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What is Sleep Paralysis?

Have you heard one of your friends tell a story about sleep paralysis? Maybe you’ve experienced it yourself. In fact, only 8% of people are estimated to experience sleep paralysis sometime in their lifetime. This is experience is characterized by a sudden loss of muscle control either when falling asleep or waking from sleep. The person will then wake up and be conscious but unable to move their body. Usually occurring during childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood, sleep paralysis can be a reoccurring experience or something that resolves on its own.

The cause is unknown but people with sleep disorders are found to be more prone to episodes. An estimated 75% of sleep paralysis episodes are linked with concurrent hallucinations that is considered different from dreaming. These hallucinations can range from feeling like there is an intruder coming into the room to intense pressure on the chest that makes it difficult to breath to out-of-body experiences. Sounds scary right! Luckily for most people, sleep paralysis is not a serious issue that occurs regularly or frequently. The best thing to do is focus on getting a good night’s rest the next night.

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