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Fireside Chats: Restless Leg and Night Terrors

I have two maladies that, prior to this past week, I had never considered being part of a combo package. I won’t say that I “suffer” from these maladies, as neither is serious enough to merit that, but I do have them. Both are annoyances, but one actually helps me to combat the other.

I have restless leg syndrome. If you aren’t familiar, basically it means that my legs won’t be still. If I try to lie still, I feel this overwhelming urge to move them. It’s enough to keep me awake if I’m trying to fall asleep. I have to put one leg atop the other, utilizing the pressure to “hold” my leg still. (It is my right leg primarily that is restless.) I also have to sleep with a pillow between my legs for the same reason. Some people have restless leg so severely that they have to take medication for it.

Sleep paralysis is way worse. I have a mild case of it, thankfully, and it only happens every once in a while. Also I don’t get the frightening hallucinations that come with severe cases. These hallucinations, if that is indeed what they are, are to blame, according to some experts, for accounts of alien abduction and, moreso in previous centuries, vampire attacks. The theory goes that a person is still close enough to being asleep that their brain is still capable of conjuring dream injury while they lie unable to move and helpless. Others would argue that it is while a person lies thus half-awake and unable to move that they can truly perceive non-corporeal entities. Either way, I’m sure thankful that my incidents of sleep paralysis don’t involve this phenomenon. Even so, I hate it. Every once in a while I’ll wake up, but only my brain is awake, or mostly, and my body is paralyzed. I despise it. However, I have discovered that my trusty restless right leg can actually save me when this happens. I can, even while paralyzed, still move my right foot. I will start doing so, building up momentum until I can move my whole lower leg. I will then keep doing this until I start to rock my body. More and more forcefully I move my leg until I basically shake myself awake. At such times I’m glad to have my restless leg.

Do any of you suffer from sleep paralysis, and if so, does it come with the hallucinations?

TheCheezman • May 3, 2020


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