What is Sleep Paralysis and What Causes It?

What is sleep paralysis? Have you ever woken up only to find that you are unable to move your body? This feeling is attributed to Sleep Paralysis, which can last a few seconds to a few minutes.

It can even be terrifying if you have never experienced it before or do not know what it is as you awaken. However, it does not call for you to be worried, as this type of paralysis is only temporary and does not carry any severe or long-term effects with it.

According to Snore Australia, your body naturally paralyzes itself when it goes into the stages of deep sleep. Occasionally, however, you may wake briefly between sleep cycles when you notice this feeling of being paralyzed.

For example, if you are trying to rise ultimately from sleep, this feeling can be hard to wear off or even keep you from waking entirely for a few minutes. Or, you may experience Sleep Paralysis when falling asleep.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine conducted a study on the prevalence of paralysis throughout a person’s life to see when the side effect of sleep most often impacts them. They asked a variety of test subjects to recollect their sleep paralysis stories.

One of the significant findings was that minorities are more prone to sleeping paralysis than Caucasians. They also concluded that Sleep Paralysis occurs most in those with lack of sleep, jet lag, working in shifts, and students.

What Causes Sleep Paralysis

So what causes sleep paralysis? The variations in sleep patterns often are the cause of sleep paralysis. More specifically, your muscles relax and, as a result, end up temporarily paralyzed. This is the body’s natural defense to keep you from lashing out in your sleep while you are dreaming. A look at REM cycles explains more of the cause behind paralysis.

During sleep, you switch between REM and NREM, which is the term for rapid eye movement. In general, each cycle lasts an hour and a half.

In addition to the paralysis during this time frame, your heart rate also slows down, which links to muscle relaxation. When you wake up during one of your REM cycles, your body remains in this state while adjusting to your sudden awakening.

Sleeping paralysis can also be traced to other side effects, although rare and not a direct indicator of anything serious.

These are conditions such as narcolepsy (the compelling desire need to sleep at different times), sleep apnea (pauses in breathing patterns while asleep), insomnia (the inability to fall or stay asleep), and other psychological disorders. However, you should not be alarmed if you experience sleep paralysis at some point in your life.

Potential Problematic Symptoms of Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis causes various symptoms that are easy to identify. In some cases, they even cause night terrors, hallucinations, sleepwalking, and experiences with imaginative aliens or ghosts. More normal symptoms include the following:

There are also additional ways of developing sleep patterns that lead to paralysis. It is estimated that 4 out of 10 people suffer from a degree of stiffness and that this event may occur more in families. There are a few factors that may more easily lead to paralysis:

The Possible Remedies for Sleep Paralysis

There are several ways to cure or ease paralysis in sleep with a change in your habits. A simple shift in attitude or intentional change in a positive manner can make a world of difference. Before you resort to more extreme medical measures such as medication, be sure to research the various alternatives:

A few home remedies also exist. These remedies include natural herbs and spices that naturally help you ease into sleep. They also help ease the transition between sleep cycles so that you are not as prone to waking up in between them.

The more natural you are with your approach, the more long-term the effects will be, keeping you from having to engage in medications. These home remedies include:

If none of the above begin to work about your sleep habits, medication is available to ease your stress about waking in certain paralysis. These types of drugs can effectively help you.

Just be sure to check with your doctor and be aware of any medical conditions that may hinder your ability to take these medications. Also, be mindful of the side effects. Sleep paralysis treatment, including drug, is listed as follows:

The side effects may include:

The antidepressants work to affect moods that may cause sleep paralysis. A few antidepressants include tricyclic antidepressants and clomipramine. Severe stiffness can be eased and even cured with the use of antidepressants.

Note that any side effects typically lessen within 7-10 days, especially since your body takes time to get used to the extra chemicals and medication within it. If your side effects do not ease after this time frame, you need to contact your doctor for a consultation.

How to Make Sleep Paralysis Happen

Some people like to know how to induce sleep paralysis so that they can practice lucid dreaming. A straightforward way of doing this is by setting the alarm during the time frame that your sleep cycles typically coincide and transition.

To do this, you need to start keeping a sleep diary with your phone or another electronic device so that you can keep track of your detailed sleep cycles.

First, set the alarm, typically in about four hours, and lay down at your regular time to go to sleep. When your alarm wakes you up, make sure that you get up and stay up. You can do this by reading a book or really anything that engages your brain and creates stimulation for activity.

Then, go back to sleep on your back. Don’t move your body. Once your body tricks itself into paralysis, you are then free to practice your form of lucid dreaming.

This content was originally published here.

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