Jul 6, 2007 @ 10:05 PM
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Sleep paralysis is a condition characterized by temporary paralysis of the body shortly after waking up (known as hypnopompic paralysis) or, less often, shortly before falling asleep (known as hypnagogic paralysis).
Physiologically, it is closely related to the paralysis that occurs as a natural part of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Sleep paralysis occurs when the brain awakes from a REM state, but the bodily paralysis persists. This leaves the person fully aware, but unable to move. In addition, the state may be accompanied by hypnagogic hallucinations.
More often than not, sleep paralysis is believed by the person affected by it to be no more than a dream. This explains many dream recountings which describe the person lying frozen and unable to move. The hallucinatory element to sleep paralysis makes it even more likely that someone will interpret the experience as a dream, since completely fanciful, or dream-like, objects may appear in the room alongside one's normal vision.
Many people who commonly enter sleep paralysis also suffer from narcolepsy. However, various studies suggest that many or most people will experience sleep paralysis at least once or twice in their lives.
In Chinese folk culture, sleep paralysis is referred as "鬼压床" This belief is that a spirit or ghost
is sitting or lying on top of the sleeping individual. This is thought to be a minor body possession by the forces from the dead which doesn't usually cause any harm to the victim.
In North America, sleep paralysis is referred to as a visit from the "old hag".
In Thailand, this condition is said to be caused by a spirit or "pee um" which sits or lie atop of the victim causing him or her to be immobile. The spirit causes no harm to the victim and is said to only be playing pranks.
In Scandinavian mythology, sleep paralysis was caused by a Mara, or mare - a kind of malignant female wraith who is responsible for nightmares. She appears as early as in the Norse Ynglinga saga, but the belief itself is probably even older.-------
ahhh im POSSESSED!! freaky =X haha
"most people will experience sleep paralysis at least once or twice in their lives" once or twice?! hmmph how lucky. it happens to me so frequently... it totally freaked me out the first time it happened, i thought i got a stroke or smth. i freaked joke and yen out when i told them the story of my paralysis + hallucination last last nite.
ughh. im sure my parents would be freaked out too, after i tell them.