You know how everything seems scariest in the middle of the night? How many times have you woken, terrified that there is someone or something in your bedroom or in your house? Perhaps you feel frozen in fear, seemingly unable to move?
Most people have had these feelings during the night at some point, or maybe on lots of occasions, during their lives. And night-time terrors are well-documented throughout history. In less enlightened times, people generally put such experiences down to the presence of evil spirits or ghosts walking the house by night.
Many people still firmly believe in the presence of ghosts and people in an after-life trying to communicate with us and warn us of dangers. And what time would your brain be most likely to be open to such communication? It’s when your conscious brain is switched off, of course, and your subconscious mind at its most receptive – until you awake in sheer terror.
Many people take great comfort in having psychic readings to communicate with the other side and even if you’re a non-believer, this can still be a truly enthralling experience. Even those people who are firmly on the side of science-only will usually admit that there are lots of things that happen to us that cannot be explained. And let’s be honest; these usually occur during the wee hours.
But what if you wake with this feeling during the night, and you are literally completely unable to move? This is doubly terrifying because you’re lying there feeling immensely fearful and simply cannot move a muscle.
If this has happened to you; fear not, you aren’t alone. According to recent news from Medical News Today, sleep paralysis is often accompanied by hallucinations, which isn’t going to calm you down! This can include a feeling of the presence of evil, or a feeling that you’re floating – or even a feeling like something or someone is pressing down on you. These experiences, it is said, may account for lots of ghost stories through the ages.
Fortunately, this is all natural. Your brain awakens, yet your muscles remain temporarily paralysed – possibly as a self-defense measure so you don’t hurt yourself during these scary episodes. Apparently, around 7.6 per cent of Americans have experienced sleep paralysis at some time during their lives and it often goes hand in hand with narcolepsy, which is kind of the flipside; uncontrollably falling asleep during the day whether you like it or not.
Most of the different ways of preventing sleep paralysis are said to be unproven and anecdotal. But overall good health and being calm will undoubtedly help. But the main thing to remember, if it happens to you, is that you are not alone. No, we’re not talking about a ghostly presence in the room here – merely that there are probably thousands of people across the world undergoing the same phenomenon. So above all, don’t panic, try to relax – and be safe in the knowledge that it won’t last and is natural.