Yesterday, in the middle of my sleep, I felt as though my mind was awake, but I was unable to move my body or lift my hand. I could see the light from my bedside lamp, but I was unable to move my body. I tried to call my dad in a fear but was unable to talk. Even yet, I could feel someone in the room. There was also a pressure on my chest, and my heart was racing faster.
I awoke a few minutes later, drenched in sweat and terrified. Indeed, I have experienced this feeling of deja vu previously. This condition is known as sleep paralysis. Ever experience something like this? In this blog, we discuss the causes, symptoms, and measures for sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis occurs when a person’s mind is awake but their body is still in a paralyzing deep sleep. Among other symptoms, a person may be unable to talk and have chest discomfort.
Although a person’s senses and consciousness are awake and engaged during sleep paralysis, their body is immobile. It happens right before someone goes to sleep or wakes up and is caused by a disconnect between the mind and the body.
Hallucinations that a person may have while they are experiencing sleep paralysis can be quite upsetting.
What exactly happens?
You are conscious of your surroundings but unable to move or speak during an episode of sleep paralysis. You can still breathe and move your eyes, though. Haunting occurrences are made more frightful by the fact that many people hear or see things that are not there.
Three types of hallucinations can occur while experiencing sleep paralysis.
Hallucinations of an intruder include the perception of a threatening person or their presence in the home.
Chest pressure hallucinations, also known as incubus hallucinations, can cause suffocating sensations. They usually co-occur with hallucinations related to intruders.
Vestibular-motor V-M hallucinations might involve out-of-body experiences or sensations of movement, such as flying or falling from a stair.
What causes it?
You are more likely to dream when you are in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. The muscles in your limbs cannot move because your brain prevents you from acting out your dreams and hurting yourself. As you regain consciousness and enter or exit REM, sleep paralysis occurs. People with narcolepsy experience numerous nocturnal awakenings that may be related to sleep paralysis because the condition is characterized by unstable wakefulness and unstable sleep.
Are there certain causes?
Many factors contribute to the illness, including:
- shifting jobs
- absence of sleep
- sleep apnea with obstruction
What signs of sleep paralysis are there?
The signs consist of:
- Your limbs are paralyzed
- Being unable to speak
- Feeling of being choked
- Throat area becomes more constricted
- Sleepiness throughout the day, which may indicate narcolepsy
How long do episodes of sleep paralysis last?
These can endure for a few seconds to a few minutes.
Prevention and treatment
Although there is no specific treatment for sleep paralysis, managing stress, keeping a regular sleep routine, and adopting appropriate sleep practices help lower the risk of the condition.
The following are measures for enhancing sleep hygiene:
- Sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night.
- Keeping a consistent bedtime and wake-up time.
- Maintaining a comfortable, dark bedroom.
- Limiting exposure to sunset light.
- Using nightlights for nighttime bathroom visits.
- Getting enough daylight exposure.
- Steer clear of hefty dinners and eating right before bed.
- Drinking no alcohol or caffeine in the evening.
- Exercise regularly but not right before bed; and so forth.
A person who has sleep paralysis is awake and alert but unable to move. When a person is about to fall asleep or wake up, their mind and body are not in sync, which causes this to happen.
A person may have auditory, visual, and sensory hallucinations while they are experiencing this condition.
Sleep paralysis often only happens once or twice in a person’s lifetime. Yet, those who suffer from narcolepsy and other sleep disorders are more likely to experience sleep paralysis.
It has no known cure, and it is not a medical emergency. Yet, incidents can be extremely upsetting.