If you’ve ever been affected by sleep paralysis, you’ll know it’s a frightening situation to be in. For those who aren’t sure what this phenomenon is, sleep paralysis is when you consciously wake up but are unable to move your body, just your eyes.
Other symptoms might include feeling like someone is sitting on your chest, hearing sounds, or a rush of air blowing by you. Many have reported seeing shadowy figures, as well as having an out of body experience during sleep paralysis.
Sleep Paralysis In Different Cultures
In many different cultures, sleep paralysis is viewed as caused by different spirits. Japan calls these attacks by kanashibari, or sleep demons. The West Indies calls this type of spirit the Kokma. In the United States, some people have referred to these incidents as possible alien abductions citing the strange noises and weird feelings.
The Chinese translation of this event is “ghost pressing on body”. Africa and the Netherlands refer to it as a witch or old hag riding your back. As you can see, sleep paralysis is worldwide and commonly attributed to spirits and the supernatural.
Not everyone is affected in the same way, so it can be difficult to tell others about your experience. Many have seen ghosts, demons, and for some they say they’ve been face to face with the devil. Visit HelpfulSleep.com for more information about sleep paralysis.
Will I Be Harmed During Sleep Paralysis?
You will not be physically harmed during sleep paralysis. While it can be scary to face demons and spirits, they are just trying to get your attention. It might be tough to get back to sleep after this, but just know that once you’ve regained control of your body, you are safe.
How To Stop An Attack
At this point you might be wondering how to break free during an attack. If you sleep with a partner, having them shake you until you can respond is the best action. If you are within earshot of someone in the same room or another room, you can moan loudly to try and get their attention.
If you don’t have anyone nearby, you’ll have to wait it out, which can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Some people have reported that if you try to wiggle your fingers and toes right as you’re aware, you might be able to break out of the paralysis.
To help shorten the effects of an attack, it is best to just focus on breathing and trying to calm yourself down. Keeping your eyes closed is also recommended if you’re seeing shapes and shadows or other spirits. Staying calm and trying not to freak out is the best way shorten an attack. Remember, you will not be harmed during a sleep paralysis attack.
You might not be able to prevent an attack without getting rid of spirits around you. Sleeping on your side or stomach will help avoid the sensation of pressure on your chest.
How Do I Know If I’m At Risk?
Sleep paralysis doesn’t affect nearly as many children as it does for people in their teens and older. Men and women are affected equally by this. If you constantly suffer from sleep paralysis, you might be better off sleeping with a partner and making them aware that they will need to shake you awake during an episode.If you’re looking for more information about other people’s experiences with sleep paralysis, you can check out the film The Nightmare. It is a recreation of 8 true stories from others who suffer from sleep paralysis.