Sleep Paralysis: Cause, Meaning And Spiritual Relationship
How do we define sleep paralysis?
When we go to sleep, we aim to be relaxed and free from disturbances while sleeping. During sleep, your body repairs tissues, bone, and muscles, and there are two major sleep phases that rotate: non-REM and REM. During non-REM sleep, your body is getting ready for deep sleep and this lasts for 1to 40 minutes. REM sleep is described as when an individual is in a deep sleep with heart and body temperature increases and vivid dreams. This lasts for 10 to 60 minutes. It is during REM sleep that the activity of your brain increases. The events of your day and memories will develop as long-term storage in your mind. When you experience an intense dream, REM sleep also occurs more prominently.
Sleep paralysis takes place when you are fully engaged, as determined by your brain activity, BUT you will not be able to move your arms, legs, or any part of the body. As you sleep, you will be aware of the things going around you, but you will not be able to move your body. This state of paralysis takes place to stop the body from acting out its dreams.
SEE ALSO: Intuition Or Fear? How To Know
What are the reasons for sleep paralysis?
Sleep paralysis is a common condition that happens to 1 in 20 people worldwide, regardless of age, gender, or cultural background. There are no explanations for the cause of sleep paralysis and no treatments. It has also been associated with Narcolepsy, a neurological disorder that impacts the brain’s sleep-wake cycle control. Some people who experience Narcolepsy also experience Sleep Paralysis.
There are many factors linked to Sleep Paralysis, such as:
- Disturbed sleep cycles
- Some mental illnesses and anxiety
- Usage of certain medications will also hamper the sleep cycle
- Sleeping on your back
What does sleep paralysis feel like?
People define sleep paralysis as an overpowering, vivid-like dream experience with frightening features that may include seeing entities, hearing different sounds, and feeling sensations creating fear and terror. The experience is described as taking place in an alternative dimension.
They are not nightmares and can also include Astral Projection — a term that defines an individual’s soul/spirit/ethereal body/consciousness leaving the physical body while sleeping or meditating and traveling to other places according to their preferences. Some people intentionally astral project.
Sleep paralysis and its relationship to spirituality
Sleep paralysis may scare some people, but many think it is a gift. They can develop psychic abilities such as communicating with spirits of the outer world during their sleep paralysis phase. They can also communicate telepathically with the positive and negative beings with them. Some people describe those with sleep paralysis as God’s messengers, special agents sent to save humankind with their spiritual powers. Many popular beliefs and theories elevate the importance and occurrence of sleep paralysis.
The presence of a familiar spirit
Various reasons behind sleep paralysis come from different places in the world. Some people focus on the evil entities as something to connect with a familiar spirit or helper. The concept states that no matter what, there are many spirits around you, and they can be negative and positive. The negative ones will try to harm you, and the positive ones will try to communicate with you about the outer world during your sleep paralysis. The positive ones can be your guardian angels or spirit guides.
The ‘old hag’ culture
This is one of the common theories being suggested as the reason for sleep paralysis in Newfoundland, Canada. In Newfoundland, people believe that an old hag will choke a person and sit on their chest. In Germany, people often believe that if a person is experiencing sleep paralysis, then a witch is riding on top of them. Different cultures portray sleep paralysis according to their spiritual perspectives.
Treatments for sleep paralysis are urgently needed, which will help remove anxiety and mental disorders and allow the person to transition past the fear that it can create.
If you have sleep paralysis episodes frequently, consider seeing a physician. A medical or psychiatric doctor can guide you through treating the underlying cause or developing ways to improve your sleep routine and prevent recurring episodes.
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