For those of you who didn’t know, when we fall asleep our bodies release a chemical into the part of our brain that controls movement, the chemicals being glycine and GABA . These essentially freeze your muscles, rendering you incapable of movement. This is done to keep us from acting out our dreams and injuring ourselves. (Sleepwalkers’ bodies don’t release enough of this chemical, hence the walking).
If you wake up during sleep paralysis there is a period in which you are literally paralyzed until your body realizes that you are awake. Additionally if you are a lucid dreamer you will often be aware of your paralysis while sleeping. Needless to say, sleep paralysis is terrifying, like claustrophobia to the nth degree. Many people also perceive ‘demons’ or other things holding them down. One of the most infamous of these is known as the Old Hag.
To escape it, all you must do is focus on a small muscle like a single finger, though toes work well too. Your brain mainly focuses on freezing large muscles so if you try, your fingers are able to twitch. As soon as you move them the chemical in your brain will begin to dissipate. When you are freely moving your fingers, move on to a bigger muscle, like your hand. When your hand is moving freely, try your arm. Bit by bit you can slowly escape paralysis until you are fully mobile again. This method works very well for me and i have never been stuck in paralysis for long because of it. Stay calm, and focus on moving your fingers.