If You’ve Ever Woken Up At Night Unable To Move, Here’s What It Means…

Sleep paralysis is a state of being conscious but you cannot move, it is a state of being asleep and being awake at the same time.

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This situation can be frightening when you are aware of your surroundings but unable to move.

It is a fairly common phenomenon which does not cause any physical damage to the body. This phenomenon usually occurs during either of the following stages;

  • The first stage is -- hypnagogic. In this stage sleep paralysis occurs before the person falls asleep.
  • And the second is -- hypnopompic which occurs when a person wakes from rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

When we fall asleep our minds will become less aware as our bodies relax.

In the case of hypnagogic sleep paralysis your body relaxes but your mind is still aware. In this case it’s like your body has switched off but your mind wasn’t giving the memo.

You will be in a state of fright and panic because you are unable to move and you will feel trapped.

When you are in REM sleep your muscles become paralysed this is to ensure that you don’t act out your dream involuntarily.

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If you experience a hypnopompic sleep paralysis a part of your brain is awake much sooner than the rest of your brain. While this state of being partially awake will not disturb that part of your brain that is responsible for the REM paralysis, the outcome however is that you are partially awake and cannot move your muscles.


Who is susceptible to sleep paralysis

In a study conducted by Penn State University it was discovered that 8 percent of the American population had frequent sleep paralysis.

It was revealed that people with mental disorders such as, anxiety and depression are more susceptible to frequent sleep paralysis. Also those people that suffer from sleep apnea or an underlining sleep disorder or those on a variety of specific medications were also shown to exhibit frequent sleep paralysis.

Though majority of the population will experience sleep paralysis just once or twice in their entire life.

Below is a list of factors responsible for frequent sleep paralysis include the following;

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Inconsistent sleeping schedule
  • Mental illness such as, bipolar disorder or even stress
  • Sleeping position, such as on your back
  • Nighttime leg cramps or narcolepsy
  • Medications such as those containing ADHD
  • Drug and substance abuse

Symptoms of sleep paralysis

  • Being unable to move or speak for a few seconds or minutes.
  • It will usually occur at the point of falling asleep or at the point of waking up.
  • You may be referred to a sleep therapist if the sleep paralysis is very frequent. Though it causes no physical harm, the constant state of fear or dread that comes with sleep paralysis could affect you psychologically.

Is there any treatment?

There is no known medication for sleep paralysis because it happens naturally there is no known prescribed medication and treatment.

During the process of diagnosis if an underlining condition is discovered however, then the professional may prescribe some medications and treatment.

These could include;

  • Deciding on a sleep schedule
  • Antidepressants prescription
  • A referral to a mental health practitioner
  • A referral to an expert on sleeping conditions
  • A prescribed treatment for the diagnosed underlying sleep condition
  • Sleeping pills prescription

You can adopt a consistent and regular sleep schedule so you can get the required daily amount of sleep your body requires.

You can also stay off illicit drugs, alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.

Eat less at night; avoid eating late and heavy meals. Adjust your sleep position, lie on your side and not on your back. Avoid having your TV on at night before going to bed. Make sure you switch off your TV then you go to bed.

Source: supertastyrecipes.com

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