One of the main causes of sleep paralysis is lack of sleep or lack of sleep.. A change in sleep schedule, stress, and other sleep-related problems can also play a role. Rare or isolated sleep paralysis can occur in people of all ages. And it's more common in the context of lack of sleep in association with a change in sleep schedule, which can happen if you're a college student or doing shift work.
Recurrent sleep paralysis is a symptom of narcolepsy, a disorder of the unstable limits of sleep and wakefulness. During the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stage, you're likely to have dreams. The brain prevents limb muscles from moving to protect you from acting, dreaming, and hurting yourself. Sleep paralysis occurs when you regain consciousness when you enter or leave the EMR.
Because narcolepsy is characterized by unstable wakefulness and unstable sleep, people with narcolepsy have frequent nighttime awakenings that can be associated with sleep paralysis. It can also help consolidate sleep, try to prevent sleep deprivation, and avoid alcohol and recreational drug use. You may experience only one episode in your lifetime. But it can also come and go.
You're more likely to have an episode during periods of high stress when you experience a lack of sleep. If you have a lack of sleep that goes away and comes back, you should check with your healthcare provider. Sleep paralysis can occur in people who sleep normally, and it is surprisingly common in its appearance and universality. It has also been linked to certain conditions, such as increased stress, binge drinking, lack of sleep, and narcolepsy.
Symptoms of insomnia, such as difficulty falling asleep and excessive daytime sleepiness, have been found to be associated with sleep paralysis. People whose circadian rhythms are not aligned with their local day and night cycle, such as people with time lag and shift workers, may also be at increased risk of sleep paralysis. A primary care physician can treat an underlying condition that could trigger sleep paralysis, such as insomnia or post-traumatic stress disorder. Normally, the brain causes the muscles to relax and stay still in REM sleep.
This is called “REM atony”. It happens that this prevents you from realizing your dreams. Sleep paralysis occurs when REM atony occurs while you are falling asleep or waking up. Sleep paralysis is “isolated” when it appears without any other signs of narcolepsy or other sleep disorders.
If you tend to be very sleepy during the day, your doctor may also ask you to do a nap study during the day. Sleep paralysis is a condition identified by a brief loss of muscle control, known as atony, that occurs just after falling asleep or waking up. Treating any underlying condition, such as narcolepsy, can help if you are anxious or unable to sleep well. However, these medications can have side effects and can cause REM sleep to rebound when someone stops taking them.
Other signs include excessive daytime sleepiness, fragmented sleep, sleep-related hallucinations, and cataplexy. Based on that research, researchers believe that there are multiple factors involved in causing sleep paralysis. Sleep disorders and other sleep problems have shown some of the strongest correlations with isolated sleep paralysis. In people with mental health problems, such as anxiety, medications and behavioral therapy (psychotherapy) to help treat the mental health condition can resolve sleep paralysis.
If a person experiences sleep paralysis due to narcolepsy or other sleep disorders, the doctor may recommend medication treatments or psychotherapy to manage these conditions. However, it is estimated that 10% of people have more recurrent or annoying episodes that make sleep paralysis especially distressing. Doctors can educate and reassure people for whom sleep paralysis causes stress and anxiety. The healthcare provider will ask you about your symptoms, focusing on your sleep habits and things that may affect your sleep.