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Nightmare Effect Options
Bedells
Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2015 10:57:40 PM

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What do you call when you have a nightmare, and suddenly you wake up with your breath quite accelerated, your body is too rigid and you are able to move it after some seconds or even up to one minute?

What is the name?
What is the scientific explanation for that experience?

Thanks in advance!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2015 11:27:26 PM

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Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
I don't know that there is a single word for that effect (there may be).

I would say "I woke up with a start" or something like that.

************
The explanation I could give is that fear (in the nightmare) causes the adrenal gland to pump out adrenaline.
This is a hormone which causes the heart and breathing to speed up, and all the other physical reactions.

Though there is nothing (logically) to fear in a dream, one is generally afraid in a nightmare. The same physical reactions occur.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
mactoria
Posted: Friday, November 13, 2015 1:58:22 AM
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Bedells: I think what you are describing is what is commonly known as "sleep paralysis." There are lots of neurological, physiological, and psychological theories as to what causes it, but the commonest explanation for the symptoms you described is a disruption in the REM (rapid eye movement) dream sleep cycle...you are in the middle of a dream cycle and you regain consciousness but for some reason (physical, medical, emotional, etc.) your breathing and other bodily functions are delayed in realizing you are now awake, and re-start "awake" functioning (normal breathing, muscle movement, etc.) at different times instead of at the same time like you normally do when awakened. Since your muscles aren't working and your consciousness is dulled from having been deeply asleep, your body's adrenaline and other hormones may rapidly increase, magnifying your distress and anxiety for several seconds or even longer.

Almost everyone has an episode or two of "sleep paralysis" in their lives, and it's usually disturbing or even scary when it happens. If it's something that you are interested in or worried about, check out "sleep paralysis" on Wikipedia or google one of the many medical sites and look up "dreams" or "sleep disturbances." If you have many episodes of sleep paralysis in a short period of time, best to talk it over with your doctor or a counselor. Otherwise, just consider it a normal thing, and let it go.
S. Ilker Orsel
Posted: Friday, November 13, 2015 3:12:31 AM

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Location: İzmir, Izmir, Turkey
We have a word for that phenomenon in Turkish, but I have never heard a single word for that in English. I guess "sleep paralysis" is good, as suggested earlier.
Ni un voto al PRIAN PVEM
Posted: Friday, November 13, 2015 7:32:12 AM

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Location: Mexico City, The Federal District, Mexico
So called sleep experts know nothing about Night Hags/sleep paralysis. They just throw BS about REM and RIM and RUM but don't know how to stop it
Bedells
Posted: Friday, November 13, 2015 1:31:12 PM

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Joined: 10/14/2015
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Thanks for your replies!

I'm really curious about sleep paralysis since I've experienced it twice, not so recently of course. As Mactoria said it is a disturbing experience. Luckily, it's very uncommon.

Now that I have the correct expression, I can make a further research on the topic. Thanks a lot!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 6:55:38 AM

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Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 33,011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Ah!

What you are talking about is obviously a more serious thing that "waking up with a start", as I was thinking of.

I have never heard of 'sleep paralysis' before - it sounds nasty!


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
sureshot
Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 11:50:15 AM
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Joined: 9/16/2015
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Bedells wrote:
What do you call when you have a nightmare, and suddenly you wake up with your breath quite accelerated, your body is too rigid and you are able to move it after some seconds or even up to one minute?

What is the name?
What is the scientific explanation for that experience?

Thanks in advance!

________________________________

Some dub this as "The Old Hag Syndrome". The other term as already mentioned is "sleep paralysis".

The root cause leading to the condition described is still being researched. At present, and there is no exact explanation of the phenomenon. Some think that the affectation of the REM sleep is one of the primary causes. Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep problem and those who suffer from it have a short time of REM sleep compared to most of the population. Narcoleptics tend to suffer from muscular weakness and this is reported to trigger “Old Hag Syndrome". Sleeping in a supine position also tends to trigger this condition. Some researchers have opined that stress is a precipitating factor most especially when one sleeps in a new environment. Lifestyle changes and alterations leading to added stress are also considered to trigger such syndrome. Research has shown that having a stress-free environment can reduce the probability of having an episode of "The Old Hag Syndrome". Persons suffering from this syndrome are usually advised to avoid taking stimulants before sleeping. Smoking should also be restricted before sleep time. Avoid eating too much before sleep and not drinking caffeinated drinks are some other good ways in averting "Old Hag Syndrome" episode.

It is strongly advised to consult a medical specialist to treat this medical condition.

I hope this post proves helpful.

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