Sleep Paralysis, What are the symptoms of sleep paralysis?

Muscle function temporarily disappears as you sleep, a condition known as sleep paralysis.

Typically, it happens:

When a person is waking up just before they go to sleep just after they go to sleep
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine states that the earliest signs of sleep paralysis typically appear in adults between the ages of 14 and 17 years old.

It is a sleep disorder that is quite typical. Between 5 and 40% of people, according to researchers, are thought to have this disorder.

Narcolepsy, another sleep disorder, and episodes of sleep paralysis can coexist.

A chronic sleep disease called narcolepsy results in extreme tiredness and unexpected “sleep attacks” throughout the day. Sleep paralysis can nevertheless occur in a large number of people without narcolepsy.

This illness is not hazardous. Despite the fact that some people may find it unsettling, no medical attention is typically required.

What signs of sleep paralysis are there?
Sleep paralysis is not a life-threatening condition. Knowing the symptoms can help you feel more at ease.

The inability to move or talk is the most typical sign of a sleep paralysis episode. A single episode could last anything from a few seconds to two minutes.

You might also encounter:

Hypnagogic and hypnopompic experiences (HHEs), which are described as hallucinations during, immediately before, or after sleep, include sensations like something is dragging you down and feeling like someone or something is in the room.
Other signs and symptoms, according to Dr. Priyanka Vaidya, include

having trouble breathing and feeling like you’re about to die
perspiration, headaches, and muscular aches
Typically, episodes come to a stop on their own or when someone touches or moves you.

During an episode, you could be conscious of what’s happening yet still unable to move or talk. The episode’s specifics may also come to mind after the momentary paralysis subsides.

Rarely, some people will have nightmare-like hallucinations that may make them feel frightened or anxious but are harmless.
What might result in sleep paralysis?
Sleep paralysis can affect people of all ages, including kids and adults. But some groups face a greater risk than others.

People with the following conditions are among the groups more at risk:

Idiopathic narcolepsy
diseases of anxiety and depression
bipolar illness
(PTSD) post-traumatic stress disorder
According to Vaidya, the dissociation between the mind and body that occurs when sleeping is another common cause of sleep paralysis.

She adds that the typical causes are as follows:

Poor sleep hygiene or a lack of the required sleep routines can lead to sleep disorders including sleep apnea.
Sleep paralysis has also been connected to sleep schedule disruption. Working night shifts or experiencing jet lag are two situations where your sleep schedule may be disturbed.

Sleep paralysis appears to run in families in some instances. But this is uncommon. There isn’t conclusive scientific proof that the disorder is inherited.

Your chances of experiencing an episode may rise if you sleep on your back. Sleep paralysis may become more likely if you don’t get enough sleep.

How is a diagnosis made for sleep paralysis?
To identify sleep paralysis, no diagnostic procedures are required.

Your physician will inquire about your slumber habits and medical background. They might also ask you to keep a sleep journal that details your experiences with episodes of sleep paralysis.

Your doctor may occasionally advise you to take part in an overnight sleep study to monitor your breathing and brain activity while you sleep. This is typically only advised if sleep paralysis is keeping you up at night.
How may sleep paralysis be treated?
Sleep paralysis symptoms usually go away quickly and without any physical harm or long-lasting repercussions. The experience, though, can be rather frightful and upsetting.

Usually, isolated cases of sleep paralysis don’t need to be treated. However, people who additionally exhibit narcolepsy symptoms should see a doctor. This is crucial in particular if symptoms affect your ability to function at work or at home.

If narcolepsy is the underlying cause of your sleep paralysis, your doctor may prescribe certain medications to assist control the condition.

Stimulants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), like fluoxetine (Prozac), are the drugs that are most frequently administered. The use of stimulants keeps you awake.

Narcolepsy-related symptoms can be managed with the aid of SSRIs.

A polysomnography is a type of sleep test that your doctor could recommend.

If you have sleep paralysis or other narcolepsy symptoms, the research results will aid in your doctor’s diagnosis. A hospital or sleep facility overnight stay is necessary for this kind of investigation.

A medical professional will attach electrodes to your chin, scalp, and outer eyelids as part of this study. Your muscles’ electrical activity and your brain waves are measured by electrodes.

Your heart rate and breathing will also be observed. Sometimes a camera will capture your motions while you sleep.

According to Vaidya, maintaining a healthy evening routine that includes the following is the key to reducing sleep paralysis:

avoiding blue light before bed and making sure the room is kept cool
You may ensure that you get a better night’s sleep by following these nighttime rituals.

How may sleep paralysis be avoided?
By making a few minor changes to your lifestyle, such as the following:

Become less stressed out.
Regular exercise is advised, but not right before bed.
Get enough sleep.
Keep a consistent sleeping routine.
Keep a record of the drugs you use for any conditions.
To prevent side effects like sleep paralysis, be aware of the interactions and adverse effects of the various medications you take.
Avoid sleeping on your back and instead to sleep on your side.
According to Vaidya, the following advice can aid in avoiding sleep paralysis:

Yoga, breathing techniques, and therapy can help you regain your sense of control over your body.
The frequency of your episodes of sleep paralysis may decrease if you take an antidepressant if you suffer from a mental health condition like anxiety or depression.

Antidepressants may help you have fewer dreams, which will minimize the severity of sleep paralysis.

Even while sleep paralysis is a common symptom and is not hazardous, for some people it can be frightening and disconcerting.

You may wish to consult a doctor if the condition is distressing you or impairing the quality of your sleep.

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