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Have you ever suffered an episode of sleep paralysis? It can be a tremendously frightening experience, one you’re not likely to forget. You wake from sleep immobilized, unable to move your body or turn your head. You try to make a sound, but you can’t open your mouth. You feel short of breath, with a strong feeling of pressure on your chest, weighing your body down. You feel a deep sense of dread or danger — maybe you even feel there’s a strange presence in the room.
Here are some facts about sleep paralysis:
1. Sleep paralysis gives you the feelings that you woke up dead
2. It doesn’t appear like you are dreaming: In dreams your whole body is mobile and you are free to think but in this case, you are just immobile and yet you are awake and unable to move any part of your body.
3. During sleep paralysis, the body remains paralyzed while the brain awakens and the eyes start to open. Sufferers become alert in a transient conscious state, but they are unable to move voluntary muscles or speak. Though your breathing remains unaffected, this lasts from 20 seconds to a few minutes.
4. Sleep paralysis can involve hallucination: Sleep paralysis is just super frightening to begin with, so it often triggers a panicked response with increased heart rate. “People freak out because they can’t move, and it’s this extreme anxiety which causes people to be very fearful of their surroundings,” says Breus.
5. Sleep paralysis is a natural occurrence and can happen to anyone, but it’s mostly common among young adults
6. To avoid sleep paralysis, get a better and longer sleep
7. But really there is no definitive cause of sleep paralysis, so don’t blame your village witches, they are innocent here.
8. There is no evidence that it will kill you, this is because no death or injuries has been reported over the years as a result of sleep paralysis.

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