Sleep Paralysis Typically Occurs In People Who Are…| Why Does Sleep Paralysis Happen?

(Last Updated On: April 22, 2022)

Sleep paralysis is a disease in which a person becomes unable to wake up, get up and speak during sleep. He can feel an imaginary object in this state, see a spirit, hear it, but cannot wake up. Sometimes a person suffocates in sleep paralysis. It lasts for a few minutes, but if left untreated, it makes a person sick.

Sleep paralysis typically occurs in people are sleep paralysis most commonly occurs when a person is falling asleep in awakening. If a person has awareness as the body enters or exits from REM sleep, they may experience sleep paralysis.

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Table of Contents

What is sleep paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is a parasomnia disease or an undesired event that is associated with sleep.

After falling asleep either upon awakening in the morning, it happens between sleep and waking.

These occur during the transition between waking and sleeping, and they fall into one of three categories:

Intruder: There are sounds of doorknobs opening, a shadow man, or a sense of a threatening presence in the room.

Incubus: Feelings of pressure on your chest and difficulty breathing with the sense of being smothered, sexually assaulted by an evil being. 

Vestibular-motor: A sense of falling, spinning, floating, flying, hovering over one’s body, and another type of out-of-body experience.

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Causes

Sleep paralysis is more likely when people are under stress. 

While sleeping, your body relaxes, and voluntary muscles do not move any there. Thus, it prevents people from injuring themselves due to acting out dreams. Sleep paralysis involves a fragmentation of the rapid eye movement sleep cycle.

Some factors that have been linked to sleep paralysis include:

  • Narcolepsy
  • Irregular sleeping patterns
  • Family history of sleep paralysis
  • Sleeping on your back

Sleep paralysis is a symptom of medical problems such as clinical depression, obstructive, sleep apnea migraines, hypertension, and anxiety disorders.

Why does sleep paralysis happen?

Sleep paralysis occurs when you can’t move muscles when you are waking up and falling asleep. It’s because you are in sleep mode, and your brain is active.

It’s no clear why sleep paralysis can happen with people, but it has been linked with:

  • insomnia
  • general anxiety disorder
  • panic disorder
  • post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • a family history 

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What are the common symptoms of sleep paralysis?

  • Feeling negative power
  • Being unable to speak and move one’s body
  • In this disease, it seems that there is some unknown person in the room.
  • Feeling of pressure and suffocation in the chest and throat
  • Seeing a dark shadow in your mind

Everyday non-threatening sensations, sounds, and stimuli that the brain ignores typically become disproportionately significant.

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Diagnosis

Regular exercise in your routine at least 2 hours before you sleep can help to combat sleep paralysis.

Sleep paralysis is not considered a medical diagnosis, but it may be a great idea to see a doctor if symptoms are of concern.

Medical attention may help you when:

  • Sleep paralysis happens regularly
  • There is anxiety about going to sleep and difficulty falling asleep
  • The individual falls asleep or feels unusually sleepy during the day

Frequently Asked Question

Is sleep paralysis dangerous?

For most somebody, sleep paralysis is not a severe problem. It is categorized as a benign situation and usually does not occur frequently enough to cause significant health problems. However, an estimated 10% of people have more recurrent or bothersome episodes that make sleep paralysis especially distressing.

How to avoid sleep paralysis?

  1. To help stop sleep paralysis, you can try to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep a day regularly.
  2. Go to bed at about the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.
  3. Get regular exercise, but not in the 4 hours before bed.

How long does sleep paralysis last?

Episodes of sleep paralysis last from a few seconds to 1 and 2 minutes. These spells end on their own or when you are connected or moved. You can have dream-like sensations or hallucinations in rare cases, which may be scary.

How long does sleep paralysis stay for?

Sleep paralysis can last from several seconds to several minutes; episodes of longer duration are typically problematic and may even provoke a panic response. In addition, the paralysis may be accompanied by rather vivid hallucinations, which most people will attribute to being parts of dreams.

Tips for better sleep

There is no medicine for sleep paralysis, but stress management, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and observing sleep habits can reduce sleep paralysis.

Some strategies for improving your sleep hygiene include:

  • Keep your bedtime and wake-up time the same, even on holidays
  • Reason to get good performance during the day or in the morning
  • Not studying or working in the bedroom
  • Not sleeping with the television or lights on
  • Abstaining from evening caffeine or alcohol products
  • Leaving your phones and other devices outside from your bedroom
  • Putting electronics away at least 1 hour before you sleep
  • Including a calming activity in your bedtime ritual, like reading or listening to music for relaxing 

The following measures may help:

  • Managing depression or anxiety disorder
  • Reducing intake of stimulants
  • Not sleeping on the back
  • Regular prayer or practicing meditation 

Understanding the physiology of your sleep and the mechanism for sleep paralysis is an essential step to overcoming it.

Ongoing stress in the sleep cycle can have serious health implications. However, healthy sleep habits are unnecessary for sleep paralysis management and your overall health and wellness.

Let me know if you know any other tips that allow you to treat yourself the fastest way possible.

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