Have you ever stopped to think about what actually happens to your body when you sleep every night? While it may seem like we shut down completely, our bodies and minds are often far more active than you may expect, with experts suggesting that each person has four to six dreams every night.
While some of us sleep soundly every night, at some stage many of us have experienced something slightly spooky during our sleeping hours. Whether you remember it happening or your significant other reminded you of your unusual behavior the morning after, sleep can sometimes be a bit spookier than most of us would prefer.
Have you ever had that feeling of waking up and not being able to move? This very scary sleep disorder is known as sleep paralysis and is common all around the world. According to one Huffington Post article, sleep paralysis often occurs when a person is trying to wake up. Our inability to move stems from our body shutting down and going into a temporary paralysis so that we don’t hurt ourselves while we dream. Around the world sleep paralysis is explained in a number of ways, however the most common non-scientific belief across cultures is that sleep paralysis is the result of a monster or demon-like creature pressing down on your chest.
Night terrors are basically nightmares on steroids. While nightmares happen during REM sleep, night terrors happen non-REM sleep, which is generally early in the night. During night terrors, a person will often scream, sit upright or appear as though they are looking around, however they are not actually taking in any of the sights. Often people who experience night terrors are unable to be woken and no matter how dramatic their episode, many will not remember what happened in the morning. Night terrors are more common among children and people who suffer from anxiety.
Have you ever experienced seeing something strange just as you are falling asleep or waking up? Many people experience hallucinations as they rest in the space between asleep and awake. According to the American Sleep Association, sleep hallucinations are common and as many as 25 percent of people report having experienced a hallucination experience. Common hallucinations include seeing people, bugs or animals in the room, as well as hearing voices. According to the ASA, sleep hallucinations are common among people who have a high level of drug and alcohol use, or people who suffer from anxiety, insomnia or intense stress.