How to Stop Sleep Paralysis for Good

By Max. D Gray. Updated: May 10, 2017
How to Stop Sleep Paralysis for Good

Sleep paralysis is a feeling of physical paralysis that people suffer whilst awakening or falling asleep. It is a body immobility where the sufferer feels they cannot communicate with anyone or move any part of their body. This paralysis lasts a few seconds but the feeling is so distressing that it makes people wake up later feeling very tired.

If you suffer from this sleep disorder, oneHOWTO are here to help. We will give you some tips to show you how to stop sleep paralysis for good.

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What is sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis is a sleep disorder that can affect both people with diseases (such as narcolepsy) and people with no sleep-related illnesses. It is very common for someone to experience this situation due to external factors that may be affecting their sleep (caffeine, stress, etc.). Some people may have suffered from this paralysis during periods in their life when they were stressed, but they might not suffer from it chronically. As already mentioned, the symptoms of this condition are feeling unable to move any part of the body during the course of waking up or falling asleep.

It is very easy to know if you suffer from sleep paralysis as the most obvious symptom is that you experience the feeling of waking, but you are unable to move any part of your body. During the sleep-wake cycle is when you cannot move your body or communicate with your body's exterior. This feeling produces a frightening and distressing sensation for the person suffering from it. These episodes can last for a few seconds or minutes and might stop due to an external stimulus (someone touches your body, produces a loud noise, etc.).

The causes of sleep paralysis are completely unknown. What is known is that people with narcolepsy or mental disorders such as anxiety or depression often suffer sleep paralysis. However, there is also evidence that completely healthy people suffer from it.

Treating sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis is a disorder that does not occur frequently but rather on rare occasions and moments. As it occurs sporadically in healthy people, currently there is no specific treatment. However, it is true that doctors can give you some guidelines for healthy living to help you avoid these really annoying symptoms. It is important to know how to deal with sleep paralysis, i.e. what to do if you are in this situation. The paralysis may occur for various reasons:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Periods of anxiety
  • Being insufficiently tired

On a medical level, there are no scientific facts to indicate what needs to be done. But, people with this condition are advised to incorporate healthy practices into everyday life; to reduce anxiety and achieve a deeper sleep. It is important to learn to identify certain triggers so you stop doing them before going to bed. Follow these steps for prevention:

  • Sleep for 8 hours a day: one of the possible causes of this condition under investigation is that the person prematurely enters the REM phase. This happens when the person is not sleeping enough. So it's important to sleep for 8 hours a day to restore your vital functions.
  • Do not sleep on your back: 60% of patients suffering with this condition were sleeping face up. Break this habit by trying to sleep on your side whenever you can. If you find it hard, you can place a tennis ball in your back which will prevent you from feeling comfortable when sleeping face up.
  • Exercise: it is important to burn off excess energy which accumulates in the body through food. In this way, you can burn it off and will ensure that your hours of sleep are truly reparative.
  • Goodbye to stress: anxiety and nerves cause normal sleep cycles to become interrupted. Dedicate your life to being free of stress and spend time reading, listening to soothing music, getting a massage or meditating. OneHOWTO gives you more ideas on how to combat stress.
  • No caffeine in the evening: we recommend that you do not drink caffeine or stimulants during the 5 hours before going to bed. This could disturb your sleep patterns.
  • Enjoy a balanced diet: It is essential to have all the vital signs of your body working properly and in order. Having a healthy living style will also affect your sleep.
  • If you have some sort of mental health condition or disease such as narcolepsy, the only way of treating sleep paralysis is by medical treatment, carried out by a specialist.

Useful exercises for sleep paralysis

If you suddenly wake with sleep paralysis even if you implemented our recommendations, we have some useful tips:

  • Focus your attention on your breathing. When you feel like you cannot move, this provokes a feeling of being overwhelmed which will increase your nerves and anxiety. It is important that you relax and calm yourself down, so concentrate on your breathing to regain control of your body.
  • Try to move some parts of your body: all of your concentration should focus on attempting to move a finger, hand, ankle, and so on. When you move one of these, your body will wake up and you can escape this paralysis.Don't get frustrated, as it will be worse. Just try it until your brain figures out it's awake.
  • The most important thing to do is to stay calm and positive, and not to let negative feelings and thoughts get a hold of you. Do not panic!
  • Observe the movement of your eyes: the ability to open or close your eyes is not affected by this condition so a good idea is to try to open them or move them quickly to fully awaken.
How to Stop Sleep Paralysis for Good - Useful exercises for sleep paralysis

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Stop Sleep Paralysis for Good, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.

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