Awake, But Can’t Move? This Is What It Means.

by Jyotsana Rao

We all have experienced this phenomenon where we wake up in the middle of the night but are unable to move our body parts or even speak. And then, we start getting scary thoughts, imagining someone entering our room. Or we feel that someone is already in the room, staring at us in the dark. Or suddenly, our window starts rattling, and it appears that someone is banging on it. Ok. We are not trying to scare you, but we all must admit that it scares us like hell!

Many people and consultants say that it all happens because of your thoughts. For example, if you watch a horror movie at night, there are chances that you might suddenly wake up and experience something similar to it.

Image: iStock

However, modern science has an entirely different take on this. Science terms this event as sleep paralysis. This can be possibly a hereditary disorder where the person experiences something very frightening, and the whole body gets paralyzed except respiration and slight eye movements. You are awake, but you’re unable to move your body, speak or call out for help. In addition to these symptoms, a few people also feel suffocated or choked, and hear strange noises. All these things make them feel that there is an apparition in the room. Due to this, there is a mis-transmission of the signals to the brain, which leads to sleep paralysis.

Image: iStock

While we sleep, our brain sends signals to inhibit muscle contraction. If by chance, we gain consciousness before the signal is sent to the brain, our body becomes paralyzed.

It is a very common phenomenon and can happen to anyone. So, if the next time you experience sleep paralysis, do not panic. Remind yourself that this is a temporary and harmless condition. Understanding these basic things about our body will make such events seem less scary.

We hope you found this information useful. If you have any doubts or queries, you can post them in the comments section below.

Was this article helpful?