Home Article What is sleep paralysis? Know about its Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What is sleep paralysis? Know about its Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Updated On 06 Oct, 2017 Published On 06 Oct, 2017
What is sleep paralysis? Know about its Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Sleep paralysis is not a serious matter of concern for an individual but it is severe when it occurs more often.

Sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move parts of the body or speak; It is a state where your mind is awake but you cannot move your body. Though it's not a major issue if it occurs on a regular basis, it's definitely a serious concern. 

Many people experience sleep paralysis more than once in their life while some of them may face it on a regular basis. Recently, supermodel Kendall Jenner spoke about Sleep Paralysis.  

What is Sleep Paralysis?

As per some researchers, sleep paralysis is simply a state when you feel unable to move your body through the stages of sleep.

Though the condition remains the same for a few seconds to few minutes, it can often be a frightening one.

Source: Natural Health Family

It affects people of all age groups but research says that teenagers and youngsters are prone to it. Some studies say that 28 percent of students and 32 percent of psychiatric patients along with 7.6 percent of the general population are affected by the cause. 

Kendall Jenner: Experience with Sleep Paralysis 

Keeping Up with the Kardashians star, Kendall recently opened up about her sleeping problem last year in an episode of the same show. She explained,

"I wake up in the middle of the night and I can’t move. I’m freaking out because recently I wake up in the middle of the night and I can't move."

According to Brian A. Sharpless, the associate professor from the School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, sleep paralysis often shares "scary experiences".


gotta support the homies ???? i'm so proud of @caradelevingne and Valerian was amazing ??

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

Sharpness noticed several troubles Jenner experienced like anxiety and jet lag that increases the risk of scary episodes.

Jenner told her mother Kris Jenner in the same show,

"Everyone says I’m fine, but I don’t feel fine."

We all expect to see her out of the issue soon.


The major symptom of sleep paralysis is just being aware of the surrounding but being unable to move and talk for a temporary time being.

The symptoms are generally spotted when you are awake but it can also be felt while falling asleep. The patient feels some imaginary noises around like humming, hissing, and zapping and some demonic presence around.

Source: Sleeping Resources

Some even experience noise of a whisper, roar making the person panic and fear in the surrounding. However, some other symptoms are:

  • Difficulty in breathing as someone is crushing your chest.
  • Though the body parts freeze some can open and move their eyes.
  • Feeling of the presence of someone or something unusual in the room.
  • A sense of electric tingles and vibration in some or throughout the body.


Sleep paralysis happens when rapid eye movement (REM) occurs when you are still awake.

REM is basically a stage of sleep when the brain is active. A patient feels unable to move body parts, however, can definitely move eyes and muscles associated with breathing.

Source: Thrillist

It occurs during one of two transitions in the sleep cycle. The body must be able to go into REM sleep and it must be able to come out of it. Sleep paralysis occurs when the body encounters trouble making such transitions.

Some of the causes are stated below:

  • Insomnia
  • Irregular sleeping patterns
  • Narcolepsy; the state that causes a person sleep during inappropriate time
  • A family history with the same cause
  • Sleeping on your back

Diagnosis and Treatment

Sleep paralysis can often be diagnosed through medical interviews. As narcolepsy is highly prevalent with the cause, there are several treatment measures that can be applied in daily life.

One can overcome with the cause over time with some changes in sleeping habits and sleeping environment.

Source: Medindia

Here are some effective measures that can be applied as treatment methods.

  • Sleeping time duration should be maintained for at least six to eight hours for an adult.
  • Sleep and wake up at the same time at a regular basis.
  • Exercise and yoga practices can help best to maintain a healthy state of mind and body.
  • Avoid heavy meals, drinking alcohol, smoking, and having caffeine before sleep.
  • The sleeping environment should be perfect dark, quiet and comfortable with perfect temperature.

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