Things you must know about Sleep Paralysis and how it can be stopped

What is sleep paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is one of those feelings in which a person is unable to move in the middle of the night or upon awakening. The person remains paralyzed as he/she keeps watching the dark along with encountering long and serpentine neck creeping through the hallway or a monster looking upon with ‘bloody red eyes’. Is starts approaching and moves closer and closer leaving the victim choked and hallucinated as if there had been a lot of pressure upon them. Although the senses are intact, but the body remains frozen and you are unable to act or move.

Is sleep paralysis life threatening?
Although sleep paralysis is not life threatening, it may cause anxiety and mental disorders in a person. Sleep disorders like narcolepsy can happen alongside sleep paralysis and can even dis-balance your blood pressure by sudden panicking. It also leads to sleep deprivation, jet lag, mental stress and panic disorder that may ruin our whole day.


What are the causes of sleep paralysis?

Sleep paralysis occurs when REM or rapid eye movement sleep takes place while you are awake. In simpler words, it takes place at that point of your sleep time when your brain is most active and dreams ensues. At that time your body remains rigid and unable to move apart from breathing muscles and eyes, may be due to avoiding you from reacting and hurting yourself out of your dreams. The main cause behind such symptoms may be insufficient sleep(insomnia) or following irregular pattern in sleep(jet-lag). Other than this, an acute condition where a person suddenly falls asleep untimely(narcolepsy) can also be the cause of sleep paralysis.

What are sleep paralysis symptoms?

When you are unable to move while waking or while falling asleep for several seconds to few minutes, it is sleep paralysis. Being consciously awakened or unable to articulate during dream episodes is another symptom.  Fear causing sensations and hallucinations that makes you feel pressure on chest is another sign where few people even starts believing as if death is approaching. Other signs includes paranoia, headaches and muscle pains.

How to treat sleep paralysis?

Generally, sleep paralysis does not have any medical diagnosis but seeing a doctor can provide with help in getting out of it. Exercising and regular work for an hour or two can reduce sleep paralysis attacks. Since people affected by sleep paralysis are seen increasing day by day, few medical treatments have been researched by scientists that can provide with some relieve like intake of anti-depressants such as clomipramine. These kinds of medicines shall be used only if sleep paralysis occurs at regular intervals.

Tips for keeping sleep paralysis at bay


  • Maintain sleeping routine as well as wake up times, even in weekends and holidays.
  • Exposure to bright daylight after waking up.
  • Having comfortable bedding and sleepwear’s along with clean and dark bedroom.
  • Sleeping rooms must be free of noise and lights to ensure maximum comfort.
  • Do not watch too much television before sleep and do not sleep while keeping it on.
  • Exercise on regular basis but not within three hours to bedtime.
  • Do not eat heavy meals at night and try to complete it before two hours going to bed.
  • Avoid intake of caffeine and alcohol.
  • Do not carry mobile phones or other gadgets with you in bed and try leaving them outside your bedroom.
  • Practice of meditation and avoiding sleeping on your back also reduces chances of getting sleep paralysis attacks.

Everyday stress and disturbances in sleep causes severe health related issues and thus healthy sleep with good lifestyle habits is essential not only for managing sleep paralysis but to maintain overall health and peaceable cognizance.

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