Long hours of travel, uncomfortable bed, and a strange schedule can make it difficult to get a good night's sleep. And when you don’t get a good night's sleep, your body starts to produce more cortisol which, over time, affects your mental and physical health. There is, however, some good news, those who can't seem to get enough shuteye may be dreaming during the time when their eyes are actually open. And what happens in your dreams has a profound effect on your waking life.
Have you ever had a dream that you’re falling even though you’re awake?
This is called sleep paralysis.
It’s totally normal, but it can be a scary experience.
Sleep paralysis is when your mind wakes up, but your body is still in Sleep Mode. This causes the sleep paralysis. It’s only temporary and once you wake up fully, your body will be awake too.
I can remember when I had my first sleep paralysis when I was undergoing my internship at Ibadan Nigeria. This very night (midnight) I woke up and my eyes and mind were working but I couldn’t move my body. I was scared for so many reasons.
It’s a common saying that some kind of spirit comes at night to press someone down in the night, making the person unable to move.
So I thought it was the devil visiting me. I want to shout Jesus, but it’s sleep paralysis you can’t move any part of your body apart from your eyes.
Maybe the eyes aren’t connected to the part of the brain that controls the other part of the body
I thought I was going to die. I don’t know how people die and having this experience for the first time felt like I was walking down the path of death. It’s scary especially when you don’t know anything about it.
I was alone. I stayed with my sister and that particular night, maybe she had to work a night shift at her place of work or for something else, so I was alone. Having my first sleep paralysis alone in the house, knowing there’s no one to save you really made me scared
In today’s world, there are many things that may cause inadequate sleep. Working an overnight shift may leave you with limited hours of deep sleep because when you go to bed, you’re already exhausted. Or, you may have to wake up early in the morning to attend a conference or a business meeting. Whatever the reason, insufficient sleep will affect your health and performance.
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