Let's Talk: Sleep Paralysis

Ever since I was diagnosed with depression back in 2010, I have also suffered continuously with sleep paralysis. Now many of you are probably wondering, hey? what is sleep paralysis...
What is it?
Sleep paralysis, is when the body goes into a temporary paralysed state, but the mind is awake. In simple terms your mind is no longer in sleep mode, you can see, you can hear but your body cannot make any movements. This is due to the muscles in your body being so relaxed during sleep, that when you are awakening from your REM sleep there is a delay, in which your body is still in a temporary paralysed mode, whilst trying to catch up with the mind.
Experiencing sleep paralysis is one of the most isolating a fearful times an individual can experience. Sleep is meant to be a time for peace, tranquility and a time to re-energise the mind body and soul. But when sleep paralysis occurs this can be some of the most terrifying experiences- fearing falling to sleep, worrying of potential hallucinations and being unable to move or do anything about it. This post has not be written to scare anyone but instead to spread awareness and to alleviate some thoughts you may be having and to understand this happens to many of us- you are not alone.  
Sleep paralysis can last from a few seconds to several minutes and never any longer. But when you are experiencing it, it can feel like ages. It is a condition that can happen to anyone but is more prone to teens and young adults and also those who may be going through insomnia or having sleeping difficulties.

Symptoms such as feeling that you are awake and feeling as though you can see hear and smell things but cannot act on them. In some cases such as mine you may feel as though someone is in the room with you (hallucinations) but this is very rare.  After the episode is over you may feel very anxious. Please seek support from your GP who can help you through this process. 
There are a few tips that can help aid in preventing sleep paralysis, although sleep paralysis isn't something that can be cured simple steps can be taken to ensure it doesn't happen as often.
1. Try not to nap during the day
2. Find a solid bed time routine and stick to a bed time
3. Have 7/8 hours sleep per night
4. Try not to sleep with distractions that can affect sleep ie TV or Radio
5. Try to unwind before bed with a bath to relax the mind nothing to stimulated.

See your GP
These are just tips and tricks I have used before with the help of counsellors and the GP, but if you are finding that you may be suffering with sleep paralysis, you should contact your GP and discuss this further with a professional. And remember you are not alone.

Find out more here- NHS


  1. Such a great post! Thanks for sharing! I have/had/do suffer from sleep paralysis. I used to think I was crazy and that it was only me that it happened to. It was after getting them on and off for 3 or 4 years I decided to google it and discovered it was a real thing and happened to other people. Weirdly enough I had one last night which is why your post caught my attention :) I always find that they seem to happen to me when I'm too hot, or feeling constricted just before falling asleep (it might have nothing to do with this but I've just noticed it happens when those conditions are like that).

    John | Shout John

  2. I've suffered from sleep paralysis in the past. I visited my GP who was hugely supportive as he'd also suffered from it and we worked out it was stress-related.


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