Moderator: Bill Glasheen
The cause for a state of SP is when your mind wakes up, usually still in a semi-REM state, but your body is still relaxed and semi paralyzed, bringing on a the sometimes horrifying sensation of being paralyzed while still in a semi-dream state yet awake. The consequences of this state are usually nothing short of terrifying to individuals with their dreams suddenly becoming reality as they are trapped in an inbetween sate of consciousness. The usual result is panic to try to release oneself while sleep creeps around your brain like a slow fog trying to drag you back down to it's depths again. I know what it's like, I've suffered this myself.
Old Hag Syndrome
"Old Hag Syndrome" sometimes referred to as "Night Hag" is another commonly used term for SP among many different cultures mainly in the western world. The term Old Hag is probably derived from a couple of sources, one being the word for Nightmare; Night -of course, we know this already, Mare being derived from the old English term Maere meaning demon or incubus (an incubus is believed to be a demon that visits during the night). Other sources as listed by Dr. J. A. Cheyne, University of Waterloo Psych. Dept include German mar/mare, nachtmahr, Hexendrücken (witch pressing), Alpdruck (efl pressure), Czech muera, Polish zmora, Russian Kikimora, French cauchmar (trampling ogre), Greek ephialtes (one who leaps upon) and mora (the night "mare" or monster, ogre, spirit, etc.), Roman incubus (one who presses or crushes) ge, (evil spirit or the night-mare--also hegge, haegtesse, haehtisse, haegte); Old Norse mara, Old Irish mar/more.
Sleep Paralysis "Old Hag Syndrome"
In many cultures Sleep Paralysis is thought to be demons or ghosts sitting on ones chest, while the sleeper is aware of what is happening. Some of the sleepers claim to see something or someone sitting on their chest and being unable to move or call out. Here are some of the symptoms of Sleep Paralysis:
- Buzzing in ears
- Unable to move or call out
- Sense of danger
- Pressure on chest or face
During an episode, the sleeper can see everything in the room but some things my look distorted. Sometimes the victim will feel a presence or even see a figure in your room and begin to panic. These are very frightening and I even experienced a few.
While people think it is supernatural, others think it is associated with a few sleep disorders. The phenomenon is thought to occur during REM and the reason why you are unable to move is because your body is preventing you from acting out your dreams. Here is a list of factors that can cause such an episode:
- Sleeping on your back
- Irreguar sleeping patterns
- Lucid dreaming
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