Sleep Paralysis
Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Paralysis: Definition, 6 Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and How To Control It

Have you ever suddenly felt unable to move while asleep?

If ever, it could be that you are experiencing sleep paralysis.

What is sleep paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is a condition of temporary loss of muscle function while we are sleeping.

It can also happen when we wake up. People with sleep paralysis are usually unable to move or talk in seconds to minutes.

Sleep paralysis is a type of Parasomnia, which is a group of sleep disorders that cause an unwanted event or experience that occurs when we are just asleep, already asleep, or when waking from sleep. Please note that this is common and not related to certain psychiatric diseases.

In addition, sleep paralysis also makes us experience the following:

  • Feel as if someone is pressing
  • Muscle pain
  • Sweating
  • Paranoia
  • Headaches.

The condition will usually end on its own or up to or someone who touches and moves our body.

Everyone will experience the phenomenon of paralysis at least once or several times in their life. This phenomenon can also occur in anyone, young old, women or men. However, this is more common in adolescents to young older persons.

Sleep Paralysis Causes

Sleep paralysis can be experienced by anyone. However, there are several factors that can increase our risk of sleep paralysis. Here are the factors:

In addition to these factors, sleep paralysis can also occur due to irregular sleep schedules, sleep disturbances, and poor sleep quality.

Sleep Paralysis Symptoms

The main symptom of sleep paralysis is not being able to move or talk even if you have woken up or come to sleep. However, in addition, this sleep phenomenon also has the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing because the chest feels tight
  • Can still move the eyeballs. Some people can still open their eyes when sleep paralysis occurs, but others don’t. (Learn more about Sleeping with eyes open disorder)
  • Hallucinating as if there was someone or something nearby.
  • Feeling scared.

According to the Gilliam journal in 2008, this state of sleep paralysis can occur for several minutes to twenty minutes. After that, you’ll be able to move back and talk as usual, although there may still be a little discomfort or fear to sleep again.

Sleep Paralysis Diagnosis

If you experience being unable to move or talk for a few seconds or minutes while asleep or awake, then chances you have repeated sleep paralysis. No treatment is required for this condition.

However, see a doctor if you have any of these problems:

  • You feel anxious about your symptoms
  • The symptoms of persistence make you very tired during the day
  • Symptoms of indifference keep you awake at night

Your doctor may want to gather more information about your sleep health by:

  • Ask you to describe the symptoms and keep a sleep diary for a few weeks
  • Discuss your health history, including known sleep disorders or a family history of sleep disorders
  • Refer you to a sleep specialist for further evaluation
  • Do an overnight sleep study or a daytime nap study to make sure you don’t have any other sleep disorders

How to control sleep paralysis?

  • Try to make sure and arrange to sleep in a relaxed position, as well as try not to get too tired when going to sleep. Severe fatigue tends to increase the likelihood of sleep paralysis.
  • Try to sleep soundly, in the sense of not waking up often or not feeling restless during sleep.
  • If you have experienced it, try to identify the cause so as to avoid the situation or related conditions.
  • Try to sleep in a quiet place and have good ventilation like a windy room.
  • Before going to bed try to do some breathing exercises or read something fun and funny. This technique can eliminate the anxiety that can be a contributing factor to sleep paralysis.
  • If you experience paralysis during sleep, try to take a deep breath and remove it by force. This can help a person to be awake.
  • If you feel like you’re experiencing sleep paralysis, try to do some kind of movement such as moving your finger as a form of resistance.

Last Updated on March 5, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team