From hallucinations to the inability to breathe, a Science Alert report details what it is like to experience sleep paralysis.
The idea of not being able to move as an intruder or monster comes your way is classic nightmare material, but for some people, this is their reality. Around 7.6 percent of the world’s population has had at least one attack of sleep paralysis, but for some people, the odds are even higher – a 2011 study found that 28.3 percent of students, and 31.9 percent of psychiatric patients experience at least one episode of sleep paralysis in their lives.
So what exactly is sleep paralysis? The disorder comes in many forms, but generally, those affected cannot move or speak for up to 2 minutes after they wake, or just after falling asleep. Some people also experience the sense of a physical weight being pushed onto their chest, the inability to breathe, unnatural involuntary movements, an evil presence in the room, and visual, auditory, or physical hallucinations.