Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis occurs when you are not fully awake but you are conscious of what is happening. You will be going to or coming out of sleep when you become aware that your body is paralysed. The paralysis will last from anywhere between a few seconds to minutes. You will probably find that your first experience of sleep paralysis is very frightening, and it can sometimes be accompanied by hallucinations. However, sleep paralysis is considered a normal occurrence, and you should not be worried if you experience it every now and then. It only becomes an issue for further investigation if it occurs on a regular basis or is accompanied with symptoms of Narcolepsy.

Sleep paralysis occurs because during our sleep a hormone is secreted that paralyses our bodies (so we don’t move when we’re having those vivid dreams of running!) Thus, sleep paralysis occurs when the hormone is secreted either too early, so you’ll experience sleep paralysis when you are going to sleep, or the hormone has not worn off when you wake up and you’ll experience sleep paralysis when you wake up. If you do find you are suffering from this, try not to panic when it happens as this will disturb your sleep, you need to remain relaxed, know that it is normal and will pass, and then try to go back to sleep again. If you are experiencing re-occurring episodes of sleep paralysis, consult your GP.