Question from 101 Questions About Sleep and Dreams by Mitler and Mitler

The following is an excerpt from 101 Questions About Sleep and Dreams , by Dr. Elizabeth A. Mitler and Dr. Merrill M. Mitler

“Q: Just as I fall asleep, I have the frightening feeling that I cannot move. Is this abnormal?

A: This symptom is called ‘sleep paralysis’ and occurs without serious additional problems in 1 of every 20 people. Some people with sleep paralysis have the uncomfortable sensation of falling and ‘wake up with a start’ before they feel completely paralyzed. Waking up with a start is often called ‘hypnic jerk’. Scientists think that this paralytic condition is an incomplete triggering of a REM sleep period that brings on the profound muscle relaxation of REM sleep. The fright is sometimes overpowering even when the person completely understands the temporary and harmless nature of the paralysis. In extreme cases, drugs that block REM sleep are used to treat the condition.”

Sometimes people may feel as if “someone is in the room” while they have sleep paralysis, which can be a scary feeling. The important thing to note in this post, is that it is a common condition that most people experience from time to time. In the majority of cases, it is a temporary discomfort that is not a serious medical problem. If you experience this on a regular basis, a sleep consultation may be a good step towards understanding and treating the condition.

Sweet dreams from www.tricountysleepmedicine.com. And, as always, “Do your best to get your rest.”#sleep #paralysis #dreams #REM

Here is a link to the book: 101 Questions About Sleep and Dreams

Why are Dreams so Strange and Silly?

“During REM sleep, our body is almost completely paralyzed. The heart and other automatically controlled muscles still function, but our head and limbs really cannot move very much. Also during REM sleep, there is intense stimulation getting to those parts of our brain that interpret what we see, hear and feel. However, this stimulation is coming from within the brain itself. And, the stimulation is occuring at a time when the muscles we use to move about and orient our eye and ears to stimulation are inoperative.

Even under these conditions, our mind does its job and tries to make sense of what it ‘sees, hears and feels’. Our mind ‘making sense’ of stimulation coming from inside the brain while our muscles are paralyzed leads to the bizarre experiences we know as dreams. Doctors believe that many common features of dreams stem from the physiological paralysis that occurs during REM sleep. For example, many people dream about falling, being unable to get away from a pursuer or being unable to move fast enough to prevent some accident.

All these kinds of dreams have the common feature of movement impairment which may stem from the brain’s recognition of paralysis during REM sleep.”

-excerpt from 101 Questions About Sleep and Dreams , by Dr. Elizabeth A. Mitler and Dr. Merrill M. Mitler

#sleep #dreams #REM

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