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Sometimes when you wake up in the middle of the night, your body stops working and you cannot move or speak. Have you ever felt like this? This feeling is very much scary, and gives you the terrifying chills. The feeling of being paralyzed is obviously haunting, and sleep paralysis is the real example of it. In some situations, people feel heavy weight on their chests, and even the feel of choking comes up. Have you ever thought, why does this happen?

No this is not because of the myth being circulated that the demon does this. The reason is the disturbed REM that is the Rapid Eye Movement cycle. REM is a phase of sleeping in which the eyes move rapidly in various directions, and the brain is active in the same manner when we are awake. If the person wakes up before the REM finishes, then it will end up with the person suffering from sleep paralysis. In this, the person is conscious but the brain paralyzes the muscles. The good thing about this is that it lasts for one to two minutes only.

Dr. Shelby Harris, director of Behavioural Sleep Medicine at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Centre at the Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, New York said "If you have rare episodes of sleep paralysis, but haven't been seen by a sleep specialist, make sure your sleep hygiene is solid. For example, sleep paralysis can be a sign that you're sleep deprived. If these things don't help, and you're having episodes that are becoming somewhat more frequent, see a sleep specialist to see if there's any underlying medical disorder that might be causing the sleep paralysis.”

She also said, “There's not much you can do during an attack besides say to yourself, 'This is only temporary. It will pass very shortly and I will be able to move soon’. This really only works if you've had an episode or two before and know what to expect. These attacks can be quite scary to experience, especially if you've never had one before."
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- Rajat Priyam
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