What You Should Know About Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Paralysis

Affected by sleep paralysis? Feeling tired all too often? Here are some facts about the condition.

It’s the end of a long day and you are exhausted. It is finally time to climb into your nice, clean, warm bed and settle in for a restful night’s sleep. When you finally go to sleep, do you sleep soundly and comfortable all night long and wake rested? Or are you one of the countless many who doesn’t sleep well or who suffers from a sleep disorder? Sleep disorders are very common and one type, sleep paralysis, affects tens of thousands of people each year.

Normal REM Paralysis

Did you know that there is a perfectly normal type of paralysis that happens to all of us during sleep? When we are asleep we go through different sleep cycles, one of which is the REM cycle. During REM, the neurons in the brain stem restrict body movement and block out sensory input. This keeps us still and safe and prevents us from acting out what we are dreaming. This normal paralysis ends when the REM cycle ends and we shift into another sleep cycle or we wake up.

The Sleep Disorder

The normal form of paralysis during sleep that happens during REM is nothing to worry about. However, sometimes people wake during their REM cycle and the normal paralysis doesn’t end, so that they are completely awake, but totally unable to move. Occasionally, this is also accompanied by intense, vivid hallucinations, which can be so real that people cannot differentiate them from reality. This is the sleep disorder known as sleep paralysis.

It Can Be a Problem

Clearly, this can have a massive impact on the sleep and wellbeing of those people who suffer from it. Sleep paralysis can be terrifying, even if you know you suffer from it, especially if you are prone to sleep paralysis related hallucinations. The fear doesn’t always subside when the paralysis ceases, and this can upset someone’s entire sleep pattern. Often sleep paralysis is a sign that you are not moving smoothly through your sleep cycles, but sometimes Sleep Paralysis is linked to narcolepsy, another disorder where people have the uncontrollable urge to fall asleep, no mater where they are or what they’re doing. If you’re experiencing these or any other sleep issues, you should mention it to your doctor.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 17th, 2018 at 1:07 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.