Dealing with Sleep Paralysis

Posted by | February 10, 2016 | Feelings, Medical | One Comment

Hello,

I’ve struggled with sleep paralysis (SP) for a long time. It happens frequently and multiple times a night. Most of my hallucinations involve being taken advantage of by an unknown figure or ripped apart by many unknowns figures. (They’re also blue.) Because if these images SP has become very unpleasent. I become scared of going to bed, but I know I need to sleep for my health. I was wondering if there were any treatments that would help prevent, stop, lessen the amount of times it happens, stop the hallucinations, etc?

Plus, when I enter an episode my heart beat becomes very, very rapid and my breathing stops. I’ve read that SP is physically harmless but when these things happen I fear death.

Please help, this battle is getting old.
Any advice would help.

Thank you.

One Comment

  • BYS Doctor says:

    Dear Sleep-struggling teen,
    This sounds really frustrating! Sleep paralysis is more common than people realize, and it’s a condition where during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase of sleep, the person is aware/awake enough to become conscious of the body’s inability to move. During a sleep paralysis episode, consciousness remains intact, and the individual is perfectly aware of the surroundings. For a patient unfamiliar with the phenomenon, a terrifying feeling can arise from the sudden inability to move the body while being fully awake, albeit momentarily. The person may also experience hallucinations such as feeling the presence of others nearby, feeling pressure on the chest, or hearing footsteps. So basically, you are having the classic SP, which is scary!

    There are a few things you can do to help prevent this – one is to avoid sleep deprivation – it’s the number one trigger of these episodes. Getting enough sleep is really important.

    Another idea is to work on “sleep hygeine” – basically making a bedtime ritual, winding down (no electronics!) for about an hour before bed, and making the bedroom a quiet, dark place without a lot of stimuli.

    If these simple steps don’t help, we recommend going to see your primary care provider to discuss other options. Often, SP is a manifestation of Anxiety Disorder and responds to the same medications and therapy approaches that are used for anxiety.

    Take care and GOOD LUCK!

    BYS Doctor

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