Sweet Dreams! The Grim Realities Of Catching Some Zzzzzs


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Image: John Henry Fuseli – The Nightmare

By Makenzie Walsh

If there’s one thing people love, it’s sleeping. The problem is, once your mind slips out of the seams of reality and into a dream, it can get much worse. Prepare to wish you never read this article as we dive headfirst into dark facts about what was once a safe haven. There is no escape now.

  1. To begin with, sleep paralysis is a widespread occurrence that anyone can fall prey to. You, the reader, may have experienced it one or more times yourself! It most notably is the temporary ability to move or speak while falling asleep or upon awakening. Sleep paralysis doesn’t last very long, but it is known to be a frightening experience, nonetheless. A sensation like suffocation and troubling hallucinations tend to come with, the latter often being referred to as “sleep paralysis demons” by many. Even though it has been stated that anybody can become sleep paralyzed, some mental health conditions have been shown to have connections to sleep paralysis itself, making them more prone to it.
  2. Night terrors are episodes of flailing, intense fear, and screaming. All of which occur while still asleep, and can be paired with sleepwalking. While night terrors and nightmares are similar, they are not identical. For example, nightmares are vividly recalled, but night terrors can only be remembered vaguely, sometimes not at all. They last for several minutes, and people usually fall asleep again after the fact. Make no mistake, while night terrors aren’t too bad for the person having them, imagine having to see someone else experiencing it. That’s a very different can of worms I have opened for you, now lie in it.
  3. Fear isn’t the only cause of nightmares. Confusion, sadness, guilt, and so on are much heavier driving forces. On top of this, these nightmares, which are so intense that they can wake you up, can be terrifying that the people having them may fear falling asleep. Those awakened by nightmares may not be capable of falling back to sleep, creating artificial insomnia. This fear and subsequent lack of sleep can lead to deteriorating mental health, too, and given the cause of nightmares, this spells out nothing good.

On that note, we can put this article to sleep. Perhaps this article has given you a newfound interest in psychology, sleep, and anything related. On the other hand, if you wholeheartedly wish you never read this article, any hard feelings.

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