When under pressure, only the diaphragm works to breathe. You will feel chest tightness like someone pressing on you.
The first time I was in the winter of 2012. It was when my grandfather had just died, I moved in with her to partly relieve the pain. After 60 years of marriage, my grandmother was not used to being alone and probably could not stand the sad feeling in the empty house.
I wanted to stay by and help as much as possible, so I moved into an empty bedroom next to her room. The night came, I took her to bed, prepared the pillows and turned off the lights - a task she had done so many times in my childhood.
Now, when that role is reversed, it makes me sad. But it was sadness that gave me a strong motivation, to protect one of the most important women in my life. I lay in the bedroom next door, listening to my grandmother cry.
Sleeping and suddenly waking up a few hours later, I felt chills. When I tried to pull up the blanket, I realized I couldn't move. I started to panic. What is happening to me? Why is my body completely numb? I tried to lift my arm but it didn't budge.
My head also clung to the pillow, my body was frozen like it was frozen.
Next, a pressure appeared on my chest, pressing me down. The more panicked, the harder I felt breathing. Like the script of a horror movie, I tried to scream, but no words escaped my throat.
Unable to move my eyes, I had no choice but to stare at the night. Can't see, but for some reason, I feel like there's someone in the room with me.
Something was invisible and it was tormenting me, refusing to leave.
After a few minutes, as if I thought it had been a few hours, I was able to move again. My body trembled, turned on the night light and I sat up straight in bed until morning.
This is how I feel when I'm under shadow and what science says about it.
"Okay, imagine this," I told one of my friends the next night. " I went to sleep normally but woke up and Lord Voldemort was squatting on my chest."
She laughed."Um, are you sure it's not a nightmare?". I considered her question. I've had nightmares before, but is this the same? It is different. It really happened while I was awake.
"I don't think so," answered her.
Deeply aware, I was conscious, completely awake, just immobilized in a state like endless stretching.
I told this story to some other people, and they said that perhaps the grief from my grandfather's death played a decisive role."I'm going through a stressful time, my dear," my mother said. As always, she tried her best to reassure me.
I don't want to schedule a doctor's appointment - it seems unnecessary to take time for it - so I tried Google.
"Wake up, can't move," I type in the search box.
Immediately, I read stories of people who knew exactly what I was talking about."Look at me, " I told her. "A lot of people on the internet have gone through this too."
Calm down and breathe, I realized that all of us were not abnormal, dreaming or wanting to tease people: We had a shadow.
Nervousness occurs when the mind is awake but the body is still asleep. This causes a temporary state of inactivity and, in many cases, even violent hallucinations. For some people, paralysis lasts only a few seconds, but for others it is a few minutes.
Adrian Williams - professor of sleep at King's College London, said the condition of sleeping when sleeping is a "normal phenomenon, not dangerous but also worrisome".
When we sleep, our bodies alternate between REM sleep (deep sleep in which the eyes are constantly turning ) and NREM sleep (not REM sleep). During REM, our brain is very active. The result of that is that our most complex dreams occur during REM sleep.
"In the dream, the body is locked up to prevent you from doing the real movements in your dreams. Sometimes the body is mistaken, the brain wakes up but the paralysis persists , " said the professor. Williams said.
This condition is almost always accompanied by a feeling of pressure on the chest.
Of course, the inability to breathe makes people feel fear and despair. Professor Williams said: "Because of paralysis, the only respiratory muscle that works is the diaphragm, people will often feel inadequate to breathe, because the chest muscle is not working."
About half of the population has experienced a feeling of pressure, he said. Some will encounter frequent pressure, others only once or twice in their lives.
When you are under pressure, only the diaphragm works to breathe, so you feel chest tightness as if someone pressed on you.
Efforts to seek glossy treatment are relatively few. The London Sleep Center only accepts an average patient with a balloon balloon every month.
"By the time a person decides to see a doctor, their condition has been frequent, " said Professor Williams. "Patients often do not know that they are under pressure, that's why they went to the doctor."
The balloon is often related to narcolepsy, a rare condition that affects the ability of the brain to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Williams estimates that two-thirds of drug addicts are also under pressure.
According to information from the US National Health Agency, the situation may be rooted in anxiety, stress and depression - this explains why the first time I met the pressure was while I was in so much pain. sad.
People who frequently fall asleep are more at risk than others, especially during the time when they go to bed and are about to wake up.
"There are no antibiotics that can make the shadow disappear," said Professor Williams. "The first thing to do is focus on improving sleep quality."
Professor Williams says that shadows can be passed down through generations, but not sexually."I have seen three or four families where members of different generations are under pressure , " he said.
Many cultures around the world have blamed the mysterious creatures such as the elderly women or the demons in the room that are causing the shadow.
As the picture "The Nightmare" painted in 1781 by Henry Fuseli: He described a woman sleeping, motionless in bed because there was a devil sitting on her chest.
In Thailand, some people believe that having trouble breathing at night is caused by Phi Am's soul - a ghost lying on your chest and wanting to crush you.
Guam has legends about Taotomona, a vampire in the forest who wants to protect the Earth. Those who do not respect the island will be strangled in sleep, the legend recounts.
Professor Williams said that shadows occur more often when lying on their backs. Therefore, the problem can be partially overcome by sleeping on the side. He said he could put an end to a person's shadow by touching them. So people who sleep with you can intervene in case of need.
When the ballooning happens more often and efforts to avoid it fail, Professor Williams said, antidepressants are sometimes prescribed for that person, not necessarily because they are depressed but to prevent sleep. REM.
Some people have told me that they can sometimes wink to escape from the shadow. Others find that slowly moving their fingers and toes also helps break this situation.
Photo 3 This is how I feel when I'm under shadow and what science says about it
The painting "The Nightmare" painted in 1781 by Henry Fuseli.
Since the first night in 2012, I have undergone at least 10 attempts. Once I was paralyzed for 3 times in a single night. It was scary and it made me exhausted.
Now, I avoid caffeine before going to bed and listen to relaxing music while sleeping. I also keep a diary, including a description of my sleep. The last time I met was during the Christmas holiday. This is an excerpt from the diary:
I'm in a room with a man I don't know. He asked if I wanted to drink a glass of wine, I said yes. But when he left the room to get me a glass, he suddenly turned off the electricity and left me in the dark.
Immediately, I felt uncomfortable, it was time to go home . but I stopped because suddenly there were many other people in the room and blocked the path. They suddenly appeared from the darkness and began to grab me. They pulled my fingers, grabbed my wrists, they pulled my hair until they broke apart into the floor. I froze, unable to escape. Turn into a prisoner.
My attackers disappeared and the lights returned, but I was still stuck on the floor of this strange room. I lay on my back, unable to scream. I tried to scream but nothing happened. I started to punch my hand in the face of a wooden table, desperate to draw people's attention to me.
State bang state. My hand turned purple, it bleed. I punched the table until I had a hole in my skin and could see the bone below. Nobody heard me and no one came.
The dream passed as fast as it started. I woke up and was still safe at home. My fingers are not broken and no one else in the room. I checked my hand. It was cold but not bleeding. The re-happens again.