Sleep Paralysis

Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Palm City

Do you have Sleep Paralysis in Stuart, FL

If you’re waking up unable to move, or feeling life-threatening danger, you might be suffering from sleep paralysis. This mysterious sleep disorder can come with a host of disturbing symptoms, although it is not technically dangerous. While the exact cause of sleep paralysis is unknown, there are several suggested treatment options to explore. The Sleep Apnea Wellness Center helps patients get to the bottom of their stressful sleep disorders to achieve healthy, restful sleep.

What is Sleep Paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is a scary feeling when you are conscious but feel like you’re unable to move. It can happen right after falling asleep, or when you wake up. Some people hallucinate during sleep paralysis episodes.

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Do I have Sleep Paralysis?

Some of the signs and symptoms of sleep paralysis include:

Inability to move your body when falling asleep or immediately upon waking, which can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

  • Unable to speak.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • A feeling of pressure on your chest.
  • Feeling like you are spinning, falling, or floating.
  • Feeling the sense of an out-of-body experience.
  • Fear of death.
  • General paranoia, hallucinations.
  • Headaches and muscle pains.

What Causes Sleep Paralysis?

While the specific cause of sleep paralysis has not been identified, we know what is happening in the body during an episode. While you’re sleeping, your body relaxes, and voluntary muscles remain stationary. Your REM-NREM (rapid eye movement to non-rapid eye movement) cycle falls out of sync with your brain in periods of sleep paralysis. Therefore, you are conscious, but your body is in a relaxed, paralyzed state.

Experts have identified several factors that could put you at a heightened risk for sleep paralysis. However, these factors have not been proven to be direct causes. So, while there are links between these factors and sleep paralysis, no one knows whether one causes the other or vice versa, or if they are unrelated.

The possible risk factors include people who:

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Are teenagers or young adults – usually, people with the disorder start showing the first symptoms between ages 7-25

Have obstructive sleep apnea

Have mental illnesses such as anxiety, panic disorders, or PTSD

Have narcolepsy

Have irregular sleeping patterns

Have a family history of sleep paralysis

Is Sleep Paralysis Dangerous?

Fortunately, this sleep disorder is not considered dangerous health-wise. However, episodes of sleep paralysis can be traumatic, and sometimes detrimental to mental health. Those with recurrent episodes sometimes associate going to bed with negative thoughts. This can lead to anxiety, not being able to go to sleep, or purposely avoiding sleep.

Should I Seek Treatment for Sleep Paralysis?

It depends. If you’ve suffered one or two episodes of sleep paralysis and you’re not particularly troubled by them, there is no need for treatment. If your sleep paralysis is becoming more frequent or causing you significant anxiety, it’s time to seek help.The dangers of sleep deprivation are well-known. Lack of sleep due to sleep paralysis can lead to trouble focusing, increased risk of accidents, memory issues, risk of other health issues, and much more.

How is Sleep Paralysis Treated?

Since we don’t know the exact cause of sleep paralysis, there is not a specific treatment that is widely recommended. Sleep specialists generally try treating any underlying conditions that may be causing sleep paralysis.

Here are some examples of tips that experts give their patients with this sleep disorder:

  • Consistent bedtime: Try to go to bed at the same time every night, including weekends and holidays. Studies have shown that irregular bedtime patterns can lead to various sleep disorders.

  • Exercise: Regular exercise can ensure that you’re tired enough to sleep at bedtime. Avoid exercising within 2 hours of bedtime.
  • Optimal sleep environment:  Your bedroom should be cool, dark, and clean. Your sleeping space should be just that – exclusively for sleeping. Avoid watching tv, eating snacks, or doing work in the bedroom so that your body only associates the bedroom with sleep.

  • Be mindful of food/beverages in the evening: Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals before bed.

The inability to get consistent restful sleep can be exhausting – literally. Our team of professionals at the Sleep Apnea Wellness center is committed to getting to the bottom of your sleep issues. Call us today to make an appointment, and ask about our simple solutions that will help you get a better nights rest.

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