People call it in many names but it is well known as Sleep paralysis sounds unbelievable: As you lie in bed, trying to fall asleep or just beginning to wake, you feel like someone is standing over you. You try to move your head to look, but you can't. It feels like someone – or something – is holding you down. The night hag is a generic name for a folkloric creature found in cultures around the world, and which is used to explain the phenomenon of sleep paralysis. A common description is that a person feels a presence of a supernatural malevolent being which immobilizes the person as if standing on the chest.
One of the major causes of sleep paralysis is sleep deprivation, or a lack of sleep. A changing sleep schedule, sleeping on your back, the use of certain medications, stress, and other sleep-related problems, such as narcolepsy, may also play a role. The psychological quality of felt presence is typically associated with feelings of fear and anxiety. In the case of sleep paralysis, which is a state of paralysis that sometimes persists shortly upon waking from sleep, the feeling of presence often takes the form of a threatening intruder hovering near the sleeper.
The night hag or old hag is the name given to a supernatural creature, commonly associated with the phenomenon of sleep paralysis. It is a phenomenon during which a person feels a presence of a supernatural malevolent being which immobilizes the person as if sitting on their chest or the foot of their bed.
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