Sleep paralysis occurs when a person has the feeling of conscious but unable to move, and it is the stage when a person passes between being both asleep and awake.
There is nothing stranger that not being able to move while being consciously aware of one’s surroundings.
IF YOU’VE EVER WOKEN UP AT NIGHT UNABLE TO MOVE, HERE’S WHAT IT MEANS…
Sleep paralysis is actually a frightening phenomenon. Moreover, the person experiencing it cannot move any part of its body, yet remains conscious. These people are often terrified which is an understandable reaction because they don’t have control over their movements.
Fortunatelly it is a very common happening and it doesn’t cause harm to the human body. Sleeping paralysis occur between two stages: “hypnagogic” and “hypnopompic”. The former occurs before the person falls asleep, and the latter when the person wakes up from REM sleep.
While falling asleep our body becomes relaxed and our minds less aware. But when hypnagogic sleep occurs, the mind remains aware while the body involuntary becomes relaxed. Then comes the realisation that the person cannot move despite the efforts and then comes the feeling of panic.
During REM ( rapid eye movement) sleep we don’t act out our dreams because our muscles are paralyzed. When the person experiences hypnopompic sleep, this means that a certain part of the brains awakes sooner. However, this state doesn’t affect the part in the brain which is responsible for REM paralysis. This results in wakefulness and no control over muscles.
WHO DOES THIS HAPPEN TO?
If ever, some people are happy to experience this maybe once or twice in their lives. On the other hand, some people experience this phenomenon, sometimes up to three times a week. Approximately 8% of the human population has frequent issues connected to sleep paralysis. People with anxiety and depression are having more frequent sleep paralysis.
People affected by sleep apnea; people on specific types of medication, and those with an underlying sleep condition may experience more frequent episodes of sleep paralysis.
Here is the full list of risk factors, according to Web MD.
– Lack of sleep
– Frequent changes in sleep schedule
– Mental conditions, such as stress or bipolar disorder
– Sleeping on the back
– Sleep problems such as narcolepsy or nighttime leg cramps
– Certain types of medication, such as those with ADHD
– Substance abuse
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
People who experience sleep paralysis are unable to move or speak during a period from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Sleep paralysis doesn’t require some special type of treatment, but your doctor may inquire into other areas which require to sleep health. If the sleep condition worsen or linger, your doctor may then refer to a sleep specialist.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS?
Since it occurs naturally, there is no prescribed treatment. However, if there is an underlying condition in the diagnosis process, a prescribed treatment may be in order such as:
– Implementation of a sleeping schedule
– Prescription for an anti-depressant
– Referral to a mental health professional
– Referral to a sleep specialist
– Treatment of any underlying sleep disorders
– Prescription for sleeping aids
One episode of sleep paralysis does not have to mean that you should go to a doctor’s office. It is recommended by sleep professionals that those who experience rare episodes of sleep paralysis to pay particular attention to their sleeping habits, because if sleeping unhealthy these rare episodes may become more frequent.
It is recommended to avoid alcohol, drugs, nicotine and caffeine, and more important – keep your electronics out of the bedroom so that you have a healthier sleep.
If a sleep paralysis situation happens to you, it is important so stay calm and remember that it will soon pass.