Sleep Paralysis

By Camille Germinal

What is sleep paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is the experience of mentally awakening but feeling physically paralyzed

When does sleep paralysis happen?

Sleep paralysis usually occurs when your falling asleep or waking up


Your muscles are "turned off" during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. If you become aware before the REM cycle has finished, you may notice that you cannot move or speak.

What sleep paralysis so scary?

People struggling with sleep paralysis may feel like they are being pushed down by a person to a point where they can't breathe. Some people they see a black shadow in the corner of their bedroom and hear a loud buzzing noise while in paralysis.

What causes the paralysis?

  • a lack of sleep


  • a sleep schedule that changes


  • mental conditions such as stress or bipolar disorder


  • sleeping on the back


  • other sleep problems such as narcolepsy or nighttime leg cramps


  • use of certain medications


  • substance abuse


  • sleep paralysis is more common in a person who has narcolepsy

How often does it happen?

  • sleep paralysis usually doesn't happen every time you go to sleep ( every month, couple of time a year or even once)


  • sleep paralysis can last for 30 seconds to an hour
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