Have you ever experienced any fear or burden on your chest while you are sleeping? And that fear can’t let you speak or move…! You want to scream but your throat is not under your own control. This episode of fear with hallucinations is known as sleep paralysis.
Sometimes you feel like you are not sleeping, and it all happens when you are fully awake. But as I said earlier, you can’t move with your will. This situation is quite weird as well as frightful at the same time.
Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being unable to move. It is not a life-threatening situation, but it causes anxiety as well as other problems like narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy is a condition that affects the nervous system. It causes abnormal sleep that can affect a person’s quality of life.
When does it occur?
Sleep paralysis occurs usually as a person is falling asleep or shortly after falling asleep or while just waking up.
How does it feel during sleep paralysis?
Sleep paralysis episodes are accompanied by hallucinations like auditory, visionary, or sensory.
There are three categories under which we can divide these hallucinations
Intruder: There are auditory hallucinations like door handle opening, the sound of footsteps, a shadow man, or a sense of a threatening presence in the room.
Incubus: Feelings of pressure on the chest, difficulty breathing with the sense of being smothered like choking, strangled, or sexually assaulted by a malevolent being. The individual believes they are about to die.
Vestibular-motor: A sense of spinning, falling, floating, flying, hovering over one’s body, or another type of out-of-body experience.
What are the causes of sleep paralysis?
Sleep paralysis history is very old. People of any ethnicity can face this problem. The major factors that can be linked to sleep paralysis are;
- Irregular sleep-wake cycle
- Lack of sleep
- Sleep schedule that changes regularly
- Mental conditions like stress, bipolar, depression
- Use of some medicines
- Drug abuse
- Sleeping on the back position
- Sleep paralysis history
- Sleep disorders like narcolepsy, sleep apnea
How is sleep paralysis diagnosed?
There is no test for its diagnosis. The doctor usually takes your history and get information from you about the sleep paralysis episodes.
In some severe cases, your doctor may recommend you participate in an overnight sleep test to detect your brain waves and breathing during sleep. This is usually only recommended if sleep paralysis is causing you to lose sleep and other health problems.
What are the treatment options for sleep paralysis?
Sleep paralysis symptoms resolve on its own within seconds. Although you may be panicked and horrified after the sleep paralysis episode. But usually, you do not need treatment for it unless you have other underlying conditions like narcolepsy. The doctor then gives treatment for that condition to reduce the chances of sleep paralysis.
How can I Prevent sleep paralysis?
- Reducing stress in your life
- Having god sleep
- Doing exercise
- Keeping track of your medications if taking any
- Doing yoga
If you are facing any problem like this, you can consult the best neurologist in Lahore through Marham.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Marham is also providing you an online platform to consult your doctors online while staying at homes. Just click the link and get in touch with the best neurologists in Pakistan online.