If you have ever been conscious, but unable to move your body or speak when waking up or falling asleep, you have experienced sleep paralysis. During the so-called episode or attack, the person is able to open their eyes and is aware that he or she cannot move. Most occur when lying in a bed and when lying on your back.
Before I knew what sleep paralysis was it was a horrifying experience. For me though, it seems to happen if I fall asleep on my left side. Not my right side or lying on my back, just the left.
I’ve read that the best way to describe it is that your brain wakes up but the rest of your body doesn’t which is why you can’t move. People say they can see, but it’s actually your brain trying to make sense of the situation so it produces images to try and understand what’s going on.
There’s already evidence out there that your brain tries to “fill in the gaps” when it can’t readily make sense of something. This leads some people to believe that it’s possible that stories of alien abduction and the like may have actually been instances of sleep paralysis.
Knowing what it is and what is happening makes it much easier to deal with.