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why do we hallucinate during sleep paralysis

People with narcolepsy can have vivid, dream-like hallucinations while falling asleep or as they are waking up. During these episodes, the visions feel realвfor example, seeing a person in the bedroom. The hallucinations are called
hypnagogic if they happen while falling asleep, and hypnopompic if they happen while waking up. At the same time, people with narcolepsy experience paralysis as theyвre falling asleep or waking up. This is the normal muscle paralysis associated with but occurring at the wrong time. Although the paralysis usually only lasts a few seconds, it can be very frightening, especially in combination with hallucinations. Hallucinations and paralysis are caused by a disrupted boundary between dream sleep and wakefulness. Rather than gradually reaching REM sleep at the end of a sleep cycle, a person with narcolepsy can enter REM immediately.

This means the dreaming and muscle paralysis of REM will occur directly from a waking state. Like sleepiness, these symptoms can sometimes be seen in too. The woman was in her late 50s. Every night she would fall asleep and then that she was unable to move, but that her husband was coming into her room and trying to attack her. Helpless, she could neither move nor cry out. "This went on for several years," says Clete Kushida, MD, PhD, an associate professor of and behavioral science at Stanford University. "It was very difficult. She was exhausted. " It turns out the woman had a called -- when a person is asleep, but immobilized. Like many who have sleep paralysis, she was also having "hypnagogic " that she was being attacked. "It's not a serious condition," Kushida says. "But it can be very disturbing. " Just why or how it happens isn't clear.

Researchers believe sleep paralysis is caused by a disturbed cycle because it mostly happens as people are falling into or coming out of REM sleep. During that stage, their brains normally paralyze their muscles anyway -- so they don't act out their. But during sleep paralysis, the sleeper is awake, or half awake, and so is aware she cannot move. Studies show that between 25% and 50% of Americans have had paralysis at least once. Many people who have it also have, in which they fall asleep uncontrollably. experts believe sleep paralysis might be partly genetic. Other causes include stress and disrupted sleep schedules (think or pulling an all-nighter).

Several studies have also found links between or and sleep paralysis. Clearly, an episode of sleep paralysis can be scary, which has led to some unorthodox theories. Research shows that people in countries as diverse as China, East Africa, Mexico, Newfoundland, and the United States have long believed that paralysis is caused by demons, witches, or other supernatural creatures sitting on their chests and sometimes trying to have with them. Often the experience is accompanied by noises (like loud buzzing), sensations of being dragged out of bed or flying, and difficulty breathing. In fact, some researchers believe sleep paralysis is what's really going on with stories of alien abductions.

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