Imagine waking up in the middle of the night and not knowing why you can’t move your body, a sleep doctor/sleep dentist may have the answer. It can be a scary feeling like something sitting on your chest and your body sinking deep into the mattress, yet your muscles won’t move, no matter how hard you try.
In moments like these, you’d also wonder whether you’re awake or it just a dream. This entire experience can be explained medically. Thus, learning more about what you experience in these moments will help to calm your anxiety.
Sleep doctors have come up with the term ‘sleep paralysis’ to explain the condition in which your muscles get paralyzed and frozen when you are awake. Some people also experience hallucination in this state of mind. The visions are extremely vivid as you are on the edge of wakefulness and dream sleep.
Sleep paralysis is of two types:
While Falling Asleep
This happens usually when one is falling asleep. Sleep doctors associate this condition with the sleep disorder narcolepsy. The body starts relaxing in this state and enters different stages of sleep. The mind is aware that the body is in a state of rest and sleeping; however, it is unable to react or move through movement or speech.
While Waking Up from Sleep
This is the most common type of sleep paralysis. It does not involve any other sleeping disorders.
Causes of Sleep Paralysis
Research has been conducted to find out why sleep paralysis happens. Several factors can cause it:
- Sleep paralysis happens due to a sleep inertia in which the body hasn’t caught up with the mind when you’ve woken up, which is why the muscles freeze. Waking up with a spur due to chronic pain or reaction to a substance can also cause the muscles to get paralyzed.
- Poor sleep also causes sleep paralysis. People who have irregular sleep patterns.
- Sleep paralysis is prevalent in people under stress or suffering from PTSD. If anyone has faced traumatizing events in their life, it can also cause sleep paralysis.
- Scientists have found that people who sleep on their back as compared to people who sleep in other positions are also a victim of sleep paralysis.
- Sleep paralysis is also likely to occur when a person is exhausted due to physical fatigue or stress. In these conditions, the person starts grinding their teeth during sleep as the muscles become relaxed. It is recommended to see a dentist under such conditions.
Sleep paralysis is a medical condition and can be easily treated with the help of the right sleep doctor/sleep dentist. If you are going through it, seek help now!