As with most situations these days, conversations about sleep paralysis have become rife today mostly because of Kendall Jenner, a celebrity whose struggle with this particular ailment has allowed awareness of the issue to gain new life.
The term refers to a condition where you awaken from sleep only to find that you are unable to speak or move. In other words, you are mentally alert and can probably see, yet your body as a whole is paralyzed. This ailment is very frightening and has baffled medical experts for some years now.
No one knows for a fact what causes sleep paralysis. That doesn’t mean the ailment is a complete mystery though, some things you might want to know about sleep paralysis include the following:
The ailment is called sleep paralysis; however, you are not actually asleep when it happens. You are awake and unable to move or speak for several seconds or even minutes.
There is no method with which doctors can diagnose this ailment. A medical expert can only determine that you are struggling with sleep paralysis when you describe your symptoms.
A number of people have encountered sleep paralysis at one point or another, and rarely have they needed to seek medical assistance. You only need to see a doctor when this ailment actually begins to affect the quality of your sleep and your life as a whole.
Sleep paralysis is sometimes accompanied by tactile and some other types of hallucinations. Some patients have spoken of feeling heaviness on their chests, as though something was resting on them. Others have felt a foreign presence in the room; the hallucinations tend to compound upon the anxiety and fear caused by this ailment.
There are some theories that have attempted to explain the cause of the paralysis. Some experts believe that it is a safety mechanism. The body is typically immobile during REM sleep in order to keep you safe while you are dreaming. And you don't notice this paralysis because you are asleep. Sleep paralysis causes you to wake up while this natural body mechanism is still active. Some medical experts have suggested that the mechanism responsible for the paralysis sometimes fails to deactivate (as it should) when patients wake up.
Sleep paralysis doesn't seem to do any harm because it doesn't last long. However, the ailment can cause anxiety, fear, and mental distress in the long run.
While you are encouraged to seek medical assistance when you encounter sleep paralysis, do not expect any miracles. Even medical experts are struggling to understand this ailment. Unfortunately, your doctor might not always be in a position to help you.