder has been connected with such hallucinogenic events such as alien abduction or an evil presence. Sleep paralysis is an inability to move or speak, occasionally accompanied by hallucinations, for up to several minutes upon awakening or just before falling asleep.
Narcolepsy is a permanent sleep disorder that gets worse with age. It is estimated that about 40,000 to 135,000 people in the United States have narcolepsy. (Narcolepsy, 2002). Most people who have narcolepsy are often times misdiagnosed because the symptoms, especially if noticed at the beginning stages, are very similar to other sleep disorders. Some of the symptoms that go along with narcolepsy are excessive sleepiness, especially during the daytime or when sleep is inappropriate, cataplexy which is when a person suddenly looses control of their muscles, sleep paralysis which is when the person is unable to move for a short period of time after they wake up from sleep, and hypnagogic hallucinations which is very
Also known as night terrors, these episodes are often paired with other prarsomnias, such as sleepwalking. A Parasomnia is an undesired occurrence during sleep, such as sleep talking, sleep walking, and night terrors. During these sleep terror episodes, an individual might kick and thrash around while still unconscious, stare wide eyed, scream or shout, and so on. Night terrors are said to be able to occur for a period of up to 30 minutes, once about that much time has passed, the person will once again lye down and go to sleep. Once the next day comes around the corner, usually the child or adult will not have any recollection of the event, but they at times remember small fragments of the
Some signs of cataplexy are slurred speech, weakness of muscles, and intense emotions. Cataplexy effects muscle tone while awake, effects part or all of your body, may make your head nod, ,may be hard to speak, falling (weakening at the knees), and strong emotions. During this time, you're usually awake. In addition, hallucinations are another symptom pointing towards the condition narcolepsy. These hallucinations are called hypnologic hallucinations. Due to the fact that you may be awake when you're dreaming, these dreams may seem like reality or may be nightmares. Some signs of having a hallucination are vivid dreams when falling asleep, waking up, dozing, and life-like dreams. Finally, sleep paralysis is a symptom of narcolepsy. Sleep paralysis prevents you from moving or speaking while falling asleep and waking up. During this period you are fully conscious. Some signs you have sleep paralysis is you don't sleep well at night, you have trouble falling and staying asleep, nightmares interrupt sleep, having difficulty finishing daily tasks, and being hyperactive.
There are many theories about why we dream, some say dreams have no meaning or purpose, others say dreams are required for emotional, physical and mental health. According to the activation- synthesis model of dreaming theory circuits in the brain become activated during the REM cycle, which causes areas in the limbic system involved in memories, emotions and sensations become activated (verywell.com/why-do-we-dream-top-dream-theories-2795931). Sigmund Freud’s theory on dreams suggested that dreams represented unconscious desires, thoughts and motivations (verywell.com/Freudian-theory-2795845). Though these thoughts are not consciously expressed, Freud suggested they make their way into awareness via dreams.
Night terrors, also known as sleep terrors, are episodes of screaming, intense fear and flailing while still asleep (Mayo Clinic, 2017). Sleep terrors are considered a parasomnia, a disorder characterized by abnormal behavior of the nervous system while sleeping, and are often paired with sleepwalking, which is also a parasomnia. They are characterized by frequent recurrent episodes of intense crying and fear during sleep (Web MD, 2017).
Imagine waking up only to find that you are unable to move anything but your eyes, you sense something lurking in the darkness and open your mouth to scream. You try moving around to escape whatever it is hiding in the dark but you can’t. You can’t move at all. And then you wake up only to find it was all a dream. This bizarre phenomenon is known as sleep paralysis. It is unknown how much of the population it affects as there have been many differences in survey methods but it is estimated to be anywhere between 5 and 60 percent.
Night terrors also known as sleep terrors can be defined as a “sleeping disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified” (Meyers, 2014). Night terrors most commonly occur with children. Many people in general not just parents get confused between a nightmare and a night terror. Nightmares occur during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep which is a state of sleep where people are conscious. When a person wakes up from a nightmare they have a “vivid memory of a long movie like a dream” (nightterrors.org). Night terrors, on the other hand, occur “during NERM-3 sleep, within two or three hours of falling asleep, and are seldom remembered” (Meyers, 2014). Since the child is in such deep sleep he/she will not remember a night terror. Since the child cannot remember their dream it makes it hard for doctors and psychologist to figure out what the child is fearful of, and why it is occurring. Although it is difficult for professionals to diagnose, it is beneficial to the child not
An episode usually lasts from seconds to a few minutes, but episodes may last longer. It generally occur in the first third to first half of the night, and rarely during naps. In a typical episode, you will sit up in bed and pierce the night with a "blood-curdling" scream or shout. You may say or shout things that others are unable to understand. You will also have a look of intense fear with eyes wide open and heart racing. You may also sweat, breathe heavily and be very tense. At times, you may even bolt out of bed and run around the house. Individuals having an episode of sleep terrors will not respond to voices and can be hard to wake up. You will either go directly back to REM or deep sleep without ever leaving their sleeping state, or may wake up to extreme confusion. Sleep terrors aren't usually a cause for concern. It may require treatment if they cause problems getting enough sleep or they pose a safety risk.
The rest of you is pinned to the bed, breathless. Terrifying screeches are heard and the noise is so loud it is as if every radio station and radio is on in the entire world. Your spirit comes out of your body and you can wander around and finally you can return to your body.
Parasomnia refers to a wide variety of disruptive, sleep-related events or, "disorders of arousal." These behaviors and experiences occur usually while sleeping, and most are often infrequent and mild. They may however happen often enough to become so bothersome that medical attention should be sought out. "Parasomnias are disorders characterized by abnormal behavior or physiological events occurring in association with sleep stages, or sleep-wake transitions."(DSM pg. 435)