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Sleep paralysis: Caused by witches or a natural occurrence?

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis is feeling pressed down and unable to move or wake up while sleeping. Experiencing sleep paralysis can be very scary, but is it evidence of paranormal activity or is it not?

What is sleep paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is a condition where a person is conscious but unable to move during the transition between wakefulness and sleep. It can cause temporary paralysis, such as a few seconds of inability to move or speak while experiencing pressure or choking. Sleep paralysis episodes often involve hallucinations that are different from normal dreams, which can occur during sleep or upon waking.

These hallucinations can be classified into three categories: intruder hallucinations, chest pressure hallucinations, and vestibular-motor (V-M) hallucinations. Intruder hallucinations involve feeling there is a dangerous person or presence in the room, while chest pressure hallucinations may cause suffocation or sensations of someone sitting on your chest. Vestibular-motor (V-M) hallucinations has to do with out-of-body sensations and feelings of movements.

The cause of sleep paralysis

It is believed that sleep paralysis results from a disturbance in the normal rapid eye movement cycle during REM sleep. The brain typically prevents muscle movement during this stage to prevent acting out dreams. Sleep paralysis can occur due to difficulty transitioning between sleep stages but is not commonly linked to psychiatric issues.

Symptoms have been attributed to unseen night demons, witches, or other supernatural creatures, but sleep researchers now believe it is a sign of body irregularity rather than underlying spiritual issues. Why does sleep paralysis happen?

Sleep paralysis is a condition that affects a significant number of people, usually during their teenage years. It is believed to be influenced by various factors, including genetic predisposition, inadequate sleep, changes in sleep patterns, mental health issues such as stress or bipolar disorder, sleeping on one’s back, other sleep disorders like narcolepsy or leg cramps, medication for ADHD, and substance abuse.

As to whether it is caused by witches, science cannot prove the existence of a spiritual realm. But since it is quite common and can be explained by science, it’s less likely to be caused by witches.


Treatments for sleep paralysis may involve improving sleep habits, using prescribed antidepressants, treating mental health issues like stress and depression contributing to sleep paralysis, treating other sleep disorders like narcolepsy, and treating leg cramps. It is crucial to sleep for six to eight hours every night.


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