Sleep Paralysis

Posted on August 17, 2018

Sleep paralysis is not a medical emergency. It is a series of events happen as part of a sequence which paralyses one’s arms and legs, raises one’s blood pressure and heart rate and results in breathing difficulties. This is also known as being in the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep. It can be quite a terrifying experience since one loses control of their body despite being awake, with the possibility of even hallucinating. Unlike nightmares and dreams, it occurs when the brain is fully conscious but has yet to notify the body of the consciousness. In this case, a dream can even take place when one is awake and aware of their surroundings.

> What happens during Sleep Paralysis?

Sleep paralysis usually lasts for a few minutes and only happens when one is waking up or falling asleep. When it happens, they might experience hallucinations that are so detailed, strong and powerful that they felt very real. For example, some had occurrences when they felt as though they were being lifted off their beds or seeing ‘someone’ in their rooms and many different types of weird experiences, one example being involved in alien abductions.
REM happens during 1.5 to 2-hour cycles continuously through the night, which is about a quarter of an entire adult sleep cycle, and more so towards the end of a sleep cycle. Sometimes, the breathing difficulties can get so severe it feels as though one was being suffocated.

> Who are possible victims of Sleep Paralysis?

7 to 8% of the general population experience Sleep Paralysis. People who are more likely to experience it are young adults, African-Americans and females. Practices such as taking naps in the day, having bad sleeping habits and constant usage of electronic devices on the bed can lead to greater probability of experiencing Sleep Paralysis. People who have a strong tendency to fall asleep in calming environments (Narcolepsy) and people who have sleep disorders, especially the ones that result in extreme weariness, are more likely to experience Sleep Paralysis. Other mental illnesses like Anxiety and Depression are also associated with having higher risks for Sleep Paralysis.

Sleep Paralysis will most likely not happen again if one does not have any sleep disorders. Sleep Paralysis can be prevented by having better sleeping habits. Healthy sleeping habits consists of sleeping and waking up at fixed timings, no usage of electronic devices on the bed, no napping in the day and no intake of drugs that increase brain activity before bed time. Sleep Paralysis is not something people should worry about, and neither does it place a risk on anyone, but if it is a regular issue, seek help from your main health care guardian so that they can help.

Category(s):Sleep Disorders

Source material from Science Daily

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