| | Smart People?
I find this forums very ironic. Mainly because smart people don't believe in this superstitious crap. There are allot of unexplained things in the world, but this world is pretty much natural, just because you don't have a explanation for something does not mean you have to turn to supernatural as the cause.
In a typical sleep-paralysis episode, a person wakes up paralyzed, senses a presence in the room, feels fear or even terror, and may hear buzzing and humming noises or see strange lights. A visible or invisible entity may even sit on their chest, shaking, strangling, or prodding them. Attempts to fight the paralysis are usually unsuccessful. It is reputedly more effective to relax or try to move just the eyes or a single finger or toe.
The symptoms can sometimes include complete to partial paralysis of arms, legs and upper torso, a tight or heavy pressure on your chest sometimes with a choking sensation and almost always experienced as you are about to fall into sleep or just come out of sleep.
The most remarkable symptoms of SP are the accompanying audio and/or visual hallucinations often causing extreme terror and panic in it's sufferers, who more often than not mistakenly believe they are being visited by aliens, malevolent beings and other evil presences.
Research shows that SP is linked with REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. When in REM sleep you are usually dreaming, your body does not act out your dreams as you will hurt either yourself, or someone else, so evolution has worked its merry little way of getting your brain to switch off your muscles (so to speak) and relax you while dreaming, essentially paralyzing you to a degree.
The cause for a state of SP is when your mind wakes up, usually still in a semi-REM state, but your body is still relaxed and semi paralyzed, bringing on a the sometimes horrifying sensation of being paralyzed while still in a semi-dream state yet awake. The consequences of this state are usually nothing short of terrifying to individuals with their dreams suddenly becoming reality as they are trapped in an inbetween sate of consciousness. The usual result is panic to try to release oneself while sleep creeps around your brain like a slow fog trying to drag you back down to it's depths again. I know what it's like, I've suffered this myself.
There is a rational explanation for all the so called paranormal things out there.