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Sleep paralysis

I really could use some advice in this matter. My close friend has this problem that is really starting to concern me. When she sleeps, sometimes she wakes up, but is unable to move, even open her eyes. However she is more or less conscious and aware of what's happening around her. The problem is that during that phenomenon she can't do anything except breathing which is quite frightening for her. Also it's starting to happen more often and it occurs for a longer period of time.
By the way, there are no hallucinations involved or bad dreams or anything.

So my question is, what exactly is this? What's causing this and how to treat this?
This is not uncommon, and it is a condition that has been around for thousands of years(if not longer). There are many cultural mythologies built upon this phenomenon. The Incubus of Greek mythology, the kanashibari of Japanese folklore, among others, all have built very scary stories upon the idea of being half awake and unable to move.

Here is a couple of links to help you out. Don't worry, I'm pretty sure she will be fine.
last day I was watching a documentary about alien abductions in the Discovery Channel this evening and they explained the phenomena by citing “sleep paralysis“. This kind of abnormal state is known to many cultures under different names. In the middle ages they would say that a demon or a witch was sitting on the stomach of people while sleeping and wouldn’t let them move. In the part of Greece I am from the old ladies are calling it “mora” (in greek: µώρα). Supposedly, it’s a black heavy thing that’s sitting on top of you, you can’t shake it away and you can’t breath. My mother had the experience once, years ago (around 1986 if I remember correctly.
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