By Manun Thakur
The experience of the rigid borders between being awake and asleep may vary as a result of sleep paralysis. The episodes have aspects of both sleep and wakefulness, which contributes to the fact that they might cause upsetting symptoms. Sleep paralysis is referred to as a REM parasomnia since it is associated with the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep. It entails a mixed consciousness state that combines REM sleep and awake. In actuality, the atonia and mental imagery of REM sleep appear to endure even into a conscious, waking state.
The symptoms of sleep paralysis include: a momentary lack of muscle control that occurs immediately after falling asleep or upon awakening; a temporary incapacity to move; and a sense of being out of breath, and different types of hallucinatory experiences, like-
• Intruder hallucinations, in which a person or presence is perceived to be in the space.
• Hallucinations of chest pressure or incubus, which can cause a suffocating sensation.
• Vestibular-motor hallucinations, which can cause a person to feel as though they are moving or are outside of their body.
Sleep paralysis’s precise origin is uncertain. Multiple factors, according to researchers, may contribute to sleep paralysis. Some of the strongest associations with isolated sleep paralysis have been seen with sleep disorders and other sleeping issues. People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) report experiencing more sleep paralysis. Additionally, those who experience overnight leg cramps are more likely to experience sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis and a few mental health issues have been linked, according to research. unfavorable childhood experiences, people with anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
People with a family history of sleep paralysis are at an increased risk, according to studies, although no particular genetic cause has been identified.
Here are a few treatments that one can follow when dealing with sleep paralysis:
Consult a physician to identify and treat any underlying issues that might be influencing the frequency or severity of episodes. Narcolepsy or sleep apnea are two examples.
Because sleep paralysis and other sleeping issues are related, preventing sleep paralysis frequently focuses on improving sleep hygiene. The term “sleep hygiene” describes a person’s sleeping environment and routines that affect their quality of sleep.
3. Cognitive behavior therapy, a form of talk therapy, is used to reframe unfavourable thoughts and feelings that interfere with sleep. A scientific approach to treating mental health issues like anxiety and PTSD, which may be determinants of the risk of sleep paralysis, is CBT.
REM sleep suppression is a documented side effect of some drugs, which may help to prevent sleep paralysis. Before taking any drug, it’s crucial to consider the potential advantages and disadvantages with a doctor.
(Manun Thakur is the MD, Veda Rehab & Wellness. Views are personal)