If you have ever experienced sleep paralysis you may have experienced feelings of fear and confusion, unsure of what just happened. Some individuals have believed this phenomenon to be some evil presence in their room or a shadowy figure that is seeking to terrify them.
Sleep paralysis is actually common with up to four out of ten people having experienced it. It is often first noticed in the teen years with both men and women alike able to develop it. Researchers have concluded that sleep paralysis is the result of the body not moving smoothly during the sleep stages.
What exactly is sleep paralysis? It is when the body is consciously awake, between stages of sleep and wakefulness. During this time you might not be able to move, speak or open your eyes. It can happen either as you are waking up or falling asleep.
Types of Sleep Paralysis
Hypnagogic or predormital sleep paralysis happens when you are falling asleep and hypnopompic or postdormital sleep paralysis happens when you are waking up.
Predormital sleep paralysis – The body begins to relax as you drift off to sleep. As your body relaxes you become less aware and do not notice any changes. Once you become aware while you are falling asleep, you might be unable to move or speak.
Postdormital sleep paralysis – While sleeping the body goes through stages of sleep alternating between REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep. One cycle of REM and non-REM sleep lasts for 90 minutes. Non-REM sleep takes up approximately 70% of sleep and happens first. During REM the eyes move quickly, dreams occur, and the body becomes more relaxed. If during a REM cycle you become aware, you might experience the inability to speak or move.
Sleep Paralysis Causes
Sleep paralysis can be caused by a disruption in sleep patterns either by jet lag or change in work shift. It can also be brought on by insomnia, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, narcolepsy, or there can be a family history.
Sleep Paralysis Treatment
Most people who have had sleep paralysis do not need to receive any treatment. Although some people may find it helpful to treat any underlying causes that could be contributing to their sleep paralysis.
Improve sleep habits by achieving the recommended amount of sleep a night of 8 hours. It is also advised to stick to a regular sleep schedule.
To regulate sleep cycles try taking an antidepressant prescribed by your doctor or try an all-natural remedy such as melatonin or using a sun lamp to help adjust your sleep cycles
Treat other sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and insomnia.
Treat any mental health condition you may have
How Can You Prevent Sleep Paralysis?
You probably have heard many frightening stories of people who have experienced sleep paralysis and are wondering is there a way to prevent this from happening to me? Well there are a few simple things you can do to prevent yourself from experiencing this phenomenon.
Comment below if you yourself have ever experienced sleep paralysis!
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