‘Night ter­ror’ a com­mon com­plaint

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @Sar­watNasir sar­wat@7days.ae

You may have heard of sleep walk­ing or talk­ing, but imag­ine be­ing ‘glued’ to your bed, un­able to move or talk, with ‘demons’ around you. This is a con­di­tion neu­rol­o­gists de­scribe as sleep paral­y­sis.

The Amer­i­can Cen­tre for Psy­chi­a­try and Neu­rol­ogy in Dubai re­cently hosted the fourth Neu­ro­science Congress, which in­cluded a panel of ex­perts talk­ing about sleep­ing dis­or­ders that can make life very un­com­fort­able.

In­som­nia and nar­colepsy are the most com­mon dis­or­ders, but at the ex­treme end of the scale is sleep paral­y­sis, or night ter­ror.

Ex­perts say that al­though there are no last­ing ef­fects, much like panic at­tacks, sleep paral­y­sis episodes can be fright­en­ing.

Na­jma Fi­ras, 20, a LibyanAmer­i­can stu­dent, said she ex­pe­ri­ences sleep paral­y­sis about four nights a night.

She told 7DAYS she has ex­pe­ri­enced ‘shad­owy fig­ures’ pulling on her feet each night and some­times sit­ting on her chest, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for her to breathe.

She wakes, but is tem­po­rar­ily paral­ysed and un­able to shout for help.

Fi­ras said: “I try to scream so some­one hears me and wakes me up, but I can’t.

“It’s only low noises com­ing out from my mouth. It al­ways starts off with see­ing my­self sleep in the room, a shadow fig­ure ap­proach­ing me and then pulling me from my feet. It’s re­ally scary. “Some nights I’m scared to sleep. “I know there is a sci­en­tific ex­pla­na­tion be­hind it, but it feels very su­per­nat­u­ral - By Sar­wat Nasir

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