Can Sleep Paralysis Cause Death?

Sleep paralysis can be traumatizing and occur frequently. It can get so bad that people truly wonder if they will make it through. Can sleep paralysis cause death? Is this gonna kill you?

We are happy to answer this question and help put your mind at ease today. 

There is no real way to prove that sleep paralysis, itself, can cause death. Experts do not consider sleep paralysis to be dangerous. Therefore there is no reason to truly fear sleep paralysis by itself.

For those who don’t know what sleep paralysis is…

What is Sleep Paralysis?

It is feeling as though you are conscious or aware, while being unable to move or speak. This will usually occur when you are just waking up or falling asleep. An interruption in the transition through your sleep cycles is labeled to be the root cause of sleep paralysis.

Some symptoms described are: not being able to move at all; having choking sensations; feeling as though someone is restraining or sitting on you; feeling, hearing or seeing a presence of someone or something.

Some refer to sleep paralysis as a continuation or extension of the state of dreaming. There are some people who swear that it is linked to evil spirits, or demonic possession. It is clear to see why people may fear for their lives when they experience sleep paralysis.

-Learning more about it – Sleep Paralysis: The Ultimate Guide

Sleep Paralysis Deaths Origin?


There is one story in particular that may be a reason people believe sleep paralysis can kill. Over 115 Hmong men died in their sleep during the early 1970s and 1980s. The men were immigrants and none of them had been in the USA for a long time. The thing that most had in common was that they were perceived as pretty healthy individuals. They kept passing away one at a time, and there was no obvious cause.

The United States supported the Hmong people in their fight against the Laotian government. The stated goal was to help stop the prevention of communism. Tens of thousands of the Hmong people died during the fight or trying to escape it. They immigrated to the US after a conflict around the time and after Vietnam.

These deaths were labeled to be caused by (SUNDS) Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome. The doctors of the time really had no idea. If you take a step back and look at their past you find that they may have not been as healthy as they seemed.

They and their families had just gone through a horrible war and then they also just immigrated to a completely foreign land. Immigration issues, including being separated from family, were commonly experienced. The stress of these issues must have been hard to deal with.

The most interesting thing is that was a strong belief in sleep paralysis and demons among the Hmong people. The Hmong people believe that if they do not worship and honor their ancestors

properly, they won’t receive protection from them. For whatever reason the Hmong people didn’t feel as they could worship and honor properly anymore.

A great folklore built up as they believed the tsog tsuam, or nightmare spirit, had followed them to the United States. This spirit is believed to press upon the victims’ chest hard enough to cause respiratory problems and/or death.

Dr. Shelley R. Adler studied the Hmong people and these beliefs for years. She suggests that their belief was so strong that it may have actually contributed in making things worse.

When doctors wrote the final report about SUNDS, they identified those at risk to be those of the Hmong people who experienced the following nighttime events:

  1. Panic or extreme fear
  2. Paralysis (Partial or total)
  3. A sense or feeling of pressure on the chest
  4. Sense or recognition of another spirit in the room
  5. A disturbing sensation through sight, hearing, or touch

It is interesting that these things describe exactly what we know to be sleep paralysis.

Related Articles

 Is Sleep Paralysis Demon Related?

– Sleep Paralysis Demons Around the World – 

Things to Remember

Sleep paralysis will not be the direct cause of your death, but it can cause unwanted effects. Some examples include: Fear, increased stress and/or anxiety, and sleep deprivation.

Hallucinations during sleep paralysis can cause this fear and stress. It is really hard to know what is actually going because you are not fully conscious or aware.

It is better to not dwell on it and let the fear of it build. Learning that truth, and more about sleep paralysis in general, can help alleviate added stress. Sleep paralysis will not just come swiftly and put an end your life.

Remember having occasional or recurrent cases of sleep paralysis also doesn’t suggest you have a worse ailment. There is, however, a chance that it could be a side effect of another disorder or condition.

It is recognized as a possible side effect of Narcolepsy but that is not considered dangerous by itself either. The injuries and deaths associated with Narcolepsy can occur when they fall asleep during some sort of physical task.

Talking about all those things make it obvious that sleep paralysis may cause you to get less sleep. We know sleep is important so you should do all that you can to establish a good sleep pattern and get the proper sleep.

Lack of sleep, stress, fear can all be causes and effects of sleep paralysis. This is because these things can build up and make it hard to sleep. You can’t let these things make it worse.

You should try to examine stressful things or anything that may be causing any sleep pattern changes. Sleep paralysis may only happen once, or take a planned effort to beat.

If you deal with sleep paralysis here is a more in depth guide that may help.

How Stop Sleep Paralysis: 7 Great Ideas

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