We’ve all experienced it—waking in the middle of the night, often during a bad dream only to discover you can’t seem to move, as much as you’d like to. It’s like being trapped inside your own body; your mind is aware, but you physical self seems disconnected.
Your brain actually shuts down voluntary use of your muscles during deep sleep to keep you from acting out your dreams, points out Buzzfeed.com. However, with sleep paralysis, this mechanism remains engaged despite the fact your conscious brain is “on”. Here are 7 facts about sleep paralysis…
1. You Might be Seeing Things
One of the most troubling tricks our brains play on us during sleep paralysis is creating imaginary things that we believe are real—otherwise known as hallucinations. They seem believable because we are conscious, although our bodies are still asleep.
This is course can be traumatic, as many hallucinations are of an unpleasant nature (our brain has a weird sense of humor sometimes). Buzzfeed notes the strongest hallucinations actually occur in the transition between sleeping and waking.