By Mehak Bahri
After a long and tiring day of working and unnecessary socializing with exasperating people, that one thing you look forward to the most is your bed. Ah, the fresh sheets and the warm blanket with you fluffy pillows brim you up with so much love and hope. How can this lovely child, sleep be the cause of any form of terror?
Sleeping is usually wonderful for me. But there are some first hand experiences about sleep that have terrified me to a next level extent. The funny thing is that I didn’t even know that I was suffering from a certain form of sleep disorder until I read about it.
In fact, if you think about it, the act of sleeping is pretty creepy in practicality. Your body is salient, your mind is not yours to control. Your thoughts are no more in your hand and your brain is in the sub conscious state in which it can control your body without any consent. It literally breaks it down to ‘mind over body’.
There are so many wacky sleep occurrences that happen to millions of people worldwide, and they probably don’t even know about it! What do you know, maybe you could have robbed a bank and stashed all the money in a secret compound and you don’t even know about it because you were asleep!
Here are some strange sleep phenomena that affect people, sometimes without their knowing it.
1. Exploding Head Syndrome
A syndrome that I have personally experienced myself a couple of times, this syndrome is not associated with the goriness of your head actually exploding. What happens is that during the transition of falling asleep you hear a loud BANG! It could sound like a door banging, cymbals crashing or a gunshot. This jolts you awake and leaves you dazed as to whether something actually happened or not.
Doctors have not found a scientific reason for this yet, and it is not due to any mental condition. I personally experienced that during the times I was thinking about something scary, or recalling a horror movie before sleeping, I woke up with a very literal BANG!
2. Sleepy Hallucinations
Okay, this one is pretty creepy. Another one of the transition period phenomena is sleepy hallucinations. The person hears phantom voices, sees people and strange objects in the room. However, the most common hallucination is hearing voices. If this phenomenon was scientifically explained and analyzed, a lot of the scary movies would be easily explained.
3. Nocturnal Eating Disorder
How many times have we curbed the desire to eat that chocolate chip cookie during the day because we feel crushed when we look at someone else’s fat stomach? Yes, I have both my hands up in the air because I am guilty of this. When people suppress their food desires for an unconventionally long period, it results in nocturnal eating disorder. They binge eat during the night, endanger themselves by turning on the stove and some eat raw meat.
I really want to know if they actually enjoy the taste or it’s all in merry unconsciousness. Because then, you’re getting fat but not tasting chocolate so what’s the point?
4. REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
This is a disorder which takes place when a person ‘acts out their dreams.’ The mind is in REM state, which means that voluntary actions can be carried out. It is associated with kicking and thrashing or even sleepwalking. This results in injuries of the person with this disorder and the people sleeping alongside. The REM sleep behavior disorder is due to neurological problems of Parkinson’s disease, dementia, etc. 50% of the people who experience this disorder are mentally ill, while 65% of those who experience it have the tendency to develop some mental illness.
5. Sleep Paralysis
This one is my favorite, and yes it is in a sadistic sort of way because it is the most terrifying, horrific, spine chilling experience anyone can ever have! The body enters a state of sleep paralysis where it shuts down all voluntary functions. And then, this disorder is associated with an evil presence in the room, or an intruder, and even visions of a ghost. The scariest part is that you have to live through the whole ordeal of watching a ghost in your room, over you and you cannot do anything, not even wake up because you are indefinitely ‘paralyzed’.
It has been given many names and terms, for example it is also called the doorway to the astral world, in fact, also a spiritual experience. But at the same time, different cultures have different names for it, like, ‘old hag’ and ‘dead body over you’ or even ‘the dark assailer’. This is a common phenomenon, and most people experience it once in their lifetimes. Well, I have and it terrified me to my very core.
Now, do you want that good night’s sleep or not?
Well, Have you heard of Lucid Dreaming? If you haven’t, you should definitely check this out!
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.