Sleep Paralysis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment


Sleep paralysis is all about bizarre experiences. People suffering from this condition might wake up at midnight only to find that they cannot move or speak.

Such people might even feel some pressure on their chest; see shadowy figures hovering around and also feel as if they are floating in the air while sleeping.

Sleep Paralysis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Sleep Paralysis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Causes Of Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis is a sleeping disorder that can easily be diagnosed. Causes of this condition have specific references in history. However, to date, there is not much available on the origin of this condition. Myths and folklore are describing it as a terrifying experience where the victim is not able to move. Sometimes, the sufferers even feel like being choked and held down. Nightmares are considered a result of such spooky experiences.

According to studies, around 7.6% of individuals across the world suffer from sleep paralysis at least one time in life. High rates of this condition are noted in psychiatric patients and also students. It goes especially for ones with panic disorders and post-traumatic stress. Studies also prove this condition to be a sign of narcolepsy.

Different factors like psychiatric diagnosis, genetic factors, substance use, poor health, trauma, and also poor sleep can increase an individual’s chances of suffering from the condition. Anxiety and sleep deprivation can also serve as significant causes of sleep paralysis.

Symptoms Of Sleep Paralysis

In these modern times, experts have understood the condition in a better way. Thus, they describe it to be occurring from disturbed REM sleep. Primary symptoms of this condition include:

  • A person is becoming wholly paralyzed for a few minutes or seconds just after falling asleep. It can also happen just after a person wakes up.
  • Others experience different hallucinations while being frozen under their bedsheets.
  • People with this condition have also described sensing evil presence or demons in their bedrooms.
  • Feelings of pressure on the body, specifically the chest.
  • Feeling the body is moving without being directed.
  • Out-of-the-body hallucinations and also weightlessness.

Nevertheless, the actual cause of all these symptoms is still unknown.


Till date, no proper treatment is available for the condition. Nevertheless, doctors suggest the patients work on improving their sleep schedules to treat the condition. Maintaining proper bedtime routines can also help victims.

Extreme cases of sleep paralysis can be treated using antidepressants. Medicines can help in doing away with the signs of the disorder.

Sleep Paralysis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Sleep Paralysis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

How To Deal With Sleep Paralysis?

One thing that you need to work on if you are suffering from this condition is having healthy sleep routine. Since sleep deprivation can be a significant cause of the problem, sleeping full-fledged can help do away with the condition.

At the same time, people with this health problem should avoid drugs, nicotine, and alcohol. They should even work on limiting their intake of caffeine. Such people should also keep electric gadgets out of their bedrooms. In addition, consulting a sleep expert is always a good idea. Only a specialist can advise you on certain underlying disorders that may cause sleep paralysis.

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