My First Experience with Sleep Paralysis

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 4.27.11 PMWhat if you woke up one morning and you couldn’t move? What if you woke up and you couldn’t speak? What if you couldn’t do neither of those things. Ladies and gentleman, this sensation that inhibits your ability to do both of those things is called sleep paralysis. 

For those who are not entirely familiar with this or have need experienced sleeping paralysis before, let me explain to you what this is and what causes this to occur. The accurate scientific definition of what sleeping paralysis really is, is the “feeling of being conscious, but unable to move” (from webmd). According to the same source, those who tend to develop sleep paralysis are those with lack of sleep, a new sleeping schedule, mental conditions, and those who sleep on their backs, or abuse substances.  Now that you have established a somewhat better understanding of what it is and what it does, here is my story:

On a Saturday morning, I woke up to the sound of pans clashing and clanking in the kitchen, or at least I thought that I woke up…My eyes opened and I could hear my mom outside, but I couldn’t move or do anything. I attempted to sit up, raise amy arms and legs but it felt like they weighed a ton. There was a feeling of numbness on my entire body, and  I tried to yell and call my mom, but only a breath of air came out. My eyelids were forcing itself to close shut as I continued to struggle to get some movement out of my body.

This was one of the scariest moments of my life. The reason being is because I really thought that I was going to die. I was still conscious and my mind could was still functioning, but the sensation of eyelids forcing itself to shut, and the inability to do anything, had me question myself: “Was this what people experienced when they are about to to die?” I remember feeling extremely tired at the same time and my alertness felt like it was deteriorating, which also contributed to me thinking that I had lived a short life (little did I know that the reason why I felt like losing conscious was because my brain was trying to put itself to sleep again, only expect, I was half awake).

I woke up later that afternoon and I asked myself, “What in the blue pig just happened…?”

So I got out of my bed and immediately researched my symptoms and found out that I had just experienced sleeping paralysis. During my research I learned that there is one way to break out of it, which can be done by moving your toes. Now you may ask, “How can you move your toes if      your body movement is suppose to be inhibited?” Well my answer to that is, yes you can. I have experienced this quite a few times after this first time, and I can confirm that wiggling your toes will wake the rest of your body up and break you out of this.

Photo: All rights reserved to Madeline Masarik

 

 

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