A little after noontime today I had an encounter with a yet unnamed phenomenon. I was trying my best to nap because I had an excruciating headache from lack of sleep; this, despite knowing that might turn futile because I can never easily nap at any given daytime seemed especially possible. Some time had passed and I was able to doze off. When it was time to get up, my body was just perfectly immovable. My mind was awake, I could hear the outside noise, but when I tried to move my arm, it was to no avail. I tried moving my legs, I also couldn’t! I started to panic. Even though it wasn’t the first time this has happened to me (third, actually, in the last three years), each time is always scary. My sight was locked to the upper left side of the ceiling that’s partly lighted from the light peering through the curtains. I started to ‘’utter’’ my mental prayer. Even rebuking whatever it was that could be causing it. I waited and waited for whatever devilish elements to complete the story that I hear from other people, like a devil renting a space on one’s chest to rest for a while, but nothing like that happened. I just couldn’t move, although my mind was very much awake.
The first couple of times happened at my former home at the Terraces. The second one was a little ‘easier’: it was also at noon, I was getting up from a nap, when I simply could not move any of my body parts. I was in the bedroom, and the door was open, leading my sight to the lighted dining area, on the pot of flowers on top of the table under the halogen light. It was like that for a few minutes. I uttered a mental prayer again and everything worked all right soon after.
The first one was most unforgettable. I came home from the mall and I was just so tired, I lied on the couch, watched TV and fell asleep. When it was starting to get dark, I ‘woke up’, greeted by the TV that signaled me what time of the night it was. I could not get up! I was just leaning on my right side, on the couch, for SEVENTEEN HOURS! I so very much wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. I could only pray. So maybe with all the repetitions, I fell asleep along the way. And the last thing I could remember was finally feeling my very parched throat from dehydration as well as my growling stomach!
It happened again today, so I was reminded to make a research. Even what name to blame the occurrence by. Typing on Google, ‘’mind awake, body…’’ there was an immediate flurry of suggestions about what I was looking for! I clicked on ‘’mind awake, body asleep can’t move’’. And poof! It’s called the SLEEP PARALYSIS.
I went on to read. From what I’ve learned, sleep paralysis is caused by MISTRANSMISSION OF NEURAL SIGNALS IN THE BRAIN.
To better understand, let me just share a part of an article:
A Sleep Paralysis is possibly a hereditary disorder in which one experiences very frightening seconds or minutes of total body paralysis with little respiration and eye movements (1). A victim in this state feels awake, but he cannot move or speak (2). In addition to the immobility, the common symptoms include feeling choked or suffocated, hearing strange noises like footsteps and voices, seeing beings or dark shadows, and feeling an existence of someone in the room (1). Although these symptoms often direct the victims to believe in ghosts, mistransmission of neural signals in the brain causes Sleep Paralysis. When a person sleeps, his brain sends signals to inhibit any muscle contraction (3). If he comes into consciousness before the brain sends signals to activate muscle contraction, he cannot move his body, and consequently, become “paralyzed”(2).
In order to understand how a body becomes paralyzed while the person is awake, it is necessary to understand sleep cycles. In a mammalian sleep, the brain activity undergoes two different states called non-REM (NREM) sleep and REM sleep, which differ very much from wakefulness (3). NREM and REM sleep alternate cyclically through the night; in human, about 80 minutes of NREM sleep starts a night of sleep, about 10 minutes of REM sleep follows, and this 90 minute cycle is repeated about 3 to 6 times during the night (3). During NREM sleep, a body produces few movements, but the body has capability of tossing about in bed and producing some other motor events, such as sleepwalking and sleep-talking (3). The cardiac-muscle contraction and breathing occur at a uniform rate, and the eyes move slowly (2). During REM sleep, on the other hand, heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure vary (3). The eyes move rapidly because most dreaming takes place in this period, and the sleeper probably “look” at the moving objects in a dream (2).
If you want to read the whole article, it can be found here: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1740
My last words shall be live as if it were your last. Help. Make someone feel good about himself. Encourage. Highlight the best qualities. Love. No drama here. Just something I really want to say.