About Sleep Paralysis

Imagine waking up in the middle the night without being able to move or speak. Known to happen both when falling asleep and waking up, sleep paralysis is the inability to move even if you feel wide awake. A session usually lasts around one to two minutes and can be very frightening for those who’ve experienced it.

Symptoms

Affecting four out of 10 people, sleep paralysis causes feelings of being awake while at the same time being unable to move. In addition to paralysis, other common symptoms are anxiety and hallucinations. Sleep paralysis can affect anyone but is more common among people who also suffer from narcolepsy or sleep apnea.

Treatment

Self-care goes a long way and improving daily sleep habits usually does the trick. 

  • Avoid sleeping on your back. Research shows that sleeping on the back can be linked to increased risk of sleep paralysis. Bulk up some pillow behind your back if you’re prone to tipping over to your back while sleeping on your side.
  • Keep bedtime at a consistency. Go to bed at the same time each night. While you’re at it, try and keep a morning wake-up schedule as well. One that looks the same on both weekends and weekdays will do you the best. This way your body gets used to it and your natural built-in body clock will do most of the work for you.
  • Eliminate distractions in the bedroom. Don’t watch TV in the bedroom and don’t browse the web in bed. Keep soft lighting, and try and block out loud noises.
  • Decrease or fully stop your caffeine intake close to bedtime. Experiment to see how sensitive you are to caffeine and make adjustments accordingly. 

If you feel that self-care doesn’t work, please consult with your physician for diagnosing and treatment.