Sleep paralysis is a frightening condition, especially if you have not heard of the condition before. Sleep paralysis is a condition which is characterized by inability of the body to move through the various stages of sleep smoothly. Sleep paralysis can happen once or can happen on several occasions. The good news is that sleep paralysis is not a dangerous health ailment and not associated with psychiatric disorder.
The unique feature about sleep paralysis is that the person is conscious but is not able to move his body. The inability of the brain to regulate the transition from sleep to wake or vice versa can lead to a sensation where be person may feel unable to speak and feels paralyzed for several seconds. While this condition may persist with several different conditions, it is observed to be closely linked with narcolepsy.
Why Do People Get Sleep Paralysis?
There are two primary reasons that attribute to the onset of sleep paralysis,
- Can occur while one is falling asleep. This is often referred to as the predormital sleep paralysis.
- Can occur while one is getting up from sleep. This is referred to as the postdormital sleep paralysis. During sleep the body usually alternates between non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. One sleep lap lasts for about 90 minutes with non-rapid eye movement occurring first and taking up about 75% of total sleep time. During NREM the body relaxes and during the REM phase the body ‘turns off’. So if you become aware before the REM phase gets over, you may be unable to speak or move.
Causes Of Sleep Paralysis
There are certain factors that contribute to sleep paralysis, though experts suggest that almost 40% of all adults suffer from this condition,
- Lack of sleep or change in the schedule of sleep.
- Mental disorders like bipolar disorders.
- Leg cramps or narcolepsy are often associated with sleep paralysis.
- Certain medication or substance abuse can lead to sleep paralysis.
Knowing the symptoms and cause can help in the treatment and management of sleep paralysis naturally.
Home Remedies For Sleep Paralysis
The treatment for sleep paralysis often depends primarily on lifestyle modifications,
- Improving sleep practice and habits can help in management of the condition. Ensure that you get at least six to eight hours of sleep each day. Take a warm water bath prior to going to sleep. A warm bath can improve blood circulation in the body and thereby aid in inducing sleep promptly.
- Homeopathic remedy like Lachesis can help in improving sleep habits and deal with sleep paralysis. In general this medication is not associated with any form of side effects; however it is recommended that you consult a trained and qualified homeopathic doctor for an appropriate dosage.
- St John Wart can help reduce anxiety and apprehension which are key factors that contribute towards poor sleep patterns and help regulate sleep.
- While there is not enough evidence about the benefit of yoga and meditation in treating sleep paralysis, these techniques can help improve body and mind coordination which is useful in dealing with this disorder.