This disease is known as sleeping paralysis, affects many people. You’re not fully sleeping, so you have the sensation that someone is pushing down on you or sitting on your stomach. Some people experience sleeping paralysis to the point of seeing a dark figure in the bed.
This is not a spiritual invasion; it is your BRAIN forgetting to turn back on your muscles, causing you to struggle to move and believe someone is pressing you down.
The brain ensures that we do not strangle ourselves to death while dreaming, or our bedmate, if we have a bad dream. When you have a nightmare or a dream in which you see yourself battling, if your brain does not turn your muscles off, you could be kicking your brother or sleeping with your spouse without realizing it. That is why, when we are deeply unconscious during a bad dream, the brain temporarily paralyzes our body to prevent us from hurting ourselves. Many people have linked this condition to a spiritual attack; well, praying about something is fine, but let us be prudent. Almost all Nigerians have been affected by this condition at least once; tell me, are all Nigerians spiritually attacked? Wisdom is what we need.
Now that this condition has manifested, the reason you see a dark figure in the room is that your brain is still perplexed as to what is happening when you struggle to turn your muscles back on. The brain creates an illusion image of another to describe the occurrence that occurs before itself, in order to make meaningful sense of its own confusion. “Assume your child has broken a glass cup and does not want you to know that he or she broke it, she now told you a story about how the cat in the house broke the glass “even if the story is a lie, you’re going to believe it, that’s exactly what the brain does in this case, it brings up a dark figure to explain why you can’t move to keep its own secret.” That is why the person you see is always dark because they are faceless, and the brain is unsure which face to use.
But, if the brain is awake, why can’t the body move?
It all has to do with the three or four stages of non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and one specific REM state. It is possible to dream in all stages of sleep, but the dreams experienced in REM sleep appear to be more vivid and real. The brain is extremely active during REM sleep, and people become paralyzed during REM. Although researchers are unsure of the reason, many believe it is so the body does not act out the dream. This is called REM atonia. Most people who wake up suddenly can move easily. However, those who cannot move after waking experience sleep paralysis. It is REM atonia continuing after waking. Most of the time, this experience lasts a few seconds to a minute (I am sure it feels much longer). However, in rare cases, some people need 10 to 15 minutes to regain motion.
Many people feel a presence when they are in the clutches of sleep paralysis. Researchers are not sure what causes this, but they do have some ideas. One is that the figure is the mind’s attempt to create the movement it can’t actually do. Basically, the brain is saying, “I can’t move your arms, but here is a nice hallucination of your arms moving.”
Another guess is that amygdala is to blame. The amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for fear, becomes overactive and Denis explains the result:
“You wake up with your amygdala screaming, ‘There’s a threat! So your brain has to invent something to fix the paradox of the amygdala being active for no reason.” (Business Insider)
The amygdala does remain active during sleep, but sleep paralysis sends it into overdrive. This makes sense because the whole scenario sounds terrifying.
Different Types of Sleep Paralysis
According to an in-depth study performed in 1999, there are three types of hallucinations that can occur during sleep paralysis: “incubus”, “intruder”, and “unusual bodily experiences”.
People feel intense pressure on their chests and they feel they cannot breath. However, this is only a mental game. It feels like they can’t breath because they are afraid. Also, the body is still in REM breathing mode which is very shallow. It would seem strange to anyone.
People who experience the intruder experience the feeling of a presence, fear, and visual and auditory hallucinations. The authors describe it as a “hypervigilant state of the midbrain,” which can make people highly aware of even the smallest stimuli and “biased toward cues for threat or danger.” That’s why a small sound can seem horrifying to someone experiencing sleep paralysis. (Business Insider)
Unusual Bodily Experiences
These people feel they are having an out-of-body experience. They feel like they are levitating or flying around the room. This type of sleep paralysis is so different because different areas of the brain are active at the time the person awoke.
Prevention is difficult with sleep paralysis. That is because it can be hereditary and because it is linked to the whole bunch of other sleeping and health issues. However, there are some things a person can do to help with the problem.
No Back Sleeping
Researchers have found that sleeping on the side can reduce the event of sleep paralysis. Some sufferers even wear special clothing so that it is uncomfortable for the body to position naturally onto the back during sleep.
If a person does wake up and find they cannot move, they need to concentrate on moving a digit. Try to move a finger or a toe and focus on that. Once a muscle moves, the paralysis is broken.
Sleep paralysis is also induced by fatigue, stress and inadequate nutrition.
it is not a spiritual attack, it is a brain condition that is not actually a threat to your life.