If you've heard about sleep paralysis before, you're probably terrified about it ever happening to you. It's worst than a nightmare because a nightmare you can at least wake up from. In sleep paralysis, you're stuck in a semi-awake but paralyzed state while feeling some sort of presence that initiates a fear in you. Not that many people are aware of sleep paralysis, which some researchers say is why it isn't a highly reported condition to doctors. After reading this, you'll feel a bit more knowledgeable on sleep paralysis and could recognize if it's happened to you or someone you know.
See also: More money, more snoozing
#1 It dates back to ancient times
Researcher James A. Cheyne says that sleep paralysis dates back to ancient cultures that recorded seeing night demons and creatures. He says this is the root of the word nightmare, which derives from seeing night creatures.
#2 The experience is paralyzing...literally
It's much like something you'd watch happen in a horror movie. You're in bed, awake and aware, but you cannot move. You might hear voices, footsteps, or a presence that feels like it's pinning you down, but you can't get away from it.
#3 People are afraid to tell someone about it
Apparently, people don't speak about their sleep paralysis often enough because of the stigma attached to saying they hear voices and feel a presence in the middle of the night. They might feel like others are going to consider them weird or crazy.
#4 It can happen to anyone
There isn't one specific trait that could expose you to an episode of sleep paralysis. According to Cheyne, it's an isolated event. While stress or narcolepsy could be triggered, it seems to be a brain anomaly. There's not enough research to link sleep paralysis to genetics, yet. Also, you can have an episode at any age.