font size

Sleep Paralysis (cont.)

When does sleep paralysis usually occur?

Sleep paralysis usually occurs at one of two times. If it occurs while you are falling asleep, it's called hypnagogic or predormital sleep paralysis. If it happens as you are waking up, it's called hypnopompic or postdormital sleep paralysis.

What happens with hypnagogic sleep paralysis?

As you fall asleep, your body slowly relaxes. Usually you become less aware, so you do not notice the change. However, if you remain or become aware while falling asleep, you may notice that you cannot move or speak.

What happens with hypnopompic sleep paralysis?

During sleep, your body alternates between REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. One cycle of REM and NREM sleep lasts about 90 minutes. NREM sleep occurs first and takes up to 75% of your overall sleep time. During NREM sleep, your body relaxes and restores itself. At the end of NREM, your sleep shifts to REM. Your eyes move quickly and dreams occur, but the rest of your body remains very relaxed. Your muscles are "turned off" during REM sleep. If you become aware before the REM cycle has finished, you may notice that you cannot move or speak.

Who develops sleep paralysis?

Up to as many as four out of every 10 people may have sleep paralysis. This common condition is often first noticed in the teen years. But men and women of any age can have it. Sleep paralysis may run in families. Other factors that may be linked to sleep paralysis include:

  • a lack of sleep
  • a sleep schedule that changes
  • mental conditions such as stress or bipolar disorder
  • sleeping on the back
  • other sleep problems such as narcolepsy or nighttime leg cramps
  • use of certain medications
  • substance abuse

© 2005-2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Source article on WebMD


Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Sleep Paralysis - Causes Question: Do you know what causes your sleep paralysis?
Sleep Paralysis - Signs Question: Please share your signs or symptoms of sleep paralysis.
Sleep Paralysis - Treatment Question: What treatments have been helpful for your sleep paralysis?
Sleep Paralysis - Management Question: Discuss any tips or ways you've learned to manage sleep paralysis.
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/sleep_paralysis/article.htm

Sleep Disorders

Get tips for better sleep.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations