Have You Ever Woken Up In The Middle Of The Night Unable To Move? This Is Why!

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Imagine, if you will, this scenario.

It is the middle of the night, and you are sleeping. All of a sudden, you awaken, however you can not move. Your eyelids will not open, and you cannot move your limbs. You can not even move your fingers and toes.

Breathing is challenging. If feels like there is something sitting on your chest and you are specific there is a being sitting on you and making you feel this method. This scary lasts for minutes, but it appears like hours. It’s scary.

This might appear like a scene from a horror book, but it is actually a real-life problem for a lot of people. That is right. Tonight, there will be individuals who awaken to the previous situation. They will have no idea exactly what is going on, and they will not be able to move.

It is time to read more about this phenomenon.

These symptoms stem from an odd sleep phenomenon called sleep paralysis. While numerous social and psychological aspects can influence the occurrence of sleep paralysis, a 2011 paper integrated 35 researches with more than 36,000 individuals complete. The authors found that 7.6% of the general population experiences sleep paralysis, increasing to 28.3% in high-risk groups, like students who have an interrupted sleep pattern. And in individuals with mental illness, like anxiety and depression, 31.9% experienced these episodes.

Daniel Denis, a PhD candidate in cognitive neuroscience and scientist at the Sleep Paralysis Job, discusses the whole scenario perfectly:.

” When you’re experiencing sleep paralysis, you become mindful. The idea is that your mind wakes up but your body doesn’t.”

But, if the brain is awake, why cannot the body move?

Everything relates to the three or 4 stages of non-REM (rapid-eye-movement sleep) sleep and one specific REM state. It is possible to dream in all phases of sleep, however the dreams experienced in Rapid Eye Movement sleep appear to be more vivid and real.

The brain is very active during Rapid Eye Movement, and individuals end up being paralyzed during REM. Although researchers are unsure of the reason, lots of believe it is so the body does not act out the dream. This is called Rapid Eye Movement atonia.

Many people who awaken suddenly can move quickly. Nevertheless, those who can not 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 (it certainly feels a lot longer). Nevertheless, in rare cases, some people need 10 to 15 minutes to regain movement.

Many individuals feel a presence when they are in the clutches of sleep paralysis. Researchers are not sure what causes this, but they do have some concepts. One is that the figure is the mind’s attempt to produce the movement it cannot really do. Essentially, the brain is saying, “I can’t move your arms, however here is a nice hallucination of your arms moving.”.

Another guess is that amygdala is to blame. The amygdala, the part of the brain accountable for fear, becomes overactive and Denis discusses the outcome:.

” You get up with your amygdala yelling, ‘There’s a danger! So your brain needs to invent something to repair the paradox of the amygdala being active for no factor.”

The amygdala does remain active during sleep, but sleep paralysis sends it into overdrive. This makes good sense due to the fact that the whole circumstance sounds scary.

Various Kinds of Sleep Paralysis.

According to an extensive research study carried out in 1999, there are 3 types of hallucinations that can occur during sleep paralysis: “incubus”, “intruder”, and “unusual bodily experiences”.


Individuals feel extreme pressure on their chests and they feel they can not breath. However, this is just a mental video game. It seems like they can’t breath since they are afraid. Likewise, the body is still in REM breathing mode which is extremely shallow. It would seem strange to anybody.


People who experience the intruder experience the sensation of an existence, fear, and visual and auditory hallucinations. The authors describe it as a “hypervigilant state of the midbrain,” which can make individuals extremely knowledgeable about even the smallest stimuli and “prejudiced toward hints for risk or risk.” That’s why a small sound can seem horrifying to someone experiencing sleep paralysis. (Business Insider).

Unusual bodily experiences.

These individuals feel they are having an out-of-body experience. They feel like they are levitating or flying around the space. 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 since it can be hereditary and since it is linked to the entire bunch of other sleeping and health concerns. However, there are some things an individual can do to assist with the issue.

No Back Sleeping.

Researchers have actually found that sleeping on the side can lower the risk of sleep paralysis. Some sufferers even wear special clothing so that it is uneasy for the body to roll naturally onto the back during sleep.


If a person does get up and find they can not move, they have to focus on moving a digit. Aim to move a finger or a toe and concentrate on that. As soon as a muscle moves, the paralysis is broken.

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3 thoughts on “Have You Ever Woken Up In The Middle Of The Night Unable To Move? This Is Why!

  1. Mushtaque Ahmed

    Yes this situation occurs to me, at the time my mind wants to back sleep like in black hole in space, bi i control and focus to think move any of my body part specially my head.

  2. Neal Schnell

    I actually saw the shadow move. This was no hallucinations!!!!

  3. Hannah

    I’ve experienced this phenomenon a number of times. I’ve tried to move a body part, (my arm), but unlike the article claims, the paralysis isn’t broken then. Instead my arm moves slowly. Then I keep still and wait for
    the paralysis to end, and as soon as I think I’ll be able to move, I yank myself out of the paralysis. If I’m too lazy or tired to get up and fall asleep again, the paralysis starts all over again.

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