Scientists Now Explain What Is Sleep Paralysis Why It Happens and What It Does To Your Body

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9Sleep paralysis is harmless

While SP may be emotionally draining it is physically harmless. It occurs during the hypnagogic stage that is before falling asleep and hypnopompic stage when one wakes up from the REM stage of sleep. The body relaxes when one sleeps and as that happens, consciousness decreases where the mind is less aware of what is happening. During the hypnogogic sleep paralysis then occurs with the mind being aware to some extent even as the body falls into an involuntary state of relaxation. The inability to move then makes the mind panic leading to fear and the perception of danger and threat.

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10What happens in hypnopompic sleep?

 In this stage of sleep paralysis, one part of the brain starts to wake up sooner. However, it doesn’t affect the part of the brain responsible for sleep paralysis. This then leads to a waking experience with no voluntary control of the body and muscles. The extent of this occurrence also varies in people. Some may experience it once or twice in their life while others may experience it frequently.

There are studies which have shown that those suffering from panic disorders, anxiety, stress, depression and mental disorders are more prone to sleep paralysis. It can also occur frequently in those suffering from sleep apnea, on medication and other sleep conditions.

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11Major risk factors

The main risk factors of sleep paralysis are frequent disruption or changes in sleeping patterns, lack of sleep, sleeping on back, mental disorders, bipolar disorder, night leg cramps, narcoplexy, substance abuse, and types of medication. Some individuals who have suffered sleep paralysis say that they were not able to move or speak for a few seconds. This type of experience may occur in the initial stage of sleep and could also happen when you are about to wake up.

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12There is no medication for Sleep paralysis

There is no medication that doctors can prescribe for sleep paralysis. However, if an underlying condition is detected that may be the cause of it, then a doctor could prescribe medication and treatment for that. This may well stop the SP. Such treatments could include.

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  • Sleeping Aids
  • A fixed sleeping schedule
  • Anti-depressants
  • Consultation with a mental health professional
  • Consultation with a sleep specialist
  • Treatment for other possible sleep disorders
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13What you should do

Sleep paralysis can be controlled by a healthy lifestyle and most of all a healthy and regulated sleeping pattern. One should avoid the use of electronic devices before bed or before going to sleep. Avoid alcohol, drugs, smoking and strong coffee. All of these can be potential triggers for sleep paralysis. Perhaps the best remedy when experiencing sleep paralysis is to try and focus on yourself and divert all your energy into a single mental thrust to force your body to respond and awake fully.

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