Some say sleep paralysis is induced by demons that lure in the negative count while one is peacefully snoring in their sleep, others say it’s rather scientific and occurs due to the brain paralyzing every muscle movement. However, as appalling as the experience could be, the rules that sleep paralysis abide by are quite mind boggling. It doesn’t happen to anyone and everyone but when it does, how could one escape?
Dreaming is frequent and rapid eye movement during those dreams is a self-invited element nonetheless, sleep paralysis in its own dimension has been wizardly and traumatic as there seems to be no escape. The feeling of one’s body rejecting to any minimal movement, specific body parts refusing to operate, the brain remains wide awake – giving out orders to each cell of the body and nerve however, through some misconduct of its own forbids to oblige.
Ancient culture says ‘Khapasa’ who is known as the demon who sits on one’s chest and tries to suffocate one during their sleep. Whereas, Khapasa may be just another delusional figure, victims of sleep paralysis boil down to unorthodox ways of why such dysfunctionality may be occurring in their life. As unconventional as it may seem, scientific researches deem otherwise and link these incidents to depression, anxiety or other mental health issues.
During sleep paralysis, one may find it difficult to breathe as they might feel a strain or constriction in their chest and they are unable to move their eyes while some can’t even open them and the obvious deprivation of movement in any body part. It is demoralizing to feel plastered to an old spot for an immeasurable amount of time and terrifying as it dawns on the individual that this horror might have no epilogue. Scientists also claim that it could be interlinked to ‘lucid dreams’ where the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming but there seems to be no control in eloping it.
The brain causes our muscles to relax and be still as we sleep which is called ‘antonia’. Sleep paralysis is when ‘antonia’ is still active even while we’re awake. An episode of such may even cause one to be momentarily dumb while it may last for seconds but could prolong up to several minutes. It either requires immense self control and hope or forceful movement by one for the episodes to gradually fade away, but let’s be real; in scenarios where a healthy person is unable to move, talk or operate while the brain is blasting out alarms – who would stay calm?
Upon asking Ayesha who was a vital prey of sleep paralysis and had suffered from it at the tender age of her teens, she looked at a distant and shivered at the thought but continued to say with shaky breath;
“ Imagine waking up and finding out you can’t move a muscle or talk. The room is pitch black and every time it felt like something was pinning me down to my bed. Every night – every ringing of dark clouds ushering in bed time petrified me, I didn’t want to sleep but more so; I didn’t want to wake up feeling so obsolete and helpless.”
The survey results show that people experiencing sleep paralysis may be due to severe anxiety issues, palpitations, mental instability or genuine destruction of inner peace due to poor mental emotional health management. Such episodes that are often followed by hallucinations or loss of breath may even invite in the rare feeling of falling, floating or descending while asleep. Although subconsciously, people fall into the traps of illustrating such events as paranormal, research says that usually enough sleep, stress relieving objectives and interchanging of sleep positions assists to ooze out the paralysis acts. However, research also says that people have tried plenty of unprecedented and orthodox ways of curing sleep paralysis and none of those have worked for a minor portion within the pie chart. Which makes one wonder- that when all last resort seems to be just another maze, where’s the escape route?