Explaining The Frightening Experience of Sleep Paralysis

Writer and educator Ami Angelowicz explains what happens during a frightening animated episode of sleep paralysis in this 2013 Ted-Ed lesson “The Terrors of Sleep Paralysis“.

Imagine you’re fast asleep and then suddenly awake. You want to move but can’t, as if someone is sitting on your chest. And you can’t even scream! This is sleep paralysis, a creepy but common phenomenon caused by an overlap in REM sleep and waking stages.