Sleep Paralysis


Sleep paralysis is a condition in which someone about to fall asleep, or just upon waking from sleep experiences the temporary inability to perform voluntary movements, but can still breathe and move his/her eyes.

Causes of Sleep Paralysis

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Narcolepsy which is characterized by uncontrolled, excessive daytime sleepiness or sudden sleep attacks
  • Sleeping on the back
  • Puberty
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Irregular sleeping schedules
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sudden environmental/lifestyle changes
  • Can be hereditary

Symptoms of Sleep Paralysis

  • A complaint of inability to move the trunk or limbs at sleep onset or upon awakening
  • Inability to speak during the attack
  • Presence of brief episodes of partial or complete skeletal muscle paralysis
  • Occurs before falling asleep or just after waking up
  • Episodes can be associated with hypnagogic hallucinations or dream-like mentation
  • A complaint of inability to move the trunk or limbs at sleep onset or upon awakening
  • Hallucinations, this can be visual hallucination where the person feels that he is seeing something or auditory hallucination where the person feels that he is hearing something.
  • Feeling of pressure where the person feels that someone is sitting or pressing him hard
  • Occasional sensations of being out of body
  • Feeling of floating or flying through the air

Is Sleep Paralysis dangerous?

Sleep paralysis is most often associated with narcolepsy, a neurological. However, there are many people who experience sleep paralysis without having signs of narcolepsy. There is no known explanation why it happens.

It is not harmful, but frightening. People report feeling very afraid because they do not know what is happening. In some cases, when hypnogogic hallucinations are present, people feel that someone is in the room with them; some experience the feeling that someone or something is sitting on their chest and they feel impending death and suffocation.These things cause people much anxiety and terror, but there is no physical harm.

Treatment for Sleep Paralysis

Medications such as Sodium oxybate (Xyrem) may be prescribed as a cure for sleep paralysis in severe cases, but the best treatment for sleep paralysis is to reduce stress and get the proper amount of sleep. As it is associated with sleep disorders to a greater extent, if you are suffering from sleep disorders, try to take the necessary steps to solve it.

Self cure for Sleep Paralysis

Here are some important tips for Self cure for Sleep Paralysis

  • Get enough sleep
  • Reduce stress
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule
  • Avoid sleep deprivation.
  • Don’t drink/eat caffeine type products before bedtime
  • When you realize you are having an attack, do the following:
  • Try to scream or make a sound; it will at least alert others to your distress.
  • Go with the flow and be relaxed. It will soon pass.
  • Read David Hufford’s book. “The Terror that Comes in the Night” can help you understand this strange disorder.